Well, the character concept I have is for the ancestor eidolon to be a kobold.
"It's not MY fault great-great-grandmother Tyvaria the Red had a *thing* for dragons but couldn't find any, and it's not MY fault that she... ... well, look, I didn't think you could make half-kobolds but apparently you can. And those half-kobolds can make quarter-kobolds. And one-eighth kobolds. And one-sixteenth kobolds. And here I am.
But, you know, the only thing worse than finding out that you're one-sixteenth kobold is having your great-great-grandfather manifest himself from your dreams, and *insist* on becoming your butler.
This whole thing is awful. I'm the victim here. I swear."
Random question; if I'm a Human (unchained) Summoner, who takes the Racial Linage feat (selecting, say, ratfolk), can my Ancestor eidolon be a ratfolk?
Benefit: Choose another humanoid race. You count as both human and that race for any effects related to race. For example, if you choose dwarf, you are considered both a human and a dwarf for the purpose of taking traits, feats, how spells and magic items affect you, and so on.
Ancestor Eidolons are in Blood of the Beast, but since I couldn't find an OGL source for them I'm not comfortable reproducing it. :( But basically the jist is, the eidolon has the same race as its summoner.
Would this work?
Heya all, ran this game at Psycon Five, loved running it.
When I was playing Myrosype the PCs latched onto her politeness, so I kept that up but would subtly imply things would go down at the final party (hers). I'd have her say things like, "Oh my dear little Pathfinders, I have a surprise for you at my party. It's to die for." and, "Don't worry. My party'll be a *scream*.", along with occasionally making references to the "climatic finish" she's "sanguine" they'll enjoy.
My party were expecting a fight at the end, accordingly, so her bartering with them was unexpected and fun.
As much as I liked this mod, it did have some editing problems. Specifically:
- Vayde's secret (that he's actually a Grimspawn tiefling) is not reflected in his stat-block, where he is listed as human. There's no DC listed to find this out that I could find, but I had my players roll a Knowledge (The Planes) check at the beginning of the game, and the life oracle with max ranks rolled a natural 20, so I had him able to identify this when meeting him, which made the encounters with him a *lot* more fun (especially because, in the gala, I had Vayde dress up as an angel).
- Myrosype was not statted at all, apart from her level, which posed a challenge for the game. If the players invite her to take a bite of the Chuul tentacles, what's her save? What's her perform (dance) skill for the gala? What's her alternate identity like? What Vigilante class features does she have?
Ultimately, I head-cannoned that her alternate form was Catscratch, a Warlock Vigilante specialized in melee and ranged attacks (and a white, hissing cat familiar named Nefaria). Fortunately, apart from the familiar who basically served as something the party could pick on a bit, none of that got to see any play at all because my table were sensible and didn't make her roll too much. It was always in the back of my mind, though.
I almost considered having her appear as her Vigilante identity during the deal making phase of her party, but I thought that would be too much (and lead to people rolling initiative on sight), so I actually went the other way, and had her servant call the group up to her private quarters, where she was taking a bath and clearly not a threat to them.
Any time she needed to roll a dice, I just used the principle that if I rolled low she failed or that if I rolled high she succeeded, or used whatever outcome was best for the narrative.
- Duskspawn vs Duskpawn, as has been already pointed out.
- The module indicates that Myrosype is a silver Aspis agent, but her description (and picture) show her prominently wearing a gold badge. I made the decision to have her be a gold agent since that's the picture I handed out to everyone, and it makes sense that, given the other NPCs wealth and level, she should be gold.
And that's about it, really.
It was kind of odd that Temel Passad's new picture was used on the cover, but not inside. Not necessarily an error, just strange.
My group actually managed to avoid the first fight by staying way, way back and talking from a distance. She eventually realised the ruse had failed, that they were too far away to hurt, and just left. So I ran it with no combat.
Other than that... it's a mighty fine mod, and I'm itching to see Myrosype show up in another mod. :D
Awesome! As someone who submitted a Quest, it's great to see them getting looked at. I'm sure the pile is quite large and it's a lot of work to go through, so you totally have my sympathy on that.
I did have one question: although individual feedback is probably way, way too much to ask for in this particular case, will you be contacting authors after the review's complete? Even something as simple as: "Your submission was received, but unsuccessful at this time."
Although even a 5-25 word microfeedback like "Good, but too many typos" or something would be insanely useful.
Still! Thanks for taking the time to read the submissions, and thanks again for helping aspiring writers get involved!
Quick note. The ACG says, in regard to re-naming class features:
ACG, page 74 wrote:
This doesn't answer it, since it's technically different, but it certainly seems to imply that it would work (at least, that's my reading).
Quick request for clarification. Can the Sanctified Slayer Inquisitor archetype take the feat Extra Slayer Talent?
The relevant feats and class abilities are:
Sanctified Slayer wrote:
Extra Slayer Talent wrote:
The issue is that the Sanctified Slayer doesn't, technically, have the "Slayer talent class feature", as they have the "Talented Slayer" class feature.
Can I have this clarified? It seems logical to me that any ability that grants unfettered access to slayer talents should count as the slayer talent class feature.
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
Again... eerily familiar, almost worryingly so.
Said GM also has a policy of attempting to screw players for gold, boons, and of course, kill as many as possible usually by take-backs, fudging rolls and modifying statblocks (I've subsequently read the mod last night, the enemies could only hit on a 20, no crits were declared and yet somehow they all hit every time), and most notably, taking the absolute worst-case, selectively literal reading of events in a module, and then using them to try and 'Gotcha!' PCs.
As I said, this was far from the most egarious thing that happened in that game. My personal favourite was this one, explained by analogy to prevent spoilers:
GM: As the last enemy falls, the burning building you're in begins to tremble and shake, heralding a collapse. We're going to remain in initiative. What are you doing?
Player whose turn it is: Well, the exit is only two squares away, right? I leave.
GM: Right, you leave. The building collapses and the rest of you are all killed. See, it says here in the mod that "as the PCs exit the building, it collapses, killing anyone left inside." The rest of you are all dead.
I've talked to other players on that table. We're quite a diverse group; although we all enjoy Pathfinder Society play, we value different parts of it. One other player is very much a rules-focused player. I, on the other hand, am a story-focused player*. The idea of using a cinematic event as an excuse to kill player characters rankles me.
Complaints were made (and are continuing to be made). The letter I'm writing to one of our VC's is long, detailed, and only after being written after other instances of this kind of behaviour lead me to believe that change is not possible for this particular GM (and the mods were read and reviewed).
*Note that good roleplaying doesn't preclude making powerful characters. As I said, the mobs could only hit my PC on a 20. Said GM openly declared that he didn't like how I built and ran my characters, so I suspect his solution for me building characters that can't be hit by a typical mook was to just decide that everything should hit anyway, because reasons.
I see this very much as a GM call. I don't how exactly it played out at the table or details of the encounter. It really depends on the situation at hand.
It essentially went like this.
GM: The long passageway ends in a door.
Rogue: I search the door for traps.
[rolls are made]
GM: There is a trap there.
Rogue: How does the trap work?
GM: Upon attempting to open the door, the floor drops open and a pit appears here.
[the pit is drawn on the map]
Wizard: We move to the edge of the pit and, using mage hand, open the door.
GM: You open the door. The pit appears. The door is a false door and leads nowhere.
Bard: We go back around the way we came.
Never was there any indication that we had to search it, that anything of value remained, and that although we were base-to-base with the edge there was nothing of any interest down this long pit.
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
We simply neglected to say: "We search the bottom of the pit." We didn't take any particular effort to avoid it, we just set it off, and then walked around it. There was a DC listed which many of us could have automatically made, even taking 1.
Without putting too finer point on it, the GM in this situation was taking "PCs should not expect full" as their mantra. There were a whole host of other problems with the game and this attitude but at this stage I, and some other players, are just trying to figure out which parts were flat out blatantly wrong and which were subject to interpretation, GM style differences, or overly literal readings of rules (ignoring the paragraph after paragraph which say things about rewarding creative solutions, don't be a jerk, etc etc).
Dorothy Lindman wrote:
*To be fair, a few of them may have just been applying computer-game mechanics to RPs, but at least two had "kill the player characters" as their stated goal when we played.
In the Pathfinder Society Guide to Organised Play, under the section Creative Solutions, it states:
Sometimes during the course of a scenario, your players might surprise you with a creative solution to an encounter (or the entire scenario) that you didn’t see coming and that isn’t expressly covered in the scenario.
How literally should this statement be interpreted? If a module with a pit-trap states something akin to:
Should the PCs search the bottom of the trap, they receive the following rewards: 10gp
But the PCs found the trap, safely set it off, and navigated around the pit without looking in.
The module expressly stated that the PCs must search the bottom of the pit in order to receive the awards. Is this considered "explicitly covered"?
I'm especially curious, since this is part of a much broader question of "can a module override the PFSGtOP, or are all PFS modules written with the assumption that the PFSGtOP is an overarching set of rules that governs all modules"?
Mat Black wrote:
I think the first line of the Realistic Likeness feat answers your question, whether it's considered "flavor" text or not. Humans only. If that's not enough, the feat specifically mentions when you are using your racial ability, which states that you can only take on a human form. There shouldn't be any table variation on this, unless the GM is not familiar with the racial ability or the feat. The abilities are cut and dry.
The problem is that the fluff text is just fluff. Sure, I agree it indicates the writers intent, but if abilities like Pageant of the Peacock were run based off clear intent instead of RaW, then fewer people would take it.
It's not honestly a huge drama, especially since one could combine it with other illusion magic or mundane disguises. It just seems odd that the ability is so... limited and underpowered.
I've got two Kitsune certs and so I have a couple of questions for Pathfinder Society Play. I realise it's a minor thing unlikely to be officially FAQ'd or whatever, but I guess if someone from the campaign staff could jump and give me a tick that'd be great.
I'm curious to know what a Kitsune with the Realistic Likeness feat can transform into. The rules text seems to indicate "any individual", whereas the flavour text seems limited to humans. To preserve sanity, I think a middle ground is in order.
For the curious, the texts are:
Change Shape (Su) A kitsune can assume the appearance of a specific single human form of the same sex. The kitsune always takes this specific form when she uses this ability. A kitsune in human form cannot use her bite attack, but gains a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to appear human. Changing shape is a standard action. This ability otherwise functions as alter self, except that the kitsune does not adjust her ability scores.
When you are in human form, you can take the shape of a specific individual.
Benefit: You can precisely mimic the physical features of any individual you have encountered. When you use your racial change shape ability, you can attempt to take the form of an individual, granting you a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks made to fool others with your impersonation.
I included the fluff text for Realistic Likeness as it indicates human only. However, the flavour text indicates that the Kitsune can attempt to impersonate "any individual". This indicates that it is more or less as-per alter self, minus stat changes, with unlimited duration.
I personally think that being able to impersonate any individual is a lot more fun, but I do agree there should be limits (attempting to claim a gold dragon as an "individual" seems wildly inappropriate). But if it's just humans, then the ability seems remarkably underpowered, since it's spending a racial ability and a feat on something that could be duplicated by a first or second level spell or even just some skill ranks if you are already human.
Accordingly, I was going to prepare a small cheat sheet for potential GMs regarding this issue that was going to include the two relevant texts along with my reasoning as to how it works or should work (bearing in mind mechanics text trumps flavour text).
I would suggest that it works the following way:
The Kitsune's Realistic Likeness feat allows the Kitsune to adopt the form of any specific or generic individual of the humanoid type, as per alter self. Additionally, the Kitsune may adopt the form of any other appropriate human-like form such as native outsiders who are descended from humanoids (Tieflings and Aasimar, amongst others), humanoid-appearing Fey, or constructs shaped as Medium or Small sized humanoids.
It does not permit the Kitsune to adopt the form of creatures too strange and fantastic for the biology of the Kitsune to adapt to, such as dragons, non-humanoid constructs, furniture, etc. In any event, this disguise brings with it none of the creature's actual biology. Shapeshifting into a Tiefling with horns does not grant a gore attack, shapeshifting into a Quickling does not grant access to their speed, etc. The shapeshift is, in all ways, cosmetic. This is a non-magical change (but true seeing and similar effects still pierce it).
A Kitsune cannot assume another gender while pregnant, although they may use their power to disguise their condition.
Irrespective of the form chosen, the modifiers for the Disguise still apply (including impersonating an alternate sex, race, age categories, etc).
Link to Part I: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qp2c?This-Is-How-A-Dwarven-Queen-Dies-Part-I
Link to previous part: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qq0w?This-is-How-A-Dwarven-Queen-Dies-Part-II
Visiting Telaki's mother it is!
The next part of the thread will be posted in a new thread on Saturday the 8th of March.
Part III: “Thicker Than Water”
“No.” Telaki inhaled, folding her hands in front of her. “I should see Shadra.”
High King Borogrim nodded in approval. “You should. Take a king's advice – do what your mother tells you. She is wiser than most give her credit for.”
“You are preaching to the choir, father. Of course I will.”
With a nod, Borogrim dismissed her. She returned the gesture then walked from the great hall towards the courtyard, her mind turning over her words before she spoke them. She wanted to be as prepared as possible.
She did not, however, prepare for the visage of her mother crying her eyes out into the courtyard fountain.
“I know why you're here,” said Shadra, her shoulders trembling. “You want to leave.”
Telaki's heart wilted. “I have to.”
“You don't have to do anything! You are Telaki Duerguin, only daughter of High King Borogrim, my only child! You owe the Pathfinder Society nothing!”
“This is not about the Pathfinder Society. It never was. This is about the good of Golarion.”
Shadra stood, her graceful dwarven features contorted with grief. “You cannot justify this! Golarion will survive without you, and Torag knows we need you here!”
“Why?” It genuinely confused her. “What part of me cannot spend a decade away from these halls? What dangers can my brothers, the king and you, yourself, not handle?”
“I am no warrior,” said Shadra.
Telaki reached up and brushed back her fringe. “I've seen your arrows strike a dwarf-shaped target at two hundred yards. You are not a warrior; you are what a warrior aspires to be.”
Shadra gripped Telaki's shoulders, her strong fingers holding her tight. “Don't leave,” she said, accenting every word for emphasis. “Please.”
Post “1” to ask Shadra to respect her autonomy.
Post “2” to bargain for Shadra's approval.
Post “3” to not attempt to convince her and leave anyway.
Voting ends on Thursday the 6th of March.
Link to Part I: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qp2c?This-Is-How-A-Dwarven-Queen-Dies-Part-I
Link to previous part: http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2qp2c?This-Is-How-A-Dwarven-Queen-Dies-Part-I
Since we got no votes on the next part I'm selecting option '1', to talk more about the Pathfinder Society. Thanks for reading, guys! Feel free to vote at the end.
The next part of the thread will be posted in a new thread on Saturday the 1st of March of February.
Part II: “Blood, Shadow, or Death”
“I want you to let me make my own way to Absalom.”
The request drew the questioning stare of High King Borogrim. “Absalom is some journey away. I had assumed you would travel with your retinue--”
“If I am to be a Pathfinder, I must face danger. If I cannot make this journey by myself, I do not see how I can hope to complete their training.”
“Pathfinders very rarely travel alone, Telaki.”
“Take a dozen of my finest soldiers, then.”
She shook her head, blonde braids tumbling. “No. A half dozen, and market guards only. The Pathfinder Society will not treat my differently for my royal blood nor would I expect them to. The sooner I become accustomed to this, the better.”
The king did not look pleased but relented. “Eight. And that is my final offer.”
“Eight then.” She smiled. “Thank you once again.”
Borogrim did not seem pleased. “My only daughter, a Pathfinder. Staying at that lodge... diving into dusty tombs, travelling with strangers, fighting and dying in the name of nothing.”
“I do not fear blood, shadow or death. And you, of all people, should understand the value of knowledge. The Pathfinder Society seeks the Sky Citadels. How can we turn our backs on their help?”
The king said nothing, and Telaki knew that her reasoning had won it.
She hesitated. “I... have not asked.”
“Then the matter is far from decided. I may be king, but I fear for my head if I were permit Shadra's child to endanger herself without her consent. All the spears in the Highhelm could not protect me from her wrath.”
Telaki made no attempt to disagree, and simply nodded.
The king touched his brow, closing his eyes a moment, and then regarded her. “Is there anything else?”
Post “1” to visit Telaki's mother.
Voting ends on Thursday the 27th of February.
Hey all, this is something that I'm experimenting with at the moment. It's an interactive story, posted in pieces, with the community dictating what happens next. We have an end goal, we have a start, and now the rest is up to you. See the end of the post for directions.
The next part of the thread will be posted in a new thread on Saturday the 22nd of February.
Part I: “This Is How A Dwarven Queen Dies”
Telaki Duerguin, only daughter of High King Borogrim the Hale and 13th in line for the throne, fell bloodied and scorched to the ground, her song cut short. The Crown of Borogrim the Hale, King of Highhelm, fell in front of her broken body, her blade Vajra clanging to the ground beside it. Dwarven blood ran freely onto the stones of Highhelm.
This would have been the end of her but dwarves were stubborn and tougher than stone. Her hand found Vajra. Groaning in pain, Telaki pushed off the cobblework, climbing back to her feet. She pulled her shield Ironwall close to her side.
Ash rained inside the sky citadel and the wind whipped around her, pulling her blonde hair in all directions. The incubus Sanglamore, he who had bought such ruin to her people, strode amongst the blood and the bodies, indifferent to the dead dwarves around him.
The city guard would soon arrive, but they would be too late to save the king. Telaki gripped Vajra and stepped forward.
The fiend stopped, looking over his shoulder. “You should stay on the ground,” he warned, his voice a deep purr. “You are not my goal.”
Telaki would not permit Borogrim to die. The soldiers who lay broken around her had given their lives for the king; she could do no less herself. “You have spilled enough dwarven blood today, fiend. It is time to put you down.”
That seemed to amuse him. Sanglamore fully faced the lone dwarf, bloodied scimitar held comfortably in his pale hand. “You, your songs, and your tiny sword are no match for me.”
Telaki cleared her throat, the lingering magic of her war chant floating around her, the air whipped into a swirl by her power. “Then come,” she spat, leveling her blade at the Incubus, the adamantine edge stained red by the fires that burned all around her.
“This is how a dwarven queen dies.”
“You've grown up so fast.” Her father smiled as he touched her cheek. “I'm proud of you.”
Telaki couldn't help but smile back. “Thank you, father, but I don't feel I've earned your praise just yet.”
“Spoken like a true queen; one who realizes that respect is not automatic and must be earned.”
“I am no queen, nor will I ever be.” Telaki's smile faded. “Unless every one of my twelve brothers succumbs to some fatal accident.”
“Do not speak of such things,” Borogrim said. “For too much of our recent history dwarves have stood apart. We must unite again, for the good of all, under the banner of our true leader.”
“That is to be Agrym's path. My brother will serve well as king; I want to do something else with my life.” Telaki put her hands on her hips. “I have applied for membership with the Pathfinder Society. The Silver Crusade needs soldiers, and too long have I languished in our mountain halls.”
Her father was disappointed, she could tell, but he concealed it well. “Your life is your own, Telaki Duerguin. If you leave, you do so with my blessing.”
She kissed his cheek. “Thank you, father.”
“What more could I give my only daughter?”
Telaki hesitated, the words floating to her lips. “Well...”
Post “1” to talk more about the Pathfinder Society.
Thanks Rossi, those are good suggestions; I was hoping to use a heavy shield since I wanted to build an effective sword+shield fighter and this seemed to be one way of doing it. Another way of fixing it is to take the Eschew Materials feat and be done with it.
Unfortunately, the character is for Pathfinder Society, and creating a character that operates on a clear case of "the rules say I can't do it, but can I do it?" table variation is not really feasible.
I'm starting an Arcane Duelist soon who has a gladius and a heavy shield. At 5th level, they receive a modified version of the Arcane Bond class feature, which reads: (bolded for emphasis)
At 5th level, an arcane duelist gains the arcane bond ability as a wizard, using a weapon as his bonded item. He may not choose a familiar or other type of bonded item. He may use the hand holding his bonded weapon for somatic components.
However, several bard spells (namely glitterdust, haste, others) require material components. My understanding is that a free hand is required for material components. From the core rulebook, "magic", "casting spells", "choosing a spell" section:
To cast a spell, you must be able to speak (if the spell has a verbal component), gesture (if it has a somatic component), and manipulate the material components or focus (if any). Additionally, you must concentrate to cast a spell.
It seems the intention is for the Arcane Duelist to be able to cast spells while wielding their bonded weapon (and, in fact, they must or a difficult concentration check is required), is it possible to get this errata'd/FAQ'd to include something like the following text? (changes in bold)
At 5th level, an arcane duelist gains the arcane bond ability as a wizard, using a weapon as his bonded item. He may not choose a familiar or other type of bonded item. He may use the hand holding his bonded weapon for somatic components, and while wielding the bonded weapon, is treated as having the Eschew Materials feat.
I was looking for an easy way of saying "can consume material components without holding them", as occurs in several of the Pathfinder novels, but I figured this was an easier way of solving it.
(SPOILERS: Mild spoilers for Bonekeep Part II)
Bonekeep, Level Two
The words came as a roar, an urging born from certain knowledge. Aroden's halo flared as he swung his longsword Ebonstorm, Hand of Mankind once more; its adamantine blade dug deep into the construct's body. Had it been a living creature it would have been slain long ago, but the mechanical monster continued its assault, ignoring the grievous wound.
Aroden, a God made flesh, slid his feet back, inching towards the portal and adopting a defensive stance. He blocked another attack, but his arms were weary and his wounds many. The walls were splattered in the blood of slain Hound Archons and men alike.
They had anticipated peril. They had not anticipated wholesale slaughter.
Arazni's Gift, his platemail that had borne him through so much of his troubled rebirth, was scratched and dented. The monster barely seemed slowed by such deterrences as a cocoon of metal.
"Hold fast," came the call from within the portal. A rich, intelligence voice mixed in with animalistic growl. "Never fear Godling, Servare the Red is here."
Aroden felt, rather than saw, his red dragon ally slip through the portal behind him; the creature was the size of a horse, all horns, red scales and fierce claws, its mute gnome slave strapped limply to its chest.
Why anyone would choose to willingly become an eidolon Aroden would never know, but the huge, blackened wound on the creature's chest that never seemed to heal spoke volumes about the matter.
He had no time to think about it. The construct lunged again with both arms. Aroden twisted his body, parrying one; the second screamed as it dragged along his plate, sparks flying wildly all around him. He stepped back, nearly tripping over the fallen body of their fellow Pathfinder, his crimson blood slicking the floor of this strange, hostile place.
"I said fall back, Servare! Our forces dwindle... This is a fight we cannot win! Take Anrakyr and flee this place, never to return!"
A rush of air behind him nearly knocked him off his feet as Servare's massive nostrils snorted dismissively. "You fleshlings can never understand. A dragon does not flee, least of all from an overgrown clock."
This was no time for bickering. Aroden lunged with his blade, slicing off a hunk of construct. He grit his teeth, halo flaring once more as he leapt forward, driving Ebonstorm in up to the hilt. He roared triumphantly, feeling victory to be certain.
The construct accepted the hit as though it were a mere inconvenience. It slammed its spiked arms into him, puncturing the steel of his armour, finding flesh below.
He could heal himself. Could restore whole damaged flesh, but air couldn't fill his ruined lungs. The construct released him. He tried to speak--tried to breathe--but nothing happened.
Ebonstorm fell to the ground, numb hands unable to hold it. His legs collapsed, Servare casually stepped over him, and the world once again went dark.
Aroden died with a smile on his face.
But then there was light. There was always light. Aroden just could not stay dead.
There was warmth above him and below. Was he on the Material Plane, or had he ascended once again? Excitement filled him. Had death returned his divine essence?
He felt a touch on his cheek. A warm, comforting touch he knew well. Aroden kept his eyes closed, knowing who it was.
"Good evening, Arazni."
"Good evening, Aroden," was her soft reply. The tone sealed it for him. He hadn't ascended. This was... well, it was something. But it wasn't the plane of the Gods.
Aroden had known Arazni as a mortal, as his herald, his comrade, and... something else. It was complicated, the "us", but for most the term "close friends" was enough.
Those were brighter days, very much in the past. So much had changed in the mortal realms. Now Arazni ruled in Geb, a shade of her former self, her body dead and rotting. Horrid to look upon, but far less horrifying than her twisted and darkened soul.
He remembered Geb with much fondness, a bright and verdant land. Fertile.
No longer. Aroden was horrified to see it as it was today, just as he was its ruler. Seeing Geb's dead and rotten citizens tending the fields would be a sight that would never leave him, in this life or any other.
"I thought for sure that I would ascend if I were killed," he said, trying to sit up, but his muscles felt weak. Aroden remained in the white, laying on some unseen surface, content. "Wasn't that our deal?"
"What deal?" said Arazni, gently stroking his cheek. "Are you Asmodeus now, sneaking divinity into your fine print?"
"No, but I simply assumed..."
"You assumed that you would be reborn as an extraplanar mortal, live a good life, die in the service of a worthy organisation and regain your Godhood?"
"Something like that," Aroden admitted. "The best plans are often the most simple."
Arazni--or whatever was passing for Arazni--made a soft tsking sound. "One cannot solve a puzzle by finding a single piece. The mystery of your... absence... cannot be solved by a single act of bravery. How many other mortals have perished in the halls of Bonekeep? Do they all deserve to be Gods too?"
"No," said Aroden, "and I wonder sometimes if I do, either."
Arazni tittered in amusement. "Now you are Cayden Cailean, the reluctant God? How can you ever be expected to regain your place amongst the pantheon when you're too busy stealing the portfolios of your peers?"
"I didn't mean it like that."
"Words mean things. You shouldn't misuse them."
They say there in silence, Aroden basking in the warmth, Arazni cradling his head.
"I want to open my eyes," said Aroden, "but I'm afraid of what I might see."
"Afraid of me?"
"Afraid that you're not really here, and that this is all some kind of pre-expiration hallucination. Afraid Pharasma's pulling some kind of cosmic joke on me."
"The Lady of Graves is not known for her humour," Arazni remarked. "And if you ever doubt you're not really a God, I'm afraid the halo gives it away."
"Similar features have been seen in others."
There was no response, at least not right away, save Arazni's gentle breathing.
"Aroden... have you wondered, sometimes, why you don't possess the wizarding abilities you had in life?"
"I cast spells," Aroden protested. "I draw upon the magic of the Gods. This is a feat impossible for supplicants of dead Gods."
"But you do not cast arcane spells."
"I assumed that they would return in time."
"Quite an assumption," Arazni said.
"Can you tell me why?"
"Of course," said Arazni. "But do you trust what I'm telling you?"
"As much as I trust anything."
She inhaled, lifting Aroden's head slightly, then spoke. "Do you remember how you died?"
Visions of that terrible, painful event leapt back in his mind. He forced them away. "Yes."
"The death of mortals is a messy, bloody, screaming affair. The death of Gods are no different. When you were struck down, your divine essence was split into twelve aspects... The same aspects who once walked Golarion. The beggar, thief, fisherman, hunter, shepherd, farmer, merchant, tailor, craftsman, artist, scholar and soldier. You, of course, are the soldier."
"That explains the blade. The armour."
"Indeed. There are eleven others, just like you. One for each of the guises."
"What... happens when I find them?"
"Oh," said Arazni, "I would be more concerned about what happens when they find you."
"Each of them know this. The essence of Aroden was divided into eight. With the death of each--the true death--the essence stored in the fragment is distributed evenly. Look at how powerful you've become in such a short time, Aroden. But a few months ago you were a skilled but untested novice, strong but untrained... now you wield spell and blade with considerable skill. Why do you think that is?"
Aroden shuffled uneasily, grimacing, fighting the temptation to open his eyes. "Because I have trained with the Pathfinder society. Because I have explored, reported, cooperated. I've grown as an individual--"
"As a person? As one of them?" Arazni's voice took on a bitter edge. "Aroden, you are far better than the writhing fleshbags you associate with. It is true that the Pathfinder Society will, sooner rather than late, do something terribly important, and it's important you be there, but for now... these eleven other fragments of your soul should be your priority. Retrieve them and reclaim your destiny."
He knew it was wrong. If the other eleven shards were just as he was, they had every right to live. Besides. Aroden kept his word and he had pledged service to the Pathfinder Society. No small part of him knew that this was important.
"I'll investigate the eleven," Aroden said, meaning every bit of it. "After the Pathfinder Society's work is done."
"If you wait that long," said Arazni, her tone ominous, "they will find you first."
Aroden opened his eyes and found himself staring directly into the nostrils of a red dragon. Beyond that, he could see the walls of the Grand Lodge in Absalom.
"Welcome back," purred Servare, his gnome slave limply hanging from its harness. "You've been gone for some time. We were unsure we could revive you--your spirit almost crossed over--but alas, I did not have Aasimar for my meal tonight." The bright runic mark on his forehead glowed. "Mores the pity."
Aroden pushed back Servare's snout, sitting up. "Down, dragon. You get your fill of horse meat." His head ached. His chest ached. "How long?"
"Feels like just a few minutes."
"Keep the experience to yourself," smirked Servare, his gnome gurgling mindlessly. "I plan on living forever."
"Dragons die, you know."
"Not this dragon, meatsack. I have a bleachling to sap the life from."
Aroden rubbed his chest, trying to force the ache away. "Take it from a God," he said, grimacing as he slowly staggered to his feet, his hands trembling ever so slightly before him, his whole body drained.
"Nobody cheats death forever."
We live in a world with objective good and evil. The gods pass their judgements on the living, and the requirements of a good life are spelled out for us as clear as the blue skies over the Inner Sea. The righteous are to be exalted. The malicious destroyed. The process is simple.
So any priest might tell you.
I believe that life is not -- cannot -- be this simple. The difference between sainthood and diabolic malevolence is not choosing one side and slaughtering the other. One does not become righteous through the deaths of a thousand monsters.
One becomes a monster.
This morning I met a child in Absalom. She was adorable; brown hair, eyes dark like mine, skin weathered from too many days spent enduring cold nights with nothing but a holed blanket. Her arms were thin, her cheeks hollow, and the way she eyed my morning bread broke my heart. So I gave it to her.
I did not do this because I was trying to repent for my failure as a paladin, nor for any other reason than this stranger, this living creature, was hungry. A child of her tender years should not spend their days begging for scraps.
I found her body later that afternoon, murdered for her meager ration. My kindness had killed her.
Am I closer to redemption now than I was? Or am I further away?
I sometimes wonder if Sarenrae is trying to reach me, to sit in my heart as she once did, but I am too afraid to check. I cannot allow myself to feel the things I used to feel, because I would do as I used to do, a path that lead me here.
The world is not a forgiving place for wide eyed idealists.
I have no specific regrets about my life as a Pathfinder, but I have so many doubts, second guesses, hesitations that I cannot go back.
The Diamond City calls for aid and I refuse the call, so the lodge sends other, inexperienced Pathfinders to fight in my stead. They are so young. They have not seen what I've seen. They've not stood toe to toe with the foulest spawns of the pits, stared into their souls and seen the darkness writhing within.
I will be far away from the siege. My ears will hear only the pleasant sound of lyre and harp, my lips tasting fine ale and roast mutton, my hands warmed by a roaring fire.
I will be comfortable as the Silver Crusade's blood splatters on the streets of the Diamond City. I will be unable to hear the screams as fiends carve flesh from bone. I will sit nursing my self-pity in whatever cheap inn I find myself at for the night as my fellows taste blood and mud and rot.
I will imagine it all well enough, though, and that thought is too much for me.
I cannot atone for my failures with a sword. No matter how many devils and demons I may slay, it is water to a drowning man. Atonement is no simple feat, no set of prayers and rituals and tithes to become whole again. Perhaps the darkness within cannot be quelled. Perhaps I am too far gone for forgiveness.
Perhaps the Diamond City is no worse a place to die than here.
Quick couple of questions about the Diabolist imp companion. Since they are adding outsider hit die, not animal hit die, does an imp companion have full BAB? Herolab seems to think they do.
Additionally, because the imp's type is outsider, do they have all simple and martial weapon proficiencies?
Edit: Finally, the text for imp companion says they are "similar to an animal companion". For the purposes of feats and alternate racials, are they counted as an animal companion?
For Pathfinder Society play, I was looking at creating a Diabolist (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/c-d/diabolist ). I'm having a little trouble with the imp companion's statistics.
- Is the imp an animal companion for the purposes of feats, classes, alternate racial abilities such as a human's Eye for Talent, etc?
Herolab, my usual go-to source, insists that it does have full BAB, does have the weapon proficiencies, but does not have the damage reduction and fast healing. Except for the BAB part, this seems to be legit.
Oh wow, can't believe I won! Woot. :D Heaps of really stiff competition, so I guess it came down to the toss of a coin (roll of a D20?) in the end.
Regarding Bigdaddyjug's question, yes, the character was retired after that session, and Zaheeda was retired at 12 (that game made her 12). I had considered retiring her as dead, it was a pretty awesome and very Paladin-y death (used Paladin's Sacrifice to save another character, then died next round due to full attack + greatclub crit), but if I didn't I couldn't write this!
Time to spill a little secret for Jeff Mahood... I hate paladins too. ;) This was my first one in all my time of playing D&D and I started with the old Eye of the Beholder games (aka early 2nd Edition). It was a distinct challenge for me and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly. Zaheeda cured me of my Paladin-hate.
I loved Zaheeda for all the little details. Her full plate was called "Faith" (because "a paladin's armour is faith"), her weapon was originally a wedding gift (heirloom weapon) which had some cool in-story reason for getting changed due to the errata for that trait (see below).
Every time I made a save, I'd say a little thing:
Fort - "A paladin's body is iron."
If she got full attacked, then "A paladin's armour is faith" came out.
It was a fun, powerful, interesting character and Dawnstriker, that lecherous but playfully funny horse, was probably the most interesting and awesome bit.
If I ever need to play the character again, I have a "Getting The Band Back Together" story kicking around in my head, but for now... Zaheeda's been through a lot, I'm content to let her rest.
Some other stuff I've written for the character is here:
(This regarded a subplot about her husband and comprised a series of letters that I'd open at appropriate times during games, such as when the GM went to the bathroom or the like, or after)
A picture of the character is here:
King of the Storval Stairs #4–04 (933 words):
Dear Venture-Captain Sheila Heidmarch,
Please excuse the shake in my hand. Returning from Pharasma's embrace leaves a mark on the body that can take some time to fade. It was not my first brush with the Lady of Graves, and as soon as I am back in the Grand Lodge I hope that the restorative magic of the Pathfinders will purge the harrowing from my soul and restore my body to health.
After then I will leave you all forever.
This decision has not been made lightly, and I will attempt to explain as best I can, but I know you will not understand. Many will not. I apologise for this in advance.
Some say paladins do not know fear. I humbly count myself as one of their number, so I say this with the confidence of first hand experience.
They could not be more wrong.
A paladin lives with fear every second of every day. Their fears are not the fears of the common folk; fears of death, pain, suffering. Fearing the loss of their friends and family. Fearing poverty or disease or dismemberment.
Instead, a paladin fears that their great power will lead them to become a tyrant. A paladin fears they will be unable to prevent the suffering of the innocent, or that justice will escape the wicked. They fear that they will be unable to hold themselves to their own self-imposed, entirely unreasonable ideals. They fear that their swords and their strength will not be enough to keep back the ever-encroaching darkness.
They fear, yes, but there is a power behind them stronger than fear. A power that drives them to greatness. One that heals wounds, protects the innocent and inspires the downtrodden.
Most commoners assume that a paladin lives a life of chastity, of humble things, of prayers and rituals punctuated by heroic battles. They assume that theirs is an emotionless existence, a hollow one of mindless service until death.
They, too, could not be more wrong. I know of such lives, of empty servitude and toil. A paladin is nothing like this.
A paladin loves with all their heart. They possess a voracious adoration of life and all its many pleasures, bound to a thirst for joy that cannot be sated. They love everyone from the greatest king to the humblest peasant, and they love them so completely and utterly that all their thoughts are bent towards serving them. They give of themselves unquestioning and unhesitatingly, surrendering their youth, their health and—far, far too often—their lives. Every piece of their being is gifted in love and service to others.
I tell you that paladins feel fear... the curtain of darkness that falls over the mind and drives it to selfish purposes, but their unbridled love banishes the feeling just as torchlight banishes the night.
When the giant's club crushed my skull to paste during our expedition to the Storval Stairs, a paladin returned me from Pharasma's embrace. It was my dear friend Rita, a gnome so full of life and love that sometimes I feel her tiny body could not possibly hold it all.
But when I awoke and saw her, seeing with eyes made whole once again, I felt a terrible pain in my heart that I knew was not a remnant of being dragged back from the grave. Her youthful, joyous smile at seeing me live again could not be returned in kind. Even our combined love for all that is good in this world could not banish the shadows on my soul.
I have too many doubts, and I have spilled too much blood in my service to the Pathfinder Society. I reason it away; I tell myself that the giants we slew by the handful were wholly committed to evil and that our purpose was noble. This rationalisation calms my nightmares, sometimes, but there are so many other deaths by my hands. So many lives ended. I cannot excuse them all. How many orphans have I made? How many husbands, wives, children and siblings howl to the sky in grief because of what I have done?
We are Kings of the Storval Stairs, but that metaphorical crown is irrevocably stained with blood. If this is what it means to be a Pathfinder, to stand atop the broken bodies of our enemies, to kill dozens over a tiny strip of land, I cannot help but feel that this victory is hollow and that the full price of it will be paid in the next life. I see the encroachment of those shadows, I feel the fear, but I can summon no love to banish it.
How can I love a stranger when I cannot love myself?
(the remainder of the letter is stained with dried tears)
My best friend and loyal steed, the celestial horse Dawnstriker... I think he will understand the least. I treasure him like the brother I never had. Always has he been a source of courage for me, his brown eyes never judging, and it is with a great pain that I release him from service.
Enclosed is my wayfinder, a letter for him, and enough coin to dispatch a wizard to his home plane to deliver it. This is my final act of cowardice. He deserves so much better. I will regret this action for the rest of my life, but I cannot bear to tell noble Dawnstriker in person that I have fallen.
I am so very, truly sorry.
In grief and shame,
Liberator Zaheeda of the Silver Crusade, former paladin in Sarenrae's service, former Pathfinder.
Sanguinaxia watched with supernaturally intelligent eyes as the elven wizard she kept on retainer began the magic to save her son.
Many would think the wicked red dragons uncaring for all save themselves, but even these purveyors of vile thoughts and deeds held the safety of the next generation, their own blood, in high regard. The hatchling was her last surviving child and, although dragonkind live a long time, eventually they too faced Pharasma’s judgement. The only two ways to leave a mark on the world when they vanished were through deeds, or through blood.
Sanguinaxia was too cautious to have her deeds provide her legacy, having seen so many of her kind fall at the business end of spears and blades, so blood was the only way to cement a lasting impact on Golarion.
She would not see her legacy die today.
Vaarden withdrew a small pouch from his reagent bag which seemed much larger on the inside than it did on the outside. The pouch’s contents, a pinch of powdered diamond, was upended into a small clay bowl, then the pouch returned to Vaarden’s reagent bag.
“Diamond dust, for persistence.”
The next ingredient was a small vial of a glowing blue liquid. The elf added a single drop of the fluid to the bowl, which hissed as it touched the powder, creating a small cloud of cyan fumes that rose with a flash of light.
“Liquid catalyst, for potency.”
Sivian the gnome, as though expecting what would come next, extended his hand. Vaarden drew a slender elven dagger from his hip with his other hand and pierced the tip of Sivian’s finger, letting the crimson fluid drip into the bowl. He then crouched beside the bleeding dragon hatchling, using the vial to collect some of its red, molten blood, which was in turn added to the mixture.
“Blood of both parties, for binding.”
The delay seemed agonizingly slow to Sanguinaxia. Her acute draconic senses could tell much of her hatchling’s status; the rate of his breathing, his heartbeat, the faint twitch of a leg or his tail. Life was leaving him faster, it seemed, than Vaarden was able to work.
Another pouch left Vaarden’s reagent bag, and this one wiggled and roiled as he upended it, tipping a half-dozen live spiders into the mixture. Sivian handed Vaarden a pestle and the elf ground the living creatures, the blood, the blue fluid and the diamond into a thick blue paste.
“Death, to conquer death.”
Vaarden dipped a finger into the mixture, then took it to Sivian’s forehead, dragging it across his flesh. Where the finger moved a bright blue trail was left, inscribing a mark that Sanguinaxia recognised as a rune in the draconic language: the rune of binding. The action was repeated on Sivian’s forehead.
“A mark of binding completes the ritual.”
Sanguinaxia inhaled, watching as Vaarden closed his eyes. “Repeat after me,” he said.
“Swear to bind this flesh to mine,”
“And forever shall our paths be one,”
“Until Sarenrae’s last dawn fades from the world and everything returns to dust.”
The body of the gnome and the dragon hatchling were enveloped in a faint light that started at the edges of their form and spread out until both were merely blobs of glowing blue luminescence. Sanguinaxia’s cavern was bathed in the bright radiance and she squinted, trying to make out what was happening. Her draconic senses could feel the palpable waves of energy radiating out from both of them and, most reassuringly, she could hear her hatchling’s heartbeat strengthen.
A shriek stole her attention. The gnome’s form writhed in agony, thrashing around and clawing at the mark on his forehead as though it were burning him. The scent of seared flesh filled her nose.
“Wizard!” she cried, “Is the binding complete?”
“Quiet!” Vaarden shouted in return, his voice high pitched, concentration wrinkling his face. “The spell is at its apex!”
Sanguinaxia stared, wide eyed, as white bolts of energy bounced between her child and the gnome, each one seeming to cause the two bodies to jump and jerk as though in pain. Smoke rose from the mark on the gnome’s face and he pitched forward, slumping into unconsciousness. The light faded, once again bathing the cavern in darkness. Sivian didn’t move, his breathing faint and his heartbeat quiet, seeming to be as wounded as her child was.
The mighty dragon cared not for the fate of the gnome, though, and all her attention was on the hatchling.
For a moment nothing happened. The hatchling’s faint breathing was mirrored by that of the gnome’s. Then he inhaled a gasp, jerking his head up, wide eyed, looking around him.
“What in the brackish hell of Phrasma’s undergarmets?”
Sanguinaxia stepped up to him, smiling a relieved, wide smile. “My son,” she said, her voice echoing around the expansive cavern, “you’re alive.”
“I am indeed,” he answered, holding up a foreclaw, inspecting it curiously. “The binding was a success, then?”
Sanguinaxia’s smile faded. “How did you know of this?”
The hatchling tapped on the side of his draconic skull, just before his left horn. “Sivian’s memories are within me,” he explained, “in a manner of speaking. We are not the same, but we are not entirely different either. I see his mind, his memories, his thoughts. Kindred spirits we are.”
Sanguinaxia draped her claws around her child’s body, drawing him close, closing her eyes and giving the hatchling a tight, lingering squeeze. “Kherolan, I thought I lost you.”
The hatchling shook his head. “Kheroldan was who I was,” he said, “and that word is not as... accurate, now.”
“Surely you do not wish to be called Sivian,” Sanguinaxia said, her tone dripping with displeasure. The hatchling, to her infinite relief, snorted derisively.
“To bear the name of a fey? I would not belittle myself so, mother.” He paused in momentary consideration. “Instead, I take the name Servare. ‘To Be Saved’ in our language. I find it... fitting.”
“Servare,” Sanguinaxia said, testing the word on her tongue. “Not my first choice of word, but fitting.” Thick, joyous tears rolled down the red dragon’s face as she dipped her snout and kissed the top of the hatchling’s head. “My son by any other name is still my son.”
Silence reigned for a time, then Vaarden coughed to break the spell. “We have yet to discuss the matter of payment,” he said.
Sanguinaxia waved her claw dismissively towards the deeper part of the cavern. “Take an item from my horde, for your ‘society’. Any, as you wish, I care not. None are more precious than my blood.”
She could smell his hesitation. “The Society does indeed value artifacts,” Vaarden explained, “but they also desire... the service of powerful creatures.”
“A favour I will owe each of the faction heads,” she answered, “and more.”
“A tempting offer,” answered Vaarden, his tone suggesting that he was expecting something more.
“What do you want, fleshling?” Sanguinaxia snarled, her patience running short. “Speak plainly, or you shall not be the only wizard who feels the heat of my breath today.”
“We have given your son life,” Vaarden said, “and done you both a great service. It seems fitting that we expect a service from you. If it would please you, we could settle the debt fairly easily. You have learned, today, that dragon hatchlings are at their most vulnerable while they are young. You cannot be in all places at once, and even with all your strength, your might, you could not protect your child from harm. None of us are as strong as you, lady dragon, but our numbers are many. If you would permit it, I have authorization to allow your son to apply to join the Pathfinder Society... his bondmate, included.”
At the mention of the bondmate Sanguinaxia turned her gaze back to the gnome. The creature seemed entirely inert, unmoving and barely alive. How terribly, she mused, that creature must have feared his final fate to trade oblivion for unconsciousness.
Sanguinaxia turned back to Vaarden. “I offer you all the riches of a dragon’s horde, and yet you take what is most valuable to me?”
“The service of a dragon, even a young one, is valuable to many.”
“Fifty years in the life of one of our kind is not so long,” she admitted, “and as you have astutely indicated, my son will be better protected in the halls of the Grand Lodge. Perhaps this is agreeable to me.”
“The decision is ultimately yours,” Vaarden said, “and Servare’s, of course.”
The hatchling twisted his neck, looking up to his mother. “Fifty years is not so long,” he said, “and I will need my strength if I am to become as powerful as you are.”
Sanguinaxia considered, turning the prospect over and over in her mind before giving a slow, accepting nod. “Fifty years of my son’s service,” she said, “and not one day longer.”
“Not one day longer. So swear I, Vaarden, on my life.”
Servare moved away from his mother, stepping beside the fallen gnome. He casually hooked a claw under the unconscious fey’s body and draped him over his back. Then he moved to Vaarden’s side.
“I’ll see you again soon, mother,” he said.
“Soon,” Sanguinaxia promised, and then the two vanished with a whine-pop, leaving the mother dragon alone in her cave with nothing but her riches and five decades of waiting for her precious son to return to her.
Sanguinaxia the Bloodletter, the crimson dragon, watched her hatchling's blood continue to trickle onto the stone floor and knew, despairingly, that her son's heart grew weaker. The paladin's blade had done its work well.
She hated the paladins beyond all other mortal fleshbags. Infernal servants of the do-gooder gods, they could bless their weapons to slice through a dragon's considerable defences, bypassing their supernatural resistance to harm, their iron scales, the tough bone and sinew beneath. Even a humble blade of mundane manufacture became a terrible weapon in their hands.
They were the worst of monsters. Their hearts knew no fear, their swords sharp and their bodies strong.
Not strong enough, though. That paladin's crumpled body lay nearby, her bones broken by the mother dragon's incomprehensible rage. The intruder party had a wizard, too, and his burned corpse still smoldered nearby. All that was left of their archer was a pair of smoking boots.
A dragon's wrath was a mighty sight to behold, especially to murderous fleshbag intruders unwelcome in her lair. Although she desired vengeance, the crimson dragoness had not pursued the fleeing, broken remanence of the invaders when they had wisely chosen to withdraw. Her attention was drawn elsewhere.
The paladin had mortally wounded her son.
Red dragons were almost exclusively chaotic and extremely wicked, vain creatures without a care for those they considered less than themselves, which at most times was almost everyone. Sanguinaxia was no different, holding even other members of her species in open and abject disdain, but sometimes they had their uses.
“Hold fast to courage, my son,” she said, leaning down to bump her nose against the broken form of the hatchling, exhaling a thick sooty cloud of ash over his body through her nose, trying to keep the fire of life stoked within him. “Salvation your way comes.”
On cue, a faint whine filled the air followed by a dull pop. A tall, lanky elven man with a permanent scowl affixed to his face and a pale, sickly gnome appeared in her lair. Sanguinaxia’s nostrils flared as their stench, sweat and oil and rancid perfumes washed down with the faint tinge of human, assaulted her nose.
Fleshlings, willingly invited to her lair. The thought rankled her.
“I am Vaarden, archwizard of the Pathfinder Society,” droned the elf, a lofty title Sanguinaxia was certain he had not earned. He spoke draconic, haughty and arrogant as though he considered himself a master of the tongue, although the accent--a subtle inflection imperceptible to non-dragons--implied it was the kobold variant. “I am responding to your summons.”
“You are late,” snarled the dragon, raising herself up to her full forty feet of height, towering over the two lessers who dared to defile her noble tongue with their butchery of her language. “I instructed you not to tarry.”
“These matters take time,” responded Vaarden, “a willing subject had to be located. The procedure is so unusual.”
“What do I pay you for, if not results?” Sanguinaxia snapped her head forward, baring her large, yellowed teeth, her rage barely kept in check as her catlike eyes studied the grey haired, trembling gnome who cowered by Vaarden’s side. “This is what you bring me? The gnome is sickly. Frail. Weak. He cannot be a bond for my son.”
“He was the only one who was willing.”
The dragoness’s heart clenched with anger, her blood pressure rising. Thick, ominous clouds pumped out of her nostrils and she inhaled, causing the elf’s long hair to billow towards her open maw. “What care have I if it is willing? My son’s life hangs in the balance, the wants and desires of fleshings are of no concern to me.”
“The spell requires the subject not resist,” said Vaarden, “and no amount of magic can compel them to complete the bond. Besides, this one is perfect.” A faint sneer crossed his elven features. “He seeks to escape the bleaching, believing the bond will sustain his mortal shell even as his passion for life crumbles around him.”
“The feyling wishes to drain my son’s life energy?” Sanguinaxia clenched her sharp teeth. “You thought I would agree to this?”
Vaarden held up both his hands. “It is not a parasitic entanglement, but a mutually beneficial one. Your son’s spirit is healthy but his body is broken. Sivian’s body is unmarked but his spirit fades. Together they can sustain each other.”
“Can they, now.” Sanguinaxia turned her terrible gaze upon the pale skinned gnome, who visibly retreated under her stern gaze. “Tell me, fleshling, how can you serve me?”
“Y-Your magnificence,” the gnome stuttered, “I have lived nearly two hundred years. I have wandered the world. I have seen all I fear I can see with these eyes, but those eyes dim. My hair whitens. My body aches. I feel Phrasma’s cold, uncaring breath on the nape of my neck, and I fear her judgement. If your son were to become my eidolon, I would escape that terrible fate.”
Sanguinaxia snorted derisively, twin smoke rings floating out of her nostrils and washing over the two humanoids. “Pharsma’s judgement is not so easily spurned. You are a fool if you believe whatever inept, bumbling, mortal magic this elf has offered you can outwit Death herself.”
Vaarden’s expression of offence was priceless to her but Sivian remained resolute.
“I can but try, mighty dragon. I have few options left.”
Sanguinaxia narrowed her eyes at the feyling, but a faint groan from her dying son washed away her hesitation. “Very well,” she intoned, wrinkling her nose and slowly stepping aside, “proceed with the binding.”
Vaarden stepped forward, unhooking a small pouch of reagents from his belt, but Sanguinaxia raised a colossal claw and pressed it to his chest. “Fail,” she warned, her tone as icy as her breath was hot, “and tales of your suffering shall be used to frighten Pathfinder Society recruits for a thousand years.”
Vaarden nodded his acceptance and Sanguinaxia slid back to give him room, her eyes never leaving the broken, bleeding form of her only surviving hatchling.
Probably been spotted, but... page 15, prehensile tail.
Prehensile Tail (2 RP): Prerequisites: None; Benefit :
At Paizocon Oz, I prepared a bunch of "Letters from Home" for my Qadiran paladin Zaheeda, which I read at the rate of one per module at an appropriate time... with the dramatic climax read at the special at the last day.
I was afraid of slowing down the group, but our table was running way ahead since we were low level, so this was actually a great way to keep the group entertained since the last letter was also the longest.
They're available here.
Additionally, I prepared a bunch of "prayers" for throwing out when Zaheeda gets attacked or encounters a specific situation. They are:
"A Paladin's armour is faith." - offered when an incoming attack misses.
"A Paladin's nature is charity."
Edit: Fixed the link! Doh!
Heya all, first time poster. Apologies if I have this in the wrong section, but I'm soliciting comment and feedback on my wondrous item submission (as seen below).
Necklace of Eased Birth:
"Necklace of Eased Birth"
Aura slight necromancy; CL 3th
This teardrop shaped, polished red Carnelian stone is threaded through a simple chain of thin interlocking links and is intended to be worn around the neck. Amongst the various Halfling families, trinkets like these are treated as heirlooms and are used to ease the risk and pain of childbirth. When worn, the bracelet reduces any bleed damage taken by 1 point (except ability damage) and grants a +2 enhancement bonus on rolls to stabilize.
I wanted to create a simple, practical item that would hopefully be something that we'd see in low-level characters inventories. It was intended to be an item that was from the "common" world; something that a minor noble or wealthy merchant may use, but which if re-purposed would have an obvious benefit to adventurers just beginning their careers.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments?