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    Default [RIVALRY] Heart of Light, Heart of Darkness

    Heart of Light, Heart of Darkness

    For millenia, the gods of Good and those of Evil have been at war with each other, with each side attempting to obliterate the other once and for all. Standing in their way have been the gods of Neutrality, who have not only prevented direct conflict between the two sides, but also have minimized the impact of this warfare on the mortal lands.

    No one is sure how (for who knows the ways of the gods?), but it appears that recently the gods of Neutrality have been weakened or deposed. The gods of Good and Evil still cannot strike each other directly, but they have determined a plan that will lead to one or the other losing all influence in the realm of the mortals.

    Each side would choose a single champion, of roughly equal power, to represent the gods. The champion of Good would be known as the Heart of Light; the champion of Evil would be called the Heart of Darkness. Each champion would be granted a unique, intelligent sword (though they would have to complete a quest to prove their worthiness) that would serve as the mark of their position as well as their sole weapon. The champions are sworn to be in eternal service to their gods, and to destroy the other champion.

    However, the conflict is not as simple as it may seem. In addition to the swords provided to the champions, five other intelligent swords are hidden (and well protected) around the world. As a group, they are called the Heartwar swords. In order to completely destroy the other side, one champion must control all five of these swords when slaying his enemy; only then can the enemy's sword (and the presence of the gods it represents) be destroyed.

    -----

    "Kala," whispered the soft voice in her ear.

    Kala Duran was sure that no one had been there. "Who is that?" asked the young sorceress.

    "A messenger of the gods. You have been chosen for a great task. The gods wish you to become their champion in a great battle against evil."

    "Why me? Who am I that the gods would choose me to do this?"

    "You have a good heart, and yet you still have the toughness and determination to do what must be done to defeat evil."

    "If this is the gods' will, then I shall obey. What must I do?"

    "First, you must recover a mighty artifact -- a sword -- that will be the symbol of the trust the gods have placed in you, as well as your weapon to see that will done."

    "A sword? But I am just a simple sorceress!"

    "You will grow into your true power, Kala. Have faith in the gods, as they have faith in you. You are the Heart of Light."

    -----

    A giant pillar of fire soared up from the ground in front of the mercenary. "Nice trick," he muttered as he looked to see who or what caused the flames.

    "Vilka Thoros," boomed an unearthly voice, "your gods have chosen to speak with you."

    "What rubbish is this? The gods are myths, a tool to keep the rabble in line."

    "We are very real, Vilka, and we have been watching you for some time. From the first merchant that you mugged to the whore you murdered last week, we have been pleased with your progress."

    "How do you know..." Vilka almost stammered in response. "I have told no one of these things!"

    "We are gods. We see all and know all."

    "So, you have come to strike me down for denying you, then?"

    "Ah, defiance... an excellent trait. No Vilka, we would not punish you for that. We teach power and self-reliance. Accordingly, we expected this response. We have chosen you to be our mortal champion, our Heart of Darkness."

    "What, you want me to be a missionary of some sort?"

    "No, we want you to destroy the forces that style themselves as 'good'. We will give you help in the form of a mighty artifact, and for completing the task, we will see that you are suitably rewarded with dominion over all this world."

    -----

    In the years that have intervened, the conflict over the swords has turned into a blossoming war. At first, the two Champions focused on discovering the locations of the other Heartwar swords, and attempting to recover them. Over time, as each became more aware of the other, they needed to move with more concealment and subtlety. The Champions were also rallying points for believers and opportunists. And so, the movements of armies mask the movements of the Heartwar Champions and their bonded allies.

    Nonetheless, the conflict is still highly personal between the Champions. Both are fully aware that the only path to victory is to recover all of the swords and slaying their counterpart, and the years of opposition have led to a truly deep hatred of the other.

    So far, three of the remaining five swords have been recovered. Kala recovered two, the Grey and Red swords; Vilka recovered the Blue sword. However, Kala's allies currently bear the Grey and Blue swords, while Vilka's vassal wields the Red. The Red sword was taken by a successful assassination of Kala's cousin, who she had entrusted the sword to. Kala managed to roll up Vilka's spy network once, and the spymaster was the Blue sword bearer... until Kala was done with him.

    And so, the search continues, both for the remaining swords and for opportunities to find and destroy the current sword bearers.
    Last edited by Duke of URL; 2007-02-12 at 02:58 PM.


    My Homebrew
    Gronk by dallas-dakota

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    Default Re: [RIVALRY] Heart of Light, Heart of Darkness

    All artwork shamelessly stolen

    Note: It is presumed that both Champions were at level 5 when receiving the calls from their deities, so that their feat and/or skill selections properly reflect their character progressions.



    Vilka Thoros, Heart of Darkness
    Human Fighter 8 / Blackguard 8
    Medium Humanoid (Human)

    HD 16d10 + 16 (102 HP)
    Speed 30' (15' armored)
    Initiative +4
    AC 22 (mundane full plate plus tower shield), Touch 10, Flat-footed 22
    BAB +16; Grapple +20
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Sneak Attack +2d6, Smite Good 2x/day
    Special Qualities Detect Good (at will), Dark Blessing, Use Poison, Aura of Despair, Rebuke Undead, Fiendish Servant
    Spellcasting Blackguard(4)
    4th: Freedom of Movement
    3rd: (Extended) Bull's Strength
    2nd: Eagle's Splendor, Shatter
    1st: Doom (x3)
    Saves Fort +15, Ref +6, Will +8
    Abilities Str 19, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 14 (28 point buy)
    Skills Hide +5, Intimidate +21, Jump +10, Knowledge (religion) +2
    Feats Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Sunder, Weapon Focus (Longsword), Weapon Specialization (Longsword), Greater Weapon Focus (Longsword), Blind Fight, Improved Initiative, Endurance, Diehard, Extend Spell
    Challenge Rating 16
    Alignment NE
    Advancement By class
    Level Adjustment +0
    Languages Spoken Common

    ---------------------------------------------




    Kala Duran, Heart of Light
    Elven Sorcerer 6 / Eldritch Knight 10
    Medium Humanoid (Elf)

    HD 6d4 + 10d6 (50 HP)
    Speed 30'
    Initiative +4
    AC 14 (DEX +4), Touch 14, Flat-footed 10
    BAB +13; Grapple +13
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks
    Special Qualities Elven Traits
    Spellcasting Sorcerer(7)
    7th: Finger of Death, Spell Turning
    6th: Disintegrate, Transformation, True Seeing
    5th: Feeblemind, Interposing Hand, Mind Fog, Teleport
    4th: Black Tentacles, Ice Storm, Phantasmal Killer, Stoneskin
    3rd: Fireball, Haste, Lightning Bolt, Protection From Energy
    2nd: Acid Arrow, Bull's Strength, Cat's Grace, Mirror Image, Scorching Ray
    1st: Comprehend Languages, Feather Fall, Mage Armor, Shield, True Strike
    0th: Detect Magic, Disrupt Undead, Ghost Sound, Light, Mage Hand, Mending, Message, Read Magic, Resistance

    Saves Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +8
    Abilities Str 10, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 19 (28 point buy)
    Skills Concentration +19, Spellcraft +19
    Feats Weapon Proficiency (Martial), Weapon Focus (Longsword), Weapon Finesse, Combat Reflexes, Extend Spell, Heighten Spell, Empower Spell
    Challenge Rating 16
    Alignment CG
    Advancement By class
    Level Adjustment +0
    Languages Spoken Common, Elven
    Last edited by Duke of URL; 2007-02-12 at 01:19 PM.


    My Homebrew
    Gronk by dallas-dakota

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    Default Re: [RIVALRY] Heart of Light, Heart of Darkness


    Heartwar Swords


    The Heartwar Swords are a group of artifacts created as the tools in a war between the good and evil gods. Two champions are chosen -- the Heart of Light representing the good gods, and the Heart of Darkness championing the evil gods. The champions are granted (after a significant quest) one of the Greater Heartwar swords, and are charged with recovering the other Heartwar swords, slaying the opposing champion, and destroying the opposing Greater Heartwar Sword.

    No one person may actually possess more than one of the seven swords; when finding a new sword (or when killing the current possessor), it must be given to an ally, who in turn swears an oath to the champion and his or her gods to serve and protect them and to hunt down and destroy any servant of the other side.

    Should either of the champions be slain, unless by the other champion in control of all of the other swords, the champion's sword will magically pass to his or her most powerful sword-bearing ally, who becomes the new champion and must pass his old sword on to another ally. If the champion has no allies, the slain champion's gods will select a new champion.

    Each of the Heartwar swords appears to be a masterwork version of the its type, though with an unusual gem embedded in its hilt. The gem is a solid color, for which each sword is named. Once bonded to a sword, the creature is bound to it for the rest of its life, the only possible exception being the inheritance of the champion's sword. The creature may use no other melee weapon (without coming into conflict with the weapon's ego) and must remain true to his or her oath to the champion and the gods. All Heartwar swords grow in power as their wielders likewise become more powerful.

    Heartwar Swords cannot be destroyed, except that the Greater swords may be destroyed if its owner is slain by their counterpart while the opposing champion has all of the other swords bonded to him or her.

    All Heartwar swords share the following properties, regardless of any other feature that they have:
    • Alignment: NG or NE (White sword is always NG, Black sword is NE, others will change alignment according to oath); swords are considered Good or Evil weapons, accordingly, for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction
    • Enhancement Bonus: +1 per three character levels (maximum +5)
    • Artifcats: Heartwar swords are considered artifacts for the purposes of anti-magic fields, etc.
    • Adamantine: Heartwar swords are considered Adamantine for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction
    • Keen Edge: Heartwar swords have the Keen property
    • Bonus Feats and Abilities: Each sword provides one or more bonus feats or special abilities to its owner
    • Proficiency: The sword's owner is automatically proficient with the sword, even if he or she would otherwise not be
    • Feat Swap: If a new sword owner has weapon-specific feats (such as Weapon Focus) for a different type of weapon than the sword, he or she may swap all such feats for the equivalent versions for the sword upon acquiring the sword; such feat swapping must occur immediately upon obtaining the weapon
    • Special Purpose: Each sword has a specific special purpose, features tied to that purpose gain in power as its wielder gains experience
    • Spells and Spell-Like Abilities Any spell or spell-like ability has a caster level equal to the wielder's character level and DCs are based on the sword's Charisma
    • Automatic Resizing: The swords will magically adjust their sizes to fit their owners; e.g. a Longsword would become a small Longsword in the hands of a small creature

    Heartwar Sword Advancement (all except White and Black swords)

    {table=head]Owner's Level|Enhancement Bonus|INT|WIS|CHA|Ego|Abilities
    1st|
    +0
    |
    12
    |
    10
    |
    12
    |6|Empathy, Sworn Enemy, Smite Enemy
    3rd|
    +1
    |
    12
    |
    10
    |
    12
    |8|30' senses, Lesser Power #1, +1d3 damage vs. Enemy
    6th|
    +2
    |
    12
    |
    10
    |
    12
    |9|60' Senses, +1d4 damage vs. Enemy
    9th|
    +3
    |
    13
    |
    10
    |
    13
    |11|Lesser Power #2, +1d6 damage vs. Enemy
    12th|
    +4
    |
    14
    |
    10
    |
    14
    |14|Speech, 120' senses, +1d8 damage vs. Enemy
    15th|
    +5
    |
    15
    |
    10
    |
    15
    |17|Darkvision (60'), Read Language, Lesser Power #3, +2d6 damage vs. Enemy
    18th|
    +5
    |
    17
    |
    10
    |
    17
    |22|Telepathy, Darkvision (120'), Greater Power #1, +2d8 damage vs. Enemy
    20th|
    +5
    |
    18
    |
    10
    |
    18
    |27|Blindsense, Read Magic, Greater Power #2[/table]


    Greater Heartwar Sword Advancement (White and Black swords)

    {table=head]Owner's Level|Enhancement Bonus|INT|WIS|CHA|Ego|Abilities
    1st|
    +0
    |
    12
    |
    10
    |
    12
    |6|Empathy, Sworn Enemy, Smite Enemy
    3rd|
    +1
    |
    12
    |
    10
    |
    12
    |8|30' senses, Lesser Power #1, +1d3 damage vs. Enemy
    6th|
    +2
    |
    13
    |
    10
    |
    13
    |10|60' Senses, Lesser Power #2, +1d4 damage vs. Enemy
    8th|
    +2
    |
    14
    |
    10
    |
    14
    |12|Speech, 120' senses
    9th|
    +3
    |
    14
    |
    10
    |
    14
    |13|+1d6 damage vs. Enemy
    10th|
    +3
    |
    15
    |
    10
    |
    15
    |14|Darkvision (60'), Lesser Power #3
    12th|
    +4
    |
    16
    |
    10
    |
    16
    |18|Read Language, +1d8 damage vs. Enemy
    14th|
    +4
    |
    17
    |
    10
    |
    17
    |21|Telepathy, Darkvision (120'), Greater Power #1
    15th|
    +5
    |
    17
    |
    10
    |
    17
    |22|+2d6 damage vs. Enemy
    17th|
    +5
    |
    18
    |
    10
    |
    18
    |27|Blindsense, Read Magic, Greater Power #2
    18th|
    +5
    |
    18
    |
    10
    |
    18
    |27|+2d8 damage vs. Enemy
    20th|
    +5
    |
    19
    |
    10
    |
    19
    |30|Lesser Power #4, Greater Power #3[/table]

    Sworn Enemy: Each sword has a specific enemy type, according to the sword's purpose. This enemy type is used for the Smite Enemy and additional damage features of the sword. The sword also ignores the first 3 points per +1 of enhancement (e.g., +1 = 3 points, +2 = 6 points, etc.) of damage reduction of any type against such enemies.

    Smite Enemy: Once per day, the sword may, against its sworn enemy type, add the sword's Charisma modifier to the attack roll and do an additional amount of damage equal to the wielder's level. The sword chooses when to invoke this ability, not its wielder, and it must do so before the attack roll. If the attack misses or the target is not of the proper enemy type, then no additional damage is applied and the use of Smite Enemy is lost.


    White Sword (Longsword)

    Greater Heartwar Sword

    The sword of the Heart of Light, champion of the Good gods. This marks him or her as the servant of the gods, and the sworn enemy of the Heart of Darkness. In addition to the quest to destroy the minions of the Evil gods, the sword is interested in being used as a tool of goodness and mercy.

    Sworn Enemy: Evil Creatures
    Lesser Power #1: Bless 3x/day
    Lesser Power #2: Locate Object 3x/day
    Lesser Power #3: Cure Moderate Wounds (wielder only) 3x/day [2d8+3]
    Lesser Power #4: Zone of Truth 3x/day
    Greater Power #1: Detect Evil at will
    Greater Power #2: Magic Circle Against Evil at will
    Greater Power #3: Haste (wielder only) 3x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Leadership, Permanent Protection From Evil


    Black Sword (Longsword)
    Greater Heartwar Sword

    The sword of the Heart of Darkness, champion of the Evil gods. This marks him or her as the servant of the gods, and the sworn enemy of the Heart of Light. In addition to the quest to destroy the minions of the Good gods, the sword is interested in being used as a tool of fear, death, and destruction.

    Sworn Enemy: Good Creatures
    Lesser Power #1: Darkness 3x/day
    Lesser Power #2: Deathwatch (continuous)
    Lesser Power #3: Cure Moderate Wounds (wielder only) 3x/day [2d8+3]
    Lesser Power #4: Hold Person 3x/day
    Greater Power #1: Detect Good at will
    Greater Power #2: Magic Circle Against Good at will
    Greater Power #3: Fear 3x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Leadership, Permanent Protection From Good


    Blue Sword (Scimitar)
    Heartwar Sword

    In addition to serving one of the champions, the Blue Sword seeks to enforce the natural order on the world, specifically targeting artificial constructs and non-native creatures. It attempts to fulfill both goals harmoniously, but the goal of serving the champion takes precedence in a conflict. This sword exhibits no powers until its owner swears an oath to one of the two champions.

    Sworn Enemy: Outsiders and Constructs
    Lesser Power #1: Mending 3x/day
    Lesser Power #2: Bane 3x/day
    Lesser Power #3: Calm Animals 1x/day
    Greater Power #1: Dismissal 1x/day
    Greater Power #2: Dimensional Anchor 1x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Turn Construct, Turn Outsider

    Turn Construct (su): You gain the ability to turn or rebuke constructs like a Cleric turns or rebukes undead. If you already have turn undead ability, you may turn using the greater of your normal turning level or as a Cleric of your character level minus five. If you do not have the turn undead ability, you turn constructs as a Cleric of your character level minus five.

    Turn Outsider (su): You gain the ability to turn or rebuke outsiders like a Cleric turns or rebukes undead. If you already have turn undead ability, you may turn using the greater of your normal turning level or as a Cleric of your character level minus five. If you do not have the turn undead ability, you turn outsiders as a Cleric of your character level minus five.


    Green Sword (Greatsword)
    Heartwar Sword

    In addition to serving one of the champions, the Green Sword seeks mastery over life and death; choosing either outcome suits it just fine as long as active measures are taken. It attempts to fulfill both goals harmoniously, but the goal of serving the champion takes precedence in a conflict. This sword exhibits no powers until its owner swears an oath to one of the two champions.

    Sworn Enemy: Undead
    Lesser Power #1: Disrupt Undead 3x/day
    Lesser Power #2: Cure Moderate Wounds 3x/day
    Lesser Power #3: Deathwatch (continuous)
    Greater Power #1: Detect Undead at will
    Greater Power #2: Searing Light 3x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Turn Undead

    Turn Undead (su): You gain the ability to turn or rebuke undead as a Cleric would. If you already have turn undead ability, you may turn using the greater of your normal turning level or as a Cleric of your character level minus five. If you do not have the turn undead ability, you turn undead as a Cleric of your character level minus five.


    Grey Sword (Katana)
    Heartwar Sword

    In addition to serving one of the champions, the Grey Sword seeks to neutralize opposing magic whenever possible. It attempts to fulfill both goals harmoniously, but the goal of serving the champion takes precedence in a conflict. This sword exhibits no powers until its owner swears an oath to one of the two champions.

    Sworn Enemy: Spellcasters
    Lesser Power #1: Detect magic at will
    Lesser Power #2: Silence 3x/day
    Lesser Power #3: Spellcraft +10
    Greater Power #1: Lesser Globe of Invulnerability 1x/day
    Greater Power #2: Dismissal 1x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Spell Resistance 10 + character level


    Red Sword (Bastard Sword)
    Heartwar Sword

    In addition to serving one of the champions, the Red Sword seeks to master the elements, seeing elementals and dragons as rivals in this regard. It attempts to fulfill both goals harmoniously, but the goal of serving the champion takes precedence in a conflict. This sword exhibits no powers until its owner swears an oath to one of the two champions.

    Sworn Enemy: Dragons and Elementals
    Lesser Power #1: Endure Elements (continuous)
    Lesser Power #2: Flare 3x/day
    Lesser Power #3: Produce Flame 1x/day
    Greater Power #1: Quench fires 3x/day
    Greater Power #2: Wall of Fire 1x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Turn Elemental

    Turn Elemental (su): You gain the ability to turn or rebuke elementals like a Cleric turns or rebukes undead. If you already have turn undead ability, you may turn using the greater of your normal turning level or as a Cleric of your character level minus five. If you do not have the turn undead ability, you turn elementals as a Cleric of your character level minus five.


    Silver Sword (Rapier)
    Heartwar Sword

    In addition to serving one of the champions, the Silver Sword seeks power over appearances, in being a master at both disguise and seeing through disguises. It attempts to fulfill both goals harmoniously, but the goal of serving the champion takes precedence in a conflict. This sword exhibits no powers until its owner swears an oath to one of the two champions.

    Sworn Enemy: Shapechangers
    Lesser Power #1: Faerie Fire 3x/day
    Lesser Power #2: Major Image 3x/day
    Lesser Power #3: Zone of Truth 3x/day
    Greater Power #1: Invisibility Purge 3x/day
    Greater Power #2: Disguise 3x/day
    Bonus Feats and Abilities: Skill Focus: Disguise, Skill Focus: Spot
    Last edited by Duke of URL; 2007-02-14 at 07:11 AM.


    My Homebrew
    Gronk by dallas-dakota

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