Seneschal of Io (3.5e Prestige Class)
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Legate of Io
|“||This fued is over! So I declare it, in the name of Io, who is embodied by Bahamut and Tiamat and whose words are brought to us by Aasterinian.||”|
|—Scaragoth, Mojh Legate of Io|
The history of dragons and mortals is written in blood. As the mortals spread through the world in search of new land to live and cultivate, they tab into the territory of dragons. What starts with some fetched cattle from some farm in the wild and some disturbance of the dragons peace sooner or later becomes an all-out war with casualties on both sides. This is where the Legate of Io step in. They visit those battle torn lands, where wars between dragons and immortals or even between two dragons to negotiate peace treaties between both parties. These treaties often include some kind of tributes by the mortals for the peace or even protection by the dragon. The role of the Legate is deeply embedded within the culture of dragons and so they are treated with respect by them as long as they follow the rules that Io set for them. Characters how are selected by Io for this role experience religious dreams and prophetic visions that offer them this role in dragon society.
Becoming a Legate of Io
Theoretically, anyone of neutral alignment can become a Legate of Io. Bards and druids have it a bit easier to fit in, but some sorcerers and wizards may find their way to this class. Even some exotic fighter or cleric can be found among them. Often they come from races that have a draconic heritage.
|Skills:||Diplomacy 10 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks, Knowledge (Dragons) 5 Ranks, Must speak Old Draconic (a language that is very old and complex. Even dragons only use it in rituals or poetry.)|
|Patron:||Io. The character may adopt the faith just before taking first level of this prestige class.|
|Special:||Must have made friendly contact with at least 2 dragons of at least grown up age.|
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+2||Mark of Concordance|
|3rd||+1||+0||+0||+3||Exchange of favours (1/week)|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+4||Ward of the Legate|
|6th||+3||+2||+2||+5||Exchange of favours (2/week)|
|8th||+4||+2||+2||+6||Voice of the ancient|
|9th||+4||+3||+3||+6||Exchange of favours (3/week)|
|10th||+5||+3||+3||+7||Voice of Io|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level)
All of the following are class features of the Legate of Io.
Mark of Concordance (Su): Upon taking the first step on this path the Legate receives a magical marking on his body (often on his forearm, but the GM may decide to select other parts of the body). The marking stays hidden most of the time but will reveal itself in a dim glowing light when the Legate wants to contact a dragon. The dragon can sense the mark anytime it sees the Legate. As a code of conduct even a hostile dragon will not directly attack the Legate. They still might try to scare the Legate away or block his path.
Parley (Su):The Legate learns a complex phrase in old draconic that invites a dragon to take part in a peaceful negotiation. The dragon hears the words in a distance of 100 feet per class level of the Legate. They are not compelled or otherwise forced to accept the invitation, but it would be a considered as a mayor social faux pas for the dragon not to do so that will taint its reputation with others of its kind and even its relation with the gods of dragons.
Exchange of favors (Ex):At 3rd level the Legate becomes so much used to deal with the nature of dragons, that he receives a bonus of +20 on a diplomacy check when dealing with a dragon or dragon blood creatures. He can use this ability once per week for every three class levels he has. He can even use this to ask for a personal favor for himself. He should be aware of the fact that the dragon might expect a trade-off basing on the effort for the dragon and their relationship, though.
Leadership (Ex): The Legate gets the Leadership feat for free. Often he attracts cohorts like kobolds or lizard folk. Special cohorts may even be replaced by young dragons.
Ward of the Legate (Su):As long as the Legate of 5th level is on a mission to negotiate the interests of dragons he is warded from harm like a permanent sanctuary spell. This effects is also active when the Legate is sleeping, unconscious or otherwise incapacitated. To resist the effect and attack the Legate you have to succeed a will save with a DC of 10+ the charisma modifier of the Legate.
Voice of the ancient (Su):By exposing his mark and speaking threads in the old draconic tongue the Legate can rebuke dragons and dragon blood creatures just as a evil cleric does. This ability can be bolstered by selecting feats that work on clerical turning. The Seneshal can never command a creature this way.
Voice of Io (Ex): Upon reaching 10th level the Legate is treated with great respect by dragons. His words are considered to embody the will of Io and make take 10 on any diplomacy or sense motive check he does when interacting with dragons. Furthermore a dragon will not be hostile on the first contact with the Legate. Often the dragons even allow the Legate to take shelter in its hoard and offers food and other minor services to him and his companions as long as those companions treat the dragon with respect and do not provoke the dragons wrath.
Ex-Legate of Io
A Legate of Io whose alignment changes from true neutral or violates the code of conduct for this class (breaking a treaty with a dragon or stealing from a hoard) can not gain anymore levels in this class before he atones for his sins and changes his alignment back to true neutral. Severe sins (e.g. killing a dragon) will cast him out forever. He loses his Mark of Concordance. With it all bonuses for Diplomacy gained for this class fade away. Those who violate the code of conduct the most can be even marked by the dragon gods as a heretic. Any dragon that senses those heretics will always be hostile towards the character.
Playing a Legate of Io
Combat: The Legate of Io is a supporting class. He can befriend or convey dragons and lesser species of draconic heritage to the course of his party. Also a friendly dragon or a city saved from a dragons wrath might offer him some help later and for other problems. His actual role in combat is more defined by the other classes he has than this one.
Advancement: Even though the diplomacy skill gets bolstered with this class, dragons may be tough to handle. So any ability that boosts the social skills of a character will be a good choice for the Legate of Io character. Also feats that strengthen his rebuke ability will sure proof handy when facing younger dragons or lesser dragon kind. Last but not least his leadership feat might be worth some additional boosts for those how like to have their own kobold tribe as servants.
Resources: Legates of Io do not have an organized guild or official membership. They are chosen individuals scattered all over the world and as the corpses of freshly slain dragons prove again their numbers are still to small to be everywhere where their service is needed. They still can hope to make a helpful deal with a dragon for some help that catch their adversaries by surprise.
Legates of Io in the World
|“||Great Wyrm Ythadrud, Flame of Mount Gura. Hear my words. I have a proposal for you.||”|
<-Where characters of this class fit in a d20 world->
NPC Reactions: Most often the Legates of Io meet desperate people. They are called when the feud between mortals and dragons have already piled up bodies so high that most people have lost hope. In the rare case a Legate of Io arrives before the situation becomes desperate they are facing mistrust by the mortals, since many believe that they are servants of the dragon that will defraud them in favor of the dragon. The people may change their mind when the Legate makes them a good deal with the dragon.
Legate of Io Lore
Characters with ranks in knowledge (dragon) or knowledge (religion) can research Legates of Io to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|11||Legates of Io are able to negotiate with all dragons.|
|16||They are accepted by dragons because of Ios will.|
|21||They bare the Mark of Concordance, a kind of holy symbol of Io.|
|26||Legates of Io are treated as equal to priests of dragon deities by dragons.|
Legates of Io in the Game
In a campaign where dragons are more than an oversized lizard to be thrown before the swords (or wands) of your party the class of the Legate of Io helps to flesh out the draconic culture and include the dragons as a power behind the curtain in the world. The class is excellently suited for campaigns that includes more roleplaying and negotiation than hack ´n slay.
Sample Encounter: A NPC Legate of Io wants to negotiate with a dragon threatening a city. But the hoard of the dragon lies in dangerous wilderness and needs the party as bodyguards for his journey. A Legate has negotiated with a gold dragon and it wants a violated sanctuary to be cleansed of the evil.