Indiana Jones with horns.
18 Str, 11 Con, 15 Dex, 10 Int, 15 Wis, 14 Cha
+1 flaming battleaxe: +9 vs. AC for 1d10+6
War pick: +8 vs. AC for 1d8+4
Longbow: +6 vs. AC for 1d10+2
17 AC, 17 Fort, 16 Ref, 14 Will
14 Passive Insight, 19 Passive Perception
Trained in Athletics, Dungeoneering, Nature, Perception, and Stealth.
Personality traits Ava fancies herself the medieval equivalent of Indiana Jones. She is proud of her mastery of the craft of exploration and discovery and seeks to practice and perfect that craft whenever she can. At the same time, some of the tiefling cultural value of being cool and offhand about one’s talents has rubbed off on her; she’s happy when her companions marvel at how easy she makes it all look.
While Ava is crafty in the ways of the dungeon and wilderness alike, she prefers the former to the latter. The wilderness is what you have to go through to get to the dungeon, so you might as well know how to survive in it, but it’s tombs and ruins and relics that are the main event. Ava has a certain fascination for the story of her forebears and is alert for clues about what befell their ancient civilization, but exploration is its own reward even when the first tieflings had nothing to do with the ruin in question.
Mannerisms and appearance Ava is short and light – ideal for maneuvering through caves. Her thick horns emerge just behind her temples, follow the lines of her neck, then part and stab forward just above shoulder level; the effect is one of long, flowing hair, though in fact Ava’s hair – sandy, standing out amidst the red hues of her body – hardly flows past her ears. The positioning of the horns also means Ava has difficulty shrugging, complementing her decisive personality. When she’s cleaned up, Ava is remarkably attractive in a tiefling way, but attractiveness isn’t her priority; rather, she tries to project the persona of the consummate explorer, rugged and never without a layer of the dust of the road. Her charisma bonus results as much from this carefully cultivated air of experience as it does from her physique. (Would you put Indiana Jones in a suit and tie?)
Character background Ava was born to a human father and a tiefling mother. Her mother died during childbirth, so her father, an independent yet responsible prospector, took it upon himself to do the work of two parents in raising Ava. He named her for the goddess Avandra, who Ava too came to admire.
Ava grew up in a small village called Second Chance, in a remote province of the empire. Second Chance was hastily erected when Ava was three years old after a rich gold vein was discovered in the nearby mountains; Ava’s father was among the first on the scene and became a man of stature in the mining community. Living conditions were harsh for the miners, so Ava was forced to learn the trade quickly. By the age of ten she was wielding a pick as well as any adult; by thirteen she was the best miner in the growing town.
Though the tools of the miner’s profession were pliant in Ava’s hands, she did not enjoy the repetitive day-to-day work of mining. It was at the age of fourteen that she found her calling. The miners of Second Chance grew too greedy, and a major cave-in trapped Ava and others inside the mines. While the adults around her panicked, Ava reacted coolly and decisively. Using a torch for light, she found edible fungus that would keep the other miners alive; then she went off by herself, in spite of her father’s pleas, to look for an exit. The cave complex turned out to be much larger than she had imagined, and she had to dodge the cave’s hungry denizens on more than one occasion, but ultimately Ava found an exit and was able to lead a rescue party to the trapped miners.
From that day on, Ava could no longer be counted on for work in the mines; whenever she was left unsupervised, she would sneak off to explore the caves. One day she came upon ancient stone ruins deep in the mines. The ruins were of no real archaeological significance, probably the work of a long-forgotten tribe of goblins who had left for more hospitable turf centuries before, but Ava was enthralled. The adults around her were unable to understand her excitement at her discovery, or at the shards of pottery and broken dagger blades she brought back to camp, with the sole exception of her father. He alone listened when Ava told her stories and laid out her findings.
Ava was deeply grieved when her father died of disease when she was eighteen, but found some small solace in her resultant release from Second Chance. For the next ten years, Ava wandered between towns, apprenticing herself to great explorers, learning what they had to teach, and moving on. The work was sometimes demeaning, but its result was that Ava learned how to fearlessly walk the underground paths she loves.