View Full Version : Duskblades (and variants)

2006-09-05, 03:38 PM
Dawn Mourner – Duskblade Variant

In the anchient days of the elves, it is whispered, there were mighty mage-warriors, called Duskblades, who fought for the good of the elven nation under the call of Corellion. It is not known why they are called duskblades, and most presume that it is the combination of martial prowess and arcane ability- combination of the night and day, that leads them to be called duskblades.

The name is much darker, and the reason for the fall of the duskblades far more sinister.

Before the fall of the drow, the dark cousins enjoyed life above the ground with their brethren. The goddess Araushnee, the consort of Corellon Larethian, was their patron. Her dark beauty was reflected in their dark features. While Corellon favored the famous blade singers, fighter-mages of unparalleled ability, Araushnee created her own followers, dark skinned fighters who displayed some arcane ability. This amused Corellon, who granted the duskblades extraordinary ability. In their day, they were as popular as bladesingers, and far more common. They were seen as the forerunners of the elven hosts, and the battles dealing with ancient ogres and dragons fell mostly on their shoulders.

When Araushnee led the defeat of the ogre and dragon gods, she felt that her victory should be rewarded with a place at the top of the elven pantheon. Her earlier desire to be married to her love was overshadowed by her victory, her desire to be a ruler and queen among the elves.

Her coup was a failure- the elven gods stood behind their father, casting Araushnee from Arvandor (the home of the elven gods), and banishing her to the Demonweb Pits for all eternity. Her form, once beautiful and the envy of all the gods, became a hideous demon-spider, who still carried the face that she carried in life.

This fall was disastrous for the races of surface elves. The priestesses of Araushnee, once the patrons of the art and destiny, became darkened, as Araushnee took upon herself the name of Lolth, the spider queen and the goddess of darkness, chaos, and evil. Her priestesses followed her, almost to a one, and continued the fight to gain her the kingdom of the elves. The Kinwar was bloody, its combatants all elven, and the damage to the nation (and its people still) was incredible. Whole races were wiped from the face of the earth- the duskblades were divided, some holding onto their place as the elven defenders, others following their dark goddess. The duskblades who remained above ground taught the craft to fair-skinned elves, and their legacy has limped along, crippled and close to dying, ever since.

This new age has seen the beginnings of a return- the duskblade teachings, once only held by a handful of the oldest elves on the face of Faerun, now begins to be taught to new followers, new defenders who fight for the elven host.

Lolth all but destroyed the duskblades who followed her below ground, angered that so many had remained above ground to defend the light-skinned elves. Those who proved their loyalty fought long and hard to remove the stain from their reputation, but even still, their numbers fell. While the teachings languished above ground, their followers were a dark cabal below ground, their memory forgotten by the thousands of years that followed. The teachings remain- available to a small few, and they still practice the art of the duskblade- the merging of magic and steel that makes them so lethal.

But Lolth is Araushnee no longer, and tolerates no light in her house. The duskblades that followed her were required to hunt down the duskblades that stayed above ground, murdering thousands of their comrades who had remained true to Corellon. This thinned the ranks of the duskblades above ground, as well as pleasing the new dark goddess. But this led new duskblades to be taught a different path than their predecessors had walked. Where once the duskblades practiced lethality in combat, now they fought darkly- their magic was more akin to an assassin than a duskblade.

Dawnmourners consider themselves the only true duskblades, viewing their ‘fallen’ comrades with disgust. A Dawnmourner will go to any lengths to kill a duskblade, even sacrificing themselves (and demanding that their companions help in the fight).

Their magic has been replaced, Dawnmourners using assasins’ dark magicks rather than the arcane abilities granted by Corellon. (all other abilities are the same)

((This is the writeup I did for a friend's drow campaign, so I could play a duskblade. The problem that I ran into, as you might expect, is that a duskblade, while a cool class, doesn't have many useful spells in the underdark. Also, because of the mysterious wording of the entry in the PHB II, it leaves much up to the imagination. I imagined this. I'm up for just about anything- possible continuity errors, ways to balance it, outright criticism.))

-Logain the Pirate

2006-09-05, 04:42 PM
So...what does that mean statistically?

2006-09-05, 05:24 PM
Honestly, mostly it's just flavor. This is pretty much identical to the duskblade in the PHB II, but with assassin spells, rather than the duskblade spells.

-Logain the Pirate