This is my first admission at an homebrew competition. This entry is intended for D&D 3.5 and may require BoVD to play (but the required feats were reprinted in EE and FCI, with virtually no change).


An Unholy Crusader with Soul-Piercing Claw

"Looks like my name is Beelzebub. If you ask me, it's pretty dumb."

What is Evil? No, not that bad attitude that come to mind. Not evil deeds, or evil thoughts. What is Evil, with a capital? Many philosophers were worried about it, but no one agreed on a given answer.
Evil is neither deception, nor egoism. It didn't increase the lifespan of anyone by even a second. There is no excuse for it, yet people continue to do its deeds. And, while many people find pretextes to do bad things, they rarely, if ever, realize it isn't worth it.
An handful of people are different, though. The Unholy Crusaders, as they call themselves, claim they really know what is Evil, where it comes from, and why it exists. They concluded the explanation was as simple as it could get : Evil is a supernatural force, as old as time itself, and exists for no reason at all. Evil is not required, and there is no greater good to do it. It is simply there, existing, and imbuing every act, every single word from every mouth with its presence. Everyone is a puppet to it. Those who think they have the choice are just fool. One can either accept evil, and be evil because of this, or reject it, fight it, and eventually become two times worse that his opponents. Therefore, the kyst of Evil is growing across the Multiverse, and the later will have to be destroyed completely to get rid of the former...
But, good people are yet to realize it. The Unholy Crusaders are actively working for Evil. By hunting down its foes one at a time, they hope that only evil people remain in the known. They think that, once it will be all over, they will become masters in the carnage that follows. Wheither or not it will work out as planned is unknown.

Unholy Crusaders are usually self-taugh. Some become students of a mighty Unholy Crusader after a Mind Rape or a similar power. Unholy Crusaders are usually clerics, who work for Evil itself rather than for evil gods, but some sorcerers, wizards and even fallen paladins have taken this path. Monks and multiclassed fighters/clerics are also known to exist.

Alignment: Evil
Base Will Save: +7
Feats: Dark Speech, Evil Brand (BoVD)
Skill Rank: +15 in any one skill

Class Skills
The Unholy Crusader's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis) and Spellcraft (Int)
Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

Hit Dice: d8

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

|Emblem of Evil (Dark Gift)

|Vile Bonus Feat

|Emblem of Evil (Wings)

|Vile Bonus Feat

|Emblem of Evil (Damned Soul)[/table]

Weapon Proficiencies: The Unholy Crusader gains no additional weapon or armor proficiency.
Emblem of Evil (Su): Evil gives tremedous powers to its followers. The Unholy Crusader develops new, unmatched abilies as she levels up. There are three kinds of Emblems of Evil : Dark Gift, Wings, and Damned Soul. Some abilities have prerequisites. In that case, all prerequisites must be fulfilled to take the ability. As supernatural abilities, they can be used regardless of the Unholy Crusader's actual form or body. If an ability allows a save, the save DC is equal to (10 + Cha. Modifier + levels of Unholy Crusader).
Dark Gift: At first level, the Unholy Crusader chooses an ability, described in the spoiler below.
Bite of Hunger
As a standard action, the Unholy Crusader can bite an opponent. The target must succeed on a Fortitude save or suffer 2d6 points of non-lethal damage and be fatigued. He is considered starving and thirsty, and will have to make further saves accordingly (with the normal DC, not that of this ability). The non-lethal damage (and the accompanying fatigue) cannot be recovered until the target eats and drink.
If this ability is used against an opponent of at least the same size category as the Unholy Crusader (or two opponents of one size category smaller), and if the target was neither starving nor thirsty prior to its use, the Unholy Crusader doesn't need to eat or drink for the next 24 hours.
The tongue of the Unholy Crusader is covered with teeth. They do not hinder her in any way from eating or using a natural bite attack.

Deceptive Serpent
The Unholy Crusader becomes a master of lies. When she touches a person, he is unable to use a Sense Motive check to perceive her lies. Furthermore, he must make a secret Will save. Failure means he will trust her unless there is clear evidence that she's lying. On a success, he doesn't realize the Unholy Crusader abused of him.
This ability can also be used on an openly hostile person, but the Unholy Crusader must succeed on a touch attack. Her movement requires a standard action and provoke an Attack of Opportunity against her. If she touches, she must tell a lie during the turn. She's likely to feign friendship.
The tongue of the Unholy Crusader is forked, and her eyes are glassy. If her race is already serpentine, these traits are accentuated to an unnatural level.

Lord of the Flies
The Unholy Crusader's body is covered with bugs. They do not distract her in any way, but their frightening presence give her a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks. In addition, she can make a special touch attack as a standard action. If the attack touch, the target must make a Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. Even if he succeeds, the bugs can distract him for that time. The effect is the same as if he began his turn with a swarm in his case, except he doesn't have to roll an additional save for nausea.

Soul-Piercing Claw
Prerequisite: Claws as a natural attack.
One of the claws of the Unholy Crusader is imbued with the ability to harm souls. She can make a special attack with it as a standard action. If the attack hits, in addition to the claw damage, the target must make a Will save or suffer 2d6 points of wisdom damage. In case the target wisdom is reduced to 0 in this manner, he must make a Fortitude save or die instantly.
The soul-piercing claw has a distinctive silvery appearace.

Wings: At third level, wings grow on the back of the Unholy Crusader. They give her a fly speed equal to her base land speed (Average maneuvrability), or increase an existing fly speed by +10 feet, whatever is better. In addition, the Unholy Crusader receives benefits dependent of the wings shape, according to the spoiler below.
Bone Wings
Prerequisite: Ability to rebuke undead.
The Unholy Crusader can use her wings as weapons. She gains two wings attacks as secondary natural weapons, in addition to any attack she may possess. These wings inflict damage equal to 1d6 + the Unholy Crusader's strength modifier, and have a critical range of 19-20.
But the bone wings are also powerful channels of negative energy. As a free action, the Unholy Crusader can spend one rebuke undead attempt. Until the beginning of her next turn, the reach of her wings increases by 5 feet, they gain the Keen weapon property, and they inflict an additional 3d6 negative energy damage per attack (this damage is not multiplied on a critical hit).
Despite the wings connection to negative energy, the Unholy Crusader is affected normally by external sources of negative or positive energy.

Metallic Wings
The Unholy Crusader has wings that are both magnetic and metallic. These wings are visibly made of a dark steel alloy, but the exact nature of it is unknown. While they cannot attack properly, they grant damage reduction 5/adamantium to the Unholy Crusader.
As a standard action, she can repel the metal around her for a round. The effect is similar to the spell Repel Wood, except it affect objects with metallic components. In addition, if an opponent actively tries to shoot a projectile at the Unholy Crusader, it immediately returns against him, using the Unholy Crusader base attack bonus and her Charisma modifier for attack and damage (in lieu of the attacker own modifiers).
Metallic Wings from different Unholy Crusaders are unaffected by one another.

Wings of Bugs
Prerequisite: Lord of the Flies dark gift
The Unholy Crusader's wings are made of a swarm of bugs. They grant a fly speed with good maneuvrability (instead of the usual average). In addition, every case occupied by the Unholy Crusader are also occupied with the swarm of bugs, as well as three additional cases (they must be full cases, and must be adjacent to one another, but only one case has to be adjacent to the Unholy Crusader), which she may change as a free action. While this swarm doesn't attack, it has the distraction ability of a regular swarm. The save DC to prevent nausea is calculated as an Unholy Crusader ability.
Despite their appearance, the Wings of Bugs are unaffected by their environment due to their supernatural origin. Only the death of the Unholy Crusader can destroy them.

Wings of Burning Blood
The Unholy Crusader becomes immune to fire and gains two wings attacks as secondary natural weapons, in addition to any attack she may possess. They inflict an amount of damage equal to the Unholy Crusader's strenght modifier (if positive) plus 3d4 points of vile fire damage. On vile damage, see the BoVD.
The Wings of Burning Blood can be disbanded by the Unholy Crusader as a free action, but if she does, she must spend a move action to regrow them and become fatigued as a result. She is not immune to fire when her wings are disbanded.

Damned Soul: At fifth level, the fate of the Unholy Crusader is sealed. Evil gives her a last blessing, known amonst Unholy Crusaders as a Damned Soul. Unlike most emblems of Evil, they aren't accompanied with a physical manifestation. The Damned Souls are described in the spoiler below.
Apocalypse from the Sky
Once per day, the Unholy Crusader can summon a tremendous amount of destructive power as a standard action. While the effect is not as devastating as that of the spell, it inflicts 10d6 points of either fire, acid or sonic damage to anyone in a 500 feet radius, with no save. The Unholy Crusader is subject to that damage.
This Damned Soul is infamous for having destroyed entire armies.

False Metamorphosis
One per day, as a complex action, the Unholy Crusader can form a chrysalid around herself. She's instantly teleported, as per Teleport, Greater, but her opponents don't notice it. On the next round, the chrysalid hatches, summoning 1d4+1 fiendish giant constructor snakes for 20 rounds. Observers must make a Will save. A failure means they are convinced that one of the snakes is the real Unholy Crusader. On a success, they don't know what was wrong.
Obviously, this Damned Soul is an easy way to retreat while confusing foes.

Soul Shaping
Once per day, the Unholy Crusader can use this ability as a standard action. The effect is similar to Mind Rape (BoVD).
Unholy Crusaders with this Damned Soul usually use it to convert a large number of people into loyal followers and servants.

Vile Bonus Feat: At every even level, the Unholy Crusader gains a bonus feat. It must be a vile feat.

To an Unholy Crusader, Evil is all that counts. While some are known for their affable personality, they have a clear ''for us or against us'' dichotomy. Either someone awknowledge they serve Evil, as a supernatural force, or they don't deserve better than to be ''converted'' at best and outright soul-destroyed at worst.
Combat: An Unholy Crusader is likely to use her Dark Gift round after round. At third level or higher, she is better flying over the battlefield all the time. Finally, a Damned Soul can end an encounter instantly.
Advancement: Every Emblem of Evil must be choosen with great care. All of them can be devastating... in the right circumstances. Bite of Hunger is at its peek in a desert, while Metallic Wings does not protect against spellcasters. Wings of Burning Blood are also an interesting choice if the player intends to take Apocalypse from the Sky at fifth level.
Resources: As most Unholy Crusaders are clerics, they have access to middle-level divine magic daily. Small groups of Unholy Crusaders often form to share training and equipment. Others use their Emblems of Evil to take control of a nation, through deception and manipulation.

"I heard rumors about this book. Power lie within it. The Book of Vile Darkness, as it is called, is essential to our cause. If we ever find it, nothing will be able to stop us."
-Kereth Greenboot, high elf Unholy Crusader

People rarely mistake Unholy Crusaders for anything else than what they are : evil, sometime mentally deranged, always dangerous individuals. Some try to look nice on the outside, but whenever their true side is revealed, they can at best confuse people, not convince them that they are good. Others are proud to be mass killers, and will happily demonstrate it.
Daily Life: Most Unholy Crusaders have to live as ermits, simply because they are, for good reasons, pariahs of society. Those that do avert this can expect to live in the constant luxury of a king's adviser.
Notables: Kereth Greenboot (high elf, LE, Monk 12/Unholy Crusader 5) was infamous for his Bite of Hunger, his Wings of Burning Blood and, more importantly, his Apocalypse from the Sky damned soul. He became an orphan after a group of orcs attacked his hometown. When he was 130 years old, he discovered a book in the monastry, revealing to him dark secrets that led to what he is now. According to the last records of him, a strange mist appeared in the devastated forest where he was residing. He was never seen again.
Organizations: While there are small communities of Unholy Crusaders, they rarely team up with other evil organizations. They don't serve evil gods or rulers, and even when short-term alliances are made, it is always because of a common foe or because the reward is worth it.

NPC Reaction
For obvious reasons, good NPC fear the Unholy Crusaders, and are constantly preparing themselves to face the inevitable conflict. Evil NPC are in awe of them because of their extremist tendencies. After all, a being that serves Evil as a supernatural force rather than as a code of conduct is dangerously unpredictable. Neutral NPC tend to fall between these two extremes.

The Unholy Crusader class offer powerful options for the character, but she has to disregard their spellcasting for them, albeit temporarily. Melee characters in seek of improved fighting capacity and supernatural powers can also find this class interesting.
Adaptation: Evil can be everywhere. As long as it exists, some people will be there to serve it. While the class is intended for high-level play, the class features can always be nerfed to adapt it to lower level games. If you do not want the conflict between Good and Evil to be a major theme in your campaign, you can adapt the class to be about a group of martial characters seeking supernatural powers, with no consideration of alignment.
Encounters: Unholy Crusaders can sometimes be found in small communities across the globe. Other times, they lie in forbidden libraries, hoping to discover evil spells and powers (the Book of Vile Darkness is a common goal).

Sample Encounter
An Unholy Crusader entered the town, trying to convince people to join her.
EL 13: Liliana Anobaith was a former cleric of Nerull, until an Unholy Crusader used his Soul Shaping damned soul on her. Liliana became a cleric to Evil and studied with her new master. Now, she works for him, seeking the Book of Vile Darkness.

Liliana Anobaith
Human (f), NE, Cleric 12/Unholy Crusader 1
Init +0, Senses: Listen +4, Spot +4
Languages Common, Dark Speech, Infernal
AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 18 (+8 armor)
hp (13d8 +26 HD)
Fort +12, Ref +6, Will +14
Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 unholy battleaxe +13/+8 (1d8 +2 plus 2d6 against good-aligned/x3)
Base Atk +9, Grp +11
Atk Options +1 unholy battleaxe, Deceptive Serpent, or spellcasting.
Combat Gear +1 unholy battleaxe
+4 chainshirt
Spells Prepared Caster level 12, except for evil spells, which are cast at caster level 13
0- Cure Minor Wounds (x2), Detect Magic (x2), Read Magic, Virtue
1-Curse Water, Deathwatch, Doom (x2), Protection from Good*, Summon Monster I (x2)
2-Darkness, Death Knell, Desecrate*, Enthrall (x2), Undetectable Alignment
3-Bestow Curse (x2), Blindness/Deafness, Contagion*, Magic Circle against Good (x2)
4-Cure Critical Wounds (x2), Poison, Tongues, Unholy Blight*
5-Atonement, Dispel Good*, Righteous Might, Slay Living
6-Harm*, Heal, Summon Monster VI
* Domain spells. Domains : Destruction, Evil
Supernatural Abilities Emblem of Evil (Deceptive Serpent), Rebuke undead (5/day)
Abilities Str 15, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 14
SQ -
Feats Dark Speech, Evil Brand, Eschew Materials, Lightning Reflexes, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (battleaxe)
Skills +18 Concentration, +17 Knowledge (religion), +17 Spellcraft
Possessions 440 gp worth of equipment.