A’aron: Emissary of the King
Spoiler: Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner
Nayra swatted her husband’s hand as he smoothed his shirtfront for the hundredth time.
“You look fine. I swear,” she said.
“Sorry, I’m just nervous. I want to make a good impression on your uncle. I know how close you are,” Willem said.
“Just eat what he puts in front of you and don’t ask too many questions and you ought to be fine.” Nayra knocked on the door to her uncle’s manor.
“Ah, glad to see you, my dear,” A’aron leaned in and gave her an appropriately avuncular kiss on the cheek. He extended a hand to Willem, who took it and tried not to look disturbed at its coldness.
“Nice to finally meet you, sir,” he said.
“Oh, that’s not necessary. A’aron is fine. We’re just here to relax.” His dress certainly backed that up. He’d greeted them in a loosely tied silk robe, open to the chest. Curiously, Willem saw no hair emerging from beneath the robe. Instead, he saw bones of various creatures flush with A’aron’s skin, seemingly a part of the man’s flesh.
“Hard to accessorize with, I’m afraid,” he said and gestured for them to come in.
A ghoul lurking in the foyer offered them wine on a silver tray.
Willem blanched, but when his wife supped from her glass, it was clear he had no choice, so grudgingly accepted.
“Thank you,” he said, tensing his thighs in case the thing attacked.
“A’aron, is this thing holding you hostage?” Willem whispered once the creature’s back was turned.
“I can hear you, you know. That’s totally necrophobic,” the ghoul said.
“Now, now, don’t be so hard on him, Brian,” A’aron said. “They’re not so progressive back where my nephew’s from. He’s probably never seen one of your kind in person.”
Willem breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, you’ve got him under your thrall. I read about clerics who can do that.” He held his cloak out to Brian, but it dropped into a pool on the floor a moment later.
Brian blinked, his eyelids scraping across his dead eyes. “I was invited here, same as you. The wine’s from my vineyard.”
“Yes, oenology is a highly respected field in ghoul culture. They’re quite knowledgeable about the soil, and it’s much easier to be patient and let things age when you don’t have to worry about the vintage outliving you.” A’aron toasted them and chuckled.
“That’s not to say it isn’t hard sometimes,” Brian said with a smile. “Patience isn’t a virtue all of us have been blessed with. I know I may not be able to keep myself away from the dinner you’ve prepared much longer.”
“Sorry, there was traffic,” Willem said. Brian ignored him.
They made their way to the dining room.
An enormous sandwich was laid out on the table before them, taking up nearly its entire surface. The baguette was as wide as Willem’s shoulders, and the bread was as tall as he was. Roasted meat, fruit, and something he couldn’t identify wafted up from the table. It smelled delicious, if unfamiliar.
A’aron set down his wine glass held out his hands. “If it’s all right with our guest, I’d like to say grace before we eat.
Nayra took A’aron’s left hand. Willem was on his right. He swallowed and obliged. Brian reached for his hand.
“I’m sorry, I’m not an elf like my wife,” Willem said.
Brian laughed. “You’ll only get paralyzed if I bite or scratch you. I wouldn’t have any reason to do that, would I?”
Unable to argue, Willem took his desiccated claw in his hand.
“We gather together here in peace and friendship to feast. Wherever two or three of us come together to delight our bellies, you are there, my King. Glory be to you, Dorsein.” A’aron closed the prayer and pulled a scimitar off the wall that Willem had mistaken for decoration. With a flourish, he cleaved the sandwich into four equally sized pieces and divvied them up onto silver plates.
Brian rolled up his sleeves and began eating with surprising refinement for a ghoul. Nayra was far more enthusiastic, juices running down her chin and onto her dress.
“What’s in this?” Willem asked uneasily. His wife elbowed him.
“You’re being rude,” she hissed.
“Oh, a classic Dorseini dish. Toasted bread, peanut butter, grape jelly, roasted banana slices and, ah, meat, of course,” A’aron said.
Willem picked up his sandwich and took a bite. It was delicious.
He made his way through the sandwich and chipped his tooth on something hard. He spat out a ring with the Silver Flame’s mark on it.
“Oh, Willem got the prize!” Nayra squealed with delight. He saw a fingernail in her mouth. “Make a wish, darling!”
Willem did. He hoped it came true
CE human warblade 7/divine crusader 1/bone knight 10/hierophant 2
cha 15 (increases here)
Level Class Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Skills Feats Class Features 1st Warblade 1 +1 +2 +0 +0 balance 4, craft (armorsmithing) 4, k (religion) 4 (2), ride 4 (2), tumble 4 power attack, improved bullrush battle clarity (reflex saves), weapon aptitude 2nd Warblade 2 +2 +3 +0 +0 balance 1 (5), craft (armorsmithing) 1 (5), diplo 2, tumble 1 (5) Uncanny dodge 3rd Warblade 3 +3 +3 +1 +1 craft (armorsmithing) 1 (6), diplo 1 (3), k (religion) 2 (3), tumble 1 (6) planar touchstone (catalogues of enlightenment: dragon lance campaign setting sun domain) Battle ardor (critical confirmation) 4th Warblade 4 +4 +4 +1 +1 diplo 2 (5), ride 2 (3), tumble 1 (7) 5th Warblade 5 +5 +4 +1 +1 diplo 1 (6), intimidate 1, k (religion) 2 (4), tumble 1 (8) bonus feat (improved initiative) 6th Warblade 6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 diplo 1 (7), intimidate 3 (4), tumble 1 (9) weapon focus (scimitar) Improved uncanny dodge 7th Warblade 7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 diplo 1 (8), intimidate 3 (7), tumble 1 (10) Battle cunning (damage) 8th Divine Crusader 1 +7/+2 +7 +2 +4 ride 3 (6) Aura 9th Bone Knight 1 +7/+2 +9 +2 +4 intimidate 1 (8), never outnumbered shock trooper Bonecraft armor, paladin conversion, rebuke undead 10th Bone Knight 2 +8/+3 +10 +2 +4 tumble 3 (13) Bone march, summon skeletal steed 11th Bone Knight 3 +9/+4 +10 +3 +5 intimidate 1 (9), tumble 1 (14) Master of the white banner 12th Bone Knight 4 +10/+5 +11 +3 +5 intimidate 3 (12) death blow Improved bonecraft armor 13th Bone Knight 5 +10/+5 +11 +3 +5 intimidate 3 (15) Fill the ranks 1/day 14th Bone Knight 6 +11/+6/+1 +12 +4 +6 intimidate 2 (17), k (religion) 1 (5) Bonecraft weapon 15th Bone Knight 7 +12/+7/+2 +12 +4 +6 intimidate 1 (18), k (religion) 2 (7) empower spell Improved bonecraft armor 16th Bone Knight 8 +13/+8/+3 +13 +4 +6 k (religion) 3 (10) Exoskeleton of undeath 17th Bone Knight 9 +13/+8/+3 +13 +5 +7 k (religion) 3 (13) Death strike 1/day 18th Bone Knight 10 +14/+9/+4 +14 +5 +7 intimidate 1 (19), k (religion) 2 (15) reach spell Improved bonecraft armor 19th Hierophant 1 +14/+9/+4 +16 +5 +9 diplo 3 (11) Special ability: sla (bite of the king 2/day) 20th Hierophant 2 +15/+10/+5 +17 +5 +10 diplo 3 (14) Special ability: sla (bite of the king 4/day)
Spoiler: spell chart
Spells per Day
Level 0lvl 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 8th - 0 - - - - - - - - 9th - 0 - - - - - - - - 10th - 1 0 - - - - - - - 11th - 2 1 0 - - - - - - 12th - 2 2 10 - - - - - - 13th - 3 2 2 1 0 - - - - 14th - 3 3 2 2 1 0 - - - 15th - 3 3 3 2 2 1 0 - - 16th - 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 0 - 17th - 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 0 18th - 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 19th - 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 20th - 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1
Spoiler: maneuvers/stances known
1:douse the flames, sudden leap, wolf fang strike
2: +leading the attack
3: wall of blades
4: replace wolf fang strike with rabid wolf strike
5: iron heart surge
6: replace sudden leap with white raven tactics
7: fountain of blood
1: hunter’s sense
4: +blood in the water
Spoiler: lvl 5
You’re a fairly standard warblade here with an emphasis on mobility offered through tiger claw. Jump around and cut people into tiny pieces. Sun domain provides turning for bone knight (this is dragonlance campaign setting’s sun domain, not the phb’s sun domain) to set groundwork for later.
Spoiler: lvl 10
You’ve been touched by Dorsein and have access to his hunger domain. There’s no reason to stay in divine crusader, so you hop into bone knight. Bone knight offers 9/10 casting, so its dead level doesn’t hurt you. Divine crusader’s only 10 levels long, so you get all its available spell slots along with varying immunities as your bonecraft armor is up, along with synergy in commanding and boosting undead to deal with all the ghouls you’ll be hanging out with from now on.
Shock trooper is up, and you can move people around the battlefield and into the clutches of your waiting ghoul pals. You take further advantage of this later on.
Skilled city dweller lets you trade in your ride for tumble.
Your maneuvers help you out in melee and are also extremely helpful for your ghoul allies. Tiger claw offers mobility, white raven tactics grants extra actions to paralyze or similar, and fountain of blood pulls its weight later on with your death blow. Due to the plethora of paralyzed foes, you’ll be doing coups de grace (which autocrit) left and right, as does your blood in the water stance.
Spoiler: lvl 15
Death blow’s up and running. With your spells and ghouls on the battlefield, enemies will be paralyzed left right and center, so you can coup de grace them with only a standard now, leaving your other actions available do to other things such as maneuvers. Empower spell is up since like most divine crusaders, you won’t cast all your spells every day. Eyes of the king is useful for scouting and recon, but if you’re loading out for combat that day, empowered enervation is a better use of the slot, for example, and the same logic can apply to your other spells depending on your needs.
You are now closer to Dorsein and are immune to stunning, nonlethal damage, and have fortification and can act normally while disabled or dying. You rebuke, can boss around other animated dead to complement your ghouls, you’ve got your war horse with paladin abilities who’s immune to turning, you’re granting all undead allies turn resistance, and can animate dead to fill the ranks.
Spoiler: lvl 20
You’re now immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, disease, death effects, fatigue, exhaustion, physical ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, and death from massive damage. All the goodies of being undead without the drawbacks. Your death strike is up, offering a way to instantly slay foes, and you’ve finished the casting offered by divine crusader.
You now have access to 8ths, the bite of the king. This allows you to swallow enemies whole and teleport them into your tummy dimension. Hierophant lets you do this as a sla, and provides extra uses, ultimately giving you 4 castings of bite of the king a day in exchange for just one of your slots.
Normally this would impinge upon a caster’s versatility, but since you only have one 8th level spell known, it doesn’t, so much, and you still have at least one other slot if you wanted to prepare metamagicked versions of lower spells.
While your enemy is swallowed, you can continue fighting other enemies on the battlefield (if any) and move over to your ghouls or have them move next to you, ready to attack them if they break out (since they do so next to you) and paralyze them for your death blow.
tome of battle: warblade
srd: power attack, improved bullrush, weapon focus, empower spell, hierophant
complete warrior: shock trooper
dragonlance campaign setting: sun domain
planar handbook: planar touchstone
complete adventurer: death blow
complete divine: divine crusader, reach spell
spell compendium: hunger domain
skill tricks: complete scoundrel
skilled city dweller: cityscape web enhancement