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Jura

"...and then you can cut through the Drunken Frith and be back in Willowdale by nightfall."

You see an olive-skinned half-orcish woman talking to a horned dinosaur. When she notices you, she turns and waves.

Jura is a half-orcish druid, with a pet Zuniceratops named Zuni. Her greenish skin is deeply tanned and she walks confidently through the wilderness, acting as a scout, healer and guide. She carries a powerful scythe, but in battle often prefers to assist her companions with magic. She has recently become Archdruid of the Golden Fields Druid Circle, and is beginning to recruit members to the circle. Despite her vocation, Jura enjoys civilization and humanoid company and would never permanently live beyond the wall.

Though she is not particularly slow to use any of her druidic magic, her wild shape ability is most notable. In the wild, she takes animal or elemental form for scouting, combat, and bypassing obstacles. In Willowdale, she uses it for mundane tasks or to amuse children. Jura spends her downtime caring for her circle, teaching, working in Dr. Haiduc's General Hospital, and tending the Druid Garden. Every week, she asks questions of the nature spirits on behalf of her fellow Pathfinders, as recorded on the Commune Questions Log.


BackgroundEdit

Jura's family is a part of a travelling group of traders, entertainers, and dinosaur trainers. The caravan makes periodic week-long trips outside the wall in search of artifacts, unusual plants, and new dinosaurs for the herd. On one of these trips, the caravan travelled with a wandering druid who taught Jura the fundamentals of druidic practice. Jura left the group due to a personality clash with a "meddling aunt." As Jura became more familiar with the Pathfinders, she explained that her aunt had been throwing her at human men, even those who were obviously unsuitable, due to a belief that humans were superior to half-orcs. Jura finds this self-depricating attitude distasteful, and is proud of her "hybrid vigor."

Jura's younger brother Creta visited Willowdale in the month of Flamerule, and again for the Medal Ceremony after the The Battle of Willowdale. He mentioned that he had told the rest of her family where to find her, and that she should expect a visit soon. During preparations for Yule, Jura put together a small package of potions to give to her family when they arrive. She is eager to see her family again, but anxious about their first encounter with her new fiancee, Goshan.

OutlookEdit

JuraFace

Jura's druidic totem is not the dinosaur, though it's a good guess.

As a druid, Jura believes in the importance of balancing the civilized and the bestial natures within. She has come to see druidic shapeshifting as an expression of the essential "sameness" of living creatures, and seeks to transcend those barriers. Her upbringing left her with a relatively collectivist herd mentality: she prefers to cooperate with others wherever possible, and considers abandonment of a companion to be akin to murder.

Jura's attitudes on race were illuminated by a conversation with a bugbear gentleman named Sir Rexus. When Jura commented on the arrogance inherent in the term "humanoid" to refer to two-legged, two-armed sentient creatures, Sir Rexus stated that this was typical of Jura's race. Jura was surprised by the bugbear's categorization of her as a human, since she had always personally identified as a distinct hybrid. She later realized that while she embraces both sides of her heritage, she has mostly lived in human society, where her orc blood is distinctive and requires defending. She is curious to see how further contact with the orcs of the Sawtooth Vale might affect her thinking.

Since coming to Willowdale, Jura's indifference towards military matters has developed into a strong ambivalence. On the one hand, she has come to admire the courage and dedication of many of the individual soldiers she has met. However, her experience with General Wilson and growing understanding of Major Enicio Vargas has soured her on the military command, which she fears is prone to attack when it should defend and in doing so tolerates acts of cruelty.

RelationshipsEdit

PathfindersEdit

Jura generally gets along well with the other Pathfinders. Her strongest relationship is with Alejandra. The two first bonded in the stress of the Dark Omen, but the relationship rapidly strengthened over shared philosophy. Jura first respected the Paladin's steadfast demeanor, and this respect grew with understanding Alejandra's background and family. Jura was however frequently baffled by Alejandra's characterization of Jura's protective instincts towards her "Herd" as "kindness." Despite differences in outlook, Jura appreciates Dr. Haiduc as a fellow healer and for his open nature; the two frequently collaborate. She was originally unsettled by Gorgoroth's past, a background which she does not share, but grew to respect his skill and enjoy his company. Despite some concerns regarding Gorgoroth's developing taste for pain, she supported him and was pleasantly surprised by the eventual resolution of his confrontation with his father. Jura often comes into conflict with Rinzler, due to markedly different personalities and priorities, but such conflicts generally return to truce. Although she occasionally finds Kat's way of thinking frustrating, particularly her insistence on pursuing friendship with the Disciples, she is fond of the halfling and enjoys her sunny demeanor and skill with animals. For Kat's sake Jura eventually came to truce with the First. Likewise, though frequently baffled by Ruthea's obsessions Jura enjoys working with her. In the days leading up to the defeat of the Necromancer, she came to better understand Ru's moods and found herself in the role of confidante during Ru's brief break from Kat and Rinzler. Jura appreciates Erevis and Enrique for their desire to put the dead to rest. She assisted with landscaping at Nahisian Insights out of respect for Erevis and a desire to see aspiring necromancers taught by someone with a firm ethical framework. She was initially wary of Halstein given his aggressive response to Rahzer'ok, and particularly his willingness to threaten Noemia; this suspicion has disappeared since Halstein used a power of Fate to save Gorgoroth's life. Jura and Halstein have in many ways completely opposed philosophies, though this point has not created hostilities and the two cooperate well outside the wall. If anything, they are amused by each others' differences. She remembers Sir Roswell fondly; when Colonel Boyd mentioned Sir Roswell's efforts in obtaining aid for Willowdale against the Hobgoblins, Jura expressed concern that Roswell was getting himself into trouble on their account. Jura does not have any particular relationship with the other Pathfinders.

RomanceEdit

Despite leaving home largely in order to escape romantic pressure, Jura has run into a surprising number of romantic situations. At the urgings of Brother Harold's great-nephew, she agreed to an ill-fated blind date. Lewd comments have been directed at her by Calmex Igulan and by The Arch-Psion in their brief encounter. In addition, Yeslick initially assumed that Jura and Gorgoroth were partners, thought this appears to have been simply a result of encountering a male and female half-orc in the same party. Terminus claimed that according to ancient Orcish traditions, by scaring off a roc in Deepen Dale Jura had gained the right to take a wife, whereupon Enrique immediately suggested Alejandra; Alejandra objected on the grounds that she was already married. Jura received the embarrassing attentions of an elven merchant and a goat during a diplomatic mission to Alsea, and finally a proposal of marriage from a fey Rajah in the Shadow Lodge.

Jura's only true romance, however, has been with Goshan of the Knights of the Post. This was at first a mutual attraction, complicated by Goshan's outlaw status. As soon as Goshan was pardoned for his part in the Battle of Willowdale and moved behind the wall, he made several further advances. Jura initially informed him that although she returned his feelings, the rebuilding of the town would come first. Then, with Willowdale largely recovered, she began to make her own gestures to Goshan. On Beltane, Goshan proposed and Jura accepted his proposal, though she did warn him that her adventuring lifestyle might shortly make him a widower. Though Jura has mentioned to Alejandra a desire for children of her own, this will have to wait until after the immediate spectre of the Apocalypse has passed.

Rogaceu FamilyEdit

Because of her friendship with Alejandra, Jura has come to know other members of the Rogaceu family. She has developed a particularly strong attachment to Noemia. Her initial offer to assist with the girl's daily training routine quickly became a formal student-teacher relationship. Though this situation took Jura by surprise, she has taken to it with some enthusiasm. On learning how Noemia's extended family had pushed her away after her brother's death, Jura made a formal promise to her "to be a part of her herd, to defend and advise her as long as she requires it, to stand beside, behind, or in front of her as the case may be, but never to desert her." Jura has not informed anyone of this vow, although Jura's affection for Noemia is clear to any observers. In Noemia's training for the third druidic circle, Jura eagerly shared with her the best things in the natural world. However, on learning how Vargas used his position of authority to cause Julio's death, Jura developed a fear that she may bring Noemia into harm's way; to keep Noemia safe from even unintentional betrayal, Jura has attempted to develop her student's instincts and independent judgment. Though this has had mixed results at times, by the end of Noemia's training Jura was confident in her ability to grow as an independent druid.

Jura has also developed an odd rapport with Leão. For some time he maintained that Jura's affectionate demeanor towards Noemia could easily be concealing future betrayal. Understanding Vargas' role in shaping the family, Jura sympathized with his suspicions and attempted to make it clear that she sees Leão as a partner in keeping Noemia safe, rather than as an obstacle. Despite this seeming antagonism Leão freely shared many personal details about himself. When Noemia informed her brother about her potential trip into the wilderness on completion of druidic training, Leão confronted Jura and insisted that he be allowed to accompany his sister. He indicated that he was aware of Jura's promise to defend Noemia but considered these to be words easily broken if unsupported by action. Jura told Leão that it was not possible for him to join in the journey, and explained that his presence could adversely impact the manifestation of primal powers during the ritual. When Leão followed his sister on her vision quest in spite of Jura's warnings, Jura suggested that he accept transformation into a hunting dog in order to stay with Noemia, and Leão agreed. Circumstances took the edge off Jura's anger for the violation of the vision quest. Instead she worried that Leão was poorly equipped to understand the ritual he accidentally became a part of. Indeed, Leão soon revealed a concern that the primal forces he had seen would steal his sister away, like the Cinder Man had consumed Vargas. Together Noemia and Jura were able to assure him that this was not the case, and Leão eventually admitted he had never truly believed Jura had meant Noemia harm.

Jura sometimes encounters Ballantino at the Hospital, and has often sought him out when she has a question regarding the Rogaceu children, as she finds Ballantino particularly frank and insightful on this subject. Jura tends to be more deferential towards Ballantino than towards Alejandra, due both to their less extensive shared history and the fact that Ballantino with his philosophical bent and scimitar reminds Jura of her druidic teacher. However, Jura does not share Ballantino's faith that certain things will turn out well, and has informed him that since he sees no need to plan for the worst, she'll make her own plans to that effect. Such plans frequently plac a high priority on Ballantino's safety, due to his importance to Noemia and Leão, and role as the Pathfinders' primary healer.

Other RelationshipsEdit

Of the locals in Willowdale, Jura is closest with Martha, who took the younger half-orc woman under her wing soon after Jura arrived in town. Jura was the first to know about Martha's pregnancy and kept the secret for several months before blurting it out in the face of Kat's guess about Martha's mysterious illness. With Martha's permission, Jura then informed the remaining Pathfinders of the pregnancy and pressed them not to give Martha any sort of trouble over it. Jura also gets along well with Ned and Valconey, as they are always interesting conversationalists and founts of information on local and magical matters, respectively. Her relationship with Valconey was particularly interesting, given that the two had little shared background. Nevertheless Jura was drawn to Valconey's friendliness and frank demeanor, and appreciated his generous magical assistance. She also had a good deal of professional respect for the Reverend Mother, though this never developed into a true friendship.

In addition, she has several druidic pupils, with the first being Rahzer'ok and Alyenna. She defends her pupils and their interests fiercely, perhaps overly so. Notably, she took on this protective stance towards Kishori upon the drow priestess' request to join the druids, despite Jura's earlier reservations. This decision was made on the gorunds that she couldn't turn away someone who truly wished to learn nor shirk her responsibilities towards such a student once accepted. In this vein she also watches out for Terminus, though she finds that he does not need the same attention that her newer initiates do. In fact, Jura has at times asked Terminus for advice regarding the proper running of a druidic circle, a subject with which she has little personal experience. For Yule, the initiates enhanced Jura's druidic vestments; Jura was already rarely seen without these vestments and now seems to wear them constantly.

AdventuresEdit

Jura has relatively few scars for a half-orc. As a child, her family usually took efforts to prevent scar formation in order to fit in better among human company; her only significant scar on arriving in Willowdale was a mark on the leg obtained falling off a riding dinosaur. However, despite the use of healing magic she has gained five prominent scars in her adventures. The first is a frostburn mark along the upper-left side of her chest and neck, left by the First's cold spells at the Battle of Willowdale. The second is an abdominal scar from being impaled by the Cinder Man on their first encounter. Alongside this is a ragged scar from being almost torn apart by a Glabrezu sent to retrieve the Cinder Man's soul. She has obtained a set of thin lines on her arms from an Ecorche's thankfully unsuccessful attempt to skin her alive. Finally, the Necromancer's final spell, a twinned burst of acid and lightning, left a number of burns. When in civilized company Jura sometimes minimizes the appearance of these scars using her shapeshifting abilities.


Battle of WillowdaleEdit

Before the battle, Jura took part in the recruitment of the Firewalkers and received an enchanted blade from the Nymph of the Lake for use in battle. She was also a member of the siege engine strike team, which was able to destroy the hobgoblin army's entire complement of heavy catapults and trebuchets before the battle took place.

During the battle, Jura was primarily present on the wall, where she applied suppressing fire on the oncoming army and assisted in treating and evacuating the wounded. She participated in the fight with the Praetor, weakening him with a Frigid Touch and providing healing energy when the Pathfinders were nearly spent.

After the battle, Jura first assisted in recovering the body of the Reverend Mother from a collapsed portion of a watchtower. Once the wall was cleared of wounded and she had ascertained the safety of Alyenna, Zuni, and Rahzer'ok, she slept just long enough to clear her mind for the Reincarnation of Wutog and the two Knights of the Post, Hanz and Kreator. Later, she tended to the wounded and cleared the Golden Fields, salvaging the destroyed seige engines and filling in the large pit dug in front of the gate. She insisted on performing this work manually where possible. The battle left her with a grim attitude for several weeks. Though she quickly regained her general good spirits when the Pathfinders again began to venture outside the wall, she returned to adventuring with increased intensity.

Cinder ManEdit

Jura first became involved with the quest to find the Cinder Man due to her friendship with Alejandra. However, when the true nature of the Cinder Man was discovered, she soon realized that she had a personal stake in the matter as well: as a druid, she was required to address the imbalance the Cinder Man represents, and as a defender of Willowdale she was compelled to stop him before he brings his path of destruction further north. The Pathfinders' initial encounter with the Cinder Man left Jura with a healthy respect for his power and a new scar. In their second encounter she avoided the Cinder Man himself as per Alejandra's request and instead used area attacks to control his army.

The NecromancerEdit

Jura participated in a number of strikes against the Necromancer, including acquiring a book of prophecy from the Cathedral of the Blackened Sun, ejecting the Fifth from the Sawtooth Vale, and destroying the Gem Mine. In the final Ascent of the Bone Ziggurat, she played a largely supportive role. Prior to the assault she organized a large number of magical supplies. Some, such as the addition of Paladin's Sacrifice to the Saint's Shield and Rings of Counterspells charged against Dispel Magic, proved highly useful in the encounter. Others, such as a Counterspelling of Dictum provided by the Rodinian Templar, were not used. During the assault she maintained protective spells on the Pathfinders and provided other magical support, as well as emotional support for Alejandra as the latter dealt with the loss of her son to the Necromancer.

OtherEdit

Jura was a part of the expeditions that discovered the Rheic Sea, tracked down the Lost Adventurers, returned Yeslick to the Underdark, freed the Bird-Man, and overthrew the Orc King, thus making diplomatic ties with the Sawtooth Vale. She assisted with completing the key and skull rooms in Rathbone the Red's Tower. She took part in many expeditions to Sosostriss' tower and was eventually present when the Pathfinders met the sorceress and revealed to her the nature of the Necromancer. She located Rubikon and with the help of other Pathfinders defended him from assassins. She was also part of the hunting parties that slew the Wolden Beast, Amurru, and Icaserat, and the one that defeated the Night Hags in the Witch Woods. She assisted in the arrest of Jacob Plainsview, though she did not participate in building the case against him or in the subsequent looting of the estate. Though she was part of the first group to enter the Church of St. Christopher, she was not involved in the further purification of the church. She was part of the group that located Sister Tamoko, though she did not enter the Abbot's Room. She attempted repeatedly to locate the Ravenswood Druids, though she was eventually forced to admit that any survivors were hopelessly scattered. She kept an eye on local matters of interest to the Secret Society of Willowdale; though many of these issues were resolved, she still regrets never having found Ned's Mothman.

Keys have appeared repeatedly in Jura's adventures. In addition to solving the Key room in Rathbone's Tower, she drew the Key card from his Deck of Many Things. In the Shadow Lodge she won the exit key from a Rajah in a game of cards and then drew the Queen of Hearts from the Firewalker Patron's deck, a card which corresponds to the Key in certain magical decks.

TitlesEdit

Affiliation TitlesEdit

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