Champion of the Black Wind

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By Proven Paradox at Divided by Zero.

"My lord, the farmers who were not able to pay your tribute have been rounded up and put into the prisons." The guard stood before Lord Forthing rigidly, the fear of his master obvious on his face. The only thing he dreaded more than his wrath was the fate that awaited the helpless, poor folk he had been forced to gather up for that week.

Without looking up from his extravagant meal of duck seasoned with exotic spices and the finest elven wines, Jerith Forthing simply waved to the man. His new slaves would supply a few weeks labor for his silver mines before the creatures in the caves killed them, and their fate was of no interest to him. The guard left quickly, relieved to be free of his lord's gaze for a while longer. He tipped the remainder of wine in his elaborate goblet down his obese throat and slammed the cup down on the well-polished, elaborately carved oaken table. A servant hurriedly came forward and refilled the goblet. He quickly took another drink, then promptly fell over dead, the poisoned wine pooling around the vile man's corpse like blood, soaking into his silken robes.

In a nearby temple, Tamel Wryhen knelt before a shrine to Heironeous, tears streaming down her face and dripping onto her leather armor as she prayed for forgiveness for what she had just done. Forthing was among the most evil of scum on this earth, and everyone knew that those who he collected for failing to pay taxes were slain, but she also knew that the order would not condone her executing the man, especially not with poison slipped into his wine in the dark of night. No one else knew of her hand in this, but the burden of her guilt had still nearly driven her mad, and somehow she knew that someone would know. Her normally fair skin had become sickly pale, and her normally beautiful red hair hung lifelessly over her blue eyes, which were bloodshot from tears.

A set of heavy footsteps approaching her heralded the arrival of the order's captain, Toryn Pureheart. He bowed his head briefly in reverence to Heironeous, then sat in a pew near the shrine, looking on Tamel's kneeling form with a sorrowful expression. He took a long breath and began, saying, "I'm sure you've heard... The lord Forthing has been murdered, poison slipped into his wine. You wouldn't know anything about this, would you?"

The words hit Tamel like a brick to the gut. Pureheart knew. There was no avoiding it now; her time in service to the light was over, without a doubt. She stood, slowly, wiping the tears away, and turned to face her superior. To her surprise, there was another man there, sitting beside him, a man she had never seen before. She hadn't heard his approaching footfalls...

"It came to me in a dream." Toryn continued, his older face further aged by worry before her. His voice was heavy with sorrow as he continued, "A vision of you slipping a potent poison into Farthing's wine. The world is indeed better off without the man, but you have violated the code. You..." He stopped and sighed. He never liked telling others to leave like this, but he mentally reminded himself that her ending would be slightly different. With this reassurance, he looked up to her, a sad smile on his face. "You cannot continue your service here in the light. I ask that you give me your badge freely, lest I must take it from you forcefully."

She had been expecting this. Expecting it and dreading it. Assassination was not acceptable from a paladin, and redemption for this misdeed wouldn't come. Slowly, she nodded and plucked the small metal badge from her leather chest piece, taking one last longing look at her reflection in the badge before placing it in Pureheart's waiting hand. She began moving to leave the temple, but before she got far, the other figure blocked her way. She couldn't make out the man's face beneath his hood, but his build was slight yet powerful, much like her own.

With a soft, harsh voice, the man spoke. "Your service to the cause is not necessarily done, young lady. I offer you a chance to use your skills to the fullest. You can no longer serve in the light due to your acts. However, not all that is good walks in the light. Will you serve good from the shadows, with my order? The Order of the Black Wind?"

((Thanks to Dani for helping with ideas and proofreading.))

The Champion of the Black Wind

REQUIREMENTS

Alignment: Lawful Good

Skills: Sense Motive 9 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks

Special: Sneak attack +2d6 class ability and (if using Fax's paladin variant) Grace mantle of faith and one other mantle or (if using the core paladin) Divine Health class feature. One cannot become a Champion of the Black Wind if they have taken the Purity, Honesty, Honor, or Justice mantle of faith. To qualify to become a Champion of the Black Wind, one must assassinate a well-known, powerful evil person without being discovered by the general populace.

Class Skills The Champion's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Forgery (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex), Use Magic Device (Cha), and Use Rope (Dex).

Skill points at each level: 6 + intelligence modifier

Hitdice: d8

The Champion of the Black Wind; non-Mantle progression

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+0+2+2+2Sneak Attack +1d6, Smite Evil +1/day, Black Wind Smite
2nd+1+3+3+3Bless Poison 1/day, Divine Senses
3rd+2+3+3+3Sneak Attack +2d6, Divine Stealth
4th+3+4+4+4Smite Evil +2/day, Favor of the Black Wind
5th+3+4+4+4Sneak Attack +3d6, Bless Poison 2/day
6th+4+5+5+5Hide in Plain Sight
7th+5+5+5+5Sneak Attack +4d6, Smite Evil +3/day
8th+6+6+6+6Bless Poison 3/day, Tools to do the Deed
9th+6+6+6+6Sneak Attack +5d6, Blessing of the Black Wind
10th+7+7+7+7Smite Evil +4/day, The Black Wind Howls


Sneak Attack (Ex): This is exactly like the rogue ability of the same name. The extra damage dealt increases by +1d6 at first level and every odd level afterward (3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th). If a Champion gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.

Smite Evil (Su): This is exactly like the paladin ability of the same name. The Champion gains additional smites per day at first level and every three levels afterward (4th, 7th, and 10th). Champion levels stack with paladin levels for damage from a successful smiting.

Black Wind Smite (Su): When ever a Champion uses a smite and also adds sneak attack damage to the attack, the damage added by the smite is doubled. For example, a rogue 3/ paladin 4/ Champion 2 would do an extra 12 damage when using smite and sneak attack at the same time, rather than 6. This ability does not function if the Champion is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Bless Poison (Su): When applying poison, a Champion may take some extra time to bless the poison by mixing a few drops of holy water with it (a full round action). Poison blessed in this way has no effect on good creatures that are subject to it. Any evil creature that is subject the poison's effect gets a –4 sacred penalty to their fortitude save to resist the poison's effects for both primary and secondary damage. In addition, all damage done by the poison is considered maximized on evil subjects. Holy poison functions normally on neutral targets. The Champion cannot accidentally poison herself while handling poison blessed in this way, nor can she accidentally poison herself while applying the blessing. A single vial of holy water contains enough liquid to be used for a single blessing with this ability. At second level, the Champion may use this ability once per day, and gains an additional use per day every three levels afterwards (5th and 8th).

Divine Senses (Su): Starting at 2nd level, a Champion may add her charisma modifier to all spot, listen, and search checks. This ability does not function if the Champion is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Divine Stealth (Su): Starting at 3rd level, a Champion may add her charisma modifier to all hide and move silently checks. This ability does not function if the Champion is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Favor of the Black Wind: Starting at 4th level, a number of times per day equal to the Champion's charisma modifier, she may cast Darkness as a spell-like ability. The Champion's sight is not affected by this darkness. The Champion also gains low-light vision permanently.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): The divine force the Champion serves subtly distracts nearby creatures from looking in her direction. Starting at 6th level, the Champion can use the Hide skill even when being observed. This ability does not function if the Champion is wearing medium or heavy armor.

Tools to do the Deed (Su): Starting at 8th level, the Champion may use all of her daily uses of Bless poison to spontaneously generate poison by the grace of her deity. This ability cannot be used if the Champion has used any of her daily uses of Bless Poison. The Champion may use this ability to produce an amount of poison of a GP value equal to her charisma modifier x 200 GP. Multiple doses of poison can be produced this way. All doses are produced as if under the effect of Bless Poison. The poison loses its potency after 24 hours. She may choose to generate the poison into a specified container or applied to whatever delivery agent she chooses, but must divide multiple doses up from a single container.

Blessing of the Black Wind (Su): Starting at 9th level, a number of times per day equal to the Champion's charisma modifier, she may cast Deeper Darkness as a spell-like ability. The Champion's sight is not affected by this darkness. The Champion also permanently gains darkvision 60 ft. or extends her existing darkvision by 60 ft. The Champion's darkvision (including any she had before this ability) ignores magical darkness.

The Black Wind Howls (Su): At 10th level, a Champion has become the master of serving the Light from the Darkness and has earned the personal favor of her deity, who provides her with a new form to better carry out her grim work. The Champion's type changes to Outsider (Native). She also gains the Good subtype. A number of times per day equal to her charisma modifier, for a number of rounds equal to half her character level, she may transform into a being of shadows. Transforming is a move action and provokes attacks of opportunity. While in this shadow form, she gains a +10 circumstance bonus to hide and move silently rolls. Also, all attacks have a 50% chance to miss (true seeing negates this effect). In addition, she gains a bite attack that deals 1d6 + strength modifier damage. Once per day, she may choose to have this bite deliver a potent poison that attacks an evil subject's soul; if the subject is evil, they must make a fortitude save (DC = 10 + Champion's character level + Champion's charisma modifier) or die. Good and neutral subjects are unaffected by this poison. A subject who dies to this poison must succeed a will save with the same DC or else be unable to be resurrected by mortal means (even wish or miracle). While in this shadow form, a Champion may also sprout shadowy, translucent wings as a swift action that does not provoke attacks of opportunities. These wings grant a fly speed of 60 ft. with good maneuverability. The Champion cannot fly on the same turn as they sprout wings.

The Champion of the Black Wind: Mantle Progression Variant

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+0+2+2+2Sneak Attack +1d6, Black Wind Smite
2nd+1+3+3+3Bless Poison 1/day, Smite Evil +1/day
3rd+2+3+3+3Divine Senses, Mantle of Faith
4th+3+4+4+4Smite Evil +2/day, Sneak Attack +2d6
5th+3+4+4+4Favor of the Black Wind, Bless Poison 2/day
6th+4+5+5+5Smite Evil +2/day, Mantle of Faith
7th+5+5+5+5Hide in Plain Sight, Sneak Attack +3d6
8th+6+6+6+6Bless Poison 3/day, Tools to do the Deed
9th+6+6+6+6Blessing of the Black Wind, Mantle of Faith
10th+7+7+7+7Smite Evil +3/day, The Black Wind Howls, Sneak Attack +4d6

The Mantle Variant is very similar to the original, but loses some class features in favor of gaining mantles as a paladin

Sneak Attack progression still begins at level 1, but increases by 1d6 every three levels afterwards (+2d6 at 4th level, +3d6 at 7th, and +4d6 at 10th).

Smite progression instead begins at level 2, and increases every four levels thereafter (for +2/day at 6th, and +3/day at 10th).

Divine Senses is gained at level 3 instead of 2.

Divine Stealth is lost.

Favor of the Black Wind is now gained at 5th level instead of 4th.

Hide in Plain Sight is now gained at 7th level instead of 6th.

In exchange, the Champion may choose a Mantle of Faith at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level from the following:

Abstinence, Charity, Humility, Mercy, Peace, Prudence, Redemption, Temperance, Valor, Alliance, Conviction, Diligence, Patience, Perseverance, Piety, Deceit**, Discretion*, and Luck*.

  • Because the Champion treads a blurry line in serving law and good from darkness, she receives access to a limited number of mantles. However, among these mantles a very small number that are normally only available to evil or chaotic paladins.
    • The Deceit mantle the Champion has access to is slightly different. The Champion may not place her allies in danger to protect herself, unlike the Deceit mantle that an evil paladin would have access to.
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