About Marcus Cowl
Devil to some. Angel to others.
Hospitaler Tyrant Dread Vanguard Antipaladin (Oath of Loyalty) 4
Marcus wasn't always simply "Marcus." Once upon a time he was Lamarchand the Cenobite, Lord of the Bladed Ring, Black Knight of Zon-Kuthon. A great many signs and portents heralded his birth. He bore the destiny to bring great pain to Church of the Midnight Lord. In Nidal, pain was cause for celebration. He was raised for greatness. Each year on the anniversary of his birth the priests who raised him cut his skin and pierced his flesh and shaped him more and more in the image of his god.
He learned the rites and rituals and prayed and was rewarded. He was favored. He learned warfare and tactics, surgery and spells. He heard the whisper of his dark god's voice daily. He spilled the blood of many. When he joined the ranks of the Order of Cenobites the day was commemorated with a sacrifice in every temple in Nidal. For a time, he commanded a legion of loyal followers beneath his black and red banner. In some places in Nidal, statues and murals depicting him in all his fearsome glory still stand in public display.
That was a decade ago now. His last campaign was to expunge a cult of Sarenites who had been operating in secret within Nidal's borders. He succeeded. Every one of them fell beneath the serrated swords of his followers. More than twenty died by his own hand. In the end it was the Sarenite leader, an ancient priestess who commanded a redeemed Efreeti, who destroyed Lamarchand forever. A final wish was made and the Cenobite was given a new kind of pain.
Lamarchand suddenly found himself with a powerful servant of the Dawnflower bound tightly to his soul. She bestowed upon him the curse of empathy. He began to remember the events of his life as the burning spirit inside him searched through his mind. Their were linked now. He felt what she did. He shared her thoughts. Through her, his heart broke. He understood what he never had before. For the first time, he wept for the pain he'd caused and the lives he'd taken.
The man that left the burning sanctuary of Sarenites was no longer Lamarchand the Cenobite. He was a shattered, nameless wretch with voices in his head. Ahsanna the Efreeti was not bound to a ring or a lamp. Instead, she could only be bound to a person with a black heart, and the process of changing hosts left her badly weekended. She regained her own strength by redeeming others. It was her own curse, earned in her own viscous youth. She had long since accepted it and turned into a source of hope and pride. She had found her redemption by redeeming others. The man who had once been Lamarchand was a hard person to redeem, but Ashanna had become quite proficient at nurturing any spark of goodness she found. His remorse was enough for her to work with.
In the five years that followed, he found a new name, a new home, a new life. He ran to the edges of civilization, to the Stolen Lands. The spirit in his head was relentless, but also caring and warm. He found himself with an unlikely friend. He became a doctor, quietly treating all who came to him. He traded the god of shadows for the god of light. Now, each morning he says quiet prayers to the Dawnflower. She has never answered.
The man called Marcus is the rope in a tug-of-war between two gods. Zon-Kuthon still favors him and whispers to him and grants him immense power. Marcus could use the dark powers at his disposal at any time. So far, he has managed to avoid the temptation. In contrast, Sarenrae grants him nothing but remorse and desperate hope. So far, that has been enough.
Marcus typically dresses in the manor of a plague doctor, clad in a beaked mask and a long hooded coat. Every inch of him stays covered. He explains that it is for reasons of health and sanitation. In reality it is to cover the fact beneath his clothes he is covered in bandages and old wounds that never quite heal. In his old life he bore his stigmata proudly. Now, it is a painful and shameful reminder of his past.
In rare occasions, Marcus will strap on his armor and take up his shield again, not to make war, but to keep himself safe when he walks battlefields and tries to save the lives of the fallen. He rarely stays put long. Instead, he goes wherever the fighting in the area is thickest. At this point, the armored doctor is something of a legend among the local bandits, soldiers and mercenaries. He does not take sides. He tries to save everyone. Only the most despicable of souls have ever tried to stop him from his work. According to the stories, it did not go well for the attackers.
When the bandages come off, Marcus is a wreck of a man. His body is a road map of pain. His last rite of ascendancy when he earned his place among the order of Cenobites was to cut off his own lips and nose to reveal the grinning skull beneath, so he is rarely seen without a mask of some kind. The entirety of the Kuthonite sacred text known as The Umbral Leaves has been carefully and beautifully cut into his skin in the language of Shadowtongue. The script of cuts was originally a way for him to invoke the power of Zon-Kuthon and share his own pain with others, but he has learned to invert that link. Now, through that dark power he can take the pain of others from them. When he does, the words in his flesh reopen and he bleeds.
Doctor Marcus is reserved and serious. He does not laugh, nor does he share much about himself. He is dour at best, sometimes even seeming quietly sad. There is an edge of discomfort to him, but he never hesitates to offer help to others. It is hard to get a read on the man beneath the mask, but to those who have spent much time around him, it seems that his work is the driving force in his life.
If one were to catch him unaware they might find him sitting near a fire place, staring into the flames and talking to himself.
Hit Points: 48 (4d10, +8 con) Max per level
...Acid Resist 1
...Fire Resist 1
...Cold Resist 1
...Electricity Resist 1
AC: 20 (10, +0 dex, +9 half plate, +1 shield)
CMD: 17 (10 +3 str, +0 dex, +4 bab)
+6 Ref + (1 Antipaladin, +0 dex, +4 cha, +1 resistance)
+10 Will (4 Antipaladin, +1 wis, +4 cha, +1 resistance)
Speed: 20 ft
...30 w/o armor
-1 attack, +2/+3 damage, melee or ranged
Scimitar (attuned) +8, 1d6+4, 18-20/x2 crit
Dagger +7, 1d4+3, 10' range inc
Pilum, +4, 1d8+3, x2 crit, piercing, 20' range, hit makes target lose shield bonus until they use a standard action to remove it.
Snag Net +0, Ranged touch attack, hit = entangled, 20' lead rope (non proficient)
Feats and Traits:
Vagabond Child: Disable Device +1, is always class skill.
Suicidal (via Adopted): Once per day, as an immediate action, you can make yourself the target of any attack originally directed against a creature occupying an adjacent square.
Battlefield Surgeon: Heal is a class skill. In addition, you may use Treat Deadly Wounds one additional time per creature, per day.
Umbral Unmasking (drawback) You cast no shadow whatsoever, or the shadow you do have is monstrous. Under normal lighted conditions, this is not hard to observe—but uncommon to notice. Creatures that succeed at a DC 15 Wisdom check notice it plainly (an additional Perception check may be required based on environmental conditions). This telltale sign of wickedness cannot be concealed by misdirection, nondetection, or illusions, except those that also affect shadows (such as invisibility).
Class skills: Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), and Stealth (Dex), Survival (wis).
Skill Points: [8 antipaladin, +8 int, +4 racial, +8 background*]
ACP** -8 (-5 for climb and jump checks)
+4 Athletics (3 ranks, +3 str, +3 class, -5 ACP)
+11 Craft: Alchemy* (4 ranks, +2 int, +3 class, +2 circumstance)
Str 16 -1 age, +1 4th level
Favored Class Antipaladin.
-ABP and FCB-
Divine Portfolio I: The godling selects one oracle mystery. He gains one revelation from the mystery. He must meet all the revelation’s prerequisites. The godling treats his godling level as his oracle level for this revelation (including fulfilling the revelation’s prerequisites). The godling may choose to have any of the ability’s calculations that are normally based on Cha modifiers instead be based on any ability modifier of the godling’s choice.
Life Link (Su): As a standard action, you may create a bond between yourself and another creature. Each round at the start of your turn, if the bonded creature is wounded for 5 or more hit points below its maximum hit points, it heals 5 hit points and you take 5 hit points of damage. You may have one bond active per oracle level. This bond continues until the bonded creature dies, you die, the distance between you and the other creature exceeds medium range, or you end it as an immediate action (if you have multiple bonds active, you may end as many as you want as part of the same immediate action).
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.
Loyal Oath (Su) Starting at 1st level, once per day as a swift action, an oathbound paladin can choose a willing creature within line of sight as the target of her loyal oath. When the paladin is adjacent to the target of her loyal oath, she grants the target a sacred bonus on saving throws and to Armor Class equal to the paladin’s Charisma bonus. The loyal oath lasts 1 minute, or until the paladin dismisses it (a free action) or discharges it (see below), whichever comes first.
If the target is struck by an enemy and the paladin is adjacent to that enemy, as an immediate action she may make a single melee attack against that enemy; making this attack ends the loyal oath. At 4th level and every three levels thereafter, the paladin may use her loyal oath one additional time per day.
This ability replaces smite.
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.
Alternatively, an antipaladin can use this power to heal undead creatures, restoring 1d6 hit points for every two levels the antipaladin possesses. This ability is modified by any feat, spell, or effect that specifically works with the lay on hands paladin class feature. For example, the Extra Lay On Hands feat grants an antipaladin 2 additional uses of the touch of corruption class feature.
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.
Cruelty (Su)At 3rd level, and every three levels thereafter, an antipaladin can select one cruelty. Each cruelty adds an effect to the antipaladin’s touch of corruption ability. Whenever the antipaladin uses touch of corruption to deal damage to one target, the target also receives the additional effect from one of the cruelties possessed by the antipaladin. This choice is made when the touch is used. The target receives a Fortitude save to avoid this cruelty. If the save is successful, the target takes the damage as normal, but not the effects of the cruelty. The DC of this save is equal to 10 + 1/2 the antipaladin’s level + the antipaladin’s Charisma modifier.
Channel Positive Energy (Su) When a hospitaler reaches 4th level, she gains the ability to channel positive energy as a cleric equal to her paladin level –3. She can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + her Charisma modifier. Using this ability does not expend uses of lay on hands, as it does with other paladins.
This ability replaces the standard paladin’s channel positive energy ability.
Beacon of Darkness (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 8th level, the aura grants fast healing 3 to the dread vanguard as well as to his allies while they remain within it. Additionally, while this aura is active, the antipaladin can use his touch of corruption ability against any targets within its radius by making a ranged touch attack.
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.
At 16th level, the fast healing granted by this ability increases to 5. Additionally, the antipaladin’s weapons and those of his allies within the aura’s radius are considered evil for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
At 20th level, the beacon of evil’s radius increases to 60 feet, and the morale bonus granted to AC and on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear increases to +4. Lastly, attacks made by the dread vanguard and his allies within the aura’s radius are infused with pure unholy power, and deal an additional 1d6 points of damage.
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.
-Spring-Loaded Wrist Sheathes-
-Magic Item Slots-
-Belt, Vest and Coat Pouches-
Phylactery of Channeling
Mithril Full Plate
Conductive, Cruel weapon
bracers of the merciful knight
silver smite bracelets