Mechanical themes: Survival, travel, exploration
"This looks like a job for my brother…"
Init +1/+3 favored, Perception +9/+11 favored, Low-Light Vision
Spirit Dance 15/15
Power Points 14/14
Channel Energy 4/4 (3d6+2, DC 16)
Mythic Power 5/5
AC 18, T 11, FF 17 (Dex +1, Armor +6, Kilt +1)
Fort +7, Ref +3, Will +4
HP 40 (3d10+6 Con+4 Mythic)
Resist Acid 5, Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5
Resist Acid 5, Cold 5, Electricity 5, Fire 5
DR 2/-, Fortification
Ranged Trident +7 (1d8+3) or
Child-of-Planes, as a Trailblazer, can switch between any modes of movement as a swift action; however, the speed granted by each configuration depends on whether he is wearing his astral armor or skin. Consider “Armored” to be the default case, although he can switch between armored and unarmored in a single round
The Metamorphosis power allows additional movement options, as follows:
Medium Spells Known (CL 6th; concentration +9/+11 Archmage)
(Archmage Wishlist: Invisibility, Glitterdust, Web, Haste, Stinking Cloud, Black Tentacles, Dimension Door)
(Medium Wishlist: Object Reading, Psychic Reading, Scrolls: Protection from Evil, Mindlink)
(Hierophant Wishlist: Enhanced Diplomacy, Lesser Restoration)
Powers Known (ML 1st) (PP 9 — Aegis 5 + Int 4)
. . Shards (1 PP) — Diplomacy +4
* * *
Skill points: 33 (Aegis 12, Int 6, Favored 3, Background 6, Campaign 6)
*Indicates class skills; (*)Indicates Trickster class skills
(any three skills are class skills in Trickster; will usually be acrobatics, disable, and class-appraise; may occasionally replace acrobatics and disable with Intimidate and UMD or Bluff and Disguise, Autohypnosis, Stealth, if in city)
(**)Acrobatics -4/+7 Trickster [+2/+13 unarmored, +10/+21 unarmored jump] (*6 Trickster ranks, +1 Dex, -5 ACP)
Astral Suit Workspace:
Speed x2 (2 CP; can be swapped out)
Chameleon (2 CP; can be swapped out)
Power Stone Repository (1 CP)
2x Harness Power Stone (2 CP)
Harness Shard (1 CP)
Thieves’ Tools (30 gp, 2 lb)
Jeweler’s Tools (5 gp, 5 lb)
Talking Board (15 gp, 2 lb)
Dowsing Rod (10 gp, 1 lb)
Kit, Monk’s - backpack - 5/10 torches (4 gp, 15 lb )
Kit, Chronicler’s (40 gp, 4.5 lb)
Masterwork Backpack (50 gp, 4 lb)
Power Stone, Lesser Metamorphosis (25 gp)
Currency: 2314 gp
Wishlist: Crystal Pauldrons, Boots of Friendly Terrain, Constellation Belt, Rod of Alteration (SOP), Inquiry Tattoo? Force Hook? Gleam Brush?
* * *
Child-of-Planes was born in the month of Tortoise during the year of Seventh Serpent, just before Second Midnight; an auspicious occurrence, as it meant a concurrence of the Wandering Lovers hung directly overhead in the sky. And when the child was born with flashing eyes, bursting into flames with his first wail, the gathered midwives burst into song, for here was Aharia Han-jemmet—a Prince of the Skies, wreathed in fire, born under the sign of magic at the door to midnight.
The Aharia’s childhood was a thing of local legends among the Windbat Clan. The child was beautiful, and strong, even for a baby. His eyes crackling with thunder, he could recite the entire Burning Mantras with fists aflame. Most notably, Aharia Han-jemmet was said to speak to the ancestors themselves: raised from birth in the House of Spirits, he had begun to acquire a connection to the place-names that outpaced even some of the younger shamans. But as the stories spread, changing and growing from oasis to oasis and kheyma to khurga, there were darker whispers as well, spread by rivals within the tribes—rumors of a trickster spirit that had addled the Windbat Clan and poisoned its shamans with foolery.
The child’s mother had been an ama-janah of renown, raiding caravans and rival tribes with swordsmanship that earned praise even beyond her clan; and so when she fell pregnant after taking no man to her tent, the father was naturally assumed to be a Sky King, one of the winged Divs or Asura worshipped by the bandit clans of the Burning Sands. But as her son grew, so did her worries, and eventually she confessed to him her deepest fears. Han-jemmet had grown stronger, learned quicker, and burned brighter than any Aharia child of his age the elders had seen—but that was because he was no true Aharia. While the children of demons could live for centuries, advising the tribe through generations of wisdom and warfare, they also grew slowly through the same taint of fire and night’s blood. Her son’s father had been no such Sky King, but something stranger and more fair—a Walker of the Planes who called himself an Amir, noble in word and mien, whom she had spent a fortnight with at an oasis during a long raid. And so the child kept his secret as best he could, knowledge shared only with the place-names and elemental voices that he lived among at the House of Spirits.
Such lies tend to end badly. On Aharia Han-jemmet’s tenth birthday, a great Div visited the Windbat Clan, demanding sacrifices and tribute. The King of the Sky was a lumbering creature that called itself “Devroth,” with twisting arms and huge leathery wings. As the shamans brought forth the offerings of frankincense and cactus wine, along with the traditional sacrifice of three bound sheep and one elderly captive, one of Clan elders decided to fetch the young Aharia from the House of Spirits, bringing the clan’s newest and most favored prince forth on cushions and jewels. "Look," he and two of the shamans proclaimed, "At the favor and deference we have shown to our most blessed Aharia, a son of your brothers." And the Sky King Devroth laughed, and clapped his hands, and pointed, and fire washed from his fingertips over the camp, burning half of the Clan's elders and shamans where they stood. Snatching a warrior up in each of his claws, the Div leapt up and flew off, back towards the stars, his echoing laughter ringing across the desert like a foul curse.
Oracle bones were cast, and when the truth was found, there was no more Aharia Han-jemmet. Stripped of all names, honor, and possession, the once-prince and his mother were cursed and spat upon by every surviving member of the Windbat Clan, and cast out alone into the Burning Sands, still healing from their burns.
The nomadic life was harsh, but Child-of-Planes, as his mother now called him, was a keen student of the open sands. Born under the Wandering Lovers, the two erratic stars whose union was said to bring magic into the world, he had a natural knack for the magical, often able to pick spells out of the air to suit his needs, calling spirits of the ancestors and elements to his aid. And his ties to the two dancing Lovers provided the child with an unerring sense of direction. In a desert where losing one’s way meant death, this was a valuable talent, and the Child-of-Planes began to earn food and salt guiding passengers between the central oases of the Outer North Rim.
But the open skies, and their stars, called to him. The child’s mother settled down at one of the cooler oases, first hired to defend the camel stables from bandits and eventually marrying the stable-merchant—and Child-of-Planes chafed at the thought, longing to return to the open roads of the desert and perhaps even the grand cities said to lie at their ends. As he was nearly a man grown, his mother soon allowed him to leave her side, earning work on his own as a guide and magician.
And it was not long before the child truly got his wish. At the age of fifteen, he found himself hired as guide to a band of seven strangely-clad travelers, three of them the fabled Plane-Walkers his mother had spoke of. The tall, charismatic strangers carried smooth blades that flashed in the sunlight, and named Child-of-Planes a Suli-Jann upon witnessing his talents. But when they heard that his father had been a Janni Amir, they laughed at his good fortune, and promised to bring the young guide with them when they left the desert.
Walker of the Planes
Then, of course, there were the portals. Child-of-Planes walked through three worlds with his companions, each stranger than the last, through gates of crystal and stone. To his wonder, he learned that his elemental nature aided in quickly adapting to the challenges, atmosphere, and language of each. And eventually, the Plane-Walkers grew bored of him, as genies often do; but he found himself abandoned on the relatively pleasant world of Argosa, surely an easy place if any to find work as an interstellar scout and wilderness guide...
Child-of-Planes is a soft-spoken but fiery individual. Roughly the size of a tall and slender human, he carries himself with poise, speaks with charisma, and fights with surprising strength, carrying a variety of swords and throwing weapons he has collected from different cultures in his travels. He is comfortable in cities, though he knows little of the ways of civilization; his home is the open road and the changing elements, where he can effortlessly track stars across the sky, create wards against the elements, and channel the place-names and ancestor spirits of the land itself.
A life spent speaking with and drawing from a diverse range of often-quarreling spirits has fought Child-of-Planes a great deal of patience, though the more he draws on his ancestor spirits, the more exaggerated and eccentric his personality becomes. Occasionally, he overdraws his power and shifts entirely into the voice of some centuries-dead geniekin celebrity, babbling madly and living the rest of the day out as only the ghosts of a forgotten century can.
Child-of-Planes works primarily as a sort of well-traveled, magical factotum, providing a variety of small skills and services while using his natural skill as a wilderness guide to keep fellow travelers safe and earn spending coin. At heart, however, he is also searching for new portals, learning what he can about the networks that connect the universe, and the auspicious stars of his once-fabled birth. But he wishes to travel the planes just as much as the stars, finding the homelands of his ancestor spirits if he can, and maybe even one day tracking down his Jann-Amir father.
He dresses simply for a Suli-Jann, his clothing practical; but when away from civilization, he surrounds himself in armor made from the elements themselves, forming a protective shell of swirling colors. His eyes flash white while fighting or spellcasting, and while he’s lived his life in human society, there is still a hint of the fabled genie pride underlying many of his words and actions. A decade-old curse presents him from speaking his own name, or acquiring a new one; but he has long since ceased his resentment of this, simply introducing himself as “Child-of-Planes,” or “Child” for short.
Spirits, Shards, and Swords (new):
(It’s never said where a Spirit Dancer’s spirits come from; but as they travel with him, unlike other Medium archetypes, I’m going with “ancestor spirits” in this case)
Child-of-Planes has strong ties to the Astral Plane, drawing from both his elemental and aether-sculpting Aegis abilities and his spiritualist Medium training by the shamans of the Burning Sands. As a Spirit Dancer, he brings his channeled spirits with him; for the most part, these are voices from the River of Souls who refuse to travel downstream, clinging to what voices they can to experience the material world again. While genies, leave no soul behind, Child-of-Plane’s elemental ties mean that most of the spirits he channels, primarily those of ancestors and distant relatives, are those of geniekin or other planetouched.
When channeling his Spirit Dance, Child-of-Planes opens himself up to the influence and personality of a spirit; should his influence increase, their voices and preferences become more prominent, shifting him towards the alignment and favored elemental language of the spirit he channels. If he ever becomes overwhelmed by influence (becoming an NPC under GM control, or possibly remaining a PC with very different motivations, depending on GM choice), these should hopefully provide a guide to their behavior. (As a player, I’m curious about whether or not I can actually handle the challenge of a multiply-possessed character, but I guess how well I do so will mostly impact how strong a voice they have)
Rufo the Goshawk (Champion), NN Suli — Born in the City of Spheres on the Silver Isle, the Jann-blooded Rufo led a life of adventure, becoming over his lifetime one of the city’s greatest duelists. Trained in the martial tradition of Mitzang Lwo, the “Goswhawk” was known for combining traditional spear-play with showy flourishes and acrobatic leaps, a style now taught in weapon-halls across the many city states of Gowa. Rufo is a brother of Child-of-Planes, born centuries ago to a different mother—or perhaps a nephew, or a cousin, as Jann take little interest in their genealogy. His spirit, when it comes to the medium, teaches ostentatious swordplay and skill with exotic pole arms; but he also carries a fiery temper, and has a penchant towards personal pride, responding badly to insults and obstacles.
Rittegart of Leofold (Archmage), CG Sylph — Originally a royal bastard raised at the court of Emperor Sigfold II, Rittegart showed, from an early age, an aptitude for both creativity and magic. Through many innovations magical and technical, he pioneered centuries-old improvements in construction and medicine, earning admiration from his father’s advisors often exceeding anything his slower brothers received. While the Sylph magician-inventor showed little interest in politics, he was eventually granted the title of Duke of Leofold, the lands and wealth of which he used to construct the grand university and libraries where he spent the last few decades of his life. Rittegart is erratic and absent-minded, preferring creativity to coherences, and has a tendency towards distraction. His spirit can teach a great deal of magic, though he specializes in conjuration and evocation spells, generally the sort either loaded with energy or capable of causing interesting changes in the world around them.
Bonny Carmen (Trickster), CN Undine — Jewel thief, socialite, and master of disguises, Bonny Carmen lives on in the tales of many historical authors. A characteristic gentlewoman thief, much of the truth of her life is shrouded in mystery, and her spirit is not much more forthcoming. Carmen is a distant relative of Child-of-Planes, a line of descent through some relation on the Plane of Water, and happy to advise a young medium, though she reveals as little of herself as possible. Bonny Carmen is often paranoid and frequently distrusting, though she does love learning and experiencing as much as she can about the everyday world; she also carefully covets her skills and expertise, only allowing the medium to benefit from part of this knowledge at a time.
Master Wesshan of Flowing Stone (Defender), LN Oread — Founder of the Monastery of Flowing Stone, Master Wesshan spent decades providing training to all who could brave the harsh wind and driving snow to reach the cave-monastery he tunneled himself out of the summit of Mount Fiyeo. Most famously, however, Wesshan is remembered as the Defender of the Kato passes—when the armies of Issia marched through the mountains around him, he and three students singlehandedly toppled Mount Fiyeo’s peak, burying the summer roads through the highlands and blocking troop movements, creating a statemate that quickly led to peace. In what remains of his spirit, Master Wesshan seeks to find new students and spread his teachings, as his ancient martial arts style, absorbing blows and snapping weapons on the ground around him, has been all-but-forgotten. He is frequently esoteric in his statements, trying to inspire others to wisdom rather than giving answers, though when channeled he is quite willing to directly shore up Child-of-Planes’s defenses.
Aharia Ejem Def (Hierophant), NE Tiefling — A charismatic priest and ruthless leader, the spitespawn Tiefling Ejem Def was the first leader of the Windbat Clan. Bringing together bandits and outcasts of the Burning Sands, he turned his fiendish heritage into a mark of pride, calling himself a “Prince of the Sky,” and built a warrior clan around veneration of the darkness. Child-of-Planes is descended from the first Aharia, many generations ago, on his mother’s side; while the spirit of the great warrior-priest has little interest in his descendent’s lifestyle and choices, he greatly respects the young Suli-jann’s survival skills and instincts, providing insight when called upon with the proper ceremony and laying spiritual waste to the world around him. Ejem Def worships no single god, but is devoted to the hungry Div Lords of the desert; because of the darkness he brings, Child-of-Planes rarely chooses to channel him. Ejem Def prefers offensive magic and channeling; and because of his disagreements with Gazhul, Child-of-Planes must choose at the beginning of each day which Hierophant spirit he will have access to.
Han-Aharia Gazhul (Hierophant), NG Tiefling — A faultspawn Tiefling and nephew of Aharia Ejem Def (and thus many-great uncle of Child-of-Planes). Gazhul was the first Prince of the Sky to leave the Windbat Clan in exile, angered at the clan’s acceptance of the demonic, becoming instead a priest to the gods of light. Gazhul, forsaking the prestige of his birth to become Han-Aharia, wandered the Burning Sands for centuries as a healer and holy mystic, eventually leaving for parts unknown. Child-of-Planes still has much to learn about the life of the Han-Aharia, but he first encountered the spirit in a centuries-old forgotten shrine carved into the frozen walls of the Caves of Iced Djet. Han-Aharia Gazhul teaches forgiveness and humility in all things, and has helped restore the medium’s respect for at lest some of the ways of his people. Gazhul worships Olalis, as does Child-of-Planes to some extent, but the ancient tiefling priest is far more devout in his religion and obeisance. Gazhul focuses on restorative magic and channeling; and because of his disagreements with Ejem Def, Child-of-Planes must choose at the beginning of each day which Hierophant spirit he will have access to.
General Aazda (Marshal), LE Ifrit — “The Burning Hand of Pram,” General Aazda was one of the more famous of the warlords of Xin, playing a crucial role during the Elemental Wars of five centuries past. In his memoirs, the General frequently describes himself as a fair and just commander; and while much of this is cruel, Child-of-Planes has also experienced from his spirit the great depths to which General Aazda would go to win a crucial battle or frighten his men into action, applying his own brand of uniform “justice” to brutal tactics and heavy-handed occupations. Aazda is a shrewd manipulator, unceasing in his desire for influence and power; but he his spirit is happy to share expertise and strategies with a distant descendent, provided he is afforded the praise and flattery due to one of his stature. When channeled, General Aazda does what he can to command the others around him, growing sullen if his advice and authority is ignored.
* * *
While Psionic shards can get a bit ridiculous, they are a cool, neat little bonus for Aegises. I’m trying to keep their utility under wraps by limiting their bonuses to what Child-of-Planes could actually craft. Which means, since he’s creating them himself, they need a bit of flavor as well.
Of course, should he find any shards or other strange items, he will be curious to learn of their stories as well.
In his travels, Child-of-Planes has also learned to connect what he calls “smallspirits”—insignificant but talented souls tied to a particular skill, and an unfinished business or desire to keep perfecting that skill. These are merely fragments of personality, but through his skill at psychic aptitude and astral manipulation, he has encountered and crafted small, jeweled foci to help channel the shards of skilled minds he encounters. When channeling shards, he uses some of his mental focus to tap into a bit of their character and personal experiences, though to nowhere near the same extent as his spirit dance.
* * *
So far, Child-of-Planes has collected little in the way of material wealth, though he has picked up a weapon on every world he travels through. His two-handed sword, forged from cold iron to ward of demons, is a legacy of the Burning Sands, along with his hunting trident. On the Tallgrass Planes, he picked up an exotic polearm, for warding off attacks by charging carniboars and the circling parachute birds; in the Blue Mountains of Arvendale, he learned to fight with the throwing circle, acquiring a pair from a traveling blacksmith. His scimitar is a final parting gift of his traveling “uncles” among the Jann, left behind when they abandoned him on the fairly-pleasant world of Argosa.
• Aegis Side: Survivalist. Trailblazer allows extreme adaptation to just about any environment, from heavy armor to no armor, and the ability to swim, climb, dash impossibly fast, or (at later levels) swim, fly, and disappear, as well as a bunch of decent scouting bonuses.
-Scout/stealth/tracker with access to pretty much any mode of movement
-Big fat HP pool and defenses. This guy’s not going down easily.
-Some cool and variable Psionic powers, through Power Stones, for additional customization in battle
• Spirit Dancer Side: Flexible factotum. Child-of-Planes can do nothing splendidly, but has can do nearly everything well if he spends time configuring for it. While his actions will be somewhat limited in the heat of battle, his sheer amount of flexibility during long periods of rest should let him swap into whatever is most useful for the planet or party at hand. Occasional abilities (do/will) include (he’s extremely modular, so not all of these at a time):
• Mythic Side: Miscellaneous toolkit. Path Dabbling will eventually pull Maneuver Expertise; for now, Transfer Spell is an awesome debuff
* * *