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"Don't let that chicken escape!" - Ensatina Desmognathus

"No, you're not going anywhere. You are the reason my entire family is dead." - Ensatina Desmognathus

Ensatina Desmognathus, the Lizard Wizard, is the leader of the party, having been prompted to set up the group after the death of her parents. She is Glamon Desmognathus's sister and the heiress to the nearly-extinct Desmognathus family, famed pyromancers and scholars. Ensatina herself is a scholar, having studied at multiple magical institutes. She is the assumptive Lady of Ruben, as Glamon has been disinherited from the Desmognathus succession, after the death of her parents.

BiographyEdit

The Noble ScionEdit

Ensatina grew up in relatively affluent surroundings, as her parents were the feudal lords of Ruben on the Isle of Epidicae. Her sister, Glamon, ran away from home early in her life. Recently however, her parents' house burned down, killing of her family in Ruben with the exception of her aunt, Sashati, and her ward, Timmy. Searching for revenge, she asked her estranged sister, Glamon, for assistance. Glamon brought along Adelliah of the Axe, a fellow member of the circus she was part of, and the group was filled out by the employment of Ragnar Fastflint, a middling mercenary ranger.

Returning to Ruben,, Ensatina learned of the plague afflicting the area. After questioning the apothecary in the inn - converted into a sick house and quarantine for the afflicted - she learned that her aunt, Sashati, had died and apparently continued living. Ensatina considered this state between life and death to be horrid, and that Sashati should be confined to "the Sacred Flame", as the Desmognathus family usually sent away their dead. Ultimately, Sashati had to be killed again by Ensatina and her group, along with some infected who turned while they were fighting Sashati.

After the fight, Ensatina briefly spoke with Timmy, who despite Ensatina telling her not to, told Glamon that Ensatina had told him that Glamon was a "waste of DNA" and a "barstool" [sic]. Outside, the group were attracted to a trader offering to sell them a restoration spell, marking up prices because of Ensatina's noble status. After failing to talk his prices down, Ensatina privately and anguishly informed Glamon that she had little money except for what they obtained from their aunt, as the fire had taken everything. Eventually she agreed to a plan to distract everyone so that Glamon could steal it, playing on her apparent disdain for elves and insulting Adelliah for carrying her aunt's body around. Eventually, once the scroll had been stolen, Ensatina "remembered" that she had told Adelliah to do so.

After a period of walking around the town - getting Adelliah to carry Sashati's charred, infected body around due to it being above Ensatina's noble status - the group burned Ensatina's body near the Desmognathus estate, Ensatina muttering the traditional lizard and Desmognathus rites over her deceased aunt. She had been told by the witness to the fire that her aunt had burnt down the house, trapping everyone else inside (having heard this rumour from the innkeeper beforehand), and did not want to believe it. Conflicted on what to believe, she set out to wreak vengeance on whoever may have caused her family and her aunt to become zombies and the root cause of the fire. Afterwards, Ensatina was disheartened that she had committed the rest of her family to the flames, only to be reassured by Glamon that as sisters they were still there for one another. Thus, Ensatina resolved to find a way to clear her aunt's name and cure Timmy.

They investigated a beachside near where the dead fish who they suspected to be the cause of the plague had been seen, after having to depend upon Ragnar and Adelliah to convince Captain Garrett Ironhand to give them a lift. Through her knowledge of alchemical reagents, she determined that alchemical waste on the beach had been dumped offshore, which was the likely cause for the death and contamination of the fish. After some convincing from Glamon, Ensatina managed to get past her prejudice against elves to treat Adelliah with more respect.

After Garrett's ship was boarded, Ensatina contributed to the fight in a support role. Afterwards, she almost managed to convince the pirate captain to surrender and turn over her orders, until Glamon tried to steal the orders, unfortunately turning visible right behind the pirates and starting a fight. From the orders scavenged from the pirates' corpses, she learned that Gaius the Alchemist, an alchemical expert whom she may have respected, had ordered the pirates to dump the waste, and immediately led the group off in pursuit of answers.

The Scholar and the AlchemistEdit

Arriving at the swamp where Gaius lived, Ensatina and her group encountered Lindsey von Baal, a merchant who lived there. Needing money, they agreed to help Lindsey out by dealing with some of the local undead. Anxious to find Gaius and kill him, Ensatina ran ahead of the group and was ambushed by the "weeds" Lindsey wanted killed, hostile magical plant growths, who were eventually defeated by the group. They also found Lindsey's cat, Nyon, who was skeletal, and Ensatina realised that Nyon had either died and was turned by the alchemical waste or was turned undead outright. The survival of the cat's sapience, which Ragnar vouched for, was perhaps due to a greater power or divine's protection.

After dealing with the remaining undead in the area they returned to Lindsey, getting their reward and Ensatina buying new magic books, and she excitedly tested out her new skills on the landscape, unnerving the others. Later, the group ran into alchemical-bone constructs led by a giant bone spider, which terrified Ensatina. She was snared by its web, and assaulted by many smaller spiders, leading her to be freaked out and proclaim that she did not like bugs.

Approacing Gaius' lab, through Ragnar's talking to some dogs, they found out that some elves were waiting in ambush, and counter-ambushed the elves, though Ensatina nearly alerted them by talking too loudly. Afterwards, they learned that the elves were after them in search of a bounty (350 gold per head), with Ensatina quickly jumping to the conclusion that Gaius had put it on their head. They then defeated Gaius' guardians, Nathana Octavian and a Bone Destroyer. The four had previously discussed trying to get information out of Gaius before killing him, in order to figure out how to stop the plague spreading or to get a cure, but Ensatina had been vehemently opposed, wishing to charge in and burn the alchemist whom she blamed for her family's deaths.

Thus, Ensatina rather cooly stated outside Gaius' lab with a dispassionate tone that belied her internal anguish that she would only enter Gaius' lab to kill him, and would not stand around and listen while they spoke to him. She was also disbelieving of Glamon's apparent apathy towards the death of her family and the ease of just "walking in". Thus, she waited outside until it appeared that hostilities were about to start. On entering, her scholar's eye determined that Gaius had practiced in dvanced alchemy, healing magic, necromancy and human experimentation. Strengtheneing her resolve with these sights, she walked into Gaius' room and immediately attacked him until Glamon turned him into a chicken and Ragnar learned that Gaius claimed to have a cure.

While the others went about trying to get the cure out of Gaius, Ensatina left, unwilling to listen to his prattling and started burning down the laboratory. Once the others were done and Gaius shoved into a cabinet, Ensatina lept out of a window along with the others, before turning around to look at the burning house for signs of Gaius' survival. After seeing him leap out of the window, Ensatina burned him to death despite his pleas for mercy, stating that he would not be going anywhere after killing her entire family.

Afterwards, Ensatina convinced Lindsey to let them stay at her house for the night. While resting, Ensatina reflected on Gaius' crimes, hotly putting down Ragnar's suggestion that Gaius was merely incompetent or ignorant: Gaius was a trained and recognised alchemist, whose actions were the result of a lack of empathy. She sympathised with Lord Caligo, who had imprisoned Gaius there and forced him to work on a cure for his daughter, inadvertently starting the plague. Gaius was willing enough to perform human experimentation, but lacked the empathy to treat his subjects humanely or to use careful scientific procedure. From the notes collected from Gaius' laboratory by Adelliah and Glamon, Ensatina figured out what Gaius was doing.

Lord Caligo, the most powerful lord on the island, had an ill daughter, Esmerelda, whom he entreated Gaius cure. Gaius was not entirely successful, treating her with Source, which despite developing resistance to the blight had simply made it more virulent and turn her into a combination of a voidling and an undead. The spread of blight in the area was the result of Gaius' negligence in getting pirates to dispose of his haphazardly-tested alchemical waste products and corpses for him. Ensatina figured out a cure for the blight from Gaius' notes, but not a way to reverse the blight; the cure would require a lot of the nobleman daughter's blood. Also, Ensatina managed to create an improved healing potion and a source potion from Gaius' notes.

RevengeEdit

When they left Lindsey's house, Glamon tried to steal a book, but Lindsey caught her. Ensatina attempted to apologise, but Lindsey ignored her. En route to Carolia, the capital of Epidicae and Lord Caligo's seat, Ensatina remained withdrawn for a period after killing Gaius, but after a while became more talkative; while she remained condescending towards Glamon, she attempted to change her outlook towards Adelliah.

Ensatina still felt unsatisfied, only a degree of satisfication that the person who killed her family couldn't cause any more harm directly. Adelliah symapthised with Ensatina, stating that she knew what it was like to feel family, but Ensatina had acted admirably and restrained. On arriving in the city, Ensatina bribed a guard to get her an audience with Lord Caligo, remarking that her companions were insane after Adelliah attempted to ask the disenfranchised of the city and Ragnar another cat, this one called Ricky. The others warned that a bounty had been placed on Ensatina's head, but after they checked the bounty board there was no evident bounty on her head. After they were concerned about Lord Caligo's attitude towards them, Ensatina stated that she believed they could still convince him to give them his daughter's blood, so long as they did not harm her.

After a failed attempt to get a discount on cheeses, Ensatina showed Glamon a chicken pen, rolling her eyes at Glamon's antics until they realised that the chickens' owner, Ilia Redcloth, was one of Lady Caligo's handmaids. Ensatina suggested that Adelliah impersonate Ilia, leading to Adelliah to say that Ensatina thought that they looked the same. Ensatina somewhat denied this, saying that Adelliah could wear a veil. This plan was shelved and Ensatina attempted to dissuade the others from entering the castle via the sewers, which succeded. The guards told her that she was refused entry, but she bribed the guards at the gate to let her in.

After entering the castle via a window, Ensatina failed to sneak around but was assumed to be a noble visitor due to her demeanour, eventually entering a dining room where Lady Caligo was. When Ensatina introduced herself, the Lady asked her other guests tot leave befoe attacking Ensatina. The four killed the Lady despite Ensatina's efforts to get her to stand down, with Ensatina later examining her corpse to see that the Lady had been dead for months and that the body had been inhabited as a spirit and used as a meat puppet by some powerful being. Afterwards, Ensatina tried to reassure the kitchen staff, who saw everything, checking to see that they weren't undead too.

They moved to the basement, where after finding the bodies of dead magisters and guards Ensatina managed to convince the surviving guards under the Captain of the Guard, Octarus, to take them to see Lord Caligo. In the great hall, Caligo identified Ensatina as the one who killed his alchemist, but she offered to cure Esmerelda instead. After some bargaining Ensatina agreed to be taken to the dungeons to work with her friends after handing over her weapons, certain that if they resisted they would be overwhelmed despite their unwillingness. Ultimately they were forced to break out of the cell they were kept in due to it starting to fill with blood, and they killed Captain Octarus, the torturer and a bunch of flesh creatures they found.

They rescued a woman and a male lizard, Belladonna Young and Portnoy Godfrey, who despite Ensatina regarding them as peasants and a liability agreed to come along and fight Lord Caligo. Entering the hall again, Ensatina appeared to try and placate Lord Caligo again to her companions' discontent, only to bluntly tell him that his daughter "is inhabited by a greater demon of the netherrealm and needs to die", to her companions' amusement. In the ensuing fight, while Caligo used Shackles of Pain to translate all damage he took to Ensatina (causing Ensatina to be killed by Glamon's hits on Caligo reflecting to Ensatina before being resurrected by Ragnar), Lord Caligo and his reanimated sons Artur and Lance were killed. Ultimately, Glamon killed Lord Caligo, exhibiting the same anger Ensatina had towards Gaius and the same desire for vengeance for her family. However, while Glamon had intended to turn him into a chicken before she killed him, she turned Ragnar's cat familiar into a chicken instead. Once the heat of battle was over, Ensatina rolled her eyes heavily at Glamon's antics.

Ensatina found a scholar hiding in the corner after the fight, and interrogated him to see whether he was involved in the Caligos' crimes. The scholar was Gilcrease, who was forced out of retirement by Lord Caligo, who after Ensatina worried about the administration of Epidicae after the death of the ruling family, told Ensatina that the Lord Desmognathus, Ensatina's father, was the heir to Epidicae through her grandfather's dalliance with a Caligo scion and due to Lord Desmognathus being the second highest-ranking noble in the region. Ensatina tried to rules-lawyer Esmerelda's exclusion from the succession, which Gilcrease agreed to. After Ensatina revealed herself as the last of the Desmognathus, Gilcrease tried to encourage Ensatina to take the lordship of the place, Ensatina decided that killing the demon was of higher priority. After escorting the two peasants, Gilcrease and the kitchen staff out through the sewers, Ensatina went back to the market where she bought some spellbooks for her companions as Glamon complained about her sister's fluctuating personality.

Impatient, Ensatina decided to take the quick way to the Source mine where Esmerelda had fled, cutting through the Whispering Wood, where they defeated some void-infused monsters with ease. Arriving in the Source mine, they encountered frozen guardians watching a bridge. When Glamon offered to sneak across the bridge, Ensatina expressed confidence in her sister's skills, to Glamon's surprise. However, Glamon triggered a spell activating the frozen guardians, who challenged them: "Friend or enemy, you seek entry. Speak the answer [to a riddle], one try only." Ensatina ordered the others to not answer until she figured it out, which she did, providing the correct answer of "steps", and they were allowed entry. They encountered a Frozen Troll as they entered, and the others convinced Ensatina to unfreeze him. As he appeared to be a vendor, and the others considered buying some of his gear, the troll learned that they were there to fight, and offered his fighting fee of 1 million gold. Ensatina worked this down to 10 gold beforehand after reminding him that she had saved his life. Despite this, Ensatina had to work out a contract on the fly after entering the mines, due to the troll trying to steal gold for himself.

On finding Esmerelda, Ensatina ordered the frozen troll to eat her, and the fight ensued as Esmerelda entered a Source-infused form. In the fight Ensatina employed the Shackles of Pain she learnt from Lord Caligo, but she accidentally burnt the troll while trying to hit Esmerelda, leading to the troll turning ineffectually hostile. Ultimately, Glamon backstabbed and destroyed the Source form, but when the four spoke to the girl who had appeared in its place, it was clear that the demonic influence was still present, and Ensatina prevaricated over how best to remove her blood, assisting Adelliah in countering the demon-girl's taunts and attempts to escape, only for Glamon to take the decision out of her hands by slitting Esmerelda's throat.

Vengeance FulfilledEdit

"You're welcome as always to choose your own path, Glamon, you've never really ever bowed to anyone else's wishes before now, why start now?" - Ensatina Desmognathus

As they collected the blood in empty bottles Glamon declared that she wouldn't let another family destroy hers, including Ensatina in that group, as well as Ragnar. Glamon considered it a sacrifice, but as Ensatina looked over the body it was clear that Esmerelda was undead all along. On the corpse was a note that stated that "the elder of the Desmognathus" had an affair with a poultry farmer descended from the line of Caligo. With this revelation that Glamon's behaviour was not antagonistic to the family heritage, the two sisters tearfully embraced, Glamon telling Ensatina that she was her second-favourite Desmognathus (after herself).

After some minor negotiation over who would become the heir to Epidicae - Ensatina claiming the right due to be elder and descended from the same line as Glamon was, and Glamon not wanting the responsibility and acknowledging her sister's better leadership skills - Ensatina agreed to give Glamon a portion of the Desmognathus rents and to legitimise her. When she went to discuss payment with Ragnar, she was amused to find Ragnar having looted the Source mine, in particular a dead dragon's haul nearby, to the best of his ability.

Hurrying back to Ruben, Ensatina managed to devise a cure from Gaius' papers, her own knowledge and the body of Esmerelda, finding Timmy on the verge of death and managing to cure him in time, very quickly. Ensatina was very worried as she hadn't tested it, yet quickly assured herself it would work, to her companions' amusement. When Timmy recovered and had hugged Ensatina, she introduced him properly to Glamon, telling Glamon that Ensatina had once told him that Glamon smelt "fowl"/"foul". As a side-effect of the lack of testing and the cure, Timmy turned into a lizard. Ensatina realised she could turn him back into a human, but asked Timmy what he preferred, but he wanted to remain a lizard.

Ensatina bid farewell to Glamon, who was leaving with Adelliah to find Adelliah's remaining family, with Adelliah ensuring Ensatina that they would return eventually. Ragnar retired with his wealth, while Ensatina settled into her new role as the ruler of Epidicae.

Personality and traitsEdit

"I would just like to let you know that I gave you the choice to not be brutally murdered, and you chose to be brutally murdered." - Ensatina Desmognathus

Of noble birth, Ensatina behaves with a suitably aristocratic air accentuated by the natural assumed superiority of a lizard. This has translated to a disdain for the other races, in particular elves. She has some respect for tradition, desiring her aunt Sashati to be cremated as was tradition among her family. Acquainted somewhat with the intrigue of nobility, the cut-throat nature of business and the scheming of the magic schools, Ensatina is particularly persuasive and adept at negotiating.

She is a particularly skilled pyromancer, self-professed as one of the best researchers in pyromancy in Rivellon and highly intelligent. Through these facets she also takes after the rest of her family, but in particular her aunts, who were also famed scholars and pyromancers. Unlike Glamon, Ensatina has an instinct for the magical sciences, and can easily decipher an alchemist's incomplete notes. To her sister (and everyone else)'s surprise, Ensatina's haughty facade can often crumble, and she can become very excitable when encountering or learning new magics. She can also learn spells very quickly, learning Shackles of Pain soon after them being used on her; she also stated that she too could easily turn people into chickens like Glamon, but simply didn't want to. Like a true academic, Ensatina has a respectful rivalry with the Thaumaturgy School.

Despite her haughtiness, Ensatina is surprisingly conscientious, apologising to Captain Ironhand after setting his ship even more on fire, having spent much of the fight beforehand trying to not set it on fire through use of support spells. She quickly developed a rapport with her companions despite her prejudices. Also in addition to prior assumptions, Ensatina has a surprisingly strong sense of empathy for others. While she knew the necessity of taking Esmerelda's blood, she was reluctant to end the child's life, taking many opportunities to offer to heal her before her hand was forced.

While she considers the Desmognathus to have particularly furious tempers and hot-headedness, Ensatina generally portrays a rather cold exterior, with anger generally simmering under the surface. While her impatience has gotten the group into trouble, it has never backfired horribly, as even in her anger her usually-good judgement can cut through. In Adelliah's view, Ensatina's actions were heavily driven but what she thought best for her loved ones, even if they disagreed significantly on what that was. This has turned out for the better at times, however, when Ensatina's logic and compassion combined to negotiate a way out of the first potential fight in Carolia Castle hall.

Her facade can also be broken by bugs and other things she considers gross.

Ensatina took the deaths of her family hard, and considers herself the heir to the Desmognathus legacy and all the duties and burdens that entails.

NotesEdit

Desmognathus is a genus of salamander.

Bluejay
Game Master None
Main Cast Ensatina Desmognathus [DITF]
Guest and Specials Cast Sugar Cane [Xmas '17]