Winner of the 2011 Nexus Design-A-Villain Contest
Name: Cider Tangledroot
Other Names: many, matching many different identities
Birth Date: the month of Blessings (kinder December), 378 AC
Distinguishing Features and Mannerisms: Cinder usually looks like an aged female kender in the late thirties, much younger than she actually is, mostly because of her wrinkleless face and the fidgety demeanor she displays in public. She barely shows any emotion beyond an occasional frown but when trying to win the trust of others, and even then she rarely smiles. Standing well over 4′ and weighing some 80 pounds, she has a light build even for a kender, emphasized by her unnatural graceful and nimbleness. Her fair skin complexion talks of many hours spent in the shadows and it contrasts markedly with the long dark brown hair wore in a neat ponytail. Her green eyes have a dark, cunning look strange to see in a kender, and tend to be fixed on a distant point at all times. She is very quick to evaluate and react to any situation, and any sudden or unexpected crash or movement close to her makes her crouch in a defensive stance and unsheathe her dagger promptly. Her clothes are always functional and plain, with dark greenish and reddish tones, having many pockets but surprisingly few pouches. She travels light, her weapons hidden but ready with the polpak’s blade released and the pole standing for a tall hiking staff, and favors little known or hidden trails. She avoids company as much as she can, but when she has to frequent it employs magic and disguises to blend, changing many times from one identity to another in order to appease her increasing paranoia. She hates to outstand and cannot afford to be easily recognized, often recurring to murder when that happens. She lives perpetually resentful and will hold any grudge for a long time, never letting an offense to be unpunished. When engaged in combat, she backstabs and cut throats of those weak and disposable, turning to powerful spell by means of which influence or charm more powerful or valuable opponents. She avoids melee beyond the occasional backstabbing.
Wealth & Social Status: has access to many riches and contacts, although her different identities rarely belong to nobility. Never carries too much money, enough to buy venoms or magic she may need.
Bio: Cinder Tangledroot was born in one of the small communities surrounding Kendermore a few years before the summer of Chaos. She was the only daughter of a female half-kender and a true kender who left her soon to the care of her grandpa when the wanderlust took upon them. However, she didn’t resented it, because she loved him and there were many children in the hamlet, so she lived as happy and carefree as only a kender child can do. But, as many other things, her happiness ended with the Age of Despair. She barely escaped from the ogre minions of Malystryx when the overlord began her conquest of Goodlund, only to fall prey of the nightmares and terrors the red brought upon her kith and kin. Nobody knows why she was specially damaged by the draconic magic, maybe her human heritage made her more susceptible than other pure kender, but it was so. When Riverwind sacrificed himself to save as many kender as he could, Cider had already changed beyond the point of recognition. She was eight, but her spirit was older and scarred and her mind forever twisted. Her grandpa had died, she had no family and her friends were either as marked as she was or remain the same happy-go-lucky selves they had always been. She felt detached.
As years passed, she saw the way other races mistreated kender, the mocking and disdain and abuse her kin tolerated because they didn’t know better or didn’t care. Even worse, she understood that even those who had changed with her, the so-called afflicted, were unable or unwilling to do what needed to be done to protect themselves from a tragedy such as the one they had gone through. She was one of the first voices demanding a change in her new home of Hylo, eventually befriending Belladonna and helping her to seize control of the nation. However, that wasn’t enough for her. She wondered time and time again why no one but her could see that, for as long as the kender were not the only inhabitants of Northern Ergoth, surrounded as they were by ambitious warlords, vile goblins and even reptilian monsters of the north, they wouldn’t be safe. These outspoken thoughts caused a rift between her and Belladonna, whose only concern was to secure the wellbeing of the nation inside its borders. Alone and friendless; a pariah in Hylo, the only one sensible enough to see the sad truth and brave enough to do the right thing – To save them all.
That was the creature Hiddukel found when he came back. The Prince of Lies had always seen the kender race as a source of amusement but also as a waste of mischievous potential. To find the afflicted ones was a pleasant surprise, one who gave him some to work on after many fiascos in the returned planet. He watched them closely for a time until choose one among them who could be worthy of his favors. Cider was the one. He granted her divine power and wisdom to create a web of lies and influences large enough to engulf the whole Northern Ergoth, and enjoyed seeing the little being corrupt, ensnare and exploit others in many races. She knows the god doesn’t care about her or her people, but she will use whatever means available to save them. Even if she has to persuade every Ergothian knight, noble and peasant, every goblin and hobgoblin, every non kender in Northern Ergoth, to kill everyone else each other in turns first.