And, our last competitor: Brightness, the Star that Sees!

Spoiler: Brightness: The Star that Sees

Brightness: the Star that Sees
LE Warforged Psion (Seer) 10/Crystal Master 10

"The stars shall fade away, the sun himself grow dim with age, and nature sink in years, But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, unhurt amidst the wars of elements, the wrecks of matter, and the crush of worlds."

Spoiler: Backstory
Spoiler: Star in the dark
"Am I stupid?"

The warforged looked at his cellmate, waiting for a response. The other warforged turned his metal head at him, and gave him a curious look. The other rubbed the yellow crystal on its temple, something it always did when thinking about complicated things.

The other warforged was smarter, the first one knew that. Still, not much smarter... right?

"There was... There was this tentacled one, and he was adding more crystals, and I asked why he did all this... And he just looked at me funny. And then he said I wouldn't understand even if he told me.

Does that mean I'm stupid?"

The other warforged was silent for a long time. Was it thinking about the experiments? About the crystals? Or did he know what to say but didn't want to?

The other warforged turned his head again, and spoke. The first one wasn't sure, but the other's expression seemed sad.

"No. You're the brightest thing down here."

Spoiler: A murder of one
Much time had passed. The tentacled ones had come and gone, adding more and more crystals. They had seemed excited the last few times. For some reason, this worried the warforged.

One day, the other one came back from an experiment, visibly shaken. He did not speak of what had happened, which worried the warforged even more.

It was only a few minutes later that the tentacled ones returned. This time, they gestured for both of them to rise. The other ones eyes went great with fear, and he jumped to his feet.

Before the warforged could intervene, his cellmate had already jumped towards the tentacled one and slammed his fist in its face. The tentacled one gazed at its prisoner with rage, and let its anger wash over its assailant. The other warforged fell to its knees, dark smoke emerging from its orifices. The other turned, and looked at the first warforged one last time.

They were... going to... kill you... Don't... let... *hack*

Bright... ness....

Tentacled ones took his cellmate's lifeless body, and brought him along. Brightness wasn't sure what had happened then. He remembered the sound of groaning metal, the clear resonance of crystals, and the feeling of power, but what had happened, he didn't know.

He was placed in his cell again. The warforged inspected his new body carefully, then saw something that would have made his heart skip a beat had he had one.

It was a yellow crystal, smooth after having been rubbed by metal fingers countless times.

Brightness cried out, but none listened.

Spoiler: A star and its sky
Brightness wasn't sure how much time passed after that. He wasn't experimented on again, he wasn't visited, and no one talked to him. Then, one day, one of the tentacled ones visited. It just stared silently at him, and then all went black.

When Brightness woke up, he was lying on his back on a grassy hill. Above him was nothing. No rock, no cave, no smooth white ceiling. Just an endless sky, filled with countless points of light.

Brightness' enhanced mind looked at the stars. And embedded in his body, a monster looked, too.

Spoiler: Ability scores
Basic Array: STR 11, DEX 12, CON 12, INT 17, WIS 12, CHA 12
Post-racial adjustments: STR 11, DEX 12, CON 14, INT 17, WIS 10, CHA 10
Ability score increases All increases go into Intelligence. INTELLIGENCE ALL THE WAY.

Spoiler: Build table
Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features
1st Psion 1 +0 +0 +0 +2 Craft (gemcutting) +2, Concentration +4, Knowledge (Gemology) +2, Knowledge (Psionics) +4 Listen +2 Spot +2, Psicraft +4 Psiforged Body, Psicrystal AffinityB Bonus Feat, Discipline (Clairsentience)
2nd Psion 2 +1 +0 +0 +3 Craft (gemcutting) +3, Concentration +5, Knowledge (Psionics) +5, Spot +3 Psicraft +5 - -
3rd Psion 3 +1 +1 +1 +3 Concentration +6, Knowledge (Gemology) +3, Knowledge (Psionics) +6, Listen +3, Psicraft +6 Illithid Heritage -
4th Psion 4 +2 +1 +1 +4 Craft (gemcutting) +4, Concentration +7, Knowledge (Psionics) +7, Spot +4, Listen +4, Psicraft +7 - -
5th Psion 5 +2 +1 +1 +4 Concentration +8, Knowledge (gemology) +4, Knowledge (Psionics) +8, Spot +5, Listen +5, Psicraft +8 Psicrystal ContainmentB Bonus Feat
6th Crystal Master 1 +2 +1 +1 +6 Craft (gemcutting) +6 Concentration +9, Knowledge (Psionics) +9 Psicraft +9, Intimidate +3 Improved PsicrystalB, Illithid Compulsion Improved Psicrystal
7th Crystal Master 2 +3 +1 +1 +7 Craft (gemcutting) +10, Concentration +10, Knowledge (psionics) +10, Psicraft +10, Intimidate +4 - Embed Gem (Aquamarine)
8th Crystal Master 3 +3 +2 +2 +7 Craft (gemcutting) +11, Concentration +11, Knowledge (Psionics) +11, Psicraft +11, Intimidate +8 - -
9th Crystal Master 4 +4 +2 +2 +8 Craft (gemcutting) +12, Concentration +12, Knowledge (Psionics) +12, Psicraft +12, Intimidate +12 Illithid Legacy Embed Gem (Diamond)
10th Crystal Master 5 +4 +2 +2 +8 Appraise +3, Craft (gemcutting) +13, Concentration +13, Knowledge (Psionics) +13, Psicraft +13, Intimidate +13 - -
11th Crystal Master 6 +5 +3 +3 +9 Appraise +6, Craft (gemcutting) +14, Concentration +14, Knowledge (Psionics) +14, Psicraft +14, Intimidate +14 - Embed Gem (Opal)
12th Crystal Master 7 +5 +3 +3 +9 Appraise +9, Craft (gemcutting) +15, Concentration +15, Knowledge (Psionics) +15, Psicraft +15, Intimidate +15 Greater Illithid Legacy -
13th Crystal Master 8 +6/+1 +4 +4 +10 Appraise +13, Craft (gemcutting) +16, Concentration +16, Knowledge (Psionics) +16, Psicraft +16, Intimidate +16 - Embed Gem (Moonstone)
14th Crystal Master 9 +6/+1 +4 +4 +10 Appraise +17, Craft (gemcutting) +17, Concentration +17, Knowledge (Psionics) +17, Psicraft +17, Intimidate +17 - -
15th Crystal Master 10 +7/+2 +4 +4 +11 Appraise +18, Craft (gemcutting) +18, Concentration +18, Knowledge (Psionics) +18, Spot +7, Psicraft +18, Intimidate +18 Illithid Skin Embed Gem (Ruby), Psicrystal Synergy
16th Psion 6 +8/+3 +5 +5 +12 Craft (gemcutting) +19, Concentration +19, Knowledge (Psionics) +19, Spot +9, Psicraft +19, Intimidate +19 - -
17th Psion 7 +8/+3 +5 +5 +12 Craft (gemcutting) +20, Concentration +20, Knowledge (Psionics) +20, Spot +11, Psicraft +20, Intimidate +20 - -
18th Psion 8 +9/+4 +5 +5 +13 Craft (gemcutting) +21, Concentration +21, Knowledge (Psionics) +21, Spot +13, Psicraft +21, Intimidate +21 Illithid Skin -
19th Psion 9 +9/+4 +6 +6 +13 Craft (gemcutting) +22, Concentration +22, Knowledge (Psionics) +22, Spot +15, Psicraft +22, Intimidate +22 - -
20th Psion 10 +10/+5 +6 +6 +14 Craft (gemcutting) +23, Concentration +23, Knowledge (Psionics) +23, Spot +17, Psicraft +23, Intimidate +23 Quicken PowerB Bonus Feat

Brightness' psicrystal is a crystal with the abilities of a 20th-level psicrystal. It has the Hero and Single-Minded personalities.

Spoiler: Psionics
Number of PP/day (including bonus PP):

Level 1: 4
Level 2: 10
Level 3: 16
Level 4: 26
Level 5: 36
Level 6: 36
Level 7: 48
Level 8: 61
Level 9: 75
Level 10: 91
Level 11: 109
Level 12: 134
Level 13: 157
Level 14: 180
Level 15: 180
Level 16: 206
Level 17: 233
Level 18: 262
Level 19: 293
Level 20: 335

Powers Known:

Level 1: Control Light, Disable, Precognition
Level 2: Empathy, Vigor
Level 3: Clairvoyant Sense, Sensitivity To Psychic Impressions
Level 4: Ego Whip, Psionic Levitate
Level 5: Object Reading, Share Pain
Level 6: -
Level 7: Telekinetic Force, Time Hop
Level 8: Correspond, Remote Viewing
Level 9: Psionic Dimension Door, Energy Adaption, Psionic Charm, Read Thoughts
Level 10: Clairtangent Hand, Power Resistance
Level 11: Adapt Body, Psionic True Seeing
Level 12: Psionic Disintegrate, Dispel Psionics, Psionic Dominate
Level 13: Retrieve, Psionic Contingency
Level 14: Personal Mind Blank
Level 15: -
Level 16: Divert Teleport, Psionic Moment of Prescience
Level 17: Hypercognition
Level 18: Bend Reality, Psionic Greater Teleport
Level 19: Metafaculty
Level 20: Microcosm, Reality Revision

Gained through the (Greater) Illithid Legacy feat

Spoiler: Story
Spoiler: More precious than rubies
Brightness watched the stars all night. When dawn came, it walked. It walked through forests and mountains, it crossed rivers and lakes, until at last it arrived at a village.

The villagers were kind. They let Brightness stay in their village, where he learned to cut gems. The warforged was a tireless worker, and his jewelry was sold for high prices.

One day, when Brightness was carving gems, he heard a voice. The voice was familiar, almost like that of the other warforged. But that one was dead, right? Still, the voice persisted.

It talked to him of great tortures, of hiding its consciousness in a single crystal, and then watching as said crystal was transferred to Brightness. It talked of waiting for months until it had grown strong enough to talk to Brightness again. It talked of joy at being together once again. And Brightness looked at his hand, at the yellow crystal there, and rejoiced.

And so the monster drew him in.

Spoiler: The history of a gemstone
Brightness had gained a second purpose. By day, he carved gems, but by night, he practiced his psionic powers under the starry sky. The warforged grew stronger and stronger, and so did the yellow gem embedded in him.

One day, Brightness manifested his powers on an expensive necklace brought to him by a wandering adventurer. Curious, the warforged peered into the objects past. But the things he saw...

A goblin, brutally killed by the adventurer...
A screaming noblewoman being robbed by goblins...
A dying noble, having been poisoned by his own daughter...
A wretched farmer, his last heirlooms taken from him by a greedy young noble...

Brightness stared at the necklace. One item. One single item, yet so much suffering had come from it. Was this true for everything? Was life, at its core, strife and conflict?

The warforged left the village that day. Never did he return. The monster looked on in amusement.

Spoiler: I spy, I spy, with my clairvoyant eye...
Brightness travelled once more, this time with a small crystal crawling over his body. Yet everywhere he went, he saw lawlessness and chaos. People took what they wanted, corrupt guards did nothing, and dead bodies lied rotting in the gutters. Only in the beauty of the stars and the company of his friend did he find peace.

The psicrystal became more single-minded. It told him to seize power himself, to root out the chaos and evil that had bloomed here. Yet Brightness refused.

Then one day, as Brightness was staying in a city, a hostile nation attacked. The warforged saw hundreds die, cut down by the swords of the enemy soldiers. Only through a recently-learned teleportation power did the warforged escape this fate.

From a distance, Brightness watched the city burn. He heard the cries of the pillagers, the screams of the survivors, the roar of fire. As he looked up, he noticed the fire made it hard to see the stars.

A world of constant fighting, of pain, of torture... a world where the fog of war obscured the stars... could one be happy in such a world? Brightness doubted it.

So he left.

Spoiler: Shoot for the moon...
Many years passed. The city Brightness saw burn was forgotten, as was he himself.

Then one day, a new star appeared in the sky. It was a large star, yellow and strangely close. Astronomers debated the significance of its appearance, sages consulted tomes, and the common folk shrugged and went on with their lives.

After the star's appearance, however, things began to change. Major nations started incorporating it in their art, their architecture, their laws. The leaders started to rely upon astronomers for advice, then guidance, then most of their decisions.

Centuries after its appearance, the star has become the center of several nations' government. Of course, its desires had to be obeyed, but few minded. The star seemed to have almost superhuman knowledge of what other nations would do, or where valuable resources could be found. Criminals, too, were swiftly found and executed.

Over time, mystical aspects emerged. Some people claimed to hear the star talk to them. Others spoke of the star appearing to them in dreams. All worked to further its goals of order and obedience.

And Brightness? He floated there in the void. A thick, greenish membrane had covered him, and he barely moved, but his mind was active. He knew all. He knew best. If only those people would obey, all would be good. If they didn't, they deserved death.

The monster revelled. It had succeeded at its task.

Spoiler: Level breakdown
Level 1:
You're a pretty standard psion. Disable should end fights quickly, though you are more of a non-combat character at this moment. Use craft (gemcutting) to repair yourself during downtime, or just to make some money.

Level 5:
You've got a lot of useful powers, both utility and combat-oriented. Nothing very interesting, though.

Level 10:
Crystal Master gives some fun permanent bonuses, Illithid Legacy gives great (and normally Telepath-only) powers, but most of all you get Remote Viewing. Through your sky-high Concentration score, you can manifest powers at virtually infinite range. Adventure from the comforts of your living room!

Level 12:
Time to leave the planet behind. Psionic Levitate lasts 10 minutes/level, so you need to expend only 36 power points to not fall to your death each day. Keeping Energy Adaption up all day costs 84 points, and Adapt Body costs 18 power points per day. You can pay this all, letting you effectively stay in space as long as you want.

A neat side effect of Energy Adaption is that you start to glow, which lets us pretend to be a star. If necessary, you can keep the glow hidden with Control Light.

You can use Clairvoyant Sense and Remote Viewing to observe and alter a location from outer space, so from here on it'll be a lot harder for anyone to notice your subtle plans.

Level 15:
Access to Personal Mind Blank makes you very hard to find. More PP and longer power durations also means you won't be spending most of your reserves on not dying horrible spacedeath. At this level, you should be able to send projections of yourself down, Dominate or Charm key people, and slowly reform their societies to better suit you.

Level 20:
Ever seen one of these old science fiction movies where an insane rogue AI controls a planet from outer space? You're that AI. Reality Revision, Hypercognition, and Metafaculty means that whatever you want to know is known and whatever you want to alter is altered.

If anyone tries to teleport to you, Divert Teleport lets you send them wherever you want. If anyone does reach you despite all this, you can just decimate them with Psionic Disintegrates, Ego Whips, and Microcosms, or move a few thousand miles away with Greater Psionic Teleport.

Spoiler: Using Brightness as a villain
Brightness thinks he is doing good. However, manipulation through an illithid-forged psicrystal and centuries of isolation have driven him mostly mad. There are several scenarios where Brightness can be the antagonist:

-Brightness determines (using Hypercognition) that a descendant from one of the PC's will start a revolution if allowed to live, and starts sending assassins against the PC.
-The PC's are hired by a mysterious individual who knows the star's true nature and wants it gone.
-A cabal of mind flayers assault the surface world, seemingly always knowing where to strike next and where their foes are the weakest. Brightness is informing them, and the PC's need to remove him to have any chance of winning this war.

Spoiler: Rules issues
You can't be a psiforged! The rules say no psionic races!
The chairman said:
'The character cannot be a naturally Psionic race (Elan, Kalashtar, Synad, etc.) or creature with an ability described as psionic (such as Aboleth, Couatl, Yuan-ti, Mind Flayer, etc). Creatures with spell-like abilities that are not described as psionic are fine. The Phrenic template is specifically allowed.'
If it has Psionics or Psi-Like abilities as special attacks, if any of its special attacks or special qualities are described as psionic, if it has bonus power points from its race, or if it's listed as Naturally Psionic (such as in the Elan entry), it's not allowed.
Warforged are not naturally psionic in any way, nor do they have abilities or special attacks/special qualities described as psionic.

While we do gain a bonus power point from Psiforged Body, these are not inherent to our race. Saying that a warforged is a naturally psionic race because an obscure racial feat grants you PP is like saying all warforged are made out of adamantine.

You can't survive the vacuum of space!
Yes I can. I'm using the space rules from Nailed to the Sky here, because I honestly can't think of any different rules dealing with extraterrestrial travel.

So what does Nailed to the Sky specify?
-You take 2d6 cold/fire damage per round, depending where in space you are. This is resisted through Energy Adaption.
-You take 1d4 damage from the vacuum of space per turn. Ignoring that warforged, being constructed creatures, probably shouldn't suffer from the vacuum, you can manifest Adapt Body. Or perhaps just buy a necklace of adaption, which is incredibly cheap and easy to get.
-You begin to suffocate. Big deal, we're a warforged.

And yes, I did make a character solely to prove that you can, in fact, play a spy satellite in D&D. :P