CROW COURT KNIGHT

"Lady El’silevaesta, for you Winter has come."

The Crow Court is perhaps the most important of the subcourts that pay homage to the Winter Court. The fae of the Crow Court comprise the assassins of the Fae Courts, as well as their executioners. It is the duty of the Crow Court to oversee the ending of things, not the temporary cyclic end of Winter to Summer an Summer to Winter, but the more permanent end. Fae of the Court have a role in observing desertification, the end of empires and ages, and the Fates that guide the court record the time and matters of the deaths of all noble fae… before they happen. The Court is said to even have a hand in the end of the world, their records telling of how and when it will, or at least may, happen.

A Crow Court Knight is usually a human that has been given honorary membership in the Crow Court and has taken up one of the optional roles of the Court, the position of assassin. They learn the ways of the Crow Court, the varied combat techniques involved in following its ways.

BECOMING A CROW COURT KNIGHT
To become a Crow Court Knight one must be accepted as an honorary member of the Crow Court; true members may become Crow Court Knights but they only very rarely do so. To get this acceptance usually requires some service to the court as a whole or personally to a fae with the right to grant such a title. Not all such fae are particularly powerful, but they wield great social clout.
In addition to the social requirement a Crow Court Knight must have the basic underlying foundation with which to learn the killing arts of an assassin of the fae, an underlying experience with the sublime way as it pertains to fae or assassins, skill at the feint, and skill at stealth with which to learn to move like the shadow of death.
Many Crow Court Knights begin their career as Wildwood Knights but it is not too uncommon of for them to be drawn from the ranks of Swordsages. Other followers of the sublime way are rarer, but not completely unknown, those that merely dabble in the sublime way at all are true rarities among the fae assassins.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Martial Initiating: Able to initiate at least 2 Star Dream or Shadow Hand maneuvers at least 1 of which is 3rd level or higher.
Feats: Improved Feint
Skills: Bluff 4 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 2 ranks, Move Silently 4 ranks.
Special: Must be accepted into the Crow Court a subcourt of the Winter Court.
Special: Must kill a creature at the behest of the Crow Court.
Special: Must speak Sylvan.

Class Skills
The Crow Court Knight's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (arcana) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Martial Lore (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Skills Points at Each Level: 6 + int

Hit Dice: d8

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Man. Known Man. Readied Stances
1st
+0
+0
+2
+2
Duty, Mark of the Crow, Sudden Strike +1d6, Silencing Strike
1
0
0
2nd
+1
+0
+3
+3
Expanded Discipline Weapons, Silent Steps +2
0
1
0
3rd
+2
+1
+3
+3
Crow’s Feint
1
0
0
4th
+3
+1
+4
+4
Deathly Recovery
1
0
0
5th
+3
+1
+4
+4
Sudden Strike +2d6, Blinding Strike
1
1
1
6th
+4
+2
+5
+5
Ghost Step, Silent Steps +4
0
0
0
7th
+5
+2
+5
+5
Crow Shadow Walk
1
0
0
8th
+6
+2
+6
+6
Demoralizing Strike
1
1
0
9th
+6
+3
+6
+6
Sudden Strike +3d6, Weakening Strike
1
0
0
10th
+7
+3
+7
+7
Demand Audience, Fae Executioner, True Execution
0
1
1

Weapon Proficiencies: A Crow Court Knight gains proficiency in the rapier, elven thinblade, elven courtblade, and dagger.

Martial Maneuvers: A Crow Court Knight gains martial maneuvers like a sublime prestige class. It gains a new maneuver known at every level other than 2, 6, and 10, a new maneuver readied at 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 10th, and a new stance at 5th, and 10th level.

A Crow Court Knight selects their maneuvers known from Edge of Apocalypse, Shadow Hand, and Star Dream.

Duty: A Crow Court Knight is primarily an assassin of the Fae Courts, but they are also a member of the Crow Court and therefore an authorized executioner of fated demise. They may find themselves charged with ending the life of a creature for their fated demise and not just a mere assassination for pay. If they are acting under the auspices of the Fates a Crow Court Knight’s class features improve, this will be listed under Duty for each feature. This benefit only applies when a Crow Court Knight is actively serving this duty, and not if they have had it assigned and are ignoring it for personal goals. If a Crow Court Knight ignores this task or rejects it they may find themselves cast out of the Crow Court and with another assassin assigned to end them. All Duty abilities are supernatural in nature.

The only creatures which can influence what duties a Crow Court Knight is assigned are the Queen of the Crow Court and the Fates. The Fates cannot, or at least cannot be forced to and have never been confirmed to, choose a target for a Duty merely what Crow Court Knight is assigned one (although Crow Court Knights who attempt to force the Fates to do anything typically find that they have a Duty placed on them). The Queen has limited ability to assign a fate of death upon a creature, but not upon any creature which would be more challenging to kill than it is to make the Queen assign it (she cannot, for example, decree such on any high standing fae nobles, any archfiend even minor counts and barons of Hell, quasideities, or immortal liches). Threatening the Queen of the Crow Court typically results in quick death, although it is possible to request such a Duty, but to do so requires a proper gift for her station and proper reasoning as to how it is in the Court’s interest. In general, however, this ability is intended as a potential hook for the DM to use more than a positive class feature.

Mark of the Crow: A Crow Court Knight’s very soul is marked with their position as an assassin and executioner of the Fae. A crow shaped mark (typically pitch black, but always something that contrasts their skin) appears on their body like a tattoo, although they may suppress this mark as a standard action (this is an Su ability) even then it remains visible under a True Seeing spell. A fey can instantly recognize a Crow Court Knight for what they are, sensing the mark on their soul without need to see its visible representation, granting them a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks to deal with fey, and as long as the intimidation seems to be in the line of duty (either as an assassin or executioner) their default attitude is not reduced to unfriendly once the intimidation wears off.
Duty: The mark throbs lightly when within 1 mile of your assigned target, the intensity of this throb allows you to know if you’re moving closer or further away from your target.

Sudden Strike (Ex): This functions as the ninja (CAd) ability of the same name.
Duty: Your sudden strike damage is dealt in d10s to the target you are assigned to kill.

Silencing Strike (Su): A Crow Court Knight is an assassin, as such they know a foe’s cry can spell disaster. When they cannot kill a foe with a single blow they must instead use the mystical arts they have learned to silence them stifling their cries, and the words of teleportation. When a Crow Court Knight deals Sudden Strike damage with a Edge of Apocalypse, Shadow Hand, or Star Dream maneuver you may choose to forgo the bonus damage from this class to force the target to make a Will save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifier) or be surrounded by a nearly skin-tight field of Silence (as spell) for 1d4+1 rounds per die of Sudden Strike that you forfeited.
Duty: If used against your assigned target they are not allowed a saving throw.

Expanded Discipline Weapons (Ex): A Crow Court Knight is highly trained in the use of the weapons of the fae courts. Beginning at 2nd level, they may treat rapier, elven thinblade, elven courtblade, and daggers as Edge of Apocalypse and Shadow Hand discipline weapons.
Duty: There is no special benefit for this ability when pursuing your duty.

Silent Steps (Ex): The assassins of the Crow Court, Crow Court Knights learn to move quietly in any situation. Beginning at 2nd level a Crow Court Knight gains a +2 bonus to Move Silently check (or +1 to Stealth if consolidated), this increases to +4 (+2 if consolidated) at 6th level and +6 (+3 if consolidated) at 10th level.
Duty: When attempting to pursue your target you gain an equal Competence bonus (this stacks with the basic bonus from Silent Steps).

Crow’s Feint (Ex): A Crow Court Knight learns to create an opening whenever needed. Beginning at 3rd level a Crow Court Knight may attempt to feint as a swift action (they may still feint as a move action with Improved Feint) and suffers no penalty to feint against Fey creatures (regardless of body type), only a -2 against nonhumanoid foes, a -4 against creatures with Int 1 or 2, and may attempt to feint mindless creatures at -8.
Duty: 1/round you may feint your target as a free action, and you suffer o penalty to do so if they are nonhumanoid (and not fey), or have less than 3 Int or are mindless.

Deathly Recovery (Su): A Crow Court Knight is a harbinger of death and is in tune with its nature. More precisely they are tools of death and when they act as such they feel their energies reinvigorated. Beginning at 4th level whenever you kill a creature you may instantly recover a maneuver that you have no used since the end of your last turn and heal hp equal to its hit dice, this healing may never increase your current hp over ½ your maximum health.
Duty: If you kill your assigned target you recover all maneuvers and heal as if subject to a heal spell (this is not a positive energy effect and heals you even if positive energy would normally harm you).

Blinding Strike (Su): Darkness is the provenance of the Winter Court, and the night black crows love it most of all. A Crow Court Knight learns to inflict darkness upon the soul of a foe with their blows. Beginning at 5th level when a Crow Court Knight deals Sudden Strike damage with a Edge of Apocalypse, Shadow Hand, or Star Dream maneuver you may choose to forgo the bonus damage from this class to force the target to make a Will save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifier) or be blinded for 1 round. If the target possesses Blindsight it is reduced to Blindsense for the duration as well.
Duty: The target is blinded for 1d4 rounds instead of 1 round.

Ghost Step (Su): Walls cannot stop death and as an agent of death you too can pass through them. Beginning at 6th level a Crow Court Knight may pass through 3 walls per day. This requires no action of its own and is instead simply part of movement. You must move straight through the wall moving in a straight line, but it affects a wall no matter its thickness, and you may continue to move through the same segment of that wall (same path as well) both ways for 1 hour after using this ability. You cannot attack from within the wall, nor may you stop movement for an entire round within it, merely walk through it.
Duty: You may use this ability an additional number of times per day equal to your Charisma modifier but you must use it to move closer to your target.

Crow Shadow Walk (Su): You are one with darkness, able to vanish in all but the brightest light, and walk as if death itself. Beginning at 7th level you gain a special stance. This stance is considered to be all three of Edge of Apocalypse, Star Dream, and Shadow Hand (and 6th level). While in this stance you may hide without cover or concealment as long as you are in any light less than full sunlight or a daylight spell.
Duty: While in this stance and actively pursuing your duty you become invisible as the spell, if you break this invisibility it automatically reactivates after 3 rounds or if you exit and re-enter this stance.

Demoralizing Strike (Ex): Seeming to appear in the midst of striking down a foe you strike fear into the heart of your enemies. Beginning at 8th level if you attack a foe you may make an Intimidate check as a free action to demoralize all enemies within 30 ft who had not known of your presence before this act or which have not yet acted in this combat; you may not use this ability on a single creature twice in one encounter.
Duty: If you demoralize your target with this ability they cower for a round instead of being shaken.

Weakening Strike (Su): Sometimes to seal a foe’s voice or eyes is not enough. Sometime a Crow Court Knight must instead simply seal their ability to fight back. Beginning at 9th level when a Crow Court Knight deals Sudden Strike damage with a Edge of Apocalypse, Shadow Hand, or Star Dream maneuver you may choose to forgo the bonus damage from this class to deal 9 Strength damage to the target. A Fortitude save (DC 10 + Class level + Cha modifier) halves this Strength damage reducing it to 4.
Duty: You deal 12 Strength damage to your assigned target, with a Fort save reducing it to 6.

Demand Audience (Social): At the height of their art a Crow Court Knight is in ways an honorary noble of the Crow Court. As such beginning at 10th level a Crow Court Knight has the right to demand an audience with the Queen of the Crow Court. The Crow Court Knight may press this right once per season (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring) and the Raven Queen must answer the demand before the end of the next New Moon, if this petition is raised after the Full Moon has passed but before the New Moon has come, it is the next New Moon after the upcoming. The Raven Queen may choose the time of the meeting, and may choose the place but it must be within reason for the Knight to reach. She is obligated to hear the Knight’s presentation of their reason for calling the audience, but she is not obligated to do any more. If a Knight abuses this power she may develop a hatred for that knight. One does not want the Raven Queen to hate them. A knight that has been exiled from the Crow Court (perhaps for ignoring a Duty, perhaps for abusing this right, perhaps for killing a noble of the Crow Court) cannot use this ability.
Duty: There is no benefit to this ability due to being engaged in a Duty. In fact using it for a purpose not related to the Duty while engaged in one is considered a squandering of the resources the court has bestowed the Knight and is likely to result in punishment.

Fae Executioner (Ex): A Crow Court Knight goes beyond a mere honorary member of the Crow Court, they are a fae the same as any member born into the Court. At 10th level a Crow Court Knight’s type changes to Fey although they are still considered their old type whenever beneficial. They gain all Fey traits that benefit them.
Duty: This ability is unaffected whether you have a duty or not.

True Execution (Su): A Crow Court Knight that has mastered their duty is no longer merely an assassin sometimes assigned duties of the Court, they are an avatar of the forces the Court represents, they are an ending which has no reversal. If a 10th level Crow Court Knight reduces a creature to 0 or less hp with an Edge of Apocalypse, Shadow Hand, or Star Dream maneuver they may choose to execute it. If they do so the creature dies immediately. This severs the connection of the creature’s soul from life and kills even such creatures as ghosts, liches (with intact phylacteries), and vampires permanently, and renders resurrection difficult. Only (potentially) a major artifact, a major ritual requiring one or more quests to complete, the intervention of the leader of a Fae Court or subcourt, or the intervention of an intermediate or greater deity can allow for such a creature to be revived. A Miracle spell can be used to request such intervention, but deities are wary to do so because it is liable to anger the fae as a whole by the interference in their rightful practices.
Duty: Only a deity whose portfolio is related to life or death, and they are unlikely to do so as cosmic order demanded their death, or the Raven Queen can intervene to revive such a creature. It is still possible for a major artifact or ritual to do so at the DM’s discretion. If they are revived barring the Raven Queen’s intervention they will immediately be assigned to you, and perhaps a team of other Knights, as a duty.