Strabo, Erythnul's Bloodiest Hand
"I'm here for your prisoner. And for the mayhem, of course."
Strabo is an imposing figure clad entirely in glossy black armor who makes a good "out-of-nowhere" villain, showing up at just the wrong moment to ruin the player characters' plans. When he appears, tales quickly spread of a hulking man in spiked black armor atop a jet-black horse, but few get close enough to get a good look at him. Thus, the secret of his half-dragon heritage can be a deadly surprise in battle.
A cleric of Erythnul, Strabo travels far and wide atop a nightmare, acting as a troubleshooter for a number of evil schemers. If local cultists report trouble with a group of pesky adventurers, for example, Strabo arrives to take care of the problem. When an important agent is captured, Strabo flies to the rescue. He revels in the carnage of combat, though he is by no means a mindless berserker: He's smart enough to realize when he's over his head, and his tactics reflect his doctrine of always having an escape plan.
Strabo: Male half-dragon (red)/half-human Clr5;CR 7;Medium-size dragon; HD 5d10+15; 47 hp; Init -1; Spd 20 ft.; AC 26 (touch 9, flat-footed 26); Atk +8 melee (1d6+5, bite), +3 melee (1d4+2, 2 claws) or +10 melee (1d8+5, masterwork morningstar); SA Breath weapon, rebuke undead 5/day; SQ Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, immunities, spontaneous casting (inflict spells); AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +1, Will +8; Str 21, Dex 8, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 16, Cha 14.
Skills and Feats: Concentration +11, Diplomacy +10, Ride (nightmare) +7; Martial Weapon Proficiency (morningstar), Mounted Combat, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (morningstar).
Breath Weapon (Su): Cone of fire, 30 ft. long, 1/day; damage 6d10, Reflex half DC 19.
Immunities (Ex): Strabo is immune to fire, magical sleep, and paralysis effects.
Spells Prepared(5/5/4/3; base DC = 13 + spell level): 0 -- cure minor wounds, detect magic, guidance, light, resistance; 1st -- change self*, cure light wounds, entropic shield, magic weapon, shield of faith; 2nd -- bull's strength, cure moderate wounds, invisibility*, spiritual weapon; 3rd -- bestow curse, locate object, nondetection*. *Domain spell. Domains: Trickery (Bluff, Disguise, and Hide are class skills), War (Martial Weapon Proficiency and Weapon Focus with morningstar).
Possessions:+1 spiked full plate, large metal shield, masterwork morningstar, cloak of resistance +1, potion of heroism, scroll of neutralize poison, scroll of raise dead, wand of cure light wounds.
Strabo's Nightmare: hp 45; see Monster Manual.
Given a chance, Strabo casts several spells before revealing himself. With an average result from bull's strength, as well as entropic shield, shield of faith,magic weapon, and the potion of heroism, he's got AC 28, with a 20% miss chance by all ranged attacks against him, an attack bonus of +14 with his morningstar (1d8+9 damage), and a +2 competence bonus on saves.
Strabo enters melee with a charge, preferably against any spellcasters. Then he uses the nightmare's movement and flight to keep too many opponents from ganging up on him at once. If the nightmare takes damage, rider and mount fly into the air, where Strabo cures the beast before returning to the fray. If combat turns against him, Strabo lifts the face mask on his helmet and uses his breath weapon (which is probably unexpected). If the fight continues to go poorly, he rides away at top speed, trusting his nightmare to elude pursuers. Strabo realizes what an asset the nightmare is, so he tries to retreat if it's in danger. He usually saves invisibility for a last-ditch escape if his nightmare falls.