Previews07/07/2005


Getting Caught Up
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Prestige Class: Cyran Avenger

"Everything I love has been destroyed. All that's left is my revenge."

-- Mirasandra ir'Thavar, a Cyran avenger

Cyran avengers remember where they were and what they were doing on the Day of Mourning -- the day their nation was destroyed. A few bore witness to the cataclysm firsthand and were driven from their homeland by rolling clouds of dead-gray mist. Others were fighting battles on foreign soil that day and escaped the devastation. They have spent the past four years piecing together their shattered lives and coming to grips with the loss of friends and family. Now, these vindictive survivors seek to uncover the cause of the cataclysm and avenge their people against the architects of the Mournland. Cyran avengers also harbor lingering animosity toward those who threatened or betrayed Cyre during the Last War, and they struggle daily to harness or put aside this hatred. They refuse to believe that Cyre had any hand in its own destruction or that the Cyran people should be unduly punished while the remaining Five Nations enjoy the peace afforded by the Treaty of Thronehold.

Becoming a Cyran Avenger

You must be a former native of Cyre to be a Cyran avenger. Moreover, you must have the courage and survival skills required to uncover the truth about what happened to Cyre and punish rival nations for the wounds they inflicted upon your people during the Last War.

Rangers have the clearest path to the Cyran avenger prestige class, although they must still acquire ranks in a couple of cross-class skills (Gather Information and Sense Motive) to qualify. Barbarians who take the Track feat as their 1st-level or 3rd-level feat choice can become Cyran avengers with equal ease. That said, Cyran avengers come from all vocations and walks of life.

Entry Requirements

Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Skills: Gather Information 4 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Survival 8 ranks.
Feat: Track.
Region of Origin: Cyre.

The Cyran Avenger Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special Spellcasting
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Avenging strike (melee), Heroic Spirit --
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Discern lies 1/day, enemy region +1 level of existing spellcasting class
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Avenging strike (ranged) +1 level of existing spellcasting class
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Speak with dead 1/day +1 level of existing spellcasting class
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Enemy region +1 level of existing spellcasting class

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level): Bluff, Concentration, Disguise, Gather Information, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival.

Class Features

As a Cyran avenger, you can make avenging strikes against enemies of the Cyran people and have extra action points to spend when it counts. Your abilities to use discern lies and speak with dead allow you to better hunt down your nation's most hated enemies. Finally, you gain certain combat bonuses when operating within the borders of enemy nations that may or may not have had a hand in Cyre's destruction.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: As a Cyran avenger, you gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Avenging Strike (Ex): Starting at 1st level, you can attempt an avenging strike on an enemy who has dealt damage to a Cyran native or ally of yours within the last hour. The avenging strike must be delivered with a melee attack. You can add your Charisma modifier (if positive) to your attack roll and deal an extra 1d6 points of damage per Cyran avenger class level. If you use your avenging strike against a creature that has not dealt damage to an ally within the last hour, the avenging strike has no effect, but that use of the ability is still expended. You can use an avenging strike once per day per point of Charisma bonus (minimum 1/day). You can also spend an action point to use your avenging strike (before the attack roll is made).

At 3rd level, you can deliver an avenging strike with a ranged attack.

Heroic Spirit: You gain Heroic Spirit (see page 55 of the Eberron Campaign Setting) as a bonus feat.

Discern Lies (Sp): Starting at 2nd level, you can use discern lies once per day. Your caster level equals your character level.

Enemy Region (Ex): At 2nd level and again at 5th level, you can select a nation from the following list: Aundair, Breland, Darguun, Karrnath, the Mournland, the Talenta Plains, Thrane, Valenar, Zilargo. While in this region, you gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, Gather Information, Intimidate, Sense Motive, and Survival checks and a +2 bonus on weapon damage rolls. This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by the ranger's favored enemy class feature.

You can permanently change an enemy region by taking a free action and spending 2 action points.

Spellcasting: At each level except 1st, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a Cyran avenger, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Speak with Dead (Sp): Starting at 4th level, you can use speak with dead once per day. Your caster level equals your class level.

Playing a Cyran Avenger

Your nation has been ravaged, but the fighting spirit of Cyre lives on within you.

The destruction of your homeland and the personal losses you have suffered ignite your patriotic fervor. You mourn the dead, but mainly in your nightmares. You devote your waking existence to destroying enemies of the Cyran people and unlocking the truth about the cataclysm that devastated your homeland and rendered it uninhabitable.

As a Cyran avenger, you walk the thin gray line between heroism and vigilantism. You must continuously hone your fighting and investigative skills and never lose sight of your primary mission: to avenge the thousands of Cyrans slain in the war and the thousands more slain on the Day of Mourning. Once you become aware of a present threat to Cyre, you seek it out with single-minded resolve. If you are smart, you cultivate a series of disguises that you can use to infiltrate an enemy stronghold or organization, enabling you to destroy it from within.

You may never determine what caused the cataclysm, but Cyre needs you nonetheless. Now that the war is over, you're free to travel Khorvaire in search of enemies who continue to plot against your fellow Cyrans. Along the way, you hope to learn how the Mournland came to be and punish those responsible.

Combat: You usually save your avenging strike ability and action points for enemies of Cyre. You prefer to operate in whatever nation you choose as their enemy region, although you should not be averse to spending action points to change your enemy region as needs dictate. Your Heroic Spirit feat grants you additional action points for this reason.

You rely on stealth and subterfuge to get close to your enemies. Therefore, you tend to wear light armor and prefer feats that improve your stealth and combat ability. If you cast spells, consider learning spells that increase your chance of hitting (such as true strike) or spells that make you difficult to spot or catch (such as disguise self, longstrider, and pass without trace).

Advancement: At lower levels, your avenging strike ability applies only to melee attacks. Eventually, you can make avenging strikes with ranged attacks. At higher levels, you gain spell-like abilities that are useful tools for gathering information.

Resources: As a Cyran avenger, you have few resources available to you. If you're lucky, you might have a family member or two abroad who can provide you with shelter and food in times of need. You might also seek refuge in New Cyre, although Prince Oargev ir'Wynarn doesn't like it when Brelish authorities come to his town in search of fugitives with rumored ties to the Cyran crown.

Cyran Avengers in the World

"These Cyran 'avengers' pose a threat to lasting peace. No amount of violence will bring back what they've lost, yet vengeance remains their sole recourse. Alas, how little the war has taught them!"

--Kirant d'Orien, dragonmarked scion living in Vathirond

Cyran avengers present an intriguing roleplaying challenge for players who enjoy characters with a dark edge to them. Seen as outlaws and vigilantes, they cling to their convictions and seek to punish the enemies of their people. They wander across Khorvaire, homeless, searching for the seeds of Cyre's destruction. However, most Cyran avengers go to their graves never having discovered the truth behind the creation of the Mournland, and that gives them a somewhat tragic quality.

Daily Life

Cyran avengers generally lead dour lives, although some cling to the hope that Cyre will one day rise from the ashes of the Mournland as a stronger nation. Some fall victim to their own vices: drinking, debauchery, and criminal activity. Others look for more worthy distractions to occupy their waking hours, as well as employment opportunities that could develop into a lead. Regardless of how they deal with their loss, all Cyran avengers carry a heavy burden and feel wronged by the outcome of the war. They hate not having a home to go back to and barely tolerate the fomenting prejudice other nations display toward them and other Cyrans.

Notables

Cyran avengers did not exist prior to the Day of Mourning. Though few in number, Cyran avengers with unsavory reputations are wanted across Khorvaire for assorted acts of violence and terrorism. Degen Korr (NG male human ranger 5/Cyran avenger 2) believes that the destruction of a large House Cannith creation forge created the Mournland, and he has obtained rumors that Karrnathi spies or Order of the Emerald Claw terrorists may have sabotaged the creation forge, triggering a magical chain reaction that caused the cataclysm. Degen Korr is wanted in connection with the attempted murder of a retired Karrnathi spymaster in Korth. The Order of the Emerald Claw also holds him responsible for the deaths of two of its agents -- one in Aruldusk and another in Starilaskur. Heroes who oppose the Emerald Claw might strike up an alliance with Degen; conversely, heroes assigned to protect a Karrnathi diplomat might discover that their charge is actually Degen's latest target.

Garu ir'Kulan (CG male longstride shifter barbarian 5/Cyran avenger 1) was adopted into a human noble family based in Eston. On the Day of Mourning, Garu was adventuring in the Eldeen Reaches and didn't get word of Cyre's destruction until months had passed. He returned to find a wall of dead-gray mist between him and his former homeland. Although he has made several forays into the Mournland to reach his family estate, each time he has been driven back by living spells, warforged patrols bearing the Lord of Blades' standard, or mutated monsters. Garu believes his family was wiped out in the cataclysm, but he wishes to see the family estate one last time and retrieve a memento or two. He also wants to destroy the Lord of Blades so that Cyrans might one day reclaim their homeland. Although he has no proof, Garu suspects that the Lord of Blades had some stake in the destruction of Cyre. For these reasons, Garu seeks to join a group of adventurers willing to explore beyond the dead-gray mist.

Organization

Cyran avengers are few in number, but they do work together from time to time. A secret congregation of Cyran nationals called the Covenant of the Gray Mist welcomes Cyran avengers as members. The covenant, which currently numbers thirty members (one-fifth of whom have levels in the Cyran avenger prestige class), gathers four times per year in a cave complex located a few miles east of New Cyre, in eastern Breland. Regardless of whether they attend meetings of the covenant, most Cyran avengers consider New Cyre their "home away from home." The prince of the town, Oargev ir'Wynarn (LN male human aristocrat 3/fighter 1), is the last son of Cyre's ruling family and the head of the Covenant of the Gray Mist, although he never attends secret gatherings and instead sends a proxy. Oargev counts on Cyran avengers to help him uncover the truth about the destruction of Cyre and fuels their revenge by sending them off to investigate individuals and organizations opposed to Cyre or rumored to have some hand in the creation of the Mournland. Not surprisingly, most Cyran avengers regard Oargev as their leader. Even those who do not serve Oargev attest that he's the rightful ruler of their people and give him the respect he's due.

NPC Reactions

Aundairians, Karrns, and Thranes are decidedly unsympathetic toward the plight of displaced Cyrans and unfriendly toward Cyrans in general. They regard Cyran avengers as terrorists and greet them with outright hostility. Even the Brelish, for all their practiced indifference, become guarded when confronted by Cyrans, who represent a burden foisted upon them by their leaders. Consequently, they tend to treat Cyran refugees as second-rate citizens, no better than homeless vagabonds. Brelish have an unfriendly attitude toward Cyran avengers; in their mind, Cyran avengers should just be thankful that they're alive and have a safe haven such as New Cyre to call home.

Displaced Cyran refugees look upon Cyran avengers with a mixture of pride and concern. Although grateful for the avengers' dedication to Cyre and its people, they fear that the avengers might provoke further conflict with Cyre's former neighbors, and Cyran refugees don't want to further alienate themselves.

Cyran Avenger Lore

Characters can make Knowledge (local) or bardic knowledge checks to research the Cyran avengers and learn more about them.

DC 15: Cyran avengers are displaced Cyran nationals who have sworn vengeance against the enemies of their destroyed homeland. At best, they are vigilantes and outlaws -- at worst, assassins and terrorists.

DC 20: Prince Oargev ir'Wynarn, the sole surviving member of Cyre's displaced royal family, has encouraged Cyran avengers to abide by the Thronehold Accords. However, he secretly supports their efforts to uncover the cause of Cyre's destruction and isn't too particular about how they obtain their information.

DC 25: A secret order of Cyran avengers convenes a few times each year at a secret location near the town of New Cyre. They use these gatherings to share information about the formation of the Mournland.

Cyran Avengers in the Game

Adding Cyran avengers to the campaign gives players a chance to explore the plight of the displaced Cyran refugees and deal with one of the more serious consequences of the Last War. Cyran avengers tend to see things in black and white, which provides an intriguing counterpoint in a setting filled with shades of gray.

Adaptation

Cyran avengers fill a specific niche in your Eberron campaign and reflect the best and worst qualities of a displaced culture ravaged by war. However, you could create a psionic version of this prestige class for kalashtar once hunted by agents of the Dreaming Dark who now stalk their hunters. Instead of the avenging strike ability, you could give these kalashtar mindstalkers a special psionic attack or soulblade attack that deals extra damage to the Inspired, their agents, and their quori masters.

Encounters

A Cyran avenger's devotion to her country rules her life, and she will seize every opportunity to mete out justice for real and imagined wrongdoings inflicted upon her people. Characters attempting to plunder the Mournland might run afoul of a Cyran avenger determined to thwart bandits and raiders hunting for Cyran magic items and artifacts. Conversely, a Cyran avenger might join an excursion into the Mournland if the ultimate goal is to uncover information about its origin or hunt down the Lord of Blades.

EL 8: Mirasandra ir'Thavar is the eldest daughter of a Cyran politician. On the Day of Mourning, she was in Taer Valaestas with her father, who was negotiating a treaty with High King Vadallia of the Valenar elves. Word of Cyre's destruction came quickly, and Mira's father ordered her to remain in Taer Valaestas while he and his entourage returned to Metrol to assess the damage. She never saw him again. The only other member of her immediate family who survived Cyre's destruction was her aunt Magdalora, who was visiting Korranberg at the time. Magdalora has since relocated to Sharn, and the two have drifted apart. Magdalora doesn't share her niece's thirst for vengeance and believes that Cyrans have no one to blame but themselves -- a view Mirasandra considers ludicrous.

Mirasandra prefers to attack from afar, peppering foes with arrows while she takes advantage of cover. Although she one day hopes to unravel the mystery of the Mournland's creation, she has grown increasingly preoccupied with goblin activity along the Breland-Darguun border. Darguul raiders have launched bold strikes against Cyran refugees in Breland, and Mirasandra has taken it upon herself to slay every last goblinoid that rears its ugly head. She also attacks scouting parties and caravans heading to and from Gorgonhorn and Skullreave in northern Darguun. Characters traveling through Marguul Pass or exploring Darguun's northern reaches may encounter Mirasandra or one of several goblin war bands searching for her.

Magdalora ir'Thavar might hire the characters to locate her niece, either to bring her to justice or to reveal something she's recently learned about the destruction of Cyre.

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