Haures, The Dreaming Duke

Haures grants his summoners the power to create illusions, protect their thoughts, and move through objects like a ghost.

Legend: Human history associates the name Haures with a powerful lord who terrorized his people. From the time he took the throne until his death, he kept his subjects at work building his castle, adding constantly to its grandeur and might. Workers at the castle would return with strange tales of building a room and then rebuilding it the next day because no sign remained of their previous day’s work. Then those who told such stories began to vanish in the castle, never to be heard from again. Although the castle grew with the additions made to it for the first few years, the constant construction seemed to have no effect on its size in later years.

When at last Haures died, his subjects rejoiced and attacked the castle, hoping to loot and set fire to the palatial structure. The mob of peasants found the castle empty, devoid even of its furnishings. Confused and frightened, they left, and the castle and the surrounding lands soon gained a reputation for being haunted. Binder scholars believe they know the answer to the mystery of Haures’s disappearance and the strange construction of the castle. According to their legends, Haures was not a human at all, but a powerful rakshasa sorcerer in disguise. Much of the construction he demanded took place on the Ethereal Plane because Haures planned to continue his existence there as a ghost. He wanted his afterlife to be as much like his mortal life as possible, so he had his subjects build a nearly exact duplicate of his castle on the Ethereal Plane and cloaked their work sites in illusions to hide the truth.

In the last months of his life, Haures brought many living and undead servants to his foggy realm, as well as all the comforts to which he had become accustomed. For some time after his demise, Haures spent time on both the Material and Ethereal Planes. As a ghost, he would cloak the decaying castle on the Material Plane in bright illusions so that he could throw lavish parties for the travelers attracted to its warm glow. Then he would end the party suddenly, leaving his guests alone in the chilly ruins of his castle and delighting in their terror. As the years passed, fewer folk dared enter his home, and Haures began to throw illusory parties for himself to alleviate his boredom. As his sanity deteriorated, he became unable to distinguish between the Material and the Ethereal Planes, and even between his illusions and his own imagined experiences. At some point, Haures lost all sense of the difference between reality and dreams, illusion and imagination, and even life and undeath. This complete dissolution of these barriers propelled him into existence as a vestige.

Manifestation: Haures initially manifests as a ghostly tiger stalking out of thin air, but his appearance rapidly changes to that of a handsome and well-dressed middle-aged man who appears alive and healthy. A moment later, that form decays before his summoner’s eyes, rotting into a zombielike state, then fading into ghostly incorporeality and changing again, this time into a skeletal tiger wearing a shining crown and purple robe. This tiger form soon loses its crown and robe but gains ghostly flesh, becoming a ghostly tiger to begin the cycle of change all over again. Haures seems cognizant of his summoner only while he is in living human form, and he speaks only in those brief moments.

Sign: While you are bound to Haures, your palms are where the backs of your hands should be, just as they are on a rakshasa. If you flip over your hands so that the backs are up, your thumbs end up on the wrong sides of your hands. This rearrangement has no effect on your Dexterity, spellcasting, ability to wield objects, or use of skills.

Influence: When influenced by Haures, you become an eccentric, often speaking to yourself and to imaginary friends. In addition, Haures requires that if you encounter and disbelieve an illusion not of your own making, you must not voluntarily enter its area.

Granted Abilities: Haures shields your mind with his madness, allows you to move like a ghost, gives you the power to fool the senses, and grants you the ability to kill others with their deepest fears.

Inaccessible Mind: You are protected from any effort to detect, influence, or read your emotions or thoughts, and you have immunity to any mind-affecting spells and abilities, as if you were protected by a mind blank spell. You can suppress or activate this ability as a standard action.

Incorporeal Movement: When moving, you become nearly incorporeal and can ignore the effects of diffi cult terrain. You can even move through an enemy’s space, but not through walls or other solid barriers. Furthermore, any attacks of opportunity directed at you while you move have a 50% miss chance. You can suppress or activate this ability as a standard action.

Major Image: You can create an illusion at will, as though you had cast major image (caster level equals your effective binder level). A creature can attempt a Will save to realize the illusion is false. You can never create more than one major image at a time, and you can dismiss or renew the effect as a standard action. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

Phantasmal Killer: This ability functions like the phantasmal killer spell except for the range and save DCs (the ability still requires a Will save, and possibly a Fortitude save) to resist. You can target any single creature within 10 feet per binder level you possess. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.