Name: The Talon
Real Name: Nordress Shazz
Race: Human (Lich)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Family: Henry Shazz, father, tailor & Guinne Shazz, mother, seamstress (both deceased) & Tarienne Shazz (a.k.a. T’Shazz), sister, fighter / necromancer.
THAC0: 9 (7 with the Staff of Damned Radiance)
Special Attacks: Lich touch, lich fear, spells.
Special Defence: Lich immunities, spells.
Saving Throws: P/P/DM: immune, R/S/W: 6, Petrification: 8, Polymorph: immune, BW: 9, S: 6
Size: M (5’7”)
WP: Quarterstaff, dagger, dart.
NWP: Reading/Writing 19 (common, dwarf); Herbalism 18; Cryptography 18; Modern Languages 18 (dwarf); Spellcraft 20; Sage Knowledge 17 (undead); Ancient History 18 (the first empire); Astronomy 16.
Spells: 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 4, 3 (includes bonus spells for high intelligence and necromancy specialization).
Equipment: Staff of Damned Radiance, The Talon, The Dead Queen’s Wedding Ring, Robes of Monarchic Disdain, Wand of Animate Dead (35 Charges), 5 x Scroll of Protection from Undead, 3 x Vials of Unholy Water, dagger +1, 3 x dart +2 and 7 x dart +1. In addition the Talon is known to employ a number of other magical items including a Carpet of Flying, a Rod of Security, a Brazier of Commanding Fire Elementals and a Cube of Force. She will usually be equipped with 1d12 other magical scrolls, wands and potions at the DM’s discretion.
Abilities: The Talon is a lich with all the special abilities, powers and vulnerabilities that apply to that undead creature.
Physical Appearance: The Talon in life was an attractive woman with golden hair down to her shapely waist. In death only the vaguest remnants of flesh cling to her, she is almost entirely skeletal with only the left hand side of her face retaining skin and one dead eye staring vacantly while the other eye socket is filled with a haunting green witch light that flickers like fire. Unless the observer had some knowledge of anatomy there would be no way to tell that the Talon was ever a woman. She dresses in the tattered but wealthy robes of the undead king she destroyed when she claimed his throne and his subterranean city as her own.
Personality: Nordress, unable to control her longstanding jealousy, was originally killed by her sister in a magical duel. She was driven mad with envy of her sister who surpassed and eclipsed her at every turn, though never even perceived herself as competing. Death has done nothing to improve Nordress’s state of mind. If anything she is even more insane in death than she was in life. Her only goal is the destruction of her sister the Battlemage T’Shazz and if she cannot destroy her in life then she has made adequate preparations so that she might collect her soul and torture her in death. The Talon is driven only by this one desire and cares nothing for anything else.
Background: When Nordress was a child her parents would often tell her stories of her older sister who was a captain of a mercenary company and a famous warrior. Her humble tailor father and seamstress mother could not have been more proud of their brave daughter – in Boune, where they lived, a successful career in the military is considered worthy of high praise due to the country’s precarious political situation. To the young Nordress it always seemed that she was of secondary concern to them.
When she was of appropriate age she applied to become a student at the Palaces of Magic in Capitol, where all the human wizards in the world are trained, and was accepted, showing great potential. This was about the time her older sister Tarienne returned from her tour of duty. Displaying genuine concern for her sister’s safety in an unknown metropolis thousands of miles away, Tarienne decided to accompany her and watch over her for the period of her study. Nordress was far from happy with the arrangement, but had no say in it.
The seeds of Nordress’s hate for Tarienne were planted when the warrior was accepted to Palaces of Magic also, displaying a talent for magic equal to her sister. And those seeds bore fruit when Tarienne was awarded the accolade of a wizard name upon graduating before her sister who had began her studies first. Nordress attacked T’Shazz but was no match for her and her death came swiftly though it was accidental.
That should have been the end of the sad tale of Nordress Shazz, but it was not. In the years that followed the death of the young necromancer, T’Shazz was making a nuisance of herself for many powerful beings including the demon Dai’Rit’Vhalk, a minor prince among his kind. Without knowing it, T’Shazz and her companions had blundered through the disruption of several of the demon’s well laid plans. Vhalk, using agents, discovered the burial place of Nordress and used his power to animate Nordress, increasing her power beyond what she ever had in life with the intent of using her as instrument of her sister’s destruction. Such ironies please demons immeasurably.
But the demon had underestimated the loyalty of T’Shazz’s companions and together they were able to destroy both Nordress and Vhalk. While the demon was utterly vanquished, the spirit of Nordress was not so easily dispatched and within the year it had formed a new body. This third incarnation of Nordress Shazz is known as The Talon for her habit of directing night time raids and snatching away people for fates genuinely worse than death. The Talon has made her home in one of the many dead cities in Alanthor’s central desert which were a part of Alanthor’s First Empire and were rendered lifeless by the Dread Lich Zaranar – the first being on Saas to survive his own death and the most powerful and evil of all human wizards.
The Talon has constructed a small army of undead creatures and has spent many long years contemplating her revenge upon her sister, though how she will enact such a revenge is anyone’s guess.