Halphax, The Angel in the Angle

Gnomes rarely earn a reputation for their military might, but Halphax is one of the few exceptions to that rule. He grants his summoners the ability to raise a fortress and imprison foes, as well as the hardness of stone.

Legend: An engineer of inestimable excellence, Halphax made great dvances in architecture of all kinds. His influence can be seen in the solid architecture of the dwarves, the beauty of elven buildings, the comfort of gnome dwellings, and the practicality of halfling homes. His greatest passion, however, was the architecture of military fortifi cations and the art of defense. Halphax’s walls still encircle towns, and most of the castles he designed are still standing today, even though more than a thousand years have passed since he last sketched a floor plan. Unfortunately for him, the great architect’s professionalism became his downfall. In Halphax’s time, gnomes were as populous as humans. They lived in grand cities that rivaled those of the elves, and they welcomed all civilized races into these metropolises to live and trade. The hobgoblins were the first of the goblinoids to rise out of tribalism and fi nd welcome in the gnome citystates.

They quickly took to gnome society, learning as much as they could and using their strong backs and hale bodies to earn places for themselves in the military and manual labor trades. Then, in an act known to gnomes as the Great Betrayal, the hobgoblins turned against their benefactors in a series of well-coordinated attacks. The victorious goblinoids turned each gnome city into a prison, using the fortifications meant to keep enemies out to trap the gnomes within. To ensure that they overlooked no means of escape, they captured and enslaved the gnomes who had designed them. Through a combination of threats and rewards, they forced the gnomes to make these prisons even more effective. Many gnome architects chose to die rather than help the hobgoblins, and others secretly used their positions to help their kinfolk escape the city. But when the hobgoblins threatened the life of Halphax’s wife, the great architect put all his effort into creating the most impregnable prison possible. Legend holds that no gnome ever escaped Halphax’s city, and it was the last goblinoid holding to fall in the war that followed the Great Betrayal.

When at last the goblinoids were defeated, the prison city that Halphax had built was found empty of all gnomes but him. The hobgoblins had killed them all except Halphax and his wife. She could not bear to be the cause of so much tragedy, however, and took her own life. When the gnomes attempted to apprehend Halphax and hold him responsible for his deeds, the architect vanished into his city. The allied armies tore the city down to its foundations in their attempts to find him, but he was never seen again.

Special Requirement: Halphax’s sign must be drawn inside a building, in a corner of the structure.

Manifestation: When Halphax manifests, the corner in which he was summoned appears to warp, growing deeper and extending to what appears to be an infinite distance beyond the limits of the structure. In that distance, a figure appears, and suddenly the distance closes, bringing Halphax into his seal. Halphax always takes the form of a gnome wearing leather breeches and a vest, both of which are covered in pockets and loops for holding tools and items. The tools of an engineer hang from his belt, and he usually appears in a posture of boredom, hands in his pockets. Halphax’s most striking feature is that he seems to have no fl esh and bone beneath his clothes—only broken bits of stone and masonry. The shattered features of bas-reliefs and gargoyles make up his face.

Sign: Your body takes on the appearance of cracked stone.

Influence: In his time as a vestige, Halphax seems to have lost all memory of his life as well as any feeling of guilt or shame for his actions. Thus, when you are under his influence, you lose any normal sense of shame or embarrassment. However, if someone threatens a hostage you care about—be it a creature or an item—Halphax requires that you accede to the hostage taker’s demands. Granted Powers: Halphax grants you great knowledge of mechanical arts as well as the power to imprison foes, build towers, and gird your body with the hardness of stone.

Damage Reduction: You gain damage reduction 10/adamantine. You cannot use this ability if you do not show Halphax’s sign.

Halphax’s Knowledge: You can use the Profession (siege engineer) and Knowledge (architecture and engineering) skills untrained. In addition, you gain a +16 competence bonus on Profession (siege engineer) and Knowledge (architecture and engineering) checks.

Imprison: You can imprison a foe deep in the earth with only a touch. As a standard action, you can make a melee touch attack to imprison your target. If you hit, the target must make a Fortitude saving throw or be imprisoned. This ability functions like the imprisonment spell, except that the imprisonment lasts for a number of rounds equal to your effective binder level. If you miss with the touch attack, you can use this ability on the following round, but if a target makes its save, you must wait 1d4 rounds before using it again. You cannot imprison a creature while you already have another imprisoned from the use of this ability.

Iron Wall: As a standard action, you can cause a flat, vertical iron wall to spring into being. It functions as a wall of iron spell, except that it disappears after 1 minute. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

Secure Shelter: At will as a standard action, you can bring a sturdy stone building into being at any point on the ground within 60 feet of you, as long as the space can accommodate its dimensions. This ability summons a tower like that produced by the Leomund’s secure shelter spell. You cannot summon this tower if you already have one standing. You can dismiss the structure as a standard action, but you cannot summon it again for 5 rounds after dismissing it.