View Full Version : [Party] A Mind of Their Own

The Glyphstone
2005-05-07, 06:15 PM
The Dark Materials/A Mind of Their Own

The History

Often, some things are not as they seem. This is even more true in worlds rich with magic and illusions. Such is the case with one group of wandering warriors. At first glance, they seem to be unremarkable, though well-equipped, but closer study reveals distinctly odd behavior. Most of their faces are blank and dull, their voices a dull monotone. When speaking, they frequently pause between sentences as if waiting for instructions. Each of them also bears an item that naturally draws the eye.The spokesman of the party is a cheerful person, wearing the armor and dress of a cleric, and a small phylactery bearing a holy emblem around his neck. A burly, muscled warrior, weilding a heavy greatsword, is encased from head to toe in spiky black armor, the front of which is adorned with a grinning silver face that glows with unholy light. A pale, thin man, wrapped in the robes of a magic-user, wears a thick silver circlet atop his head whose studded gems seem to pulse. At the back of the group, a shifty-looking fellow lurks, his constantly twitching hands inside a pair of finely gold-threaded leather gloves. It takes a few moments of study to notice the final member of the party, a elf shrouded in a dark cloak and carrying an ornately carved longbow. They are quiet and unresponsive, but not incredibly unusual.

Indeed, there is far more to the above scene than might be apparent. None of the warriors, with the exception of the elf and possibly the cleric, are in possession of their own bodies any longer. Instead, they have all been forcibly dominated by the malicious wills of an item that each carries; coincidentally, the same items that draw one's attention. Each of these items carries a dark and corrupt intelligence within it, driven by dark power and will. It is naturally the nature of sentient weapons and items to distrust others of their kind, and the same is true here. But unlike others, this group of items learned what they had in common and forged a pact of loyalty long ago.

The first of them was the ancient drow bow Ama-Estai, carried by the fallen elven ranger that stole it. In the process of its travels, Ama-Estai encountered a crazed sorcerer that proved to be under the influence of his circlet Tyraquinis. The two evil entities recognized kindred spirits in each other, and agreed to a timeless partnership that would outlast either of their hosts. Reinforced with magic, they remained linked even when Tyraquinis vanished after his host finally lost his mind. He returned shortly afterwards, with another wearer, and together they added a third member to their team. The devil-forged armor called Keradax had recently found and seized hold over a naieve young man, and the black-hearted item gladly joined the other two as allies in his eternal quest to exterminate the hated Abyssal demons. Tyraquinis went through several more wearers before they acquired the final two(three?) members of their union; the greed-filled twin gloves Cesta and Kesta, and the diabolical phylactery Jorjis.

Together, they are a formidable group of adversaries. The telepathic bond between them, reinforced by Tyraquinis's magic, allows any of the items to contact another at infinite distance. They use this to fight in chilling cohesion, silent and implacable death. The easiest way to "defeat" the possessed warriors is to focus on and slay one or more of them, though foolish is the enemy that loots the fallen corpse afterwards. The evil artifacts will easily abandon one of their own, and wait until the item in question has established even a small hold over a victorious adventurer. Then they steal in under darkness and slaughter whoever they can find, save the unfortunate soul now cursed with bearing an item. Those who know of their existence are next to none, save for a few enlightened scholars who sought to wield the formidable magics of Tyraquinis for their own, only to be absorbed and discarded in turn by the voracious circlet. Effectively immortal, they have an endless supply of patience with which to achieve their goals; all of which are unique and evil. Among the vile circle, and to the rare few that know of them and still live, they are known as The Dark Materials, for they do truly have a mind of their own.

The Hosts and The Items

Evan of Cormyr/Keradax:
Lawful Neutral Male Human (Medium Humanoid)
Human Fighter 12
(1 Negative Level: -5 HP, -1 penalty to attack rolls skill/ability checks, saving throws, -1 effective level)
HD 12d10+36; HP 97(92)
Init: +6
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 22 (+10 armor, +1 dexterity, +1 insight), touch 12, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+17
Attack: +21(20) melee (2d6+12/17-20/x2, +2 Greatsword) or +14(13) ranged (1d8+1/x3, +1 shortbow)
Full Atk +21/+16+11(20/15/10) melee (2d6+12/17-20/x2, +2 Greatsword) or +14/+9/+4(13/8/3) ranged (1d8+1/x3, +1 shortbow)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Saves: Fort +11(10), Ref +6(5), Will +3(2)
Abilities: Str 18(20), Dex 14, Con 14(16), Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10.
Skills: Climb +10, Jump +10, Ride +10, Swim +10, Bluff +5, Escape Artist +5, armor check penalty -8.
Feats: Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Greater Weapon Focus (Greatsword), Weapon Specialization (Greatsword), Greater Weapon Specialization (Greatsword), Power Attack Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Endurance, Diehard, Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes.
Equipment: Keradax, +2 cold iron greatsword, +1 Shortbow, Dusty Rose Ioun Stone, Amulet of Health +2, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, 20 normal arrows, 10 cold iron arrows, 10 silver arrows. 2838 GP.

Stats Before Mods: 16, 13, 14, 12, 8, 10

Evan of Cormyr never wanted much, only to make at least a small name for himself outside his tiny village. He started off with a rusted suit of armor and his father’s sword, wandering in search of an adventure. He found one. Shortly after beginning his journey, Evan came across a very strange cave while sheltering from the weather. It was streaked in scorch marks, and filled with various bones of inhuman proportions. In the very back, at the foot of what appeared to be a collapsed archway, was a black and twisted skeleton wearing a magnificent suit of plate armor. He investigated it, and was shocked when the armor spoke to him. Its name was Keradax, and it promised that he could become a warrior of legends with its aid. Evan accepted, and took the armor for his own. For a short time, it was far beyond even his wildest dreams. Wearing his new armor, even the mightest monster’s claws and fangs scraped harmlessly against him, and its slyly whispering voice told him the secrets to vanquishing powerful foes. It started as just suggestions, then propositions, to seek out monsters to slay. When Evan disagreed, wanting to return to his home to brag, the armor turned nasty and threatened horrible things if he abandoned their quest. The cowed Evan continued, the armor bullying him into more and more dangerous, and more questionable, actions. When he finally summed up the courage to throw away the accursed armor, he stood frozen as the malevolent suit seized total control of his body, and continued to do so in the following days.
That was several years ago. Now Evan is a shattered wreck, a long-term inmate in his own mind. Keradax keep almost constant control over him, and even when its pressure lets up or slips, he can do nothing but sit and weep. Inside, he knows the thefts and murders he commits on the armor’s quest to hunt powerful demons are wrong, but Keradax leaves him literally no choice.

Keradax, +2 Full Plate of Invulerability; AL LE; Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 18; Speech, Telepathy, Read magic, 120 ft. darkvision, blindsense, and hearing; Ego Score 25.
Lesser Powers: cast Bane on enemies 3/day, continuous Deathwatch, 10 ranks Intimidate.
Greater Powers: Create Wall of Fire ring around wearer 1/day.
Special Purpose: Defeat/Slay demons (no dedicated power, just a personal goal)

Forged in hellfire and quenched in blood, Keradax is wholly evil. His silver-edged black plates seem to absorb light, save for the engraved face in the breastplate that grins constantly. The mind that inhabits the armor is cunning and cruel, as well as very “persuasive”. As logical for a devil-crafted item, Keradax carries a deep loathing for the denizens of the Abyss and will never pass up an opportunity to kill them. From the moment of his creation, he knew that he was destined for a greater destiny than the property of some minor baatezu. His realization came when his master was dispatched to sever a portal between the Abyss and the Material Plane to spoil a demon incursion, and his devil owner was slain in the fight that destroyed the gate. Keradax waited patiently until one day, a naive young warrior named Evan of Cormyr ventured into the cave and claimed him. He cooperated with the boy until the day came to forcibly rest dominance and set about becoming a powerful demon-slayer, if vicariously.
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Xavier Senethar/Tyraquinis:
True Neutral Male Human (Medium Humanoid)
Human Wizard 12
(1 Negative Level: -5 HP, -1 penalty to attack rolls skill/ability checks, saving throws, -1 effective level)
HD 12d4+12, 46 HP(41)
Init: +3
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (+3 armor, +3 dexterity, +1 deflection, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+6
Attack: +6(5) melee (1d4+1/19-20/x2, +1 Dagger) or +9(8) ranged (1d8/19-20/x2, light crossbow)
Full Atk: +6/+1 melee(5/0) (1d4+1/19-20/x2, +1 Dagger) or +9/+4(8/3) ranged (1d8/19-20/x2, light crossbow)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Saves: Fort +4(3), Ref +4)3), Will +7(6)
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 18(22), Wis 8, Cha 12.
Skills: Concentration +15, Decipher Script +15, Knowledge (Arcana) +15, Spellcraft +15, Spot +5, Listen +5, Search +5 1/2.
Feats: Eschew Materials, Silent Spell, Magical Aptitude, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration
Equipment: Tyraqinis, +1 dagger, light crossbow, Bracers of Armor +3, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Ring of Protection +1, Vest of Weakened Willpower, 20 bolts, 4400 GP.

Spells Prepared (Effective Lvl 11):
(0): Read Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Detect Poison
(1): Identify, True Strike, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Magic Missile x2
(2): Invisibility, Protection from Arrows, Alter Self, Spider Climb, Melf's Acid Arrow x2
(3): Lightning Bolt, Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Fireball x2
(4): Leomund's Secure Shelter, Charm Monster, Greater Invisibility, Enervation
(5): Seeming, Cone of Cold, Summon Monster V, Baleful Polymorph
(6): Chain Lightning, True Seeing, Tenser's Transformation

Spellbook: 0-lvl: Resistance, Acid Splash, Detect Poison, Detect Magic, Read Magic, Daze, Dancing Lights, Flare, Light, Ray of Frost, Ghost Sound, Disrupt Undead, Touch of Fatigue, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Open/Close, Arcane Mark, Prestidigitation; 1st-lvl: Mage Armor, Summon Monster I, Magic Missile, Ray of Enfeeblement, Expeditious Retreat, Feather Fall, Identify, True Strike, Tenser's Floating Disk, Enlarge Person; 2nd-lvl: Melf's Acid Arrow, Invisibility, Protection from Arrows, Darkness, Gust of Wind, Alter Self, Spider Climb; 3rd-lvl: Lightning Bolt, Hold Person, Magic Circle vs. Good, Fireball, Fly, Keen Edge, Greater Magic Weapon, Dispel Magic, Protection from Energy; 4th-lvl: Remove Curse, Phantasmal Killer, Leomund's Secure Shelter, Charm Monster, Ice Storm, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, Contagion, Enervation; 5th-lvl: Seeming, Summon Monster V, Cone of Cold, Hold Monster, Persistent Image, Baleful Polymorph; 6th-lvl: Chain Lightning, Disintegrate, True Seeing, Tenser's Transformation

Stats before Mods: 10, 14, 13, 16, 8, 12

Vest of Weakened Willpower: -10 to Will saves while worn. Moderate Enchantment; CL 5; Craft Wondrous Item; Mind Fog; Price 25000 GP; To create: 12, 500 GP.

Xavier Senethar was a young wizard, fresh out of his city’s mage college, when he decided to obtain some “practical” experience adventuring. He had been a promising student, and he rose rapidly in power once freed from the constraints of the school. Xavier financed his travels by completing small tasks for grateful villagers, and supplemented it through the sales of magical novelties he crafted when visiting larger towns. One day, while peddling some trinkets in an antique shop, he found a strange silver circlet studded with jewels. They glowed faintly, a sign of great power, so the learned wizard was not surprised when it spoke to him. The circlet’s name was Tyraqinis, and it claimed to have been seeking a worthy mage to wear it for some time. Since both his goals and those of the circlet, the collection of arcane knowledge, were the same, Xavier purchased it. His joy turned to surprise and horror when the item revealed its sinister nature, and the methods through which it gathered knowledge. He fought bitterly against its control, but was forced to seal his own doom with the crafting of a cursed vest that damped his ability to resist mental assaults. He has fought continually for many months now, but to no avail, with the knowledge of his eventual insanity hovering over him. Each night, he must put on the vest, and removes it each morning once the circlet has re-established control.

Xavier has no familiar. His owl, Athena, was killed and eaten by Ivellio's eagle shortly after Tyraquinis joined the group.

Tyraqinis, +4 Circlet of Intellect; AL LE, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 10; Speech, Telepathy, Read Magic, 120 ft. darkvision, blindsense, and hearing; Ego Score 20.
Lesser Powers: cast Faerie Fire 3/day, 10 ranks Knowledge (Arcana), 10 ranks Spellcraft.
Greater Powers: Dominate Person 1/day.

Tyraqinis was once the property of a lich, who spent ages poring over ancient texts with little care for its surroundings. As a result, the enchanted circlet slowly absorbed magic energy leaking from its master, attaining sentience after hundreds of years. The circlet, calling itself Tyraqinis, concealed its nature from the obsessive lich until the day that a band of adventurers came to slay it. The undead sorcerer set an ambush for the impudent mortals, but Tyraqinis interfered at the critical moment by illuminating the invisible lich in Faerie Fire. After the battle, the circlet called to the party's wizard and revealed its sentient nature. It promised great wealth and magical lore, if only the man would deliver it from the ruined castle where it had spent centuries. The wizard accepted, and wore him when they left, only to have the circlet seize his mind that night and slaughter the rest of the party. Tyraqinis managed to remain in control for some time, but soon the wizard began to win the constant fight and the circlet knew he needed a weaker-willed host. Tyraqinis abandoned the wizard after draining all traces of magical knowledge from his mind. He was found and claimed by a travelling bard, who sold him to a sorcerer. Since then, Tyraqinis has had many owners and pawns, gathering new lore from each and leaving them gibbering wrecks when they became too much to control.

His latest host was acquired only a few months previously. A young caster named Xavier found him amid heaps of rubbish in an antique shoppe, where the circlet had been abandoned by a travelling monk the item had mistaken for a sorcerer and tried to possess. Tyraqinis repeated his evil promises to Xavier, and was rewarded with the man's trust. Upon linking with his mind, he found that his new host was talented in the creation of simple magic devices. He waited for the right moment, then wrested control and set about cementing control via magical aid. The result of several day’s fanatical labor on the part of the possessed mage resulted in a powerfully enchanted vest, one that drains the willpower of the wearer. This he forced Xavier to put on, removing any hope of escape. Tyraqinis has made no attempt to conceal the man’s eventual fate, which only serves to increase the amusing mental struggles that the mage attempts.
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Ivellios Basan'Shen/Ama-Estai
Neutral Evil Male Elf (Medium Humanoid)
Ranger 12
HD: 12d6+12 (57 HP)
Init: +6
Speed: 30 ft (6 squares)
Armor Class: 21 (+5 armor, +6 dexterity), flat-footed 15, touch 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+14
Attack: +19 melee (1d6+1/18-20/x2, +1 rapier) or +21 ranged (1d8+2/x3, Ama-Estai)
Full Atk: +19/+14/+9 melee (1d6+1/18-20/x2, +1 rapier) or +21/+16/+11 ranged (1d8+2/x3, Ama-Estai)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +4
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 20(22), Con 11, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 8
Skills: Climb +5, Handle Animal +15, Hide +15(20), Jump +5, Listen +10, Move Silently +15, Search +10, Spot +10, Survival +15, Use Rope +5
Feats: Weapon Finesse. Weapon Focus (Longbow), Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Precise Shot, Track, Endurance, Rapid Shot*, Manyshot*, Improved Precise Shot*
(*=wearing light armor only)
Favored Enemies: Humanoid (Elf) +6, Humanoid (human) +2, Magical Beast +2
Equipment: Ama-Estai, +1 rapier +1, Mithril Chain Shirt of Shadows, Gloves of Dexterity +2, Quiver of Elhonna, 60 arrows, potion of cat's grace, 2 potions of cure moderate wounds, 177 GP[/i]

Spells Memorized: 1st-lvl: Pass Without Trace; 2nd-lvl: Protection From Energy; 3rd-lvl: Cure Moderate Wounds

Stats before Mods: 14, 16, 13, 12, 10, 8

The long life of Ivellios Basan'Shen has been rife with pain and misery, both on his part and that of others. Born nearly a century and a half previously, he was barely an infant when his village was raided by the drow, and he was orphaned. The survivors cared for him, but he grew up bitter and withdrawn. Full of hatred for the dark elves, he set out on his own upon reaching his hundredth birthday and adulthood, taking the surname Basan'Shen, or Eternal Sorrow. For several years he hunted the drow, eventually infiltrating a small underground city. Ivellios found a vault inside the temple of Lloth, where a magnificent black longbow was kept. It was sentient, and preyed on the hatred in his mind by promising vengeance against the drow. The elf took up the evil weapon, and in a fit of berserk fury, killed every resident of the city right down to the infants. He left and continued his never-ending quest, now accompanied by the corrupt bow Ama-Etai. Over time, the weapon wore away at his mind, transforming his hatred of the drow into a loathing for all of elven blood and those that associated with them.

Nearly seventy years have passed now, and Ivellios's personality has become almost indistinguishable from the bow that he carries. His eagle Gwai flies by his side, always the latest in a line of eagle chicks raised by the twisted elf. Ivellios and Ama-Etai are by far the longest-paired members of the group, but are content to let the arrogant Keradax take the position of leader; their only goal is to bring about the ruin of as many elven lives as possible.

Animal Companion: Gwai the eagle
Small Animal
HD: 5d8+5 (28 HP)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 10ft (2 squares), fly 80 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +2 dexterity, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-3
Attack: talons +4 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack: 2 talons +4 melee (1d4+1), bite -1 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3 (+7 w/ Devotion)
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +4, Spot +20 (includes +8 racial bonus)
Feats: Weapon Finesse, Flyby Attack
Tricks Known: Attack, Attack Anything, Come, Defend, Down, Fetch, Guard, Heel, Seek

The eagle Gwai, or Sky in the Elven tongue, has been Ivellios's companion for its entire life, as was its parent stretching back many generations. Totally loyal to him, the bird also seems to exhibit many of the elf's darker traits, such as tormenting its prey before killing it.

Ama-Estai (Bloodwrath), Unholy Oathbow; AL NE, Int 17, Wis 17, Cha 10; Speech, Telepathy, 120 ft. darkvision and hearing, Ego Score 21
Lesser Powers: Detect Magic at will, True Strike on wielder 1/day, Minor Image 3/day
Greater Powers: Cause Fear in enemies at will
Special Purpose: Defeat/Slay Elves and Drow.
Unholy: Evil-aligned, extra 2d6 damage vs. Good.
Oathbow abilities: Counts as +2 Composite Longbow. Can nominate one enemy as chosen foe, gets bonuses vs. them. See the DMG for complete text.

Just as elves have a hatred for the drow, so do the drow return the favor. A mad drow craftsman forged himself a powerful bow, imbuing it with a malicious will and powerful magic. The result was the weapon called Ama-Estai, which translates to "Bloodwrath". The bow often mutters in a mixture of Undercommon and Elvish, dire threats against all of elvish blood. But it was trapped for some time inside a vault, for no one dared to take it up. That is, until Ivellios Basan'Shen snuck inside the city and stole him, soon falling under the weapon's sway. For decades they wandered, every year giving Ama-Etai more and more power over the elf.
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The Glyphstone
2005-05-08, 12:30 PM
Darwyn Everdema/Jorjis
Lawful Neutral Male Human (Medium Humanoid)
Human Cleric 12
(1 Negative Level: -5 HP, -1 penalty to attack rolls skill/ability checks, saving throws, -1 effective level)
HD 12d8, 58 HP(53)
Init: +4
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 25 (+9 armor, +2 shield, +1 natural, +2 deflection), touch 12, flat-footed 25
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+11
Attack: +13(12) melee (1d8+4+1d6 flaming/17-20/x2+1d10 flaming, +2 flaming burst flail) or +9(b]8[/b]) ranged (1d8/19-20/x2, light crossbow)
Full Atk: +13/+8(12/4) melee (1d8+4+1d6 flaming/17-20/x2+1d10 flaming, +2 flaming burst flail) or +9/+4(8/3) ranged (1d8/19-20/x2, light crossbow)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Saves: Fort +9(8), Ref +7(6), Will +9(8)
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 12, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 18(20), Cha 14
Skills: Concentration +5, Heal +10, Knowledge (religion) +10, Spellcraft +5
Feats: Scribe Scroll, Rapid Reload, Lightning Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Critical (Flail), Improved Turning
Equipment: Jorjis, +2 flaming burst flail, +2 half-plate, +2 heavy steel shield, amulet of natural armor +1, ring of protection +2, periapt of wisdom +2, cloak of resistance +1, potion of cure moderate wounds, light crossbow, 20 cold iron bolts, 20 silvered bolts, 20 normal bolts, 231 GP

Spells Memorized (Domain Spell):
0-lvl: Cure Minor Wounds x2, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Purify Food and Drink, Light
1st-lvl: Cure Light Wounds x2, Divine Favor, Doom, Inflict Light Wounds x2, Sanctuary, Protection from Chaos
2nd-lvl: Cure Moderate Wounds, Hold Person, Inflict Moderate Wounds, Lesser Restoration, Undetectable Alignment, Shatter
3rd-lvl: Animate Dead, Bestow Curse, Dispel Magic, Remove Curse, Cure Serious Wounds, Contagion
4th-lvl: Cure Critical Wounds, Inflict Critical Wounds, Restoration, Summon Monster IV, Inflict Critical Wounds
5th-lvl: Greater Command, Disrupt Chaos, Flame Strike, True Seeing, Mass Inflict Light Wounds
6th-lvl: Heal, Harm, Mass Inflict Moderate Wounds, Hold Monster

Stats before mods: 14, 12, 10, 8, 16, 13

The Everdema family had always been spellcasters, with a tradition of studying arcane conjuration. Thus, it came as quite a surprise when Darwyn announced his intention to join the clergy and become a cleric. Darwyn was not exactly a genius, and his parents breathed a small sigh of relief at this decision. He was breaking the family tradition of wizarding, but this was preferable to the abysmally inept results that would arise from teaching him magic. So, they bundled their son off with some food, gold, and an old suit of armor that had been languishing in the storerooms for years, sending him to the local temple of St. Cuthbert. Darwyn adapted fairly well to his new home, being slow on the initiative but quick to interpret and follow orders, fitting in easily in the hierarchy of the retribution god. Still, he sometimes wondered if the other clerics were laughing at him behind his back.

One day, he was cleaning out an old storeroom and found a strange iron box, locked and covered in protective wards. Darwyn again demonstrated that he was not the sharpest arrow in the quiver, rubbing out the wards and breaking open the lock out of curiosity. Strangely, the only thing inside was a pendant of St. Cuthbert's symbol, and even stranger, it was glowing. He heard a voice inside his head.
"Greetings, acolyte. I have been waiting long for your arrival."
"Who are you?"
"Don't you know? I am your god, St. Cuthbert, this pendant being the vessel through which I speak to you."
Shocked, Darwyn immediately promised his loyalty and took the pendant around his neck. The voice continued speaking to him, urging him to hunt down lawbreakers in its name, and perform other tasks of divine will. Never one to question a "god", Darwyn obeyed, and was only mildly confused when he was banished from the temple for carrying the pendant. The other clerics were just jealous, since they didn't have St. Cuthbert always talking to them. He was reassured of this by the fact that he could still cast magic. His travelling companions seem a little odd, but nothing ever seems to happen...at all. Every day's the same.

Jorjis, Phylactery of Faithfulness; AL LE; Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 10; Speech, telepathy, Read Magic, 120 ft. darkvision, blindsense, and hearing[/i]; Ego Score 17.
Lesser Powers: Bless allies 3/day, Minor Image 1/day, 10 Ranks Knowledge (Religion)
Greater Powers: Modify Memory at will

Jorjis was the result of a malicious joke, played by a long-ago cleric. The corrupt madman had been banished from the order of St. Cuthbert for bribery, and almost killed. He desired revenge, and so forged a seemingly innocent holy symbol and imbued it with a dark sentience. His intent was to corrupt other formerly loyal clerics, but he failed to give his creation the force of will necessary to overpower its targets, and it was eventually sealed away in the depths of the temple for safety.

Naturally, this did not sit well at all with the phylactery itself, who desired release from the monotonous box so he could spread more evil. His lucky break came when the naieve Darwyn freed him out of curiosity. The item convinced the slow-witted priest that it spoke with the voice of his god, and persuaded him to do evil things under the guise of enforcing obscure laws. This rapidly resulted in his banishment from the temple, and also caused the merciless St. Cuthbert to abandon the wayward priest. However, this last effect went unnoticed by Darwyn, because of a secret plea made by Jorjis to the evil god Hextor. The Champion of Evil was happy to aid in the corruption of a noble spirit, and replaced St. Cuthbert as the source of Darwyn's divine magic with the priest no more the wiser. Jorjis freqently tricks Darywn into giving it control, and keeps him docile by erasing anything that might contradict the fantasy it has built with the use of its memory modifying powers.
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Garth Gestaw/Cesta and Kesta
Chaotic Good Male Human (Medium Humanoid)
Human Rogue 12
(1 Negative Level: -5 HP, -1 penalty to attack rolls skill/ability checks, saving throws, -1 effective level)
HD 12d6+12, 54 HP(49)
Init: +7
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 21 (+5 Armor, +5 Dex, +1 Shield), touch 15, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+11
Attack: +12(11) melee (1d6+2/15-20/x2, +2 keen rapier), +7(6) melee (1d6+1/19-20/x2, short sword) or +12(11) ranged (1d6/19-10/x2, light crossbow)
Full Atk: +12/+7(11/6) melee (1d6+2/15-20/x2, +2 keen rapier), +7(6) melee (1d6+1/19-20/x2, short sword) or +12/+7(11/6) ranged (1d6/19-10/x2, light crossbow)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Saves: Fort +5(4), Ref +13(12), Will +3(2)
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16(20), Con 12, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 10
Skills: Bluff +10, Disable Device +15, Escape Artist +15, Forgery +10, Hide +15, Listen +10, Jump +10, Use Rope +10, Move Silently +15, Open Lock +15, Search +10, Spot +10, Sleight of Hand +15, Tumble +5, Use Magic Device +15,
Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Defense
Special Abilities: Trapfinding, Trap Sense +4, Sneak Attack 6d6, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Improved Evasion
Equipment: Cesta and Kesta, +2 Studded Leather Armor of Silent Moves, +2 Keen rapier, +1 shortsword, Cloak of Elvenkind, Boots of Elvenkind, iHand of the Mage, Ring of Pickpocketing (+5 competence bonus to Sleight of Hand checks), light crossbow, 50 bolts, 935 GP

Stats before mods: 13, 14, 8, 16, 10, 12

The archetypical wanderer, Garth's goals had been lofty and impressive. He was orphaned at a very young age, growing up under the tutelage of a aging street thief. The rogue taught him many useful skills, and Garth proved an excellent investment for getting into tight spaces. When his mentor was arrested by the watch, Garth realized that he was toeing the line far too often, and vowed that he would only use his talents against those who deserved it.

For a time, this worked. He earned a decent reputation in the local thieves' guild, one of a talented though rather eccentric burglar who would only steal from the rich and corrupt. As he rose in the ranks, resentment bred, pushed by his chief rival. The thief's name was Desgus, the foremost thief in the guild and most of those nearby. He was famous among local thieves for accomplishing the most daring raids, but seemed to obsess over his fine leather gloves, and was suspected of hoarding the best of his finds from the guild. Garth knew it would not be long before Desgus tried to eliminate him, but it still caught him by surprise. He was returning to his rooms one night when he was ambushed. One of the men died instantly, but that left Garth's back open to the other. He was quite surprised to turn and find Dergus on the ground, his own hands choking the life out of himself. Then another voice spoke, full of hunger and honey, from those same gloves. According to the gloves, they were the reason Dergus had been so successful, and they had desired a less greedy owner. Promising untold-of skill and all the treasures Dergus had sequestered for himself convinced Garth to put on the gloves. They remained true to their word, for a little while, subtly influencing Garth's mind bit by bit until they finally seized total control. The good-natured rogue's spirit was brutally crushed by the malicious gloves, leaving no inclination to resist their powers - in fact, the same fate that had befallen Dergus. Shortly after, Garth was banished from the guild for concealing profits, the gloves driving him to hide the choicest valuables. The result of this maltreatment, extended over years, is that the once-cheerful man is now an empty, personality-less shell. Only a tiny trace of the original Garth remains, the rest having been mentally pulverized by the tag-team torture of the gloves he so foolishly took.

Cesta and Kesta, Gloves of Dexterity +4; AL NE, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 18; Speech, Telepathy, Read magic, 120 ft. Blindsense, darkvision, and hearing; Ego Score 22
Special Purpose: Steal priceless treasures.
Minor Powers: Bless allies 3/day, cast Invisibility 1/day, cast Knock 3/day.
Major Powers: Cast Haste on wielder 3/day.
Cost: 53700 GP

A pair of enchanted gloves, Cesta and Kesta have never seen fit to reveal their origins. Each is possessed with its own personality, but they cannot remain separated for very long without ill effects. Together, they are a valuable tool for thieves, or anyone who wishes to get in and out of protected places without harm. Their primary target, however, is rogues with natural talent in burglary, whom they lure with sweet words then overpower with force of will. These pawns they use in the quest of their dedicated goal, the accumulation of priceless treasures. Each host they took gave them a new collection, resulting in dozens of stashes around the world that total greater than the richest dragon. Whenever their host has outlived its usefulness, they frequently strangle them and lie low until they sense a suitable replacement.

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The Uses
The Dark Materials make for a creepy and formidable foe against any party, and can be particularly destructive for a greedy adventurer. For a character that meets them in battle, sometimes winning is a worse fate than death, should they make the mistake of falling for one of the items' charms. A DM should be careful employing them, in case a party is lucky enough to maintain a hold over the item for long. Then again, they can also be used as punishment for a player too closely inclined to "acquire" the possessions of NPC's.

2005-05-08, 12:49 PM
Make the items each be a repository for a Fiend with the power of Possession ... ?

The Glyphstone
2005-05-08, 01:17 PM
what's Possession?

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-05-08, 10:12 PM
Double check the magic item rules, cause there's a exisiting rule you can use to your benefit here. A character who fails a save versus the Ego of an item falls under the control of that item, though normally only briefly.

For the purposes of this contest, I think its perectly reasonable to stipulate a special case where the items maintain more or less permanent control via this Ego possession - feel free to come up with why ;)

Of course, you can also add in the possibility that due to a lucky save occasionally gives the "puppets" lucid moments, as does being disarmed or seperated from the item.

In any case, I really like this concept. Its a lot work - you're essentially doing a set of intelligent magic items and a party - so I wish you the best of luck!

The Glyphstone
2005-05-09, 05:41 AM
Wow, sweet. I guess I'll go back to this. I had a backup idea with a party of ghosts, but this is better. Work begins now...how long do we have to write the parties?

Gorbash Kazdar
2005-05-09, 08:31 AM
Contest ends at officially at 12:01 June 1st ;)

The Glyphstone
2005-05-09, 08:40 PM
Party member #1 has been created. (see my second post above). As for the Ego problem, I'm just saying that the items have either high enough scores that the wearers can't break free (the fighter above), or they use magic to keep dominance (the mage's circlet will have Dominate and/or Suggestion), or the people have just been controlled so long that they have no willpower (again, the fighter).

I'll add the rest as I write them:
-Rogue, w/ Neutral Evil gloves
-Wizard, w/ Lawful Evil circlet
-Cleric w/ Lawful Evil ???
-Ranger w/ Neutral Evil Bow

2005-05-09, 09:17 PM
In any case, I really like this concept. Its a lot work - you're essentially doing a set of intelligent magic items and a party - so I wish you the best of luck!
Got to agree with that; it certainly IS a very cool idea. Every time the current party is defeated, and the items get looted ... the whole ugly process starts all over again. These items have probably been dominating people for centuries, maybe even millenia, pursuing ... well, I think they'll need some really long-term plans to be pursuing. ^_^

Grey Watcher
2005-05-09, 10:39 PM
Since each character is posessed by an item that would be of importance to them, I'd suggest giving the Cleric either an intelligent shield or, to be extra cruel, an intelligent holy symbol. ;D

The Glyphstone
2005-05-13, 07:37 PM
Well, Holy symbols don't really have any powers normally, so that's out. Either a shield, or maybe a mace. I like the shield better.
Character #2 is finished, BTW.

2005-05-13, 08:10 PM
Really like the idea, you have to do extra work because of the sentient items. These things kinda remind me of Khazid'hea from R.A. Salvatore's books and Crenshinibon also. Evil sentient items that possess their wielders.

Keep up the good work, can't wait to see the other characters, and good luck!

White Blade
2005-05-13, 11:02 PM
Looks like your going to win Glyph, again.

The Glyphstone
2005-05-29, 07:31 AM
Two days to go. Now I just need to proofread and write a general background for the party.

2005-06-14, 12:31 PM
This is awesome. A well deserved win!

The Glyphstone
2005-06-14, 12:36 PM

But with honesty, anyone have a suggestion to improve it/them?

2005-06-15, 05:29 AM

But with honesty, anyone have a suggestion to improve it/them?


You swept the contest ...! And you're asking us Lesser Beings to improve on your deificly-inspired near-perfection? ;D

The Glyphstone
2005-06-15, 05:30 AM
Well, I didn't win 2 categories. I still needed to figure out a way to make the group funny, AND make them Good adventurers too...

2005-06-15, 10:29 AM
Make them all Neutral lol. That way they fit into both Good and Evil :D

2005-06-17, 03:41 AM
Well, I didn't win 2 categories. I still needed to figure out a way to make the group funny, AND make them Good adventurers too...

You could give the items dark and twisted sense of humor. Cinical items are your key to funny.