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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NPC of the Week: Niv the Assassin

Niv thought himself a prophet.  He took shelter in the basement of the Inn of Iniquity, where his arrangement with Pholtus was keeping him safe, well fed, and to some extent even entertained.  It was chilly and a bit damp but the others weren’t going to look for him down here, and the all-clear would come directly from the mouth of the well-paid innkeeper.
Usually it was a discrepancy over turf, or a job that crossed a personal line, or even the attention of a much-desired woman that set these things in motion.  Niv had seen them often enough, fought through them all too frequently to have any desire to go to ground while war was brewing topside.  Men would die, and lots of them.  It would be a bloody mess as one side would take two for every one of theirs to fall, and the pile would grow beyond the counting.  Those at the top, the ones that had set it all in motion would remain mostly untouchable, in high towers with what they thought were impenetrable defenses.

They were dead wrong.
The noise woke Niv from the deepest and most profound sleep he had found in a week.  He quickly went through his weapons and when he got to the dagger in his belt he saw the cellar door open and heard a scuffle from above.
In a motion swift and smooth, both hands drew short swords as he prepared for the attack that must come.  His mind went quiet, a lesson from Theris, his mentor.  “It is the uncluttered mind”, he had said, “that wins the battle.  Neither rage nor fear will serve you well when blades fly.”
There was some sort of fighting above, but no sound of weapons.  He heard heavy breathing, and a woman’s voice pleading.  Then the woman's voice squeaked and shrieked and a figure tumbled through the door and landed mostly on a sack.  There was a solid thump as a head, covered in auburn hair, smacked solidly onto the edge of a barrel.
A small pouch dropped from the door above, falling onto the body below.   Then it closed just as suddenly as it had opened and its bolt slid back into place.
Niv looked down at the woman laying prone on the sack.  He quickly grabbed the pouch that sat on her chest.  It jingled with coins, heavy with the weight of gold.
Niv sheathed his swords and pocketed the pouch.  “That fat son of a whore!” he spat.  He looked again over at the woman.  The quiet of his battle mind had left, and in its place was a seething rage.  Pholtus had done the unthinkable, and Niv had no recourse.  
Again he cursed as he considered the girl.  It was a situation he was going to have to deal with, so he did the only thing that he could.  He sat down, shrugged and smirked.
At least she had nice tits.

You can't spell assassin without a couple of ass's.
Niv is in independent contractor, and during a guild war, he knows that what's best for business is to lay low until the smoke clears. There will be plenty of gold on the back end as the vendetta's surface. No point in getting killed over someone else's turf, insult, or wife.
The killer-for-hire Niv is twenty-five years of age, but his face reveals a man who's past was painful and difficult, and lived primarily on the streets. An orphan, he was raised in part by the beggars and thieves who inhabit the streets and alleyways of southern Elbion. Theris, his mentor in all things deadly, took him in at thirteen and trained him until his own death eight years later.
Standing at a small 5'5" tall and weighing only 130 lbs., Niv's skill as an assassin is all about stealth, good planning and varying degrees of good luck. His bald head has been tattoo'd with a grinning skull, an affectation he wears with pride. His size isn't indicative of his strength...he's all muscle and can hold his own against much larger combatants.
If Niv has a failing, it's that his libido is sometimes in control of his mouth. He's not boastful, and certainly doesn't share his work with new friends, but in his off time he can usually be found in the company of a lady. He's not a picky fellow...young or old, skinny or zaftig, pretty or not-so-much he enjoys women and they enjoy him. He doesn't mix work with pleasure, but he takes satisfaction in both pursuits with equal tenacity.
Game Stats: Niv is an Assassin Lvl 6 (or rogue/thief 6 if your game system doesn't support assassins, though it probably should IMHO). Niv has some Fae blood in his family tree, and those traits are very apparent in his skills/abilities as an assassin. He has a natural talent for hiding, moving silently, and general comfort in the shadows. You can add any bladed weapon to his array, and he is also comfortable with the garrote if opportunity and access to a neck present itself.
HP: 35
AC: 2 (dex+armor)
Special Skills: +4 to hit/damage from behind. Crit on 19 or 20, 50% of all crits on Humanoid combatants results in instant death, Hide in Shadows +5, Move Silently +5, scale sheer surface 75%

Magical Items: Black Leather Armor +2, Shortsword +1, Healing Draught (as per cure critical wounds 4d8+4 hp restored)

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