Volund’s father, Maynard Saril, sailed aboard the Askari, a merchant vessel of the Havelund family, while his elven wife, Erilitha, remained safely in the Havelund enclave with their young son. They were never well accepted there, but the Havelund walls and guards made a safe haven in a dangerous world.
The Askari, and Maynard with it, was lost when Volund was roughly equivalent to ten. Once that fact was well established, Leshan Havelund – the throughly corrupt local shipping master – rewrote a few records to “prove” that Maynard had owed some rather large debts, and took Erilitha and Volund as slaves to “pay it off”. Without any close friends in the enclave to speak up on their behalf, the Saril’s had little recourse.
When Leshan tired of Erilitha he had the Saril’s sold – but, once outside the enclave and it’s alert and well-trained guards, Volund promptly escaped and fled into the local woodlands.
There was no search; a young slaveboy simply wasn’t valuable enough to merit one – and, in the wilds of a d20 universe, something would surely catch him soon enough.
Something did. Volund, equipped with little save his imagination and a head full of old tales of shapeshifting kitsune, takuki, and similar beasts, bonded with the Dreamspawn Sevarangin, who had slipped through an old gateway while it’s keeper was distracted. Suddenly he had a good start on the powers and the skills that he’d need to rescue his mother – and, perhaps, to avenge himself and her on Leshan.
Since then he’s focused on acquiring the resources he’ll need to locate and either buy out or rescue Erilitha (presuming that she’s still alive) – and, just possibly, to hire some mercenaries or assassins to repay his “debt” to Leshan. To that end, he’s assembled a gang of thieves – who are glad enough to split the take with Volund and Sevarangin (even if they’re not sure WHAT Sevarangin is), given how much the pairs abilities have enhanced that take.
While he’s collecting money – and Sevarangin is collecting magical power – Volund is making sure that the kids in the little gang of thieves that he’s collected at least have enough to eat and drink, clothing to wear, and a warm, safe, place to sleep – which is better than they HAD been doing.
Relatively recently, Volund has begun making offerings to the Masked One, God of the Sheltering Night, the Patron of Survival by Trickery, of Witchcraft, and of Vengeance – and his offerings have been accepted.
The Masked One is a force of chaos rather than evil – a patron of power used for petty, personal ends, of stealth and survival, of small witcheries and magics, of the revolt of the oppressed, and of the vengeance of the wronged. Still, his devotees are rarely welcome in “civilization” – even if they can be a welcome aid to adventurers who happen to be dealing with an oppressive society.
Volund is extremely powerful for his level. Not only does he have a Dreamspawn Companion (a creature designed for the “little kids with their pet magical monsters” genre with a net challenge rating of about nine) but his creature is giving him a massive boost. Personally he’s using clerical magic and witchcraft, which are two of the best deals available for quick power at lower levels. Of course, Witchcraft doesn’t scale that well, his Companion is already about as powerful as it can easily be made, and clerical magic loses it’s edge over other forms as levels go up. That means that Volund and his young street-thief friends can serve as a serious nemesis or rival for a low-level party (especially since he prefers not to kill; it gets too much attention from the authorities), can morph into a temporary ally of convenience or source of missions later on (thanks to his Missions pact), and will fade into the background at very high levels – when the characters will no longer be concerned with street-level problems.
If you want to formally account for his gang, He’ll need the Leadership feat – but given that the majority of them are level zero children, they really don’t need too much formal accounting. I’d presume that getting a dozen or so street kids to follow someone who can feed, clothe, enhance, heal, and protect them really isn’t much of a trick.
Budding Half-Elven Thief-Lord, Equivalent human age approximately fourteen.
Half-Elven Racial Modifiers (+0 ECL):
- Immunity/Sleep Effects (Uncommon/Minor/Major, 3 CP)
- Resist/+2 on Saves versus Enchantment Spells and Effects (3 CP)
- Occult Sense/Low-Light Vision (6 CP)
- +1 each to Listen, Search, and Spot (3 CP)
- +2 on Diplomacy and Gather Information (4 CP)
- Privilege: Treated as Elves wherever this is advantageous (3 CP)
- Speaks Elven: (1 CP).
Street Kid Package Deal (Free):
- Luck with +2 bonus uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only for skill rerolls (3 CP)
- Fortune/Evasion Variant, Specialized/the user must be un- or lightly armored and encumbered, must be free to move, and must have space to dodge in (3 CP)
- Spell Resistance, Specialized and Corrupted/only works against divination magic directed at determining the truth of the user’s statements (2 CP)
- +3 Specialties in Bluff/Denying Things, Sleight of Hand/Swiping Small Items, Knowledge/Local/Home Town, and Perform/Acting Innocent (4 CP).
Thanks to Sevarangin, Volund – and the kids in his gang – are normally enhanced by a long-duration channeling spell, granting them most of the abilities and enhancements of a Dire Raccoon wherever those are superior to their natural racial abilities. Those enhancements include +4 Str, +8 Dex, +6 Con, and +2 Wis, +(3d8 + 3 x Con Mod)/2 hit points (added to their existing total), a +2 BAB, the ability to inflict a base of 1d4 damage with their bare hands, Low-Light Vision, Scent, a Climb speed of 20 (and the usual +8 to any required rolls), and the Alertness feat – along with the Spirits base skills (add the hosts current attribute modifiers) of Disable Device +6, Hide +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +6, Open Locks +6, Sleight of Hand +4, Spot +6, and Swim +4.
Available Character Points: 96 (Level Three Base) +10 (disadvantages: Insane [sees nothing wrong with having a weird monster from beyond hanging about, Outcast [many people DO see a problem with having a weird monster from beyond hanging about, and History) +12 (level one and three bonus feats) +6 (Duties +2/Level) = 124 CP.
- Rolled Attributes: (4d6, keep 3): Str 11, Int 18, Wis 16, Con 12, Dex 17, Chr 14.
- Age adjustments: Str -1, Dex +1 (Adolescent).
- Net Attributes: Str 14 (+2), Int 18 (+4), Wis 16 (20) (+5), Con 12 (18) (+4), Dex 18 (28) (+9), and Chr 14 (+2).
- Initiative: +9 (Dex)
- Armor Class: 10 (Base) +9 (Dex) +4 (Armor*) +1 (Martial Art) = 24
- Move: 30 +30* = 60, Climb 20
- Hit Points: 22 (L1 d12, L2-3 d6, 12, 5, 5, 12 CP) +12 (2d6 Magic) +20 (5x Con Mod) +16 (Raccoon Spirit) = 70 HP.
- Damage Reduction 10/Psionics
- Energy Resistance 20, 10 versus psionically-generated energies.
- Saves: Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +8 (using his companions saves).
- BAB: +2 (from companion, 0 CP), +3 BAB, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect/Only for Melee, only for Blades, and only for knives and shortswords (18 CP).
- Proficient with all Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).
- Short Sword: +15/+10/+5 (+11 BAB +2 Martial Art +2 Str), 1d6 +2 (Str), Crit 19-20/x2, +5d6 Sneak Attack.
- Dagger: +15/+10/+5 (+11 BAB +2 Martial Art +2 Str), 1d4+2 (Str), Crit 19-20/x2, +5d6 Sneak Attack.
- Thrown Dagger: +22/+17/+12 (+11 BAB +2 Martial Art +9 Dex), 1d4+2 (Str), Crit 19-20/x2, 10′ Range, +5d6 Sneak Attack.
Spider’s Fang Martial Art Techniques (8): Attack II, Strike, Sneak Attack III, Combat Reflexes, and Light Foot.
In the city, Volund usually prefers to render foes unconscious, rather than killing them; it makes for a lot less trouble. Fortunately, with the Strike technique, he can opt to do stunning damage, even with thrown weapons and/or his sneak attack.
Thanks to his bond with his Dreamspawn Partner, Volund doesn’t need to Eat, Drink, Sleep, or Breathe, is effectively immune to poison*, and gains Fast Healing I (up to 60 hit points per 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.
Dreamspawn Companion (Dire Raccoon Base) with Template II, Might and Transference, Specialized / Dreamspawn tend to wander off on their own (although never out of range of their link with their bondmate, a mile or so is plenty of range to roam a bit), spontaneously try to help out, and otherwise do troublesome things. They’ll often have bad habits, and will indulge them no matter what their bondmate says when they “forget” – which they do a lot. It’s not always wise to tell them when they’ve created a problem though; if you do that, there’s a good chance that they’ll try to fix it – and that can be even more disastrous than the original problem (15 CP).
Adept: May purchase the Gather Information, Knowledge/Local, Knowledge/Religion, and a chosen Martial Art for half cost (6 CP).
Clerical Spellcasting Package Deal III with added Component restriction (not usable while wearing armor) (24 CP), Provides:
- Daily Spellcasting: 4x L0 Spells, 5x L1 Spells, 4x L2 Spells, L1 and L2 Domain Spell Slots. Note that his Save DC’s are (19+Spell Level). His usual spell selection depends on what clerical magic the GM is allowing, but a reasonable SRD -based list includes:
- L0: Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Mending, Purify Food and Drink.
- L1: Cause Fear, Divine Favor, Obscuring Mist, Sanctuary x2, and (Domain) Personal Haste.
- L2: Augury, Enthrall, Hold Person, Silence, and (Domain) Psychic Ritual.
- His Psychic Ritual is most commonly used to access Dreamgathering (for secret gang “meetings”), Nightforge (to equip himself and his gang with temporary “adamantine” blades to cut through walls and such), and Divination (to identify the things they steal). He may well buy Nightforge next level.
- Spell Conversion to Harming Spells (Currently Inflict Minor Wounds, Inflict Light Wounds)
- Thievery Domain: Grants +2d6 Sneak Attack. L0: Prestidigitation, L1; Personal Haste, L2; Knock, L3; Shrink Item, L4; Tricky Fingers (Skill Mastery/+10 Competence Bonus to thief skills).
- Witchery Domain: Grants +6 CP worth of Witchcraft. L0: Charm Person (Note that this version also costs a point of Power and is affected by defenses against both psionics and magic), L1: Amplify Psychic Power, L2: Psychic Ritual, L3: Magic Circle against Chaos/Evil/Good/Law, L4: Telepathic Bond.
- Witchcraft I, II (with his Domain Power), and III (with his Rituals pact). His Duties (“teach other kids about the Masked One”) and Missions (“undertake occasional missions against oppressive and over-lawful individuals”) pacts provide Mana/+3d6 (15) Power and Rite of Chi with +4 Bonus Uses, Specialized / requires a twenty-minute ritual in honor of the Masked One (may regain 4d6 Power five times per day).
- That gives him Power 45, Save DC 15, and the witchcraft powers of The Adamant Will, Dreamfaring, Glamour, Healing, The Hand of Shadows, Shadowweave (with advanced illusion-weaving), and Witchsight (12 CP).
- Volund prefers to use Glamour, the Hand of Shadows and Advanced Shadowweave for…
- Charm Person, Color Spray, Disguise Self, Hypnotism, Silent Image, and Sleep (1 Power)
- Animate Rope (or similar effects; leaving someone wrestling with their own clothing can be quite effective), Darkness, Entangle, Hypnotic Pattern, Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Minor Image (2 Power)
- Displacement, Invisibility Sphere, and Major Image (4 Power).
Finesse: Bases his Clerical Spellcasting on Dexterity rather than Wisdom (6 CP).
Innate Spell (two level one spells), Specialized and Corrupted / each is usable only once per day instead of twice, they only function in cities, and each requires the expenditure of there Power. Both use the Skill Mastery Spell Template from The Practical Enchanter. (2 CP).
- Pulse of the City: +10 Competence Bonus to a single Gather Information check.
- Lore of the Crowds: +10 Competence Bonus to a single Knowledge / Local check.
Skill Points: 20 (CP Spent) + 20 (Int) = 40 SP.
|Climb (20′ Climb)||Sp.||+2||(+8)||+10#|
|Sleight of Hand||+4||+9||+2Sy||+15|
|Spiders Fang MA||6*||+9||+15|
- *Half cost due to Adept
- ^Running his own street gang usually allows him at least a +10 Aid Another bonus on these two checks. When he’s planning a job, he will further augment those rolls with his Pulse of the City and Lore of the Crowds effects – providing another +10 bonus. “Taking 10″ will thus give him a 40 on both checks. That’s usually quite enough for a thoroughly planned-out robbery, with contingencies planned for and bonuses for all.
- #With a 20′ climb speed, checks are not normally required. When they are, a +8 bonus applies.
- Spider’s Fang Techniques (8): Attack II, Strike, Sneak Attack III, Combat Reflexes, and Light Foot.
- Magical Items:
- Boots of Agile Leaping (600 GP): The wearer may add his or her (Dex Mod) to Jump checks instead of his or her (Str Mod) and may regain his or her feet as a swift action without provoking attacks of opportunity if he or she has five or more skill points in Balance.
- A Chronocharm of the Horizon Walker (500 GP): The wearer may take a half move as a swift action once per day.
- Alchemical Items:
- Acid Flasks x4 (for locks and safes and such) 40 GP.
- Alchemist’s Fire x3 (for diversions) 60 GP.
- Antitoxin x2 (in case someone gets poisoned) 100 GP.
- Expensive Tools:
- Masterwork Thieves Picks and Tools, 100 GP.
Volund might have a few minor potions and scrolls about, but it isn’t very likely; between his own powers and those of his companion, he rarely needs such things – and they cost money that could be better spent on his search or on enhancing Sevarangin.
Other than that, he’s got quite a lot of knives, rope, a small grappling hook, several holy symbols (including, but not limited to, several of the secret symbols of the Masked One), a shortsword, some caltrops, a small crowbar, an assortment of random bits and pieces, and some pocket money – as well as several modest caches worth a total of about a eight hundred gold pieces stashed away in various well-hidden locations.
Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in a Freeware PDF Version, in Print, and in a Paid PDF Version that includes Eclipse II (245 pages of Eclipse races, character and power builds, items, relics, martial arts, and other material) and the web expansion.
- d20 Dreamspawn – Sevarangin (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse d20 – Conley Mac’Gregor (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Yuki Tendo – Champions to Eclipse d20 (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Eclipse d20 – Playing Half-Dragons and High-ECL Races (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Children’s Crusade – Part IV (ruscumag.wordpress.com)