Zokala Arcana, better known as 'Zoka', is a Fetchling Gunslinger played in a side solo campaign by James Bowie. Zokala began as an underworld assassin in the city of Durrow working alongside the retired hitman Dante Mortel. Currently, Zoka is on the road with no real destination.
As a fetchling, Zokala appears as a gaunt, six foot tall human with long white hair. His skin and everything about him is greyscale, like all fetchlings, but most have pale white skin whereas his is pitch black. As a result, he looks a lot like a drow with rounded ears. He uses a shirt of mithril for protection worn under his tunic, and even that is buried under the same heavy cloak that hides his unique arsenal from view. He does not wear any obvious protections nor does he carry any but light, concealable weapons. For all intents and purposes, he would appear unarmed to any but the most perceptive.
Zoka also has the innate ability to magically disguise himself, like other fetchlings. So far, he's used this power for a variety of disguises as well as simply making himself appear taller or more menacing to intimidate others.
Zoka used to be a trader and apprentice firearms crafter on the shadow plane, occasionally making visits to the material plane to assist circulating his master's wares among Durrow's black market, though he was always better at demonstrating than actually making them. When Zoka got tired of his race's oppression and lack of ambition on their home plane, he abandoned his kind in favor of a new life on the material. He hopes that his skill with firearms and experience with Durrow's underground would be the key to his survival. However, upon arrival, he quickly realized how little applicable knowledge he really had.
In Game Terms Edit
Zoka started at fifth but is currently a sixth level Pistolero, a pathfinder archetype for the gunslinger that specializes in one-handed firearms. In exchange for proficiency with larger guns, when using pistols at close range Zoka is able to spend his grit to apply precision dice to damage rolls like sneak attacks. This ability deals half damage even if his attack misses, meaning that Zoka becomes both a powerful and consistent source of damage rather than the single burst that a lone rogue would get from a sneak attack. Zoka is also able to act far more bold than the typical sneaky rogue or assassin needs to be by design.
In addition to the precision damage, Zoka is currently able to use his grit to dodge ranged attacks, repair firearms as a move action, attack in melee with the butt of his gun, shoot locks open, shoot small objects to move them without damaging them, and use the heat from the barrel of his gun to cauterize bleeding wounds.
His Fetchling half enables him to cast disguise self 1/day for 50 minutes as a spell-like ability and in addition to darkvision, he has a 50% concealment when fighting in low light conditions as opposed to the normal 20%.
Zoka has Magical Talent (prestidigitation), giving him the ability to cast said spell once per day as if a caster at his character level. Aside from the simple parlor tricks, this enables him to clean (or alternately worsen) any crime scene without having to lift a finger, other than disposing the bodies.
Ability Scores Edit
- Str: 10 +0
- Dex: 18 +4
- Con: 14 +2
- Int: 14 +2
- Wis: 12 +1
- Cha: 14 +2
Vital Statistics Edit
- Hit Points : 63
- AC: 23
- Touch AC: 17
- Flat-Footed AC: 17
- Initiative: +10 (+12 with Grit)
- Saves: +7/+9/+3
- Melee Attack Bonus: +6/+1
- Ranged Attack Bonus: +10/+5
- CMB: +6
- CMD: 23
- Speed: Walk 30ft.
- Acrobatics: +8 (one rank)
- Appraise: +2
- Bluff: +11 (six ranks)
- Climb: +0
- Craft (Untrained): +2
- Diplomacy: +7 (five ranks)
- Disguise: +2
- Escape Artist: +4
- Fly: +4
- Heal: +1
- Intimidate: +10 (five ranks)
- Knowledge (Engineering): +6 (one rank)
- Knowledge (Local): +6 (one rank)
- Knowledge (Planes): +5 (one rank)
- Perception: +9 (five ranks)
- Perform (Untrained): +2
- Ride: +4
- Sense Motive: +2 (one rank)
- Sleight of Hand: +10 (three ranks)
- Stealth: +12 (six ranks)
- Survival: +1
- Swim: +4 (one rank)
- Amulet of Natural Armor +1
- Backpack, Common
- Black Powder (dose) x10
- Bullet (firearm) x10
- Dagger x3
- Gambler's Kit (common)
- Gunsmith's Kit
- House Key
- Map of Durrow
- Metal Cartridge x36
- Mithral Shirt +1
- Note from Dante (unsealed)
- Oil of Silence x5
- Outfit (Pickpocket's)
- Pistol (Battered)
- Powder Horn
- Rations (trail) x9
- Ring of Protection +1
- Waterskin (filled)
- 505 gp
The Story So Far (Player Notes) Edit
Session One Edit
Zoka arrives in Durrow's port district and scans the marketplace there, looking for any stores that seem down on hard times, places that might be desperate for aid yet still have the ability to pay for it. While he doesn't find that, what he does find is word on the street of the man people go to for help, a mysterious human crime figure known as Dante. Zoka heads to the slums and finds a pawn shop simply called We Buy Your Shit, run by a rather disfigured halfling. When pressed about Dante, the halfling showed Zoka a shrunken head and gave the fetchling directions to a man called Koro, supposedly a man who had dealings with Dante in the past.
Koro runs his little curiosities shop out of a voodoo hut on the edge of town, but his goods are of certainly high value. Zoka determined quickly that this is not a man to be an enemy of. When browsing through his wares, Zoka focused on shrunken heads and it wasn't long before Dante's name cropped up. Koro told Zoka to thank the crime lord if he ever saw him, and when pressed, freely offered a full description and directions to the inn serving as his current residence, Fix's Tavern.
Once at the inn, Zoka made smalltalk with the bar patrons and the bartender herself, a human woman named Severa Blight from whom he rented one of the inn's rooms a week in advance. Returning to the common room after examining his new chambers, Zoka finds himself in the midst of a newly erupted bar fight among the patrons, in which a group of human patrons (one of which keeps a room there) becomes outraged at the treatment by a human slave. The orc owner in question gets angered when asked to leave and takes a swing at Grubstitch, the inn's muscle, but critically misses and inadvertently kills the slave instead. Using the volume of his revolver and the power of his illusion to increase his own height, Zoka talks both sides of the conflict down and even uses prestidigitation to clean up some of the mess, earning favor with the barkeep, Grub, and the human patrons all at the same time. The commotion also draws out Dante, who balks at being so rudely awoken before taking what Zoka assumes to be his usual spot by the fire.
Now that the gunslinger has seen confirmation that the crime boss stays at the inn, he makes his way back out into the city to confirm just how lucrative this information is, knowing that the local authorities have more than a passing interest in Dante's activities. However, the local bounty board's listing for Dante posts a mere 200 gp, hardly worth the effort. Given his earlier attempt at the port market was in vain, Zoka resolves to head back to the inn and stake out who Dante spends his time with.
The only company Dante has the entire evening is some sort of guard, who Zoka takes to be a town official based on the barkeep's reaction. The guard acts submissive, clearly one of the people under the crime lord's payroll. This is as clear a message as it gets that working against Dante would be a bad idea, at least for a lone 5th level character.
After making a failed pass at the bartender, Zoka heads out back rather than the common room, waiting for Dante to retire to his room so that Zoka can determine where the man sleeps. Zoka is successful in this, as well as learning which rooms belong to the human patron and another, an elf female. However, Dante immediately pops back out of his room and confronts Zoka. Zoka challenges Dante, who responds in his usual manner of massaging his own massive, throbbing ego. At the first sign of a hurtled insult, Zoka draws his revolver and fires two shots. One is a direct hit in the man's shoulder, the other only grazes him. It's evident quickly that he has some kind of damage resistance and rather than fight back, Dante somehow turns himself invisible. The inn's employees and patrons spill out in the hallway demanding explanation, to which Zoka provides only the bare minimum to let him pass, not even mentioning Dante by name.
As soon as Zoka returns to his room, Dante reforms with a dark magical sword pressed to the gunslinger's throat. Zoka points out that his gun was no real threat, taking advantage of the man's ego, and it wasn't long before Dante fell from death threats to forcing Zoka out of town to recruiting him into the ex-assassin's shadowy organization. Dante would not speak aloud that he would hire the fetchling, but left his message as clear as to be expected: Tomorrow, 3 PM. Koro. First job.
Session Two Edit
Zoka takes time to do a little gambling with Grubstitch before leaving for his appointment with Koro, who gives him a map of the city and instructions to capture a wererat kobold named Gur from an alchemy shop at the docks and bring him back to Fix's. Zoka proceeds to stake out the area, including discovering an uncommonly used path where he could disguise himself freely, stealing the spare key of a random elven woman's house from under her welcome mat, and entering the shop disguised in attempt to schedule a meeting with Gur himself. After failing that, and failing to talk his way into the shop after hours, he attempts to convince a group of wandering drunken sailors to come with him and beat up the orc bodyguards, but the dice betray him and Zoka does things the hard way.
In order to sneak into the premises, Zoka applies the Oil of Silence to his gun, breaks out a window in the back of the building, then shoots out the lock on the front door (or, rather, rolls a 1 and blows open the door, but same end result). However, the wererat's scent betrays Zoka's position and he ends up having to fight the entire encounter of three wolves, the two orcs and Gur, though with a few rounds alone with the wererat to prepare. Zoka shoots out the wererat's legs, but to no real effect. The large group of enemies proves troublesome for Zoka's limited clip size, but his high AC and CMD make it tough for the orcs or wolves to contribute much other than flanking bonuses. Zoka does take a crit from one of the orcs and combined with the wererat and his earlier gun malfunction, ends up consuming a moderate cure just to stay safe. Ten bullets later, Gur's friends dead or dying, Zoka pistol-whips the wererat to the ground and he surrenders.
Back at Fix's, Koro and Dante are waiting, along with Grub and Severa. Koro takes Gur and begins to play with him in a manner best described as Dexter meets puppies in a trash can. Dante welcomes Zoka into his 'family', a group that encompasses everyone at Fix's (save the dwarven chef) and explains there are hidden rooms connected to his and that the family is far larger than it first appears. Gur was a member of the family who betrayed them, so the gruesome display before patching him back up as a dominated zombie slave of the family was meant as a warning for Zoka. Dante then tells Zoka that he expects ten percent of all loot obtained during jobs as a sort of finder's fee that keeps the business running, and in exchange, Zoka has access to certain services like rare vendors and an unlimited supply of Oil of Silence.
Zoka at one point does go back to the alchemy shop for the aforementioned loot, only to find that an Orc he had shot to 0 hit points had disappeared with no explanation, though Zoka did not spend time searching for any sort of trail.
Session Three Edit
In the family's backroom at Fix's, Zoka meets a long-range gunslinger, a barbarian named Al-Gor, the family's quartermistress, and a female vampire hunter. The quartermistress promises a regular supply of ammunition and Oil of Silence, the former assuming regular completion of work. For work, Dante proffers a number of contracts, including a farm being strongarmed by orcs in stolen guard armor, a caravan hiring a guard, and rumors of a strange sickness in a nearby district with possible nefarious origin. The vampire hunter latches onto the latter, but Zoka focuses on the farm given his ease taking out orcs in the past (and how little he cares about armor). The other gunslinger offers to join Zoka, but given the pay was less than the job he took before and how well he handled it, Zoka turns him down and the other man joins the caravan guard instead.
As it turns out, The orcs were greater in number than the post claimed and also were far stronger than the lower level versions from the last session. After eating multiple crits and a misfire, Zoka falls in combat. The orcs keep him alive to find out why he was there and who sent him and Zoka does not hesitate to instill the fear of Dante in the group. The leader seems unfazed, however, and kindly explains he plans to leave by boat with not just the gold earned via extortion, but Zoka's as well. Fresh out of money and potions, Zoka is helped free of binding after a couple hours by a passing family member. Back at Fix's, emboldened by Zoka's promise of a large purse if they act quickly, Dante puts together a task force to track down the orcs who have fled to the Capital.
As it turns out, the orcs were using the abandoned warehouse Zoka found last session as a hideout, which means that the warehouse is now under family control. Zoka proposes to Dante to convert the facility into a private investigation office, a public front to gather work and information for the family without the customer ever knowing who they really deal with. Dante says he doesn't have the funds at the moment, but considers it a possibility and, after Zoka fully rests up, points him in the direction of a new job in the PI style, a task requested by the vampire huntress. She needs to track down a unique form of vampire spawn reportedly based out of a church in an area she has a bad reputation.
Zoka meets with the indicated member of clergy, Reverend Anderson, who worships the go balance and justice. Due to the Reverend's meek demeanor, constant fidgeting and lack of fervor, Zoka believes that the reverent has been dominated by the vampire, which he relays to the huntress. However, the huntress returns to Fix's that night covered in scars and open cuts, declaring that Zoka was wrong and that Anderson wasn't just dominated, he's a vampire himself, as well as most of the district.
Also, at the end of this session, Zoka hits sixth level.
Session Four Edit
When roaming the city, Zoka hears a lot of talk about a ceasefire between the Ripper gang and the Family, as well as an invitation for Dante to meet alone with the Butcher. Zoka comes up with a plan in which he and two others arrive on location ahead of Dante to confirm the security of the drop. As it turns out, the meeting was a trap and a poison the Rippers developed to use on the vampires was intended for Dante and the Family as well. One family member was left stuck outside the mansion whereas the human inside was supposedly killed, as well as a Family traitor who had brought news of the invitation to Zokala. However, Zoka manages to escape into the sewers still carrying one of the shrunken heads Koro and Dante employ to keep tabs on their assets.
Session Five Edit
While sleeping off the effects of the gas (still in the sewers), Zoka is awakened by a city guard unit restraining him. They were searching the tunnels in the wake of the explosion and, finding him there, haul him to the local guard barracks for questioning. While there, Zoka is told they found three shrunken heads on his person, not one. Zoka relays all of what's happening in the city honestly, and also explains what his head does and that the other two must be destroyed. The guards, thinking him mostly full of shit, lock him in a dungeon cell deep below the earth. A guard who begins to believe Zoka's story comes to free him, but is slain by a plague doctor who then moves for Zoka. Zoka snatches up the fallen guard's longsword and uses it to fight off the assassin
Session Six Edit
After dispatching the assassin, Zoka in his drow-like appearance walks right out he front door of the barracks, still carrying the dead guard's sword, without anyone stopping him. He ends up back at Fix's, the only building in the area largely intact and that only due to the shrunken head's warning. The family retrieves Zoka's gear from the barracks, including the three heads the gunslinger orders destroyed, and in return Zoka helps them develop a plan to stop the multiple threats to Durrow. However, seeing little hope for the city, Zoka takes off in the middle of the night.
Dante eventually tracks Zoka down, but rather than hostilities, Dante gives Zoka a small severance package and a promise that, as long as Fix's still stands, Zoka will have a place there. Zoka asks for one thing more, that Dante apologize to Severa for his leaving, and then Zoka and the family officially part ways.