Rise of the Runelords
Now-Actually-Dead Adopted Daughter of Father Tobyn
Information gleaned from journals and notes collected by the party after Nualia’s death:
A foundling raised by Ezakien Tobyn, former head of the Sandpoint Cathedral, Nualia Tobyn’s childhood was lonely and sad. Her unearthly aasimar beauty made the other children either jealous or shy, and many of them took to playing cruel jokes on her. The adults in town weren’t much better — many of the superstitious Varisians viewed Nualia as blessed by Desna, a sort of “reverse deformity.” Rumors that her touch or proximity could cure warts and rashes, that locks of her hair brewed into tea could increase fertility, and that her voice could drive out evil spirits led to a succession of awkward and humiliating requests over her years. Poor Nualia felt more like a freak than a young girl by the time she came of age, so when Delek Viskanta, a local Varisian youth, began to court her, she practically fell into his arms in gratitude.
Knowing her father wouldn’t approve of a relationship with a Varisian (he wanted her to remain pure and join a prestigious convent), they kept the affair secret. The couple met many times in hidden places, a favorite being an abandoned smuggler’s tunnel under the town that Delek discovered as a child. Before long, Nualia realized she was pregnant. When she told Delek, he revealed his true colors and, after calling her a slut and a harlot, fled Sandpoint rather than face Ezakien’s wrath. Nualia’s shock quickly turned to rage, yet she had nowhere to vent her anger. She bottled it up, and when Ezakien discovered her delicate condition, his reaction to her indiscretions only furthered her shame and anger. He forbade her to leave the church, lectured her nightly, and made her pray to Desna for forgiveness. In doing so, he unknowingly nurtured her growing hate.
One night, wrathful energies seemed to suffuse her mind and she flew into a frenzy. Further research by Nualia connected this energy to the runewell beneath Sandpoint, but at that point it was a mystery. Seven months pregnant, she miscarried her child later that night, a child whose monstrously deformed shape she only glimpsed before blanching midwives stole it away to burn it in secret. Nualia later determined that, because the child had been conceived in the tunnels near the shrine of Lamashtu, the child itself was deformed and horrific. The double shock of losing a child and the realization she had been carrying a fiend in her belly for 7 months was too much. Nualia fell into a coma.
As Nualia slept, she dreamed unhealthy dreams. fueled by taint of Lamashtu and the runewell, she became obsessed with the cruel demon goddess and the conviction that her wretched life was inflicted on her by those around her. She came to see her angelic heritage as a curse, and the nightmares showed her how to expunge this taint from her body and soul, replacing it with chaos and cruelty. When she finally woke, Nualia was someone new, someone who didn’t flinch at what Lamashtu asked her. She jammed her father’s door shut, lit the church on fire, and fled Sandpoint.
Nualia fled to Magnimar, where she enlisted the aid of Norgorber-worshipping killers known as the Skinsaw Cult. With their aid, she tracked down Delek and murdered him. Yet his death did not fill her need for revenge — it only quickened her need for more of the same, for Sandpoint and its hated citizens still lived.
Seeing a kindred spirit, the leader of the Skinsaw Cult gave Nualia a medallion bearing a carving of a seven-pointed star called a Sihedron Medallion. Nualia learned that she had a larger role to play, and that her dreams were a map to her destiny. Taking the advice to heart, Nualia returned to Sandpoint and found herself drawn to the brick wall in the smuggler’s tunnel where she and Delek had conceived her deformed child. Nualia bashed down the wall, and in doing so, discovered the Catacombs of Wrath and the quasit Erylium, also a follower of Lamashtu. For many months, Nualia studied under Erylium’s tutelage. During this time, Nualia received another vision from Lamashtu — a vision of the monstrous goblin wolf imprisoned in an underground room at Thistletop. In Nualia’s dreams, she learned that this creature, a barghest named Malfeshnekor, was also one of Lamashtu’s chosen. If she could find him and free him, he would not only help her achieve her vengeance against Sandpoint, but he would be the key in cleansing her body of her “celestial taint.” Nualia wanted to be one of Lamashtu’s children now. She wanted to become a monster herself.