Boone carefully unwrapped his spyglass. He would need it on the journey ahead. Ever since finding it, everything had started going right for once.

The spyglass was smart. It had seen Boone’s talent, seen his ambition. Boone was just a navigator - an excellent navigator, the best navigator in all the land - but he had the potential to be so much more. After finding it, he just knew that his luck had changed, and that he would be captain within a week. He couldn’t tell anyone how he knew it, but he knew it.

Three days later, after that poor first officer went mad and tossed the captain and second officer overboard, Boone found himself finally in charge of a ship. Although he wore black to show he was in mourning, he was privately elated - this had been his lifelong dream, finally realized! And he knew that it was his lucky spyglass that had made this happen.

Now it was time for another journey, across the deadly Dragonstooth Sea. The crew was anxious and pleaded with him to change his mind, but Boone knew that this was what he had to do. It was his spyglass who suggested it, and his spyglass was never wrong.

Yes, his spyglass had started speaking to him lately, in a voice only he could hear. It spoke softly, and said its name was Anjelica. Anjelica! What a name for the blessed spyglass that had changed his life. She even began appearing before him at night. The spyglass told Boone that he was to travel across the Dragonstooth Sea and find the general of the White Kingdom’s army. Boone didn’t know why he was going, but he knew to trust Anjelica, even if it meant losing the ship. He would always trust her. She was his friend...


Anjelica, Unholy Scion
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Unholy Scion (LA +5) Human, Dread Necromancer 1/Spellthief 2/Fiend of Possession 2/Mindbender 10

STARTING STATS: Str 8/Dex 12/Con 14/Int 10/Wis 12/Cha 18
STATS AFTER UNHOLY SCION TEMPLATE: Str 8/Dex 14/Con 14/Int 16/Wis 14/Cha 22

The Build:
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Anjelica
{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class / Unholy Scion Features

1st|Dread Necromancer 1|
+0
|
+0
|
+0
|
+2
|Bluff 4 ranks, Hide 4 ranks, Intimidate 4 ranks, Know (arcana) 4 ranks, Diplomacy 2 ranks, Sense Motive 2 ranks|Trickery Devotion, Improved Initiative|Charnel touch, rebuke undead, charm person 3/day

2nd|Spellthief 1|
+0
|
+0
|
+0
|
+4
|Bluff 5 ranks, Intimidate 5 ranks, Hide 5 ranks, Know (arcana) 5 ranks, Diplomacy 2.5 ranks, Sense Motive 2.5 ranks, Spellcraft 4 ranks||Sneak attack +1d6, steal spell, trapfinding

3rd|Spellthief 2|
+1
|
+0
|
+0
|
+5
|Bluff 6 ranks, Intimidate 6 ranks, Hide 6 ranks, Know (arcana) 6 ranks, Diplomacy 3 ranks, Sense Motive 3 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks, Speak Language 3 ranks|Practiced Spellcaster (Dread Necromancer)|Detect magic, spellgrace +1, steal spell effect, desecrate 1/day

4th|Fiend of Possession 1|
+1
|
+2
|
+2
|
+7
|Bluff 7 ranks, Intimidate 7 ranks, Hide 7 ranks, Sense Motive 4 ranks, Diplomacy 5 ranks||Ethereal form, possess object, hide presence

5th|Fiend of Possession 2|
+2
|
+3
|
+3
|
+8
|Bluff 8 ranks, Intimidate 8 ranks, Hide 8 ranks, Sense Motive 6 ranks, Diplomacy 6 ranks||Curse, magic item, enervation 1/day, protection from good 3/day

6th|Mindbender 1|
+2
|
+5
|
+3
|
+10
|Bluff 9 ranks, Intimidate 9 ranks, Hide 9 ranks, Diplomacy 8 ranks|Mindsight|Telepathy

7th|Mindbender 2|
+3
|
+6
|
+3
|
+11
|Bluff 10 ranks, Intimidate 10 ranks, Hide 10 ranks, Diplomacy 10 ranks||Push the weak mind 1/day, skill boost, major image 3/day, poison 3/day

8th|Mindbender 3|
+3
|
+6
|
+4
|
+11
|Bluff 11 ranks, Intimidate 11 ranks, Hide 11 ranks, Know (arcana) 6 ranks, Diplomacy 11 ranks||Mindread 2/day

9th|Mindbender 4|
+4
|
+7
|
+4
|
+12
|Bluff 12 ranks, Intimidate 12 ranks, Hide 12 ranks, Know (arcana) 7 ranks, Diplomacy 12 ranks|Dark Speech|Eternal charm (1), dominate person 1/day, baleful polymorph 1/day

10th|Mindbender 5|
+4
|
+7
|
+4
|
+12
|Bluff 13 ranks, Intimidate 13 ranks, Hide 13 ranks, Know (arcana) 8 ranks, Diplomacy 13 ranks||Push the weak mind 2/day

11th|Mindbender 6|
+5
|
+8
|
+5
|
+13
|Bluff 14 ranks, Intimidate 14 ranks, Hide 14 ranks, Know (arcana) 9 ranks, Diplomacy 14 ranks||Enchantment spell power +2, eternal charm (2), animate dead 1/day, true seeing 3/day

12th|Mindbender 7|
+5
|
+8
|
+5
|
+13
|Bluff 15 ranks, Intimidate 15 ranks, Hide 15 ranks, Know (arcana) 10 ranks, Diplomacy 15 ranks|Master Spellthief|Dominate, mindread 4/day

13th|Mindbender 8|
+6/+1
|
+9
|
+5
|
+14
|Bluff 16 ranks, Intimidate 16 ranks, Hide 16 ranks, Know (arcana) 11 ranks, Diplomacy 16 ranks||Eternal charm (3), push the weak mind 3/day, unholy aura 3/day, unhallow 1/day

14th|Mindbender 9|
+6/+1
|
+9
|
+6
|
+14
|Bluff 17 ranks, Intimidate 17 ranks, Hide 17 ranks, Know (arcana) 12 ranks, Diplomacy 17 ranks||

15th|Mindbender 10|
+7/+2
|
+10
|
+6
|
+15
|Bluff 18 ranks, Intimidate 18 ranks, Hide 18 ranks, Know (arcana) 13 ranks, Diplomacy 18 ranks|Boost Spell-Like Ability|Enchantment spell power +4, eternal charm (4), thrall, harm 1/day[/table]


Spellcasting:
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Dread Necromancer Spells per day
{table=head]Level|1st|2nd|3rd|4th|5th|6th|7th|8th|9th

1st|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

2nd|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

3rd|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

4th|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

5th|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

6th|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

7th|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

8th|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

9th|5|-|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

10th|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

11th|6|3|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

12th|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

13th|6|4|-|-|-|-|-|-|-

14th|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-

15th|6|5|3|-|-|-|-|-|-[/table]




The Background
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Many thieves begin their scandalous careers early in life, but none as early as Anjelica. Her ignominious start began in the womb, when she stole her mother’s heart - and her sanity.

Those were dark and evil days, but Anjelica’s parents, Kyla and Minno, were a rare beam of light and hope. Their love and goodness was incorruptible, much to the chagrin of the fell demon Lilitu. When unable to turn either soul, Lilitu decided to go for easier game, and possessed the small and fragile spirit not yet born, growing in Kyla’s belly.

Her presence warped and changed the unborn Anjelica, who grew a terrible hunger and greed alongside her preternatural intelligence. She spoke to her mother from the womb, convincing her she was blessed by angels. Her mother refused to listen to the priests who attempted to exorcise the cruel demon, and eventually escaped to give birth alone.

Once born, Anjelica developed quickly. She was a small thing, seemingly fragile, but she had hidden the strength and resilience of a demon. She could be sweet, even caring, but that hunger, that desire to possess everything around her, could not be quenched.

Anjelica was not interested in hoarding money or shiny baubles. Her desire was to steal away minds, and love, and magic, and even wrest life itself away from the hands of the gods. She abhorred being around people she did not control, so she built her own friends, taking corpses and animating them with stolen breath. She filled people’s minds with lies and enchantments, and surrounded herself with friends. She coveted magic, which she would hide away for her own purposes.

Greedier than any dragon, Anjelica hoarded her lost and wayward souls. She had no desire to be seen or touched. She had no desire to be recognized. She only wanted to own you, to control you, to push you to your limits. She would hide away, masking her presence in some trinket, and see how far she could push her toys before they broke.

Continue on your merry way. Perhaps you are a free man, thinking your own thoughts. But perhaps Anjelica has stolen your mind, too....


Build Explanation
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Anjelica has quite a lot of tools in her arsenal, and would make an extraordinarily effective NPC, or PC in higher-powered games.

In general, she takes advantage of the fact that while possessing objects, she is very difficult to find or attack, but still can perform any solely mental action - including using telepathy and spell-like abilities.

She avoids directly attacking people whenever possible, preferring to use her minions - animated corpses and those that she has charmed. She is a competent necromancer, primarily using her daily Animate Dead SLA to create mindless bodyguards alongside Desecrate and Unhallow. She can control 4x her HD of these through the ability alone, and can expand on that number considerably via Command Undead. She also has access to unlimited healing on undead via Charnel Touch.

That said, her main tactic is to possess an object, and carefully convert minions. Her Mindbender-granted telepathy, alongside the mindsight feat, take away two of the biggest downsides to possessing an object. With these, she can sense and telepathically communicate with any creatures around her. Mindread also gives her the ability to find out more about those in contact with her possessed item.

Once she finds a target, she uses “push the weak mind” to implant suggestions that make him think that the item she is possessing is lucky or valuable. With this, she gradually encourages them to become dependent upon this item, and convinces them to either serve her in some way or, in very special cases, to become a permanent part of her - in other words, someone valuable enough to be eternally charmed or dominated.

When she needs to show a physical form, rather than leaving the object she is possessing, she uses trickery devotion to create a false double. If she wants to soften up particularly valuable enemies, she will turn herself into a cursed item that penalizes their Will save or hit them with an enervation.

She particularly likes to control spellcasters, and steals their spells and spell effects to greatly increase her own versatility.

That said, she is by no means a one trick pony. In addition to the necromancy and mindbending, she has quite a lot also going for her:

  • She’s incredibly hard to kill - spell resistance, damage reduction, Charisma to AC, fast healing, and the ability to go Ethereal at will, as well as being able to use the Hide skill (which she keeps maxed despite it being cross-class for Mindbender) to avoid some alignment-based attacks.
  • She can turn items magical or curse items.
  • She is trained in Dark Speech, which she primarily uses to destroy objects, but also gives her a number of other powerful abilities, including being able to form a hivemind out of vermin or animals.
  • She has spectacular social skills, between a sky-high Charisma and the Mindbender’s skill boost.
  • She can steal both spells and spell effects, which she primarily uses on her thralls and minions to expand her casting and defenses.
  • She can double as an excellent scout, with etherealness, mindsight, a maxed out Hide skill, the ability to hide in objects, and the ability to create distractions.
  • She has several non-mind effecting ways of attacking (beyond just having her undead or charmed minions attack for her), including baleful polymorph, enervation and harm.



The Secret Ingredient: Mindbender
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In general, the reason people tend to dislike Mindbender as a class is because of the question, “What does Mindbender do that those five lost caster levels couldn’t do better?”

Anjelica finally has an answer to that question. The Fiend of Possession has several very potent abilities, but one significant drawback - when possessing an object or creature, it is restricted from taking anything but purely mental actions. This means that any spellcasting with a verbal, somatic or material component is out completely, and even simple things like communication turn challenging.

Mindbender offers a clean solution to that, which augments and expands Anjelica’s abilities considerably. Right off the bat, the long-range telepathy that Mindbender provides is absolutely huge, and also opens the door for the mindsight feat (which takes care of another of FoP’s drawbacks). Mindbender also provides several key abilities as SLAs; without the ability to implant suggestions or read minds while possessing an object, this build’s main tactics would not work. The dominate ability that mindbender provides is actually far superior to the one she gets from being an unholy scion, as it effects far more creatures and has a significantly better range. And the eternal charm ability simply cannot be duplicated elsewhere.

As for the other abilities, they all have a place in the build. The half-casting progression gives her access to Command Undead, which helps her break her cap on animating the dead, and also improves her Master Spellthief abilities. The skill boosts more than make up for having fewer skill ranks. The enchantment spell power boosting is incredible if it applies to her SLAs, but even if it does not, she has access to every 4th-level and below enchantment spell on the sorcerer/wizard list via spell trigger items thanks to her Spellthief levels, as well as a few spells on the Dread Necromancy list (such as Crushing Despair).


Level by Level Breakdown
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ECL 6 - Human Unholy Scion, Dread Necromancer 1

This is when Anjelica is at her most fragile, thanks to her low hit die. However, her damage reduction, Charisma to AC, fast healing and spell resistance go a long way toward keeping her alive. Anjelica avoids direct combat, hiding and using trickery devotion to draw away attacks until she can successfully charm her opponents.

ECL 10 - Human Unholy Scion, Dread Necromancer 1/Spellthief 2/Fiend of Possession 2

By ECL 10, Anjelica is already impossibly hard to kill. Whenever she is threatened, she goes ethereal and drops underground until she is healed completely via fast healing (and uses mindsight to stay aware of enemies even when she does not have line of sight to them). She buffs herself with Protection from Good, and if she is forced into combat, she distracts with trickery devotion, manifests, and attacks with Charnel Touch plus sneak attack, stealing spells if possible. However, she far prefers to stay hidden in objects, use trickery devotion to make them think she is somewhere else, and silently charm or enervate her opponents from afar.

ECL 15 - Human Unholy Scion, Dread Necromancer 1/Spellthief 2/Fiend of Possession 2/Mindbender 5

At these high levels, Anjelica rarely ever manifests physically unless she is attempting to steal a spell/spell effect or needs to use Dark Speech. She has a permanent thrall via eternal charm, plus attempts to keep others controlled via dominate person, charm person, and the push the weak mind abilities. She has additional offensive potential for those who cannot be controlled mentally, thanks to effects such as baleful polymorph and enervation. She can transfer her senses to the double she creates with trickery devotion while remaining safely ensconced in an object.

ECL 20 - Human Unholy Scion, Dread Necromancer 1/Spellthief 2/Fiend of Possession 2/Mindbender 10

By ECL 20, Anjelica has four eternally charmed, a thrall, plus two other dominate effects, giving her seven long-term companions. She creates undead with no material cost and can control 45 HD of them, plus what she can master via Command Undead. She adds some new defensive spells such as Death Ward to her retinue, and her maxed out Hide skill lets her avoid most of the few negative effects that can actually target her when possessing things. She is extraordinarily persuasive and impossibly hard to kill, contain, or control.


Sources
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TEMPLATES / CLASSES / PRESTIGE CLASSES
Unholy Scion - Heroes of Horror p155
Dread Necromancer - Heroes of Horror p84
Spellthief - Complete Adventurer p13
Fiend of Possession - Fiend Folio p204
Mindbender - Complete Arcana p54

FEATS
Trickery Devotion - Complete Champion p63
Practiced Spellcaster - Complete Arcane p82
Mindsight - Lords of Madness p126
Dark Speech - Book of Vile Darkness p48
Master Spellthief - Complete Scoundrel p79
Boost Spell-like Ability - Book of Vile Darkness p47


Adaptations
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If LA Buyoff from Unearthed Arcana is allowed, it should absolutely be taken advantage of. If that is the case, Anjelica should continue her levels in Fiend of Possession, giving her the ability to animate objects and possess creatures.

Also, both Mindbender and Spellthief list having psionic variations. If this is the case, revamping this as a psionic build would add even more potency. If this is allowed, it might be worth looking into replacing Dread Necromancer with Wilder, and using Psionic Spellthief and Psionic Mindbender. Taking away the Dread Necro spell list would mean that her necromancy would be significantly delayed, as she could not supplement her animate dead SLA with scrolls, but would still be a very viable option.