The Runebound Knight
”Do you want to live?” A woman’s voice said. Jarla was startled; it had been three days since she’d heard a human voice other than that of her gaoler. Her head turned to and fro, looking for the source in the grimy dungeon where she awaited execution, but Jarla could see nothing.
“Of course I want to live, let me god. I’ve done nothing!” Jarla pleaded. This was not true, the crimes she was condemned for were hers by right, but it wasn’t fair that her co-conspirators got away without their names even being tarnished.
“Then the first thing you need to do, Jarla, is learn not to lie,” the voice said again and suddenly there was a blazing light in the hall outside. The rats which were Jarla’s constant and only companions squealed out in fright as they scurried blindly into hiding. A woman walked into sight of Jarla’s cell, standing almost seven feet tall with white hair like luminescent gossamer. Great feathered wings sprung from the woman’s back and she held a beautiful trumpet made of glistening silver.
Jarla shrunk back, she did not know what exactly this woman was but something about the woman filled her with terror. The woman looked into Jarla’s panicking face, “I can offer to extend your life, but it will come at a cost.”
Jarla swallowed the stone of the dungeon cell hard against her back. She would not expect a demon to have appeared so radiant, but with such an offer what else could they be. “And what’s this cost?”
“You must dedicate your life to repentance, your very being becoming a sword of justice with which to cut away the darkness,” the winged woman said.
Jarla stared at her, “So you want me to sell my soul? What kind of fool do you take me to be?”
“I take you as someone who has fallen in over her head. Someone who left alone has gone far down the path of murderer, hired assassin, and warrior for things fell, someone whose soul is liable to fall to the Abyss upon their death, but who still has a sliver of hope for redemption. I can offer you that redemption. I cannot offer you a happy life, nor comfort, but I can offer you a life well lived, and a chance to become someone better,” the woman said.
Out of the corner of her eye Jarla could see the gallows ready for her morning execution. “So what exactly do you mean with dedicate my life to repentance?”
“You must serve the forces of Good, walking the thin line of what is right, you must always do your best to protect and save others. To fail in these tasks may mean your death. In exchange you will be freed from this prison and granted power with which to act. While this power comes from Celestia, it is you, Jarla, who will fuel it; your own soul acting as the force behind it. To over use this power means your death, to neglect it means a slow wasting. You will be a living weapon of justice, a life of conflict and battle. I cannot promise you happiness, and the gallows may be the better choice; they are definitely the easier one,” the archon finished, her gaze locked on Jarla’s.
“I accept,” Jarla said, hesitantly but bravely. Suddenly the wooden door shook and shattered and the archon stepped within. She placed her hand on Jarla’s forehead, Jarla’s blonde forelocks falling back over it. Jarla felt energy surge through her and suddenly everything was a silvery light, a moon formed within it and a seven tiered mountain. The light changed, golden, platinum, iridescent, and many others, and through it all Jarla felt a growing fire within her chest. She wanted to scream in pain, howl in fury, but her breath was gone swept from her by the rushing wind.
Suddenly everything cleared. Jarla was gasping, still feeling a burning in her chest strong enough to cause her to wince in pain. The door was still open, and Jarla heard footsteps coming towards her. A guard was walking down the dungeon hall. He stopped by her open door and said, “Jarla Felsbin, for your crime of murder, assassination, and treason against the crown you have been pardon by order of his majesty Ferdion the Wise.”
Relief flooded Jarla, but the pain in her chest did not fade. Somehow she knew that fire would remain, a reminder of her pact with the mysterious being and her new responsibilities that it brought.
Forged through a pact with the powers of Mount Celestia, a Runebound Knight has traded their freedom for the power to serve as a weapon of good in the world. A Runebound Knight has a runic pact inscribed upon his very soul, and by calling upon these words of power can invoke powerful magic even at the cost of burning through the energy of his very essence. This pact enforces upon a Runebound Knight a code of conduct, striking them ill should she stray from the path of good.
A Runebound Knight is created when an archon makes a pact with a mortal granting the mortal the ability to channel forth the full power of their soul in exchange for serving as a weapon for the promotion of good in the world. A Runebound Knight is always fully informed as to the nature of the pact before accepting, and the act of accepting the pact burns through their soul serving to recreate it and imbue you with the power of Celestia.
Often this pact is given as a deal for a being who fell onto the road of evil, a final chance at redemption a form of celestial parole for those who have committed crimes against justice. More rarely a noble soul in need of aid will be rewarded with this investiture of power, warned prior that to accept means pledging ones entire being to the pursuit of justice. Either way a Runebound Knight finds themselves on a road that is never ending, always the battle against evil and never can the rest too long. Such is the life of one who has traded their soul for the sword.
: A Runebound Knight’s pact leads them to great sweeping quests in the name of good. A simple life is not for them, and by making their pact cannot be theirs any longer. A Runebound Knight will often quest for whatever noble cause presents itself, seeing few other options. Others seek a means to escape their pact by whatever means possible, only obeying it when she must and always looking for scraps of eldritch knowledge that may free them.
: The Runebound Knight can fight along the front lines, a fully competent warrior. Even so she are ultimately a weapon forged by the powers of Mount Celestia for the purpose of combating evil on the Prime and it is only against evil that their full combat ability come to the front. A Runebound Knight is a resilient warrior who can alloy their combat prowess with a wide array of magical abilities. Unfortunately she must be wary for their powers are fueled by their very soul and over use can lead to death.
: Most Runebound Knights eventually become good or dead, their code enforcing a path of righteousness which leads those which hold onto their evil ways to inevitably find themselves dead or worse. Law comes easy to most Runebound Knights, even if inevitably their code forces them to choose good over it. Chaotic individuals chafe unbearably under the constraints placed upon them; even those who would make such choices by nature usually find the fact that she no longer have a truly free choice in the matter unbearable.
: Runebound Knights are not necessarily religious, their powers coming from a celestial source as opposed to a divine one. Even so many Runebound Knights find themselves worshipping gods of Law and Good, especially warrior gods such as Heironeous. Others find themselves turning away from the gods, believing that if even the archons are seeking mortal agents then the gods of good are not living up to their responsibilities.
: Many a Runebound Knight has a background she’d prefer to forget or erase, starting on their path as a chance of redemption for acts she has committed. These people can come from a variety of backgrounds as the Ritual of Branding can reshape a person almost entirely. Others lived exemplary lives, but in a time of great need called out to the forces of light and found their request for help answered through the only means available.
: Every race can spawn a paragon of justice, or one who is willing to risk everything for redemption. Many Runebound Knights rise from amongst the tieflings, attempting through service to the divine to overcome the prejudice against their evil blood. Aasimar often become a Runebound Knight seeking to emulate their own celestial ancestor. Amongst the more common races humans and half-orcs are the most likely to enter onto the path of a Runebound Knight. Few are the elves or dwarves who would sell their longs life into service of even a noble cause.
: A Runebound Knight sees a kinship of sorts with Paladins and Crusaders, even if many feel pangs of jealousy that the powers of these comrades in arms do not endanger them so. Clerics of good aligned gods are an easy ally and fellow in battle, while those which serve dark gods make the most hated foes besides true fiends. A Runebound Knight has little truck with druids, as a druid’s sphere of activity is the natural world and a Runebound Knight deals more in matters of Good and Evil. Arcanists in general a Runebound Knight sees little reason to trust, too often in their duties must she fight a man made mad with the unlimited power that such offers; few admit that she are often more than a little jealous of the safety with which a wizard can use his powers. A psionicist is typically viewed in a better light, their mental discipline and reduced powers seeming to stave off the worst of the temptation towards darkness. Rogues and others of their ilk who focus on mundane skills are considered useful by Runebound Knights for their ability to perform several tasks that she cannot easily. Meanwhile fighters and others who rely upon brute force of weapons are either respected for their courage, or looked down upon for their foolishness.
In warlocks a Runebound Knight finds a twisted mirror, both have traded away full rights to their soul in exchange for the power to change the world; some find it ironic that the dealing with celestials may be the more dangerous. Binders are of special interest for they make pacts dealing with the sanctity of their soul, but instead of a permanent alteration merely allow a creature to ride along with their soul for the interim. Finally those who wield incarnum, especially for noble causes, can also elicit a Runebound Knight’s interest as their power is another, albeit safer, means of channeling the energy of their own soul into a weapon.
: A Runebound Knight is a warrior first. Their magical abilities allow them to augment this with powerful physical buffs, magical healing, and even debuffs and direct magical attacks but ultimately their first weapon is their might of arms. Their resistance to blows from non-evil foes and their ability to increase their defenses give them some stamina while their ability to smite evil foes gives them offense against those foes most likely to overcome their defense. Their most powerful ability, though, is their Soul Runes and ability to act as a front-line combat caster wading into combat with the power of their soul burning bright. Runebound Knights act as their name would imply, fighting on the front line till the day is saved or their light is extinguished.
: A Runebound Knight requires Charisma first and foremost. Their spell saves are set by her charisma and their spells reduce their charisma each time she casts a spell meaning that her Charisma directly determines how many spells she may cast each day as well as their power. Strength and Constitution are the next most important abilities. Strength determining their ability to hit and deal damage without relying on their Soul Runes, meaning the higher their Strength the more she can fall back on their Soul Runes as secondary abilities for solving problems outside of combat, and Constitution determines their in combat durability which is important on the front line.
Dexterity, Intelligence, and Wisdom all take a back seat to these three. Dexterity is still important for determining when she acts in the first round of combat and their AC, even though she may wear heavy armor. Intelligence determines their skill points. Wisdom maintains a strong mental defense although their ability to boost their saving throws, a strong Will save, and their code granted protection against compulsion that would force them to act against it means that she may be able to make it their lowest priority. That said doing so comes at a price as to grossly violate their pact she must make a Will save based on their level.
: A Runebound Knight can be any alignment, although the tenants of her pact will often lead her towards Neutral or Good alignment if she survives.
: As fighter.
: 6d4 x 10.
The Runebound Knight’s class skills and the key ability for them are: Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Heal (Wis), Jump (Str), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Knowledge (the Planes) (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill points per level
: 4 + Int modifier.
|Level||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||0lvl||1st||2nd||3rd||4th||5th||6th||7th |
|Smite Evil 1/minute, Soul Runes, Soul Burning, Rejuvenation||1 (3)||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Bolster Resistance, Hallowed Resilience||1 (3)||3||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Foe Bound||1 (4)||3||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Smite Evil 1/5 rounds, Electricity Resistance 5||1 (4)||2||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Reburn the Runes (10 minutes)||1 (5)||2||3||-||-||-||-||-|
| Empower Soul Rune, Immunity to Petrification ||1 (5)||1||3||-||-||-||-||-|
|Smite Evil ¼ rounds, Tongues||0||1||2||-||-||-||-||-|
|Bolster Defense||0||1 (3)||2||3||-||-||-||-|
|Shelter Ally, Electricity Resistance 10||0||1 (3)||1||3||-||-||-||-|
|Smite Evil 1/3 rounds, Reburn the Runes (full round action)||0||1 (4)||1||2||-||-||-||-|
|Quicken Soul Rune, Aura of Menace||0||1 (4)||1 (3)||2||3||-||-||-|
| Aegis of the Celestial Soldier, +4 on saves versus poison||0||1 (5)||1 (3)||1||3||-||-||-|
| Smite Evil ½ rounds||0||1 (5)||1 (4)||1||2||-||-||-|
|Mass Shelter Ally, Electricity Resistance 20||0||1 (6)||1 (4)||1 (3)||2||3||-||-|
| Reburn the Runes (Swift)||0||1 (6)||1 (5)||1 (3)||1||3||-||-|
| Smite Evil 1/round, Magic Circle against Evil||0||1 (7)||1 (5)||1 (4)||1||2||-||-|
| Reactive Soul Rune||0||1 (7)||1 (6)||1 (4)||1 (3)||2||3||-|
|Transferance||0||1 (8)||1 (6)||1 (5)||1 (3)||1||3||-|
| Smite Evil 2/round, Electricity Immunity||0||1 (8)||1 (7)||1 (5)||1 (4)||1||2||-|
|Paragon of Glory||0||1 (9)||1 (7)||1 (6)||1 (4)||1 (3)||2||3|
: The following are class features of the Runebound Knight.
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies
: A Runebound Knight is proficient in all simple and
martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (except tower
: When a person becomes a Runebound Knight she has a runic pact carved into her very soul, binding her to the path of good even as it empowers her to act in that cause. These runes enforce a code of conduct onto the Runebound Knight even as they give her the power to channel the very essence of their souls to fuel her magical powers.
These runes enforce restrictions on a Runebound Knight. It is possible to break these restrictions but depending upon the severity of the breach a Runebound Knight suffers a penalty to attack rolls, saves, skills, and ability checks for a certain duration and may have to make a Will save to even commit the action. A charm spell cannot force a Runebound Knight to commit an act that would cause a Will save to commit, and if a compulsion or other mind-affecting effect would force a Runebound Knight to commit an act against their code she gains an immediate Will save at +4 against the same DC to break free of the effect; if the act would require a Will save the Runebound Knight must still make the Will save to commit the act even though she may not choose to fail the save. A Runebound Knight intuitively knows if an action would violate their code (i.e. the DM warns them). If every possible action would result in a violation of the code the Runebound Knight can intuitively know which act would be the least violation and suffers no penalty for committing it nor does she have to make a Will save. You may not suffer a penalty for the same action more than once (if you refuse to aid the villagers killing ogres attacking them you will not suffer the penalty again for refusing to aid the villagers in killing those ogres). Penalties imposed from violating the code stack with each other.
Least Violations: Committing such an act inflicts a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skills and ability checks by the Runebound Knight for 1 minute.
Using a Soul Rune to deal full damage to a neutral aligned sentient creature committing an evil act; you suffer this penalty even if this is the least infraction available.
Using a Soul Rune to deal full damage to an inanimate object or non-intelligent non-living creature; you suffer this penalty even if this is the least infraction available.
Refusing to aid a known evil creature in need if there is valid reason to suspect that such need is genuine and it will not further evil ends and doing so would not put you in danger.
Allow harm to an innocent to go unpunished.
Tell a lie for personal ends that does not directly harm the listener; this does not include a lie told to protect an innocent or aid an innocent in need.
Disrespect legitimate non-evil authority; cannot activate more than once per ultimate authority source per day (ultimate authority source here being the highest authority in said power structure).
Minor Violations: Committing such an act inflicts a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skills and ability checks by the Runebound Knight for 1 hour.
Slaying an unconscious (evil) foe which shows possibility for reform.
Using a Soul Rune to deal damage to a good aligned creature committing an evil act; you suffer this penalty even if this is the least infraction available.
Using a Soul Rune to deal full damage to a living creature with Int 2 or less or non-ability in Intelligence; you suffer this penalty even if this is the least infraction available.
Refusing to aid a sentient neutral creature in need if there is no valid reason to suspect that such need is not genuine and it will not further evil ends and doing so would place yourself in non-suicidal danger.
Tell a lie for personal ends that may harm the listener.
Allow harm to an innocent to happen when you could prevent it at cost to yourself.
Disrespect legitimate authority of an outsider with the good subtype or priest of a good aligned god; cannot activate more than once per ultimate authority source per day (ultimate authority source here being the highest authority in said power structure).
Moderate Violations: Committing such an act inflicts a -2 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skills and ability checks by the Runebound Knight for 1 hour. A Will save DC 10 + Soul Rune level is required to commit such an act.
Slaying an unconscious sentient neutral creature who attempted or committed an evil act in your presence.
Refusing to aid a good creature in need if there is no valid reason to suspect that such need is not genuine and it will not further evil ends and doing so would place yourself in non-suicidal danger.
Tell a lie for personal ends that may cause grievous harm to the listener.
Stealing for personal gain.
Cheating for personal gain.
Torture to further good ends.
Committing any unquestionably evil act.
Attacking a creature without just cause; such as to prevent it from committing an evil act or to avenge one it has committed.
Allowing an innocent to be killed through inaction when non-suicidal action was possible.
Knowingly allying with an Evil Outsider.
Major Violations: Committing such an act inflicts a -3 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skills and ability checks by the Runebound Knight for 1 hour. A Will save DC 15 + Soul Rune level is required to commit such an act.
Slaying an evil foe which has surrendered.
Refusing to aid a sentient neutral creature in need if there is no valid reason to suspect that such need is not genuine and it will not further evil ends and doing so would not put you in danger.
Slaying an unconscious good creature who attempted or committed an evil act in your presence.
Slaying a sentient neutral creature which has surrendered.
Allowing an evil creature to kill an innocent through inaction when non-suicidal action was possible.
Using a soul rune to deal damage to a sentient neutral creature which is not committing an evil act; you suffer this penalty even if this is the least infraction available though in such a case you do not need to make a Will save to commit this action.
Harming an innocent.
Disrespecting the legitimate authority of an archon, or representative of a Lawful Good god’s will.
Serving an evil authority.
Dire Violations: Committing such an act inflicts a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skills and ability checks by the Runebound Knight for 1 hour. A Will save DC 20 + Soul Rune level is required to commit such an act.
Refusing to aid a good creature in need if there is no valid reason to suspect that such need is not genuine and it will not further evil ends and doing so would not put you in danger.
Allowing an innocent to die through your inaction for personal gain.
Slaying a good creature which has committed an evil act before you and has surrendered.
Using a soul rune to deal half damage to a good creature; you suffer this penalty even if this is the least infraction available though in such a case you do not need to make a Will save to commit this action.
Serving an evil outsider, or priest of an evil god.
Grave Violations: Committing such an act inflicts a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, skills and ability checks by the Runebound Knight for 1 hour and a -2 penalty for 1 day. You also take 2d6 Charisma burn. A Will save DC 20 + Soul Rune level is required to commit such an act.
Killing an innocent for personal gain.
Disrespecting the authority of the patron that gave you your pact.
Refusing to aid a vast number (1000+) of good creatures in need.
Knowingly endangering the world.
Serving an archfiend or evil deity.
Special: For every week a Runebound Knight spends without actively using their powers to improve the world a Runebound Knight suffers a cumulative -4 to Charisma. This penalty instantly fades once a Runebound Knight acts to perform acts of good to cleanse evil. This penalty does not accrue should the Runebound Knight be unable to further the cause of good.
In addition to acting as a code constraining a Runebound Knight’s actions, his Soul Runes fuel her magical powers. These determine the highest level Soul Runes she can use and his use of them, although the actual activation is described in Burn Soul. These abilities are Spell-like abilities. Your Soul Rune level is equal to your class level and any levels in Prestige Classes which raise it and acts as your Caster Level for your Soul Runes.
A Soul Rune deals no damage, ability damage or drain, and/or negative levels to good creatures, and only half damage, ability damage or drain, and/or negative levels to neutral creatures. By twisting the rune a Runebound Knight can deal half damage, ability damage or drain, and/or negative levels to good creatures or full to neutral creatures. Doing so inflicts penalties similar to violating their pact and such penalties are listed together.
Finally the Soul Runes preserve the soul from the effects of negative energy, bolstering it even as they are fueled by its essence. If a Runebound Knight would gain negative levels equal to her character level she instead gains 1 less than her character level.
The save DC of your Soul Runes is 10 + spell level + your Charisma modifier.
A Runebound Knight can utter the name of one of the runes carved into her soul and in so doing pull magical force from her Soul Runes activating them even as he burns his own soul in the process. To do so is a spell-like ability, but unlike most spell-like abilities XP costs must still be paid and all Soul Runes have a Verbal Component. Activating a Soul Rune requires a Runebound Knight to deal herself an amount of Charisma burn based upon its level listed in the table above, the number (if any) in parentheses is the number of free uses of a rune of that level a Runebound Knight may use each day before suffering Charisma burn. This ability burn cannot be prevented in any way. Should it, or the Charisma burn from committing a Grave Violation of their pact, reduce a Runebound Knight’s Charisma to 0 she dies at the end of their action; this is considered a Death effect for the purposes of determining what spells can be used to revive the Runebound Knight. In addition activating a Soul Rune produces bright light out to 60-ft and shadowy illumination out to 120-ft for 1 round; this is considered a light effect with a level equal to the Soul Rune level.
By paying an additional 1 Charisma burn a Runebound Knight may activate her Soul Rune without a Verbal Component or without producing light; by paying 2 Charisma burn a Runebound Knight may negate both qualities.
: Once per minute, a Runebound Knight may attempt to smite evil with one normal melee or ranged attack. She adds +4 bonus to her attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per Runebound Knight level. For example, a 13th-level Runebound Knight armed with a longsword would deal 1d8+13 points of damage, plus any additional bonuses for high Strength or magical affects that would normally apply. If the Runebound Knight accidentally smites a creature that is not evil, the smite has no effect, but the ability is still expended.
At 4th level, and every 3 levels there after the rate at which a Runebound Knight may use her Smite Evil ability improves as listed on the table above.
: A Runebound Knight heals ability burn at an accelerated rate compared to other creatures. With a night’s rest she heals 3 points of ability burn per class level per ability, and with 24 hours of complete bed rest she heals all ability burn.
Bolster Resistance (Su)
: The pact which fuels a Runebound Knight’s powers also protects her. By taking 2 points of Charisma burn (this charisma burn cannot be prevented in any way) as an immediate action a Runebound Knight may add her class level to the next saving throw she makes.
Hallowed Resilience (Su)
: A Runebound Knight is protected from harm gaining DR equal to half her class level; damage from unholy weapons or which counts as evil aligned overcomes this DR.
Foe Bound (Su)
: A Runebound Knight is a weapon against evil. When a 3rd level or higher Runebound Knight uses Smite Evil on a foe she may inflict 2 Charisma burn (which cannot be reduced) to herself to make every attack against that target for the next minute gain a bonus to hit and damage as if she were using her Runebound Knight Smite Evil ability.
Reburn the Runes (Su)
: A Runebound Knight has learned that flexibility is required to serve the greater good. She may rearrange the runes of their soul to maximize their fight against evil. Beginning at 5th level a Runebound Knight may change her Soul Runes known by spending 10 minutes and suffering Charisma burn. The Runebound Knight takes 1 point of Charisma Burn (which cannot be reduced) per Soul Rune changed or 4 points to change all of them. At 10th level a Runebound Knight may rearrange the runes as a full round action taking 1 point of Charisma Burn (which cannot be reduced) per Soul Rune changed or 4 points to change all of them. At 15th level a Runebound Knight may rearrange the runes as a swift action taking 1 point of Charisma Burn (which cannot be reduced) per Soul Rune changed or 6 points to change all of them, in addition the cost to change all of them when taking 10 minutes is reduced to 2 points.
Empower Soul Rune (Su)
: A Runebound Knight may fuel the power of her Soul Runes further at the cost of his own soul. Beginning at 6th level by paying an additional 2 Charisma burn when activating a Soul Rune a Runebound Knight may empower it (as the Empower Spell feat) with no change to casting time or effective level.
: As the runes burned into a Runebound Knight’s soul matures the Runebound Knight takes on qualities of the archons which applied them. At 7th level a Runebound Knight gains a permanent Tongues
effect; if it is dispelled the Runebound Knight may reactivate it as a free action.
Bolster Defense (Su)
: The defenses imbued into the Runebound Knight become more intricate protecting him from harm. As an immediate action a Runebound Knight may deal herself 2 Charisma burn (which may not be reduced or prevented) to add a Sacred bonus to AC equal to her class level until the start of his next action. While this ability is active the Runebound Knight shines with light equivalent to a Daylight spell.
Shelter Ally (Su)
: The Runebound Knight cannot be expected to only defend themselves. By dealing herself an additional 1 Charisma burn a Runebound Knight may activate Bolster Resistance or Bolster Defense on another creature within 30-ft instead of herself; the bonus is still derived from the Runebound Knight's class levels.
Aura of Menace (Su)
: A righteous aura surrounds a Runebound Knight when she fights or get angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of the Runebound Knight must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + ½ Class level + Charisma modifier) to resist its effects. Those who fail take a –2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit the Runebound Knight that generated the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same Runebound Knight’s aura for 24 hours.
Quicken Soul Rune (Su)
: A Runebound Knight may hasten the use of her Soul Runes, though doing so risks further damaging her own soul. Beginning at 11th level by taking an additional 2d3 Charisma burn when activating a Soul Rune a Runebound Knight may activate it as a Swift action.
Aegis of the Celestial Soldier (Su)
: The radiance of the Runebound Knight’s runes shelters them from blows even when the warrior does not expend her spiritual energy to cause them to blaze forth. Beginning at 12th level a Runebound Knight gains a Sacred Bonus to AC equal to half her Charisma modifier if positive.
Mass Shelter Ally (Su)
: A Runebound Knight learns how to extend her soul to protect a number of nearby creatures. Beginning at 14th level, when using Bolster Resistance or Bolster Defense a Runebound Knight may apply it to any number of target creatures within 60-ft. To do so she must pay an additional 2 points of Charisma burn.
Magic Circle against Evil (Su)
: A magic circle against evil effect always surrounds a Runebound Knight (caster level equals the Runebound Knight’s class level).
Reactive Soul Rune (Su)
: A Runebound Knight may use her Soul Runes reflexively, though doing so risks further damaging her own soul. Beginning at 17th level by taking an additional 3d4+1 Charisma burn when activating a Soul Rune a Runebound Knight may activate it as an Immediate action.
: A Runebound Knight has learned to push the ravages of her soul onto her body. Beginning at 18th level once per day a Runebound Knight may transfer all Charisma burn, damage, and/or drain she is currently suffering to an equal amount of burn, damage, and/or drain to one of Strength, Constitution, or Wisdom.
Paragon of Glory (Ex)
: A Runebound Knight’s Soul Runes blossom into full splendor and her powers rise to match. At 20th level a Runebound Knight takes 1 less point of Charisma burn to activate Foe Bond, Bolster Defense, Bolster Resistance, Empower Soul Rune, Quicken Soul Rune, and Reactive Soul Rune. The cost to use Reburn the Runes becomes 0 to change a single Soul Rune known as an action taking 10 minutes, 2 to change them all as a full-round action, 1 to change a single Soul Rune known as a swift action, and 4 to change them all as a Swift action.
In addition if the Runebound Knight is not Lawful Good she may immediately change their alignment to Lawful Good as if through the Atonement spell.
If the Runebound Knight is Lawful Good, or ever becomes Lawful Good, her type changes to Outsider and she gains the Law, Good, and Archon subtypes. She gains the ability to Teleport without Error (self plus 50 lbs of gear only) at-will and the save DC for their Aura of Menace gains a +2 racial bonus. She gains any other Outsider and Archon traits she does not already possess.
Soul Runes Known
Soul Runes: These function as the spell of the same name except as noted in Burn Soul and any specific exceptions noted on the spells themselves.
How They Change the World
Runebound Knights are holy crusaders, a small change to the world of D&D with its paladins and clerics except they have other implications. A Runebound Knight is empowered by the archons meaning that they have taken an active role in influencing the fate of the Prime Material World. In addition they serve to bring a focus on the archons and their actions, as well as question of how their methods differ from those of fiends. The existence of Runebound Knights also implies the existence of souls trapped in a purgatory of heroic crusades, fighting their way for virtue knowing that they can never again rest happily. It also competes with paladins as crusading forces of good, even as it shows that warlocks are not the only ones selling their souls for power. It also implies an emphasis on Good over Law amongst the celestials of Mount Celestia, forging a weapon that slays Evil with no special powers against Chaos.
An organization of Runebound Knights could act as knight errants attempting to cleanse the world of evil, or as a singular figure struggling against the dark but doomed to fail. In general, while they bring up questions of the nature of what it means to be good and if the choice to be evil is taken away whether being good is still something of value, their presence in high numbers lightens the tone by indicating that the forces of good take an interest in the world. In low numbers they can remind that the struggle of the hero is often one which leads to a ruined life, and a quick death especially if they are almost unique indicating that the forces of good, or at least the archons, do not care much for the world.