d20 Dreamspawn – Oridon and Yinsloth

   Oridon was a child that nobody – at least nobody since his parents were killed – wanted. After a little time on the streets, he envied the beasts. They, at least, had fur to keep themselves warm and fangs to defend whatever food they found.

   He dreamed of finding one that was willing to befriend or help him – a childish dream, featuring a “beast” that was a curious mixture of a human caregiver and a savage, protective, canine – or of becoming a beast himself.

   There was a loose sense of community with the other street children, but there was little they could do to help each other save to pass on the occasional warning.

   He didn’t get one of those warnings in time.

   He was backed into a blind alley, trapped by some of the local thugs who were willing to prey on the street children, when the terrible guardian beast of his fancies DID appear to help him! It got very, VERY, bloody in that alleyway – and the yanked-out entrails and ripped-off body parts were kind of gross – but it left him with warm clothing (much better than his old clothing, even with all the stains), and a good knife, and some weapons and things he could trade for supplies, and even a few actual coins.

   Enough to eat all he wanted for a bit, even if he didn’t seem to need to eat much any more.

   He still isn’t sure that Yinsloth or the thugs didn’t actually kill him in the melee. He certainly took some hits, and there were certainly enough body parts scattered around to have included his, and surely only ghosts were as invulnerable as he suddenly seemed to be – but if he was dead, it wasn’t so bad after all.

   Later on, Yinsloth showed him that he could enhance the other street children as well. Now they could take care of themselves, and fight back when people hurt them, and get food to eat and stay warm on the streets…

   Oridon is a fairly typical, ragged, kid – although, unlike most of the other street kids, he’s no longer particularly skinny, sickly, or showing any injuries. In fact, if you watch him carefully, he now moves with the speed, agility, and power of a wild beast – simply because he’s invariably channeling a dire wolf spirit (he’s pretty strongly addicted to the extra strength and power by now). He’s more than a bit feral, is no longer afraid – and is very definitely the pack leader. Yinsloth will accept nothing less for his bondmate.

   The other five or six children in his “pack” are almost as addicted, even if they are only being imbued with normal wolf-spirits. Still, now they have an excellent chance of living to grow up – and enough power to strike back at their various tormentors.

   Yinsloth is a bestial monstrosity, with a wolflike head on the body of a great ape, black and greens striped fur, massive talons, and eyes made of fire which emit curls of sulfurous smoke. He is definitely male, and weighs somewhat more than three hundred pounds, putting him into the “large” size category, if just barely. He commands a variety of animalistic abilities – most notably, the ability to imbue people with animal spirits, greatly enhancing their abilities. When he’s following along in another dimension, he merges into any nearby shadow, wherein an alert observer can occasionally catch glimpses of his burning eyes.

   Yinsloth – thanks to his channeling abilities – understands Dire Wolves pretty well. He doesn’t do so well with humans, but a lot of the basics are similar. His bondmate and his bondmate’s pack need food, water, warmth, shelter, and territory. Those who attack them, or attempt to deny them the things they need to live, are enemies to be savaged or killed. Concepts like “money” or “law” don’t really make an impression – and, to be fair, it’s not like Oridon or the other kids have often been on the upper side of either.

   Yinsloth would rather prefer that his bondmate and his bondmate’s pack abandon civilization to live free in the wilds – but hasn’t had much luck persuading any of them of that. It may happen if things get too tough in the city though.

   More subtly, Yinsloth now has a backup of sorts. If something does happen to Oridon, despite Yinsloth’s efforts, there’s a pretty good chance that the rest of the pack would take up the slack and sustain him; after all, he’s quickly becoming well-embedded in their imaginations as well.

   Oridon, Yinsloth, and the rest of the pack can represent quite a dilemma for a group of player-characters. They’re increasingly dangerous and feral. They’re losing their compunctions about killing – a number of people who threatened or hurt the street children have probably disappeared already – and are functionally a pack of young human wolves running wild in the city streets. They aren’t evil, but morality has little hold on them now. Rumors are spreading. The law would want them all executed. The priests will want Yinsloth exorcized, and the kids restrained (if not burned at the stake). Soon enough, quite a few of the surviving members of the local underworld will want them either dead or leashed (and under their control) as well. Perhaps fortunately, all of the kids are still pre-pubescent – but things may start getting even worse soon.

   Oridon

   Level Zero Human, Age 10.

   Available Character Points: 24 CP (Level Zero Base) +10 (Disadvantages: Insane/animalistic instincts, belief that he might be dead, sees nothing wrong with associating with Yinsloth, Broke, and Dependent/addicted to wolf-powers) +6 (Racial Bonus Feat) +3 SP (Racial Bonus) = 40 CP and 3 SP. Of those, the points for the racial bonuses have not been allocated; they’re available for a bit of customization or can be readily dropped in favor of using a different base race.

  • Age adjustments: Str -1, Dex +1 (Preadolescent).
  • Rolled Attributes: (4d6, keep 3): Str 09, Int 12, Wis 12, Con 16, Dex 10, Chr 15.
  • Net Attributes: Str 08 (24*) (+7), Int 12 (+1), Wis 12 (14*) (+2), Con 16 (24*) (+7), Dex 11 (15*) (+2), and Chr 15 (+2).

   Combat Statistics:

  • Initiative: +2 (Dex)
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +2 (Dex) +3 (Natural Armor) +4 (Armor*) + 3 (Martial Art) = 22
  • Move: 30 +20 +30* = 80
  • Hit Points: 3 (L0 Base) +12 (2d6 Magic) +10 (2d8 Wolfspirit) + 35 (5x Con Mod) +2 (4 CP invested towards a larger level one hit die) = 62
  • Damage Reduction: 10/Psionics
  • Energy Resistance: 20, 10 versus psionically-generated energies.
  • Saves: Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +6 (using Yinsloth’s saves).
  • BAB: +4 (Wolf), +2 with natural weapons.
  • Attacks:
    • Natural Weapons: +13/+8 (+4 BAB +2 BAB/unarmed or natural weapons +7 Str), 1d8+7 (Str), Crit 20/x2. Combat Reflexes.
    • Thrown Rock or Small Knife: +6 (+4 BAB +2 Dex), 1d3 +7 (Str), Crit 20/x2, 10′ Range Increment.

   Special Notes: Need not Eat, Drink, Sleep, or Breathe, effectively immune to poison*, Fast Healing I (up to 20 points/hit die/day)*, Protection from Law*, and True Strike 3/Day*. All use-activated.

   Effects marked with an “*” are subject to dispelling and antimagic versus caster level one – but will come right back again next round.

   The dire wolf spirit provides Trip, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Alertness, Run, Track, Weapon Focus (Natural Weapons), and a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot.

   Yinsloth – like all Companions – bestows 6 CP worth of bonus abilities: in his case +1 BAB, Specialized in Unarmed Combat (3 CP), Immunity to any need to find a teacher to learn a martial art (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial, 1 CP), and +2 Skill Points in a martial art of choice (2 CP).

   Purchased Abilities:

  • Companion with two levels of Template and Might, Specialized/Yinsloth tends to be less than controllable, to bring Oridon things that he thinks he needs, to casually murder anyone who he perceives as a threat to his bondmate, behaves like a dangerous wild animal, sees absolutely nothing wrong with addicting children to his powers to turn them into suitable subordinates for Oridon, and rather enjoys ripping people to shreds. He’s more than a bit short-sighted too; getting through today is generally enough for him (12 CP).
  • Proficient with Simple Weapons (3 CP).
  • +1 BAB, Specialized/unarmed or natural-weapons combat only (3 CP).
  • Adept: Pays half cost for the Spot, Survival, and Yaachaka Shuuro skills (6 CP).
  • +4 Skill Points (4 CP).
  • +4 CP invested towards a larger hit die at level one. That’s a minimum of a d8 so far. This counts as “Toughness” – providing +2 HP – at the moment (4 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus/Long Practice: May add his (Con Mod) to his (Dex Mod) when calculating the basis for Dex-based skills (6 CP).

   At level one – if he lives that long – Oridon is likely to pick up Favored Foe (the Favored Environment variant), Berserker, a rather large hit die, a bit more specialized BAB, and a bit of healing – perhaps a Dex-based martial art with such an ability. He can reach high levels in such arts quite readily.

   Skill Points: 3 (Int) +3 (Race) + (CP Spent) = 10 (7 Spent).

   +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot while channeling that dire wolf spirit.

Skill Total Basis
Diplomacy: +3 1 SP +2 Chr.
Hide: +11 0 SP +2 Spirit +2 Dex +7 Con.
Jump: +31 0 SP +7 Str +20 Move +4 Run.
Listen: +9 3 SP [1, Adept] +2 Spirit, +2 Wis, +2 Alertness.
Martial Art / Yaachaka Shuuro: +14 3 SP [1, Adept] +2 Dex +7 Con +2 Companion.
Move Silently: +11 0 SP +2 Spirit +2 Dex +7 Con.
Sense Motive: +2 0 SP +2 Wis.
Sleight of Hand +11 0 SP +2 Spirit +2 Dex +7 Con.
Spot: +9 3 SP [1 Adept] +2 Spirit, +2 Wis, +2 Alertness.
Survival: +6/+10 3 SP [1 Adept] +2 Wis, additional +4 Bonus when tracking by scent.
Tumble +11 0 SP +2 Spirit +2 Dex +7 Con.

   +3 Skill Specialities: Begging (1 SP), Home City Knowledge (1 SP).

   Martial Art: Yaachaka Shuuro – The Beggars Guard (Dex).

   Yaachaka Shuuro isn’t an especially formal martial art. It focuses almost purely on evasion – the fine art of dodging, twisting away, and falling back, as well as on developing the skills needed to survive on the streets. It’s user’s normally attack only when there is little choice – or when there is a good opening for a cheap shot. There aren’t very many actual “masters” of Yaachaka Shuuro out there, but there are plenty of dabblers. Life on the streets is tough enough without seizing any advantage you can get.

  • Requires: At least one year spent on the streets as a beggar, having nearly been beaten to death at least once, and Weapon Focus/Unarmed combat or the point-buy equivalent.
  • Basic Abilities: Defenses 4 (“the nimble begger”), Synergy/Survival (“mastery of scrounging”), Synergy/Tumble (“using the crowd”), Synergy/Diplomacy (“buttering up the mark”), Synergy/Bluff (“the fast tongue”), Synergy/Escape Artist (“wriggling away”), and Toughness 2 (“roll with the punch”).
  • Advanced and Master Techiques: Mind Like Moon (“paranoid as hell”), Sneak Attack I (“hit em’ where it hurts”), Weapon Kata/Knife or Shortsword (“fang of the forsaken”), and Combat Reflexes (“the cheap shot”).
  • Occult Techniques: Inner Strength (“enduring survivor”), Ki Block (“strength of desperation”), Light Foot (“fleeing the authorities”), and Vanishing (“evade fate”).
  • Known Techniques: Defenses 3, Combat Reflexes, Mind Like Moon, Inner Strength, and Vanishing.

 

   Yinsloth

Hit Dice: 4d8+2d6 (12) +30 = 65 (+2d8+10) = 88 when spiritbonded)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 60′ (80’*), climb 60′.
Armor Class: 21 (–1 size, +2 Dex, +4 natural +4 armor +2 positive levels)
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+16 (+6*/+17*)
Attack: Claws +12/+12 (+15/+15*) melee (1d6+8, Magic) (1d6+9)*, Bite +7 (+9*) melee (1d6+4 magic) (1d6+5* magic).
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent, Extraordinary Returning, Spell Resistance 16, Unbound, Amorphous, Immune to Sneak Attacks and Critical Hits, Disturbing, Helpful, Need not Eat, Breathe, Drink, or Sleep, DR 10/Psionic, Energy Resistance 20, 10 versus psionicly-generated energies, Immunity to Poison, Fast Healing I, Protection from Law, True Strike (use-activated) 3/Day.
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +6
Abilities: Str 23 (25) (27*), Dex 17, Con 18 (20), Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 7 (9*)
Skills: Climb +16 (+17*)(+8 racial bonus, may take 10 under stress), Jump +33, Listen +7, Spot +7, Speak Common, Knowledge/The Planes +0 (+2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot*).
Feats: Alertness, +6 CP to spend. (Run, Track, and Weapon Focus/Natural Weapons*).

* These attributes apply when channeling a dire wolf spirit.

   Available Character Points: 12 (Positive Levels) +6 (Converted Feat) = 18 CP.

   Character Points Spent:

  • Metamagic/Persistent, Specialized and Corrupted/only to increase the duration of his spells to twenty-four hours, only for willingly-accepted inherent spells (2 CP).
  • Streamline x2, Specialized in Persistent (+3 Spell Levels – enough to go from one minute per level to one day), Corrupted/only for use with his innate spells, and only those that are accepted willingly (6 CP).
    • Before Yinsloth got his positive levels, and the +2 BAB, Saves, AC, and +12 CP that came with them, he only had +2 levels of Persistent – and could only grant spirits for six hours, not twenty-four hours.
  • Berserker (+6 Str, +2 Con when active, 6 CP).
  • Presence (aura provides those affected with a +1 morale bonus to attacks, saves, checks, and damage for the next [hit dice] rounds), Specialized/only works on those who are currently affected by the Inner Spirit of the Wilds (3 CP).
  • Specific Knowledge: Ritual of Lycanthropy. While Yinsloth is no ritualist himself, he does know (and can teach) a ritual that can turn the user into a chosen type of lycanthrope.

   Unique Powers:

  • Yinsloth – like all Companions – bestows 6 CP worth of bonus abilities: in his case +1 BAB, Specialized in Unarmed Combat (3 CP), Immunity to any need to find a teacher to learn a martial art (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial, 1 CP), and +2 Skill Points in a martial art of choice (2 CP).
  • Yinsloth’s Dread Caress (L3): As per Bestow Curse.
  • The Wild Spirit Breaks All Bonds (L4): As per Freedom of Movement. Thanks to his Metamagical talents, this lasts all day.
  • Curse of the Beast (L5): Baleful Polymorph.
  • Inner Spirit of the Beast (L6): Summon Nature’s Ally III, with the Channeling (Possession, +2 spell levels) and Extended Duration (One minute per level, +1 spell level) modifiers. If the effects of this spell provide notable physical enhancements – and they generally do – the effect is somewhat addictive. It also tends to provide a modest dose of animal instincts, but those are normally fairly readily handled. Yinsloth usually imbues his bondmate with a Dire Wolf spirit, while imbuing 4d4 of his bondmates street friends with wolf-spirits – leaving them notably enhanced, but still properly weaker and subordinate.

   A channeled spirit provides access to most of it’s extraordinary, spell-like, and supernatural abilities, any attribute modifiers which are above the host’s own, and one-half the creatures hit points.

   In most cases, Yinsloth is imbuing normal human children with wolf-spirits. Given that they basically don’t have any worthwhile abilities, they simply get most of the wolf-abilities: +2 Str, +4 Dex, +4 Con, +2 Wis, +(1d8 + Con Mod) HP, Speed 50′, +2 natural Armor, +1 BAB, 1d6 Natural Weapons with Weapon Focus, Trip, Low-Light Vision, Scent, and Base Saves of at least Fort +3, Ref +3, and Will +1. They can also, of course, tolerate living outdoors as well as wolves… They make a reasonably formidable pack.

   His bondmate’s Dire Wolf Spirit provides +(2d8+2x Con Mod) HP, Speed 50′, +3 Natural Armor, +4 BAB, 1d8 Natural Weapons, Trip, Low-Light Vision, Scent, Str +14, Dex +4, Con +6, Wis +2, Alertness, Run, Track, Weapon Focus (Natural Weapons), and a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot.

   Since Yinsloth shares the effects of his spell on his bondmate, he also gets some bonuses – although his higher bases almost eliminate some of them. He gets: +(2d8 +2x Con Mod) HP, Str +2, Cha +2, Speed 50′, +1 BAB, Run, Track, Weapon Focus (Natural Weapons), and a +2 bonus on Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot.

   Oridon and Yinsloth are a good example of the darker side of the Dreamspawn (as well as an extreme power-build, taking advantage of several of the best enhancements and power-multipliers in the game). Dreamspawn may protect their kids – at least in the short term – but it’s at the cost of making them distinctly other than human, social isolation, and potentially plunging them into horrible danger. If Oridon does make it to adulthood, he may well wind up as someone’s enforcer, as a bandit leader, or in some other semi-outcast role if he doesn’t wind up leading a savage tribe off in the wilderness. All you have to do is age them a bit – and presume that they don’t get any effective intervention – and you have a perfectly serviceable mad-werewolf-leader-thing, his pack of corrupted lesser werewolf-things, and his pet monstrosity to prey on the inhabitants of whatever area you decide to unleash them on.

   Now, if they do get that intervention, you’ll have a nice little special-forces group to send to track down any adventurer’s who haven’t learned to restrain themselves.

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