About Aristaios of the Upper Reach
1st: Monk (Unchained); Bonus Feat (Dodge), Flurry of Blows (bonus attack), Stunning Fist, Unarmed Strike; Favored Class (Monk), +1 skill point
M Tiefling Monk (Unchained) 1 Age 25
LG Medium Outsider (Native)
Patron Deity: Iomedae
Init +3; Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6
AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+ 3 Dex, +2 Wis, + 0 armor, +0 shield, +1 dodge)
Hit Points 11
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +2
Speed 30 ft. (30 ft. base)
Melee Temple Sword +4 (1d8+3 19-20/x2), Dagger +4 (1d4+3 19-20/x2) or Unarmed Strike (1d6+3 x2)
Space 5 ft., Reach 5 ft.
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB +4; CMD 17
Trustworthy - Despite his infernal mien, Aristaios has always had a talent for putting people at ease and getting them to trust him. In his youth this was used in confidence games and sob stories, but now he uses it to gain friends and allies, and help others.
Skills (8 points; 4 monk, 1 int, 2 background, 1 favored class):
Racial Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Charisma, Darkvision 60 ft., Fiendish Sprinter, Prehensile Tail, Spell-Like Ability (prestidigitation at-will)
Languages: Common, Halfing, Infernal
Location: On Person
Money: 1 GP 0 SP 0 CP
Monk's Outfit 2 lbs. - 5 GP
Temple Sword 3 lbs. - 30 GP
Cheap Holy Text (The Acts of Iomedae) 1 lb. - 1 GP
Total Weight: 8 lbs.
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.
Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every 4 levels thereafter, a monk can select a bonus feat. These feats must be taken from the following list: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Def lect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Scorpion Style, and Throw Anything. At 6th level, the following feats are added to the list: Gorgon’s Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility. At 10th level, the following feats are added to the list: Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack. A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.
Flurry of Blows (Ex): At 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When making a flurry of blows, the monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus. This additional attack stacks with the bonus attacks from haste and other similar effects. When using this ability, the monk can make these attacks with any combination of his unarmed strikes and weapons that have the monk special weapon quality. He takes no penalty for using multiple weapons when making a flurry of blows, but he does not gain any additional attacks beyond what’s already granted by the flurry for doing so. (He can still gain additional attacks from a high base attack bonus, from this ability, and from haste and similar effects).
At 11th level, a monk can make an additional attack at his highest base attack bonus whenever he makes a flurry of blows. This stacks with the first attack from this ability and additional attacks from haste and similar effects.
Stunning Fist (Ex): At 1st level, the monk gains Stunning Fist as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 4th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect. At 4th level, the monk can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature fatigued by Stunning Fist cannot become exhausted if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration.
Unarmed Strike (Ex): At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks can be with fists, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk can make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk can apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes. A monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, although he can choose to deal nonlethal damage with no penalty on his attack roll. He can make this choice while grappling as well.
A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
The damage dealt by a monk’s unarmed strike is determined by the unarmed damage column on Table 1–2: Monk. The damage listed is for Medium monks.
Aristaios was born in the city of Westcrown, to a tiefling couple in the Rego Cader, or Dead Sector. Abandoned by the city and left to rot, it was a haven for people unwanted by the rest of society, and Aristaios' parents were no different. On the night he was born, his father made shadow puppets by candlelight, while the baby watched from his mother's arms. The shadows were a variety of fiendish monstrosities before the man scooped up his son and raised him over the shadows, making his greater than all of them, better than any fiend. The pair vowed to give their little one as safe a life as possible and named him Aristaios, "the best."
His parents made good on their promise, using their talents with thievery and thuggery to keep Aristaios safe from the thugs and gangs that ran Rego Cader's dilapidated streets. Unfortunately, when he was still a child, a terrible disease swept through the sector. Both his parents became infected, and he knew loss for the first time when they passed and were piled with the rest of the corpses to be burned. He stood at the pyre, crying in fear and grief, wondering what would become of him now. Fate provided and answer in the form of an older tiefling boy who watched the lad and offered a raggedy coat to him. The boy called himself Palaveen, and said he knew a place where Aristaios could stay.
Palaveen brought Aristaios to an old apartment building he shared with a band of other tiefling youths, some orphans, others just friends. He told him that no one was going to look out for them in this city, in this world, and that it was up to tieflings to stick together and help one another. Aristaios was comforted by these words, reminded of his parents. Unfortunately, Palaveen had other plans. He and the other tieflings in the ruined apartment were a gang of pickpockets and con-artists, stealing things from the richer parts of Westcrown to survive, and Palaveen had just recruited Aristaios to be their newest member. In order to be protected from others and get enough food to survive, Aristaios was instructed to work, first by doing minor things like cooking and cleaning while the others were away, but soon he was brought out of Rego Cader for the first time to participate in a scam.
Aristaios was blown away by the city outside the Dead Sector, a beautiful city of white marble and golden towers. Palaveen, however, said it was a disgusting place, full of humans who wouldn't hesitate to spit on him or even kill him if they felt like it. So, he reasoned, Aristaios should feel no guilt in distracting a particularly fat trader so Palaveen could nick his purse. Aristaios did as he was told, and Palaveen noticed he had a knack for appearing innocent, for getting past the defenses the avereage Chelish citizen normally put up when encountering tieflings. He used this to his advantage, having Aristaios butter up or deceive various marks before Palaveen closed the trap. For years, Aristaios did Palaveen and the gang's bidding, earning a small amount of respect for his persuasiveness, until he was about twelve, when things changed.
Palaveen had become more avaricious and more cruel in the days since he first recruited Aristaios, and decided that small-time things like pickpocketing and shell games were beneath the gang's caliber. He began to do work for larger, more ruthless gangs, having his friends run errands for them, and even perform protection rackets within Rego Cader, extorting money from the already downtrodden. Aristaios was ordered to turn on his charm to persuade people to part with their coin, food or whatever else was wanted, or risk a beating. This never sat well with Aristaios, especially as it was no longer rich strangers he was taking from, but from the gang's neighbors and some people he'd even befriended in this time by sharing his portion of the take. Eventually things came to a head when he and Palaveen got into an argument about the direction the gang was taking. Palaveen tried to assert his authority over the younger boy, but Aristaios declared that Palaveen was betraying the lessons he'd taught him as a child. Aristaios finally decided enough was enough, that he'd leave with his friends and start his own gang. Palaveen was furious, and after Aristaios left the room, took drastic steps. He contacted a press-gang from the neighboring Rego Cura, where the slave market was, that had been running though the Dead Sector lately looking for easy prey, and offered Aristaios to them. Tieflings were cheap and they weren't very interested, so Palaveen sweetened the pot by offering up Aristaios' friends in the bargain. And that night, the apartment was raided, and strong humans with wicked smiles and strong arms set upon those Palaveen pointed out. Aristaios was horrified and crushed by what happened, crying again as Palaveen jeered and harangued him as the kids were dragged away. Before the group could reach the gates of Cura, however, they were set upon by a roving pack of shadow beasts. It was just the moment Aristaios needed to escape, he and the other kids scattering into the streets as the men were trapped and killed.
Aristaios didn't know what to do now. There was no place for him in Rego Cader, the only home he'd ever known. There was no place for him in the other Paregos either. Tieflings had to stick together, and he'd lost even that connection. He was truly alone. Desperate and afraid, Aristaios did something he'd previously thought unthinkable. He left Westcrown behind, running into the woods north of the city until he could go no further, and curled up in a hollow beneath the roots of an old tree, where he cried himself to sleep. And as he slept, he dreamed. The dream was vague, at first, just snow and stone, until finally his vision cleared and he saw an imposing building before him, like a temple or something, with a sword wreathed in light above the great double-doors. When the sun's real light awoke Aristaios, he found the image of that temple and its sword staying in his mind. He decided that, if there was no other place for him, he might as well try to find that place.
It took him almost a year to do so, wandering from town to town, begging his bread and sleeping in doorways, searching for any scraps of information about such a place. His wandering led him east, through the Whisperwood and high into the Aspodell Mountains. It was here, on a snowy winter dawn that he found the Monastery of the Upper Reach. He pounded on the door and was greeted by a cadre of surprised monks. He told his story to them and though they listened, he soon found the door shut in his face. After all, how could a tiefling be called to this holy temple of Iomedae? He tried again and again, begging for admittance, telling them he had nowhere else to go, until the door opened again and he almost put his fist in the face of a stern and imposing woman, who said only one thing: "I believe you."
This person, Abbess Helsan Torvill, brought Aristaios into the monastery and gave him a meal, sitting with him while he'd had the best meal in his entire life. Helsan said she'd been told in a dream that a pilgrim would come, seeking something he didn't understand, and he would be the greatest student she'd ever taught. Though she admitted even she was somewhat surprised that this pilgrim turned out to be a tiefling, she knew the goddess didn't pick cowards for her chosen ones. She offered Aristaios the opportunity to join her order, the Children of the Upper Reach, and having no better options, faced with the first person to treat him with true kindness in years, Aristaios agreed.
Aristaios spent the next ten years among the Children, learning their special form of martial arts, the melekatha style. Abbess Torvill also taught him how to read and write, and inducted him into the faith of Iomedae. While most of the other monks were still skeptical that a devil-spawn could serve the Inheritor in any capacity, but over the years, Aristaios showed his dedication, willing to put up with any pummeling they could bring upon him in sparring, a fearless struggle to keep his anger at the world under control. He slowly won over the other monks, rising through the ranks of the order, studying at the feet of the Abbess herself.
Ten years later, the Abbess approached Aristaios while he meditated, and had him walk with her. She revealed that she had nothing more to teach him. She had given him the tools he would need to work Iomedae's will in the world. He was stunned, even a little hurt, feeling he was being cast out, but the Abbess assured him it was not because he was the least of them, but the greatest, just as her dream implied. It was now his sacred duty to carry melekatha away from the monastery and into Cheliax as a whole. His path was now his own. Aristaios nodded. He knew the perfect place to start. Where it all began: Westcrown.
Valiant; Aristaios' courage has grown strong from his time in the monastery, and he is unafraid to strike against evil and injustice. He knows that in Cheliax this kind of zeal would likely draw the ire of Asmodeans, so he tempers it as much as he can in public, something he struggles with as his infernal heritage pulses and thrills at the thought of violence in the name of order.
Inquiring; One of the most surprising changes Aristaios' life in the monastery brought him was an education. Not only did the monks teach him martial arts and the Acts of Iomedae, but how to read and write, and how to question and seek truth. Now that his teachers have nothing left to teach him, Aristaios is always seeking opportunities to learn, hoping each one is a step closer to enlightenment.
Patient; A core principle of the melekatha style is to watch and wait, observing one's opponent, gaining a sense for their energy and how best to turn it back upon them. Aristaios works to perfect this method, avoiding striking the first blow and trying to wear down opponents. He's struggling to show this kind of patience outside of combat.
Vengeful; Despite his new philosophy and faith, Aristaios hasn't forgotten Palaveen's betrayal all those years ago. This rage has festered over the years into a hatred of injustice that he struggles to control in a very unjust city. While it is something he's improving on, he still has much to understand about mercy and redemption, things his childhood had neither of.
Loyal; Even as his trust was toyed with and abused in the past, Aristaios remains staunchly loyal to those who he considers his friends. He's more careful with his trust now than he was as a youth, but that's just common sense in Cheliax. Those who share his vision of a Westcrown free of fear and injustice will find him a tireless ally.
Austere; Having grown up poor and having lived as an ascetic for ten years, Aristaios has learned how to survive without much. He values potent magical weaponry, especially swords, but luxuries like big houses or expensive clothing or rich food are pointless in his eyes. If he does receive gifts, he prefers pragmatic ones and tends to pay them forward by giving them to others who may need them more than he does.
Wt: 190 lbs
Hair: Long, black, and bound in a braid
Eyes: Red irises, with fiery pupils
Skin: Dark red
Aristaios is a tall, athletic man, appearing much more healthy and well-groomed than the average tiefling peasant. His red eyes are, ironically, overshadowed by what appear to be flames backlighting his pupils. He has angular features, and a goatee. His black hair is tied into a thick rope-like braid. His dragon-like horns sweep back from his temples and curl back, along with a third, curved horn sprouting from his forehead. He dresses in white robes of the Minkaian style, with a red band along the edges. He eschews a hood because his horns get in the way. Tucked into his belt is a hook-like dagger and his temple sword, a straighter specimen than the kind normally seen in the Inner Sea region, with a sickle-like end. His toenails appear sharp, like claws, resulting in a tendency to go barefoot much of the time.