Delmar Oakshield Among the most holy of mortals, a tragic few will eventually fall from the path of righteousness. Some fall because they embrace dark powers and methods, hoping to turn them to the service of good. Of these poor lost souls, a scant few can be salvaged and put in the service of righteousness once more; Delmar Oakshield was such a mortal and his tale continues to inspire those that seek the light today. The Saga of Delmar OakshieldShow
“I get it. You were desperate and had nowhere else to turn. You thought, what is the loss of your immortal soul compared to the deaths of your beloved friends and family? So you made a deal, sold your soul in return for the means to save your country.
But your soul wasn’t yours to sell.” -The Archangel Castiel, arguing the case of Delmar Oakshield before the Inevitable Court
Many centuries ago there lived a devoted Paladin named Delmar Oakshield. Though he was trained for battle he loved peace, and raised a family in an idyllic farming town where he also led the local temple. He had contentment rarely achieved in this world.
Inevitably things took a turn for the worse, or this wouldn’t be a story worth telling. There is no reliable record of what calamity befell Delmar’s kingdom, though some have claimed Orc hordes, Demon armies, or aberrant creatures from beyond the stars. Regardless of the source, Delmar’s kingdom faced utter ruin. At hope’s end he turned to the most forbidden of lore: a devil pact. In return for his immortal soul, Delmar gained the power to command eldritch energy. Together with a group of now forgotten heroes, he put an end to the threats facing his homeland.
In the final battle, Delmar died. His soul was cut free, spiraling into the nine hells where it endured unspeakable torment for what seemed like unspeakable eons. Then, when almost all shreds of sanity and identity had been torn from Delmar’s pitiful soul, he was pulled from the pit by a miracle: the archangel named Castiel.
Delmar was taken before a strange tribunal, the Court of Souls run by Inevitables, the ultimate incarnations of Law in the multiverse. There the archangel made his case against the devil lord in possession of Delmar’s soul, arguing that as a paladin Delmar had already given up his immortal soul to his god and therefore hadn’t the right to exchange it again. In the end the court sided with Castiel, and Delmar’s soul was released from the hells. But since he had used such evil power, his soul was too tarnished to enter the afterlife of the gods.
Castiel gave him a new deal. He was to be sent back to the world of the living to earn his soul passage into the realm of the gods. If he used his powers for good, he had a chance to cleanse his soul and earn a permanent reprieve from the pit, to rejoin his family in the afterlife for all time. If not, when he died the weight of his soul’s impurities would drag him back to the hells, to languish in horror where nobody would ever be able to help him again. Thus was he given life once more.
Nobody knows what became of Delmar’s second chance in life. Since then, however, there have been others who have fallen from the path of righteousness and into evil. Of those lost souls, only those who truly devoted themselves to the powers of good and turned to sinister contracts in the utter end of hope are eligible for a second chance. Only a handful of lost souls in a generation are granted a chance at redemption- and fewer manage to turn back to the light. All those that strive to erase the sins of their past know Delmar’s story, and look to him as an example of hope in deepest despair.
Because he was the first known lost soul rescued by the Archangel Castiel, Delmar is now indelibly associated with what has become known as the Redemption Pact. Practitioners of this pact seek to atone for their past by tipping the balance of the world towards good. The Redemption PactShow
Redemption Pact “You have been given a second chance in this world, but not a clean slate. You have your past to atone for and your future to earn. The power you have been given can be used for good or for ill, but remember – we will be watching.” -The Archangel Castiel, to Delmar Oakshield
You have been sent back to the world for one last chance at cleansing your past mistakes. Your powers are granted by the Inevitables, personifications of Law and balance in the universe. They can accomplish great good or equal evil- just like you. Redemption powers cleanse your enemies from this earth, earning you a temporary reprieve from the weight of your past. If you use them on corrupted or evil targets, you are making the world a better place. If you use your power for personal satisfaction, you are sacrificing innocents to relieve your own torment.
The Redemption Pact powers are robust, aiding both your defensive abilities and your smiting potential. While you may not be as subtle as other Pacts, you make up for it in sheer determination and tenacity. After all, you’ve seen the worst life has to offer – what do you have to lose?
Delmar’s Admonishing Word: You know the Delmar’s Admonishing Word at will power.
Brand of the Fallen: By harnessing the power of your fallen enemies, you gain a temporary reprieve from the weight of your past and a boost to the power you control. When an enemy under your Warlock’s Curse is reduced to 0 hit points or fewer, you gain a +2 bonus to the next damage roll you make before the end of your next turn. This bonus is cumulative, so if 3 enemies fall you gain +6 to your next damage roll. If you do not use this bonus by the end of your next turn, it is lost.
Feat: Improved Brand of the Fallen (Warlock) Prerequisites: Con 13 or Cha 13, warlock, redemption pact Benefit: Your Brand of the Fallen inflicts ongoing 2 damage instead of the normal 2 bonus damage when you use it.
Delmar’s long and mysterious career led him to craft a number of new powers available to Warlocks today who follow in his footsteps. Delmar’s Signature Powers and RitualShow
Delmar’s Admonishing Word – Warlock (Redemption) Attack 1 I have judged you, and I find you guilty. And now I will make you pay. At Will – Arcane, Radiant, Implement Standard Action Ranged 10 Target: One creature Attack: Charisma vs. Will Hit: 1d8 + Cha mod radiant damage. If the target has made an attack including you as a target within the last round, add your Con mod as bonus damage.
Oakshield’s Redemption – Warlock (Redemption) Attack 1 Once I was a holy man; now I’ve been to hell and back. What can you do that could possibly surprise me? Encounter – Arcane, Implement, Lightning Immediate Reaction Trigger: You are hit by a creature Target: The creature that hit you Attack: Charisma vs. Fort Hit: 2d4 + Cha mod lightning damage. Special: Add 2 to each of your defenses. This bonus is applied before you take damage, and may cause the triggering attack to miss. Redemption Pact: The value of the initial boost to your defenses is 1+Cha modifier.
Delmar’s Wrathful Edict – Warlock (Redemption) Attack 29 It’s funny, the good believe that sinners should be punished and the evil seek to destroy those that stand in their way. Either way I get to annihilate you. Daily – Arcane, Radiant, Necrotic, Implement Standard Action Ranged 10 Target: One creature Attack: Charisma vs. Will Hit: 6d8 + Cha mod radiant and necrotic damage. The target is immobilized by a vortex of light and shadow, and any ranged attacks it makes treat all enemies as having concealment. Miss: Half Damage and the target is slowed, its ranged attacks are unhindered. Sustain Minor: The target takes 2d8 + Cha mod damage and is slowed. If the target spends an entire turn without using any attack abilities, you may no longer sustain this power.
Delmar’s True Judgment I’ve seen your memories, so I know you can’t be lying. But that doesn’t mean you’re telling the whole truth, either. Let’s dig deeper . . . Level: 15 Type: Scrying Time: 1 hour Duration: 6 hours Component Cost: 250 gp Market Price: 7,000 gp Key Skill: Arcana
You observe a willing individual’s memories first-hand by joining them in a dream-like state. The ritual puts both you and the subject to sleep for 6 hours in a shared dream. This dream consists of memories from the subject’s past, recalled in full and vivid detail that the subject themselves might not be aware they remember. The ritual is useful for verifying that a subject is telling the truth, as well as discovering details about past events that the subject might have neglected to mention or forgotten.
You may request that the subject show you any memory, but you will only see it (except for perhaps flickers and snatches) if the subject agrees to show it to you. You may attempt to convince the subject to show you certain memories if they are initially unwilling, of course. The complexity and detail portrayed in these dream visions is based on your Insight roll, which helps to draw the memories more fully from your subject’s subconscious.
Insight Result _ Memory Quality 15 _ You see the event in blurred detail, allowing you to view things the subject regarded as important or worth remembering. Not as useful for investigating minute details, but the subject also can’t deceive or hold back so you can at least verify their story. 20 _ Locales are more sharply defined, and minor details the subject noticed at the time and then forgot become visible. Everything beyond the subject’s immediate environs is still unviewable, and things like conversations the subject wasn’t listening to or signs the subject didn’t read are portrayed as undecipherable gibberish. 25 _ Details the subject never even paid attention to are apparent. Walking through this dream is like walking through the real world, except for a shimmering quality to everything and the fact that the world only extends within the line of sight of the dreamer. This level of the ritual is basically a replay of events as they happened, though things the subject had no way of ever knowing (like what was under the mask of the assassin whose face he never saw) can’t be discovered. This level of the ritual also allows repressed and unconscious memories to be brought to the surface.
This ritual is traditionally used for investigative purposes, but also in more esoteric instances where Redemption pact-holders desire to judge whether an individual is “righteous” or “corrupt”. The results of this ritual can have a lot of bearing on the Warlock’s judgment when he is faced with situations where he must act as both judge and jury (and occasionally, executioner).
Delmar's tale is not well known to commoners or scholars, but a good amount of information is available to PCs with enough training. Using the History SkillShow
DC 15 – The name “Delmar” shows up in many old texts referring to a mythical character of legend said to have been a paladin who clawed his way out of hell to save what he held dear. This hero was supposedly possessed of unusually powerful divine gifts that terrified any unrighteous villains who dared oppose him. DC 18 – Despite the uncertainty as to whether Delmar actually existed, there seems to be a loose society of sorts that carries on his memory. Nobody knows how they pass this tradition on because those that invoke his memory show up in places and times seemingly completely unconnected with each other. Also, contrary to common forms of the legend, the Delmar invoked by these people seems to have been the originator of many Warlock rites, which has led some commentators to speculate that the two Delmars may in fact be different people. DC 20 – Delmar was in fact a historical figure, he and other stalwart adventurers saved their kingdom from potential ruin almost 400 years ago. The final battle cost Delmar his life, but his holy order refused to grant him posthumous sainthood on the ground of certain dogmatic problems they had with his life choices. DC 25 – Delmar was cast out of his paladin brotherhood before he joined the adventuring company that saved their country. Apparently he had turned to forbidden rites of Devil contracts in order to gain the power he believed was necessary to fight the powers threatening his home. While all evidence indicates that he never gave in to evil himself, he certainly harnessed it and is said to have been dragged to hell following the final victorious fight against his greatest foe. DC 30 – Delmar had a family, and it is for their sakes that he turned from the narrow path of the paladin to the path of the Warlock. Curiously, the first recorded incidences of the Redemption Pact, which claims to be the heir of Delmar’s work, didn’t appear until almost a century after Delmar’s documented death. Still the link between person and pact are insisted on by all Warlocks available for comment. DC 35 – Delmar was in fact killed and his soul sent to hell. When he reappeared 60 years later, he adventured for a while, apparently attempting to redeem his past life of harnessing evil for the sake of power. He never discussed how he was saved from an eternal life of torment, but was apparently striving to earn the right to spend eternity with his family in the afterlife. DC 40 – The archangel Castiel occasionally saves fallen righteous souls from the hellfire and offers them a new bargain: more time on earth in exchange for their promise to earnestly work to advance the cause of good. Those that wholeheartedly fulfill this promise are saved from an eternity of torment. Others sometimes abandon their last hope for salvation and try to become powerful enough to win prestige and power when they pass on to hell.
For my signature character, I chose to supply a background (including specific history skill DCs), an original Warlock’s Pact option (including fluff, Pact boon, and bonus feat), and of course the three powers and one ritual called for in the competition guidelines. Note that the rules given in the Pact description are not meant strictly as part of the mechanics entry, but are meant as further fluff and background for the signature character. In other words, the Pact boon isn’t meant to be judged as one of the powers I am submitting, just as a cool part of the entry that is (hopefully) fun to read.
The optional elements included were: 1. At least one power or ritual was described for each tier of play. 10. At least one at-will, one encounter, and one daily power is described. 13. The ritual confers benefits based on the success of a skill roll.
Lord Captain’s Martial Exploits and Ritual (Self sacrifice is the mark of a leader)
“I prey that the church should be gifted such a leader as Lord Captain.” Bishop Thalasis of Bahumut.
“Well ‘e give us food an’ all. We wooda follerd ‘im anyways but.” Un-named soldier of the Fenturian archer company.
“Well the Lord Captain you ask me? We would have followed him to our deaths. The thing is we always knew he would lead us all to victory.” Sergeant Phalmeer of the Fenturian Rangers.
“Always before my companies were led by Lord Captains. Now they are led by Lords or Captains.The title 'Lord Captain’ it seems is reserved for one man alone” Knights Marshall Gilmore Thane Rundstedt. Fenturian Army, Commanding.
“Lord Captain” is the only name that history attributes to this great leader from the Fenturian Army. A small City-State, it survived expansion from its larger neighbors through tenacious defense. Each man and woman owed service when called upon. From these conscripts Lord Captain rose to prominence through the many years of battles. One company out-shone the others upon the field of battle time after time. The company was led by Lord Captain from the centre of fray where the fighting was most heated. Lord Captain led from the front. At great personal risk he placed himself squarely amongst the ranks of the enemy and inspired his men to follow. His example encouraged his men to break the enemy ranks through feats of daring, if for no other reason than to save their beloved leader.(History DC 10) At first the company’s performance was simply noted by Knights Marshall Runstedt but after one particularly close battle in which the company turned the enemies flank against three to one odds, the Knights Marshall summoned the Lord Captain to him. The man that presented himself as Lord Captain of the company was not the man appointed five years before. The humble man before the Knights Marshall was instead one that had been appointed by his own men and had commanded for the past four years when the company’s captain had fallen in battle. The entire army, although small enough that its commanders should not be able to escape notice, had conspired to hide Lord Captain amongst the ranks lest he be replaced with a lesser man of the Knights Marshall’s choosing.(History DC 15) When the Knights Marshall passed away peacefully in his bed some years later and the companies were once more called upon to serve Fenturia the Lord Captain was once more promoted to leadership by popular consent. The rank of Knights Marshall disappeared. The companies were now all led by warlords that placed themselves to the forward ranks following the example set by Lord Captain himself. Lord Captain would visit each company upon the eve of battle and almost with his presence alone inspire the men to meet battle the next day with added vigor. For thirty years the Fenturian army held off its neighbors and grew in prosperity. The neighboring city-states that had individually failed to dominate the battlefield then formed an alliance. When arrayed in battle formation Lord Captain simply assessed the twenty to one odds that faced his small and trapped army. Then he surrendered. (History DC 20) The army disbanded upon the field and returned to their homes. The city of Fent was raised to the ground with her population allowed free passage from the city before it was set ablaze. The various companies that had disbanded were called upon to serve their new city-state masters over time and from those ranks rose the ablest of the commanders, spreading their techniques to the new armies they soon commanded. Lord Captain himself remained captive for his remaining years. Given parole to move freely about the city that held him he wrote a history of his years with the army, listing a disproportionately high number of casualties amongst the company commanders by name. Although still humble when referring to himself, he makes mention of his piety and practice of clerical matters when not leading men in battle. He also details a ritual used to inspire the men on the eve of battle.(History DC 25)
Lord Captain’s Warlord Exploits are developed for use by professional soldiers over his thirty five year military career. He multi-classed Cleric for prayer in his Military campaign downtime where he developed his own ritual for inspiring his men prior to combat. The ritual he developed is completely non-standard. This was mostly because he never asked if it could be done. For a Warlord to use the ritual it must be in scroll form or the Warlord must somehow attain the Ritual Caster feat.
Lord Captain’s Ferocious Attack Warlord Attack 1 At some risk you lead the attack to the enemy. At will + Martial, Weapon Standard Action.... Melee Weapon Target: One Creature Attack: Strength vs. AC Hit: 1[W] + Strength Modifier Damage Increase damage to 2[W] + Strength modifier damage at 21st level Effect: All allies’ attacks against target get a +2 before the start of your next turn. Warlord suffers a -2 penalty to defense against all attacks until the start of your next turn.
Lord Captain’s Pinning Strike Warlord Attack 1 Pressing the attack you confuse your opponent. Encounter + Martial, Weapon Standard action.... Melee Weapon Target: One Creature Attack: Strength vs. AC Hit: 2[W] + Strength modifier damage. Target can not opportunity attack until the start of your next turn
Lord Captains Confrontation Warlord Attack 1 Placing yourself amongst the enemy is sometimes the best way to hold them in place.Daily + Martial, Weapon Daily + martial, Weapon Standard action.... Melee Weapon Target: One Creature Attack: Strength vs. AC Hit: 3[W] + Strength modifier damage. Both the target and warlord suffer opportunity attacks if they attempt any move action before the start of the warlords next turn…. All Allies adjacent to target or Warlord can shift 1 square.
Lord Captain’s Move in SupportWarlord Utility 2 An unexpected move leaves the enemy too surprised to act. Encounter + Martial Move Action Target: One ally Effect. Targets move action does not draw any opportunity attacks.
Ritual Lord Captain’s Eve of Battle. You encourage those around you to perform at their best in the upcoming battle. Level: 3 Component Cost: 2sp per creature Category: Enhancement Market price: 150gp Time: 1 hour Key Skill: Diplomacy (no check) Duration: 12 hours. All recipients that remain within 20 squares of the caster during the entire casting time gain +1 to their first attack in the next combat if within 12 hours. The casting time of the ritual is the time spent by the caster encouraging those affected to perform bravely. The caster must come within 5 squares of each recipient at some time during the casting of the ritual.
Addendum to “Category” pg 299 PHB Enhancement (any): These rituals provide short term benefits to items or individuals.
Addendum to “Component Cost” pg 300 PHB Common consumables (Diplomacy) Gifts of drinks, food, firewood ect. These consumables are expended by those affected by the ritual during the course of its casting.
3. Only martial powers and rituals that do not have Arcana, Heal, Nature or Religion as a key skill are described.
7. The powers and rituals would be considered useful to a single non-adventuring profession to which the signature character belonged.(Lord Captain never adventured. He was a professional Soldier)
10. At least one at-will power, one encounter power and one daily power is detailed.
Please note that optional elements .3 and .12 require a reworking of the “Component Cost” section of the Ritual casting chapter in the PHB. I don’t know if the options were a mistake or not but it set my mind “A thinkun”.
Alright! I got these books for the holidays! It's time to see how solid my grasp of the basics is! Here goes nothing!
Backstory: Gwendolyn Ganymede was always a horrid person. There were no two ways about it, she'd been a thorn in everyone's side since she could move on her own. She was blessed with above average intelligence and she made sure everybody knew it. Her parents loved her to distraction and spoiled her rotten, as the parents of this sort of person always do, and they did the best possible things they could do for her. This included entering her into an apprenticeship under a famous wizard. Gwendolyn was a star, and she learned quickly, finding a disturbing penchant for the darker sorts of spells.
As she grew in power it seemed to be a sure thing that she would be accepted without question into the capital city's premier wizarding guild. When the time came, she interviewed there and went straight home to pack her bags. The head of the guild was a wizened old woman that was known simply as Toady because at any holiday fair she could be found turning children into toads and back for a copper, and had been doing such for longer than most grandfathers could remember. Toady saw into the already rotting soul of the rising wizard and she declared that Ganymede was not to be accepted into the guild. Angered and shamed by the rebuke from the old women who seemed capable of showing only kindness, Ganymede left the city to make her own way.
Ganymede found herself a small cove along the southern coast and built a small stronghold where she could be safe when she studied, but had a plentiful supply of wildlife for food and experiments. It was here she began to learn about the Far Realm. As her knowledge grew, so did the poisonous hatred for those that snubbed her. She practiced her magic and began to tinker with the creation aspect of arcane power. She gathered books by the cartload and read them cover to cover in her endless search for knowledge. She finally found what she was looking for in a thin, worn book with a faded green cover and no title to be found. It held the secrets of actually reaching the Far Realm, but most of the book was the horror stories and warnings about what would happen to a mortal that reached said realm. Ganymede, convinced of her superior intellect and cunning, decided that the stories of the aberrations that lived there and the changes that overcame those that lingered only happened to those not wily enough to avoid them.
It took her a year and a half to prepare herself for the voyage into the madness that was the Far Realm. What she found there amazed and delighted her. She soaked up the atmosphere and gathered relics and books to take back with her. The whole time she was there, she thought about the guild and how jealous they would be of her newfound secrets. The thoughts of their jealousy began to worm into her brain and soon it was all she could think of. She began to believe that they were in her cove even as she roamed the Far Realm, trying to uncover her secrets and steal her ideas. She returned home to find her cove untouched. Feeling smug for having made it out of the Far Realm unscathed, she sat down and began to create the spells that would make the wizards guild sorry they'd rejected her. She never noticed that in her time in the Far Realm her hair had abandoned her and her skin had become thick, green and a little slimy. She never noticed the dark green swirls on her light green hands as she dipped her quill into ink, and she never noticed that her thoughts of revenge had become all consuming.
She was digging through her books looking for a good base for a spell when she came across a mistakenly bought book of humanoid anatomy and physiology. She knew then exactly what she was to do. She began making spells that would target the weakest points of a humanoid and then she would use them to take over the guild!
Gwendolyn Ganymede created five spells of varying power designed for use against humanoids, but useful against any animal. She took her spells against the guild, but upon her deathbed Toady had set out provisions in case of attack, as though she had seen this day coming. The guild easily turned Ganymede aside. Ganymede had made her own sort of provision though in case the wizards actually managed to bring her down through the might of numbers. She sold copies of her spell to several different underground guilds so that her magnificence could continue on in the face of her mortal demise.
Gwendolyn Ganymede Lore DCs: DC 15: Gwendolyn Ganymede was a talented wizard that was denied access to an ancient wizarding guild because of her already evil bent.
DC 20: Gwendolyn Ganymede had been changed into a Foulspawn Seer (pp.113 MM) by her time in the Far Realm.
DC 25: Gwendolyn Ganymede had a stronghold in a small cove along the southeastern coast where she did all her studying and experiments. The cove itself was never cleared out as far as anyone knows because no one is sure what they will find there. (Nudge, nudge- small adventure hook)
Now the good stuff!
Ganymede's Finger of Fate * Wizard Level 1 This attack deals dark damage, leaving behind a small spot of deadened flesh. At Will * Arcane; Necrotic Standard Action Ranged 10 Target: One creature Attack: Intelligence vs. Fortitude Hit: 2d8 + Intelligence Modifier Necrotic Damage
Ganymede's Divine Wind * Wizard Level 9 A shambling corpse, pulsing with dark engergy, springs forth from your fingertips and explodes when it reaches its commanded position, showering nearby foes with necrotic energy and clouds of filth. Encounter * Arcane; Poison; Necrotic; Conjuration Standard Action Area burst 3 within 10 Target: Each creature in burst Attack: Intelligence vs Fortitude Hit: 3d6 + Intelligence Modifier Necrotic and Poison Damage and the targets take ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).
Ganymede's Misery * Wizard Level 17 This spell gives it's target increased speed at a terrible price. Encounter * Arcane; Poison Standard Action Ranged 10 Target: One creature Attack: Intelligence vs. Fortitude Hit: 3d6 Intelligence Modifier poison damage and the target takes ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends both poison and haste effects). Special: Ganymede's Misery also grants it's target an extra turn at the end of each round, however, the poison takes it's effect every turn.
Ganymede's Fury * Wizard Level 25 This spell channels the caster's fury and pain into a single necrotic burst that deals heavy damage. Daily * Arcane; Necrotic; Reliable Standard Action Ranged 10 Target: You Attack: Intelligence vs. Fortitude Special: When cast on oneself, this spell lasts until the caster is bloodied, or until five rounds have passed. All the damage the caster takes from the time the spell is cast to the time she becomes bloodied adds to her fury until she unleashes it all in one furious outburst. The spell's damage is equal to all the damage the caster takes from the time the spell is cast to the time she is bloodied and it is released in a burst of energy that targets the foe that bloodied her. If five rounds pass and the caster does not reach bloodied status, the spell dissipates and it can be cast again later the same day until successful. Miss: Half damage
Ganymede's Insurrection * Wizard Level 29 The target's very innards launch an all out assault, starting with blood and necrotic goo seeping from the mouth and nose, culminating in the target vomiting up necrotic waste and bits of rotting guts. Daily * Arcane; Necrotic Standard Action Ranged 10 Target: One creature Attack: Intelligence vs. Fortitude Hit: 4d6 + Intelligence Modifier necrotic damage and the target takes ongoing 5 necrotic damage as his guts continue to rot and be vomited up. Unless immediate healing and regeneration are forthcoming, the target has five rounds before he is no longer able to function due to lack of vital organs. Miss: Half damage, and no rot.
Optional Elements: 1)I detailed powers for each tier of play 9)The signature creature was aberrant (a Foulspawn Seer) 10)I detailed at least one At-Will, one Encounter and one Daily Power