Malphas, The Turnfeather

Malphas allows his summoners to see without being seen, to pass through surroundings without leaving any sign, to vanish from sight, and to poison their enemies.

Legend: Only elves who know their history well are familiar with the story of Malphas, a lesser scion of an ancient elven kingdom’s ruling family. Malphas joined a druidic order under pressure from his elders, who hoped that enforced dedication to nature would teach him greater respect for their traditions and the elven way of life. After a contentious start, the plan seemed to work. Malphas, always the black sheep of the family, soon became a model member of the elven nobility. His trademark, a white dove’s feather, could be found at sites where good deeds had been done, although no one ever saw him perform them. This impression was all part of Malphas’s act.

While studying the druidic traditions, he met another elf druid—a female who won his heart with guile and promises of power. Together they hatched a plan to make Malphas heir to the throne. While his white feathers turned up wherever good events were occurring, black feathers began to appear on the murdered corpses of royalty. Elf diviners soon discovered that Malphas was at the root of their troubles, and the traitorous elf was forced to flee. Malphas flew to his lover’s hideaway among the trees, intending to warn her and flee with her. But when she heard his story, she flew into a rage, mocking him for his stupidity and his overtures of affection. To wound him even more deeply, she revealed her true form—that of a drow. When the elf authorities found Malphas, he lay on the ground, dead not from magic or physical harm, but from the breaking of his heart and the loss of his soul.

Manifestation: Malphas begins his manifestation with a furious fluttering of white doves. The creatures explode out of thin air, then fly away from each other and fade from view, revealing a handsome male elf clad in black. Malphas has pale skin, black eyes, and black feathers for hair. His smile reveals black teeth, and when he speaks, his black tongue licks the air like a snake’s. Malphas wears a noble’s fi nery in funerary black, and a cloak made of raven heads and feathers hangs from his shoulders. The heads start up a raucous cry whenever he moves too much, so he remains largely still, making only small gestures with his black-gloved hands. Malphas’s hoarse voice croaks and cracks when he speaks, a quality that annoys him greatly.

Sign: Your teeth and tongue turn black.

Influence: While influenced by Malphas, you fall in love too easily. A kind word or a friendly gesture can cause you to devote yourself entirely to another person. Should that person reject your affection, your broken heart mends the moment another attractive person shows you some kindness. In addition, if you have access to poison, Malphas requires that you employ it against your foes at every opportunity.

Granted Abilities: Malphas grants you the ability to spy without detection, to disappear, to use poison safely, and to strike vicious blows against vulnerable foes.

Bird’s Eye Viewing: At will, you can summon a dove or a raven to aid your powers of observation. (Use the statistics for a raven regardless of the creature’s form.) The bird appears perched on your shoulder. You have complete control over its actions, and you can see what it sees and hear what it hears. Use the bird’s skill checks to determine the results of its actions and observations (for example, Bluff, Search, Spot, Listen), but use your skill bonuses to derive information from its observations (for example, Knowledge, Sense Motive, or Spellcraft to identify a spell). If you have the trapfinding ability, you can use the bird to fi nd traps so long as doing so doesn’t require it to manipulate an object. The bird cannot talk. You can have only one bird summoned at a time. It remains until you summon another dove or raven, mentally dismiss it (a standard action), or stop binding with Malphas.

Invisibility: As a full-round action, you can make yourself invisible (as with the invisibility spell). Making an attack ends the invisibility (as normal), but otherwise, the effect lasts a number of rounds equal to your effective binder level. You can invoke this ability as a standard action at 5th level, as a move action at 10th level, and as a swift action at 15th level. Once you return to visibility, you cannot use this ability again for 5 rounds.

Poison Use: You are not at risk of poisoning yourself when handling poison or applying it to a weapon.

Sudden Strike: With your melee attack, you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points per four effective binder levels anytime your target would be denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the opponent is within 30 feet. The extra damage from sudden strike stacks with that from sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target.