Adriana "Addy" Denikov
Female Chaotic Good Human (Varisian) Bard
STR: 12 DEX: 15 CON: 12 INT: 12 WIS: 12 CHA: 18
Level 1, HP 9/9, Speed 30'
Rapier (1d6+1, 18-20/x2)
Light Crossbow (1d8, 19–20/×2, 80 ft)
Dagger (1d4+1, 19–20/×2, 10 ft)
The epitome of feminine beauty, Addy’s appearance approaches a level that many would consider perfect. Standing five feet, eight inches tall and weighing in at 115 pounds, she strikes a slender and graceful figure with perfectly proportioned curves and a delicate but regal bone structure. From the flawless complexion to the long, dark eyelashes - everything about her screams out for attention.
Her delicately dark eyebrows are expressive and clearly show her emotions. Her skin is a dark, olive color - a clear sign of her Varisian heritage. Her ears are, more often than not, adorned with golden hoop earrings or gemstone studs.
When not tied back, her ebon hair falls in flowing lines to the small of her back or over her shoulders - twisting and waving in rhythm with her movements in a chaotic but appealing fashion.
Her eyes are dark brown, nearly matching the intensity of her hair, and move with a certain casual expectancy, as though she was very used to having things done for her. High cheek bones, a well-defined and elegant jaw-line and a perfectly shaped button nose add striking symmetry to her face and her full, somewhat pouty lips hide a dazzling smile that she is quick to flash.
Numerous beautifully designed tattoos run the length of her spine and the width of her slender shoulders in a complex pattern of odd runes and symbols that have a meaning known only to those who are familiar with the Varisian culture. A smaller, somewhat more modest tattoo can be found on the inside of each wrist and ankle.
As captivating as her appearance might be, it is her voice (and, when needed, her demeanor) that is truly enchanting. Her words weave a tapestry of smooth and soothing notes that seem to linger in the air before melting away into the ether. Her practiced control of inflection, volume and tone allow her to soothe and inspire allies with one phrase and incite and panic enemies with another.
Warm and jovial towards her friends, to say that Addy is outgoing and gregarious would be quite an understatement. She makes friends easily and seems to genuinely care about their struggles and ambitions.
Passionate and fiercely independent (traits attributable to her Varisian heritage), her background as a performer allows her to read the intentions of other people with incredible accuracy and she often nods in acknowledgement while smiling and listening to others - as if she has already arrived at the conclusion of their story and is simply waiting for them to catch up.
A life spent travelling and in the company of tavern-goers means that Ally knows how to handle herself amongst the "coarser" edges of society. She takes lewd and vulgar comments in stride, usually with a roll of the eyes and a smirk. She does have a limit, though, and will quickly put an over-eager admirer in his place if needed.
In combat, she abides by a motto that her older brother often recited - "fortune favors the bold." Adept with blade and bow, she typically maneuvers to become the aggressor in any confrontation - working to place her combatant on the defensive. As witness to (and, sometimes, participant in) countless tavern brawls, she doesn't hesitate to use less-than-noble tactics in a fight. She's no berserker, either, and has no qualms about fleeing the battle if the odds are too great.
Adriana is the second of four children (and only daughter) born unto Avarik and Sheila Denikov - patriarch and matriarch of the "Grey Raven" gypsy troupe that performed throughout the lands, from Cheliax to Ustalav, for years.
Avarik, a Chevalier (minor member of the vast and often convoluted Varisian Aristocracy), was a proud man and named his only daughter after his grandmother, Adriana.
Her childhood was a cheerful one - living out of covered wagons as the troupe toured from town to town. The fifty or so Grey Raven's served as her extended family - teaching her the ways of the road and encouraging her to participate in their shows. Addy was fortunate enough to inherit her mother's good looks and her father's gift of gab - and put them to use at a very early age by performing in many of the troupe's routines.
Having three brothers, Addy was the quintessential tomboy - playing knights and goblins, pretend sword fighting and generally being rough and tumble with her siblings. As she grew older, though, and entered her teenage years, it became increasingly evident that she was going to be stunningly beautiful as an adult. As a result, her mother began to work with her in an attempt to impart some feminine qualities and knowledge.
Adriana was a fast learner and was soon employing her feminine charms to get her way in various games and endeavors and, as she grew older, began performing considerably different routines on stage. Gone were the cute, endearing performances of a child. In their place, Addy was performing as an enchanting and alluring young woman... and the attention and tips increased accordingly.
In fact, it was her success on stage that inadvertently brought about the dissolution of the Grey Raven troupe.
Tavern brawls were a regular occurrence when Adriana was onstage. One inebriated man would think Addy was singing solely to him and, thus, take a swing at any other man that attempted to get the young lady's attention. Others would start fights in an attempt to prove their prowess to the girl the only way they knew how. Whatever the reason, the brawls usually ended with little more than broken noses, lost teeth and a few busted tables.
That all changed one night in a small town on the border of Cheliax.
The young son of a noble, in a misplaced attempt to "defend the honor" of Addy, lost his life in a particularly bloody brawl. He wasn't the only casualty that night - just the most influential.
The noble's wrath was swift and, as retribution for his son's death, he had four separate men tried and hanged for murder. Unfortunately, the noble's vengeance wasn't completely sated and he quickly turned his ire towards the Grey Raven troupe - threatening the men with death and the women with lifetime sentences in the prisons and rock quarries.
It was then that Adriana's father, Avarik Denikov, staged what he still considers his greatest performance. Before an audience of armed guards and angered citizens, all intent on lynching the troupe, Avarik gave an impassioned speech no less than an hour in length.
So ardent and heartfelt were the man's words that many in the would-be lynch mob actually laid down their weapons and shed tears of remorse for their murderous intentions. The armed guards left, the citizens dispersed and the noble called for a private appointment with the leader of the gypsy troupe.
After the meeting, Avarik explained the results to the rest of the Gray Ravens. The noble was the supreme law of the land and could very easily have ordered the troupe to be executed, but Avarik's words had brought forth a stay in the executions. However, there was still a price to be paid.
In exchange for giving the Gray Ravens free passage out of the province, Avarik agreed to disband the troupe and never set foot in the province again.
And so, once the troupe had traveled back to Varisia, Avarik kept his word and scattered the troupe after one final night of celebration and revelry. Most of the travelers, Adriana's brothers included, set out to find other troupes to join, some formed their own and a few simply retired from the long days spent on the road.
Addy traveled with her parents for a while, venturing mostly between Varisia's larger cities and towns. But it wasn't long until she felt the road calling to her, the wind tugging at her cloak. She withstood the call of her wanderlust for a full six months, but in the end, the Varisian blood in her veins won out.
Her father wasn't particularly fond of the idea of his only daughter traveling alone, but Addy's promises of finding a safe traveling group and returning frequently were enough for him to at least hide his displeasure if not voice his consent.
Thus, with a backpack of gear and armed more with her charm than her weapons, Adriana set out to make a name for herself.