Leira, Lady of Many Faces

Con artist and master of disguise

Description:

Leira is a beautiful young woman who has made a living as a con artist in Inaulia. She is a half-elf, though she can pass as fully human, especially with the aid of her disguises.

Leira can alter her appearance quite drastically, appearing as young or old, tall or short, slim or fat, dark or fair. When she is not attempting to disguise her appearance, she is about 5’8" and looks to be in her mid-twenties. She has hazel eyes and fair skin, but she dyes her hair often in a wide variety of colors, so only she could say what her true hair color is.

Class: rogue. Background: charlatan. Alignment: chaotic neutral.

Bio:

She assumed the name Leira, after the goddess of illusion. Her real name is unknown to all but herself. Leira, an Inaulian con artist, grew up under the tutelage of a renowned charlatan and thief. Her foster mother and tutor in the arts of disguise and theft was a woman known simply as Temerity, called so for her brazen schemes. Leira lived and worked with Temerity for nearly twenty years until her mentor was one day captured by the Angaria. Temerity managed a daring escape in which she impersonated three different individuals, rappelled down the side of a tower, and stole the prison warden’s favorite drinking horn and his ceremonial saber decorated with rubies on the hilt. However, Temerity then died several days later of tetanus, contracted from a scrape on a rusty nail as she was escaping the hands of justice.

After Temerity died, Leira took over the small criminal organization, which she continued to call Temerity’s Hands. She fell in love with one of its members, a young man named Willem who was also talented at disguise. The group continued to carry out various cons against many of the wealthiest merchant houses in Inaulia, with the exceptions of House Belliger and House Demithar, before House Demithar was destroyed by Endyne Belliger. None in the organization thought it wise to cross the lady Endyne Belliger and House Demithar had occasionally engaged their services against rival houses.

One day, the Hands were engaged in robbing a merchant and Council Member by the name of Emil Arkhaven. They had thought him an easy mark due to his notorious weakness for pretty women, assuming that his caution would be sufficiently dulled by Leira’s flirtations. Willem and Leira posed as foreign traders in possession of a vast quantity of valuable spices—which they, unfortunately, could not ship themselves because their ships and coin had been seized to supply and fund their city-state’s war with a neighboring land. Thus, they sought an investor to supply them with the resources necessary to carry their goods to market and who would, of course, share in the profits from the sale of their goods.

All was going well for the Hands until one evening, Willem and Leira were invited to dine at Arkhaven’s house. Arkhaven had decided to invite an old acquaintance to dinner who happened to be slightly more well-informed of politics and recent events in Willem and Leira’s supposed homeland than they were. Arkhaven became suspicious, and later that evening Willem’s story began to fall apart as he and Arkhaven were drinking alone together in Arkhaven’s study. When Willem did not return that night, Leira feared the worst. Enlisting the help of various secretly living members of House Demithar, she discovered through their spies that Willem had been captured by Emil Arkhaven and—instead of being handed over to the Angaria for judgment as Leira had expected—sold to the minotaur Mindak Toru of House Toru as a slave.

Leira was outraged at Arkhaven’s greed and callousness. She broke into Arkhaven’s house at night and crept into his bedroom. Leira lit the candles in the room and threw open his bedcurtains to find him asleep with a young woman in his bed and reeking of strong liquor. She sent the girl away and roused him from his sleep, the point of her rapier against his throat.

“Don’t bother calling for your guards. They’re all indisposed at the moment.” Staring him in the eye, Leira said to him, “I could have forgiven you if you had given my dear Willem to the Angaria. That is a risk he knew and accepted. Had he been hanged for his crimes, I would have been heartbroken but at least there would have been justice in that. Instead, you sold him as if he were property, as if he were a mere beast! You have denied him his human dignity, and for that I will deny you yours!”

She bade him get out of bed and stand at the window, naked. He ran to his desk, frantically throwing open a drawer. “Looking for this?” she asked, holding up an ornate dagger. “Hmm…the weight is not quite balanced for throwing, but I can manage at this distance. Would you really like to test my skills? No? Then do as I asked.”

She tied a rope to one end of the bed and then tossed it to him, ordering him to tie it around his ankles. She shoved him out the window and as he fell, the back of his head slammed against the stone wall and he died. She hadn’t quite intended for him to die like that, envisioning something more along the lines of public (living) humiliation, but she was not terribly upset at the outcome. Leira left him there to be discovered the next morning and by that afternoon, the entire city had heard of his embarrassing death. Most speculated that he had been killed by one of his many former mistresses.

Leira disbanded the Hands and took her shares of its fortune with her as she sought to rescue Willem. Unfortunately, Willem had died quickly in slavery under House Hagenzaki before she could locate him. Leira joined the Red Butchers and donated almost the entirety of her wealth to the organization for the purpose of freeing the slaves and destroying the Minotaur Empire.

Personality traits: I am charming but a little unbalanced after the death of the man I loved. I try to win over everyone I meet, although I can quickly become angry or brooding.
Ideal: I value my independence.
Bond: I desire vengeance for Willem’s death.
Flaw: I am usually careful and calculating when in the planning stage of a heist or other endeavor, though I can quickly become reckless if I think an important opportunity (such as for vengeance) is slipping away. (Imagine Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.)

(Yes, Leira is a little bit insane.)

Leira, Lady of Many Faces

Slaves of Sargon jenelleclark