Elf Ranger - Aelar Elleid - the fire sorceress (level 9)

artwork by  moiraburk ( https://www.fiverr.com/moiraburk

Aelar Elleid - the fire sorceress 

I will not fictionalize the published adventures as though Aelar ran through those, but I am imagining there have been some adventures to shape the progress at this new build.

Imagining Aelar at so high a level took some effort; it is hard to build a high-level character knowing that all Torchbearer characters grow so organically from the delves, camps, and towns. As I built, I saw a pathway returning to her origin in nobility. 

Before raising Nature, I opened additional Skills then worked out raising her overall skill set. Arcanist, Lore Master, Pathfinder, and Survivalist build on the overall Elf Ranger theme; she's gained impressive mastery of magic and handles some wilderness chores quite handily. Taking Mentor, Commander, and Orator ensures she can manage a military unit and give training as well as preparing for retired life as a public figure. 

She gained Eldritch Darts that will be played as flaming bolts aligned with her concept as a fire mage. She gained a follower: a closely allied partner giving support. She gained another spell that began to flesh out her ongoing campaign against the cults of the Young Lords: Sign of Abrogation allows her to dispel magic, like spells of lichdom or apotheosis. Gaining Shrug It Off and Grief gives some additional potency in her heroic role. 

Finally, reducing Nature, she picks up another Trait Gregarious [Extrovert] that is similarly connected to her manipulation of townsfolk and cultural groups. 

I used the Torchbearer 1st edition to fit my concept for this build and Thor's suggested rules for creating higher-level starting characters found at the Torchbearer blog (Begin by Being). At a later time, I'll review this build with the Torchbearer 2nd edition rules.

This is the dry description of the process: 

  • Spending 69 (23 already spent building level 4) advancement tests (pass or fail) gives 16x Arcanist 2x raised, 16x Lore Master 2x raised, 11x Mentor opened and 2x raised, 11x Commander opened and 2x raised, 5x Nature 1x raised, 4x Orator opened, 3x Pathfinder 1x raised, 3x Survivalist 1x raised.
  • Selecting level benefits and/or spells gives C2 Spell Eldritch Darts, Follower, C3 Spell Sign of Abrogation, Shrug It Off, Grief.
  • Reducing Nature by 1 permits a new Trait Gregarious [Extrovert].

Level: 9

Stock: Elf

Class: Ranger

Descriptors: Singing, Remembering, Hiding

Abilities: Nature 3, Will 4, Health 4, Circles 4, Resources 0

Skills: Arcanist 6, Fighter 3, Commander 4, Criminal 3, Lore Master 6, Manipulator 2, Mentor 4, Orator 2, Pathfinder 3, Scholar 3, Scout 3, Survivalist 3

Wises: Elven Lore-wise, Street Living-wise, Young Lords' Cults-wise

Traits: First Born 1, Fiery 1, Sharp-Eyed 1, Gregarious 1

Level Benefit: Fearless, Follower, Shrug It Off, Grief

Weapon: Dagger

Armor: Leather

Hometown: Elfland (gains Pathfinder, Calm)

Social Graces: Manipulator

Specialty: Criminal (or Hunter depending on choices of others in a group)

Nature Responses: Sing the ancient songs, Confronts evil, Lives with struggle and grief (replaces Calm with Fiery)

Circles Responses: has a friend in the street circus (Halfling Burglar), has high-achieving parents (professors of elven psychology, Mentor), has a mentor (Elf Ranger), has no enemy

Inventory: Dagger, Leather Armor, Fine Cloak, Satchel, Traveling Spell Book, Rations, Belt Pouch, Spell Components, Waterskin, Shoes

Spells: Elven Will-O-Wisps [Dance of the Fireflies], Burning Motes [Aetherial Swarm], Elven Fortune [Wizard's Aegis], Cascading Flames [Eldritch Darts], Sign of Abrogation

Belief: The Young Lords are inciting chaos all around me; I have no choice but to defy them.

Instinct: I will keep a light ablaze in camp.

Aelar is a major force-multiplier with her ability to command a unit and mentor younger adventurers. She has increased authority in town settings and stands out from a crowd. In consideration of the campaign against the Young Lords, I felt these were important bits in the process. That theme was enriched with the Sign of Abrogation spell and Grief, which can be used to strengthen her role as a figure of defense against magical phenomena. 

I cannot even imagine the potency of playing Aelar in a campaign under this rendition! It would be awesome to see it come together as a major campaign thread for Aelar to be ranked in a national military force and her follower serve as a right-hand aide-de-camp. 

I do want to mention that I chose against gaining Balefire. I read through the spell description several times coming to the conclusion that it is trash. The spell has no control, no finesse. It is not a fire wizard, fire sorcerer, fire elementalist, pyromancer, fire mage sort of sentiment. Reading it gave the impression it is more of a stupid moron with a cheap flamethrower or oversized, hodge-podge Molotov on the verge of misuse. That's not Aelar; she is skilled, gifted, disciplined, trained. So, Balefire seems like a natural choice, but it is trash. It would have deconstructed the concept. I would never have tolerated using it in play.

Similarly, thinking of this from a GM mindset rather than a player mindset, I don't think I would let it be a known spell at all. The overall lack of control without excessive factors gives a poor rendering on that spell. I would probably not allow it. It just seems to scream, "I'm a moron who cannot control my impulses!"

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