The Isle of the Chosen
At just over three feet tall, and just under fifty pounds, Nyx is still a juvenile gnome. Most of her fans are not aware of her age or even her gender. She wears an array of matte-black leather belts and bandoliers over a magically knit Lycra suit that covers everything but her head, which itself is topped by an unruly mop of dingy blue-black hair. Though the clothing looks and functions like a cat-burglar’s outfit, it’s actually black and tight-fitting so that Nyx can crawl around a stage area without distracting from the performers. She also wears a set of protective goggles that have a jeweler’s loupe which rotates down over the right lens, and little welding shields that flip down over both eyes.
While her skill in arcane machinations is channeled through a wand, she will often build controllers out of odds and ends which she’ll screw the wand into to serve as an antenna. She does this because hitting a button is both more fun, and draws less attention than waving a wand about. She also uses the wand as a welding torch.
The style of her work is, above all, childish. Maybe not particularly girlish or boyish, but certainly childish. While wiring a breastplate for a shock or explosion rig, she’ll secure the wires with colored rubber tape. Sometimes in the shape of wicked flames… sometimes rainbows and unicorns.
Nyx collects, but doesn’t horde. She’ll fight tooth-and-nail for the latest in My Little Beholder or Hello Kobold merchandise, but once she has it she’ll discard it, disenchant it, or turn it into a controlling device the moment it gets in the way. She has a similar attitude toward money- doing everything she can to earn just a little bit more, only to turn around and use it to enhance a comrade’s equipment.
Though Nyx is a skilled thief, she does not generally use this skill to steal things of value for herself. More often she uses it to stay out of people’s way or pull pranks. For example, while crawling over a dwarf’s armor to wire a round of explosives, she might sneakily braid his beard and tie sparkly bits of wire into it. Ioun’s teachings were a natural fit for Nyx, who delights at the prospect of explaining things and, though ninety percent of her work is destined to explode, she maintains a pristine level of craftsmanship, keeping everything tucked away inside neat boxes or under colorful tape.
At her birth, Nyx was given several names by her parents and their friends, none of which seemed to take. Quilyssa seemed too dainty for her crass temperament, Xyrlynn was much too crafty for a girl who could neither sit still nor shut up, and Gurstine implied a gnome who could withstand more than a stiff breeze. After a few years of being unruly, unapologetic and generally contrary, she came to be known almost universally by the name her mother’s midwife gave her: Nyx.The girl’s gnomish animal companion through childhood was a small octopus whose intelligence sparked the girl’s creativity as much as its appearance solidified her as an outcast among the other girls who had more normal companions like rabbits, cats and ponies. From a young age, Nyx exhibited a ravenous appetite for knowledge both arcane and technical, striving to find an underlying physics to the aether that impelled the universe. Her early gnomish antics included improvised fireworks, smoke bombs and the like which made up for her otherwise unremarkable talent with gnomish cantrips. After a failed attempt to crash a traveling troupe’s performance ended up enhancing the show, she was welcomed into the troupe (then called the Wyld Styrges) and she took up pyrotechnics as a profession. Her parents weren’t particularly surprised or worried when they woke up and she was simply gone. Since she had little interest in performing, the position kept her off the stage, while allowing her to travel abroad and learn new things, always pushing the limits of her abilities. She became quite adept at affixing her devices to folks without their notice, and the constant threat of enraged elements necessitated equal ability in first aid. As the troupe’s popularity grew (almost entirely due to her extraordinary, if unrefined talents) Nyx became swamped with avid followers who harbored an insatiable need to see things “git blowed up.” Unlike most magician types, Nyx was always happy to show her fans how her tricks worked. Though, without the patience of a true teacher, such lectures had a tendency to go well over the heads of common onlookers. Fame, though, did not sit well with Nyx, who much preferred the attention of her adoring fans to be focused on her work rather than on herself.