Physical Appearance Edit
Bastienne's first appearance was that of a pale red-headed man, 6'2, near 160 pounds. He wore a robe. Unfortunately, as the human Bastienne died and the skeletal undead Bastienne, lovingly nicknamed Mr. Bones, was born, his red hair and pale skin fell off to reveal simply bones. Bastienne also took to wearing an armor made of crocodile leather.
Always a bit of a loner, Bastienne is dark and twisted as a human. He was a druid with a disdain and distrust for many humans and an affinity from beasts that were not hellbound.
Upon his rebirth as an undead, Bastienne, in servitude of the Marilith Toi'Viral, began to reexamine the roles of women; after all, his defense of women was the reason Toi'Viral let him live. The skeletal Bastienne trusts women more than men but, more than that, respects order and lawfulness. He is subservient and teams up with whoever seems to be the leader.
As a child, Bastienne was apprentice to his father, Besa, a wizard and also a sage of the Circle of the Land. They were tirelessly searching and cataloging beasts of the Underdark, using Bastienne's Druid skills to speak to them. With Besa's knowledge, kept in organized notebooks, and Bastienne's kindness, they were able to communicate with nearly every beast.
One such beast was a large direwolf who claimed to have belonged to and served the Mountain King. He had returned several times to the Underdark and was always less than friendly to the father and son. One morning, Bastienne had wandered out alone and came into contact with the beast. Despite the boy's pleading, the direwolf attacked and mauled the boy. He would have perished, had his father not cast a spell to sacrifice his life that Bastienne may live.
For the briefest of moments, Bastienne saw the face of Death, before being ripped back to life. He then watched as his father died. The spell, unfortunately, had a negative effect: his father was then reincarnated into a liche. Though Bastienne tried to run, the liche was faster. When Bastienne was cornered, he transformed himself into a great bear and tore the liche to pieces. As it died, Bastienne saw the humanity in its eyes and watched his father fade forever.
Tortured by this, Bastienne entombed himself in his father is a study, pouring over the notebooks and every scrap of evidence for some sign of magic, spell, something to bring his father back. According to some, Bastienne slipped briefly into insanity; his notebooks were covered in scribbles of, "What happens after death?" This gradually got shortened to simply, "After?" frantically scratched into every wall and onto every page.
He was discovered by a kind sage, a friend of his father's, who took him and completed his training. The sage guided him back to some image of sanity, though the howl of a direwolf or the sight of a liche will strike him immobile. His father's notebooks, now illegible, were lost or destroyed. The note Bastienne carries around with him, with his question, is a page from one such journal, a page from near the end, with a madman's scribble of the word, "After?"
How he got involved in the group is a mystery. Bastienne was a wise druid and sage who was renown for his knowledge of hellish beasts; it's possible he was recruited for that reason. Regardless, he ended up in the Marilith's temple with the adventurers Iris, Reesec, Hamjaw, and several others. At the end of their mission, after defeating the dragon and finding the Elemental Guardians, Bastienne convinced them that, as a woman, the lonely Marilith Toi'Viral would want to talk to another woman, allowing Iris to go get more information from his soon-to-be master. Despite this leading nowhere, it did allow Toi'Viral to see the potential in Bastienne as a servant; when Reesec's detonation of the Orb of Shadows killed him, Toi'Viral reanimated his corpse and put him to work as a jeweler and slave in her temple.
While working under his new mistress, Bastienne began to change his very existence. His whole life had been devoted to the idea of finding out what happened after death; he had been there, he had seen hell, and he had been reborn. He began to trust only women, as Toi'Viral instilled that in him, he began to respect the law and order of the world and the natural order of things, because without life there cannot be death, and he began to lose interest in nature, instead focusing on his own mental abilities. Toi'Viral taught him telepathy, allowing him to communicate with her as she saw fit. When the Wish was cast and Kragnux became a god, Bastienne was employed as a diplomat by his mistress; he traveled from plane to plane via her magic to ensure that the world didn't fall into chaos, now that another god had arisen.
Unfortunately, one of his travels took him to Nessus and to the ninth level of Hell, where Kragnux's godliness had caused the seal holding Asmodeus prisoner had begun to crack. As he fled from there, Toi'Viral sent him to Quelmar, to watch the church and ensure it didn't interfere with the natural order. Unfortunately, his arrival in the Asugbo region corresponded directly with Asmodeous' attack on it, allowing him to join the party again.
A large part of him still yearns to find the woman who allowed him to live, Iris, and to return to his mistress, though another part of him found respect and order in Ssaprina, the elvish woman he teamed up with in the first part of the Second Demonic Incursion.
Bastienne was granted his wish to cheat death, but when caught by Bahamut, he was forced into a different immortal form: a sentient book cursed to always praise Kragnux's deeds.
Powers and Abilities Edit
Bastienne's most notable powers are his telepathy and his ability to take his skeletal remains apart to a) feign dead and b) go into small places, such as backpacks.
Though proficient in longsword and daggers, Bastienne prefers using his telepathy and ego whip, or fighting with his words. However, should it become necessary, Bastienne's hand can be used as thieves' tools or his arm can be used as a bludgeoning weapon.
He also carries a quarterstaff, more as a memento of his past life than a weapon.
Iris (in life)
Ssaprina (in death)