Kitikka Caldwell, the Assassin with a change of heart
"Everyone has their own dark little secret. Mine is merely a mite more darker than others..."
One of the most feared assassins in recent memory, Kitikka Caldwell, more famously known by her alias Darkshroud, was a master of poison and ambush. Working under the employ of the False King, Kitikka slew the enemies of her client with cold efficiency, often leaving naught but a trace to link her to the slaying. Political murder was her business, and in the dark shadows of the capital's political landscape, business was good indeed. With each assassination her reputation in the underworld grew, as the fear of her. Thus, it came to no surprise that she was given the task of disposing an old thorn in her client's side: the paladin lord and hero, Malthus Tannhauser.
Kitikka infiltrated Malthus' stronghold, confident that she would be able to kill the paladin without trouble. However, before she could even begin with her infiltration, she was accidentally found out by one of Malthus' younger students. And so, much to her disgrace, Kitikka found herself in a magically-secure cell, awaiting trial. She was quite sure that she would get executed, so she tried everything to escape, but to no avail. Eventually she gave up, and settled back to await her fate.
Despite her worst imaginings, she was treated with kindness and care by her jailors. Much to her lasting surprised she was soon released, without any lasting punishment or sanction. Confused by this turn of events, she didn't return to her employer, instead seeking out the paladin who had caught her. Though she had first intended to kill him out of revenged for foiling her attempt, this encounter eventually lead to a long and heartfelt conversation between the two.
She never did return to the capital's dark streets... Instead, she stayed with the young knight, and several months later were married.
In the weeks leading to the unmasking of the False King, Kitikka's husband was killed in one of the skirmishes between the armies of the Alliance and the forces loyal to the False King. Asking leave from her husband's superiors, she disappeared for several days. When she finally returned, word arrived that three of the top generals of the enemies of the Alliance were dead.
Six years have passed since the war ended, and Kitikka now lives a quiet life in the country, raising her twins Roan and Winia. Malthus sends his agents every now and then to check up on the family and see to it that they are safe, but the old paladin shouldn't worry... All of those who had known of the true identity of the assassin called Darkshroud were long dead, and Darkshroud's exploits have long passed into legend. No one would suspect the young mother living on the outskirts of Falcon's Point to be that figure of infamy...
Petite and athletic in build, Kitikka's most distiguishing trait had been her strangely-colored red hair, and matching cerise eyes. She has since dyed her hair black, and holds its short fall with a scarf most days than not, while hides the hue of her eyes behind tinted bifocals. She still remains much as she was when she still plied her trade as a killer-for-hire, but now she finds herself more comfortable with a broom and market basket than with a blade coated in poison. However, she won't hesitate using her skills if her children are threatened.
*Kitikka Caldwell, female Rogue 5/Assassin 9: CR 14; medium-sized humanoid (half-elf); HD 5d6+10 plus 9d6+18; hp 96; wp 14; Init +8; Spd 30 ft.; AC 23 (touch 17, flat-footed 23); Base Attack +10; Grapple +11; Attack +15 melee (1d6+6/17-20, +4 keen assassin short sword), or +16 ranged (1d6+1/x3, +1 precise shortbow); Full Attack +15/+10/+5 melee (1d6+6/17-20, +4 keen assassin short sword), or +16/+11/+6 ranged (1d6+1/x3, +1 precise shortbow); SA Death attack (Fort DC 21, DC 22 with Infiltrator), poison use, sneak attack +8d6, spell use; SQ Evasion, half-elf traits, hide in plain sight, improved uncanny dodge (retains Dex bonus to AC, cannot be flanked), +4 save vs. poison, trapfinding, trap sense +1; AL Chaotic Good (formerly Lawful Evil); Fort +8, Ref +18, Will +7; Str 13, Dex 20, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 12. Height 5 ft. 3 in.
Skills and Feats (with Synergy bonuses included): Balance +12, Bluff +11, Climb +6, Diplomacy +12, Disable Device +9, Disguise +10, Gather Information +9, Hide +30, Jump +8, Listen +8, Move Silently +30, Open Lock +11, Search +9, Sense Motive +9, Sleight of Hand +12, Spot +8, Tumble +12, Use Magic Device +7, Use Rope +10; Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Quick Draw, Stealthy.
Languages Spoken: Common, Draconic, Elven.
Spells Known (4/4/3/2; save DC = 12 + spell level): 1st - disguise self, feather fall, sleep, true strike; 2nd - alter self, invisibility, pass without trace, undetectable alignment; 3rd - deep slumber, deeper darkness, misdirection, nondetection; 4th - dimension door, freedom of movement, modify memory.
Signature Equipment*: Infiltrator (+4 keen assassin short sword that provides improved invisibility 4/day as a 10th-level wizard), +1 precise shortbow, Shadow Armor (+3 studded leather armor that gives a +10 competence bonus to Hide and Move Silently, and grants use of silence 3/day), boots of speed, gloves of dexterity +2, potions (2 invisibility, 3 cure serious wounds), ring of charm resistance (negates all Enchantment spells of 4th level or lower, +2 Luck bonus to saves vs. Enchantments of 5th level and above), +2 ring of defense, 10 arrows of biting, 30 normal arrows, 10 silver arrows, 10 adamantine arrows, 10 cold steel arrows.
Class Skills and Special Qualities:
Death Attack: If Kitikka studies an opponent for 3 rounds then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack has the addition effect of paralyzing or killing the target (Kitikka's choice). While studying the victim, Kitikka can undertake any other action so long as her attention stays on her opponent and the opponent does not detect her or recognize her as an enemy. If the victim of the attack fails the saving throw (Fort DC 22), the target dies, or (if the paralysis effect is chosen) is enervated in mind and body, becoming helpless and unable to act for 1d6+9 rounds. If the saving throw succeeds, it is considered a normal sneak attack.
Evasion (Ex): If Kitikka makes a successful saving throw against a spell or effect that would normally deal half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. This functions only when she is wearing light or no armor, and when she is not incapacitated in any way.
Half-Elf Traits: Immune to sleep spells and effects, +2 racial bonus to saves vs. Enchantment spells and effects, low-light vision, +1 racial bonus to Listen/Search/Spot, +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy and Gather Information, can use elf-specific weapons and items.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su): Kitikka can use the Hide skill even when being observed, so long as she is within 10 feet of any shadow, almost literally disappearing from view.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Kitikka cannot be flanked, except by a rogue four levels higher than her.
Poison Resistance: Kitikka has a +4 natural bonus to saves against poison.
Poison Use: Kitikka is trained in the use of poisons, and never risks accidentally poisoning herself when applying it to her weapons.
Sneak Attack: Kitikka deals +8d6 additional damage to any target that is denied their Dexterity bonus to AC, or whenever she gets to flank an opponent.
Spell Use: Kitikka can cast a number of arcane spells per day, as a bard. She is of the 9th caster level.
Trapfinding: Kitikka can locate traps with a difficulty class above 20, and can use Disable Device to disable them.
Trap Sense (Ex): Kitikka has a +1 bonus to Reflex saves to avoid traps, and a +1 bonus to her AC against attacks made by traps.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Kitikka retains her Dexterity bonus to AC regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. She still loses her bonus if immobilized in some way, however...
The statistics and equipment presented above feature Kitikka wearing her 'mission' gear. Nowadays, most of it is kept in storage inside a hidden compartment underneath her bed. She is seriously considering selling them off, but holds back at the thought of one day defending her children from attackers.
With her shift of alignment to Good, Kitikka has all but lost her ability to cast assassin spells, and finds it difficult at best to access her other assassin skills, such as Hiding in Plain Sight. This, and the fact that most of her old equipment doesn't seem to work for her anymore, now serves as the impetus for her to sell off most of the trappings of her old life, while keeping the items that can still be of use to her (like her bow and armor).