|Surayah el Farrahd has always been one of the most interesting NPCs in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn to me, despite her two meagre lines of "F-father, I thought I heard a noise?" and "Aiiiiieeee!!!!" Perhaps it is because, like the character of Moira Delryn, she serves little purpose outside her death, and how that death affects Anomen. To me, that leaves a lot left unexplored.|
My initial plan to develop Surayah as a joinable NPC had some very broad goals:
|While I've since seen it assumed that Surayah was a child (Could it have been her annoying sound bite?), my natural inclination had always been that she was of the same age as Moira, who Anomen laments is at least old enough to be married and away from nursing their father, making Surayah's murder a true 'eye for an eye' arrangement.|
|Surayah will gradually reveal details of her past and family over banters with the PC and NPCs. She will steadfastly avoid mentioning her family name, that Saerk el Farrahd is her father, and she will only refer to Yusef as 'my oldest brother' until the Delryn/Farrahd fued reaches a crisis point. Facts she will acknowledge openly include:
She was born and raised in Calimport, but Athkatla has become her home base over the past five years. While she expresses some dismay over certain traditions of her homeland, such as slavery, a teensy amount of Calimshite cultural elitism will shine through. After all, she is the only legitimate daughter of a pasha, and her ancestors are traceable back to the Shoon (though only on her mother's side). Everyone knows they brought civilization to Amn! She also finds the Cowled Wizards' stranglehold on magic in Athkatla absurd. As far as she is concerned, wizadry is a labor-saving device, and anyone clever enough to learn enchantments should be free to wield them at large, so she will support any scheme to tweak or sidestep the Cowled Wizards' authority.
Surayah will be found in Athkatla in the Garden of Lady Firehair, a temple of Sune that will be added in the southwest corner of the Temple District. The beginning of her devotion to the goddess of beauty and love will be tied to her relocation to Athkatla at age fifteen. As Surayah will admit when insulted about her faith, "If the point of my religion was just to have sex all the time like you paladin-types seem to think, I would have stayed in Calimport and dedicated myself to Sharess!" Surayah will champion true love, encouraging any lovers she sees as earnest to follow their hearts. She will also do her best to treat everyone she meets in a loving, friendly manner, no matter how disgusting, dull or boorish she finds them in principle. She accomplishes this with varied degrees of success. Naturally a very passionate person, she has worked very hard to portray a patient, tolerant, forgiving demeanor even when her instincts cry foul. To her benefit, the Calimshite tradition of maintaining face, a societal tradition of saying one thing, then thinking or doing another, has given her plenty of practice complimenting people she otherwise holds in disgust. To her discredit, being raised a spoiled daughter of a wealthy Calimshite household, she has trained notions of acceptable cruelties, lies and machinations that tempt her constantly to perhaps bend her behavior in a less-than-perfect-Sunite way. Sometimes her true reactions slip imperiously to the surface, her tongue becoming more sharp than sweet.
Surayah will present herself as a bard aspiring to become a Heartwarder for the Temple of Sune in Athkatla. Her skills as a bard (while not a usual class for a Calimshite) focus on music and dance, deriving from having had access to harem training from the time she could walk. She will offer up a few songs, some for banter purposes, some for new spells. While naturally intelligent, Surayah is not exceptionally dedicated to using that intelligence in the most challenging of ways. Given the choice between washing her hair and scribing a new spell, she would probably choose to wash her hair. Still, Surayah did have a thorough stable of tutors growing up, including some of the most talented wizards of Calimport's Scribe Sabban, so she is well-educated despite her distractions. Her weapons of choice are the scimitar, the whip (treated as a flail but with slashing damage), and daggers (specifically the jambiya and her zills, which can be thrown for slashing damage when not being used as finger cymbals in a dance).
Between following Sune and her harem-influenced childhood, Surayah takes grooming very seriously. She carries a velvet pouch with her wherever she goes containing various items, some of which hold no purpose other than helping Surayah present her most alluring self. As a consequence, she often appears vain and shallow, though she is capable of deeper thoughts.
|Surayah's stats are as follows:
Surayah has reason to believe that she has inherited the 'Bloodline of Fire' through her mother, how Calimshites refer to those who have decended from the efreet who ruled over the desert thousands of years past. Highly diluted over a hundred generations, the effects of efreeti blood in a Calimshite varies in manifestation depending on the person. This trait can show itself in a physical manner, such as eyes that glow red or gold, or in an innate magical gift such as skill casting cantrips of fire or air or a natural ability to levitate. In Surayah's case, the most glaring evidence of the fire in her blood was that she was born with abnormal feet, her toes naturally curling upward. Her father, or course, paid a wizard to correct them with thaumacosmetic surgery at a young age, as rich fathers in Calimport tend to do whenever their offspring sport an unsightly extra eye, mist instead of an appendage, or simply don't particularly look like their fathers (the most frequent reason).
| Some features I'd like to include in this mod:
| Sune Temple Music #1 (@730K) - I took 'The Lady's House' from the Baldur's Gate Soundtrack, rearranged it, and added in some harp playing on my Alesis.
Surayah Sample Song Banter(@300K) - This little ditty is the subject of a banter with Anomen and Aerie. (Lyrics adapted from 'When Diana Lighteth Late Her Crystal Lamp' of the Manuscript of Benedictbeuern, ca. roughly 13th century. Music, vocals and suspiciously Southern vowels by B. Rutledge)
|Click on the above links for the full-size screencaps. Some are for the new Sune Temple area; others are of Surayah's equipment and some sample banters.|