The Story of Tobias, Part 4: Meetings and Departings

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The arrow flew through the air, striking the deer in the heart, killing it instantly.  Tobias was grateful for the accuracy of his newly crafted bow. He walked over to the stag and examined it briefly before loading it onto his shoulders and beginning the hour long walk back home.  

 

He was hauling his kill home when he saw his neighbor, Charles McDaggen, sitting on a fallen log, looking very dejected, and holding a broken bow. Tobias approached him and asked, “Charles, are you all right?” The craftsman looked up at him, saying, “I broke my bow, and with the fair not being for another two weeks, I won’t have the gold to get a new one until then. But the kids are going to need food in the meantime.”   Tobias sighed, already knowing what he should do, but feeling a little torn about it. It wasn’t like the craftsman had ever done anything to help Tobias, if anything he had only been rude to him. But, he needed help, and Tobias could give it to him.    Tobias dropped the deer carcass in front of Charles and said, “If you skin and gut that properly it should be enough to last you until the fair.” Charles looked at the deer for a moment before jumping up and embracing Tobias. Tobias tensed uncomfortably, patting the weeping man on the back a few times before Charles released his grip. “I don’t know how I can ever repay you,” Charles said, his eyes brimming with tears. “Just don’t break your bow again.” Tobias replied before walking back into the forest. He needed to find some more dinner.  

A couple weeks after this event Tobias came home to find his mother admiring a sculpture of a flower with sparkling petals. He sighed. “Another trinket from a wounded traveler with no way to pay?” She smiled at him, the wrinkles that were now surrounding her eyes becoming more pronounced. “No son, this one is a gift for you; Charles left it here this morning before heading to the fair. Said it was repayment for the deer you gave him.” Tobias walked over and examined the small statue. He shrugged, “Should fetch a good price at the market, maybe enough to get us the shingles to replace the roof before they give out on us.”   Annalee shook her head “Oh no! We can’t trade this, it was a gift! And look how beautiful a gift it is.”

She took it from him and carried it to a small shelf where a number of other trinkets sat. Tobias sighed. “Mother, that wasn’t a gift that was payment. And if we sold it and all the other so called gifts that you’ve been given over the years, we wouldn’t be living in a half broken down shack!” He was breathing a little heavily at this point. Annalee smiled sadly and shook her head at him before saying, “Oh son, you already know that I’ve never wanted to be rich. A true healer can never be focused on money or riches, because then she loses all desire for people to be healthy and happy.”    She picked up a small bronze necklace, letting the chain run through her fingers “How could I ever make someone pay for the chance to be healthy, or run again, or hold on to life? Those are priceless and as such I will never accept payment more than what I need to continue to heal others.”

Tobias glared. “Well, that would be easier if we had had a man around here when I was growing, or even now.” Annalee frowned at him. “Honey, we’ve talked about this many times; you know why your father hasn’t come back.” “No, I know all the excuses you’ve made for him. Besides, even if he couldn’t come, you could always have remarried.” She shook her head. “I made a promise that I would love your father and be faithful through better or worse. We’re just going through a worse that has lasted decades.”   Tobias threw his hands in the air. “What’s the point of a promise to someone who will never be able to honor their end of it? He hasn’t come back and he never will!”

He stormed to the corner where his bow and quiver lay. His mother glanced at it and said, “You can’t be too angry with him. You still use the returning sheathe that he gave you.” Tobias looked at the gilded strap that held his bow in place, a glare still evident in his eyes. “A cheap one trick present that’s been more useful than he’s ever been.” His feet pounded as he walked towards the door. “Thirty years since he’s been here and that’s the one thing he’s given us!” He slammed the door behind him. After the window stopped rattling from the outburst, Annalee closed her eyes to keep the tears in and whispered, “He gave me you.”  

Forty three years later  

The cleric placed the damp cloth gently on Annalee’s wrinkled forehead before standing up. He then walked over to Tobias, placing a hand on the Aasimar’s shoulder. “I’m sorry Tobias, but it looks like it’s just her age. I could come back tomorrow with some better spells prepared to combat the fever, but I don’t believe it will buy her much more time, and she says she’s ready to go.” Tobias looked the elven cleric in the eyes, no emotion showing on his face, and said, “Just come back tomorrow with the spells.” The cleric bowed his head and walked out the door. As soon as the door shut Tobias ran to his mother’s bedside.   He checked the cloth on her forehead and, finding it satisfactory, he took her gently by the hand. Annalee’s eyelids fluttered open, and she smiled at Tobias. “Don’t worry, son. It’s just my time.”

Tobias gently rubbed her hand “Not while I have anything to say about it. Is there anything I can get you?” She thought for a moment and then sighed, “It would be nice to smell some angel breeze flowers.” Tobias bit his lip. The nearest patch of those was deep in the forest. Even running it would take him at least an hour.   Tobias kissed his mother on the forehead. “Ok, I’ll go get some.” Annalee smiled at him. “I’ve always been able to count on you. You’ve been so good to me.” Tobias stood up. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” She closed her eyes. “You be good now.” “Of course, mother.” He stood up and left the room. As soon as he left the room, Annalee let loose a shudder and whispered, “Goodbye, Tobias.”  

Before entering the house again, Tobias stopped to catch his breath and fiddled with the bouquet to make sure it hadn’t been too badly messed up. After assuring it was fine, he stepped inside. He froze for a moment as he saw a tall winged figure kneeling next to his mother’s bed. With his bow on the other side of the room, his only means of defense were his fists, so he dropped the bouquet and raised his fists before shouting “Who are you?” The figure stood and turned towards him.   The stranger stood at least two feet taller than Tobias, was dressed in flowing white robes, and carried a large trumpet in his right hand. The most striking feature, however, was that he had no pupils, just glowing white eyes. Even though Tobias had never met this man before, he instantly sensed who it was. “Dad?” he asked softly.

The angel nodded. “Hello Tobias, I am Mithrail, third Sentinel of Mezotan. I had hoped to meet you under better circumstances. Unfortunately my duties have kept me from coming sooner.” Mithrail hung his head. “And it seems that I came too late to save her.”   Tobias inhaled sharply. “What? No!” He ran past Mithrail to his mother’s bed. Her eyes were closed and she wasn’t breathing. “No, no, no, no.” He whispered. He heard Mithrail’s melodic voice from behind, “I’m sorry, Tobias. There was nothing I could do. She told me to let you know that she loved you and–” Before he could finish, Tobias shouted while standing up, “You be quiet, you worthless excuse of an angel! All these years you’ve been utterly useless and now even when you’re here you’re useless useless useless! Get out of here!”

Mithrail stared down at Tobias with a stern expression. “Now, son, I’m sure that you’re distressed, but even so I will not tolerate being spoken to in such a manner.” Tobias stared directly into the archon’s eyes. “Fine,” Tobias growled, and then punched his father in the jaw. The blow didn’t seem to faze the angel. He just stared down at Tobias and said “Enough!” The command rang with an otherworldly energy that shook Tobias to his core, and he found himself unable to move. Mithrail walked towards the door and said, “I know that your mother would not have raised you to speak like this, and I will not tolerate it again. In light of this event I will let it pass this once.”  

Mithrail paused at the door and spoke again, this time his voice much softer and gentler, “I made a grievous mistake in never checking up on you before. I can’t promise to be involved much more than I already have been, but I may be able to help you later. Goodbye, my son.” Mithrail walked out and shut the door behind him. Tobias stood there, no longer paralyzed by the shout’s effect but now by anger. He stood for only a few moments before looking again at his mother and then, dropping to his knees, began crying.  

The funeral would have been unremarkable, were it not for the fact that an archon had placed his sword as the tombstone. It glowed with a heavenly light and, despite one thief’s best efforts, was not able to be lifted from the ground. Most of the town showed up, all of them at one time or another had been helped by the master healer, and many of them owed her their lives. Tobias didn’t care for their sympathies. None of their condolences would do anything to bring her back. He knew that his mother had lived much longer than should have been expected, but that couldn’t change the fact that she was now gone.   Once the cleric finished speaking and closed the grave, Tobias laid a bouquet of angel breeze flowers on top of the mound of earth that now covered his mother. Upon returning home he began packing his bags. He knew he couldn’t take too much, since he would be carrying it all.

He filled one bag with all the trinkets his mother had collected over the years. He knew there was a merchant in the next town over that would likely buy them. He glanced around the room that had been his home for the total 74 years of his life, and then walked out without another look.    His journey over the next few weeks was uneventful. Tobias had spent enough of his childhood roaming the forests that he could survive in just about any forest, as long as he didn’t meet anything too terrible. He also had a way with animals, so luckily he was able to calm most down without a problem. He wandered from town to town, not really knowing what he was looking for. It wasn’t until he overheard a conversation in a local village that he decided.  

Tobias had been looking for an inn to spend the night, since his neck was beginning to get sore from sleeping on the ground and tree branches. Just as he was heading towards an inn that looked promising, he saw a dwarf with a wide brimmed hat speaking to a tall elf that had a large sword strapped to his back. The dwarf said “Aye, Saijon it be called. Only recently opened for free travel. A mysterious land full of treasure, monsters, and other adventures. I be lookin’ for passengers to join me on me ship, the Dainty Orc. What say ye, matey?” The elf shook his head and said “I’m sorry, Captain, but I’m a little too old for such a trip, and my days of traveling are through. In fact, I’m going to the market to sell this sword that has seen me through my years of adventure.” At this point, Tobias stepped in. “Excuse me, how much is passage to Saijon?”

The dwarf stroked his beard. “Only twenty gold for the trip. Ye look a bit young to be all on yer own, think ye can hold yer own against the perils of Saijon?” Tobias shrugged “I’ve been holding my own for a while now. As long as I have my bow I’m not worried.” The dwarf leaned in closer. “Aye, but what should happen if something gets close to ye? A manticore not be likely to wait while you fill it with arrows from a distance.” Tobias then turned to the elf and asked, “How much for your blade? I heard you were selling it.” The elf unsheathed the sword, and swung it expertly through the air with one hand while saying “Do you think you can handle it? With some practice it can be used with one hand, but works just as well if you use two. I’m not looking for much, since I have no more use for it. Just 35 gold pieces.” Tobias pulled out his gold bag and counted out the pieces for both the sword and passage on the ship. Tobias shook hands with the elf, and followed the dwarf to the ship.

 Sailors hustled about, pulling ropes and carrying crates.   The dwarf, who had finally been introduced to Tobias as Captain Griphook, walked about, shouting orders. Tobias stood at the rail, watching the dock grow smaller and smaller as the ship gathered speed and left the bay. Tobias looked up at the sky and whispered quietly, “I’ll show you, father. I’ll do great things and do them without you, just like I have my whole life.”

The Maotikei

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Having spent a lot of time looking through Paizo’s Advanced Race Guide, I realized there was a gap that needed to be filled. That gap was a large sized race. In the race building rules there are options to make a large sized race, but for whatever reason Paizo didn’t make one. So I’ve decided to fill the gap and create a number of large races, complete with racial archetypes, spells, and spells.

I’ve put here the first one I’ve finished: The Maotikei. I based their look off of the Easter Island heads, and you can see a sketch I’ve made of them here as well. I’d love any feedback people have, or any ideas that you think would be good to add to them.

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Maotikei

 

The Maotikei live on a small, secluded island called Paskua. They are most alert during the early morning and evening hours, generally preferring to stay in their caves during the sunny afternoons. They were one of the races that suffered the most under the rule of the Diav, since their great strength made them ideal for hard labor. As a result of their former slavery, the Maotikei are cautious of any encounter that could lead to similar circumstances.

 

Physical Description: The majority of the Maotikei’s height is attributed to their large heads, accounting for almost two thirds of their total mass. Their legs contain no knee joint, instead, all movement of their legs is caused by the hip. This causes a surprisingly slow movement for beings so large. The Maotikei also have long, ungainly arms that end in incredibly large hands. While their disproportionately sized hands may appear humorous, they allow the Maotikei to move incredible amounts of earth and soil in a single sweep.

 

Society: The Maotikei tend to live in small groups that take up a large amount of land. These groups rarely interact one with another, so the society among each tribe can vary greatly. The main commonality amongst the Maotikei is their wish to be left alone and to leave others alone. Largely a race focused on agriculture, most of the Maotikei’s customs have formed around farming traditions.

 

Relations: Cautious and untrusting, the Maotikei run off any would-be settlers from their land. There is rarely a cause for them to seek companionship from other races, or even among other Maotikei tribes. With a history marred by enslavement, the Maotikei are raised to distrust strangers.

 

Alignment and Religion: The Maotikei lack any unified religion. Each tribe worships their own deity or pantheon, and often the beliefs have nothing in common with that of other tribes. Maotikei are almost always of a neutral alignment, and rarely are found among the extreme ends of the alignment scale.

 

Adventurers: Few Maotikei have the desire to adventure. In fact, Maotikei rarely leave the place they were born, and only do so if necessary to find a mate or if they have been exiled. Occasionally a Maotikei who leaves for such reason may decide to see more of the world and go traveling. But even in these circumstances, such Maotikei tend to avoid contact or companionship.

 

However, there  are a growing number of Maotikei with the belief that the Maotikei should be a unified people. These Maotikei travel in order to visit other Maotikei tribes, sharing a message of a utopia that can only be achieved when the Maotikei unite.

 

Male Names: Atang, Fati, Hoao, Tepano, UhiVai

Female Names: A’Aero, , Ko-Uka, KoTeOho, Paoa, Te’ree

Maotikei Racial Traits

 

Ability Score Racial Traits: The Maotikei are strong and sturdy, but gruff and aloof. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Strength, and -2 Charisma.

 

Type: Maotikei are monstrous humanoids.

 

Size: Maotikei are large sized and as such gain a +2 size bonus to Strength (this is in addition to the racial bonus), and a -2 size penalty to Dexterity.  Maotikei also take a -1 size penalty to AC, -1 size penalty on attack rolls, and a +1 bonus to combat maneuver bonuses and CMB, and a -4 size penalty on Stealth checks. As a large creature, Maotikei take up a space that is 10 feet by 10 feet and have a reach of 5 feet.

 

Speed: Maotikei move at a speed of 20 feet, but are never slowed due to armor or encumberance.

 

Natural Armor: Maotikei have incredibly tough, rigid skin that grants a +1 Natural Armor bonus.

 

Senses: Maotikei have darkvision 60 feet.

 

Light Sensitivity: Maotikei are dazzled in areas of bright light.

 

Languages:Maotikei begin speaking Maotikei. Those with high intelligence scores can choose from the following languages: Giant, Common, Terran, and Dwarven.

Alternate Racial Traits

 

Full Movement: Some Maotikei have thinner skin and take advantage of their lighter weights to move faster. Maotikei with this trait have a move speed of 30 feet. This trait replaces Natural Armor.

 

Defensive Training: In remembrance of the Maotikei’s enslavement by the Diav, a number of Maotikei are trained specifically to fight giants, and are appointed as the day guards for their tribe. Maotikei with this racial trait gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against humanoids with the Giant Subtype. This replaces the Darkvision and Light Sensitivity racial traits.

 

Favored Class Options

 

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

 

Barbarian: Add +½ on damage rolls against unattended objects or sunder combat maneuvers(maximum bonus +5).

 

Druid: Add +¼ to the CMD of the druid’s animal companion. If the animal companion is ever replaced, the new animal companion gains this bonus.

 

Cleric: Add +½ to diplomacy when speaking to other Maotikei.

 

Monk: Add +½ bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple or trip.

 

Ranger: Add +¼ to a single existing favored enemy bonus (maximum bonus +1 per favored enemy).

 

Summoner: Add one spell known from the Summoner spell list. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the Summoner can cast.

 

Any ability or attribute marked with a * indicate that the attribute is covered specifically within these racial rules.

 

Racial Archetypes

 

The following racial archetypes are available to Maotikei.

 

Earth Shaker (Monk)

 

These mighty warriors are not content with flowing movements that generally epitomized by monks. Instead, these monks change the battlefield to suit their needs and to harass their enemies.

Earth Flatten: At 1st level, an Earth Shaker monk gains Earth Flatten* as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. At 10th level, and every 5 levels thereafter, the monk can affect an additional square adjacent to him. This ability replaces Stunning Fist.

 

Bonus Feat: An Earth Shaker cannot select Dodge as a bonus feat, but may instead select Unstoppable Fists*. Likewise he may not select Mobility, but may instead select Ground Breaker*. Finally, he may not select Spring Attack, but instead may select Earth Shield*.

 

Precise Footsteps: At 4th level and higher, an Earth Shaker monk can travel over broken earth without difficulty. When first gaining this ability, he may travel over 20 feet of difficult terrain due to broken ground as though it were normal terrain. The monk’s ability to ignore difficult terrain of this type increases at the same rate as the normal monk’s slow fall ability. This ability replaces slow fall.

 

Earth Mastery: At 12th level, an Earth Shaker monk can command the earth to bend itself to his whim as if using the spell stone shape. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. he uses his monk level as his caster level.

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Unifier (Cleric)

 

Receiving a call from an unknown source, these Maotikei go amongst their brethren preaching the need for a unified people.

 

Non Denominational: Maotikei with the Unifier Archetype cannot worship a specific deity. A Unifier may be of any Neutral alignment.

 

Unify or Perish: A Unifier must select the Unity* domain as one of her domains.

 

Channel Goodwill: At 3rd level a Unifier gains the ability to cause those around her to be kinder and more accepting. As a standard action the Unifier releases a wave of energy in a 30-foot radius that causes all creatures to lower the DC of any Diplomacy checks made against them by 1D6. This reduction lasts for a number of minutes equal to the cleric’s level. At level 11 the DC is lowered by 2D6, and lowered by 3D6 at level 19. This replaces the increases in channel energy at levels 3, 11, and 19.

Unity Domain

 

Granted Powers: Your presence causes others to work in a level of harmony that could not otherwise be achieved.

 

Aura of Assistance(sp): As a standard action, you cause that any allies using the aid another action within 30 feet instead grant a +6 bonus instead of the standard +2. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom Modifier.

Tactician(Ex): At 6th level, a cleric gains this ability as the cavalier class feature. She may use this ability once per day at 6th level, plus one additional time for every four levels after 6th (to a maximum of four times at 18th level). If the cleric also has cavalier levels, these levels stack for determining the number of uses per day, and she can take the better progression.

 

Domain Spells: 1st-Comprehend Languages , 2nd-Enthrall, 3rd-Good Hope, 4th- Blessing of Fervor, 5th-Telepathic Bond, 6th-Joyful Rapture, 7th-Rampart , 8th-Euphoric Tranquility , 9th-Sympathy.

New Racial Rules

 

The following options are available to Maotikei. At the GM’s discretion, other appropriate races make make use of some of these rules.

Maotikei Equipment

 

Arm Cart: These small, two-wheeled cart only contain a single seat. These carts help the otherwise slow Maotikei to travel at faster speeds. When sitting in the seat, a Maotikei propels himself with his arms at a speed of 40 feet. While seated this way, a Maotikei cannot use his arms or hands for any other purpose, even while not in motion.

 

Hand Spikes: These gloves have a number of large metal spikes protruding from the palms. While these spikes make it near impossible to perform the majority of tasks that involve hands, they are quite useful at breaking up dirt and stone. The wearer of these gauntlets gain +4 on damage rolls made to sunder unattended objects or earth.

 

Immense Shield: This shield takes advantage of the immense length of the Maotikei’s arm to provide increased protection. While it is otherwise identical to a Heavy Wooden Shield of the same size, it can provide cover in the same way as a tower shield. You cannot make a shield bash with an Immense Shield. As long as the Maotikei is proficient with Heavy Shields, there is no penalty on attack rolls when using an Immense Shield

Item_______________________

Cost______________________

Weight_____________________

Arm Cart

200

300 lbs.

Hand Spikes

50

15 lbs.

Immense Shield

100

80 lbs.

Maotikei Feats

Maotikei have access to the following feats.

 

Earth Flatten

Your mighty hands sweep treacherous objects and terrain aside, leaving a clear path.

Prerequisites: Maotikei, Str 13, Improved Unarmed Strike, BAB + 8

Benefit: As a standard action, you may turn an adjacent square from difficult terrain into standard terrain.  Any creature in that square is subject to a bull rush (this bull rush provokes attacks of opportunity as normal unless the Maotikei has the improved bull rush feat). If such a bull rush fails then this ability is stopped and its use is wasted. You may attempt an Earth Flatten once per day for every four levels you have attained (but see special), and no more than once per round.

Special: An Earth Shaker monk receives Earth Flatten as a bonus feat at 1st level, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. A monk may attempt an Earth Flatten a number of times per day equal to his monk level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than monk.

 

Earth Shield

You can mold the earth to protect yourself from incoming attacks.

Prerequisites: Ground Breaker, BAB+10, Power Attack, Maotikei

Benefit:By using a use of the Ground Breaker feat you can choose to only affect one of the squares adjacent to you. When used in this way, you form a mound of the terrain that provides partial cover to large creatures, and full cover to creatures sized medium or smaller. This cover has the same hardness and hitpoints as the terrain it was constructed from.

 

Ground Breaker

You use your enormous hands to create nearly impassable terrain.

Prerequisites: Power Attack, BAB + 6, Maotikei.

Benefit: A number of times per day equal to your strength modifier, but not more than once per combat, you may attack the ground around you as a standard action. The attack automatically hits and does damage normally. If the ground is dealt damage greater than the ground’s hardness, the space he occupies and all the squares adjacent to him become difficult terrain. Creatures in these squares must succeed a DC 15 Reflex save or be knocked prone.

Special: A monk who selects this feat may instead use this feat a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier if he so chooses. This decision is made at the time the feat is selected and cannot be changed.

 

Unstoppable Fists

Your hands become stronger than steel and can easily destroy lesser objects

Prerequisites: Power Attack, Maotikei.

Benefit: A number of times per day equal to the Maotikei’s strength modifier, but not more than once per combat, the Maotikei may make an attack against an unattended object or sunder combat maneuver, he can ignore the object’s hardness. This ability must be used before the attack roll is made.

Special: A monk who selects this feat may instead use this feat a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier if he so chooses. This decision is made at the time the feat is selected and cannot be changed

Unbreakable Hold

Your hands form a vice-like grip on opponents smaller than you.

Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, base attack bonus +6, Dex 13.

Benefit: When attempting a grapple against a creature size medium or smaller, you do not take the normal penalties for attempting a grapple with only one hand.

Normal: Humanoid creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a -4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll.

Maotikei Magic Items

Maotikei have access to the following Magic Items

Hand Shovels

Price: 50,400; Aura Faint transmutation ; CL 6; Weight: 40 lbs.

 

These large scoops attach to the Maotikei’s hand and grant the user a burrow speed of 15 feet (10 feet if wearing medium or heavy armor, or carries a medium or heavy load) through sand, loose soil, or gravel, or at a speed of 5 feet through stone.

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Construction Requirements

Cost: 25,200

Craft Wondrous Item, Burrow

Rock Throwing Gloves

Price: 14,000; Aura Faint Transmutation; CL 7; Weight–

 

These gloves let the Maotikei use their large hands to gain the Rock Throwing ability.

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Construction Requirements

Cost: 7,000

Craft Wondrous Item, Magic Stone, Stone Shape

Maotikei Spells

Maotikei have access to the following spells.

 

Earth Wave

School transmutation[earth]; Level druid 4, sorcerer/wizard 4

Casting Time 1 Standard Action

Components V,S

Range 30 foot

Area 30-ft. cone

Duration instantaneous

Saving Throw Reflex half; Spell Resistance no

 

You strike the ground with a mighty slam of your hands, causing the earth to travel and shatter in a wave. Creatures caught in the wave take 3d6 bludgeoning damage. Afterwards the targeted area is difficult terrain.

Rain Dance

School Evocation Level druid 3, cleric 3

Casting Time 1 hour

Components V,S, DF(a recently plucked leaf or petal)

Range See Text

Area See Text

Duration See Text

 

The power and range of this spell depends on the number of casters partake in the dance. The spell requires at least one caster, and as many as seven. For each caster, the range and area increase in radius by 30 feet, and the duration increases by 24 hours.

 

At midnight each night for the duration of the spell, a nutrient-filled rain falls in the area. This makes it so that any type of soil can support crops temporarily. As long as the crops don’t go more than two days without receiving the nutrients from the rain, they can grow even in infertile soil.

 

Special: Casting this spell more than twice in seven days has no effect. Any rainwater collected from this storm loses its properties after 24 hours.

 

Rain Dance cannot be cast using the feats Silent Spell or Still Spell.

The Story of Tobias, Part 3: A Gift is Given, a Path is Chosen

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Something that I need to mention here is that the GM for this campaign said that we could each choose a special, magical object for our characters to have at the beginning of the game. I played around with a couple ideas (including something that might have been salvaged from the Devil earlier, and could possibly have turned Tobias down a more evil path), but ended up with an obviously magical item you’ll see in the story. Something that isn’t mentioned in the story, however, is the cooler ability. Basically it lets Tobias use something similar to Smite Evil once per day. The ability never came up in the story, but it’s been pretty handy in a few encounters.

Tobias ran after his friend Brakstil and laughingly shouted, “Get back here you evil fiend, so I may smite you with my sword!” Brakstil laughed as well and said in his most menacing voice, “You’ll never catch me, do-gooder!” Tobias caught up to his friend, who proceeded to cower in an exaggerated state of fear. Tobias ceremoniously took the stick he was wielding as a pretend sword and tapped his friend with it on the shoulder. Brakstil groaned and collapsed on the ground, twitching once for dramatic effect before lying still. Tobias stood triumphantly for a moment before laughing and reaching his hand out to help his friend up. By this time, the sun was low enough in the sky that Tobias knew it was time to go home. He said goodbye to Brakstil, and went home.

Today was Tobias’ birthday, so he was anxiously awaiting his dinner. While they didn’t have enough money for him to get an actual present, his mother always made sure to make his favorite stew for dinner. He ran home, burst through the door, and saw his mother sitting at the table with a parcel in her hands. “Hi Mom!” he said. He was curious about what the package contained, but figured it was probably just bandages or something similar. She smiled at him. “Hello there, honey, something came for you today.” Tobias gasped, “From who? I’ve never gotten anything on my birthday before!”   Tobias ran over and his mom handed the brown package to him. “Well it looks like this year your father finally found a way to send you something. I think he’s been trying ever side you were born.” Tobias felt his jaw drop. “It’s from dad?” She nodded.

Tobias quickly opened the parcel and found a dagger encased in a leather sheath. Beneath the dagger was a slip of parchment. He pulled out the dagger and admired it momentarily, before reading the note. It read: My son, happy birthday. At ten years old you are arriving at the time where you will need to prepare yourself to fight evil. This sheath will help you in that. Any weapon sheathed in it for at least eight hours will bond with the sheath, and return to it should it ever leave your grasp. Tobias looked at the dagger and sheath in awe. He pulled out the dagger and gently set it on the table. Within a few seconds the dagger disappeared and reappeared within the sheath. Tobias laughed and did it a few more times while his mother finished preparing dinner.

The next day, Tobias showed his friends his new possession. He drew the dagger out of the case with a flourish before setting it gently in the ground. He then ran across the street and waved the sheath proudly when the dagger returned to the sheath. They all clapped and gasped before begging him to do it again. Tobias repeated the trick a few times and most of the children continued to clap and cheer. But Harry Rosen, a young orphan a few years older than Tobias just scoffed “ten years he’s left you and your mom alone and this is all he sends?”   Tobias glared at Harry. “He had to go back to the celestial armies so you shut your mouth.” Harry stuck his tongue out “Your dad abandoned you, just like mine, so don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. He probably knew how stupid you’d turn out to be and didn’t want anything to do with you.” At this, Tobias leapt and punched Harry in the mouth. Harry responded by kicking Tobias in the shin before being pushed to the ground. One of the local clerics separated them before the fight could continue. Tobias picked up his dagger and sheath and ran towards home, crying.

Tobias burst into his house, and when his mother saw him she ran over and hugged him tightly. “Tobias, what’s the matter?” “Is dad ever going to come back?” He sobbed. She kissed him on the top of his head, “He will if he can sweetie, I’m sure of it.” Tobias jerked away from her. “Why can’t he come now? What if he just doesn’t like us and never wants to come back?” Annalee looked at him sternly. “Now Tobias, that’s just not true. Your father cares about us very much. He just–” Before she could finish Tobias yelled, “If he really cared then he would have come to see us! He doesn’t care! Well you know what? I don’t care either!” He ran back out the front door, not heeding his mother’s call for him to come back. He ran out through the town, not stopping when he reached the woods. He didn’t bother sticking to the path, but ran through bushes and over rocks, weaving and winding through obstacles.

Tobias ran until he could no longer hear or see any sign of the town.   Eventually he couldn’t run any more, and he fell to his knees, panting for breath in between the sobs. He noticed that he was still holding the sheath, so he threw it as hard as he could at a nearby tree. The dull thunk echoed through the woods.  “That looks like too nice of a possession to throw around so carelessly,” a voice from behind him said. Tobias jumped and turned around. A tall man in a flowing cloak stood near a tall oak, with a longbow at his side. The stranger continued, “Now why would you be out here all alone?” Tobias quickly wiped his eyes. “I got mad and ran here.” The stranger nodded, and walked over and picked up the sheath from where Tobias had thrown it.  The stranger handed the sheath back to Tobias and said, “I’d hold on to that if I were you.” Tobias held it in his hands and scowled. “I’m mad at the person who gave this to me.” The archer shrugged, “Useful is useful, you should hold on to it anyway. Throwing away useful things only hurts you.”

The archer looked around before looking back at Tobias. “Do you think you can find your way back home?” Tobias looked around and shook his head, “I don’t recognize anything.” The archer smiled and said, “Well, lucky for you lad, I’m the best tracker around. We’ll just follow your trail back to town.” It took a while, but eventually the two made their way back to town.

The stranger stopped just before reaching the city limits, explaining that he didn’t do well in towns, and he needed to get back to his camp before nightfall. Tobias opened the door quietly, but his mother still heard and rushed over to him. “Where have you been? I’ve been worried sick!” Tobias could see streaks on her cheeks from where years had fallen. He looked at the ground and shuffled his feet. “I’m sorry, mom.” Her face softened for a moment before returning to the stern look she had been giving. “So help me, Tobias, if you ever do something like that again you’ll be scrubbing this house so clean that the king himself wouldn’t feel good enough to enter.”

A knock at the door stopped her threats of punishment. Tobias stepped away from the door and his mother opened it. The high priest of the nearby temple stepped in and bowed his head. “Good evening, Annalee. I have come to relieve you of the body.” Tobias stared at his mother. She nodded at the priest, who entered the back room and returned with a small body. Tobias barely held back a gasp when he recognized Harry Rosen’s face. Tobias clutched his mother’s dress. “What happened?” He whispered. “Snake bite. The venom was potent enough that i couldn’t extract it before the damage was done.”

At this point the priest said “Since no one knows where he got the items from, and no one seems to be missing anything, you’re free to keep them as repayment for your troubles.”   The priest left, and Annalee sat in her chair, a tear rolling down her cheek. Deaths for her weren’t common, and always seemed to trouble her got a few days. Tobias took this time to escape into the other room where Harry had been. Most of what was in the room consisted of the normal collection of poultices and bandages, except for a bundle of items sitting near the corner. Petting closer, Tobias saw two small gems, a piece of chalk, and a small bow.

The bow caught Tobias’ attention, as it was too small for most of the people in the village, but perfectly sized for a child. It was nothing incredibly fancy or refined, certainly not something valuable enough for Harry to believe worth stealing. Tobias reflected for a moment on the child’s cruel words earlier, and of all the times Harry had been mean to other children.  Tobias also thought about some things the archer had told him. With those thoughts in mind, Tobias removed his dagger from the magical sheath, and poked one end of the bow inside.

Instantly the sheath stretched and lengthened, covering the majority of the small bow. Once it finished growing, the sheath and bow glowed a gentle blue. Tobias waited another few seconds to make sure that the dagger wouldn’t teleport back, and then set the dagger on the table among the other oddities. Tobias then walked out of the room and said under his breath “Bye Harry. I’ll make good use of this.”

Burke the unpassable, Stats.

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Today I had a Pathfinder session with some friends. One of them is new to the game, so today’s session was to give him some practice and to get him familiar with the game’s mechanics.

When I started planning the session, I planned for the final boss to be just this un-killable wall, with the idea that their objective was through the door behind him. Burke, as I named him, wouldn’t be that good at fighting, but would fight defensively and have the biggest armor he could get. After I made him with as high of an AC as possible, it dawned on me that having someone this hard to hit and move would be frustrating for a new player to deal with, so I switched gears and went for something easier.

But I liked this build so much that I just wanted to share it. I’m sure that there are things that could have been done to make things better, but for something built in less than an hour I think it was pretty good. Here’s how he went.

Burke the Hobgoblin (I picked Hobgoblin because they get a bonus to Dex and Con. Since I wanted him to be hard to hit and have a lot of hitpoints, Dex and Con were my focuses).

Level 7 Fighter (armor master Archetype) and level 4 Stalwart Defender (prestige class in the Advanced Player’s guide). The armor master archetype gets him some DR that stacks with Adamantine Armor, so I figured it was a no brainer to give to a wall.

The Ability scores are: STR: 14     DEX: 16     CON: 20     INT: 13     WIS: 10     CHA: 7 (I used the point buy system, and used 20 points since that’s what I’m giving all of my players. I gave him a 13 INT just so he could get combat expertise. Highest is CON for the hitpoints, DEX for the AC boost, and STR so he’s not completely terrible at damage. WIS doesn’t matter, and a negative Charisma modifier isn’t going to hurt him at all.)

His hitpoint total ended up being 155 (we use a house rule that if you roll less than half on your hit die, you re-roll, so while this is high, the PC’s won’t be farther behind than might be expected.) He also gets DR 6/- due to Adamantine full plate, and that DR stacks with the DR gained from the Armor Master archetype. He also has a darkwood tower shield, +1 natural armor (it’s an alternate trait for hobgoblins that replaces darkvision), and a ring of protection +3. That brings his total AC to 32 before fighting defensively or using Combat Expertise.  

The other big thing that he has is an enhanced CMD. It’s normally 32, which isn’t too much higher than what’s normal. However, I got some other alternate racial traits that give him a +2 on bull rush and trips. Finally, through the Stalwart Defender class I gave him the Defensive abilities Bulwark, which adds his armor check penalty to the check for anyone to move past him using bluff or acrobatics, and the ability Halting Blow, so that anyone he hits with an Attack of Opportunity gets stopped in their tracks.

Overall I thought he went pretty well. I normally build characters that are more offensive than defensive, so this was an interesting challenge for me. I’d love to hear any suggestions or ideas in the comments.

 

 

 

The Story of Tobias, Part 2: Healed and Broken

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Mithrail was surprised to wake. Judging by the simple architecture, he wasn’t in heaven, but still on earth. He noted that his wounds had been bandaged, and from the feel of them they were no longer bleeding. While he still felt drained, he felt much better than he expected to after such injuries. He called out “Hello?”

His response was some shuffling and a pretty young woman with bright red hair walking in the room and smiling. “Nice to see you’ve woken, I was worried for a while there.” Mithrail looked at her curiously and asked “Shouldn’t I be dead? I used healing spells on myself multiple times and some of my wounds refused to heal.” The girl nodded “Oh yes, those were nasty cuts all right. Luckily for you, my mother once gave me a book about supernatural wounds. Never thought the thing would ever come in handy, I only read it because I was curious.” Mithrail stared at her for a moment, marveling that one so young would have such skill. The girl coughed nervously and said “Oh, something came for you last night. Let me go get it.” She left the room for a moment before returning with a white envelope marked with the celestial seal. She handed it to him. “Some floating lantern thing dropped this off and told me to give it to you as soon as you woke up.”

Mithrail took the letter, opened it and quickly read it. “I’ve been instructed to stay here until further notice. My superiors are concerned about why the devils would have targeted this town in particular, so I am to watch and follow the advice of the local leaders to make sure no harm befalls this village.” Mithrail began to push himself up, the bandages pushing uncomfortably against his chest with the movement. The girl looked surprised. “What do you think you’re doing?” “I’m going to set up a perimeter around the city to identify the weaker points of the city’s defense.” The girl shook her head. “Not in your current state you’re not. At least two more days of bed rest.” Mithrail shook his head. “Did you not hear what was in my letter? I have my duty to attend to.” She walked over and pushed lightly on his chest, being careful to not put pressure on any of his wounds.

“Yes, and it also said to do so under the direction of the local leaders, so as chief healer of Isaudraud I order you to lie back down and get your bed rest.” Mithrail slowly lay down again, and gave her a puzzled look “You’re the chief healer of the town?” “Considering I’m the only one within at least one hundred miles who would know how to close up the wound from the tail of a horned devil, are you really surprised?” She crossed her arms and stared him down. Mithrail held his hands up in a defensive posture. “Of course, of course. I’m mostly surprised because you’re so young; you can’t be much older than seventeen.” She continued giving the archon an intimidating glare. “I’ll be turning 20 next month, thank you very much, and I can guarantee that in those 20 years I’ve patched up as many injuries as you’ve seen in however many hundred years you’ve been alive.” At this, Mithrail smiled. “Ok, miss, you win. I’ll take my bed rest.” She curtly nodded at him “Good. Now to the right of your bed I’ve placed some books I thought you might have interest in, and I’ll have lunch ready in half an hour. Just call for me if you need anything.” He smiled. “And what, pray tell, do I call you?” She smiled back “Annalee Eddins.” “Well Annalee, thank you for all you’ve done for me. My name is Mithrail Van Penn.”

The next month was spent searching for who may have summoned the devil, but no clues were found. There had been a number of visitors that had been visiting the town at the time, so it was assumed to be done by one of them. Since there were also no clues as to why the village was targeted, Mithrail took measures to ensure that the town would be better prepared to defend themselves. He had the skilled craftsmen prepare staves which he charged with dismissal spells. There was no guarantee that the charged spells would be powerful enough to dismiss the creature, but it was better than nothing. He also had a rod of healing spells made, which he gave to Annalee as thanks for healing him. Mithrail had grown quite fond of the young healer, and found he using every opportunity to spend time near her.

It was a strange feeling for Mithrail. In his legion they had been trained to let go of emotion as much as possible, but Annalee was constantly surprising him not only with her glowing smile and warm personality, but also with her ability to be completely focused and deadly serious when needed. Mithrail felt little longing for home, which was just as well since his superiors informed him that he was to stay there long enough to ensure another devil wouldn’t be summoned there. Mithrail helped build the temple to be a stronger means of fortification and protection, and within six months Mithrail realized that he never wanted to leave.

One year later Mithrail stood at the temple door, the envelope in his hands feeling closer to manacles on his wrists. He had known this would eventually come, but part of him had hoped that he would be stationed here for at least a few more years. But, he knew that he had to put his emotions aside once more and return to his proper place. First, he had to say goodbye. He walked slowly through the streets, savoring the sights and sounds of the small village He entered the front door, the sight of Annalee’s smile breaking his heart. She must have noticed his sadness, and when she looked at the envelope in his hand, her eyes stated filling with tears. She stood up, bracing herself with one hand on the table, the other protectively placed on her bulging stomach. “I had hoped the child would arrive before you had to leave, but I suppose that what time we had was miracle enough.” Mithrail walked over to her and embraced her. After holding her for a minute he took a small step back and lifted her left hand closer to his face, touching the golden ring she wore. “I suppose you’d best take this off now, since I likely can’t come back for years, if ever.” She pulled her hand away from him. “No sir, I will not. That ring means we’re married for richer or poorer, for better or worse, and there’s no way I’m breaking that just because you’re far away. The ring stays.” He smiled at her. “I’ll come back when I can,” he said. She kissed him. “I know you will.” he turned around, walked out the door, and, not being able to look back, he unfurled his wings and flew up into the sky. Annalee walked outside and watched him fly away, caressing her stomach, the kicks coming from within being her only comfort.

The Story of Tobias, Part One: Mithrail and the Devil

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It was going to be just a cautionary mission. The small village of Isaudraud had recently been the target of a few devil summonings. While individually they were minor events, to have this many devils summoned within a season was frightening. There were signs that another summoning was about to take place, so Mithrail had been sent to catch the culprit. Mithrail had acted with haste and was flying as quickly as he could. But, judging by the screams of terror and the smell of burning, he was too late to prevent the summoning.

To his horror, he recognized the signs of the summoned devil. A horned devil summoned inside the sign of the broken temple could only be Baltruan, one of the chief horned devils that all archon were trained to recognize. While the signs of the summoning were still apparent, the devil was nowhere to be seen from this height. Mithrail landed, and judging from where the loudest screams were coming from, he judged the monster to be in the eastern part of the city. Mithrail saw the horned devil Baltruan off in the distance. Mithrail prepared himself for the surely inevitable battle by casting upon himself magic vestment, Shield of faith, bulls strength, and spell immunity for fireball, since that was the only spell most horned devils could cast that would harm Archons directly.

Mithrail shouted at the devil, “Baltruan, leave this village and return to the depths of hell! If you stay I will be forced to rid the world of your horrid existence, which I am perfectly willing to do!” Baltruan let out a deep, growling laugh and charged towards Mithrail, striking him with the long spiked chain the demon wielded. The blow rattled Mithrail for a moment, but the archon quickly regained his balance. Not wanting to endanger the people in the village, Mithrail flew into the sky, and cast divine power to boat his fighting abilities. The devil followed, striking him again with a rattling crash of the spiked chain. Mithrail swung his great sword at the devil, striking the devil once on the shoulder, and another slash to the stomach, opening a large wound. Baltruan then struck Mithrail with his chain, bit him on the shoulder, and opened a large wound on the angel’s side with a stroke from the large spiked tail. Mithrail flew off, but that gave Baltruan the chance to strike him again with the spiked chain.

Once Mithrail was a safe distance away, he cast a healing spell on himself, only to find that the large wound caused by the devil’s tail didn’t seal up, and continued bleeding. Baltruan then cast a fireball at Mithrail, but the protective ward Mithrail had cast earlier caused the fireball to fizzle out. This delay gave Mithrail a chance to cast another healing spell before the devil charged in for another attack. Mithrail managed to strike Baltruan on the leg, but the devil came back and struck Mithrail with the spiked chain, and across the chest with his monstrous tail, opening another gash. Feeling a little dizzy from the loss of blood, Mithrail flew off again, prompting another attack from the devil’s chain. Mithrail cast his most powerful healing spell when he was a safe distance away, only to see that the two wounds from the devil’s tail still refused to heal. Mithrail had heard that the tail of the horned devils had some horrifying wound dealing abilities, but had never seen it firsthand.

The devil flew towards Mithrail, but was not able to reach him before the archon prepared his attack. Once Baltruan was close enough, Mithrail struck him with a blow to the chest. The devil struck Mithrail with the monstrous chain twice, and once more with the barbed tail. Mithrail was growing weary, but noticed that the devil was incredibly injured and that this fight could soon be finished. Mithrail swung at the devil, and struck Baltruan a mighty blow to the wing. The devil tried to attack, but without the use of one of his wings he was unable to maintain his balance, so Mithrail took this opportunity and with one last swing of his mighty great sword he struck the devil in the heart. Mithrail only had a moment of triumph before realizing that the devil’s broken body would crash into the village square below, and of course many of the villagers had come out to witness the battle. Foolishly curious mortals, he thought before flying to grab the devil. He quickly realized that the load would be too heavy to truly control. He instead focused on pushing it to the edge of the village where it wouldn’t cause too much damage. He could feel the strain on his wings but knew that he had to keep struggling. He saw a lone figure running from the square following him, and he couldn’t help but marvel at the stupidity of some mortals. He crashed heavily, and could feel himself losing consciousness. His wounds still bleeding heavily, he accepted that he was to die now, but was glad he had managed to defeat the devil. The last thing he saw before blacking out was the shadow of a villager running towards him.