Makes you look at the Tooth Fairy a little differently now . . .
Originally Posted by Isabel
Something crept through the cold stone walls of Stewart's cell. A voice, distant and unnervingly warm, slipped through his barred window and slid through his ears. It made for a deadly music amidst the dank dark of his cell; enchanting, yet bizarrely out of place. Who could wield a voice so serene in a mudpit like Waterdeep?
The voice came again, still cooing his name. He stood from his corner and went to peer from the window, but nobody was there. Not a soul could be seen upon the rainslick streets of Waterdeep. Thus, he turned back to his cell - only to find a peculiar sight.
"Oh, Stewart. Poor, foolish Stewart," the girl cooed, now there before him in the cell. Her locks were a tawny brown, her midriff bare and etched with six agonised faces. Her teeth and tongue were a silky black, and her red eyes glinted with malice. He recognised her now; those smooth lips, childish face and bloody cudgel were reknown amongst the common rabble. Before him stood the North Ward Witcher, and the sight of her sent fear through Stewart's old heart.
"Please, have mercy!" he cried, "I-I didn't mean to! I swear!"
"Hm? But you looked oh-so gleeful, dear Stewart," she chimed back, "it looked like you were having fun, mister Stewart." She spun that cudgel in her hands, the movement deft and quick. Nails and spikes had been plugged into the end of what looked to be an old bar stool, albeit without the seat. They said she never left their faces intact..
"No, not at all! Never would I delight in the slaughter of innocents!" he said, "i-it was the tooth! Yes!"
"Oh? Well, funny you should mention that," she replied, "because Dahlver-Nar called, silly Stewart. He wants his tooth back."
Stewart spluttered. Her eyes spoke the same as her words; she was deathly serious, even with that pitch black grin. "Then take it!" he howled, "take the stupid tooth, take everything! Leave me with my life, please!"
"Oh, don't worry mister Stewart," she said, "I'll be gentle, just as you were to that wench. Because you were ever so gentle with her, weren't you?"
More spluttering from his useless mouth.
"Besides, I'm not just here for the tooth. I'm here to set things right," she said, reaching out with her spare hand. She pointed a single, dainty finger at him, and continued to smirk her twisted smirk. "Don't worry. This won't hurt much," she cooed, "..not that I've ever asked."
She pressed her finger against his foreheard. For the briefest of moments, he felt like he knew everything; from the stars to the streetears, everything became clearer. Then, not even a second later, it all vanished. And it took his mind with it.
Isabel admired her handiwork. Before he laid the battered corpse of the one known as Stewart, his tooth retrieved and his face unrecognisable. Truthfully, she held no malice over the man's crimes; they were innocent enough, and had not been wrought by one of Dahlver-Nar's teeth. She'd only killed him for the sake of her collection - and, unfortunately for Stewart, he stood in the way of that goal. Dantalion had told her of great things happening once they had been united, and she believed him wholly.
After all, why would the Star Emperor lie to his herald?
Spoiler: Race, Class, Alignment, Ability ScoresShowIsabel, the North Ward Witcher
Classes: Binder 10/Knight of the Sacred Seal 5/Scion of Dantalion 5
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Languages: Common, Giant, Elven
Ability Scores: 32 Point Buy
Levels: +1 Strength, +4 Charisma
Base Hit Points: 15d8+5d10
Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features 1st Binder 1 +0 +2 +0 +2 4 Bluff, 4 Diplomacy, 4 Gather Information, 4 Knowledge (Arcana), 4 Sense Motive Urban Tracking, Power Attack Soul Binding (1 Vestige) 2nd Binder 2 +1 +3 +0 +3 5 Bluff, 5 Diplomacy, 5 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 5 Sense Motive Pact Augmentation (1 Ability), Suppress Sign 3rd Binder 3 +2 +3 +1 +3 6 Bluff, 6 Diplomacy, 6 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 6 Sense Motive, 0.5 [Cross-Class] Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) Weapon Focus (Club) 4th Binder 4 +3 +4 +1 +4 7 Bluff, 7 Diplomacy, 7 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 7 Sense Motive, 1 [Cross-Class] Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) Bonus Feat: Expel Vestige 5th Binder 5 +3 +4 +1 +4 8 Bluff, 8 Diplomacy, 8 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 8 Sense Motive, 1.5 [Cross-Class] Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) Pact Augmentation (2 Abilities) 6th Binder 6 +4 +5 +2 +5 9 Bluff, 9 Diplomacy, 9 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 9 Sense Motive, 2 [Cross-Class] Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) Master Manipulator Soul Guardian (Immune to Fear) 7th Binder 7 +5 +5 +2 +5 10 Bluff, 10 Diplomacy, 10 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 2 Knowledge (Local) 8th Binder 8 +6/+1 +6 +2 +6 11 Bluff, 11 Diplomacy, 11 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 4 Knowledge (Local) Soul Binding (2 Vestiges) 9th Binder 9 +6/+1 +6 +3 +6 12 Bluff, 12 Diplomacy, 12 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 6 Knowledge (Local) Knowledge Devotion (Local) Soul Guardian (Slippery Mind) 10th Binder 10 +7/+2 +7 +3 +7 13 Bluff, 13 Diplomacy, 13 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 8 Knowledge (Local) Pact Augmentation (3 Abilities) 11th Knight of the Sacred Seal 1 +8/+3 +9 +3 +7 14 Bluff, 14 Diplomacy, 14 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 10 Knowledge (Local) Aligned Strike, Patron Vestige (Dantalion), Soul Binding +1 12th Scion of Dantalion 1 +8/+3 +11 +3 +9 15 Bluff, 15 Diplomacy, 15 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 12 Knowledge (Local) Favoured Vestige (Dantalion) Favoured of Dantalion, Scholarship of Dantalion (1/Day), Soul Binding +1 13th Scion of Dantalion 2 +9/+4 +12 +3 +10 16 Bluff, 16 Diplomacy, 16 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 14 Knowledge (Local) Improved Read Thoughts, Swift Awe of Dantalion, Scholarship of Dantalion (2/Day), Soul Binding +2 14th Scion of Dantalion 3 +10/+5 +12 +4 +10 17 Bluff, 17 Diplomacy, 17 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 16 Knowledge (Local) Overwhelming Thoughts, Scholarship of Dantalion (3/Day), Soul Binding +3 (3 Vestiges) 15th Scion of Dantalion 4 +11/+6/+1 +13 +4 +11 18 Bluff, 18 Diplomacy, 18 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 10 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 18 Knowledge (Local) Favoured Vestige Focus (Dantalion) Dantalion's Glare, Improved Thought Travel, Scholarship of Dantalion (4/Day), Soul Binding +4 16th Scion of Dantalion 5 +11/+6/+1 +13 +4 +11 19 Bluff, 19 Diplomacy, 18 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 11 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 19 Knowledge (Local) Read Multiple Thoughts, Scholarship of Dantalion (5/Day), Soul Binding +5 17th Knight of the Sacred Seal 2 +12/+7/+2 +14 +4 +11 20 Bluff, 20 Diplomacy, 18 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 12 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 20 Knowledge (Local) Vestige's Protection, Soul Binding +2 18th Knight of the Sacred Seal 3 +13/+8/+3 +14 +5 +12 21 Bluff, 21 Diplomacy, 19 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 13 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 21 Knowledge (Local) Rapid Recovery (Dantalion) Vestige's Protection Aura, Soul Binding +3 19th Knight of the Sacred Seal 4 +14/+9/+4 +15 +5 +12 22 Bluff, 22 Diplomacy, 21 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 14 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 22 Knowledge (Local) Vestige's Power, Soul Binding +4 20th Knight of the Sacred Seal 5 +15/+10/+5 +15 +5 +12 23 Bluff, 23 Diplomacy, 23 Gather Information, 5 Knowledge (Arcana), 15 Sense Motive, 2 Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty), 23 Knowledge (Local) Apotheosis, Vestige's Surge, Soul Binding +5 (4 Vestiges)
Spoiler: Levels 5, 10, 15, 20ShowLevel 5: Binder 5
SpoilerShow"As a child, I would play hide and seek within the sewers of my hometown. I'd learned every nook and cranny of that dark, forgotten place by the age of eight, and my folks knew no better. It wasn't like anybody else cared to go looking for me."
"Of course, all that changed when they kicked the bucket. The butler never told me what happened, but the next thing I know I'm drawing magic circles using sewer gunk. I can dimly remember trying to resurrect my family with the occult, but aside from that? I think it broke me. Hah."
Isabel first vestige is Naberius. His abilities involve manipulation and adaptability, and they are spoken of in detail in the Binding Vestiges section.
By level 5, Isabel is a melee-oriented Binder with some social flair. Urban Tracking lets her find people in smaller villages; a meager ability, but one which will become more important later. Power Attack and Weapon Focus contribute to her effectiveness in combat, and Expel Vestige grants her some flexibility should she need to swap out one vestige for another.
Of the few abilities a straight Binder gets in these levels, Pact Augmentation offers some fantastic flexibility. Whenever she binds to a vestige, Isabel can choose to gain traits like a +2 insight bonus to saving throws or a +4 insight bonus or initiative checks. Not too shabby for a passive ability.
Level 10: Binder 10
SpoilerShow"After I picked up my act and pulled things together, making seals and forming pacts wasn't too bad. My earliest ones were so amateur, and I laugh every time I remember binding Aym. Sure came screaming into the mortal plane, that one."
"Still, I was a quick learner. I figured out how to take care of myself alright, come rain or shine ... not that it ever shined in Waterdeep, but you get the point. Things only got better once I found Dantalion."
Isabel learns to bind a second vestige, Malphas. His abilities revolve around improving her perception, staying hidden and striking from the shadows. See the Binding Vestiges section for a deeper look into his abilities.
By level 10, Isabel's more unique traits are becoming obvious. Master Manipulator lets her deceive those she speaks to, obscuring the facts through the use of her wily tongue. Similarly, Knowledge Devotion offers her a use for her growing knowledge skills.
More straight binding levels, but this time she gets class features. Soul Guardian offers her immunity to fear and slippery mind, both of which are highly valuable abilities to have. Furthermore, she gets an additional Pact Augmentation whenever she binds a vestige.
Level 15: Binder 10/Knight of the Sacred Seal 1/Scion of Dantalion 4
SpoilerShow"Oh, you know nothing child. You don't know what the embrace of the Star Emperor feels like. You mind, it ... speaks. It tells you things you didn't know, and it reminds you of things you'd forgotten 'til then."
"Even better, he shows me everything. It's like living on high with those deity folks, 'cept I'm down here and looking into your mind. I hear, see and feel anything that goes on, and the result is a euphoria that you can't even begin to imagine."
Isabel learns to bind a third vestige; in this case it's Dantalion, the Star Emperor. He offers a slew of abilities, all of which are further improved by the [human]-exclusive Scion of Dantalion prestige class. Both Dantalion's abilities and those of the Scion are discussed in the Binding Vestiges section.
By level 15, Isabel has devoted herself to Dantalion while honing her plethora of social and combat skills. She has an average modifier of +25 for Urban Tracking. Among other things, this lets her reliably track down any group or individual in even a Metropolis-sized city within a mere few hours. If someone has something that she wants, such as the various teeth of Cahlver-Nar, then she can - and will - find them. Meanwhile, Favoured Vestige and Favoured Vestige Focus will help to enhance her growing number of Dantalion-specific abilities.
A 1 level "dip" in Knight of the Sacred Seal offers her an evil-aligned strike and, more importantly, proficiency with all armours, all shields and all martial weapons. Isabel will return to this after completing the Scion of Dantalion.
Level 20: Binder 10/Knight of the Sacred Seal 5/Scion of Dantalion 5
SpoilerShow"He granted me a lot of things, Dantalion. Some of them were lies, but I saw through them and found the real deal underneath. After all, he's practically handed me immortality on a star-spangled platter with which to do his deeds. Which brings things, quite nicely, back to us."
"Again; I'm only doing this, mister Rogers, because you have something I want. No - it's something we want. So if you want to die painlessly, dear Rogers, I'd suggest that you hand over that tooth now."
Isabel learns to bind a final, fourth vestige, Haures. His abilities toy with the mind, offering her mental fortifications while at the same time altering the perceptions of others. The Binding Vestiges section goes into further depth about his abilities.
By level 20, Isabel has achieved transcendance - thanks to Dantalion, anyway. Rapid Recovery lets her use his cooldown-based abilities a little more often, rounding out the build quite nicely.
After finishing off the Scion of Dantalion prestige class, Isabel returns to the Knight of the Sacred Seal. Vestige's protection lets her add her Charisma bonus to her armour class and reflex saves, if only for a round. Vestige's Power offers another temporary boost of power, granting bonuses to Strength, Constitution, speed and Will saves. Vestige's Surge lets her use her cooldown-based vestige abilities slightly more often, and Apotheosis grants her the Outsider type with DR 10/Magic. If nothing else, it marks a significant growth in her abilities.
Spoiler: Pact Magic AbilitiesShowOver the course of her career, Isabel learns to bind a number of vestiges. By default, she relies on the abilities of four primary vestiges: Dantalion, Haures, Malphas and Naberius. Each is explained in greater detail below.
Naberius, the Grinning Hound
Disguise Self: As per the spell. Why take the disguise skill when a vestige can do it for you?
Faster Ability Healing: Healing 1 point of ability damage per round is nothing to scoff at. Even if it's not always relevant, it's a superb ability.
Naberius' Skills: Every time Naberius is bound, you gain the use of a number of trained-only skills equal to your constitution modifier. If you want to open a door, you can. If you face an enemy who requires a new Knowledge type, you can now use it. Works great in conjunction with Dantalion's knowledge and Knowledge Devotion.
Persuasive Words: Starts off as Command 1/5 rounds, then later becomes Suggestion 1/5 rounds. Still a Supernatural ability, still awesome for a diplomancer. Speaking of which..
Silver Tongue: You can always take 10 on Diplomacy and Bluff checks, and you can make rushed Diplomacy checks at no penalty. Congratulations! With Isabel's ranks in Diplomacy, she can stop any fight before it begins; likewise, her ranks in Bluff allow for even more far-fetched lies than usual.
Malphas, the Turnfeather
Bird's Eye Viewing: At-will, summon a bird through which you can see and hear. There's no limit on the range of this, and if the bird can see an area then so can Isabel. Good for collecting information, but even more useful when used in conjunction with Dantalion's sight-reliant abilities.
Invisibility: As per the spell, lasting for a numer of rounds equal to your binder level. Starts as a full-round action to activate, later becoming a standard, move and swift action. This removes any need for the Hide skill and is generally a better ability to have anyway.
Poison Use: Removes any risk of poisoning yourself when handling, using or applying poison. Decidedly less useful, but can be situationally useful if Isabel wants to, say, poison someone's meal.
Sudden Strike: As per the class feature, with 1d6 base damage +1d6 per 4 binder levels. Totals to about 6d6 Sudden Strike damage at level 30, which is roughly equivalent to the 7d6 Sneak Attack of a Psychic Rogue 10/Psibond Agent 10 (Which seems like the most reasonable entry path).
Haures, the Dreaming Duke
Inaccessible Mind: A passive Mind Blank ability which also offers some elements of Nondetection. Good for moving unseen and remaining uninfluenced by others.
Incorporeal Movement: A passive semi-incorporeal effect, but it only kicks in when moving and doesn't let you move through walls. Not bad, and the 50% concealment can be occasionally useful.
Major Image: As the spell, but only one at a time. Illusions can be incredible with a little bit of imagination, and they're even better as a Supernatural ability.
Phantasmal Killer: As the spell, except within a range of 10 feet per binder level. An at-will save-or-die as a Supernatural ability is nothing to laugh at, even if it Phantasmal Killer does allow for two saves.
Dantalion, the Star Emperor (with Scion of Dantalion)
Awe of Dantalion: Renders you untargetable by enemies for 1 round. Originally a move action, but Scion levels make it a swift action instead. This lets you take actions without provoking attacks of opportunity, and
Dantalion Knows: Passively grants a +8 bonus to all knowledge checks. Gets ridiculous when combined with Naberius' skills and Scholarship of Dantalion, but still pretty good just with Knowledge Devotion.
Read Thoughts: Read the thoughts of a nearby, visible enemy if they fail a Will save. With a well-placed crow from Bird's Eye Viewing, this can be practically anywhere within that distance. There's no cooldown either.
Thought Travel: Teleport to a nearby, visible location. Starts off as a standard action, with Scion lowering it to a move action. If either Isabel or her crow from Bird's Eye Viewing can see past a wall, she can get there.
Scholarship of Dantalion: Reroll any knowledge check a number of times per day per binder level. If Isabel rolls poorly when using Knowledge Devotion, this can put her back in the game.
Overwhelming Thoughts: Daze everybody whose mind you're reading, with a Will save to resist. This doesn't have a cooldown like most other vestige abilities, thus allowing Isabel to chain-daze enemies while beating them down with her club. If Isabel gets to act first, she can even keep her enemies perpetually flat-footed.
Dantalion's Glare: Blind everyone in a small cone, with a Fortitude save to resist. Blinded characters lose their dexterity bonus to AC, thus opening them up to Malphas' Sudden Strike damage on the following turn. Requires that Isabel bares her midriff, but that's okay.
Thanks to the fly, Isabel is able to change some of her abilities during the day. If she ever encounters a situation in which some skills are required over others, she can exchange one vestige - usually Haures - for another. A couple of examples are:
Otiax, the Key to the Gate: Aside from his concealment, Otiax offers the ability to open and unlock anything with ease. If Naberius' Skills are insufficient, then this puts her back in the game.
Marchosias, King of Killers: For one thing, he offers hefty bonuses to Hide and Move Silently. Of greater note is the Charisma-based death attack and at-will gaseous form.
Karsus, Hubris in the Blood: If Isabel wants to find and tear apart active spells, be they Mind Blanks or summoned monsters, this is how she does it. It also gives her the ability to use spell trigger items as a wizard of her binder level, allowing UMD shenanigans - after all, she has the Outsider type and a wand of Alter Self doesn't cost much.
Emulating the Psibond Agent
Spoiler: Secret Ingredient ComparisonsShowThese assume a build of Psychic Rogue 10/Psibond Agent 10, which I believe to be the logical progression.
Hit Points: 20d6
Isabel has 8d15+5d10 instead.
Skills: 6+Int, Roguey List
Isabel gets 5 skill points per level, and she can use Naberius' skills to gain extra skills on a temporary basis. By swapping out Haures, she can emulate Open Lock (Otiax) and Use Magic Device (Karsus) or simply gain a bonus to her sneaking (Marchosias). She also has high ranks in both Sense Motive and Gather Information, the latter of which is used to greater effect via Urban Tracking.
Sneak Attack: ~7d6
Isabel achieves 6d6 Sudden Strike damage while bound to Malphas the Turnfeather, one of her usual vestiges.
Isabel achieves +15 BAB, as per any other class with 3/4 BAB.
Isabel's saves are a complete contrast, instead being +15/+5/+12. However, Vestige's Protection lets her add her Charisma bonus to her reflex saving throws and armour class; with some items, she can easily reach the +14 reflex modifier of a Psychic Rogue/Psibond Agent.
Psibond, Double Psibond, Lingering Psibond
These are all emulated by Dantalion's Read Thoughts ability and its various improvements. She can read the minds of as many people as her charisma modifier, and she can maintain this ability indefinitely as a move action each round.
Psibond: Forced Sense Link
Malphas' Bird's Eye Viewing allows her to simulate this ability, and she even uses the bird's skill modifiers rather than her own. In contrast, it doesn't cost her an action to use and she doesn't lose her dexterity bonus to AC while concentrating. Dantalion's Read Thoughts ability may also simulate this ability rather well, reading the mind of her target in order to gather details of their surroundings.
Emulated by a simple, no-risk diplomacy or Bluff check as a standard action. This is as close as I could get to the original feel of the ability, and it is sadly not an immediate ability.
Read Thoughts lets Isabel detect thoughts in the first round of concentration; since Read Thoughts is already mimicking the Psibond ability, this use is a given. As for the bonuses to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate and Sense Motive, Naberius grants bonuses to the former two skills in the form of risk-free checks and no-penalty rushed diplomancy.
This is Naberius' Persuasive words ability. It's a standard action rather than a swift action, but it has no limit on the number of times it can be used (although it does have a cooldown).
Psibond: False Sensory Input
Emulated via Major Image and use of the Master Manipulator feat. Also emulated, in part, by ridiculously high modifers on a Bluff check (which, of course, she can take 10 on).
Isabel possesses three languages: Common, Giant and Elven.
SpoilerShowTome of Magic: Pact Magic rules. Binder, Knight of the Sacred Seal, Scion of Dantalion, Expel Vestige, Favoured Vestige, Favoured Vestige Focus, Rapid Recovery, vestiges (Dantalion, Malphas, Haures, Naberius, Otiax, Marchosias, Karsus).
Cityscape: Urban Tracking
Player's Handbook II: Master Manipulator
Complete Champion: Knowledge Devotion