Nostuthamas Majeryn Nostu is a highly skilled assassin in the service of The Harlequins. His mind is his ultimate weapon and he bears an unquenchable hatred for Illithid.
|Nostu in his typical garb. Profile shows what he looks like when his cowl is down.|
|Home||Alaron, Moonshae Isles|
|Age in 1373 DR||26|
| Class |
3.5 ed. rules
|Languages||Common, Abyssal, Drow, Drow Sign Language, Elven, Undercommon, Illumian|
Nostu was once joyful and full of life. When he first signed on with The Harlequins he was affable and warm-hearted. He was quick to offer his assistance and console other troupe members when they faced personal problems. Quick and quiet, he was their natural pick for one of their infiltration teams and in his early days he opened many locked doors and did his fair share of spying.
Nostu once had a charming face and radiant eyes that invited people to approach him. His confinement by the illithid changed him completely.
He is shrouded in a grey-blue cloak and thick but flexible leafweave armor. His face is constantly shrouded by a cowl. His outerwear is adorned with scrawling patterns etched in silver. His complexion is pale and this light skin tone makes his eyes stand out, even beneath his cowl. Where once he had eyes of deep violet now he has nothing. His eyes are completely blank, each of them merely a shifting veil of grey-blue, framed by his short shock of raven black hair.
He wears no weapon, instead choosing to materialize his blades directly from his mind. When he manifests his katana it appears as a vibrant emerald green. When he is searching a mind for information he prefers to manifest his blade as a katar rather than a katana. The katar materializes as a deep blue rather than the green of the katana.
His bare skin is adorned with silver tattoos that he has painstakingly crafted into his skin. The tattoos hold a psychic charge that he has imbued them with and in any given instance Nostu can activate them to draw on a power he stored long ago.
Nostu and his twin brother Tunos were orphans in the capital city of Caer Callidyrr on Alaron in the Moonshae Isles. Their early lives were relatively easy, despite their homeless status. Nostu managed to earn spare coin by performing sleight of hand tricks on the streets and Tunos was strong enough to hire himself out for manual labor. Between the two of them they earned enough income to stay alive, if not live a life of luxury. When times became harder or money was short Nostu was often able to steal enough to get by – never maliciously or greedily, taking only what he and his brother needed.
Their lives continued as such until a fateful encounter with a traveling group of performers known as The Harlequins. The Harlequins were in town on business for the Queen (both performing and offering their more…subtle services). Impressed by the youth’s sleight of hand, the troupe kept a close watch on him during their stay in the isles. It was one of the brothers’ thinner times and as such Nostu made his rounds one evening, taking small amounts of coin from the greedy unkind merchants in town. He entered silently and left quickly, easily impressing the group with his speed and efficiency. The real test came when the troupe magically rigged a door to set off an alarm. Nostu, unfamiliar with the magics, triggered the trap and woke the shop owner, and the shop owner’s guards, up.
Nostu would have easily evaded his pursuit but again The Harlequins interfered, magically guiding the guards to rogue’s safe house where Tunos was waiting. Not having shaken the guards, the twins launched into battle, fighting as one familiar force and, despite their lack of weapons, were able to overpower the guards and escape. Following the impressive show of both infiltration and combat prowess and ability to improvise, The Harlequins offered the twins a position with the troupe and offered to train them. Seeing a way to escape their meager situation, the twins readily accepted.
In the years that followed Nostu’s skills improved greatly and he soon surpassed all but the most skilled of Harlequin infiltrators. The brothers traveled with the group and performed, both on stage and in the true capacity of a Harlequin – trafficking information, lifting expensive property and doing away with people that had angered their clients.
It was supposed to have been a normal performance. Put on a show and assist House Drenor by quietly eliminating a few high profile members of House Nelyth. The twins were the two senior members sent to oversee the operation. Things went bad from the start.
The opening act had just taken the stage when the illithid struck. All at once several members of the audience, drow all of them, dropped to the ground as mind blasts racked their brains. In the next instant the illithid materialized from thin air, dismissing their invisibility spells and launching another volley of deadly mind blasts. The Harlequins leapt into action vaulting from the stage and drawing weapons from hidden folds in their clothing. The audience that remained did the same – the illithid would not have an easy feast here but there were far too many of them to simply rout.
Tunos looked to Nostu and cried out, “What do we do brother?”
“We hold this position! Drenor should arrive shortly to aid us!” he replied as he drove his short sword into the back of a mind flayer.
A nearby drow overheard the exchange and interjected into their conversation, “Do not count on it. Shortly after this assault began Nelyth assaulted Drenor openly. They won’t be helping anyone!”
Suddenly the dire nature of the circumstances came into focus. The Harlequins had been played. Nostu wasn’t sure exactly how, but somewhere in the chaos wrought by the illithid attack Nelyth was taking advantage of it to usurp Drenor. This meant that Nelyth had been expecting it. It also meant that help would be slower in arriving. Nostu was certain the drow wouldn’t stand for an open act of aggression by the illithid but it also meant that the drow that did come had no vested interest in the well-being of the Harlequins. That meant this battle could become potentially costly.
“Tunos! Have everyone fall back behind the drow; the city guards will arrive eventually – we shouldn’t risk unnecessary losses!”
“Agreed! Harlequins, fall back!”
The performers rallied to the knight, and together they drove a wedge through the illithid, making their way towards the open cavern behind the drow. Nostu was attempting to rejoin the troupe when the mind blast hit him. His head swam and the world seemed to bleed – everything ran together and swirled in a pool of mingling colors. Still he trudged on.
The illithids looked at each other, puzzle written in their expressions. It didn’t last long. Another blast tore into Nostu’s mind and the world went black.
Tunos saw the tentacles close over his twin’s still form as the city guard broke onto the illithid line. He whipped his greatsword from his back and charged the mind flayers. The other Harlequins tried to restrain him but they couldn’t hold him. He cleaved a many-tentacled head from a body as the illithids begain to retreat, taking Nostu with them.
We got what we went for.
Yes, the question is if we will have provoked the drow…
Are you talking about the manipulation of Drenor and Nelyth? Who cares if we anger two minor houses if we gain a foothold in the Harlequins?
Yes…we should begin.
Nostu lay on the ground in a stone cold cell. Bars prevented any exit and the flayers stood just on the other side. They turned their attention to the rogue who watched them without comment.
Tunos looked at Nostu and spoke, “We should return to the headquarters immediately. In the meantime you should contact the new leadership. Who was elected again?”
Nostu started to speak, “Forgotten already brother? Hah, I suppose the illithid shook you up a little bit. It was…”
He’s resisting the intrusion.
How is that even possible? He didn’t present himself as a manifester.
Nostu watched them exchange thoughts silently. He offered them nothing of himself, merely watching and feeling the slight tingling of the air as they thought at each other. The Harlequins would come for him soon – he wouldn’t have to endure this long.
It had been weeks at least. The illithid probed and prodded his mind daily but Nostu was getting better at blocking them out. He had learned how to battle in his own mind and he could tell they were growing frustrated. Soon enough…soon enough Tunos would come for him. This nightmare would end.
Time had ceased to have meaning. Days flowed on endlessly. They had gouged his eyes out weeks ago…or had it been months? It mattered little. They had taken his sight, hoping to break his spirit – to make the shifting plane of the mind that they met him on more unstable and foreign to him. By all accounts and predictions it should have worked. It didn’t. The next time they engaged him he was more vicious than ever. He had actually succeeded in trapping one of the flayers in an endless psychic loop. Not wanting to share his ally’s fate, the other flayer left. Nostu was not kind to the one he had captured. He did not return to his body.
They started coming in greater numbers, he was never visited by less than four of the creatures. When they had finished with him for the day it was never with four. Eventually the nature of their visits changed. They no longer tried to enter his mind – the mindscape had become far too dangerous for them to engage him on. He had filled it with traps and secret passages that he could use to outmaneuver them. After careful planning he even managed to separate them and then engage them individually. The first time he had psychically destroyed the full part they had sent after him was the last time they attempted to search his mind. Now they resorted to merely standing outside his cell and mentally blasting him for hours on end. It had been painful at first. These days he regarded it as little more than a slight scratching in his cerebellum. He had even adapted to his lack of sight, using his psychic presence to paint the world around him in a purple hued representation of the visual. In many ways he saw better than ever.
Finally there came a day when they did not visit him. It was that day that he knew they were sufficiently afraid. It was time to act.
He rose from his seated position on the ground. The world pulsed around him in a violet shade and he felt the tingle at the back of his head that told him the illithid were not far. He flexed his hand and then closed it. As he did so a brilliant green katana materialized in his closed fist. Its blade was just over two feet long and shimmered with intricate patterns up and down its length. It was perfectly balanced – a complete extension of the mental weapon that it represented.
The green blade flashed through Nostu’s psychic sight and the bars fell that had defined the perimeter of his room since his capture fell to the ground. Freedom tasted…like nothing. Nostu took no joy in his escape. There was work to be done.
He moved silently down the corridor. The flayer was completely unaware of his presence. He opened his fist and the katana vanished. He had prepared a special weapon for this sort of operation. There was an elder brain somewhere in the city and he intended to find it. He closed his fist and a deep blue katar appeared around it. He grasped the flayer from behind with his free hand and felt it randomly fire off a mind blast, hoping to dislodge its assailant. It stopped struggling when Nostu plunged the katar into its head. When he removed it a few seconds later the illithid dropped to the ground. Nostu walked away slowly, heading in the direction of the elder brain.
Tunos lopped the duergar’s head off as it charged at him. His greatsword pulsed with a his fury. His once gleaming platemail was now dented and covered in blood – partly that of his enemies, partly his. He had been searching for over a year and he had left a bloody swathe across the Underdark in his search for his twin. The Harlequins had been open to tracking Nostu down – he was a senior member and had secrets that they would need to protect. But they had wanted to take their time in preparing. Tunos didn’t have time. As it was it had taken him a year to find his brother. He had finally made it and the bodies of countless thralls dotted the ground around him.
So far he had not encountered any illithid and that had been a blessing. He wasn’t sure how he would fare against a substantial number of them – truth be told he hadn’t thought his rescue through all the way. He had known only that he needed to reach Nostu as quickly as he could. The next wave of thralls halted in their approach. They looked around wildly for a moment and then began running, not at Tunos but towards the nearest exit. They no longer moved with the practiced precision that had coordinated their earlier efforts. Instead they ran wildly and chaotically, running as quickly as they could. Something had happened. Tunos picked up his pace as he headed deeper into the city.
When Tunos finally found Nostu he had to fight down his urge to vomit. Countless illithid bodies littered the floor around him in various stages of dismemberment. Tentacles still writhed as though they were attached to the bodies that had formerly borne them. The walls were splattered with a grey material that resembled the hulking mass that rested beneath Nostu’s feet. The massive elder brain had been hacked apart and Nostu stood, lightly panting atop its destroyed form.
“N-Nostu!” Tunos called to his twin.
Nostu back flipped off the brain that he had sundered and landed behind his brother. With a swift movement he brought his katar up to Tunos’ head and was preparing to plunge it into his temple.
“Nostu it’s me! It’s Tunos!”
The katar wavered.
“Tunos…brother.” He spoke without emotion though the katar did vanish.
“Come brother…let’s go home.”
The sky was clear overhead and the brilliant blue hues stood out in stark contrast to the verdant green of the plain. Tunos sat beneath the bough of an old oak, perched atop a hill that overlooked the vast expanse around him. Selvio was a short distance away playing with their children – twins, a boy and girl. They said that sort of thing ran in the family. Nostu took it all in. Life was perfect. His brother’s family was happy and healthy and so was he. Nothing could mar the perfection of the day. The colors were so vibrant. Everything was…wrong. Everything was horribly wrong.
Nostu looked up into the sky and saw the clouds overhead. He saw them. He blinked his eyes and when he reopened them the world was hued in a purplish-grey color Tunos and his family had become silhouettes, distinguishable from the world around them only by the hazy lines that defined their shape. Nostu walked towards Tunos hastily, his steps quickening as he drew closer.
Tunos’ head snapped up when he saw Nostu approaching. “Ho brother! How goes it!” Nostu didn’t reply, breaking into a loping stride, his face drawn. “Nostu, what is the matter?” Still no response and he was getting closer. Selvio screamed. “Take the children Selv, take the children and run!”
Tunos was half-way standing when Nostu pounced. He sailed through the air, arcing towards his brother. His hand went up and closed around a shimmering purple katana. He drew his arm forward as Tunos fumbled for his sword, but the paladin never got it unsheathed. The mind blade struck unerringly at Tunos’ neck. Nostu whirled where he had landed and stood up as the world around him changed.
The dracolich bore down on his companions with the ferocity of its thousand year sleep. It opened its maw and a deep black and green fog seeped out of it, billowing through the cavern. Tunos held up his shield and said a quick prayer. A beam of light appeared from nowhere and enveloped him in a soft glow rendering the gas ineffective. Selvio clutched at her throat as her breath finally ran out and she was forced to inhale, choking on the brackish mist that she drew in. Her eyes went wild and she dropped to the cave floor, coughing violently and convulsing.
His other friends were having mixed success. Falaran and Aluhaen had backed up against each other and the avariel was singing a haunting tone in truespeech. The notes spiraled around the lovers in a whirring circle, keeping the foul mist at bay.
Arayonae, Talia and Elinos were still holding back the horde of skeletons that had closed off their escape route. The situation, all things considered, looked very bleak. And yet Nostu could end it. The dracolich was possessed of an immense intelligence and an even stronger will but Nostu had lobotomized dragon and lich alike before – it was well within his power to end this.
He closed his hand over solid air and the katana appeared in his grasp. He saw the entire battlefield laid out for him in his mind’s eye, purple and marked with lines where people and objects were. He raised the mind blade and angled it at the dracolich. With a flick of his wrist he sent the blade flying, not at the undead dragon, but straight up. It soared upwards and became lodged in midair, having struck something untangible. A rip appeared and as Nostu glared at it and focused it grew wider, expanding outwards from the point of penetration before finally tearing. The world vanished around him.
The entire incident had taken less than a moment and the cool stone floor was beneath Nostu again. The entire event had been a setup. He imagined someone was using a proxy to secure the Harlequin’s services…services that did not run cheap. On that front at least the mission had been a success. They would profit handsomely and no harm had come to him.
Already he could feel the illithid retreating. Their presence tingled less and less on his mind. He would have to act quickly to secure their services. He placed his hand on the cool metal of the door handle and blinked. The door opened, seemingly of its own accord. The owner of the tower cowered in the corner.
Nostu walked forward slowly, “Where are the illithid?”
The man blubbered through his streaming tears, “Th-th-they took my daughter! If I tell you they’ll kill her!”
Nostu said nothing. He merely walked forward. He stopped and knelt before the cowering man. “Where,” he repeated, “are the illithid?”
Nostu didn’t hesitate for a second. He raised his hand, holding it level with the man’s head and a green katar formed around his closed fist. Nostu plunged the blade into the man’s left temple.
A squat ramshackle house starred back at Nostu from the depths of the man’s mind. It was on the edge of town, hidden behind a grove of warped elder trees.
Nostu withdrew the katar and rose as the man tried to huddle even closer into the corner.
The shack was just as he had seen it in the man’s mind. Desolate and destitute, no one in town had paid it any attention in years. As he drew closer he felt the presence of the illithid wash over him like a sludgy wave of stagnant water. This was definitely the place.
Nostu opened the door without ceremony and his psi-vision painted the scene for him instantly. Three illithid occupied the dilapidated structure. They had been preparing for a hasty exit when he accosted them. They quit their preparations instantly and one of them grabbed the house’s last occupant – the man’s daughter – and moved his writhing mouth tentacles within inches of her head.
Leave now interloper and the girl lives. One step and the thoughts originated from the mind flayer in the rear, well Xalliator has been hungry lately.
I see… was Nostu’s only reply.
We’ll just be going then.
No. I don’t think you will.
The girl whimpered beneath the illithid’s grasp, having caught none of the psychic exchange.
Nostu raised his hand and his mind blade materialized while his arm was still in motion. With a quick flick he hurled the blade through the air. As the sword left his fingers he dashed to the right, heading straight for the wall of the shack. He felt one of the illithid’s mind blasts scour the area where he had been moments before.
His feet planted squarely on the wall and he kept going, running parallel to the ground, all the while advancing on the illithid. His path carried him upward, higher on the wall before he stepped onto the ceiling. He passed across the ceiling to the opposite wall and then back onto the level floor. As he touched down to the floor, behind the illithid who was menacing the girl, his mind blade sunk into its head, piercing the soft rubbery flesh, dropping the flayer and freeing the girl.
He spun on his heels calling the blade to his hand and it answered. His motion carried the blade through the stomach of the next mind flayer. The bisected body separated and the illithid’s innards sloshed onto the floor.
Nostu rose and drove his katana upward in a slashing arc. The blade cleaved the mind blast that the remaining illithid had sent his way in two and rendered it harmless. The flayer abandoned any hope of a victorious encounter and turned to flee.
No Nostu’s thought exploded onto the creature’s mind.
Kill me if you want – others will take my place. The illithid are beyond your comprehension. We are eternal and soon they will come for you in number beyond measure. Your feeble mind will crumple beneath the might of the elder brain!
Heh. The creature’s arrogance had made Nostu glib. The might of your elder brain? he walked forward as he thought, relinquishing his grasp on the katana as he did so. I will show you what I do to elder brains, flayer.
When Nostu was within reach of the illithid’s tentacles the creature struck, emitting another vicious blast of pure mental energy. The assassin sensed it before the flayer had even released it and spun out of the way, hooking the flayer around the ankle with his foot and sending him crashing to the floor. He plunged his fist downward as the mental katar formed around it and pierced the flayer’s head.
The shack faded away and the image that Nostu wanted to thread into the flayer’s mind formed around him. He saw through his own eyes. The soft pink and ribbed surface of the elder brain stretched out around him. His own feet were lodged in two of the crevasses that crisscrossed its surface. The air tingled with an intense psychic energy.
The brain knew that something was very, very wrong. Nearly thirty illithid lay in various stages of dismemberment on the cavern floor surrounding the elder brain pool. The brain had tried repeatedly to dislodge the intruder with powerful mind blasts but the would-be assassin had retreated into his own mind. There was no access-point, no opening from which to stage an attack. For the first time in its millennia of existence, the elder brain knew fear.
Nostu saw his psychic blade bearing down on the soft tissue. He hacked and slashed with wild abandon; chunks of grey matter flew through the air and splattered the walls of the cavern. When the center of the giant mass was within striking distance he held the katana over his head and closed his free fist around the katar that materialized in it. He plunged the katar downward. His mind flowed into that of the elder brain. He plundered it first taking the information he needed and then he razed it to the ground.
This, all of this, he passed into the illithid’s open mind. The fear that the elder brain had felt flowed into the mind flayer and Nostu felt it shaking beneath his psi-katar. When he withdrew the blade, the illithid crumpled to a heap, more battered and broken than the woman who was still crouched on the floor, taking this all in.
Leave the girl and run back to your mighty elder brain flayer spawn and give him a message for me.
W-w-what message? The illithid managed to stammer telepathically.
Tell him, “I come.” And with that Nostu turned and walked from the shack.
The girl stuttered after him, “T-thank you! Thank you so much!”
Nostu said nothing and a moment later he vanished into the darkness.
Character Sheet Edit
1 Rog, 7 Lrk, 8 Skf, 3 EbSt, 1 IlS
Hit Dice: 11d6 + 1d8 + 8d10 = 148 hp
Attacks: Psi-Katana +21/+16/+11
Special Attacks/Qualities: Sneak attack (2d6), Throw mind blade, psychic strike (2d8), mind blade enhancement, favored enemy: illithid (+2), illithid sense, lurk augment (as lvl 7 lurk), psionic sneak attack (2d6), sneak attack modifier (ebon saint 1d6), dire strike, dire augments, shadowfriend (+3 hide/move silently while focused), thought theft, mind interrogation
Saves: Fort: +7 / Refl. +21 / Will +17
Abilities: Str 18 (+4), Dex 20 (+5), Con 14 (+2), Int 18 (+4), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 10 (+0)
Skills (trained only listed as ranks+modifier for total, non-listed skills will be equal to modifier only):
Autohypnosis 19, Bluff 8, Climb 9, Concentration 21, Disguise 8, Escape Artist 13, Hide 22, Jump 15, Knowledge: Dungeoneering 8, Knowledge: Psionics 16, Move Silently 22, Open Lock 15, Psicraft 16, Sleight of Hand 16, Spot 8, Swim 8, Tumble 11
Manifester Level: 9 (7 lurk, 2 from ebon saint)
Blind fight, track, weapon focus: mind blade, mind cleave, mind empowerment, mind strike, focused, speed of thought, up the walls, scribe tattoo, wild talent
Cloak of etherealness
Bracers of accuracy
Gloves of object reading
Ring of communication
Ring of the Forcewall
Eyes of power leeching
Amulet of catapsi
Dimension stride boots
Powers: 23 power points / day
9 powers known
1st lvl powers: Mighty spring, far hand, dimensional pocket, compression
2nd lvl powers: Thought shield, levitate, psionic lock
3rd lvl powers: Speak with dead, touch sight