Naberius, The Grinning Hound

A cunning and mysterious vestige, Naberius can make his summoners adept with all manner of arts and sciences, disguise them, and make them cogent speakers.

Legend: Though Naberius’s origin remains mysterious, binder scholars know that his name and form have changed many times over the centuries. Ancient pact magic texts refer to a spirit matching Naberius’s powers as Naberus, Kaberon, Cerbere, and Serberius. One of these spirits appeared as a noble, bird-headed man, another as a dog with a crane’s head, another as a wolf with fifty heads and a tail of three entwined snakes, and the fourth as a heap of bodies surrounded by a cloud of flies.

A few fiendish sages have suggested that Naberius might be an aspect of the three-headed, doglike creature that guards the gates to the Underworld on the third layer of Hades, but that creature is thought to be simpleminded and has never been known to speak. Naberius never admits to having had older forms or names, and questions about his origin get only a sly smile in reply.

Special Requirement: Naberius values knowledge, industry, and the willingness to deceive. He manifests only for a summoner with at least 4 ranks in Bluff or in any Knowledge or Profession skill.

Manifestation: Naberius’s manifestation begins with a great squawking and fl utter of feathers. Moments later, a black crane flies in an agitated fashion over the seal, then crashes down atop it, apparently dead. Naberius then stalks forward out of invisibility as a three-headed hound to feast upon the crane. He speaks hoarsely from whichever dog head isn’t eating at the moment. Despite his terrible appearance and raucous voice, Naberius somehow manages to seem amiable and eloquent.

Sign: Your voice deepens and acquires a gravelly, growling tone.

Influence: While you are influenced by Naberius, you love the sound of your own voice and are constantly pleased by your cleverness. Whenever you are presented with a pulpit, a stage, a talking stick, or any other place or object designed to give a speaker the fl oor, Naberius requires that you immediately seize the opportunity to speak. Any topic will do, but since Naberius resents others taking control of the discourse, he requires that you either shout them down or mock them. Your speech must last a number of rounds equal to your effective binder level to satisfy Naberius.

Granted Abilities: Naberius grants you the power to wear any face, swiftly regain lost ability points, use skills of which you have no knowledge, and talk your way through danger.

Disguise Self: You can alter the appearance of your form as a standard action. This effect works like the disguise self spell.

Faster Ability Healing: You heal 1 point in each damaged ability score every round, and 1 point in all drained ability scores every hour.

Naberius’s Skills: At the time you make your pact, you can choose a number of skills equal to your Constitution bonus (if any). Your choices must be skills that can’t be used untrained and in which you have no ranks. For the duration of the binding, you can make skill checks with your chosen skills even though you are untrained. If your Constitution modifier decreases after you make the pact, you lose the ability to make untrained checks with an equal number of the chosen skills. Lost skills are chosen randomly, and they remain inaccessible to you until you make another pact with Naberius.

Persuasive Words: You can direct a verbal command at a single living target within 30 feet as if using the command spell. A successful Will save negates the effect. When your effective binder level reaches 14th, your words become even more persuasive and this ability functions like the suggestion spell. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

Silver Tongue: You can take 10 on Diplomacy and Bluff checks even if distracted or threatened. In addition, you can make a rushed Diplomacy check as a standard action and take no penalty. (Normally, a rushed Diplomacy check requires a full-round action and imposes a –10 penalty on the check.)