Profession: Fortuneteller, Eldritch Mage
First Appearance: “Dark Tails”
“Sometimes hope is all you have.”
Sharilar Stardancer was born to a kitsune couple who had settled in with a band of gypsies. She looked much different then; she had the white fur and hair denoting a future oracle of their kind, with green eyes full of intelligence. As she grew, her parents encouraged this, gifting her with a fortune-telling deck that had been passed down through many generations and teaching her of its use.
Shortly after she turned sixteen, she was lured in and kidnapped by a group of Old One cultists, who used her as a focus for their ritual. This cost her not only her magical connection to the stars, but her ability to have children as well, and nearly took her sanity.
Sheer force of will allowed her to piece herself back together, but the experience left her physically changed. In body, she was the same, but now her fur had turned fully black. Her hair had gone nearly as black as night as well, with the only color left being her purple eyes. (“Dark Tails”)
Not long after, she left to try and find what her new self meant to her.
With her original magic gone, Sharilar now draws her magical abilities directly from the void between the stars. While she can still read the tapestry of fate, her magic now centers around the mind – whether in healing, control, or destruction thereof. She also is able to conjure spacestuff into a sheath that protects her as well as any armor, call forth wings of shadow, and change her shape. She will also be able to place or remove curses as well, once she becomes powerful enough.
This magic also is causing a transformative effect on her, though she does not realize it yet. As she grows stronger in her magic, she also becomes less mortal, and more eldritch herself. This can be seen by the number of tails she currently has, though she can use her shapeshifting magic to hide this if she wishes.
Her experiences also filled her mind with many things that mortal minds were not meant to know, but it has left her very familiar with the many eldritch entities out in the universe.
Another aftereffect of the ritual made her a magnet for eldritch spirits, who amuse themselves by whispering various things into her mind; some true, some not. She is usually able to ignore them, but in moments of weakness their voices only grow louder.
Also due to her experiences, she has a personal grudge against any Old One cultists, which could be used against her by a canny opponent. It also has the potential to lead her into trouble she may not survive.
Her Real Life Origins
Sharilar actually started life a bit differently form how she ended up. The idea came about after I had found out that Pathfinder had added a kitsune race as part of their Far East style setting. I commented to the GM about making a kitsune gypsy-type who makes use of harrow decks, just for the reaction I knew it would get. Harrow decks are basically the Pathfinder version of tarot, but can also do strange things as well if used properly.
I found I liked the idea anyways, so I started looking a good way to access a Harrow-related prestige class I found on the Pathfinder SRD site. Given the ties of harrow and stereotypical gypsies to fortune-telling, one thing there that jumped out at me was the oracle class.
Now Oracles were basically an upgrade to the old D&D 3.5 Favored Soul – they basically draw on some power(which is called a “Mystery”), rather than gain their power from worshiping a deity. So, I looked through the mysteries available, and the Dark Tapestry mystery triggered some interesting ideas in my mind, as it was basically a mystery that ties back to the Elder Gods and Old Ones of Cthulhu mythology. The Heavens one also seemed appropriate, so I went and looked through an “optimization” handbook for oracles for build ideas. I also read through the kitsune fluff a bit as well for ideas.
Somewhere in all that the nucleus of her background – a white-furred oracle of the Heavens that got “twisted” to the dark side – formed. The fact I was also playing a Shadow Priest in World of Warcraft at the time also helped, as some of the powers reminded me of said character, who was also an anthro canine due to being a Worgen. Somewhere along the way that got folded in, and while she kept the gypsy and harrow deck parts of the character, the focus on the deck was dropped in favor of focusing on the Oracle class itself.
Putting together her backstory, I ended up finding myself drawing from a show I was watching at the time: Kamen Rider Wizard. The main theme of that series was hope and hopelessness, and Wizard considered himself “the final hope.” This gelled perfectly with the way the character was shaping up, so I folded that into her personality and background as well.
With how much I got into the character, I didn’t know if I’d ever get to play her as I didn’t have a gaming group at the time, and kitsune were not yet legal for Pathfinder Society without a special record sheet from a convention. I finally did get to try her out in a play-by-post campaign on some gaming forums, though we did not get too far before it had to be called due to life issues.
Later on, I got into a gaming group that was doing high level play, and was able to bring her back for this. It was around this time that I commissioned the picture of her above. In that game, which is pretty much dead at this point, she’s effectively become a demigod, and is on the way to becoming a full deity. If we ever get back to finishing that, she’ll have purview over hope, fate, prophecy, forbidden knowledge, insanity, and the Far Realms(where the Old Ones live). Her divine weapon is a dagger, the same one shown on her hip above.
Since that campaign, they finally opened the kitsune race for use, so I re-built her within the restrictions of Pathfinder Society in case I ever get to play her there. As there is a level limit in that environment however, she wouldn’t ever be able to reach her full potential power.
Another campaign with the previous group allowed us to swap in characters however, on an even higher-power(relative to level) campaign so I’ve brought her back for that one, and she’s well on the way to divinity, thanks to Pathfinder’s mythic rules. As that campaign ahs gone on though, it looks like she won’t get to complete the journey there either, so I’ve also started a story series that takes her from the bio above, and tells one possible tale of how she may get there, though whether she will depends on if my muse finds the proper way there.
In the time I’ve played her through these different campaigns, she’s also undergone a few name changes. I was stumped at first for names, and went with Naiya(in reference to her connection to the night) then vacillated between that and Ryune, which is the Japanese version of Lune/Luna. Most recently I think I’ve finally found a fit, which is the name I use herein. I originally used it for a generic busty vixen years and years ago, but it was inspired by SharMarali, a 6-tail female kitsune from a book titled “Chrome Circle.” Thus, in a way it’s come full circle, fittingly enough.
Also amusingly, the second picture above was drawn by an artist going by Shariea(whose fursona is a dragon/canine mix), so unintentionally I had a Shar draw Shar!