The Baklunish once had a great empire to the north-west, which was ruined by war with the ancient Suel. They remain a homogenous people, a distinction aided by their religion.
Dexterity, Intelligence, Wisdom.
Honor, Respect for Clan, Generosity, Piety, Respect for Wealth.
Wealth is honored and seen as a reward for a disciplined an pious life. A wealthy man is expected to donate to charity, but the poor are held in contempt.
Persians. The Baklunish are the mysterious heirs of ancient magical civilizations, living isolated from the main population of the Flanesse, yet close enough that they are both a cultural influence and a military threat.
Seeking a harmonious coexistence with nature, the Baklunish see the universe as an eternal balancing of opposing forces. Good vs. Evil, the elements against each other. Humanity can ally with these forces and be drawn into their conflicts, or seek to stand aside and look for peace. To seek allegiance is to seek conflict. The virtuous either seek to align themselves with what is lawful and good, or remain aloft and neutral.
Baklunish love archery and riding contests, often both together. A contest is rarely one-on-one, more likely a field of contestants attempt a task, and whoever does best is the winner. Debate and magical contest also stirs their hearts, but direct magical violence is seen as crude; fights between summons are more appreciated. Winners are handed prizes by lords. There is a conscious avoidance of making anyone lose face or seem to be a loser, as such things can spawn feuds.
Circumcision, Incest, Polygamy, Bride-price.
Women are not seen as inferior in any way, but certainly expected to take a different, more reserved role in society. A man will usually act as the spokesman for any given group. The Baklunish do not practice incest per se, but their definition is very narrow; while sibling marriage is illegal, nephews and cousins are free to marry. A common noble practice is for a younger brother to marry the daughter of an elder brother.
Gender equality, Nudity, Pornography, Promiscuity.
Polygamous, arranged marriages, patrilinear.
The Baklunish prefer magic that affect forces and principles rather than elements, which is seen as the domains of genies. Illusions, force spells, enchantment, bodily transmutations are preferred to rude damaging evocations.
The Baklunish gods are impersonal; more ideals than personalities. Istus is the lady of fate and arbiter of the universe. Her children Geshtai and Sevelkhar are rivals in creating and destroying life. Boccob and Ralishaz are opposed primal forces of understanding and madness. The others are not gods but prophets who achieved divine wisdom and now sponsor worshipers of their own. The prophets are much more important and influential than the gods in Baklunish life.
The lady of fate, is often mentioned in ceremonies but attracts little true devotion. Her cult is monastic and rarely makes a spectacle of itself.
The Baklunish pantheon is headed by Istus (IS-tus), but she rarely intervenes and her actions concern few. Day-to-day affairs are handled by more practical gods. She is known among the Baklunish as the greatest power, and acknowledged in parables and idioms such as "If fate allows!".
Istus is the most powerful of the Baklunish deities. She appears as a Baklunish woman of any age or stature, always carrying her mystical gold spindle (her holy symbol) with which she creates the strands of fate. She is aloof from all other gods, even those of her own pantheon, as she concerns herself solely with the fate of the universe and its inhabitants. Her occasional companion is a cloudlike being believed to be a prince from the Plane of Time.
She is honored in the Common pantheon as the lady of fate, but her cult is small and poor.
In Synchretism she is seen as the power behind the small moon, Celene, the Suel god Celestian who watches over the stars and planets. As Cyndor he is the Suel god of time and continuity, the handyman of Lendor. She has sponsored ascended humans who are less distant than she is, trying to guide people to live regimented, industrious lives for their own betterment. They include Labelas Enorteh the elven god of longevity and time, Merikka the Oerdian calendar godess and regulator of seasons, and finally Bralm the Suel god of industriousness and insects.
Everything is connected to every other by invisible strands that push and pull over time. The choices a person makes in life affect the pull of some strands, allowing one to alter fate in a small way, but some of these webs of fate have a strong and inevitable pull that cannot be escaped. The perceptive can come to understand these strands and watch them to predict the future. Accepting your destiny is the greatest service you can make to yourself, for dishonesty about your role in the world leads to ruin and disaster.
Clerics of Istus have seen the extremes of fate, from innocents dying horrible deaths and sadists controlling kingdoms to children recovering from mortal illness and despots felled by simple accidents. Because of this, most of her clerics are cynical or stoic, but some kinder individuals serve her because they feel they were rewarded by fate. They are called upon to make predictions and divinations for important personage all over the world.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral.
Weapon: Net, bola.
Symbol: Gold spindle.
Chaos, Knowledge, Luck (Fate), Law, Nobility.
Deliberately lose yourself in a strange place. If there is nowhere for you to lose yourself, blindfold yourself and wander boldly for 200 steps. Gain a +4 sacred bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity provoked by casting spells or using spell-like abilities.
- Seer (Sp) true strike 3/day, augury 2/day, or see beyond 1/day
- Serendipitous Reaction (Su) Three times per day, you can knock aside a ranged attack that would have otherwise hit you, as if you had the Deflect Arrows feat. You need not be aware of the attack to use this ability. If you already have Deflect Arrows, you may use this feat an unlimited number of times per day, and can use it even if you are unaware of an attack.
- Quickstep (Su) Once per day, when you would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points for any reason, you can choose to ignore up to 10 points of damage from the attack or effect that so damaged you, possibly putting you back above 0 hit points.
Boccob, sometimes known as Al-Zarad in Baklunish lands, is the god of enlightenment, a learned trickster; he is exceedingly intelligent but often plays the fool. His color is blue.
Boccob is the god of arcane magic in the Common pantheon, called the uncaring, arch-mage of the gods and patron of Wizardry. His agenda is to maintain, spread, and develop the use of magic; to see to it that what needs to be secret remains in wise hands while promulgating arcane knowledge as much as possible. He does not hoard arcane secrets, instead wishing all to embrace them. He encourages acceptance and the spread of ideas and is in this way the spiritual father of the Common culture.
In Synchretism Boccob is the god of magic and manifests as other gods of magic and art. Corellon Lathean is the elven god who rules by virtue of his skill and excellence with magic. Garl Glittergold is the first gnome, trickster, jeweler and shaper of the gnomes. Boccob is popular among humans as he gladly helps others to learn his wisdom. Zagyg the Mad is an ascended archmage of Greyhawk City. Ye’cind is an ascended elven musician-mage.
Boccob (BOK-kob) is known throughout the Flanaess, oversees the maintenance of magic's existence on Oerth, and is interested in the creation of new magic items and spells (he is said to have a copy of every magic item made by mortals). He sees that Oerth's magic is declining and will eventually fade away; he combats this effect and suspects that Tharizdun is responsible. He is distant from all other gods save his servant Zagyg. Shown in purple robes with shimmering runes of gold, Boccob carries the first staff of the magi; an eye within a pentagram is his symbol.
Seek balance above good, evil, law, or chaos. Fight to push back the zeal of good just as you would the oppression of evil. Magic is the most important thing on Oerth, and it must be preserved so that the balance can be preserved.
Churches are protected from outside interference, and those within devote most of their time to research, particularly prophecies, which they guard carefully lest they fall into the wrong hands. In lands where the forces of Law, Chaos, Good, or Evil grow too strong, churches of Boccob are built to balance those forces.
Clerics of Boccob create and study magic and divine the future. They leave their churches to root out rumors of lost magic items or spells, or to defend a magical place or item from destruction. Most clerics of Boccob are neutral, as extremism in ethos is frowned upon; they must maintain the balance between all alignments. Other clerics of Boccob take the specialist stance in their Neutral alignment; they focus on magic leave politics to others.
Symbol: Eye within a pentagram.
Artifice, Knowledge, Magic, Rune, Trickery.
Repeat the name of Boccob incessantly as you create or prepare some kind of magic; this is usually done with spell preparation but can be done with magic item creation, ritual magic, or casting spells. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on spellcraft checks.
Evangelist or Feat
- Arcane Essence (Sp) mage armor 3/day, mirror image 2/day, or fly 1/day
- Arcane Eye (Sp) You can use arcane eye three times per day as a spell-like ability. The arcane eye you summon functions as if you had cast arcane sight and were able to view its information through the arcane eye. This allows you to see magical auras through the arcane eye, and potentially identify the schools of magic involved. You can also potentially determine the spellcasting or spell-like abilities of viewed creatures, as noted in the spell description.
- Robes of Boccob (Su) You can manifest an illusory robe that absorbs hostile spells for a number of rounds per day equal to 1 + 1 for every 4 Hit Dice you possess (maximum 6 rounds). These rounds don’t need to be consecutive, and you can activate or deactivate the robe as a free action. The robe functions as a lesser globe of invulnerability except that it only excludes hostile spell effects of 3rd level or lower. Any spell that would force you to attempt a saving throw; cause you to take hit point damage, negative levels, ability drain, or ability damage; or end your life is considered hostile for the purposes of this effect. Unlike a lesser globe of invulnerability, you can move normally while cloaked in the robes.
- Magical Essences (Sp) magic aura 3/day, misdirection 2/day, or arcane sight 1/day
- Staff Channel (Su) You can deliver touch spells with a casting time of one standard action or longer through a quarterstaff. Using this ability doesn’t change the casting time or other qualities of the spell, but you must make a melee attack with your quarterstaff against the target’s AC rather than a touch attack against its touch AC. If you hit the target, you deal quarterstaff damage as well as discharge the spell effect. You can hold the charge as normal when delivering a touch spell through a quarterstaff.
- Pure Magic Aura (Su) You radiate an aura of the pure essence of magic. You can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to 1 + 1 for every 4 Hit Dice you possess (maximum 6 rounds). These rounds don’t need to be consecutive, and you can activate and deactivate your aura as a free action. You and any allies within 20 feet of you increase your caster levels by 1d4. Roll this die when you activate this ability and use the same value for all who gain this benefit. The increase affects spell qualities (such as duration and number of targets) that rely on caster level, as well as caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance. The bonus caster levels don’t grant higher-level spell slots or cause the recipients to learn new spells.
- Magical Enhancer (Sp) magic weapon 3/day, arrow eruptionAPG 2/day, or keen edge 1/day
- Disrupt Defenses (Su) You have attuned yourself to the essence within magic weapons, and can conjure up that same aura within any weapon you hold. Any weapon attacks you make gain a +1 enhancement bonus. This stacks with other enhancement bonuses.
- Boccob's Protection (Su) A complex arcane sigil manifests on your skin. The location of this sigil varies by individual, but always appears in a place easily displayed. (Most commonly, the sigil resembles a third eye.) While the sigil remains uncovered, you gain a deflection bonus to AC equal to 1 + 1 for every 4 Hit Dice you possess (maximum +6). You lose the deflection bonus if the sigil becomes obscured, but it returns once the sigil is made visible once again.
Geshtai (GESH-tie) is depicted as a young Baklunish woman standing in a pool of water, often holding a clay water jug. Her pet fish, Gumus, summons water creatures to serve her. Revered today by nomads, travelers, and farmers in Baklunish lands, her temperament is moderate and she treats all others with care and patience. She dislikes fiery gods and proponents of disease and poison, especially Pyremius. Her symbol is a waterspout.
Tranquility is a benign state, and it should take an extreme act to disrupt it for more than a moment. When such a disruption comes, turn its force back upon itself to negate it, like the stone that breaks the surface of a lake only to be covered and lost. Water, like tranquility, is hard to find but necessary for vitality. Water is more precious than gold, for a thirsty man gets no sustenance from his wealth.
Clerics of Geshtai act as guardians of valuable waters, whether lakes, streams, oases, or hidden wells, making sure that they are available to all and not claimed or destroyed by any one group of people. They patrol parched areas of land where travelers often become lost and guide them to safety and water. Some explore the length of a river or stream, learning the unique traits of the entire flow. They seek out those who use destructive magic upon natural reserves of water, as well as those who would harm people by contaminating water with disease or poison.
Alignment: Neutral Good.
Community (Family), Plant, Protection (Purity), Travel, Water.
Stand under a waterfall (or pour water over your head) while singing wordlessly, letting the sound of the moving water inspire you. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on saves against the spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities of creatures with the aquatic, fire, or water subtype.
- Artesian Well (Sp) hydraulic push 3/day, slipstream 2/day, or water breathing 1/day
- Sacred Scales (Ex) You grow a coat of iridescent scales that matches your skin tone. Your natural armor bonus to AC increases by +3.
- Waterform (Su) Three times per day, you and a number of willing touched companions equal to 1/2 your HD may meld into a body of flowing water (such as a river or creek) and travel up or downstream at a rate of 50 miles per hour. This transformation takes 1 minute to complete. You can wind through natural obstructions with ease as long as the body of water is still flowing, but not through largely impermeable barriers such as artificial dams. This effect lasts for a number of hours equal to your HD, and you cannot otherwise act or defend yourself while traveling in this way.
Sevelkhar the Waster, Master of Famine and Drought, the Poisoner of Wells. Among the Baklunish Sevelkhar is the dark wind of the desert, the drought, the scourging sand—he is only worshiped to placate him. He has shrines at the sites of disasters and in the deep desert.
In the Bakluni culture, Sevelkhar is the eternal opponent of Geshtai, and both are viewed as subservient to Istus, Our Lady of Fate.
Alignment: Neutral Evil.
Symbol: Black whirl.
Darkness (Loss), Death, Evil, Destruction, Plant (Decay).
Pray to Selvekar while lying prone on sand for an hour, consuming as much water as you possibly can, regurgitating if enough is available. Gain immunity to thirst and immunity to fatigue, and exhaustion, and nonlethal damage from force marching.
- Desert's Wrath (Sp) endure elements 3/day, glitterdust 2/day, or searing light 1/day
- Summon Dust (Su) Once per day, you can summon a greater earth elemental, as summon nature's ally VII. This elemental is composed of dry sand and cannot move through stone, but any soil it moves through instantly becomes parched.
- Dehydrating Strike (Su) Once per day as a swift action, at any point when you successfully inflict damage on a target, you can cause that target to become instantly and painfully dehydrated if it fails a Fortitude save (DC = 10 + 1/2 your HD + your Constitution modifier). If the save is successful, the victim is staggered for 1 round. If the save fails, the victim takes 1d10 points of Strength drain, is stunned for 1 round, and is then staggered for 1d4 rounds after recovering from being stunned.
Ralishaz (RAL-ih-shaz) is ever-changing (hideous to beautiful, female to male), but he usually appears as an oddly dressed beggar. He carries nothing but his wooden staff; his holy symbol is three sticks of bone, derived from divination and gambling tools, He rewards or punishes those that rely on chance or take great risks, seemingly at random. He is the god of insanity; many debate whether his appearance and whims are truly random or just madness. He shuns other gods, although he does not seem to be hateful of them.
Order does not exist, only randomness and chance, and the odds are stacked against you. While you may have a good run against the odds, eventually the universe will balance itself out against you. Randomness and insanity go hand in hand, and sometimes those who are the most insane are the ones who are closest to the true nature of the universe. Kindness and prosperity are illusions, as misfortune comes to all sooner or later.
Clerics of Ralishaz are a curious combination of fatalism and recklessness, stoicism and wild endeavor, depending upon how they feel their place is in the world at that moment. They live charmed lives, although when misfortune hits them it hits hard. They preside over places of gambling, although most patrons are unsure if their presence wards off bad luck or draws it. They travel when their divinations indicate they should, or at the roll of a die. They are often mean-minded or cruel, not seeing the point of friendliness to someone who will eventually be cursed by bad luck.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Symbol: Three sticks of bone
Chaos (Entropy), Destruction (Torture), Luck (Curse), Madness, Trickery (Deception).
Spend an hour sitting on the grave of someone who suffered an accidental death. You must reflect on how chance has treated you. If no suitable grave exists, spend an hour telling strangers how their religious beliefs and hopes for a just afterlife are folly and of no consequence. Alternatively, you can write this creed and post it in a public place within a settlement. If you’re away from civilization, you can instead spend an hour sabotaging a path, bridge, tool, or other device so that it’s dangerous for the next person who uses it. You gain a +4 profane bonus on Craft (traps) and Disable Device checks.
- Champion of Cruel Chance (Sp) deathwatch 3/day, false life 2/day, bestow curse 1/day
- Resiliency (Ex) You gain the resiliency rogue talent. The number of temporary hit points you gain is equal to your Hit Dice. If you have the resiliency ability from another source, you can activate these abilities separately or as part of the same immediate action.
- Tragic Minion (Su) By spending 1 minute praying over the corpse of a humanoid opponent or a humanoid who has died a tragic death, you can summon an allip (Bestiary 3 12) to serve you. Unlike a normal allip, this allip’s alignment matches yours, and the allip has a number of hit points equal to half your total. It receives a +4 bonus on Will saves made to halve the damage from channeled positive energy, and it can’t be turned or commanded. This allip serves as a companion to you and can communicate intelligibly with you despite its madness. You can dismiss it as a standard action. You can summon an allip once/day. This ability allows you to have only allip companion at a time.
- Catalyst of Destruction (Sp) break 3/day, find traps 2/day, spiked pit 1/day
- Ever Vigilant (Su) You’re resistant to effects that attack your life force or would affect you before you have a chance to react. You are protected by death ward, except the immunity to energy drain ends after it has prevented a number of negative levels equal to your HD; this resets when you perform the obedience again. You gain a +2 profane bonus on initiative checks and on saving throws against effects that occur before your first turn in combat.
- Visitor from Abaddon (Sp) Once per day as a standard action, you can summon a pair of greater ceustodaemons (Bestiary 2 65) and gain telepathy with them to a range of 100 feet. The ceustodaemons follow your commands perfectly for 1 minute for every Hit Die you possess before vanishing. The ceustodaemons don’t follow commands that would cause them to perform overly good acts or save mortal lives other than your own, and they immediately vanish if your orders contradict these restrictions.
- Walking Disaster (Sp) bungle 3/day, spontaneous immolation 2/day, deadly juggernaut 1/day
- Tragic Accident (Su) Once per day as part of a successful attack, you can target your opponent with either inflict critical wounds or poison. The DC is this ability is equal to 10 + your sentinel level + your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma modifier (whichever is highest). You don’t have to declare the use of this ability until you know the attack is successful.
- Unfairness of the World (Su) Once per day, you can channel all of your outrage through your weapon, afflicting your opponent with deadly negative energy. You must declare your use of this ability before you roll your attack. On a hit, the target gains a number of negative levels equal to 3 + your sentinel level unless the target succeeds at a Fortitude saving throw (DC = your tragic accident DC). If you openly wear an unholy symbol of Ralishaz, the saving throw DC to resist this effect increases by 2.
(High Cleric, Restorer of Righteousness), LG demigod of Guardianship, Faithfulness, Dignity, and Duty
A title meaning simply "the great", Al’Akbar was a prophet that led the Baklunish after the invoked devastation, helping them survive as a people and to maintain their traditions and lore. His faith is the most popular, especially among city people.
Al'Akbar (ahl AHK-bar) first came to prominence in the days following the Invoked Devastation, when he was called by the gods of the Paynims to restore the Baklunish people to the path of righteousness and dignity. In earnest of this mission, he was given the fabled Cup and star-shaped Talisman that now bear his name. He taught that true religion must include proper devotion to the gods, protection of the community, and guidance of the faithful. Eventually, he caused his own mosque to be constructed and allowed his followers to call upon his name in their prayers, soon thereafter ascending to take his place among the gods, although he remains a demigod out of respect for the rest of the pantheon. His symbol is an image of the Cup and Talisman artifacts.
Be as a vessel of kindness and emblem of devotion, for the righteous man is both steadfast and merciful. Be not as the untutored infidel, but rather heed your superiors, and submit to their wisdom and guidance. Let the faithful strive always to nurture the seed of Good in the soil of Law, that by doing so they are received into the Garden of Al'Akbar.
The faith of Al'Akbar dominates the Baklunish culture with its sense of community and propriety. They teach Baklunish as the language of poetry and learning; they are generally well disposed toward other faiths that use the classical language in their liturgy.
Two historical branches of this faith exist, the Exhalted Faith and the True Faith. Many more obscure divisions exist among Paynim, but this is the most important one.
The followers of the Exalted Faith recognize the supremacy of the holy caliph (the ruler of Ekbir); they are masters of rhetoric and diplomacy, with high regard for academic achievement. Clerics of the Exalted Faith usually bear the title of qadi, and tend toward lawful good or neutral good.
Followers of the True Faith defer to the authority of the grand mufti of the Yatils, taking a more fundamental approach to religion that emphasizes hard work, plain speech, and obedience. Clerics of the True Faith are called mullahs, and strongly favor lawful neutral.
Clerics of both types hold office as ministers, judges, scholars and teachers in civil government, while also serving as healers, advisers and guardians for the military. Adventuring clerics are tolerant of infidels, though they are still expected to uphold the ideals of the faith. The wandering clergy may travel to any land in search of the Cup and Talisman of Al'Akbar. Ritual prayers may be made at dawn and dusk.
Alignment Lawful Good.
Symbol Cup (exhalted faith) or star (true faith).
Good, Healing, Law, Nobility, Protection.
Bow down on your knees and repeatedly lean forward with your brow to the ground to show your submission to deserved rulership. For that day, so long as your brow remains uncovered, you gain a +4 sacred bonus on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects.
- Verdict (Sp) command 3/day, enthrall 2/day, or suggestion 1/day
- Judgment (Sp) Once per day, you can place a symbol on a target who has shirked his obligations or showed poor judgment in his official capacity; that symbol acts similarly to a mark of justice. This spell-like ability has a casting time of 1 round instead of 10 minutes, and when the mark activates it causes the target to take a –6 penalty to Wisdom and Charisma. The conditions you place on the mark must relate to the target’s actions as a leader.
- Lordship (Su) You automatically gain the Leadership feat, and you are always considered to have a reputation of fairness and generosity so long as you maintain your allegiance to Al-Akbar. If you already have the Leadership feat, you gain an additional +2 bonus to your Leadership score. You may choose to attract a hound or legion archon as a cohort. Your archon cohort gains additional HD to bring its total HD to 2 lower than your own level.
Trade in the Baklunish lands is the province of Mouqol (moh-KOHL) the Merchant. Like Istus, he was neutral in the war between Light and Darkness that precipitated the mythic Hegira; like Geshtai, he provided necessities to both sides of the struggle. Other tales describe Mouqol's travels among genie-kind, and his skill at bargaining with even these most difficult of clients. Mouqol's particular gifts are the ability to discern the true desire of his customers, and the talent of finding and delivering the rarest of treasures to their predestined owners.
Reward is not gained without risk. The perfect bargain satisfies both necessity and desire. The wise know the worth of a thing as well as its cost. Greed makes the wealthiest into debtors. All life is a matter of exchange. The Bazaar, or marketplace, is holy ground.
Some markets in the larger cities are set up around actual temple-buildings, but most simply contain a tent-covered altar or shrine to the merchants' god. There is no standard tithe, but a variable set of fees is levied on the traders who utilize the marketplace. These monies are used to cover expenses, but any excess is dedicated to charitable works, for the accumulation of large amounts of wealth is foreign to Mouqol's values. Much more important is the art of the negotiation process, for hard bargaining is near to a sacrament for these Western merchants.
Clerics of Mouqol are common among the Baklunish, as well as among the jann and the merfolk of the Dramidj. Clerics use their powers to deter theft, fraud and magical deception. They work as appraisers of common goods, with certain members specializing in more exotic items. Most travel during at least part of their career, particularly as part of merchant caravans. Ritual prayers are said each morning, prior to opening for business or beginning the day's travel.
Weapon: Dagger and light Crossbow.
Symbol: Set of scales and weights.
Charm, Knowledge (Memory), Luck (Fate), Travel (Trade), Trickery.
The Baklunish honor Xan Yae as the gentle goddess of moderation and balance who seeks to avoid extremes, teaching that happiness is found inside once balance is achieved. Mystic power flows naturally from this balance. She is also the Baklunish psychopomp goddess.
Xan Yae (zan YAY) is a Baklunish goddess with some measure of popularity in the Flanaess. She has temples scattered in hidden places across the land. Having little patience for petty divine rivalries, she has only a few like-minded allies but places herself in opposition to Pyremius and Pholtus, whose lights destroy her beloved shadows. She appears to be Baklunish, of any age or sex but always slender and graceful, wielding a pair of magic scimitars that can shrink to the size of table knives.
Reality depends upon three metaphysical ideals: the Universal Mind (the universe and all things in it exist because the mind created them and maintain them), the Perpetual Harmony (life is balanced, symmetry is in all things, achieving a similar state puts one in harmony with nature), and Internal Peace (martial and mental activities must be mastered to attain a higher level of existence). Flamboyance and wasted energy have no place in the Lady's realm. The extremes of evil and good must be sought out and tempered with harmony to maintain balance.
Xan Yae's clerics are agents of harmony and discipline. They seek out radical factions, alignments, and politics and bend them toward balance. They train others in the simple arts of war, hone the minds of those open to mental challenges, scour the world to find evidence of the Universal Mind, and seek gurus of advanced physical and mental abilities for knowledge of self-elevation. They are not passive beings, but actively seek change to ensure the stability of the universe. Their prayer time is at dusk.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral.
Symbol: Black lotus blossom.
Darkness (Night), Knowledge (Memory), Protection, Trickery (Deception), War (Tactics).
Make a series of exercises of limberness and balance. Escalate these exercises to the point of failure. Then don a blindfold and repeat the same exercises again, comparing the two results. Contemplate the result of acting in light and darkness, and act accordingly during your day.
- Nullity (Sp) keen senses 3/day, darkness (this never lowers the light intensity to less than dim light, and in darkness or total darkness it increases the light level by one level) 2/day, or debilitating portent (aura is grey) 1/day
- Still Perfection (Sp) You are immune to the flatfooted and helpless conditions. Even when paralyzed or otherwise incapacitated, you retain your normal Armor Class. Invisible creatures gain no advantage against you.
- Shadow Balance (Su) Your form grows shadowed and indistinct. You gain a +6 sacred bonus on Stealth checks. In any condition of illumination other than full daylight you gain concealment, physical attacks against you have a 20% miss chance.
Zuoken (zoo-OH-ken) is an ascended martial artist in the service of Xan Yae. He was a Baklunish man of unremarkable appearance, but had achieved the highest level of skill in edel ("gift of fate," psionics), and da'shon ("falling hail," a complicated form of unarmed combat practiced by one of Xan Yae's sects). His symbol is a striking fist. In 505 CY, he stopped manifesting to his faithful; investigation has revealed that his essence is held somewhere in the central Flanaess; his followers continue to seek the exact place so that he may be freed.
To learn da'shon is to be on the path to perfection, for the use of weapons is a hindrance to the ability of mankind to attain the goal; once the goal is reached, one can use such things without fear of losing sight of perfection. One must strive to achieve the pinnacle of physical and mental ability. One must pursue harmony to achieve perfection, so every issue must be considered from both sides so that a balance may be struck between the two, allowing a harmonious resolution.
Zuoken's clerics teach da'shon and the way of Zuoken and Xan Yae. They wander the land to accelerate their physical and mental advancement, undergo many tests of hardship within and outside their temples in the pursuit of perfection, search for their god's prison, and attack monks of the Scarlet Brotherhood when encountered. As aging and infirmity are concerns for those who perfect their bodies, they care for the elderly to acclimatize themselves with its changes. Although Zuoken is confined in some way, his clerics receive their spells normally.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral.
Weapon: Unarmed strike (gain Improved Unarmed Combat feat).
Symbol: A striking fist.
Healing (Restoration), Knowledge (Memory), Strength, Protection (Defense), War (Tactics).
Over the course of 1 hour, spend an equal amount of time practicing with a weapon or your unarmed strikes, reading any text that you have never read before, and braiding a length of hair while contemplating the mysteries of the multiverse. Hang the length of hair around your neck when your obedience is complete and wear it for the rest of the day. Gain a +4 sacred bonus on all Knowledge checks.
Evangelist or Feat
- Expansive Knowledge (Sp) mage armor 3/day, fox’s cunning 2/ day, or archon's aura 1/day
- Inevitable Fist (Su) For a number of rounds per day equal to your Hit Dice, you can infuse your limbs with the power of perfection. Your unarmed strikes deal damage as if you were one size category larger, and gain the axiomatic or holy magic weapon quality (your choice when activating the ability). Activating or dismissing this ability is a free action, and the rounds don’t need to be consecutive.
- Runic Form (Sp and Su) Nine runic tattoos appear on your body, three for each of the three disciplines of Zouken: mind, body, and spirit. As a standard action (unless otherwise noted) you can discharge the power stored in a tattoo. Once spent, a tattoo’s power returns gradually over the course of 1 week. The tattoo powers are as follows:
Body Tattoos: Two contain cure serious wounds, which you can use as a spell-like ability. One contains restoration, which you can use as a spell-like ability.
Mind Tattoos: Two can each be discharged as a swift action to allow you to reroll a saving throw against an enchantment spell or effect. You must use this ability before you learn the result of your save, and you must take the second result, even if it is lower. The third can be discharged to grant you a +4 sacred bonus to Wisdom for 1 minute.
Spirit Tattoos: Two allow you to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. The third allows you to gain spell resistance equal to 10 + 1 for every Hit Dice you possess for 1 minute.
- Cloud the Mind of the Unwary (Sp) hypnotism 3/day, daze monster 2/day, or suggestion 1/day
- Illusion of Separation (Su) Up to three times per day, when you can cast a spell with a range of touch, treat it as having a range of close instead.
- Walk Above the Earth (Su) You hover several inches off the ground as if levitating. This doesn’t affect your speed, and makes you immune to most kinds of difficult terrain, traps triggered by pressure, and potentially other effects. You can levitate over solid surfaces only, so you fall if you step off a cliff or over a liquid. You can, however, raise or lower yourself as levitate. If you make an attack while hovering, you are not subject to the attack and damage penalties listed in the levitate spell description. However, if you move yourself higher in the air using a move action, you become subject to the attack and damage penalties until you return to the ground.
- Masterful Warrior (Sp) true strike 1/day, false life 2/day, or haste 3/day
- Secrets of the Enemy (Ex) The knowledge you’ve gained over the years regarding different creatures lets you strike your foes with unerring insight. As a standard action, you can study your opponent during combat, a task which requires you to succeed at a Knowledge check related to the enemy’s type (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 99). The DC is equal to 10 + your opponent’s Hit Dice. If you succeed at the check, you gain a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against that enemy. If you fail at the Knowledge check, you may try again with another action, but all subsequent attempts to use this ability against the same enemy take a cumulative –2 penalty.
- Perfection of Form (Ex) You develop your body to such a degree of physical perfection that you become almost untouchable by the ravages of toxins and disease. You gain a +4 sacred or profane bonus on saving throws against poison, magical and supernatural diseases, and spells and effects that cause ability damage, ability drain, or negative levels. You also become immune to nonmagical diseases.
Born in the Saddle
You grew up as a horse-rider, exposed to the exhilaration of riding despite your otherwise civilized background.
Benefit: Ride and Handle Animal are class skills for you.
Clarity of the Prophets
You spend your life in devotion to the gods and prophets of the people.
Benefit: When the DM thinks you are about to do an action that would be out of your alignment or break a code you adhere to, he should tell you and you have the option to cancel that action.
You have passed the desert several times, and have accepted its dangers and made peace with fate.
Benefit: Survial is a class skill for you. You gain a +5 trait bonus on Survival rolls in desert and arid plains terrain.
You have learned the most important thing for a horse raider - speed.
Benefit: You gain a +4 talent bonus on initiative checks when riding a horse.
You were born among horses and fed mare's milk as a child. This gives you a special bond with horses.
Benefit: When you ride a horse, your mount gains temporary hit points equal to your Ride skill modifier. You can renew these temporary hit points as a full-round action, but this costs you one hit point.