Atheria is not a world for men, but merely a place of refuge.
It’s ways are old beyond measure, the presence of men yet young upon it.
It’s magic runs it’s own way, it’s depths beyond men’s mastery.
In each great domain one power holds sway, binding with each new life.
A Birthright that shapes the region, and the life within it, in it’s own image.
The realms of Order, of the Sun, of Blood and Shadow, of Life – and of Death.
Men trespass upon antiquity, challenging the order of things.
They press beyond the ancient boundaries, seek to shape the world to their will.
What course shall you set? What legacy shall you leave?
Long ages past, mankind fled some terrible enemy. Their defenses broken, their lore lost, their heroes, mages, priests, and gods themselves slain, and their world fallen. They fled across the myriad worlds, the Thousand Scales of the Dragon, and sought refuge at the end – or perhaps the beginning – of creation, in Atheria. There, in the domains of the Realm Lords – powers far, far, greater than their now-forgotten original realms fallen gods had ever been – they sealed the paths between the worlds behind them with mighty barriers and, knowing that it was easier to seek forgiveness than to ask permission, begged for shelter.
And their plea was granted. If the world-slayer battered at the gates of Atheria, the barriers and the Realm-Lords barred its path – and men found new strength, healing old wounds and learning to tap into the powers that sheltered them.
But nothing lasts forever. The ancient barriers have fallen, and the ways between the worlds are once more open. The wild power of the Dragon’s Breath – the primordial Chaos between the worlds – is flowing into Atheria once more, grounding itself in the earth and stone of the world, and rising again as pools and fonts of geomantic power.
Whether or not the ancient enemy still awaits to complete its work… mankind will be visiting the realms beyond once more, finding worlds which men may shape to their will rather than being mere guests of the Realm Lords.
Gedion has seen the hints among the stars and in the coils of time – and feels the swelling power of the Dragon’s Breath flowing in, ready for those with the lore to tap. It is greatest, or course, in the realm of Dimensional Magic – where intrusions from the beyond, and expeditions into it, will soon be a common thing.
Gedion has spent years studying the art of coaxing such power into the flower of a Ward Major – and now intends to harness that geomancy. With the aid of mystic architecture he intends to build structures to focus that power and channel it outwards, to allow others to draw on it wherever they may be. If humanity is to face the unknown dangers of other worlds and the spaces between them, he will see those who go forth as well-equipped to meet the challenges to come as he can arrange. Already he has sacrificed much for his personal power, for such a goal… he would willingly sacrifice far more.
Earthmaster Gedion, Barbarian Wardforger
Atherian Bear Barbarian: +6 Constitution (12 CP), +6 Strength (12 CP), +1 Natural Armor (Defender, 4 CP), d4 Claws (Martial Arts, 2 CP), and +3 Survival. All bear barbarians have the Incompetent (-3 penalty on social skills) disadvantage, for +3 CP.
Note that Atheria uses the half-price attributes rule and that the Barbarian animalistic racial templates are Corrupted: they include obvious animalistic features and powerful animal instincts. Combined with the price break for having attributes in a Template, this means that they get some very high attribute bonuses indeed for a +0 ECL race – not that the other Atherian “Races” are weak…
Available Character Points: 132 (L4 Base +16 points towards L5) + 18 (L1, L2, L4 Bonus Feats) +8 (Duties/Preparing the Ways) +10 (Disadvantages: Blocked/Mystic Artist abilities, Poor Reputation/known Blood of The Dragon user, and History) = 172 CP.
Basic Attributes: 28 Point Buy / Purchased Str 8 (0), Int 16 (10), Wis 12 (4), Con 14 (6), Dex 10 (2), Chr 14 (6). Self-Development +1 Str (L2), +1 Chr (L4). Blood of the Dragon (-5 Str), Racial +6 Str, +6 Con.
Net Attributes: Str 10 (+0), Int 16 (22 for Skill Purposes) (+3 / +6), Wis 12 (+1), Con 20 (+5), Dex 10 (+0), Chr 15 (+2).
Basic Abilities (49 CP).
- Hit Points: 6 (L1d6, 2 CP) +17 (L2-L4: d6, 6 CP) +20 (Con Mod x 4) = 43 HP.
- Skill Points: 8 SP (Purchased, 8 CP) +42 (Int Mod x 7) +4 (Wealth Level) = 54 SP.
- BAB: +2 (12 CP)
- Fortitude: +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) +5 (Con) = +7
- Reflex: +2 (Purchased, 6 CP) +0 (Dex) = +2
- Will: +0 (Purchased, CP) +1 (Wis) = +1
- Combat Information:
- Proficiencies: All simple weapons (3 CP), Light Armor with the Smooth modifier (6 CP).
- Initiative: +0 (Dex)
- Move: 30′
- Armor Class: 10 (Base) +1 (Natural Armor) +5 (Breastplate) +1 (Martial Art) = 17
Adept of the College of Celestial Magics (60 CP).
- 5 Caster Levels, Specialized in Adept Spellcasting (15 CP).
- 6 Levels of the Spontaneous Adept Spellcasting Progression with no Caster Levels, Specialized for Double Effect / Provides spells known only, with no spell slots (18 CP). (10 Cantrips, 6L1 Spells, 4 L2 Spells: L0: Create Water, Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Guidance, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Read Magic, Stabilize, Touch of Fatigue, L1 Cause Fear, Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Obscuring Mist, Protection from “Evil”, Sleep. L2 Cure Moderate Wounds, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray. Most of these have geomantic or astrological special effects, but function normally).
- 6 Levels of the Spontaneous Adept Spellcasting Progression with no Caster Levels, Specialized for double effect / Provides spells known only, with no spell slots, Corrupted for Reduced Cost; Astrological Magic / Spells known are determined by the GM according to the current state of the night sky – although they will always include “Read The Stars” (L1), which gives vague hints as to whatever the GM feels like giving out information about today. Currently this provides 10 Cantrips, 5 other L1 spells, and 4 L2 spells) (12 CP).
- Five dice of Mana as 10d4 (33) Generic Spell Levels, Specialized/only to fuel spontaneous adept spellcasting (15 CP).
Geomantic Mastery (36 CP):
- Shaping, Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (L1 spells): Earth Magic only, only his Earthshaping spell (6 CP).
Gedion has infused himself with the Blood of the Dragon – giving up five points of Strength to forever be able to cast a Sixth Level Greater Invocation (Earthshaping) as a first level spell – producing Earthshaping effects of up to level four. Unfortunately, this is a trick that only works on Atheria (or any world that allows the use of the Blood of the Dragon) – but you can do much the same thing in superheroic worlds with Mana, essentially creating various types of elemental superheroes.
Earthshaping (Produces effects of up to two levels below the level of the Invocation used. A Greater Invocation from The Practical Enchanter.
Earthshaping covers moving and shaping Earth and Stone – opening pits, raising or crumbling walls, hurling boulders, digging trenches, faceting gems, creating bridges, raising spikes, parting avalanches, building structures, and many similar tasks. At it’s fringes, it can be used to make bricks, melt or solidify rock, smelt metal, mend flaws in crystals, turn clay into pottery, and sand into shaped glass. It’s effects on refined metal are, however, greatly reduced (-3 levels) and it cannot transmute materials at all. Thus it cannot turn one kind of crystal into another, cause (or reverse) petrification, alter the properties of earth or stone, or otherwise change the nature of earth and stone beyond what applying or removing heat will do.
- Occult Sense / Geology and Geomancy. Gedion can sense mineral deposits, ley lines, caverns, how far he is below the surface, the likelihood of avalanches, earthquakes, and collapses, and similar things (6 CP).
- Leadership, Exotic, Constructs: Specialized and Corrupted for Increased Effect (the Ward Rank may equal the User’s Level, and the total number of available levels is 4 x (Level + Cha Mod)) / Wards Major Only, Wards must be called into being at magical power nexi through the construction of massive (small-castle sized at a minimum) stone structures designed by a Mystic Architect – although only the construction of the structure is required. The resulting Wards have a strong tendency to bestow Distant Gifts, but their powers will also be flavored by the designs of the Mystic Architect (12 CP).
- Adept (Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering, Geography, History, and Nature) (6 CP).
- Ritual Magic (Atherian Knowledge-Based Rituals version) (6 CP).
Other Special Talents (27 CP):
- +6 Int for Skill Purposes Only (18 CP).
- Luck, Specialized in Saving Throws (3 CP).
- Affluent Wealth Level (6 CP). The benefits here include…
- Armor, Shields, and Weapons are treated as “Masterwork”.
- Exotic pets, warbeasts, and packtrains are available. Gedion’s personal steed is, of course, from the Barbarian Lands – and so is an impressively powerful beast.
- Five Charms and two Talismans (Commonly a Lens of Memory, Traveler’s Bedroll, Vanishing Cloak, and Weave of Light for Charms, and Endless Rope and Rubydraught for Talismans).
- Retainers: A couple of competent guards, a small entourage, and various employees. Most of them are horse-barbarian slaves, but there are a scattering of other barbarian types among them.
- +2 Wealth Bonus to Diplomacy and Ride
- +1 Skill Point per Level.
Skills (54 SP):
Languages: Ikunn, Illerian, Havril, Chordath, Draconic, and Varalung (Local languages of the Atheria setting).
- Knowledge: Architecture and Engineering, Geography, History, and Nature. All +7 (3 SP each due to Adept, 12 SP total), +6 (Int) = +13
- Knowledge: Arcana, Local, Nobility and Royalty, Religion, and Planes. All +1 (1 SP each, 5 SP total) +6 (Int) = +7
- Rolling Earth Martial Art +7 (7 SP) +5 (Con) = +12. Known Techniques: Toughness IV, Defenses I and Blind-Fight.
- Diplomacy +7 (7 SP) +2 (Cha) -3 (Race) +2 (Wealth) = +8.
- Spot +7 (7 SP) +0 (Wis) = +7
- Survival +7 (7 SP) +
- Intimidate +7 (3 SP for Tier 2 Skill) +2 (Cha) = +9
- Profession/Astrologer +7 (3 SP for Tier 2 Skill) +6 (Int) = +13
- Ride +7 (3 SP for Tier 2 Skill) +0 (Dex) +4 (Wealth Bonus) = +11
Note that all Knowledges provide related magical rituals on Atheria. You can find a lost of examples HERE. The setting also uses Tiered Skills – making the less commonly used skills correspondingly cheaper.
Gedion… isn’t an enormously powerful adventurer. He’s a visionary, a builder, and a potential world-changer. If he picks up some levels and fulfills his goals he could easily leave behind a half-dozen to a dozen Epic Wards – capable of protecting cities, supporting magical industries, bestowing major powers on tens of thousands, guarding the gates between the dimensions, and of having a major impact on the development of all Atheria. Building infrastructure isn’t exactly the usual way that d20 characters make an impact – but it’s certainly a practical approach and one that’s less likely to get you killed than most.