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Nualia’s Story
The primary villain of “Burnt Offerings” is a bitter aasimar woman

named Nualia. A foundling raised by Sandpoint’s previous religious
leader, a man named Ezakien Tobyn, Nualia’s childhood was lonely
and sad. Her unearthly beauty made the other children either
jealous or shy, and many of them took to playing cruel jokes on her.
The adults in town weren’t much better—many of the superstitious
Varisians viewed Nualia as blessed by Desna, a sort of “reverse
deformity.” Rumors that her touch or proximity could cure warts
and rashes, that locks of her hair brewed into tea could increase
fertility, and that her voice could drive out evil spirits led to endless
awkward and humiliating requests over the years. Poor Nualia felt
more like a freak than a young girl by the time she came of age, so
when Delek Viskanta, a local Varisian youth, began to court her,
she practically fell into his arms in gratitude.
Knowing that her father wouldn’t approve of a relationship
with a Varisian (he wanted her to remain pure so that she could
join one of the prestigious Windsong Abbey convents), they kept
the affair secret. They met many times in hidden places, a favorite
being an abandoned smuggler’s tunnel under town that Delek
had discovered as a child. Before long, Nualia realized she was
pregnant. When she told Delek, he revealed his true colors and,
after calling her a slut and a harlot, fled Sandpoint rather than
face her father’s wrath. Nualia’s shock quickly turned to rage, yet
she had nowhere to vent her anger. She bottled it up, and when
her father discovered her delicate condition, his reaction to her
indiscretions only furthered her shame and anger. He forbade
her to leave the church, lectured her nightly, and made her pray
to Desna for forgiveness. In so doing, he unknowingly nurtured
her growing hate.
When the runewell in the Catacombs of Wrath flared to life,
Nualia’s own anger was a magnet to its magic. Seven months
pregnant, the wrathful energies suffused her mind and she
flew into a frenzy. She miscarried her child later that night, a
child whose monstrously deformed shape she only glimpsed
before blanching midwives stole it away to burn it in secret.
As the child had been conceived in the smuggler’s tunnels
below town, in close proximity to a hidden shrine to Lamashtu
(the goddess of monstrous births), the child itself was deformed
and horrific. The double shock of losing a child and the
realization she had been carrying a fiend in her belly for
seven months was too much. Nualia fell into a coma.
As Nualia slept, she dreamed unhealthy dreams. Fueled by the
wrath from below and the taint of Lamashtu, Nualia became further
obsessed with the cruel demon goddess and the conviction that her
wretched life was inflicted on her by those around her. She came
to see her angelic heritage as a curse, and the demon-sent dreams
showed her how to expunge this taint from her body and soul,
replacing it with chaos and cruelty. When she finally woke, Nualia
was someone new, someone who didn’t flinch at what Lamashtu
asked of her. She jammed her father’s door shut as he slept, lit the
church on fire, and fled Sandpoint.
The locals assumed Nualia had burned in the fire, a tragedy made
all the worse by the death of Father Tobyn as well. Yet Nualia lived.
She fled to Magnimar, where she enlisted the aid of a group of killers
known as the Skinsaw Men. With their aid, she tracked down Delek
and murdered him. Yet his death did not fill her need for revenge.
Sandpoint and its hated citizens still lived.
Seeing a kindred spirit in the tortured woman, the mysterious
leader of the Skinsaw Men gave Nualia a medallion bearing a
carving of a seven-pointed star called a “Sihedron medallion.”
Nualia learned that she had a larger role to play, and that her
dreams were a map to her destiny. Taking the advice to heart,
Nualia returned to Sandpoint, and found herself drawn to the
brick wall in the smuggler’s tunnels where she and Delek had
conceived her deformed child. Nualia bashed down the wall, and
in so doing, discovered the Catacombs of Wrath and the quasit
Erylium, also a follower of Lamashtu. For many months, Nualia
studied under Erylium’s tutelage. During this time, Nualia received
another vision from Lamashtu—a vision of a monstrous goblin
wolf imprisoned in a tiny room. In Nualia’s dreams, she learned
that this creature, a barghest named Malfeshnekor, was also
one of Lamashtu’s chosen. If she could find him and free him,
he would not only help her achieve her vengeance against the
town of Sandpoint, but he would be the key in cleansing her body
of what she had come to see as her “celestial taint.” Nualia wanted
to be one of Lamashtu’s children now. She wanted to become a monster herself.

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