Prying open the archives.
Quote Originally Posted by Aundair Yannedge-Owens
Aundair Yannedge-Owens
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ONE of the greatest explorers of our time, a legend in his own lifetime and feted hero of Khorvaire, Henry "Aundair" Yannedge-Owens, has died at the age of 124 after a short illness.

Best known for his sensational recovery of the Cup of Resurrection from a ruined giant temple in the bowels of Xen'drik - which granted both Yannedge-Owens and his father (the respected scholar Henry Yannedge Sr.) a lifespan beyond the normal human range - Yannedge-Owens had had a long and colourful career from his acceptance as a teenager into the archaeology faculty at Morgrave University. His old professors remembered him as a bookish, devout student, who on joining the university intended to focus his researches in the distinctly quiet field of the translation, editing and study of ancient magical texts, and who proved a bright but somewhat unreliable talent.

Yannedge-Owens' student career took a turn for the action-oriented, however, when a field trip to examine some antique magical stelae in a lizardfolk community in Q'barra saw the university party ambushed by bandits. The young scholar put the riding skills learned in his farmstead upbringing to good use, catching a horse, bringing the bandit leader to bay with a whip and bringing the cache of valuable ancient items safely back to the university museum.

"Having once tasted drama," his official biographer, Spee L. Burg, wrote in Volume I of the compendious /Adventures of Henry Yannedge-Owens/, "young Henry developed a palate for risk and danger that rapidly became an addiction." The technical side of his magical studies, though never fully abandoned, fell by the wayside as he pursued a career in the field, braving cavernous mountains and sweltering jungles to seek out shrines closed off by rockfall or long since overgrown.

Always a devout follower of the Sovereign Host, Yannedge-Owens took as a central tenet of his archaeology the belief that the gods of distant or long-extinct races were emanations of the same divine source, and sought to rescue the holy treasures of such lost temples with an eye to returning them to civilisation where they could be used and reverenced by the faithful. Considering the trajectory of his career, it is possible to trace the burgeoning and strengthening of this belief, from its first roots in the simple but heartfelt religion of a backcountry boy, through the undoubtedly heroic acts of his middle career (but which were still undertaken largely for their own sake), to the absolute conviction in his later life that his career was not merely a profession but a holy calling, which he could no more refuse than he could refuse to breathe or sleep.

This steadfast faith in the essential unity and, moreover, essential goodness of all races - which manifested in a reluctance to join combat and, once joined, a refusal to kill or injure unless fighting for his life - saw him come into conflict on more than one occasion with those of differing opinions, most notably the more militant offices of the Church of the Silver Flame. His retrieval of the lost Casket of Angels from far beneath the Valenar desert - on which expedition he met the druidess Mariel Woodraven, whom he would later marry - was hotly contested by the inquisitors of that faith. What happened to those exorcists present has never been adequately explained, but the word "melted" figures prominently. The Cup of Resurrection was similarly contested, with a high-ranking cleric of the Flame lost in the ensuing avalanche, and in that case the artefact in question could not be retrieved, being lost forever under a million tons of stone.

In his last interview, granted to this newspaper late last year, Yannedge-Owens cited the latter loss as the single greatest disappointment of his entire career, lamenting that an artefact of such wondrous potential and divine grace would go for another aeon unused. Asked, perhaps incautiously, what the second-greatest disappointment was, he replied with typical laconic charm that it was being banned from all House Lyrandar airship services after having been caught without a ticket.

Such a flippant reply, neatly deflecting attention from what one suspects was the real answer - the sad death of his wife Mariel some twenty years ago - encapsulates in a nutshell the unique contradictions of the man behind the inexplicable nickname: the devout priest who spent his career stealing from holy places, the fearless explorer who loathed combat and (legendarily) ran screaming at the sight of a snake, the serious-minded scholar never short of a barbed remark, and the famed lothario who nonetheless only ever seems to have loved one woman.

He will be sorely missed.

//Brother Professor Henry "Aundair" Yannedge-Owens, born 973, d. 1097; survived by his only son, Henry Yannedge-Owens junior.//


Abilities & Race
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STR 10
DEX 15 (20)
CON 12
INT 16
WIS 12
CHA 14
32 point buy, +1 Dex at levels 4, 8, 12, 16 & 20

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Race: Human
Humanoid (Human)
Extra Skill point
Bonus feat at 1st level


Level Progression
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AUNDAIR YANNEDGE-OWENS
{table=head]Level|Class|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Skills|Feats|Class Features

1st|Archivist 1|
+0
|
+2
|
+0
|
+2
|Decipher Script +4 (4), Disable Device +2 (2), Knowledge (dungeoneering) +4 (4), Knowledge (history) +4 (4), Knowledge (nobility & royalty) +4 (4), Knowledge (religion) +4 (4), Open Lock +2 (2), Search +4 (4)|Education, Action Boost|Dark knowledge (tactics) 3/day, Scribe Scroll

2nd|Archivist 2|
+1
|
+3
|
+0
|
+3
|Decipher Script +1 (5), Disable Device +0.5 (2.5), Knowledge (dungeoneering) +1 (5), Knowledge (history) +1 (5), Knowledge (nobility & royalty) +1 (5), Knowledge (religion) +1 (5), Open Lock +0.5 (2.5), Search +1 (5)||Lore mastery

3rd|Ranger 1|
+2
|
+5
|
+2
|
+3
|Climb +2 (2), Disable Device +0.5 (3), Jump +1 (1), Open Lock +0.5 (3), Search +1 (6), Survival +3 (3), Use Rope +1 (1)|Weapon Finesse|Favored enemy (animals), Track, Wild empathy

4th|Ranger 2|
+3
|
+6
|
+3
|
+3
|Climb +2 (4), Disable Device +0.5 (3.5), Jump +2 (3), Open Lock +0.5 (3.5), Search +1 (7), Survival +1 (4), Use Rope +2 (3)||Combat style (archery)

5th|Ranger 3|
+4
|
+6
|
+3
|
+4
|Climb +1 (5), Disable Device +0.5 (4), Jump +2 (5), Open Lock +0.5 (4), Search +1 (8), Use Rope +2 (5)|Skill trick - Collector of Stories|Endurance

6th|Extreme Explorer 1|
+4
|
+6
|
+5
|
+4
|Balance +1 (1), Disable Device +2 (6), Open Lock +2 (6), Search +1 (9), Tumble +2 (2), UMD +2 (2)|Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip)|Additional action points, Trap sense +1

7th|Extreme Explorer 2|
+5
|
+6
|
+6
|
+4
|Balance +1 (2), Disable Device +2 (8), Open Lock +2 (8), Search +1 (10), Tumble +2 (4), UMD +2 (4)||Dodge bonus +1, Evasion, Extreme hustle

8th|Extreme Explorer 3|
+6
|
+7
|
+6
|
+5
|Balance +1 (3), Open Lock +2 (11), Search +1 (9), Tumble +2 (6), UMD +2 (6)|Skill Trick - Whip Climber|Trap sense +2, Action Surge

9th|Extreme Explorer 4|
+7
|
+7
|
+7
|
+5
|Balance +1 (4), Disable Device +2 (10), Open Lock +2 (12), Search +1 (12), Tumble +2 (8), UMD +2 (8)|Combat Expertise|Dodge bonus +2, Extreme action

10th|Extreme Explorer 5|
+7
|
+7
|
+7
|
+5
|Balance +1 (5), Disable Device +2 (12), Search +1 (13), Tumble +2 (10), UMD +2 (10)|Skill Trick - Clever Improviser|Trap sense +3, Heroic Spirit

11th|Temple Raider 1|
+7
|
+7
|
+9
|
+7
|Disable Device +2 (14), Knowledge (history) +2 (7), Open Lock +2 (14), Search +1 (14), UMD +1 (11)||Trapfinding, Trap sense +4

12th|Temple Raider 2|
+8
|
+7
|
+10
|
+8
|Disable Device +1 (15), Knowledge (history) +2 (9), Knowledge (religion) +2 (7), Open Lock +1 (15), Search +1 (15), UMD +1 (12)|Improved Disarm|Sneak attack +1d6

13th|Temple Raider 3|
+9
|
+8
|
+10
|
+8
|Disable Device +1 (16), Knowledge (history) +2 (11), Knowledge (religion) +2 (9), Open Lock +1 (16), Search +1 (16), UMD +1 (13)||Uncanny dodge

14th|Temple Raider 4|
+10
|
+8
|
+11
|
+9
|Disable Device +1 (17), Knowledge (history) +2 (13), Knowledge (religion) +2 (11), Open Lock +1 (17), Search +1 (17), UMD +1 (14)||Trap sense +5

15th|Temple Raider 5|
+10
|
+8
|
+11
|
+9
|Disable Device +1 (18), Knowledge (history) +2 (15), Knowledge (religion) +2 (13), Open Lock +1 (18), Search +1 (18), UMD +1 (15)|Arterial Strike|Sneak attack +2d6

16th|Temple Raider 6|
+11
|
+9
|
+12
|
+10
|Disable Device +1 (19), Knowledge (religion) +2 (15), Open Lock +1 (19), Search +1 (19), Tumble +2 (12), UMD +1 (16)||Improved uncanny dodge

17th|Temple Raider 7|
+12
|
+9
|
+12
|
+10
|Disable Device +1 (20), Knowledge (religion) +2 (17), Open Lock +1 (20), Search +1 (20), UMD +1 (17)|Skill Trick - Acrobatic Backstab|Trap sense +6

18th|Temple Raider 8|
+13
|
+9
|
+13
|
+11
|Disable Device +1 (21), Knowledge (history) +2 (17), Knowledge (religion) +2 (19), Open Lock +1 (21), Search +1 (21), UMD +1 (18)|Razing Strike|Sneak attack +3d6

19th|Temple Raider 9|
+13
|
+10
|
+13
|
+11
|Disable Device +1 (22), Knowledge (religion) +2 (21), Open Lock +1 (22), Search +1 (22), UMD +1 (19)|Skill Trick - Nimble Charge|Skill mastery (Disable Device, Open Lock, Search, Tumble, Use Rope, UMD)

20th|Temple Raider 10|
+14
|
+10
|
+14
|
+12
|Disable Device +1 (23), Knowledge (religion) +2 (23), Open Lock +1 (23), Search +1 (23), UMD +1 (20)|Skill Trick - Twisted Charge|Luck domain, Trap sense +7[/table]


Spells
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Archivist Spells per Day
{table=head]Level|0 lvl per Day|1 lvl per Day

1st|3|3

2nd|4|4

3rd|4|4

4th|4|4

5th|4|4

6th|4|4

7th|4|4

8th|4|4

9th|4|4

10th|4|4

11th|4|4

12th|4|4

13th|4|4

14th|4|4

15th|4|4

16th|4|4

17th|4|4

18th|4|4

19th|4|4

20th|4|4[/table]

Known Spells (free spells from Archivist levels only):
0 - Amanuensis, Create Water, Cure Minor Wounds, Detect Magic, Detect Poison, Guidance, Inflict Minor Wounds, Light, Mending, Purify Food and Drink, Read Magic, Resistance, Virtue
1 - Comprehend Languages, Cure Light Wounds, Divine Favour, Guiding Light, Lesser Vigor, Resurgence, Shield of Faith, Sign

Spells Prepared:
0 - Amanuensis, Detect Magic, Light, Read Magic
1 - Cure Light Wounds, Lesser Vigor, Resurgence, Sign

Suggestions for Divine Spells to Learn:
1 - Arrow Mind (ranger), Find Temple (paladin), Guided Shot (ranger), Snake's Swiftness (druid), Sniper's Shot (ranger), Vine Strike (druid), Warning Shout (paladin)

Temple Raider Spells per Day
{table=head]Level|1 lvl per Day|2 lvl per Day|3 lvl per Day|4 lvl per Day

1st|-|-|-|-

2nd|-|-|-|-

3rd|-|-|-|-

4th|-|-|-|-

5th|-|-|-|-

6th|-|-|-|-

7th|-|-|-|-

8th|-|-|-|-

9th|-|-|-|-

10th|-|-|-|-

11th|1|-|-|-

12th|2|-|-|-

13th|2|0|-|-

14th|2|1|-|-

15th|2|1|0|-

16th|2|1|1|-

17th|3|1|1|0

18th|3|1|1|1

19th|3|2|1|1

20th|3|2|2|1[/table]

Spells Prepared:
1 - Detect Secret Doors, Entropic Shield, Protection from Law
2 - Cat's Grace, Lesser Restoration
3 - Remove Curse, See Invisibility
4 - Airwalk


Tactics and Highlights
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LEVELS 1-5:
At first Aundair has to rely on his archivist spells and (with his high Dex) ranged weapons, but as a spellcaster able to wear some armour he shouldn't have too much difficulty surviving. Weapon Finesse and the Ranger's abilities give him more options, and Action Boost means he can add d8s instead of d6s to his heroic hijinks for some extra help.

LEVELS 6-10:
At level 6 Aundair gets to use a whip properly, which is a great battlefield control weapon if not great for dealing damage. Sticking with ranged weapons is probably the best combat plan, and at least with its reach using the whip doesn't mean you have to get close in. Additional action points from Extreme Explorer and Heroic Spirit are great, especially when combined with Extreme Hustle and Action Surge, which let you burn them for extra actions in a round! Attack and disable in a single round!

LEVELS 11-15:
This is where the build really starts to come together, with the whip and Improved Disarm making it a breeze to ruin the day of most foes without even having to risk engaging them in melee (especially with a Disarming enhancement on the whip). Aundair also gets some sneak attack online, which he can then use to power Arterial Strike for some sneaky extra damage with the whip. You see, Arterial Strike is one of the few ambush feats that does not specify the attack has to deal damage, just that it has to hit. This means that you should be able to apply the bleeding wounds even to enemies in armour if you can sneak attack them, which even makes sense given how whips are normally used, and you can give them plenty of lashes as the bleeding wounds stack! Flick their weapon away, then watch them slowly bleed to death as they try to get back into a position to threaten you at all, at which point you do it again.

LEVELS 16-20:
The final levels give Aundair some more sneak attack dice and Razing Strike which lets him burn his Archivist spells to sneak attack undead. After getting Skill mastery he is also able to auto-succeed pretty much all UMD checks, allowing him to use the power of the artefacts he discovers in his adventures, and spend the loot to buy useful wands and staves. His required skills are all maxed out and his other useful skills have plenty of ranks, and some skill tricks picked up along the way let him fight more capably in the dungeons and temples he visits.


Sources
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Heroes of Horror - Archivist
Complete Divine - Temple Raider
Complete Warrior - Arterial Strike
Complete Adventurer - Razing Strike
Complete Scoundrel - skill tricks
Eberron Campign Setting - Extreme Explorer, Action Boost, Action Surge, Heroic Spirit, Education
Spell Compendium - spells