Curse of Strahd
Zaleika (Lei) Lamasara
Characteristics: Generous, relaxed, charming, spontaneous, reckless, outgoing, strong joie de vivre
Personality Traits: I love the excitement of new people and places.
Ideals: There is no higher good than the pursuit of dreams. (Freedom)
Bonds: I’m chasing the spirit of my father to find myself.
Flaws: I’ll try almost anything once.
Mother: Jasleen Lamasara, a maid
Father: Clark Prescott, Esq., shipping magnate
Clark Prescott was a young, ambitious, charismatic upstart businessman who took a middling family business, Prescott and Son Shipping, started by his grandfather, and turned it into a major international shipping powerhouse using his charm and business daring combined with the wealth and connections of his new wife, Yvette Prideaux-Prescott, heiress to Silver Star Mercantile, the gold standard of merchant houses. They combined the two companies to form Prescott Silver Star, a shipping and trade conglomerate. For the most part, all goods are labeled with Silver Star (the trade portion of the company) and all ships bear the Prescott name.
The young couple grew apart as they argued over the clash of Yvette’s practical, almost stingy business sense and Clark’s near-reckless entrepreneurial spirit.
Jasleen was a maidservant to Yvette, a dark-skinned beauty from a small town in Osirion, and a first-generation urban dweller. Her parents moved to Athkatla when she was a small child to pursue greater economic opportunity. Their surname was taken from the name of their small home village. Jasleen always marveled at the lifestyle of the well-to-do, which is why she sought employ in a prestigious household as a maid.
During a long company trip, Clark’s fascination with the exotic Jasleen, the growing rift between the Prescott couple, and Jasleen’s admiration for her rich, dashing employer culminated in a short-lived affair that resulted in the conception of Zaleika.
When Clark realized what had happened, he knew that it would be clear that the child was conceived on the voyage. To cast suspicion off himself in an effort to save his marriage and his business, he fired his manservant, Martin Willis, effectively placing the blame for the pregnancy on him. Jasleen was torn with guilt for having indirectly caused Martin’s unmerited expulsion, and it remains a sore spot for her to this day.
Clark Prescott’s efforts to save what he had built resulted in a great diminishing of the dynamic personality that had previously been his hallmark, as he faded to the background in deference to his wife. Zaleika never knew the Clark Prescott that her mother knew.
Childhood and Youth, Call to Adventure
As Zaleika grew up, her mother never told her who her father was, only telling her stories of the kind of man he was—dashing, generous, handsome, and adventurous. Based on these tales, Zaleika would never imagine that Clark Prescott is her father (as he is a very different man from the man he once was), and she instead has a romanticized vision of her mysterious father as a roguish charmer, perhaps a pirate.
When Zaleika was 3 years old Julian Harrison Prideaux-Prescott was born.
When Julian reached school age, his parents brought in a tutor. Mr. Prescott, in an uncharacteristic push on Zaleika’s behalf, put his foot down that since there was to be a tutor in the house, no child in the household would go unschooled, so Zaleika attended class with her younger half-brother and Stefan, an orphan working with the chef. The tutor, Nicholai Fustinius, was an elderly, washed-up wizard with more scholarly bent than arcane ability.
One day during class when Zaleika was about 15, Professor Fustinius decided to try to dazzle his bored pre-teen pupils with a bit of a magic show, to perhaps inspire them to work hard to attain his level of “expertise”. He managed to conjure a small, compact ball of fire floating in one palm. Zaleika, barely realizing what she was doing, sought to mimic his trick. She unleashed a massive untamed column of flame that went from her hands to a nearby armoire, reducing it to ash. The professor managed to extinguish the fire before the whole room was consumed, but from that day on, the day her enormous arcane reserves were unveiled, he was extremely jealous of the girl, though he tried to rationalize her lack of control and precision as inferior to his skill. From then on he favored Julian even more heavily than before.
From that day on there was also a strict ban on any magic of any kind in the Prescott household. Thus, at the beginning of her blossoming as a sorceress, Zaleika was forced to hone her newfound skills in secret, and was frequently caught and punished for it. Around this time, Lei started spending less time working at the main house and more time at the Prescott Silver Star dock offices, and her ever-increasing absense suited everyone involved. As she spent more and more time over the years, she got to know the dock workers, sailors, and ships around the harbor, and this familiarity coupled with her fantasy image of her father combined to kindle a fascination for life on the seas.
Zaleika was never shy about meeting new people, so it was nothing extraordinary for her to welcome Ogg, a half-orc newcomer to the harbor. What was extraordinary, however, was the close friendship they developed. Lei’s enthusiasm and charm never failed to draw people around her, but the relationships were usually fleeting, due in part to her reckless impulsiveness. Ogg, an experienced sailor, taught Lei more about ships and life at sea , and in turn she imparted her optimistic energy and unquestioning acceptance.
Finally, Zaleika decided she had had enough of living such a stifled existence and was tired of waiting to chase her dreams. She left the house one morning with no intention of returning, taking only a change of clothes and a few treasured possessions, including some anonymous gifts from her father. Her farewell to her mother was brief, and her mother responded with a shake of her head and a fond, sad smile, telling Zaleika, “You’re just like your father was.” She joined a pirate crew and left to hone her power, follow in her father’s footsteps, and live a life of freedom and adventure. Naturally, she was thrilled when her dear friend Ogg unexpectedly agreed to join her! Her overwhelming excitement, however, blinded her to his conflict.
Lei hasn’t forgotten her mother, and sends her gifts of luxury items when she can find them. Plus it’s amusing to send packages to the Prescott house through their competitors!