Previews for August and Beyond
By Mat Smith
"Can you blame me? Why should I submit to Vlaakith's hunger, when there is so much left to experience, to savor, to enjoy? What right has she to lay claim to my life?"
-- Iliss Githom-vaas, renegade githyanki lich
Like Kastya, Iliss Githom-Vaas is an exile who fled from Tu'narath after she attained enough power that the lich-queen found her threatening. Iliss escaped certain death and took up with Kastya, who promised to extend his protection to her in exchange for her perpetual service. Now, Iliss commands the githyanki that are loyal to the necromancer, and she organizes expeditions to gain the tools Kastya needs to destroy the lich-queen.
Iliss has little interest in Kastya's goals, and if she could destroy Vlaakith on her own, she would. In fact, she does not hate the cruel githyanki ruler, but she realizes that she can never return to her people as long as the lich-queen demands her soul.
She has reluctantly joined the necromancer in undeath. Although becoming a lich has provided her some benefits (including the ability to avoid damage on the Negative Energy Plane), it has also given Kastya more power over her. Her fear of the necromancer is enough to ensure that she remains a useful servant. If she failed Kastya, she could face a fate worse than the oblivion promised by Vlaakith.
Having ridden on the backs of the eldest dragons, destroyed countless illithid strongholds, and orchestrated the invasion of the githzerai monastery Sheth-maal, Iliss was widely regarded as one of the most skilled warriors in Tu'narath. Although her flight and exile has disgraced her to most githyanki, some consider her a martyr, and they occasionally seek her out to join her cause.
Iliss is an agitator. She often sows unrest and confusion in githyanki cities, working to loosen Vlaakith's hold on them.
Many gith reject Iliss out of hand, but her long and exemplary career lends weight to her revolutionary words, leading some to set aside their prior allegiances and join her (and, by extension, Kastya). She knows that her recruits are more loyal to her than to Kastya, and she hopes to gain enough support one day to turn the tables on the necromancer and force him to back her own bid for the githyanki throne.
Appearance and Behavior
By githyanki standards (notwithstanding the fact that she is now a lich), Iliss is an attractive female whose ocher skin is laced with scars. She wears her rust-red hair in an elaborate topknot woven with black stones. Her unusual suit of full plate armor is decorated in draconic flanges and spurs, with a stylized roaring dragon skull worked into the breastplate.
Iliss has a fiery personality and an instinctual understanding of githyanki psychology that allows her to inspire and intimidate her fellow warriors. She uses rhetoric and threats to inflame emotions and entice others to serve her.
Iliss Githom-Vaas CR 17
hp 166 (15 HD); DR 15/bludgeoning and magic
Female githyanki lich fighter 6/death's chosen[LM] 3/blackguard 5
CE Medium undead (augmented humanoid, extraplanar)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +2, Spot +4
Aura fear (60 ft., DC 25), despair (10 ft., –2 on saves), evil (strong), unnatural (30 ft.)
Languages Common, Gith
AC 29, touch 17, flat-footed 26
(+3 Dex, +12 armor, +4 deflection)
Miss Chance 20% blur
Immune cold, electricity, polymorph (except spells with a range of personal), mind-affecting spells and abilities, undead immunities
Resist +4 turn resistance; SR 21
Fort +23 (+27 against disease), Ref +13, Will +12 (+14 when within 60 feet of Kastya)
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares) in full plate, base speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 flaming silver sword +22/+17/+12 (2d6+12/17-20 plus 1d6 fire) or
Melee damaging touch +20 (1d8+5 negative energy plus paralysis)
Base Atk +14; Grp +20
Atk Options Cleave, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (blur), bravery of the chosen, magic strike, paralyzing touch, smite good 2/day (+4 attack, +7 damage), sneak attack +2d6
Special Actions rebuke undead 7/day (+4, 2d6+9, 5th)
Combat Gear oil of curse weapon, potion of cure moderate wounds, potion of hide from undead, potion of invisibility
Blackguard Spells Prepared (CL 5th):
2nd -- cure moderate wounds, shatter (DC 16)
1st -- corrupt weapon, doom (DC 15)
Psionics (CL 7th):
3/day -- blur*, daze (DC 14), dimension door, mage hand, telekinesis (DC 19)
1/day -- plane shift (DC 20)
* Already used once
Abilities Str 22, Dex 17, Con --, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 18
SQ dark blessing, poison use, shield of the master, vigor of the chosen, will of the chosen
Feats Cleave[B], Endurance[B], Gruesome Finish (see page 24), Improved Critical (greatsword), Improved Initiative[B], Improved Sunder[B], Power Attack[B], Quicken Spell-Like Ability (blur), Weapon Focus (greatsword), Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
Skills Hide +3, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (religion) +2, Listen +2, Ride +15, Spot +4
Possessions combat gear plus +4 full plate, +1 flaming silver sword, ring of feather falling, ring of protection +4, amulet of health +2, belt of giant strength +4, cloak of Charisma +2, vest of resistance +2, 1,100 gp
Fear Aura (Su) At the end of each of Iliss's turns, creatures of less than 5 HD within 60 feet of her must attempt DC 22 Will saves. Those that fail are panicked for 7 rounds. Those that succeed are shaken for 1 round and cannot be affected again by Iliss's aura for 24 hours.
Aura of Despair (Su) All enemies within 10 feet of Iliss take a penalty of -2 on saves.
Unnatural Aura (Su) Animals will not approach within 30 feet of Iliss willingly, and they panic if forced to do so.
Damaging Touch (Su) Any living creature that is touched by Iliss takes 1d8+5 points of negative energy damage (Will DC 22 half).
Bravery of the Chosen (Ex) Whenever Iliss is within 30 feet of Kastya, she gains a +1 morale bonus on melee attack rolls and melee damage rolls. If Iliss is reduced to half her hit points or fewer, these bonuses increase to +2. Iliss loses these bonuses if Kastya is destroyed.
Magic Strike (Su) Iliss's touch attack is treated as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Paralyzing Touch (Su) Any living creature that Iliss hits with his damaging touch attack must succeed on a DC 22 Fortitude save or become paralyzed. A remove paralysis spell or any spell that can remove a curse frees the victim. This effect cannot be dispelled.
Shield of the Master (Ex) Whenever Kastya casts a spell or uses an extraordinary ability, a spell-like ability, or a supernatural ability, he can choose (as a free action) to exempt Iliss from its effects.
Vigor of the Chosen (Ex) Iliss needs to consume only onetenth the normal amount of food and water each day and can subsist on only 2 hours of sleep each night. If you use Expanded Psionics Handbook, Iliss gains the psionic subtype and uses the following statistics in place of spell resistance and psionics.
Power Points/Day: 3
Psi-Like Abilities (ML 7th):
3/day -- concealing amorpha, far hand, psionic daze (DC 15), psionic dimension door, telekinetic thrust (350 lbs., DC 17)
1/day -- psionic plane shift