Sand.. it gets everywhere, doesn't it?

Quote Originally Posted by Marduk-bel-Izin
Marduk-bel-Iziri
Purifier of the Sands
Spoiler: Build Stub
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LE Dry Lich Marrutact Cloistered Cleric of Azul 5/Walker in the Waste 10

Spoiler: Background
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This tall, gaunt humanoid wears sand-brown robes and a voluminous hood that fails to hide its jackal-like visage. Wielding a staff intricately carved to resemble a slender double helix, the creature commands respect with its mere presence.

Marduk-bel-Iziri was a cell leader for a small crèche of fellow Marruspawn, leading through a combination of birthright and sheer mental capacity. Smarter, wiser, and more charismatic by far than his brethren, Marduk also possesses a formidable collection of Arcane spells. He fearlessly defended his territory through tactical use of his cell members, and sacrifices captured slaves to his god Azul in ceremonial rituals designed to bring forth the Lord of Rain’s blessing.

After meeting with a particularly capable group of adventurers, Marduk seeks solace and recovery in the depths of the waste. During his time here, he ponders the nature of his religion, and whole-heartedly devotes himself to prayer, cloistering himself deep within one of the numerous abandoned pyramids that dot the landscape.

After emerging from his studies, he has come to the realization that the Waste claims all it touches, and is the purest form of Nature. The desert salt cleans all that it touches, and the unrelenting sun cures the world’s ailments. It isn’t long before he meets others that share his ideology, and Marduk is soon inducted into the Dusty Coven, joining the ranks of Walkers in the Waste.

Marduk-bel-Iziri now claims dominion over a stretch of the Waste that borders a stretch of grasslands to the east, and the nomads that live there find themselves constantly battling the encroaching sands that Marduk carries in his wake.

While accompanied by a retinue of Sand Golems and Salt Mummies, he also has his own formidable Clerical abilities to supplement his fearsome presence in combat.

Spoiler: Ability Scores
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Attribute Base Racial From Level Total Dry Lich Final
Strength 12 0 0 12 2 14
Dexterity 14 +2 0 16 0 16
Constitution 8 +2 0 10 - -
Intelligence 15 +8 +2 25 0 25
Wisdom 10 +8 0 18 4 22
Charisma 16 +6 +3 22 2 24
Increases at 4 and 8 go to Intelligence, 12, 15 and 18 go to Charisma. At CR 20 (Level 10 of Walker in the Waste), the Dry Lich template is added, increasing Strength by 2, Wisdom by 4, and Charisma by 2, and removing Constitution.

Spoiler: Progression Table
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CR HD Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
5 7d8 Marrutact +7 +3 +6 +9 Concentration 10, Decipher Script 10, Hide 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 10, Knowledge (History) 10, Knowledge (Geography) 10, Knowledge (Religion) 4, Knowledge (Nature) 10, Spellcraft 10 Heat Endurance, Extend Spell, Persistent Spell Discriminating Hearing, Resistance to Desiccation, Resistance to Fire, Low Light Vision, Howl of Healing, Spells (as CL 5 Wizard), Spell Resistance 16
6 8 Cloistered Cleric 1 +7 +5 +6 +11 Concentration 11, Decipher Script 11, Knowledge (Arcana) 11, Knowledge (History) 11, Knowledge (Geography) 11, Knowledge (Religion) 10, Knowledge (Nature) 11, Spellcraft 11 Knowledge Devotion Lore, Knowledge Domain, Turn/Rebuke Undead
7 9 Cloistered Cleric 2 +8 +6 +6 +12 Concentration 12, Decipher Script 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 12, Knowledge (History) 12, Knowledge (Geography) 12, Knowledge (Religion) 12, Knowledge (Nature) 12, Spellcraft 12, Survival 2.5 Divine Metamagic (Persistent Spell) -
8 10 Cloistered Cleric 3 +8 +6 +7 +12 Concentration 13, Decipher Script 13, Knowledge (Arcana) 13, Knowledge (History) 13, Knowledge (Geography) 13, Knowledge (Religion) 13, Knowledge (Nature) 13, Spellcraft 13, Survival 5 - -
9 11 Cloistered Cleric 4 +9 +7 +7 +12 Concentration 14, Decipher Script 14, Knowledge (Arcana) 14, Knowledge (History) 14, Knowledge (Geography) 14, Knowledge (Religion) 14, Knowledge (Nature) 14, Spellcraft 14, Survival 7.5 - -
10 12 Cloistered Cleric 5 +9 +7 +7 +13 Concentration 15, Decipher Script 15, Knowledge (Arcana) 15, Knowledge (History) 15, Knowledge (Geography) 15, Knowledge (Religion) 15, Knowledge (Nature) 15, Spellcraft 15, Survival 10 Extra Turning -
11 13 Walker in the Waste 1 +9 +7 +7 +15 Concentration 16, Decipher Script 16, Intimidate 2, Knowledge (Arcana) 16, Knowledge (Geography) 16, Knowledge (Nature) 16, Spellcraft 16, Survival 11 - Desiccating Touch 1d6, Improved Heat Endurance
12 14 Walker in the Waste 2 +10 +7 +7 +16 Concentration 17, Decipher Script 17, Intimidate 4, Knowledge (Arcana) 17, Knowledge (Geography) 17, Knowledge (Nature) 17, Spellcraft 17, Survival 12 - The Wasting
13 15 Walker in the Waste 3 +10 +8 +8 +16 Concentration 18, Decipher Script 18, Intimidate +, Knowledge (Arcana) 18, Knowledge (Geography) 18, Knowledge (Nature) 18, Spellcraft 18, Survival 13 Intimidating Strike Desiccating Touch 2d6, Local Drought
14 16 Walker in the Waste 4 +11 +8 +8 +17 Concentration 19, Decipher Script 19, Intimidate 8, Knowledge (Arcana) 19, Knowledge (Geography) 19, Knowledge (Nature) 19, Spellcraft 19, Survival 14 - Withered Toughness
15 17 Walker in the Waste 5 +11 +8 +8 +17 Concentration 20, Decipher Script 20, Intimidate 10, Knowledge (Arcana) 20, Knowledge (Geography) 20, Knowledge (Nature) 20, Spellcraft 20, Survival 15 - Dessicating Touch 3d6, Pillar of Salt
16 18 Walker in the Waste 6 +12 +9 +9 +18 Concentration 21, Decipher Script 21, Intimidate 12, Knowledge (Arcana) 21, Knowledge (Geography) 21, Knowledge (Nature) 21, Spellcraft 21, Survival 16 Imperious Command Create Sand Golem
17 19 Walker in the Waste 7 +12 +9 +9 +18 Concentration 22, Decipher Script 22, Intimidate 14, Knowledge (Arcana) 22, Knowledge (Geography) 22, Knowledge (Nature) 22, Spellcraft 22, Survival 17 - Desiccating Touch 4d6
18 20 Walker in the Waste 8 +13 +9 +9 +19 Concentration 23, Decipher Script 23, Intimidate 16, Knowledge (Arcana) 23, Knowledge (Geography) 23, Knowledge (Nature) 23, Spellcraft 23, Survival 18 - Create Salt Mummy
19 21 Walker in the Waste 9 +13 +10 +10 +19 Concentration 24, Decipher Script 24, Intimidate 18, Knowledge (Arcana) 24, Knowledge (Geography) 24, Knowledge (Nature) 24, Spellcraft 24, Survival 19 Craft Magic Arms & Armor Desiccating Touch 5d6, Greater Drought
20 22 Walker in the Waste 10 +14 +10 +10 +20 Concentration 25, Decipher Script 25, Hide 10, Intimidate 20, Knowledge (Arcana) 25, Knowledge (History) 15, Knowledge (Geography) 25, Knowledge (Religion) 15, Knowledge (Nature) 25, Spellcraft 25, Survival 20 - Dry Lich

Spoiler: Spells Known
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Marduk-bel-Iziri has a collection of both Arcane and Divine Spells, as represented below.
Spoiler: Arcane Spells
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Arcane Spells per day
Level 0th 1st 2nd 3rd
1 3 3 - -
2 4 4 - -
3 4 4 3 -
4 4 4 4 -
5 4 4 4 3

Spoiler: Divine Spells
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Divine Spells per day
Domains: Thirst and Evil
Level 0th 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th
6 3 3+1 - - - - - -
7 4 4+1 - - - - - -
8 4 4+1 3+1 - - - - -
9 5 5+1 4+1 - - - - -
10 5 5+1 4+1 3+1 - - - -
11 5 5+1 4+1 3+1 - - - -
12 5 5+1 5+1 4+1 - - - -
13 6 6+1 6+1 5+1 2+1 - - -
14 6 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1 - - -
15 6 6+1 6+1 5+1 3+1 2+1 - -
16 6 6+1 6+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 - -
17 6 7+1 6+1 6+1 4+1 3+1 2+1 -
18 6 7+1 6+1 6+1 4+1 4+1 3+1 -
19 6 7+1 7+1 6+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 1+1
20 6 7+1 7+1 6+1 5+1 4+1 3+1 1+1
Casting increased at every level of Walker in the Waste except for 1 and 10 (CR 11 & 20, respectively).


Spoiler: Dry Lich Template
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Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.
Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.
Attack: A dry lich retains the desiccating touch of the base creature. If the base creature can use weapons, a dry lich retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those weapons. A dry lich fighting without weapons uses either its desiccating touch or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A dry lich armed with a weapon uses its touch or its weapon, as it desires.
Full Attack: A dry lich fighting without weapons uses either its desiccating touch attack (see above) or its natural weapons (if it has any). If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack along with a desiccating touch as a natural secondary attack, provided it has a way to make that attack (either a free hand or a natural weapon that it can use as a secondary attack).
Damage: A dry lich without natural weapons has a desiccating touch attack that deals 5d6 points of desiccation damage (or 5d8 points to plants and elementals of the water subtype) to living creatures; a Fortitude save (DC 15 + dry lich’s Wis Modifier) halves the damage. A dry lich with natural weapons can use its desiccating touch attack or its natural weapons as it prefers. If it chooses the latter, it deals an extra 5d6 points of desiccation damage on one natural weapon attack.
Special Attacks: A dry lich retains all the base creature’s special attacks and gains those described below. Save DCs are equal to 10 + ½ dry lich’s HD + Cha modifier unless otherwise specified.
Aura of Despair (Su): A dry lich is surrounded by a terrible sense of age, loss, and death. Any creature within a 60-foot radius must secceed on a Will save or be shaken for 1d4 rounds. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same dry lich’s aura of despair for 24 hours.
Constitution Drain (Su): Any living creature a dry lich hits with its touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. With each successful drain, the dry lich gains 5 temporary hit points.
Special Qualities: A dry lich retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described below;
Turn Resistance (Ex): A dry lich has +6 turn resistance.
Damage Reduction (Su): A dry lich’s salt-cured flesh is leathery and touch, giving it damage reduction 10/bludgeoning and magic.
Fast Healing (Ex): A dry lich recovers 2 points of damage each round as long as it is in an arid environment. A humid climate, water-based effecs such as a fog cloud spell, or immersion in water prevent fast healing.
Immunities (Ex): Dry liches had immunity to dehydration, heat, polymorph (though they can use polymorph effects on themselves), and mind-affecting spells and abilities.
Unholy Toughness (Ex): A dry lich gains a bonus to its hit points equal to its Charisma bonus (minimum +1) times its Hit Dice.
Water Weakness: All water deals damage to a dry lich as if it were holy water.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +2, Wis +4, Cha +2. As an undead creature, a dry lich has no Constitution score.
Skills: Dry liches have a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Intimidate, Listen, Move Silently, Search, and Spot checks. Otherwise same as the base creature.
Environment: Any deserts.
Organization:Solitary or patrol (1 dry lich, plus 1-2 salt mummies and 2-4 sand golems).
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +3.
Treasure: Standard coins; standard goods; double items.
Alighment: Any nongood.
Advancement: By character class.
Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +5.

Spoiler: Level Breakdown
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  • CR 5 – At this point in Marduk’s life, he has just become a cell leader in charge of a pair of Marrusaults and 4 Marrulurks. If encountered by PCs, Marduk defends his cell and their territory by deploying his cell against the PCs, directing the Marrusaults to charge the enemy, and having the Marrulurks move in to a flanking position to capitalize on their innate Sneak Attack abilities. During this time, Marduk remains in the rear casting Arcane spells to hinder his foes.
  • CR 6-10 – If in the event that Marduk’s cell is defeated by the PCs, Marduk uses any means necessary to escape into the Wastelands. In the intervening time between next encountering the PCs, Marduk gives himself over to worshipping his chosen deity, Azul, Lord of Rain. Dedicating himself to the study of religion in solitude, Marduk is unlikely to be encountered again until after this level range.
  • CR 11-15 – Having forsaken civilization in favor of the purity found in the unforgiving Wastelands, Marduk has been accepted into the Dusty Conclave as a Walker in the Waste, and now patrols the Wastelands in an effort to keep encroaching civilization at bay. He also uses this time to investigate the ancient ruins that litter the waste, searching for hidden lore and artifacts. If encountered by PCs at this level range, he can be a formidable opponent, able to fight with both Arcane and Divine magic, and also able to buff himself into a capable melee opponent.
  • Sweet Spot – CR 15 – CR 15 would be Marduk’s sweet spot, at this point he can Persist both Divine Power and Righteous Might, growing him up to large size and giving him an increased attack modifier. By using his Arcane spells to modify the terrain to his liking, he is able to delay entering combat until he can target the enemy spellcaster with his Flesh to Salt ability. After this, he wades into battle, interspersing blows from his staff with his Desiccating Touch ability. In addition to all of this, his Intimidating Strike and Imperious Command abilities should inflict a healthy amount of fear in his enemies to stack the odds further in Marduk’s favor.
  • CR 20 – Now a Dry Lich, and accompanied by a retinue of Sand Golems and Salt Mummies, Marduk-bel-Iziri is indeed a force to be reckoned with. He has ascended to the highest levels of the Dusty Conclave, and actively works to push civilization back and to increase the reach of the Wastelands. He is convinced now more so than ever that the desert is the purest form of Nature and life itself. You either have the strength to survive in the harshest of lands, or the moving sands claim your life. Natural selection working at its finest.


Spoiler: Sources
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  • Player's Handbook - Skills, Feats, Spells, Evil & Knowledge Domains
  • Player's Handbook II - Intimidating Strike
  • Drow of the Underdark - Imperious Command
  • DMG - Elite Array
  • Unearthed Arcana - Cloistered Cleric
  • Complete Divine - Divine Metamagic, Knowledge Devotion
  • Sandstorm - Walker in the Waste, Marrutact, Dry Lich, Thirst Domain, Spells, Azul