"Tiny horns and spotted skin mark this woman as a tiefling, a half human with the blood of devils or demons. Lithe and liquid in her actions, Neeshka moves with a cat’s grace even when walking a brisk pace, her footsteps are nearly silent. Given to outburst of words and actions, her impulsive nature is as visible as her otherworldly heritage."
The earliest you can recruit Neeshka is level 2. As the only Rogue-class companion, Neeshka is an almost essential if the PC has no typical Rogue skills. While the Knock spell is widely available to get chests open, you will still lose part of its content if the chest is trapped and therefore destroys itself when you access it. Many dungeons have traps on floors as well.
Stats: Neeshka is unusual in that her starting statistics (Str 12, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 8 and Cha 12) have a point buy of 30 - two below that of a normal build. Maximize her Dexterity (and select the Weapon Finesse feat to utilize it properly). If you get Neeshka at later levels she will do these things automatically on her own. Her Intelligence is more than high enough once you learn the importance of the different skills she can use.
Feats: By default, Neeshka takes the Weapon Finesse feat at level 3, which works well with Two-Weapon Fighting, and later Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (in a light weapon of choice) and Greater Two-Weapon Fighting at level 15. This will double her attacks, including potential Sneak Attacks that can make short work of enemy spell-casters. The player may consider giving her Improved Critical to enhance her damage potential, especially since she's likely to wield two weapons most of the time. Similarly, It's also advisable to select two-weapon defense and improved two-weapon defense. The Toughness feat may be useful if her relatively low hitpoints are a concern.
Among her bonus rogue feats, Slippery Mind can compensate for her low Will saves. However if the player has her wear/use gear that confers immunity to mind affecting spells, this bonus feat slot is probably better spent elsewhere.
The feats Skill Focus (Disable Device) or Nimble Fingers are worth considering, as the DC for disarming traps is usually high in the game. Again however, a Headband of Intellect, coupled with Grobnar's Inspire Competence mode and/or the (Greater) Heroism spell may make the use of these feats unnecessary.
Skills: Rogues are all about skills, so familiarity with them will help maximize Neeshka's potential. Consider, for example, having have her Disable Device skill maximized at all times and having Use Magic Device sufficient for a modified 11 or higher. Many other skills can be kept at lower values. As of Patch 1.23, Appraise only works for the main PC (as well as all social skills), so skip this for Neeshka. Since she has many skill points available, it may be worth considering an investment in Craft Alchemy, or Craft Trap if you have familiarity with those skills.
As Neeshka will usually move around the battle field frequently, Tumble for avoiding attacks of opportunity is essential. The DC for Tumble is always 15, therefore values above 12 + 4 (Dex) - 2 (max light Armor penalty, for Chainshirt) = 14 are not necessary for moving; but for every 10 points in tumble you get +1 AC.
It is likely enough to raise only Spot and not Listen, since she can track opponents in stealth mode with only one of these skills and Spot has the advantage of acting as a countermeasure against feint. You may find there are enough items that it isn't necessary to maximize her Move Silently and Hide skills.
As Neeshka has an abundance of skill points (and the fact that she has relatively poor will and fortitude saving throws), Spellcraft may assist in her defense against spellcasters and spell-like effects.
Equipment: It is important for Neeshka to use equipment that protects against Enchantments. The Armor of Loyalty found early in the game is an example of a helpful item. Alternatively, you can keep her under the effects of Protection from Evil or similar spells as often as possible.
Anything better than Leather Armor usually gives Neeshka an Armor Check Penalty that affects most of her specialized abilities. Consider crafting a Belt of Agility for her when you have the resources for it. Together with Bracers of Armor, Neeshka can reach AC 32 (Dex 30 = 10 natural, +10 dodge, +4 from Belt, +8 AC from Bracers) without any Deflection or Natural Armor bonus. Using such equipment, it may be best to equip her with a robe.
Once she acquires Two-Weapon Fighting, Neeshka should probably wield a shortsword in both hands. Weapon focus and Improved Critical with this light weapon will increase her offensive capability against most opponents.
Battle: As with any DnD Rogue, try to avoid direct melee combat due to her uninspiring hitpoints. With a high enough tumble skill and the evasion feat, she can run away from attackers and ignore AoO's from her allies if she runs close by them, likely causing the attackers to select other foes. Move her around frequently to rear and side of opponents for her sneak attacks, as this is the only way she distinguishes herself in combat. This can later be skipped for undead and other opponents who are immune to Sneak Attacks.
The PC first encounters Neeshka on his/her way to Fort Locke where she is being harassed by soldiers suspecting her of banditry. The PC chooses to help her out and decides that it'll be safer for her to travel with the PC given the prejudices many locals have towards tieflings, despite Khelgar's protests about letting a "no good backstabbing tiefling" travel with them. Despite Khelgar's initial distrust of Neeshka, they become rather close, often bickering like brother and sister. Neeshka was abandoned as a baby and was raised by Priests of Helm who constantly tried to convert her. Even so, Neeshka always managed to get herself into trouble and decided to leave the priests after a "particularly moving sermon," but not before helping herself to the collection plate. She shows some dislike towards other female members of the party, especially Elanee and Shandra, with whom she often competes with for the PC’s attention.
Upon arriving in Neverwinter, she is greeted by old friends who are out to collect the bounty on her head set by her former partner Leldon. Leldon still held a grudge towards Neeshka for robbing him blind, which she did only because she was betrayed by Leldon after their last heist together over a year ago (which is the reason why she left Neverwinter in the first place). After a few more ambushes by Leldon’s thugs, Neeshka convinces the PC to take the fight to Leldon. She suggested that they could get even by stealing his lucky coin, which later turns out to be Neeshka's lucky coin which was stolen from her when Leldon betrayed her. After beating Leldon, who escapes via smoke potions, he later issues a challenge to Neeshka for the title of Greatest Thief in Neverwinter. The challenge was to see who could rob a famous art collector, named simply "The Collector"; (also known as Ninsy), first. Upon breaking into the vault, she is confronted by Leldon who is soon killed by Neeshka and the PC, and thus settling the issue on who is the Greatest Thief in Neverwinter.
At the end of the quest, Neeshka is abducted by Black Garius. If her influence is low, she apparently welcomes his opportunity to get back at the PC and willingly joins Black Garius. Otherwise, she is tortured in an attempt to turn her against the PC by means of a binding ritual, which was effective because of her strong devil blood. Depending on exactly how high of an influence the player has with Neeshka, she either breaks free from the spell and rejoins the PC, or her will is broken and she sides with Garius. If she sides with Black Garius, she is killed by the PC along with Garius and anyone else who turns coat. If she breaks the spell and rejoins the PC, she goes missing with the PC and everyone else after defeating the King of Shadows.
Mask of the Betrayer
In the Mask of the Betrayer campaign, if Neeshka managed to resist the geas placed on her, Ammon Jerro reveals she flawlessly escaped the collapsing Merdelain with an almost uncanny luck. During the ending of the campaign, if the player was freed of the curse, it is revealed that he/she would eventually be reunited with Neeshka along with Khelgar back in the Sword Coast during the epilogue . However, if Neeshka did not survive (or the player did not speak with Ammon), the epilogue just states the PC is reunited with Aldanon instead (bug note: even if Jerro tells you that Neeshka survived, she is never shown during the epilogue, and neither is Sand, this is because the game fails to set the necessary "Neeshka/Sand survived" variables during the conversation with Jerro).
Neeshka has a fairly timid and defensive demeanor due to the stigma associated with tieflings. She responds very favorably to any kindness or support offered to her, and often will only show courage if backed by the PC. If the PC is male, she is particularly territorial towards Elanee and Shandra (though not Qara), particularly when they first join the party. She seems to desire affection from the player, and with high influence (13+), will resist Garius' geas placed on her because she can't bring herself to betray the only person that ever showed her kindness.
True to her tiefling nature, Neeshka is a borderline kleptomaniac. She frequently swipes goods from others, checks companions' pockets for valuables, and will freely admit this to the player in conversation. She distrusts the City Watch, though is still supportive if the PC joins them and encourages him or her to bend the rules (such as dealing with the smuggled weapons).
There is much debate and speculation when it comes to Neeshka's heritage. It is known that Neeshka is only one quarter fiend, and that it was her grandfather that was the pure blooded fiend that started her family. A lot of subtle hints have been dropped within the plot which indicates she may be descended from a very powerful lineage. One of the reasons why Garius' binding was effective on her, even if her blood was diluted, was because of the strong lineage she descended from. Upon entering Ammon Jerro's Haven, many of the demons and devils bound there make remarks about her unique heritage. One of them points out that she has Baatezu (devil) scent about her. One of them also points out that a relative of hers may also be trapped within the haven, "perhaps a long lost father". Of all the fiends the PC encounters throughout the quest only Mephasm, a pit fiend in disguise, seems to show any special interest in her and refers to her as "little Neeshka". For an unknown reason Neeshka seems to have an allergic reaction whenever Mephasm is near, much like the reaction she gets when she stands too close to Casavir (because of his holy aura). It has been confirmed that Mephasm did have a role in Neeshka's creation, but what that role was has not yet been revealed.
- Aside from Bennon and Tremmel, Neeshka was supposed to have a third encounter with another of Leldon's thugs named Raines, who is rather psychotic. He mentions wanting to cut Neeshka's tail off and strangling her with it. This was removed from the final release of the game however. It would appear that the PC and Neeshka was supposed to run into Raines while in the slums.
- Neeshka was originally supposed to be a romance option for a male PC, but this was removed due to time constraints. Like Bishop, however, a great deal of dialogue remains that hint at romance.
- Her lineage is never fully explained like it was intended.
- Neeshka was voiced by Robyn Kramer.
- Although her character sheet shows her as true neutral, Neeshka behaves like the very archetype of a chaotic neutral character. However, because the developers intended diversity, and Qara needed to be chaotic neutral for conflicts with Sand, she was stuck stated as true neutral
- Neeshka is one of the (rare) possible summons from a Hellfire Warlock's Summon Baatezu feat. It can be amusing to see the two standing side by side.
- During the Rite of Tyr, if the PC is male and has higher influence with her than Elanee, Neeshka will offer to sabotage Lorne’s equipment with potions she swiped from Sand’s shop. This decreases Lorne's AC and damage by 5 respectively. Elanee, however, only offers advice to the PC, so a male PC benefits more from Neeshka.
- Her deity is Tymora.
- Despite the fact that she says Paladins make her skin itch in refrence to Casavir, she will never mention that to the PC if he or she is a Paladin.
- She is the only humanoid companion in the game with a tail.