About Ary Bishop
Combat Reflexes: Ary will bash with her shield on any attack of opportunity that will cause an enemy to collide with a wall if successful. She will also always shieldbash a charge-type maneuver. She will shield-bash a foe away when closing with allies, when possible, but will use Radiance when they are retreating.
Stances: Ary will always enter Valiant Keeper's Stance during her morning meditation and after each combat ends.
Styles: Ary will shift into Vanguard Style as soon as able, unless something else hogs her first round action.
Special tactics changes will be noted during combat posts at the beginning of each post. (For example, if Ary wants to hold bodyguard back to intercept a minotaur's axe despite there being 4 kobolds, or if there's an obvious caster type, she might hold a charge in case he decides to hurl a touch spell.)
She gains a permanent +2 bonus to a skill of her choice. She gains 5 permanent hit points. She gains an additional +1 trait bonus to will saves (expanding Purity of Faith) and a +2 trait bonus to saves against fear.
Whenever Ary successfully saves against a mind-affecting effect from a demon, as an immediate action she can expend one use of mythic power to cause the demon to become staggered for a number of rounds equal to Ary’s mythic tier. The demon can reduce this effect to 1 round by making a successful Will Save (DC= 15+Ary’s mythic tier+Ary’s charisma modifier, so currently 16.)
Chevalier: +2 sacred bonus v. Fear and Emotion-based effects.
Ego: 5, 9 v. Nonmythic [Placeholder]
Legendary Power 3 (Legendary Surge 1d8)
Int: 12, Wis: 10, Cha: 14
Senses to 30 feet, Speaks Common, Celestial.
Resonant Regalia - Faith + Radiance (Always a Chance)
Circle V. Evil
Intruder's End [Counter]
Kill the Wounded [Strike]
Swallow Your Fear [Counter]
Silver Crane's Blessing [Boost]
Mythic Paragon: +2 to tier when determining the effects of paths, feats, and abilities, other than surges and prerequisites. This presently affects Perfect Aid, Mythic Leadership and Amazing Initiative.
Favored Enemy: Evil Outsiders: +4; Native Outsiders: +2.
Bonuses to: Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, Survival, Attack and Damage. Knowledge checks untrained. +2 saves v. Magical Effects of Evil Outsiders.
Demons Only: +3 to K(Planes) to identify (Total +7), Survival Checks to track (+10!), and Perception Checks to discover a disguise.
Track: +3 to following tracks.
Purity of Faith: +1 trait bonus to saves v. Evil Outsiders. (+3 including favored enemy)
Bravery, Chevalier, Boon, Tabard: +7 v. Fear.
Knight: +2 Sacred v. Emotion-based effects.
Favored Terrain: Forests: +2
Aegis: All allies (other than Ary) gain +1 to AC and Will Saves while within 10 feet.
Alignment: Lawful Good: Ary is Lawful Good, because anything less than heroic is simply unacceptable. Freedom is all well and good, but it's what lead to the fall of Sarkoris; if they'd banded together with the crusades in the first place, they'd still be free... and existing. Moving from somewhere as chaotic as the Stolen Lands (and ostensibly seeing how badly that ended), to something as structured as Iomedean Military gave Ary a new lease on life. She believes very strongly in doing things the right way in personal matters. As for good... well that's more complicated. Ary simply wants to be a hero. She strives to do things to better the world for others, and is willing to make sacrifices to make it happen. Her reasoning isn't entirely altruistic, but having a reason to do good doesn't make one any less good.
CMD: 28 (10 Base, 3 Dex, 5 Str, 9 BAB, 1 Def )
Hit Points: 129
Move Speed: 30 ft
CMB: +14; +16 with weapon-based.
Poking out from either side of this is Ary’s breatplate, shining silver, which is trimmed in gold and crimson, and backed by ebony toned leather. Attached to her left gauntlet is a crimson shield aparrently formed completely of a single gemstone, sleek and angular, such that the facets seem to catch and pool light. At the center of the shield is Iomedae’s holy symbol, with the sunburst facing forward in elegant curves that terminate in deadly golden spikes. The same gauntlet on that hand has all of the fingers free for full manipulation, and a ring adorns her left ring finger, while her right hand bears a raven motif along with the Pernigrais crest.
From her left hip hangs a scabbard that houses a mangificent blade made of what appears to be pure gold and exceedingly stylized, with a blade-catching handguard in a sun motif, and a long, sweeping blade that tapers cleanly. The hilt is wrapped in red leather with red ribbon resting in the pommel.
Attached to the braided cords in the back is a large, heavy-looking black bag. Attached to the bag are an assortment of weapons - a golden Lucerne hammer made from adamantine with a pennon dangling from it, depicting a lancer in a charge, a golden-stained mostly wooden longbow with a feathered motif etched carefully into the parts that are not loadbearing, and a circle of rope.
On colder days, Ary wears a black fur cloak that hangs heavily on her shoulders and obfuscates her backpack and form still further. Her red leather belt bears several small pouches - black and white leather, each cinched or uncinched as demand dictates with gold buckles or cinched tight with drawstrings. Her legs are lightly armored, mostly involving more heavy and dark leathers that match the leathers worn beneath her breastplate, which tuck into simple, sturdy black boots with red laces.
The Bishop line has existed within the realm of Kenabres since before the city's founding. They were there when Aroden overtook Deskari in the Northmounds of Deskaris. They were there when Aroden disappeared and the wound was overtaken. They were there when the First Crusade was declared. They have fought in every one of the Crusades since the first. But the Bishops are dwindling. Few of the once-proud line still exist in these lands: The demons and crusades have seen to that.
Ary's direct ancestors -save for one- have all been declared as heroes. Big shoes to fill. Bigger when every one of them was a paladin of Iomedae up until her father. Her father? He was a deserter. Big shoes to fill, indeed. Everyone could feel the fourth Crusade coming on. Having been raised with a errant father, no one could blame him for running off with his then-pregnant wife. What was unfortunate was what he took and where he went.
The Bishop line has a legacy, a shield, aptly named Faith, that is said to be unbreakable, which is only mostly true. It's made of an unusual green substance that regrows from even the smallest shard. It has been embossed with the symbol of Iomedae, cold iron spikes growing out of the rays of light of the sword. And Aaron took it with him when he fled. He thought it'd give him a measure of insurance, to ensure that his family would be taken care of where they were going.
But they fled into the Stolen Lands. Wild and Capricious at best, the farmstead that they built for themselves, and the life that they built amongst that fae-touched bandit-torn land was the best a deserter could hope for; no one came knocking at his door, because solicitors were rare in that particular neck of the woods. For a time, there was peace. The shield sat above the mantle, and Ary's questions were always turned aside.
She learned to hunt, take care of the land, defend herself, ride, and all other manner of survival from her father. She was very much her father's child, but was no coward. Even still, there's little a twelve-year-old can do when brigands come pounding at your doors carrying torches. There wasn't time to save even Ary's sister, all Aaron could do was put Ary on a horse, and tell her to gallop for the border, where she'd find support. All she had was the clothes on her back, and the shield was lost.
The horse knew the way. At least there was that. She arrived, shaken, and terrified, in a town that had no use or need for one more mouth to feed. She learned to scrape by, even still, but was forced to part with her horse. That fed her for a bit, but the world taught her of things her parents had not. Fear, and hunger, and shame. But there was a bright side. She found someone who had answers for the questions her father had turned aside. Someone who knew who she was, but never sought to tell her. A street-corner preacher. Proselytizing Iomedae's word. He told of several of the good gods' deeds, but Ary's favorites always told of Iomedae and her acts of courage.
Ary was still torn by her flight from home and suffering from survivor's guilt. But listening to the preacher's stories of the Eleven Miraculous Acts taught Ary of a woman who had not only strived against great and terrible things, but had thrived amongst them. A heroine who did not back down from her fear, and against impossible odds, changed the course of history. Ary would have given everything to learn from such a person, to stand by her side. So, one day, Ary asked to meet with someone who could teach her about Iomedae. And so she found her way into the church.
Several years passed as Ary learned the ways of combat, preparing to return to the World-Wound. Ary learned of her people's past, how her great great grandfather (Sebastian Bishop) had helped to push the Demons out of their homelands. She learned of how her great grandfather (Chancy Bishop) had taken up the fight in Drezen itself, never returning from the combat to see the sacrifice of Sarkoris, nor to see the fruits of the Crusade's labors: The wardstones. She learned of how her grandfather (Lucas Bishop) had sacrificed himself in a fool's errand during the third crusade (dying whilst his company fled, but holding a gate long enough for them to do so - a Baphomet traitor having lead them like lambs to slaughter). And she learned of how her father had fled it all, completely avoiding the Fourth Crusade, and leaving a scar within her family line... and a cracked wardstone in his wake.
Of perhaps more interest than her family's storied past, however, is the shield. Faith followed her family. No matter what had happened to her family line, Faith somehow made it back to them. In Ary's case, the shield was returned just as she was being prepared to move into Kenabres with her company. A paladin of Abadar had been scouring the land for bandits, and apparently found the shield amidst one of the camps. Knowing that such a weapon was not meant to simply be sealed away (and indeed, respecting Iomedae's wishes that a weapon that can be used must be used), passed the relic on to the church. Such a storied object had a clear and obvious owner, at least in the eyes of some. There are others that say that the shield shouldn't be trusted to the daughter of a deserter, but Ary simply hopes that the shield finds its way into capable hands... even if they are not her own.
Despite Ary's training amidst several paladins, her talents are not the same by any means. The training that her father gave her has stuck with her to this day: While he taught her to take down animals with minimal fuss, the same prospects held true for the enemies beyond the worldwound. Hit them where they're soft, and you give them a clean death. Even monsters deserve that.
Broken Blade, Golden Lion, Eternal Guardian (Old Dogs and New Tricks),
Initiator Level: 6 (1 Warder, 3 Ranger, 2 Trait)
You declare an area to be your protected sanctum, and dare
any foe to try their hand at entering your sanctum. With
each opportunity, you warp space, teleporting across your
domain to attack before returning. After initiating this
counter, your threatened area increases to 20 feet for one
round. This overlaps with, rather than stacking with, any
natural reach you otherwise have; if your natural reach is
greater than 20 feet, it is not reduced. In addition, for the
duration of this boost, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus
on attack rolls while making attacks of opportunity and
can make a number of additional attacks of opportunity
this round equal to your initiation modifier. This stacks with
the Combat Reflexes feat and other effects that increase the
number of attacks of opportunity you can make in a round.
Swallow Your Fear (Eternal Guardian 3) [Counter] (Eternal Guardian 3)
Your knowledge of fear and devotion allows you to absorb
and control harmful magics which can affect the mind. You
can initiate this counter in response to an ally (including
yourself) within 60 feet rolling a saving throw against a
mind-affecting effect. You or your ally gains a +4 morale
bonus on that saving throw, and if the save is successful, that
ally gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the
save DC of that effect for a number of rounds equal to your
initiator level .
Tactical Strike (Golden Lion 1) [Strike]
Any commander knows that in battle, footwork is
key. By utilizing this theory, the Golden Lion disciple
helps his comrades to understand this. The disciple
makes a melee attack against a foe; if successful, any
ally he designates within 10-ft. of his position may
make an immediate free 10-ft. movement without
provoking attacks of opportunity.
Kill the Wounded (Golden Lion 3) [Strike]
The Golden Lion disciple makes a ferocious assault
on his foe, opening the enemy’s defenses to the attacks
of his allies. The initiator makes a melee attack against
a foe and if successful, subsequent attacks made by
the initiator’s allies inflict an additional 2d6 points of
damage per successful attack until the initiator’s next
Blessed Pinions (Silver Crane 2) [Strike]
The pinion feathers of the Silver Crane’s wings gain
an ethereal glimmer as if they were blessed steel.
Heavenly agents guide their disciple’s attack so it may
strike true as if it were blessed, even allowing it to
strike the unseen. Make an attack against a foe that
inflicts an additional 2d6 points of sacred damage and
the attack is considered good aligned for the purposes
of overcoming damage reduction. The disciple may
also choose to strike incorporeal foes with this strike
as if they were made manifest, including fiends who
currently possess a creature. To strike a possessing
fiend, the body they inhabit must be also struck,
but all damage from the attack is inflicted upon the
possessing fiend without harming the host.
Stance of the Silver Crane (Silver Crane 3) [Stance]
Discipline: Silver Crane (Stance) [Good]
Prerequisites: One Silver Crane Maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
The martial disciple with knowledge of this stance learns to channel the potency of their celestial patrons to combat evil with great efficiency. In the midst of battle ghostly images of wings or blazing wrathful haloes can often be seen near Silver Crane disciples. While in this stance, any weapon that the martial disciple wields is treated as if it were good-aligned. Additionally, the character is considered under the influence of a protection from evil spell with a caster level equal to his initiator level.
Silver Crane's Blessing (Silver Crane 3) [Boost]
Discipline: Silver Crane (Boost) [Good]
Prerequisites: One Silver Crane Maneuver
Initiation Action: 1 swift action
Range: Personal or 30-ft
Target: You or ally
By invoking the powers of his celestial patrons upon successfully smiting an enemy of the heavens, the holy power of the Silver Crane disciple’s patron flows through him to restore the health of the vessel or the ally of the vessel. Upon a successful attack, the character may initiate this boost to heal himself or an ally within 30-ft of 2d6 points of damage plus his initiation modifier.
Fluff Questions Answered!
0: Ary, as the descendent of a line of leaders amidst the Crusades is heading for the Marshal Path. Because a true hero stands by her allies.
1: Ary is tall, and broad, which speaks to an Ulfen heritage that may not necessarily be there. She stands at just over six feet tall, and weighs around one hundred and ninety-five pounds. It is nearly impossible to find her without her green shield on her arm, while carrying a longsword at her side. The longsword is nothing spectacular until it is unsheathed, whereupon it erupts into flames, providing light as a torch. Not at all unusual within the ranks of Iomedae. While she seems better built for more sturdy armor, Ary utilizes studded leather, which helps to maintain her mobility. She has long blonde hair which she keeps at shoulder level, which gives way to a garrish red cloak (reversible; gray on the other side) that trails behind her as she moves. Her large brown eyes are commonly scrunched shut by a seemingly ever-present grin. She does her best not to allow others to see her when she is feeling weary or downtrodden, preferring to put up a strong front.
2: Well, is there somewhere else she should be? This is her homeland, and she plans to defend it. Certainly she's a little estranged, but the place needs everyone it can get. And besides... she really needs to be a hero. Running away was the hardest thing she's ever done. There's also a slightly awkward other reason, if you're interested. :p
3 & 4: The mantle of a true leader has been passed down amidst Ary's family for several generations, even before the World Wound. Tarnished though that mantle may now be due to her father's actions (and even he died heroically), it is still something that clings to Ary. Ary's at least a little worried that her entire family line is destined to become martyrs.
The exact source is something I'm not entirely certain of. Faith (both the shield and her own) is a very strong bonding agent. Heredity is also on her side; she's born of the blood of heroes. And while she isn't particularly charismatic, she has a way of making people better. One important note is that Ary's blood carries a hint of the Azlanti line and another is that before the line served in Kenabres they served alongside Lady Iomedae during her rise into divinity. Perhaps the line is blessed with the Lady's favor. Perhaps it is a blood oath sworn by her ancestors to protect the land from demons. Perhaps it's that her spark of Azlanti blood marks her as a Scion of the Dead God: Aroden. Most probably it is all of the above.
In the end, Ary is mythic because she chooses to be a hero.
5: The Stolen Lands. Her sister was due to be born in Kenabres before her parents fled to avoid the oncoming crusade (trying to give their children a better life with as normal of a family as they could). She also spent a small portion of her training in Andoran before heading down the Sellen river to train for demons specifically nearer to the World Wound.
6: Ary seeks to emulate a true paladin in word and deed if not in capacity. She does her best to follow the code of conduct set out for Iomedean Paladins (if you haven't read it, I suggest you do. I absolutely adore it, and it's very evocative. Kudos to the original writer!) as best she can, embodying valor and sacrifice, choosing to protect her allies over destroying an enemy given the opportunity. Outside of combat, she's actually somewhat playful, and has a tendency to tease others when she can find a gap. Life isn't just about fighting, it's about living, after all.
7: Ary is actually a little more comfortable with a bow than a sword... but significantly more comfortable with a shield than either. Her father taught her to hunt and to secure kills cleanly and efficiently to reduce suffering. He taught her how to track within the wilderness, and more importantly, how to survive there. Working with the Iomedean Military simply honed this skill and refocused it upon the task at hand: Demons.
8: Courage. Valor. Sacrifice. Heroism. These were all things that Ary needed, and all things that the church provided. Lady Iomedae is a testament to what a human being can accomplish with a lifetime of work... and Ary will strive to do her best to fill such large shoes.
9: Anything less than heroic is simply unacceptable. Freedom is all well and good, but it's what lead to the fall of Sarkoris; if they'd banded together with the crusades in the first place, they'd still be free... and existing. Moving from somewhere as chaotic as the Stolen Lands (and ostensibly seeing how badly that ended), moving to something as structured as Iomedean Military gave Ary a new lease on life. She believes very strongly in doing things the right way in personal matters. As for good... well that's more complicated. Ary simply wants to be a hero. She strives to do things to better the world for others, and is willing to make sacrifices to make it happen. Her reasoning isn't entirely altruistic, but having a reason to do good doesn't make one any less good.
The paladins of Iomedae are just and strong, crusaders who live for the joy of righteous battle. Their mission is to right wrongs and eliminate evil at its root. They serve as examples to others, and their code demands they protect the weak and innocent by eliminating sources of oppression, rather than merely the symptoms. They may back down or withdraw from a fight if they are overmatched, but if their lives will buy time for others to escape, they must give them. Their tenets include the following affirmations.
I will learn the weight of my sword. Without my heart to guide it, it is worthless—my strength is not in my sword, but in my heart. If I lose my sword, I have lost a tool. If I betray my heart, I have died.
I will have faith in the Inheritor. I will channel her strength through my body. I will shine in her legion, and I will not tarnish her glory through base actions.
I am the first into battle, and the last to leave it.
I will not be taken prisoner by my free will. I will not surrender those under my command.
I will never abandon a companion, though I will honor sacrifice freely given.
I will guard the honor of my fellows, both in thought and deed, and I will have faith in them.
When in doubt, I may force my enemies to surrender, but I am responsible for their lives.
I will never refuse a challenge from an equal. I will give honor to worthy enemies, and contempt to the rest.
I will suffer death before dishonor.
I will be temperate in my actions and moderate in my behavior. I will strive to emulate Iomedae’s perfection.