Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Raven Queen's Psychopomp

 The Lady of the Dead hasn't always been. It is said that she was once a mortal woman who, in a time of war between the gods, saw an opportunity to seize their power for her own. She attracted a boundless multitude of zealots to Her cult of ascendence who willingly gave their lives to her arrogance. But this seed of hubris blossomed in turn among her cultists as each sought too to gain divinity. This corruption spoiled her plots, destroying her and banishing her followers from the face of the world. Truly it is folly to try to be as the gods.

Yet that was not her only story. Another story tells of her time in the Underworld. It tells of her fading memories and power evaporating in those abyssal depths and her desperate struggle to be what she was destined. Her fight caught the attention of the Lord of the Dead who admired her spark in that most gray of places. So he watched her and slowly came to admire her before eventually making her into his queen. He had thought to make her a plaything. But her will was the mightier. Through some lingering magic, through the strength of her rebuilt identity, through incredible pride of his own, she wrenched his mantle away. The Lord of the Dead was now the Lady of the Dead. Some fires are so bright they burn even the gods.

Written for OSE/LotFP because I've previously contended that the most interesting parts of 5e are the subclasses and that the more interesting among them (sans base class) could make something cool. This is from the Warlocks and Wizards Unearthed Arcana. Also, I don't like the default cleric and I wanted to see if I could cover the same ground more evocatively.

by Jeff Simpson

Saves, hit dice, attack bonus, and experience as a cleric.

1st Level She moves with the silence of the tomb. The Psychopomp starts with a 2-in-6 Stealth rating which increases like the Elf's Search/Thief's hear noise skill. 

1st Level By raising up and presenting her holy symbol, the Psychopomp can manifest her deathly presence which is anathema to even the most driven undead. Each group of similar undead within 30' must roll 2d6+the psychopomp's level. Those that roll lower than their current hitpoints are only minorly discomfited but otherwise unaffected; if they roll higher than their current hitpoints but lower than their HD, they prostrate themselves before her divine authority and do naught but grovel until hostile action is taken against any member of that group. If they roll above both their HD and hit points, they collapse to the ground as their souls pass onto the afterlife. I've never been a fan of how turn undead works. If you don't like this alternative, just use the original.

2nd Level (Raven) Her favor and Her bond with the Psychopomp is materialized in a raven companion. The raven is a constant and obedient companion. Even more than its master, it straddles the land of the living and the realm of the dead and through this connection perceives the invisible and the incorporeal and can unerringly distinguish a corpse from the walking dead, a gift it shares when it is perched on the Psychopomp's shoulder. While so settled it is unaffected by anything but the Psychopomp herself. It watches over her when she sleeps and can always be found there come dawn if it is ever banished or killed. Finally, she can bind her body to the raven's shadow and so possess it. She can remain here as long as she likes, except it cannot in this state travel into areas without shadows, for its shadow is her own and it is in this that she hides; and she always finds herself awakening beside the raven should its consciousness ever cease. Abilities dependent on her raven are noted with (Raven) and gained on each even level.

4th Level (Raven) By envelopment with its sable wings, the raven can suffuse a foe with a misty violet glow. This has the effect of granting others a +2 bonus to attack and force the incorporeal to physically manifest. Immaterial creatures so imbued are able to be affected by the mundane, including weapons, walls, and floors, for as long as the raven remains.

5th Level The Psychopomp can bolster her companions against the clutches of death. By spending a turn anointing her companions with a bottle of holy water, she grants everyone partaking of the sacrament 1d6+her level temporary hit points and gives them a bonus to saves versus fear and morale checks equal to the level of the Psychopomp. This boon lasts 1 hour.

6th Level (Raven) Her raven grows familiar with the paths of the dead. Upon dying (or otherwise at 0 hp), the Psychopomp may make a save versus Poison on the next round to send her raven to retrieve her soul before it passes the gates of death. Success indicates she remains at the lowest possible hp that isn't a mortal wound (often 1 hp). This action exhausts all uses of the Raven for the day. 

7h Level Through acting as the psychopomp's servant, her spirit remains anchored to the physical plane moreso than others. The touch of undead cannot steal her level. 

8th Level (Raven) By consuming parts of a corpse, the raven may speak with its croaking voice for a turn. Each question asked requires the consumption of the organ in question: tongue for words spoken, ears for sounds heard, and eyes for sights seen. After a turn, the spirit passes beyond irretrievably. 

10th Level (Raven) As guardian of the threshold between life and death she can send forth her raven to expel a creature's soul from its mortal shell and send it to Her sepulchral gates. This works like the death spell/finger of death, targeting only those truly alive and with less than 8 HD. They receive a saving throw against Poison and Death to resist the effect. Since your raven is the conduit through which your target is made to pass on, you lose the use of it and all powers related to it until it returns the next day.

Mira by Seven-teenth

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