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 Scyllua Darkhope - redemption possible?
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hymer
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Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  14:36:54  Show Profile Send hymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm running (haltingly, albeit) a 3.5 Forgotten Realms campaign (E8 style), where the Shadovar invasion never happened. Instead, the Zhentarim are invading the Dales, and their top commander in the field is Scyllua Darkhope (likewise reduced to level 8).

Even if the PCs manage to engage her in battle, and kill her before her nightmare steed takes her to safety, she would soon be back in action. She is just too useful to Fzoul Chembryl for him to leave her dead.

But what if the PCs could redeem her, or depower her somehow? I would like for that to be at least an option over the campaign. The PCs are going to meet her next session in Ravens Bluff. There is little campaigning over the winter, but the political struggle continues. Both Cormyr and the Zhentarim are trying to get that navy-depleted city to allow them to operate their navies out of Ravens Bluff's excellent harbour, and/or deny it to their opposition. The Zhentarim have taken Harrowdale and Scardale, leaving the Cormyrean ships a long way from bases when operating in the area. Tantras is another option, but keeping the Zhents from using Ravens Bluff would be very useful.
The PCs and Scyllua's party won't be getting into a fight, at least at first, so there should be some opportunities to get to know Scyllua a little better.

I'd love some suggestions on how PCs could go about finding the soft spots in Scyllua, and what they might be. The way she is presented, she is pretty much another statblock to fight. I'd like for her to be more memorable.

Thoughts?

Edited by - hymer on 24 Oct 2018 16:03:16

moonbeast
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Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  14:58:02  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Encourage one of the high Charisma PCs to romance her. LOL

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hymer
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Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  15:09:44  Show Profile Send hymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd be open to anyone trying that. The highest charisma PC is a paladin of Tyr, Scyllua's former patron deity. So it's not like there wouldn't be the potential for drama.
Even so, the question remains: What would be the soft spot(s) of someone like Scyllua? It's not like she lacks for attention I'm sure.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  16:34:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
She's a fallen paladin and a former slave... What if she was given a chance to save a childhood friend, or perhaps rescue a younger sibling? Or perhaps a former comrade or lover, from when she was a paladin?

Encountering a loved one from her past, and seeing their reaction to what she has become, could have enough of an impact to make her want to climb back into the light (it could also drive her deeper into darkness, depending on how things play out).

I think that's what I'd do, if I was DMing her potential redemption: she has to rescue or work with or otherwise spend time with a former lover, who has remained in service to Tyr or another good-aligned deity. The former lover, upon first seeing Scyllua, expresses shock and confusion -- "I'd heard rumors, but I thought they couldn't possibly be true! Not the Scyllua I knew! Don't you remember that night in the ale shed, the promises we made? How could turn from that?"

After that, the former lover generally tries to avoid Scyllua, and their voice is full of pain any time they speak to or of Scyllua -- and since they're in close proximity, because of the circumstances, Scyllua can't avoid hearing this, over and over... Which makes her remember those promises and the ideals she once cherished, and start questioning her own choices... After a few days of this, she openly expresses her doubt, and that's when the former lover earnestly begins speaking with Scyllua, trying everything they can to make Scyllua remember who she was.

It'd not be a quick process, but I think this a plausible path to redemption.

And I leave the subject of the gender of the lover unaddressed -- I don't know that Scyllua's sexuality has ever been addressed, and it's really not important to the plot. It's whatever works for the DM. A half-elf priestess of Sune, attractive enough to make a blind man say "Damn!" -- that works. A farm boy turned paladin, of modest appearance but earnest and affable nature -- that works, too. What matters is the impact on Scyllua. I'd say that a non-paladin might work best, because paladins aren't exactly known for tolerance, but it's up to the DM.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 24 Oct 2018 16:35:20
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sleyvas
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Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  21:00:55  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I like Wooly's idea, and it could be pretty effective as well with a brother, sister, cousin, twin, brother by mother or father only, parent/grandparent/aunt/uncle, etc... especially if she highly respected said individual and they were being worked over BY the Zhentarim. For instance, a younger half-brother with a different last name, whom she used to protect, whose children are then kidnapped by Zhents intent on forcing the brother to smuggle goods.... and his wife hunts down Scyllua to beg her to free her children, because she knows Scyllua is good with a weapon. Meanwhile, the half-brother and his wife don't know that these kidnappers are Zhents. So, Aunt Scyllua must come to her niece's and nephew's aid, and then she must rescue her half-brother.

For an interesting twist on this, perhaps its a half-sister, and its the husband that seeks out Scyllua for help, and this husband is a former lover of Scyllua who turned to her half-sister when Scyllua turned bad. In this scenario, Scyllua sees in her sister the life she could have had, and the evil in the Zhentarim. Maybe even the sister forgives her and her husband if they reveal that they had an infraction while going to save the children, and the sister agrees to raise the child born of this infraction as if it were her own (perhaps even agreeing to magically "transfer" the child to her womb to carry). Or perhaps one of the niece's or nephew's is actually Scyllua's own child, being raised by her half-sister and her husband (Scyllua's former lover).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  02:50:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good stuff, Sleyvas!

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Diffan
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  08:11:54  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Scyulla has since perished in our campaign world, due to the events in Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land but I was reading in the Fiendish Codex II about this race called the Hellbred that is basically someone bound for hell but given basically one last chance to right the wrongs and this seems perfect for Scyulla IMO.

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hymer
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  08:46:54  Show Profile Send hymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@ Wooly Rupert: Thank you! I don't know about Scyllua's sexuality either, but if a PC wants to try to romance her, I might as well have it turn out to be compatible (though having her be a lesbian would be rather cliché, so... Something else compatible). Though there is something to be said about pining for someone you can't get, that option is by no means closed off even if the potential for a romance is there.

@ sleyvas: Good stuff indeed, thanks!

@ Diffan: I don't see why Fzoul, or any other Bane cleric with the capability and a higher rank, wouldn't resurrect her. Even someone below her in rank could do it to latch onto her and ride her coat tails to new heights. She's really useful to the Zhentarim and the Bane hierarchy, even if she screwed up against the PC party. But I'll see if I can't look into FC2 and find out if there's something to inspire me there!
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  10:48:49  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wasn't thinking of a PC romancing Scyllua -- I was going for the past flame angle, someone who knew who Scyllua used to be and who Scyllua could still have feelings for. And I was thinking that the past lover didn't have to be a dude. It could be a man, it could be a woman -- whatever the DM thinks would work best for them.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 25 Oct 2018 10:51:42
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hymer
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  12:18:37  Show Profile Send hymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I get that. But in case a PC goes that route (and it would be a lot better if the PCs are directly involved somehow), I'm not settling on an exclusive sexuality for her.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  14:57:14  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by hymer

I get that. But in case a PC goes that route (and it would be a lot better if the PCs are directly involved somehow), I'm not settling on an exclusive sexuality for her.



Regarding what I wrote earlier, perhaps Scyllua SUSPECTS that its actually Zhents that have taken her niece/nephew, and she doesn't want the Zhentarim upper echelon to know that these individuals are a means to control her.... and she knows she needs help, so she uses the wife or husband that came to her begging for help to acquire their services, with Scyllua coming along under an assumed name. Then along the way, the wife or husband, accidentally lets slip Scyllua's real name in a fireside conversation (and both are horrified that the party will react badly... after all the party likely outnumbers them).

By this I'm kind of picturing the person saying something like "Oh, Scyllua… I MEAN SILLY...I MEAN SILLY.. " and then getting wide eyed and kind of looking around in obvious fear to see "did they catch what I said".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Oct 2018 14:59:58
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LordofBones
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  03:34:35  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Diffan

Scyulla has since perished in our campaign world, due to the events in Shadowdale: Scouring of the Land but I was reading in the Fiendish Codex II about this race called the Hellbred that is basically someone bound for hell but given basically one last chance to right the wrongs and this seems perfect for Scyulla IMO.



Given that she was a Banite in life, her soul would have been bound for Acheron, not Baator.
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hymer
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  15:06:38  Show Profile Send hymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@ sleyvas: More good stuff! Thanks again!
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