The Dying Oak
Ranger of Western Duelest
Role: Rangers are deft skirmishers, either in melee or at range, capable of skillfully dancing in and out of battle. Their abilities allow them to deal significant harm to specific types of foes, but their skills are valuable against all manner of enemies.
Skills: Acrobatics + 8, Climb + 11, Handle Animal + 8, Knowledge (geography) + 8, Knowledge (nature) + 8, Perception + 9, Stealth + 11, Survival + 9, Swim + 11.
Languages: Common, Orc.
|Hit Points: 42||Hit Dice: 5d10+5||Armour Class: 20 (flat-footed 17, touch 13)|
|Attack (greatsword): + 10 (2d6+6, 19-20 x2) or + 8 (2d6+12, 19-20 x2)||Attack (longbow): + 9 (1d8+5, x3) or + 5/+ 5 (1d8+9, x3 each)|
|Combat Modifiers: Point Blank Shot, Favoured Enemy, Fang of Deepledorn, Aspect of the Falcon (Spell).||Skill Modifiers: Helpful trait, Favoured Terrain, Favoured Enemy, Aspect of the Falcon (Spell).|
Whenever Balian successfully performs an aid another action, he grants an ally a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2.
- Secret Revolutionary.
Balian gains a +1 trait bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting effects, and on Fortitude saves against drugs or poisons.
- Power Attack.
(Swap BAB for damage).
- Quick Draw.
(Free Action to draw a weapon).
- Boon Companion.
(The abilities of Fenrir are calculated as though Balian’s class were four levels higher, to a maximum bonus equal to his character level).
- Deadly Aim.
(Swap BAB for damage on ranged attacks).
- Favoured Enemy: Humanoid (humans) and Undead.
Balian gains a + 4 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against Humans and a + 2 against Undead. Likewise, he gets a + 4 or + 2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them.
Balian adds half his level (+ 2) to Survival skill checks made to follow or identify tracks.
- Wild Empathy.
Balian can improve the initial attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person (see Using Skills). He rolls 1d20 and adds his ranger level and his Charisma bonus (+ 5) to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
Balian and the animal must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.
He can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.
- Combat Style Feat.
Balian follows the Archery Combat Style feat tree. At 2nd level, he chose the Rapid Shot feat.
- Endurance Feat.
Balian gains a +4 bonus on the following checks and saves: Swim checks made to resist nonlethal damage from exhaustion; Constitution checks made to continue running; Constitution checks made to avoid nonlethal damage from a forced march; Constitution checks made to hold your breath; Constitution checks made to avoid nonlethal damage from starvation or thirst; Fortitude saves made to avoid nonlethal damage from hot or cold environments; and Fortitude saves made to resist damage from suffocation. Balian may sleep in light or medium armor without becoming fatigued.
- Favoured Terrain (Forest).
Balian gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is in this terrain. If traveling through his favored terrain, Balian normally leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though he may leave a trail if he so chooses).
|+ 1 Composite Longbow with mighty +4 and a Quiver of Arrows.|
|Ring of Resist Elements DR/5|
|Explorer’s Outfit and Cold Weather Gear.|
|3 Knives and a Backpack with Flint & Steel, Bedroll, Whetstone, 10 day’s Trail rations and a Waterskin inside.|
Timber (wolf companion)
This powerful canine watches its prey with piercing yellow eyes, darting its tongue across sharp white teeth.
Init + 2; Senses: low-light vision, scent; Perception + 10
SPECIAL: Link, Share Spells, Evasion.
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+ 2 Dex, + 4 natural)
hp 47 (7d8 + 15)
Fort + 7, Ref + 6, Will + 2
Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite + 10 (2d6 + 6 plus trip)
Str 19, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk + 4; CMB + 8 (+ 7 when tripping); CMD 20 (24 vs. trip)
Feats Run, Skill Focus (perception), Improved Natural Attack, Weapon Focus (bite), Improved Weapon Focus (bite) Improved Wolf Trip
Skills Perception + 10, Stealth + 4, Survival + 2 (+ 6 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers + 4 Survival when tracking by scent
Two years ago, the Crown Prince had declared the hunting grounds sovereign territory. There was disagreement on the new policy. Especially since the territory he had marked out naturally contained the prime game to be found in the Duelest region. There were almost no crops to be reliably grown in the arctic conditions. The people ate imported grain, foraged foods and meat. A lot of meat is needed to feed a metropolis, and nobody could afford a price hike due to a dependency on foreign trade for food. Still, the prince wouldn’t back down.
The King’s Rangers, the next summer, revealed themselves as treasonous. Formed from the lower classes to patrol the outskirts of Duelest, they declared their loyalty to the people above the crown and vowed to not let Duelest starve. In his wisdom, their captain had resolved to keep the action secret. A civil war would cost too many lives and defeat the purpose of their defection. The prince’s own secrecy regarding the matter was politically inevitable, but his resolve to drive out the rangers was absolute – especially as the first bodies to come back from the high summer hunts were of noble sons, not harts.
This summer, however, The Prince, frustrated with costly guerrilla war, had taken a bold step. He declared the forest full of banditry, thereby gaining the use of the City Guard in full strength. By late autumn, the forest was nearly cleared of its rangers. Those remaining, like Balian, had been the young, inexperienced few who had been kept back from the fighting. They did not realise that the king had ordered amnesty and the cessation of hostilities a week ago, after the Bloodbath of Juniper Glade had revealed the slaughter of his King’s Rangers. The ramifications would be forthcoming, no doubt, but exactly what remained to be seen.
The wind whistled as it whipped through the forest. It stung Balian’s eyes as they struggled to see through the blanket of snow settling over the autumn foliage. Balian was a soldier in an anonymous war; a war that his side had lost a week ago when the Juniper Glade had fallen. Ahead of him, he saw briefly the silhouette of a broad man on horseback. Balian did his best to stay in the branches as he made his way toward it. It was likely too late in the year for the man to be a hunter, but no ranger ever rode a horse in the forest this time of year.
The silhouette emerged in the forest once more. This time proximity allowed it colour. It was a city guardswoman, beyond doubt, with her sword sheathed and with a weathered scroll unfurling between her widening hands. Balian drew his notched arrow back slowly as he hid. The woman cleared her throat and, masked by the sound, Balian released the projectile into her ribcage. Stealing forward, Balian was wary of the horse whinnying and cavorting in response to its master’s unexpected demise. Kneeling down in the scarlet snow to inspect his quarry, Balian was exposed in the clearing as he read the fragile proclamation that had been echoed through the Prince’s Forest in order to stem the bloodshed. The paper carried the king’s seal. Stunned, Balian heard the soft crunch of the snow behind him far too late.
Granted amnesty by the king, the ranger was spared immediate death. Having slain a lieutenant of the city guard, he was thrown into a cell. Within the Duelest prisons, he awaits his trial…