About Karactus, the Dream Stalker
Gestalt Human Nightmare Creature
Karactus is a legend. A boogyman told to the children of Talengarde to terrify them into behaving properly. Stories of him abound, every one of them a tale of how the terrible Karactus engaged in a campaign of blood and fear aimed at bringing the kingdom to it's knees. His motives are as unknown as his true history, but whatever the case, his actions speak to a deep malevolence aimed at Talengarde and all it's people.
He is called the "Dreamstealer", the "Night Stalker", the "Wild Huntsman" and other such names. He is the one the great hosts of orcs and bugbears revere among the greatest champions of their people. It is said he visits them in dreams and teaches their greatest leaders terrible secrets. Some believe the plans of the savage host are all his.
Many times he has been banished by the blessed and the zealous in the past, but he always returns, drawn through the veil of dreams by the prayers of savages and the fears of the pious. It has been seventy years since the last time he was banished. He was driven into the dreaming mind of a young soldier chosen from the ranks of Markadian the Victor's own vanguard, and sealed there. The young man was cursed to a state of endless slumber from which he has never awakened, a sacrifice of sorts to trap the Nightmare Lord. It is said that should the boy, who is now an old man, ever awaken Karactus will be freed to walk the world once more.
Now, a great horde gathers on the borders of Talengarde preparing for war. Karactus has spoken to their leaders in dreams, sowing a great and terrible plan from his dream prison. A deal has been struck between the Lord of Nightmares and the High Priest of Hell. Together they will bring Talengarde to it's knees.
All that remains is for the High Priest's champions to free Karactus from his long imprisonment. Branderscar's Nightmare is about to begin...
The true history of Karactus is fairly simple. He was once a divine figure of dreams and nature worshiped by the primitive peoples who lived in Talengarde back before Talengarde existed. When the land was conquered, Karactus' people were destroyed or driven out. The few that remained were killed by the savage races of the north, save for the women who were taken as concubines by savage warriors. What is left of karactus' people is now in the blood of the Orc tribes of the savage lands beyond Talengarde. The slaughter of his people nearly killed Karactus. It also made him very angry. Ever since he's been waging a one-fallen-demigod war against Talengarde for what they did so long ago.
Karactus is currently trapped inside the sleeping mind of an old man who has been being kept at Branderscar for seventy years. Although his physical form is trapped, Karactus can still use his ability to create and alter the dreams of others, so he has spent many years reaching out to the dreams of the savage races beyond the fortress-gate of Balentyne, gathering a great host.
His original plan was to try to escape his prison when the old man who's mind he is trapped inside died and command his horde in a war for vengance, but he has been contacted by Cardinal Thorn through a Dream spell, and a bargain has been struck. Now he waits to be released through whatever plan the Cardinal has hatched.
While not the leader of the great bugbear army massing outside Ballentyne, Karactus is the one who sparked the dream of amassing the horde. He visits the Bugbear chieften Flame-Axe in dreams to encourage him and sow great plans in his mind.
In other history, the Horn of Abbadon was once home to Karactus. He was a founding member of the Sons of the Apocalypse, and instraumental in choosing the location for the great mountain fortress in the middle of the savage wilderness. He was never a worshiper of Vetra-Kali, but the great Demon Lord did have the Dreamstealer's respect and willing aid. It was the Victor himself who defeated Karactus at the Siege of the Horn and bound him within the mind of a devout young soldier.
Themes and Personality:
Karactus is force of nature, raw and wild. He is a personification of the woods at night. He is the instictive fear of dark, savage places that lurks in the hearts of all men.
He loaths cities, though slums amuse him. Places where nature has taken back the trappings of civilization give him great pride.
He is a creature of an older time when might made right and it was the privilage of the powerful to lord over the weak. To him, all things are either rival predators, or prey. Those who cannot survive deserve to die. That is the way to make the herd stronger.
He enjoys sowing fear in the hearts of men. He has been known to hunt people only to let them escape, and then invade thier dreams once they believe they are safe just to prolong the hunt.
He is a creature of two worlds, much akin to a Fey creature, as much dream as real. His power manifests from the collective dreams men have had about being afraid of darkened woods since the dawn of civilization.
He is patient, calculating, and dominant. An apex predator.
Karactus is powerfully built and towers over even the largest of men. He is nearly the size of an ogre. His armor is light, mostly reinforced leather breaches and bracers accented with furs. The only actual armor he wears is a hauberk belted around his waist and a set of pauldrons sitting on his shoulders. His feet are protected by sturdy pair of knee-high armor-plated riding boots. His broad, muscular chest is exposed and covered with scars. A terrible brand, The Mark of the Condemned, sits in the middle of his chest, burning with red energy.
The brand was left on him by the banishment of Markadian the Victor. It is the same mark that Branderscar prison would later adopt as it's symbol for the condemned. Karactus was the first to bear it.
His biceps are larger around than most men's waists. His face is entirely obscured by the great helm he wears, a hooded cloak over it, draping his whole face in metal and shadow. A pair of massive horns curl out from beneath the tattered hood and his glowing red eyes stare out from the helm like two red hot coals.
His heavy cloak iis lined at the neck and across the shoulders with the fur of a dire wolf, the creature's massive head decorating Karactus' left shoulder pauldron. Every peice of leather is raw and unstained, but expertly tanned and shaped. The fangs and claws of hunted animals serve as buttons, buckles and fasteners.
He seethes with black and green wisps of energy, surrounded by the spirits of the angry dead. He is smoke and shadow and fear incarnate and is not always completely in the world of men. When he wishes to be, he is like a waking dream. A mirage. A trick of the wood. A cluster of long shadows cast by swaying trees. Swamp gas and willow-wisps. Despite his size he moves with the quiet grace of a hunter.
He bears a blackened lash covered in razor sharp barbs that looks a great deal like a thorny vine. It's carved handle is made from the bones of a Manticore.
His most iconic weapon is a bow made from the horns of a dragon and branch of yew as thick as a man's arm. The horns give it a draw strength unmatched in the world, allowing Karactus to fire arrows as thick as a man's thumb. The grip of the bow is decorated with a human skull that sits over the hand, the skull's broken right eye socket serving as the arrow rest. The whole thing carved and painted with savage pagan symbols.
Sometimes he rides an enormous wolf and carries a hooked lance.
His voice is deep and echoes from beneath his helm as though coming from far away. He speaks rarely, but when he does none dare ignore him.
Hit Points [10, +8d10, +1d8, +30 con]
...DR 5 / Good or Silver
...DR 2 vs Environmental damage (signature skill: survival)
21 AC [10, +3 studded leather, +8 charisma]
+17 Fort [6 antipaladin, +3 con, +8 cha]
Move: 40 (30 in breastplate)
Fly: 10 (perfect)
The Nightmare Lash (large +2 Conductive spine flail), +18/+13, 1d10+12, slashing, 15' reach, 20/x2 crit. Blinds on Crit. Effortless Lace.
+1 Holy Longsword, +17/+12, 1d8+8, 19-20 crit
Expeditious Heavy Steel Shield, +16/+11, 1d6+7, x2 crit
+2 Adaptive Longbow, +16/+11, 1d8+7, x3 crit,
Unarmed +16, 1d3+7
Touch of Corruption +16, 4d6 Negative Energy + Cruelty, Touch Attack
Traits and Feats:
Trapfinding: You gain a +1 trait bonus on Disable Device checks, and that skill is always a class skill for you. In addition, you can use Disable Device to disarm magic traps, like a rogue.
Attempted Murder: +2 bonus to Intimidate, always a class skill. Karactus didn't try to kill just anyone. He tried to kill King Markadian the Victor, seventy years ago during the siege of the Horn of Abbadon.
Wicked Leader: +1 to Cha skills vs evil cratures. +1 max Cohort level.
Both Gestalt "upgrades" applied to Skills, adding +4 skill points per level
[20 Int, 18 Blackguard, 20 GM bonus, 40 Gestalt bonus, +3 favored class]
+10 Acrobatics (4 ranks, +3 dex, +3 class)
Aura of Evil (Ex) The power of an antipaladin’s aura of evil (see the detect evil spell) is equal to his antipaladin level. A paladin who uses smite evil on an antipaladin deals 2 points of damage per paladin level on his first successful attack.
Detect Good (Sp) At will, an antipaladin can use detect good, as the spell. An antipaladin can, as a move action, concentrate on a single Item or individual within 60 feet and determine if it is good, learning the strength of its aura as if having studied it for 3 rounds. While focusing on one individual or object, the antipaladin does not detect good in any other object or individual within range.
Smite Good (Su) Once per day, an antipaladin can call out to the dark powers to crush the forces of good. As a swift action, the antipaladin chooses one target within sight to smite. If this target is good, the antipaladin adds his Charisma bonus (if any) on his attack rolls and adds his antipaladin level on all damage rolls made against the target of his smite. If the target of smite good is an outsider with the good subtype, a good-aligned dragon, or a good creature with levels of cleric or paladin, the bonus to damage on the first successful attack increases to 2 points of damage per level the antipaladin possesses. Regardless of the target, smite good attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess.
In addition, while smite good is in effect, the antipaladin gains a deflection bonus equal to his Charisma modifier (if any) to his AC against attacks made by the target of the smite. If the antipaladin targets a creature that is not good, the smite is wasted with no effect.
The smite good effect remains until the target of the smite is dead or the next time the antipaladin rests and regains his uses of this ability. At 4th level, and at every three levels thereafter, the antipaladin may smite good one additional time per day, as indicated on Table: Antipaladin, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level.
Unholy Resilience (Su) At 2nd level, an antipaladin gains a bonus equal to his Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws.
Touch of Corruption (Su) Beginning at 2nd level, an antipaladin surrounds his hand with a fiendish flame, causing terrible wounds to open on those he touches. Each day he can use this ability a number of times equal to 1/2 his antipaladin level + his Charisma modifier. As a touch attack, an antipaladin can cause 1d6 points of damage for every two antipaladin levels he possesses. Using this ability is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Beacon of Evil (Su) A dread vanguard unleashes the powers of his vile masters to strengthen both himself and his allies.
At 4th level and every 4 level thereafter, a dread vanguard gains one additional use of his touch of corruption ability per day. As a standard action, he can spend a use of his touch of corruption ability to manifest the darkness in his soul as an area of flickering shadows with a 30-foot radius centered on him. These shadows don't affect visibility. The antipaladin and all allies in the area gain a +1 morale bonus to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear, and also ignore the first 5 points of hardness when attacking unattended inanimate objects. This lasts for 1 minute, as long as the dread vanguard is conscious.
At 12th level, when he activates this ability, a dread vanguard can choose to increase the radius of one antipaladin aura he possesses to 30 feet. Also, the morale bonus granted to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear increases to +2.
This ability replaces the spells class feature. A dread vanguard does not gain any spells or spellcasting abilities, cannot use spell trigger or spell completion magic items, and does not have a caster level from this class.
Negative Energy (Su) When an antipaladin reaches 4th level, he gains the supernatural ability to channel negative energy like a cleric. Using this ability consumes two uses of his touch of corruption ability. An antipaladin uses his level as his effective cleric level when channeling negative energy. This is a Charisma-based ability.
Aura of Cowardice (Su) At 3rd level, an antipaladin radiates a palpably daunting aura that causes all enemies within 10 feet to take a –4 penalty on saving throws against fear effects. Creatures that are normally immune to fear lose that immunity while within 10 feet of an antipaladin with this ability. This ability functions only while the antipaladin remains conscious, not if he is unconscious or dead.
Plague Bringer (Ex) At 3rd level, the powers of darkness make an antipaladin a beacon of corruption and disease. An antipaladin does not take any damage or take any penalty from diseases. He can still contract diseases and spread them to others, but he is otherwise immune to their effects.
Fiendish Boon The second type of bond allows an antipaladin to gain the service of a fiendish servant. This functions as summon monster III, except the duration is permanent and the antipaladin can only gain the service of a single creature and that creature must either have the chaotic and evil subtypes or it must be a fiendish animal. Once selected, the choice is set, but it may be changed whenever the antipaladin gains a level. Upon reaching 7th level, and every two levels thereafter, the level of the summon monster spell increases by one, to a maximum of summon monster IX at 17th level. Once per day, as a full-round action, an antipaladin may magically call his servant to his side. This ability is the equivalent of a spell of a level equal to one-third the antipaladin’s level. The servant immediately appears adjacent to the antipaladin. An antipaladin can use this ability once per day at 5th level, and one additional time per day for every four levels thereafter, for a total of four times per day at 17th level.
At 11th level, the servant gains the advanced template. At 15th level, an antipaladin’s servant gains spell resistance equal to the antipaladin’s level + 11.
Should the antipaladin’s fiendish servant die or be banished, the antipaladin may not summon another servant for 30 days or until he gains an antipaladin level, whichever comes first. During this 30-day period, the antipaladin takes a –1 penalty on attack and weapon damage rolls.
Aura of Despair (Su) At 8th level, enemies within 10 feet of an antipaladin take a –2 penalty on all saving throws. This penalty does not stack with the penalty from aura of cowardice.
Branded: You have a visible scar on your forehead or arm that depicts a mystical symbol of some significance. You had no choice in the matter; the brand appeared with fire and searing pain.
Your brand cannot be disguised or altered, even with magic, although you can still benefit from cover or concealment, and you can cover it by wearing a hood or robe (as appropriate). Some NPCs may recognize the brand and become hostile, per the GM's choice. As a supernatural ability, you can touch an enemy for 1d6 +(1/2 your curse level) fire damage; any opponent who takes damage bears your symbol until an equal amount of damage is healed. Any branded opponent takes -2 to save versus your spells and spell-like abilities. You can perform this branding touch a number of times per day equal to 1 +your Charisma bonus (minimum 1).
Nature Mystery Revelations
Bonded Mount (Su): (1st) You gain the service of an unusually intelligent, strong, and loyal mount. The creature must be one that you are capable of riding and is suitable as a mount. A Medium oracle can select a camel or a horse. A Small oracle can select a pony or wolf, but can also select a boar or a dog if she is at least 4th level. This mount functions as a druid’s animal companion, using your oracle level as your effective druid level. Bonded mounts have an Intelligence score of at least 6.
Nature’s Whispers (Ex): (3rd) You have become so attuned to the whispers of the natural world, from the croaking of frogs to the groaning of great boulders, that your surroundings constantly keep you preternaturally aware of danger. You may add your Charisma modifier, instead of your Dexterity modifier, to your Armor Class and CMD. Any condition that would cause you to lose your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class instead causes you to lose your Charisma modifier to your Armor Class.
Erosion Touch (Su): (7th) As a melee touch attack, you can deal 1d6 points of damage per level to objects or constructs. If used against an object in another creature’s possession, treat this attack as a sunder combat maneuver. You can use this ability once per day, plus one time per day for every three levels you possess.
Race and Template abilities:
20 Str [10 +8 points, +2 level increases]
16 Dex [10 +6 nightmare creature]
16 Con [10 +6 points]
14 Int [10, +4 nightmare creature]
12 Wis [10 +2 points]
26 Cha [10, +8 points, +2 racial, +6 nightmare creature]
Favored Class: Oracle
Nightmare Creature abilities
Constant—protection from good
3/day— detect thoughts, dream, nightmare, suggestion, deep slumber, invisibility, plane shift (from the Material Plane to the Dimension of Dreams or back again), shadow walk
1/day— shadow walk, feeblemind, modify memory, shadow conjuration, shadow evocation.
Ability Scores: Dex +6, Int +4, Cha +6.
Feign Death (Ex) Whenever a nightmare creature is unconscious, it appears dead. A conscious nightmare creature can also make itself appear dead as an immediate action. Any creature that physically interacts with a nightmare creature feigning death must succeed at a Heal check or Will saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the nightmare creature's Hit Dice + the nightmare creature's Intelligence or Charisma modifier, whichever is higher) to recognize it is actually alive.
Not Dead Yet: you to heal back to 1/2 your maximum HP once per day upon receiving a blow that would otherwise kill you and allows you to use your feign death ability immediately.
Fear Aura (su) All creatures within a 60-foot radius that see or hear a nightmare creature must succeed at a Will save or be shaken for as long as they are within the aura. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same nightmare creature's fear aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear affect.
Frightful Presence (su) This ability activates when the nightmare creature charges, attacks during a surprise round, or succeeds at a DC 15 Intimidate or Perform check. Its frightful presence has a range of 30 feet.
Night Terrors (su) Once a nightmare creature enters a target's mind with its dream or nightmare spell-like ability, it can attempt to control the target's dream. If the target fails a Will saving throw, it remains asleep and trapped in the dream world with the nightmare creature. Thereafter, the nightmare creature controls all aspects of the dream. Each hour that passes, the target can attempt another saving throw to try to awaken (it automatically awakens after 8 hours or if the nightmare creature releases it). The target takes 1d4 points of Charisma damage each hour it is trapped in the dream; if it takes any Charisma damage, it is fatigued and unable to regain arcane spells for the next 24 hours. The target dies if this Charisma damage equals or exceeds its actual Charisma score.
Dream Slave (Su) Instead of killing a target with its night terror ability, a nightmare lord may instead enslave it with an implanted Suggestion effect (as the spell, but with a duration measured in days rather than hours). An creature under this effect can be Possessed by the Nightmare Lord. This acts as a Magic Jar spell, but with an unlimited distance and duration.
Nightmare Magic: +4 bonus to the DCs of its spells and spell-like abilities of the Phantasm) and Shadow subschools. (marked in Bold)
Nightmare Creature Spell-Like Abilities
-3x per day—
-Once per day—
---Oracle Spells Known---
-Orisons, At Will-
-1st level, 5 known, +1 favored class-
Hunter's Lore (10 hour duration)
-2nd level, 4 known, +3 favored class-
-3rd level, 3 known-
Aura of Cannibalism (1 min/level, 1d4 damage to all creature swho share a type. Fort negates. Damage gained as Temp HP.)
-5th level, 1 known-
Weapons: Nightmare Lash, +1 Holy Longsword, +2 Adaptive Longbow
Armor: Masterwork Angelskin Studded Leather w/ Masterwork Umbrite armor spikes.
Character Wealth By Level: 62k
Fiendish Boon (antipaladin)
Bonded Mount (nature mystery)
Cohort (vile leadership)