You seem an awfully good fellow. I hate to kill you.

Quote Originally Posted by Maenigo Antoya
Maenigo Antoya
Chaotic Good Human
Spellthief 7/Lasher 1/Spellthief +3/Lasher +9

Spoiler: Story
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The man wearing all black fell to the ground, clutching at his stomach, and convulsed. His sword fell from his grip, and skittered across the dry and dusty ground.

"AAHHHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAAAHAHAHHAAAA A!!"

He sucked at the air around him, trying to draw in a breath to fill his lungs. Tears streamed from his eyes.

A whip-crack stirred the dirt near his face, close enough to billow flecks of dust into his eyes. It was a whip-crack stronger than the norm, one that meant business. It spoke of pain and anguish unlike what could be granted by an ordinary whip wielded by an ordinary man.

The man in black stopped laughing.

"My apologies," the man in black said, calm as can be. He rolled slowly to his back, hands lifted to show his open, empty palms. "It's not often that a man comes face to face with a whip. My laughter was, by no means, intended as an insult for your choice of weapon."

"It was my father's." The other man's words were heavily accented. "Show me your lip."

"I...uh..." The confusion on the face of the man in black was evident, even through the dark mask he wore. "I'm sorry?"

"Your lip. Your lip!" The other man waved his whip, brushing it against the man in black's face, just below the nose. "Show it to me!"

The man in black shifted slightly, turning to more face his foe. He eased one hand, slowly, to his face and drew the mask he wore up a quarter of an inch to better show off his upper lip.

The other man leaned in, warily, whip still at the ready, and took a closer look. "You've shaved recently?"

"I shave every morning."

The other man nodded, apparently satisfied at what he saw or heard, and stepped back. He relaxed visibly, his stance much more at ease, though he remained alert and on guard. "I'll still have to kill you."

"For having shaved?"

"I am looking for a mustachioed man. Obviously, you are not he." The man gave a little shrug of his shoulder. "It doesn't change the fact that we must still duel."

"Yes. Speaking of which, would you mind terribly much if....?" The man in black lifted an eyebrow, nodding his head toward himself, lying prone.

"Oh! My apologies." The other man gave a quick, apologetic bow, and stepped back.

The man in black offered a nod of acceptance. He lifted gracefully to his feet in the most non-threatening way he could. Once he did, he found his feet mere inches from the edge of an insanely high cliff. He stepped slowly, casually away from the steep drop. "Well, then," he said, stooping to pick up his sword, "shall we?"

"We'll wait until you're ready," the other man said, indicating to a comfortable-looking rock while he sat down on another of his own.

"Very well." The man in black sat. He eased off one boot, then the other, taking his time to empty the rocks and gravel out of them. "So, tell me about this man you're looking for."

The other man stared into the middle distance, his voice a solemn whisper. "When I was a child, this man came into my father's shop. He ordered for himself a quarterstaff to be made, carved with intricate ruins and sigils. I remember of him his mustache, six elaborate curls, three on either side of his nose. He visited the shop daily, worked with my father to imprint his magic into the wood my father so carefully crafted. When, finally it was done, this man took the staff without paying my father. Try as he might, my father couldn't get this rich man to pay what he owed. The time...the effort... all for naught."

The man let out a heavy sigh, his boot kicking idly at the dirt under his feet.

"My father lost everything. Without the money, he couldn't pay off the debts. He lost his shop. We were kicked out of our home, left to the grime of the streets. And my mother, she got sick. With no one to help, living in the cold of the streets, she got worse. My father, he never left her side. Cared for her as best as he could, but...." The man shook his head at the memory and wiped the tears from his eyes before they could fall.

"He made this whip, my father. Found some bits of leather, here and there. He wove it all together with strands of my mother's hair, to remember her. After the years of caring for her, he drew ill, too." His fingers stroked slowly along the leather of the whip. "And now, this is all I have to remember them by. My mother's hair and my father's toil.

The man looked up, raising his eyes to meet those of the man in black. "So now, I search for this man. I will remind him of my father. And I will take everything from him. When I finally find him, I will go up to the six-curled mustache man and say, 'Hello, my name is Maenigo Antoya, you destroyed my father. Prepare to cry!' And then I will take everything from him. I will lash away at his mind, strip away everything he knows. I will search his tower, find his library, destroy his spellbooks, and leave it all burning to ash around him. I will take from him all he has aquired and leave him penniless and empty, alone in the street."

The man in black nodded. "And you've been searching for him ever since?"

Maenigo waved a hand. "It's been twenty years, now, and I've been starting to wonder if I would truely recognize him again. But still I search. I just do these kinds of jobs to pay the bills."

"I see," said the man in black, rising to his feet. "Well, I certainly hope you find this man some day and can duel him to the pain, as it sounds he deserves."

"You are ready then?"

"Ready or not, you've been more than fair."

Maenigo Antoya nodded and stood, and the two began their duel.


Spoiler: Stats
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Str 15
Con 14
Dex 14
Int 14
Wis 10
Cha 12

Stat increases: 4th Cha; 8th Cha; 12th Str; 16th Str; 20th Str


Spoiler: Build
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Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1st Spellthief 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Disable Device 4; Hide 4; K: Arcana 4; Listen 4; Move Silently 4; Open Lock 4; Search 4; Spellcraft 4; Spot 4 1st: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Whip; H: Darkstalker Sneak Attack +1d6; Steal Spell (0 or 1); Trapfinding
2nd Spellthief 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Disable Device 1(5); Hide 1(5); K: Arcana 1(5); Listen 1(5); Move Silently 1(5); Open Lock 1(5); Search 1(5); Spellcraft 1(5); Spot 1(5) -- Detect Magic; Spellgrace +1; Steal Spell Effect
3rd Spellthief 3 +2 +1 +1 +3 Disable Device 1(6); Hide 1(6); K: Arcana 1(6); Listen 1(6); Move Silently 1(6); Open Lock 1(6); Search 1(6); Spellcraft 1(6); Spot 1(6) 3rd: Weapon Focus: Whip Steal Energy Resistance 10
4th Spellthief 4 +3 +1 +1 +4 Disable Device 1(7); Hide 1(7); K: Arcana 1(7); Listen 1(7); Move Silently 1(7); Open Lock 1(7); Search 1(7); Spellcraft 1(7); Spot 1(7) -- Steal Spell (2nd)
5th Spellthief 5 +3 +1 +1 +4 Craft (Leatherworking) 1(1); Disable Device 1(8); Hide 1(8); K: Arcana (7); Listen 1(8); Move Silently 1(8); Open Lock 1(8); Search 1(8); Spellcraft 1(8); Spot 1(8) -- Sneak Attack +2d6; Steal Spell-like Ability
6th Spellthief 6 +4 +2 +2 +5 Craft (Leatherworking) 1(2); Disable Device 1(9); Hide 1(9); K: Arcana (7); Listen 1(9); Move Silently 1(9); Open Lock 1(9); Search 1(9); Spellcraft 1(9); Spot 1(9) 6th: Ancestral Relic Steal Spell (3rd)
7th Spellthief 7 +5 +2 +2 +5 Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 1(10); K: Arcana (7); Listen 1(10); Move Silently 1(10); Open Lock (9); Search (9); Spellcraft 1(10); Spot 1(10); Use Rope 4(2) -- Absorb Spell
8th Lasher 1 +6/1 +2 +4 +5 Balance 5(5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide (10); K: Arcana (7); Listen (10); Move Silently (10); Open Lock (9); Search (9); Spellcraft (10); Spot (10); Use Rope (2) -- Whip Sneak Attack +1d6 (+3d6); Close Combat; Wound; Whip Lash
9th Spellthief 8 +7/2 +2 +4 +6 Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(12); K: Arcana (7); Listen 2(12); Move Silently 2(12); Open Lock (9); Search 1(10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 2(12); Use Rope (2) 9th: Blind-Fight Steal Spell (4th)
10th Spellthief 9 +7/2 +3 +5 +6 Concentration 5(5); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 1(13); K: Arcana (7); Listen 1(13); Move Silently 1(13); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(13); Use Rope (2) -- Arcane Sight; Sneak Attack +3d6 (+4d6 whip)
11th Spellthief 10 +8/3 +3 +5 +7 Concentration 5(10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 1(14); K: Arcana (7); Listen 1(14); Move Silently 1(14); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(14); Use Rope (2) -- Steal Spell (5th)
12th Lasher 2 +9/4 +3 +6 +7 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(15); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(15); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(15); Use Rope (2) 12th: Mage Slayer Improved Trip; Third Hand
13th Lasher 3 +10/5 +4 +6 +8 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(16); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(16); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(16); Use Rope (2) -- Crack of Fate
14th Lasher 4 +11/6/1 +4 +7 +8 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(17); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(17); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(17); Use Rope (2) -- Lashing Whip
15th Lasher 5 +12/7/2 +4 +7 +8 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(18); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(18); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(18); Use Rope (2) 15th: Pierce Magical Concealment Sneak Attack +2d6 (+5d6)
16th Lasher 6 +13/8/3 +5 +8 +9 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(19); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(19); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(19); Use Rope (2) -- Improved Disarm
17th Lasher 7 +14/9/4 +5 +8 +9 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(20); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(20); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(20); Use Rope (2) -- Stunning Snap
18th Lasher 8 +15/10/5 +5 +9 +9 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(21); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(21); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(21); Use Rope (2) 18th: Pierce Magical Protection Crack of Doom
19th Lasher 9 +16/11/6/1 +6 +9 +10 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(22); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(22); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(22); Use Rope (2) -- Sneak Attack +3d6 (+6d6)
20th Lasher 10 +17/12/7/2 +6 +10 +10 Concentration (10); Balance (5); Craft (Leatherworking) (2); Disable Device (9); Hide 2(23); K: Arcana (7); Listen (14); Move Silently 2(23); Open Lock (9); Search (10); Spellcraft (10); Spot 1(23); Use Rope (2) -- Death Spiral


Spoiler: Spells
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Spells per Day/Spells Known
Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th
1st - - - - - - - - - -
2nd - - - - - - - - - -
3rd - - - - - - - - - -
4th - 0/2 - - - - - - - -
5th - 0/2 - - - - - - - -
6th - 1/3 - - - - - - - -
7th - 1/3 - - - - - - - -
8th - 1/4 0/2 - - - - - - -
9th - 1/4 0/2 - - - - - - -
10th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
11th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
12th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
13th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
14th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
15th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
16th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
17th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
18th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
19th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
20th - 1/4 1/3 - - - - - - -
Note: Table above does not include bonus spells from Charisma.


Spells known:
4th: Distract Assailant (SpC); Sniper's Shot (SpC)

6th: Armor Lock (CS); Distract Assailant (SpC); Sniper's Shot (SpC)

8th: Armor Lock (CS); Distract Assailant (SpC); Nerveskitter (SpC); Sniper's Shot (SpC) // Arcane Turmoil (CM); Wraithstrike (SpC)

10th: Armor Lock (CS); Distract Assailant (SpC); Nerveskitter (SpC); Sniper's Shot (SpC) // Arcane Turmoil (CM); Mindburn (MoE); Wraithstrike (SpC)


Spoiler: Relic
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Level Weapon Price
6th +1 Whip, +1 resistance bonus to saves 4,250
7th +1 Whip, +1 resistance bonus to saves 4,250
8th +1 Whip, +1 resistance bonus to saves 4,250
9th +1 Whip, +1 resistance bonus to saves 4,250
10th Lethe's Lash, +1 resistance bonus to saves 24,250
11th Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +1 resistance bonus to saves 30,250
12th Shadowstrike, Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +2 resistance bonus to saves 42,000
13th Shadowstrike, Dispelling, Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +2 resistance bonus to saves 52,000
14th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +2 resistance bonus to saves 70,000
15th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +4 resistance bonus to saves 97,000
16th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +4 resistance bonus to saves 97,000
17th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +4 resistance bonus to saves, Evasion 153,250
18th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Impedance, Spell-storing Lethe's Lash, +5 resistance bonus to saves, Evasion 213,500
19th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Impedance, Magebane, Spell-storing, +2 Lethe's Lash, +5 resistance bonus to saves, +2 luck bonus to saves, Evasion 287,500
20th Silent Moves, Shadowstrike, Dispelling, (Dispelling, Greater [Synergy]), Impedance, Magebane, Spell-storing, +4 Lethe's Lash, +5 resistance bonus to saves, +3 insight bonus to saves, +2 luck bonus to saves, Evasion 380,000


Spoiler: Levels 1-5
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At 5th level, you're a utility character:
Maximum ranks in Seach, Open Lock, Disable Device, Listen, Spot, Hide, and Move Silently let you find and disable the traps, open the locks, and scout (even better with that Darkstalker feat).
Steal Spell makes you a back-up healer. When the party healer goes down, who heals him? You do. Steal a healing spell from his unconscious body and cast it on him. Welcome back to the world, healer.

In combat, you're looking to stay away from the bleeding. Whip(dagger) as your choice of weapon keeps you out of arms reach of melee folk. And you can still deliver sneak attacks from flanking (you just can't help other people flank.)
Hide + Sneak Attack + Sniper's Shot + (Heavy) Crossbow + Steal Spell Effect = Flying wizards coming down to your level where the BSF can whack 'em.



Spoiler: Levels 6-10
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The name of the game here is still utility. Your maxed skills are still making you the scout and the party look-out. You're no slouch in dealing with traps and locks, but there are some you can't handle. You can still easily aid someone else in that regard, though.
Steal Spell continues to have wide applications. How many rounds does it take a spellcaster to buff a party? Half as many with you around. You're still the back-up healer in that regard.

And, of course, Steal Spell can be used as a pseudo-debuff in combat, reducing the resources of your enemies. (As can Steal Spell Effect and Steal Spell-like Ability.) But now your Ancestral Relic has become a Lethe's Lash, too. With the early level in Lasher, your whip can strike for damage against armored foes, and Lethe wipes a spell from their minds with each hit, too.



Spoiler: Levels 11-15
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These are the levels where things start to get really fun! Lasher starts letting you use that whip; and oh! what a whip it is!
There are a multitude of ways to set off a sneak attack (the Pierce Magical Concealment feat helps here!), use whichever best fits the situation: Armor Lock or Distract Assailant (a swift action spell, btw, which can be cast if needed after the first attack gets you a stolen spell). The Shadowstrike ability of your whip. Flanking. Hiding.
Four attacks (three from BAB, one from Crack of Fate) in the round can all be sneak attacks (fairly easily) and for each that hits (see: Wraithstrike):
  • sacrifice 1d6 sneak attack to steal a spell of up to 5th level.
  • sacrifice 1d6 sneak attack to steal a spell effect (Contingency, perhaps?)
  • sacrifice 1d6 sneak attack to steal a SLA
  • remove the highest level spell via Lethe's Lash
  • (Greater) Dispel targets the foe (if you choose to, there are a finite number of uses per day -- use them wisely.)
  • Spell stored in whip targets foe (if there is a spell stored, that is. see: Arcane Turmoil and Mindburn for interesting spells to store.)
  • and then...what am I forgetting in all of this....oh, yes! The whip deals damage, too.




Spoiler: Levels 16-20
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Let's be honest here for a moment, shall we? At these levels, melee has no chance whatsoever going up against a highly optimized spellcaster.
But neither does most any party. If the DM is throwing an optimized spellcaster at you, it was for a TPK, anyway.

Against other spellcasters, the act remains the same. You gain two more attacks each round (one from BAB, one from Crack of Doom) and new ways to set up sneak attacks (Stunning Snap and Death Spiral). The whip adds Impedance to each hit (not every spellcaster maximizes Spellcraft, ya know.)




Spoiler: Bibliography
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Complete Adventurer: Spellthief class
Lords of Madness: Darkstalker feat
Book of Exalted Deeds: Ancestral Relic feat
Complete Arcane: Mage Slayer feat; Pierce Magical Concealment feat; Pierce Magical Protection

Whip:
Planar Handbook: Lethe's Lash
Magic Item Compendium: Shadowstrike; Dispelling; Greater Dispelling; Impedance; Magebane
Oriental Adventures: Silent Moves

Anything not indicated above can be found in the SRD.