Katja van Oostendorf
Obnoxious smartypants, priestess of Tarlan (Lady Luck)
Combat Role: heavy crossbow, healing, abjurations, support magic
Other Aptitudes: stealth/tracking, knowledge skills, bluff/diplomacy/sense motive, gambling
Katja Oostendorfer was working as a serving wench in the Tochlandic embassy in Tillondale when Hyoden arrived. She’d had a run of bad luck gambling and was facing deportation from the Elven Forest. Hiding among Balric’s domestic staff was supposed to be a way to get a little breathing room while she figured out her next move, but Fortune seems to have had other plans. Within a few days of her taking up work in the embassy, Thaddeus van Galtmeer arrived, seeking to warn Tochland of the threat posed by the drow. The pair became lovers, and she joined Hyoden in their travels.
Katja accompanied Hyoden on their expedition to the Green Fang but left the group with Thad to fight in the war against the hobgoblins. Both had personal reasons for joining up, hailing as they did from Oostendorf and the Galtmeer on the boggy eastern frontier of Tochland—lands that had been conquered and despoiled by the hobgoblins.
When the companions of Hyoden again encountered Katja, thanks to military honors, her style was now van Oostendorf, although she never attained knighthood. More noticeably, she’d been jailed for getting into a drunken brawl and seemed like a different woman. The campaign against the Khanate, while successful, had been especially brutal, deeply shaking her faith in humanity. Adding heartache to shellshock, Thaddeus had left her for another woman, a ranger attached to their scout force.
The Katja who’d rejoined Hyoden, while she lacked nothing in competence and dedication to the group’s cause, was an absolute mess off-mission, spending most of her time drinking, getting high on devilweed (and sometimes stronger substances), and bedding as many elven men as she could get her legs around. Her companions, mostly elves, found the abrupt change unsettling, and while the group continued to accept her as a useful ally, her new attitude alienated most of them. More disturbing was her spiritual drift, to a spot somewhere in between the priesthoods of Kashtar & Tarlan—a potentially disastrous mix, if the stories of what happens when clerics of both appear in the same place are true. She no longer appeared willing to use healing magics during battle, preferring a more offensive role. Some of the spells she employed, including animating enemy corpses on at least one occasion, were surely rewards for reverence to Lord Misfortune, a chaotic evil deity.
Though her companions were initially patient with her, this patience eventually frayed. Her use of negative energy spells also created friction with some of the group’s allies, such as Karalessa. After several confrontations with her allies & peers, including a harsh rebuke from Velona after one of her outbursts, she seemed to back away from the edge of the Abyss. Not long after (and just as bafflingly to her longer-lived companions), she returned fully to the priesthood of Tarlan and established a mission to care for war refugees near the Sorian/Tochlandic frontier.