Veil Deck: Mysteries- Who’s On The Back? [Pathfinder 1E]

Lets take a lovely piece of decorative art and breathe some life into it shall we?

Introducing, for the use of both GMs and Players alike, Anya Lal. 

Like an iconic character, this character uses a 20 point buy and gained two traits at creation. Please note that this build employs the automatic minor veils(cantrip veils) and enhanced descriptor veil(updated armor/weapon descriptors) rulesets from Studio M—, both of which I strongly recommend. This character was also was built with the Adjusting Character Wealth by Level rules, presented in Ultimate Campaign in mind, and exceeds wealth by level due to crafted magical items by less than %50.

Contains affiliate links.

Notable Sources: Akasha Expanded: Enhanced Veils (Studio M—), Akasha Expanded: Minor Veils (Studio M—), Akashic Mysteries (Dreamscarred Press), Akashic Tales: Relics of Atlantis (Azoth Games), City of Seven Seraphs: Akashic Trinity (Lost Spheres Publishing), Steelforge: Book 3 (Dreamscarred Press)

Anya Lal (Aasimar, Daevic[axiom archetype])

“I have seen your armaments, taken their measure, and tested your mettle. I am… unimpressed.”
— Anya Lal of the Quicksilver
Trading Company

Anya lvl1

Anya lvl7

Anya lvl12

Tactics:

General: Going on the idea that “everyone wants something” Anya will often try to avoid combat by brokering deals and attempting mediation.

1st Level

  • Before Combat: If she is expecting a strong foe, Anya will use a potion of magic weapon on her bladed scarf. 
  • During Combat: Anya will try to dispatch nearby foes using her bladed scarf. Even going so far as to attempt to trip or disarm them, despite the risk, if the situation calls for it. Against distant foes she will rely on a thrown dagger or chakram. She will often employ the Diadem of Dazing minor veil to hinder enemies attacking her allies. 

7th Level

  • Before Combat: If she is expecting a strong foe, Anya will use a potion of magic weapon on her bladed scarf. 
  • During Combat: Anya will try to dispatch nearby foes using her bladed scarf. If she needs the additional AC offered by her buckler, or if she is fighting a foe that relies on heavy armor, which is repelling her attacks, she will switch to using the touch attack from the Storm Gauntlets veil effect granted by her bladed scarf. If she, or an ally close to her, is faced with a particularly dangerous attack or effect, Anya will use her Crusader’s Sheild’s barrier as an immediate action to produce a protective wall to block it

12th Level

  • Before Combat: If she is expecting a strong foe, Anya will use her wand of lead blades on her bladed scarf. In dire situations she will absorb the point of essence contained in her orichalcum chakram prior to combat, investing this point into her buckler to enhance the wall from its Crusader’s Shield bond effect if it is needed. 
  • During Combat: Anya activates her shield’s animated property to bolster her AC and uses her swift action to reallocate 2 points of essence from her Daevic Aspect veil to her Gorget of the Wyrm. She will then use her increased fly speed to move closer to an enemy as a standard action to set up a full attack action on the next round. She relies on her returning chakram, or the shuriken from her Angry Merchant’s Purse, when forced to deal with distant foes. 

Description

Anya Lal is the daughter of a pair of comfortably wealthy merchants, who retired and left their business to her and her adopted brother. Fortunately, or unfortunately, she is not naturally suited for office work. Much preferring to take a hands on approach to the family business. When not happily toiling over a hot forge, she spends her time guarding her company’s shipments, seeking out lucrative customers in distant locations, and adventuring in the name of finding rare goods and resources.

Anya’s strongest childhood memories are of her family and a dream. In the dream two figures were standing in front of her. One figure was a beautiful woman, dressed like a queen or empress. In her hands she held a crown glistening with rubies. The other was a man with perfect features, dressed in simple clothes and a blacksmith’s apron. In his hands he held a hammer etched with a gleaming pattern of sublime complexity. She knew that these items were for her, but that she could only have one of them. She took the hammer.

Despite her comfortable upbringing, Anya is at home on the field of battle and on long dusty roads. Her weapon of choice is a scarf that she modified, on a dare from her brother, to contain a carefully articulated assembly of wires and razor sharp blades. She is masterful in her use of this odd weapon, and by combining it with her mystical abilities she has taught more than one bandit a surprising and painful lesson. People that meet her often notice that like all good merchants she has a keen mind, but unlike most merchants she has a natural predisposition for generosity.

Potential Tweaks and Modifications

Dropping Exotic Weapon Proficiency(bladed scarf) at first level is an easy change. This would probably require replacing the bladed scarf with another weapon. However, this could allow the option of taking Weapon Finesse at first level instead, with the possibility of taking a different combat oriented feat (such as Piranha Strike or Clashing Essence) and third level.

In a game where the party is defending a base of some kind, it might be worthwhile to pick the Abnegation ability at 6th level instead Inevitable. This would reduce the character’s offensive power but could be a boon in protecting the location if it is under siege. This change would also shift the character into slightly more of a support role. Feats such as Expanded Veilweaving and Shift Veil could be useful for this version of the character.

Replacing one of the later three feats with Piranha Strike would be a way to give a boost to damage. 

As written most of the veils used by this character are ones that first appeared in Akashic Mysteries. There are many veils that appeared afterwards that could be a boon to this character and are in keeping with her concept. For example, Craftsman’s Belt (from Akashic Classes: Kheshig) would be a natural fit. 

Mythic?

In a game using mythic characters the following is suggested for Anya.

  • Path: Genius
  • Build: When selecting genius path abilities for this character, you may wish to consider the following themes reflecting the influence of the axiomite she is bonded to.
    • Battlemind
    • Polymath
    • Outside of these themes, the crafting related abilities from this path such as Crafting Mastery and Manufactory would be in theme for this character. The Legendary Item universal path ability would also be a natural fit. 

Related Characters/ NPC Suggestions

Crown Prince Aziz the Second (Solar Ifrit, Fisherking)

  • Aziz, is one of Anya’s favorite customers. They even adventured together for short time and managed to maintain a friendship even after they parted. 

Dhaval Lal (Human, Expert) & Haimi Lal (Human, Weaver

  • Dhaval and Haimi are Anya’s parents. After spending much of their adult lives filling their coffers with wealth, and raising their daughter and adopted son, they eventually decided that they had done enough. So they retired, gifting their business to their children.

Sahas, Forger of Inevitables & Maker of Harmonious Seams (Axiomite, Bonded to Anya)

  • For centuries Sahas performed his carefully calculated task of welding closed the casings of Inevitables. He was perfect at this task a proficient at many others. Naturally he was surprised when he suddenly became aware that his function within the greater whole of the Godmind had changed. He was to go forth, and help guide a mortal towards the path of one day being reborn as an Axiomite. So he went where he was told, and interrupted a deava of benevolence and tyranny that had arrived first. He and the she-daeva plead their cases to the mortal, as much as one can plead a case to a dreaming child. The daeva offered young Anya the fiery passion of dominion, he offered the crystalline joy of creation. He was perhaps a bit smug when his offer was selected. However, he opted to be a silent mentor to his charge, gently guiding and inspiring her while imbuing her essence with his own. 

Vincent Hyrgan Branson of the Quicksilver Trading Company (Halfling, Zodiac [aurora orbit])

  • Vincent is Anya’s adopted elder brother. He was taken in by his godparents (Anya’s parents) as a small child, shortly before her birth. He is also Anya’s business partner and runs the day to day operations of the Quicksilver Trading company, while she scouts for new business or personally guards valuable caravans. He is known for being soft spoken and kind, but also has a very strong competitive streak, and a keen eye for lucrative business opportunities. He shares a love of crafting with his younger sister and has crafted a number of odd and intricate items due to dares from her.

Notes:

[Enhanced] & Weapon-Like Veils as Bonded Equipment? My thinking on the matter, and approach in constructing the above character, is that weapons and armor produced by such veils should fit the requirement of “must have been crafted or otherwise created by the Axiom”. Doing so shouldn’t create any problems so long as the essence invested in the veil and essence invested in the equipment bond for that are tracked separately. That is to say that such veils would have two separate receptacles for essence when used as bonded equipment. 

Content Access: It came to my attention shortly after finishing this character that Dreamscarred Press’ Steelforge: Book 3 is not currently available for purchase nor is its content available on any of the major SRD websites that I could locate. This is unfortunate as this book is the source of the Axiom archetype. So, I have set up a reference page(complete with the book’s required OGL text) containing the content used in this character. 

Master Craftsman: Master Craftsmen is often a point of debate and contention at many tables and on many forums. I’m not weighing in on this debate, but in the context of this character its being approached as a follows:

  • Selected skill: Craft (weapons)
    • Craft Magic Arms and Armor: Limited to magic weapons that are not bow or arrows.
    • Craft Wondrous: Items: Items crafted by this character are generally slotless, take the form of weapons (decorative or practical) , or are directly weapon related.
      • Potential Examples
        • Angry Merchant’s Purse(Steelforge 3): This is a magic item that transmutes coins into shuriken.
        • Effortless Lace: Magic item that directly augments weapons.
        • Ioun Stones-> Floating Gemstone Daggers
        • Bag of Holding or Portable Hole-> Enchanted Net
        • Cloak of Resistance (slotless equivalent)-> Athame of Resistance.

The above is my attempt at a middle ground between the two major camps on this subject.

Some artwork © 2021 Jennifer S. Lange, used with permission. All rights reserved.

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