The Blazonry Guard (3.5e NPC)

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Member of the Blazonry Guard

CR 7

Male or female undead
LN Medium undead
Init/Senses +5/Listen -3, Spot -3
Languages Maridian (plus Gutnisk for Gareth, Khabarat for Hassan, Mitter for Jaques, Vulici for Vaeno, Luskan for Elerie)
AC 21, touch 11, flat-footed 20
(+1 Dex, +10 armor)
hp 78 (12 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +4/+5/+5
Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
Melee +1 greatsword +12/+7 (2d6+7/19-20) or +1 greataxe +12/+7 (1d12+7/×3) (Forbald only)
Ranged masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str) +8/+3 (1d8+4/×3) or +1 composite longbow (+4 Str) +8/+3 (1d8+5/×3) (Jaques only)
Base Atk/Grp +6/+10
Special Actions unearthly awe
Abilities Str 19, Dex 13, Con —, Int 10, Wis 5, Cha 10
SQ darkvision 60 ft., nondetection, undead traits
Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword or greataxe)
Skills Knowledge (history) +15, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +15, Sense Motive +12, Use Rope +16
Possessions +1 greatsword, masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str), +2 full plate
Unearthly Awe (Su) At the mere sight of a Blazonry Guard, the viewer must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or be paralyzed with fear for 1d4 rounds. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same Guard's unearthly awe ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Nondetection (Su) A Blazonry Guard has a continuous nondetection ability as the spell (caster level 12th).

Member of the Blazonry Guard (unarmored)

CR 7

Male or female undead
LN Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init/Senses +5/Listen -3, Spot -3
Languages Maridian (plus Gutnisk for Gareth, Khabarat for Hassan, Mitter for Jaques, Vulici for Vaeno, Luskan for Elerie)
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 11
(+1 Dex, +1 deflection)
hp 78 (12 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +4/+5/+5
Speed Fly 30 ft. (perfect) (6 squares)
Melee incorporeal touch +7 melee (1d4 Wisdom drain plus armor possession)
Base Atk/Grp +6/—
Special Actions armor possession
Abilities Str —, Dex 13, Con —, Int 10, Wis 5, Cha 10
SQ darkvision 60 ft., nondetection, incorporeal traits, undead traits
Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (greatsword)
Skills Knowledge (history) +15, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +15, Sense Motive +12, Use Rope +16
Armor Possession (Su) A Blazonry Guard that isn't currently possessing an armor is in a severely weakened state, and will attempt to possess a suitable suit of armor whenever possible. Blazonry Guards can only possess magical armor, and can possess an unattended, unworn armor as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

When a Blazonry Guard possesses an armor this way, it returns to its armored state (see above), with the following changes: its armor bonus to AC becomes equal to the AC bonus granted by the possessed armor (and it benefits from any other special abilities that armor might have), its movement speed changes to that of a Medium humanoid wearing that armor (30 ft. for light armor, 20 ft. for medium and heavy armor), and its hit points become equal to the armor's AC bonus × 5 plus 10 hit points for each +1 of the armor's enhancement bonus. A Blazonry Guard can't exceed its normal maximum hit points this way.

However, a Blazonry Guard can also attempt to possess an armor worn by an opponent by succeeding on a touch attack against that opponent. If it does, that opponent must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or the Blazonry Guard enters his armor. Thereafter that opponent must succeed on a DC 16 Will save at the beginning of each of his turns or be controlled by the Blazonry Guard that turn, exactly as by a dominate person effect.

A Blazonry Guard that's possessing a worn armor takes no actions on its own turn. The possession seizes only when the armor is removed or destroyed (which the Blazonry Guard will attempt to stop whenever it gains control) or when the possessed opponent dies, in which case the Blazonry Guard animates the armored corpse exactly as if it had possessed an unattended armor. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Nondetection (Su) A Blazonry Guard has a continuous nondetection ability as the spell (caster level 12th).
Wisdom Drain (Su) A Blazonry Guard causes 1d4 points of Wisdom drain each time it hits with its incorporeal touch attack. On each such successful attack, it gains 5 temporary hit points.

NOTE: The Blazonry Guard are an order of NPCs in the Years of Gold setting, and the entry reflects that. They should be easy enough to adapt to games and campaigns in other settings, but remember to check them over for Pansaer-exclusive content.

History[edit]

After his glorious series of victories in the Arn-Wars and his subsequent ascension to king of the western lands, Parcel Brunhelm declared that he would bring together great warriors from across the lands to receive knighthood and to serve as his personal army in the recently-established Fort Brunid. The eight greatest among these champions, each of them a legendary hero of the Arn-Wars, became the kings most elite guard, a bulwark against attempts on his person: his Blazonry Guard.

The eight get their name from their glorious magical armor, forged custom-made by dwarven smiths and emblazoned with the kings' coat of arms: a bull moose. After the eight passed away like all mortals are wont to do, the king sent out men to find a replacement for each one, from the same provinces the originals came from and with the same attributes and skill. They would disappear overnight, without explanation given to their friends and relatives, and don the inherited armor of the original Blazonry Guard, along with their name and habits in honor of the fallen hero.

...or so the stories - and the king's court - would have the people believe. In reality, when the eight original members of the Blazonry Guard become old and tired, the king summoned the greatest necromancers from the Worldspine. Incredible magics took place in the high towers of Fort Brunid, and as the ritual finished, the eight had become living dust, capable of animating the armor they had once worn with pride. The story of inherited identity was concocted and the people took the bait.

Now the Blazonry Guard is almost five hundred years old. They've stood against many a threat, from assassinations to small-scale invasions, always by the king's side. When a king passes, the Blazonry Guard adopts the new king as their ward. It's just as their creed says: "The king is under the Guard's protection, as he always has been and always will be."

Appearance and beliefs[edit]

knight_by_arkiniano-d9ikgmj.jpg
A knight in shining armor
since time immemorial.

To maintain the ruse of adopted identity, the members of the Blazonry Guard never leave their magical full plates. It's just as well, since without a physical form they have little power over the world. With their armors on, the Guard members are 6' 0'' to 6' 10'' tall and weigh 200 to 350 lb., depending on the member. The superbly crafted armor gives them an air of supernatural awe and power, with each of the plates customized to reflect its wearers unique features and quirks. The armor also covers the wearer from head to toe, which is convenient for the ruse.

Without their armor on, the Blazonry Guard look like swirling clouds of corpse dust, attempting to maintain a human form but being incapable of doing it without an armor to support it. Their akin to ghosts or specters in the sense that their connection to the physical world is limited, but they can be harmed with magic.

While the members of the guard were great men and women of clear characters, the nigh-five hundred years that have passed have eroded them, since the magic that went into their creation was not perfect. They have slowly but surely become nothing but caricatures of themselves, clinging to the few features they remember of their life. In effect, they've become characters instead of actual people. Each of the Guard's members has unique features of their own:

  • Sir Bodil the Blade was the captain of the king's fleet and a masterful wielder of the greatsword, which explains the nickname. He's talkative and moxious, and his armor is decorated with silver seashells.
  • Sir Forbald the Fat was a major noble in the young Redford area. His nickname comes from the fact that he was an enormous person, not only thick but also tall, meaning his armor is massive. He has a flamboyant personality and an ego to match, and unlike the others, wields a greataxe.
  • Sir Gareth is a dwarven knight whose inclusion into the Blazonry Guard brought the western kingdoms and the dwarven empire closer together. He's a grim fellow, but famously protective of the other Guards, especially the ladies.
  • Sir Hassan bin Ur claims to be the illegitimate son of Al-Ur, the first sultan of Dharuum. He came from the east and aided Parcel Brunhelm to retake Lindgalen from rebels, earning him a knighthood. Hassan is reserved but kind, and always has a soothing, mediating thought for every situation.
  • Sir Jaques Vert is a man of Tull, and it shows: he's slow to speak and thinks things through, but when he reaches a decision will not be swayed by anyone. He prefers the bow to the sword, and is the only among his fellows who's composite longbow is magical.
  • Sir Vaeno Navenfri is the only goliath among the Guard, and is easily recognizable by his size, although he's not as large as Forbald. His last name indicates that he's never discovered what his patron animal is, which contributes to his quick-to-anger, spiteful nature that's at odds with his race.
  • Lady Belianna is the first king Parcel Brunhelm's own daughter, a great champion who defended the king for familial ties long before she became a knight. As the youngest of the Blazonry Guard, she is eager to prove herself and to show off, and is recognizable from her small frame.
  • Lady Elerie, Queen of the Plains was a famous horse-riding rebel from Remoras prairie, who defected to the king's side after being defeated by his daughter Belianna. She is calm and stern, and quick to make judgments. She rather dislikes non-humans, so much as to only put up with Sirs Gareth and Vaeno from loyalty to the king.

Followers and allies[edit]

See Eric Brunhelm.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

See Eric Brunhelm.

Combat[edit]

The guard tends to work in pairs to better divide their attention to the various parts of Fort Brunid. Each of them has a specific tactic in battle, but as a generalization all of them close in on foes quickly to take advantage of their unearthly awe ability, and hack foes apart with massed attacks. Sundering weapons and shields is also a common tactic, and is very effective, thanks to the swords the Guards wield. All of the Guards can (and will, if the situation calls for it) fight at range with their longbows.

Sirs Bodil and Hassan always initiate fights with a charge, then devastate enemies with full attacks. Sirs Forbald and Vaeno are quick to follow after, and are the most likely to sunder their opponent's weapons - Forbald even bull rushes foes from time to time, preferably off a balcony. Sir Jaques stays back with his bow, but fights just as well in melee, and Sir Gareth takes aid another and total defense actions to better help his Guardsmates. Lady Belianna rushes to melee to show off, whereas Elerie enjoys disarming foes before slaying them.

If someone is powerful enough to bring a Blazonry Guard to 0 hit points, the armor falls apart and the spirit inside the armor is set loose. It instantly tries to possess a new armor, preferably an unattended one (the corridors of Fort Brunid are lined with decorative plates) but can and will attack opponents if need be. The Blazonry Guard never seek to stay in unarmored form, and what little personality they have left is entirely subdued while in this form.

NOTE: The dual-stat nature of the Blazonry Guard might make them seem like an intimidating encounter to run, but it's actually rather simple. Just remember that a single Blazonry Guard is just one entity, even if it has both an armored and a spirit form. The spirit can't be killed if it's possessing an armor, and killing just the armor doesn't grant experience - that's not the creature itself, just its cover. It's a good idea to introduce your players to the nature of the guard before running an adventure with a lot of fight with them, since the intricacies of their condition might be lost in intense combat.


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