Name: Rose-Thorn (Female sprite, CG)
Submitted by: Andrew Crossett
Rose-Thorn has all the standard abilities of a sprite. She can become invisible at will; while in this state she is +2 to hit and her opponents take a -4 penalty when trying to strike her. She can detect good or evil within 50 yards, and uses this ability to protect herself, Genea, and her other companions, as well as to screen Genea's potential clients. Rose-Thorn can fly at a speed of 18, at maneuverability class B. She fights with a sword (damage 1d4) and her faerie bow (half short-bow range, damage 1d3, those struck must save vs. poison or sleep for 1d6 hours). She has 7 hit points, an armor class of 6, and a THACO of 19. Rose-Thorn speaks Sprite, Elvish, and Common fluently.
Rose-Thorn is exactly two feet tall and has a slender, elfin build. She is exceptionally beautiful, with snow-white skin, waist-length red-gold hair (usually worn in a braid or pigtail), and emerald-green eyes. Her typical costume is a loose-fitting white blouse with ruffles (cut to accommodate her wings), a short, light blue skirt, moccasin-like slippers, and a green cap with a red feather in it. She is always armed with her sword at least; when looking after Genea out in public, she always carries her bow with sleep-poisoned arrows.
Rose-Thorn seldom speaks of her life before that day in the Year of the Adder (1328 DR) when she was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the life of little Elspeth Dannihyr. Elspeth's father, a wealthy Amnian named Rhinnom Dannihyr (then a Master Spy in the Shadow Thieves, and today the Grandmaster of that guild and a secret member of Amn's ruling Council of Six) chose to honor his lonely daughter's eighth birthday by procuring for her a "little playmate". He paid a renegade wizard handsomely to magically entrap Rose-Thorn, then place spells upon her which bound her to Elspeth's service for as long as both the girl and the sprite lived. Nothing could be more terrible to a sprite than enslavement, and Rose-Thorn spent several weeks in an agony of sorrow, fear, and anger.
As time passed. however, Rose-Thorn came to realize that her young mistress was as sad and lonely as she herself was. A bond of friendship developed between them which they both treasured a great deal, since neither of them had any other friends in the world. Rose-Thorn became Elspeth's dedicated protector, using her sprite abilities to good effect - on one occasion she foiled a kidnaping attempt, and on another she saved Elspeth from a wild boar which (wounded by hunters and maddened with fear) had wandered onto the grounds of the Dannihyr estate. Elspeth helped Rose-Thorn maintain a secret spot in a distant corner of the gardens where the sprite could grow the mushrooms needed to create the sleep poison for her arrows. Rose-Thorn always nursed a deep resentment for all the other members of the Dannihyr clan, who had taken a part in her enslavement.
Lady Elspeth took Rose-Thorn with her when she went away to boarding school in Athkatla (all the students being allowed one servant). While there, the sprite helped spark a romance between her mistress and Lord Samehl Delveright, who was also going to school in the city. The two were married, and Rose-Thorn spent the next few years looking after the happy couple and their daughter, Genea.
Rose-Thorn was devastated when, in the Year of the Turret (1360 DR), Elspeth and Samehl were murdered while on holiday, probably by enemies of Elspeth's father. Although Elspeth's death freed Rose-Thorn from her magical slavery, she chose to remain with the grief-stricken young Genea, who now needed her as badly as Elspeth had, 32 years earlier.
Rose-Thorn has been with Genea for ten years now, as her handmaiden and protector, but mostly as her closest friend.
For reasons she keeps to herself, Rose-Thorn seldom speaks much of her life before her enslavement. She reveals only that she originally came from the Wood of Sharp Teeth, across the river to the south of Arylon. All the other faerie creatures in the region - even some of the elves - know of Rose-Thorn and treat her with a great deal of respect. On one or two occasions, a distracted Rose-Thorn has been heard to refer to her old home as "Shantel". It seems this could not possibly refer to anything other than to the ten-thousand-years-dead elven realm of Shantel Othreier, which once ruled these lands. Sprites are theoretically immortal, and some of Rose-Thorn's acquaintances wonder how old she truly is.
Wherever Genea Delveright is, Rose-Thorn is usually not too far away. She does not intend to lose Genea as she lost Genea's mother.
When she is satisfied that her friend is in a safe situation (such as home in bed), Rose-Thorn often goes out to do a little exploring on her own. She is quite familiar with most locations in the city, and knows a bit about the "night life" of Arylon.
The sprite is viewed with a bit of trepidation by many in Arylon - especially those who truly know what a seemingly harmless little sprite is capable of doing. It has been said that such a creature would make an excellent spy ... or assassin. In reality she would never do such things, nor would Genea suggest it, but the rumors do serve to make potential enemies think twice about crossing the Lady Delveright.
Although she is far more comfortable in the countryside or wilderness than in an urban setting, Rose-Thorn has grown accustomed to living in the city. Arylon's relatively small size and many open areas have made it easier for her to adjust. She does not particularly care about people's suspicions regarding her, and she bears no actual malice toward anyone who does not deliberately cross her or Genea. For a sprite, Rose-Thorn is surprisingly sociable among humans, and she has made many friends among the more open-minded citizens of the city.
Rose-Thorn is on the lookout for a young man who might make a good match for her lonely friend, Genea, but she has yet to find anyone she considers wholly satisfactory. Her own love life, surprisingly, is a bit more successful. She and Quelan, a handsome young half-elven tailor whom Genea buys her dresses from, have been quietly smitten with each other for quite some time now. A few months ago, Rose-Thorn talked Quelan into imbibing part of a Potion of Diminution she had procured, and the two enjoyed an evening together that neither is likely to ever forget (and both hope to repeat). For the time being, they both choose to keep their relationship a secret.
Rose-Thorn always remains visible, in public and in private, unless she detects evil in the immediate vicinity, or unless someone makes a move to attack Genea. Then, she immediately turns invisible and starts pumping sleep-poisoned arrows into her target. She will not strike to kill unless absolutely necessary, but she will have no mercy on those who harm Genea.