Eclipse d20 – Binding Mysterious Spirits VII, Ansitif, Eligor, Marchosias, and the Exemplars of Magic.

As usual, all of these Mysteries build on the powers of the basic Bokor Package – although that is cheap enough that it’s normally well worthwhile.

Ansitif (32 CP + 3 CP Disadvantage / Ansitif exists to destroy sacred things, and his channelers will always make sacred places, holy relics, and people linked with the upper planes their primary targets).

Ansitif or Ancitif was apparently a lesser demon who was involved in the possession of the Nuns of Louviers in the 1600’s – possessing Sister Barbara of St. Michael – and that’s about it. He was one name on a long list. From there he (probably he anyway; most medieval demons seem to be he’s) became a quick note in some of those medieval catalogs of demons which scholars of religion and the occult spend so much effort compiling. Those demonic catalogs became a source for a list of (completely undeveloped) demon lords in first edition AD&D. He later got fleshed out a bit in the Fiendish Codex and Dragon Magazine for third edition. In 3.5 he became a Vestige, bestowing some fairly generic demonic powers – which is about what you’d expect given that the grand total of actual source material on this one seems to be about three sentences long. And that’s terrible.

I think I’ll give him some more demonic powers. Why not?

Ansitif the Corruptor is a true spawn of the abyssal depths. He comes from nowhere, he exists only when summoned, and he creates misery with no reason or purpose beyond corruption for it’s own sake. With neither body nor motivation to call his own, he exists merely through his summoner-victims – who thus cannot escape taking full responsibility for choosing to fill their souls with dark power and work evil upon the world.

  • Speaks Infernal (1 CP).
  • Channeling (Abyssal Energies), 1 Use with +4 x (Cha Mod) Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (8 CP), Conversion, two sets of four level five spells, corrupted for increased effect (level seven effects) and Specialized for Reduced Cost (12 CP) / the user radiates evil, attracts holy opposition, will find any good divine abilities they may possess twisted into evil versions, his or her alignment will become evil, he or she can be affected by spells that target evil outsiders, if he or she dies while channeling Ansitif once (if) resurrected he or she will never be able to stop doing so, the user can only produce the same spell effect once every five rounds and may only use two spell effects per three rounds, and whenever Ansitif’s power is employed small evils will grow nearby as dark thoughts gain prominence, cursed items become more easily found, and the lower planes whisper temptations to the vulnerable. The available spells are Blasphemy, Bestow Greater Curse, Dread Litany (as per Prayer, but the bonus and penalties are +4 and -4 respectively), Destruction, Energy Immunity (Fire, Acid, and Cold only), Infernal Transformation, Infernal Vigor, and Planeshift (only to and from the lower planes, with Medium Range). Save DC’s are (17 + Cha Mod).

Infernal Vigor (Transmutation, Cleric 7, Casting Time 1 Standard Action, Components V, S, DF, Range Close, Targetes 1 creature/level, no two more than 30 feet apart, duration one round per level, Fortitude Negates, Spell Resistance Yes.

Your targets are filled with an unholy vigor. For the duration of this spell, each affected target can choose one of the following bonuses for that round at the beginning of its turn (their choice): 1) +60′ Speed. 2) May stand up if prone and/or take a bonus move action without provoking attacks of opportunity. 3) Make an extra attack, on or off initiative, at it’s full BAB. 4) Gain a +4 (dodge) bonus to Attacks, AC, and Reflex Saves. 5) Cast a single spell of level four or lower as if it has +1 level of any desired metamagic on it. Targets may not use both one of these bonuses and any ability derived from the powers of the upper planes in any one round; they must choose to use one or the other. (Yes, this is a basically a metamagiced version of Pathfinder’s Blessing of Fervor).

  • Improved Spell/Power Resistance, Specialized for Reduced Cost/only against Divine Magic (6 CP).
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses, Corrupted/only while performing evil acts (8 CP).

Ansitif is a spirit of the void, a dark mirror to the finer qualities of creation. When someone looks too long into the abyss… it is Ansitif who looks back. His powers are little more than raw malice given form, including the ability to set an infernal flame burning within mortal flesh to provide it with demonic (and subtly addictive) vigor. His summoners are granted power in exchange for becoming a gateway through which evil seeps into the world. But all too many are willing to make that bargain, falling to the temptation of using the dreadful spells and powers he offers.

On the practical level, Ansitif offers a good selection of offensive powers. Blasphemy is selective and very nice against appropriate enemies, Bestow Greater Curse is a Will Save-or-Suck, Dread Litany is a nice no-save area-effect buff/debuff combination, Destruction is a Fort Save or Die (with decent consolation damage on a save), and Planeshift (with range!) is an effective Will Save-or-Lose. That’s not a bad selection of options even without throwing in a few other buffs as lagniappe.

Eligor (32 CP + 3 CP Disadvantage / Compulsively Honorable. Those channeling Eligor will find themselves accepting challenges, fighting honorably, protecting children, and keeping their word – if not necessarily being “good”).

Eligor is from the Ars Goetia, where he is said to “discover hidden things and know the future of wars and how soldiers should meet. He attracts the favor of lords, knights and other important persons. He is depicted as a knight carrying a lance, an ensign and a scepter”.

OK, so knight it is and mounted combat it shall be.

  • Warmage. All effects Specialized and Corrupted/they require gestures, incantations, and a spell component pouch to work, involve invoking Eligor, have ominous and disturbing special effects, cause the user to display obvious physical stigmata related to Eligor (these also reveal some their current powers to the knowledgeable), and provoke rather strong reactions in people. Bokor are generally regarded with great suspicion by Clerics and similar characters given that they call on strange and unreliable beings – some of them beyond the influence of the gods themselves.
    • Witchcraft/Wrath of the Sea at Double Effect. The user may spend 1 Power as a free action to gain a +12 bonus to Str for the next ten minutes (4 CP).
    • Witchcraft/Bones of Iron at Triple Effect (6 CP).
    • Witchcraft/Leaping Fire (2 CP).
  • The Inner Fire, Specialized for Increased Effect (Bonus “Slots” are converted into Power (2 Points/Level of the bonus slot, bonus slots converted to Power cannot be used for other purposes) and the user may select psionic abilities from the Psychic Warrior list) and Corrupted for Reduced Cost (The user is restricted to effects of level three and below, the caster level and safe usage level limits (Casting Level = 1/2 User Level, Maximum level of spell usable safely = User Level/4, rounded down) of The Inner Fire continue to apply. These are normal manifestations, not supernatural powers (4 CP).
    • L1) Call Weaponry, Deaden Blow, Inspire Mount, Defensive Precognition, Vigor, and Inertial Armor.
    • L2) Concealing Amorpha, Body Equilibrium, Damp Power, Detect Hostile Intent, Incite Bravery, and Psionic Lions Charge.
    • L3) Breath Barrier, Dimension Slide, Ectoplasmic Form, Evade Burst, Greater Concealing Amorpha, Hooves (Claws) of the Vampire
      • Using Charisma-Based Bonus Spell Slots… Charisma 12+ = +2 Power, 14+ = +6 Power, 16+ = +12 Power, 18+ = +20 Power, 20+ = +32 Power, 22+ = +48 Power, and so on.
  • Doubled Damage when Charging, Specialized/only while mounted (3 CP).
  • Split Movement (Attacking), Specialized/only while mounted (3 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +6 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only for Power (7 CP).
  • Steed of Eligor / Birth of Flames (6 CP):

Steed of Eligor: Large Psychic Construct. 10d10+30 HP (85 HP), Initiative +1, Speed 40 (50 as a Quadruped, 70 Flying), AC 10 + 15 Natural +3 Martial Art +1 Dex -1 Size = 28, Attacks +21/+21/+21/+21 for 1d12+12 with Crit 20/x2 and 10′ Reach, Fort +3, Ref +4, Wil +3, Str 33, Dex 13, Cha 10, Wis 11. Darkvision 60′, Construct Type and Traits. May be manifested, or returned to mental “storage”, for 1 Power.

Construct Options:

  • Sentient: Int 10, 40 SP (Perception +10, Acrobatics +23, Equine Martial Style +21 (+4 to Attack, Defenses +3 to AC, Damage 1d12, Combat Reflexes, Mobility, Improved Bull Rush), and Fly +10]. Three Feats: Air Heritage (+30 Flight Speed, +2 to Acrobatics), Mystic Link with the Identity Link Upgrade (Rider and Mount are both affected by relevant powers and magic), and Fortune (Reflex Variant).
  • Extra Attack. This provides two extra attacks for more powerful constructs. These have already been included above.
  • Fast Healing II. Note that this continues even when the Steed is not manifest, so it will almost always be fresh.
  • Bonded: May be mentally commanded / communicated with as a free action.
  • Fly x 2 (40 feet, 70 total, Average Maneuverability).

The steed is a pretty good mount, even at rather high levels.

This version of Eligor makes you an aerial knight, Yes, you’ll want some weapon proficiencies, some existing Power, and a few moments to get ready – but Eligor can provide you with some major boosts to strength and armor class, a fast flying mount that can rip it’s way through mooks and heal you at the same time, and an immense range of other enhancements. As might be expected for a seventh level Mystery, Eligor is a very, very, good basis for a mounted warrior-gish.

Marchosias (32 CP + 3 CP Disadvantage / Compulsive. Marchosias is a horrible liar (suffering a -3 penalty on bluff checks) and always tries to follow through when he announces his intentions. If his channeler says that he or she is going to kick in the door and duel the evil emperor, than that’s what he or she is going to do).

According to the Ars Goetia, Marchosias appears as a wolf with gryphon’s wings and a serpent for a tail, spewing fire from his mouth. He’s a powerful fighter, truthful, and loyal. He’s loosely associated with the moon, and – in some later sources – with shapeshifting and lycanthropy.

OK; what Wizards of the Coast did with him is hardly worth mentioning, so I think I’ll go with the classical version.

  • Augmented Bonus: Add (Cha Mod) to (Int Mod) for Skill Points through L1, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect/points may only be spent on a Hide, Move Silently, and Tumble (Acrobatics, Stealth, and Survival in Pathfinder) and must be distributed evenly between them (6 CP).
  • Witchcraft III. Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect/each basic ability is limited to a fairly specific, simple effect (rather than allowing dozens), often with additional limitations (6 CP).
    • Death Strike: Infliction, Specialized for Triple Effect / only usable once every three rounds, can only be activated as a part of a successful melee attack.
    • Void Walker: Shadowweave, Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect / only usable to enhance your ability to hide. You may hide in plain sight and, when you hide, creatures who are scrying, or who have exotic senses such as blindsense, blindsight, scent, or tremorsense must make a Listen check or a Spot check to find you, just as sighted creatures need to. In addition, if they fail to locate you, you can flank creatures that have the all-around vision special quality.
    • Bladestorm/Hand of Shadows: You may spend 2 Power and a standard action to attempt one attack at your full BAB against everyone you desire either along a 60′ line, in a 40′ cone, or in a 15′ radius around yourself. Hits inflict normal damage for your base attack.
    • Touch of Doom/Witchfire: You may spend 2 Power and a standard action to imbue one weapon (or up to 50 projectiles) with “+2″ worth of weapon enhancements of choice for the next three minutes. This stacks with dissimilar abilities from other sources (albeit not with itself) and need not include an Enhancement Bonus – but weapons without enhancement bonuses do not count as “magic”.
  • Advanced Witchcraft/Flesh Like Mist, Specialized for Increased Effect/Dire Werewolf Form only (equivalent to Bite of the Weretiger). This costs 1 Power and a Standard Action to invoke, but lasts for one hour, plus one hour per additional power spent. The first time this power is used each day it provides the equivalent of one days healing. Corrupted for Reduced Cost/Standard Bokor limitations (4 CP).
  • Advanced Witchcraft/Flesh Like Mist II (Gaseous Form): Corrupted/this cannot be activated for at least five rounds after returning to solid form, the user’s presence is easily noted by the smell of burning sulfur and the dim red glow of sparks and embers the cloud emits. It otherwise functions normally (4 CP).
  • Burning Wrath: Presence, Specialized for Increased Effect/Use requires a swift action each round, user is surrounded by wisps of flame and is blatantly obvious (equivalent to being affected by Faerie Fire), user may accidently set unattended objects within his or her aura on fire. Any enemy within 15′ is subject to the effects of a Combust spell each round (6 CP). Note that this can be used while in Gaseous Form.
  • +2d6 Mana as +6d6 (21) Power, Specialized and Corrupted/only to power the Witchcraft abilities listed above (4 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +7 Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/only for Power, only to rebuild the power pool for the Witchcraft abilities listed above (5 CP).

Marchosias is pretty straightforward; he wolfs out, he sets enemies who get too close to him on fire, and he hits anyone who is tough enough to handle being set on fire for a lot more damage. If there’s a problem getting to his targets he can try to sneak up on them – but that’s about it. Still, if you want to stomp in and hit things, or are expecting crowds of mooks to be set on fire, you could do a great deal worse than Marchosias.

Bonus Mysteries: The Exemplars of Magic (32 CP + 3 CP Disadvantage / Varies with the individual Exemplar).

The Exemplars of Magic are the spirits of various types and schools of magic or psionics – and all of them basically follow the same design

  • Sixteen levels of the Wilder psionic progression, Specialized and Corrupted for Reduced Cost / no bonus power for high attributes, all powers or spells must drawn be from an extremely narrow theme (this doesn’t actually mean much to a Mystery, but it is worth noting for those who want to build this sort of thing into other characters), the power or spell levels provided may only be used for the exemplars spells or disciplines, spells or disciplines may not be modified by other abilities, powers, or metamagical/metapsionic feats (although they may have built-in metamagic as usual), the user will be convinced that the powers of the Exemplar(s) that he or she channels represent the greatest of all magics and can be used to meet almost any eventuality (the GM may require will checks to avoid using or relying on the exemplars powers even when they’re not appropriate), opposing Exemplars may spontaneously empower opponents just to demonstrate that they’re “better”, the user is compelled to research and teach the type of magic that the Exemplar embodies when the opportunity becomes available, and the user becomes extremely competitive with those using other magics (32 CP).
  • An Exemplar also provides a +2 bonus on Knowledge/Arcana (2 CP) with a +3 Specialty in whatever kind of magic it represents (1 CP).
    • An Exemplar provides 221 Power or 123 Spell Levels with which to Manifest or Cast a set of nine psionic abilities or spells – generally one each of levels 1-8 and one extra of one of those levels, although you can drop a higher level one to get another one of a lower level. Thus Ikon drops his L5 effect to get an extra L4 effect.

Sample Exemplars:

  • Ikon of Unreality: L1) Color Spray, Disguise Self, L2) Invisibility, L3) Major Image, L4) Phantasmal Killer, Greater Mirror Image, L6) Project Image, L7) Greater Shadow Conjuration, L8) Greater Shadow Evocation. Anyone channeling Ikon suffers a -4 penalty on saves against illusion magic
  • Kalcine Firelord: L1) Burning Hands, L2) Combust, Pyrotechnics, L3) Fireball, L4) Wall of Fire, L5) Greater Fireburst, L6) Dispel Flame (Quickened Greater Dispelling, but only works against Fire effects), L7) Empowered Firebrand, L8) Empowered Quickened Scorching Ray. Kalcine absolutely HATES creatures that are immune to fire (and will insist on throwing at least three fire spells at them “just to be sure”) and sometimes causes his channelers to refer to themselves as “Tim”.
  • Raphim the Warder: L1) Resist Energy, L2) Wings of Cover, L3) Magic Circle Against Evil, L4) Greater Earthward, L5) Greater Blink, L6) Globe of Invulnerability, L7) Greater Ruin Delver’s Fortune (Double Effect), Quickened Greater Dispel Magic, L8) Quickened Wall of Force. Those channeling Raphim will insist that all plans have escape options built in and that they are, if at all possible, near a possible exit before confronting anyone.

Greater Earthward: L4, activates once per round on it’s own, on or off action, blocking 40 points of damage from any one attack as well as any special effects – poison, energy drain, or whatever – that it might have).

The Exemplars are optimized raw power – more magic than is even faintly reasonable for a Mystery to grant. The only thing that makes them even remotely playable is that they can easily create nearly as many problems as they solve. Even so, a game master should consider carefully before allowing them into a game. While their power isn’t unlimited, it isn’t going to run out soon – especially if the channeler is strong-willed enough to do anything but use it as much as possible. A character channeling four Exemplars will know as many spells as a 20’th level Sorcerer, have at least 80% more spell levels to cast them with (with no slot level limitations), and will be able to tweak his or her spell selection each day – even if that selection is subject to four reasonably tight themes. And they could trade some out for just the Theme they need and a partial resupply on those spell levels.

Honestly, if I hadn’t liked the notion of giving someone the ability to play comic-book wizard by throwing up a protective spell each round as well as doing something offensive, I probably would have just skipped this notion. It’s really that broken. Oh well. At least I’m telling you that in advance. This is definitely a Tier-1 option – and even so it’s probably less broken than Zercyll.

3 Responses

  1. I noticed that one of Antisif’s abilities is listed as “Dread Litany” in one place and “Dark Psalm” in another.

    I wanted to ask, the nature of the Exemplars implies that they’re multiple different Mysteries listed under a common heading, and so each one would need to be taken separately per rank in Knowledge (arcana). Is that correct?

    • Oops! I changed it in one spot (I liked the sound better) and forgot the other…

      More Importantly, yes; each exemplar is a separate Mystery. It’s not much of a limitation – but it’s something.

  2. […] of one kind or another, with independent personalities of some sort. These, however – like Ansitif or the Exemplars of Magic – are forces rather than creatures, and extremely unpleasant ones […]

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