In light of usability, I have gone through the feedback given regarding my entry and amended it here for anyone who wishes to use it in the future. (Yes, I'm aware the contest is over, call me a perfectionist.)
Prerequisites: The character must be in possession of the Talisman of the Bandretto in order to be brought into this path.
Over the centuries, individuals across the spectrum of races and professions have excelled in their calling - and many become somehow changed by their paths. This change is something you have sought out - what did they all have in common? What was the connection? The secret lies before you, calling you. An innocuous toy, it looks to be. Yet you know something of its power, you see the secret to opening it, you can hear the whispers in your mind, see the images in your dreams. Timeless, ageless, soulless, the place from which it comes calls you...and you choose to answer...
You realize that the world is broken, sharded, and in order to bring it back to perfection it must be united with the Far Realm, from which it was stolen so long ago. If given opportunities to expand the influence of the Far Realm on the Material plane, you pursue them as the only rational course of action. As you grow in power and ability, you come to the conclusion that the world cries out for you to reunite it with the formlessness and emptiness from which it came.
Your purpose is clear.
Infected Aberrant Path Features
Eye of Horror (11th Level): Your gaze penetrates your victim's soul or spirit, bending their sense of reality. Once per encounter, you place a Mark of Horror a target as a minor action. That target must make a passive perception check that exceeds 10 + 1/2 your level in order to take any action that specifically targets you. Area and blast types are unaffected by this. This mark lasts until the end of the encounter or until the target is rendered unconscious or dead.
Guise of Emptiness (12th Level): Once per day, you may surround yourself with wisps of nothingness, partially passing out of reality for a critical moment. Until the end of your next turn, you are Insubstantial to non-aberrations.
Chill of the Void (16th Level): When you hit a target that has your Mark of Horror upon it with any attack, that target must make a saving throw or be Slowed until the end of your next turn.
Infected Aberrant Powers
Gaze of Horror - Infected Aberrant Encounter 11
As you focus your violent intent upon your enemy, the pain and chill of horror penetrate its soul.
Encounter * Arcane, Psychic, Fear, Gaze
Free Action Ranged 10
Trigger: You attack an enemy
Target: One creature
Attack: Charisma vs. Will, Intelligence vs. Will, or Constitution vs. Will
Hit: The character must choose an ability to use with this power when it is first gained. That choice may not be changed afterwards. 1d10+ability modifier psychic damage and the target is Dazed until the end of your next turn. Aberrations are unaffected by this power.
Step of the Void - Infected Aberrant Utility 12
As exhaustion settles in on you, additional attacks force your soul to take refuge in the solace of the Void. Unreal colors, sounds and smells spill out of the tear in space-time through which you flee, leaving those around you spinning with sensory overload.
Encounter * Arcane, Teleportation
Immediate Reaction Close Burst 1
Trigger: You are hit by an attack while bloodied
Target: Each creature in burst
Attack: Charisma vs. Fortitude
Hit: 1d6 + Charisma modifier psychic damage.
Effect: You may teleport up to 3 squares away from your current location. All creatures hit by the burst (which is centered on your original position) are Dazed (save ends) as a result of the mental and physical discombobulating effects of the leaking unreality to which they are subjected. Aberrations other than you are unaffected by this power.
Rip the Soul - Infected Aberrant Attack 20
Your attack strikes home, and feeling the blood of your enemy in your mind, you rip the fabric of reality to spill the stuff of a foreign universe into its very spirit. As it bleeds, you feel your third eye rush with invigoration.
Daily * Arcane, Psychic
Standard Action Ranged 10
Target: One creature
Effect: 3d10 + Charisma Modifier psychic damage, and ongoing 10 psychic damage (save ends). The target is Slowed while this ongoing damage persists (even if resistance results in no damage). While this ongoing damage continues, you gain +4 on all perception checks and are immune to invisibility effects (this effect ends on target's first save, aftereffect does not provide you this benefit).
Aftereffect: Ongoing 5 psychic damage (save ends).
Miss: Half damage, and ongoing 5 psychic damage (save ends)
New Magic Item:
Talisman of the Bandretto
The Talismans of the Bandretto are small things, generally charms, trinkets, toys, puzzle-boxes, or other innocent-appearing but well-crafted items suspended by a chain (neck slot item). They are named after the Bandretto, a wasp-like aberration known for its corruption of living tissue, and which constructs a very well-made nest that has the appearance of carved crystal or stone (whether a relationship actually exists between the Bandretto and the Talismans is unknown). A Talisman is rarely directly identified as such until after its owner suffers its warping effects. If detected for, it radiates a slight aura of arcane magic along with a form of magic the caster cannot identify.
In reality, the Talismans
are devices of infiltration, seeded in our universe by agents of the Far Realm, intended to capture and subvert living beings into servitude. None know exactly who or what controls these devices or uses them - only that they have a tenuous link to the unknown, and that they seem to transmit their senses into the void.
Lvl 8 3,400 gpProperty:
The possessor of the Talisman of the Bandretto
gains a +2 natural bonus to all defenses and saving throws while wearing or carrying the Talisman
, and Resist 5 Psychic. This effect is not cumulative with any other effect.Property:
After three days of wearing a Talisman
on the body (as opposed to carrying it) for the majority of the day, the Talisman
has is preparing to embed itself in the bearer. If examined closely, the Talisman
appears to be attracted to a bearer in much the same fashion that a magnet is attracted to iron. The Talisman at this point extends a mild form of domination
on the bearer, influencing it only to retain possession of the Talisman (to the death if necessary). It may be removed by force or stealth with no other untoward physical consequences, and in eight hours the bearer will no longer suffer the desire to retain the Talisman
At the end of the fifth day of wearing the Talisman (and every day thereafter until the save is failed or the Talisman removed), the bearer must make a saving throw. On a failure, the Talisman extrudes a set of wires and tentacles that embed themselves (uncomfortably, if not painfully) in the bearer's flesh. Once embedded, a Remove Affliction ritual is the only method by which to separate the bearer from the Talisman before the next stage. For 48 hours from the failed save nothing else apparent occurs. In reality, the Talisman is threading itself deeper and deeper into the creature, penetrating all vital organs - including the brain.
48 hours later, it becomes permanently affixed to the bearer's flesh wherever it lies and unfolds itself into its true form - that of a dark greyish-pink tumorous growth sporting a single eye that oozes pus slowly and constantly (iris colors vary, and whether the eye is borne upon a mobile stalk is up to the DM). The possessor's flesh takes on a dirty hue, with visible stringy discolorations and wiry tendrils apparent just underneath. The bearer now is considered to have an origin of Aberration. The Talisman loses its inherent bonuses and no longer occupies the neck slot.
Over the course of weeks, months, or years, the bearer will abandon any Paragon Path it had previously chosen (forever losing access to any powers or social connections such path might have granted), and will instead adopt the "Infected Aberrant" path.
The bearer will always choose to wear clothing that conceals its new eye from the notice of others (assuming such notice would draw unwelcome consequences), but which is loose or thin enough that the eye can see its surroundings. When alone or among others who would be unaffected by its exposure, it will leave the eye open for a clear view. The Talisman itself has no intellect and cannot be communicated with - it is an observation device and links the bearer back to the powers of the Far Realm, or perhaps the Realm itself. Damage to the eye itself will self-repair in less than 24 hours, and the bearer will resist such damage as a creature threatened with mortal harm would. If the bearer is slain permanently (i.e., no method of resurrection or raising is possible), theTalisman will revert to its original innocuous form and await the chance to be claimed by a new bearer.
A Talisman may be destroyed as any common object of stone or crystal would be. It cannot be disenchanted, as it is more appropriately characterized as a living thing than a magic item.