-Tybalt the Cursed
Sometimes, a soul recognizes the great evil he committed in life and truly wishes to repent. Most of these unfortunates become specters that haunt Dis, repenting only as they realize their true fate. Others ascend to the heavens, having sought forgiveness before it was too late. Hellbred fall in the middle. They repent in the moments before their condemnation to hell, yet too late to find salvation. The lords of good and justice, suspicious that the condemned soul merely seeks escape for selfish reasons, instead reincarnate the individual to give him one last chance at salvation. In exchange, this newborn creature, called a hellbred, gains impressive powers to better thwart the minions of hell and maybe--in some way--prove his worth to the gods of good to gain clemency. The dukes of Hell do not forget those who have escaped their clutches. A hellbred faces a difficult path to salvation, but he fights in the name of justice with unmatched fervor.
Most hellbred are truly damned, despite their best efforts. While they sought repentance, they asked for it too late. Only the most epic of heroic acts can release them from their bond to Hell. Thus, a hellbred embarks on one seemingly doomed or impossible quest after another. A hellbred must prove his worth to the lords of good, but the laws encoded in the Pact Primeval ensure that only the most exceptional hellbred ascend to the celestial planes. Most still end up in Hell, where devils await to extract a hideous price for their daring. A hellbred must complete a truly legendary act--such as single-handedly saving a city from invaders, destroying a duke or archduke of Hell, Annihilating a potent artifact of evil, and so forth--to earn salvation. Most die long before achieving such goals, as they throw themselves into their crusade with the reckless abandon of the damned.
The Scourging transforms a character into a creature known as a hellbred. The powers of good and evil--waring for a hellbred's soul--rend and twist him into a new form. His physical form is that of a humanoid with dark red, smooth skin, or sometimes green scales. A hellbred usually has horns, though their exact form varies. He might have a single horn in the center of his forehead, a pair of short, stubby horns, or large horns similar to those of a ram. His eyes shine with a sinister, red glow. These physical aspects are a parting gift from a hellbred's one-time diabolic masters, serving as a reminder of the sins of his previous life. While a hellbred's outer body is a product of Hell, his inner mind and soul are purged and cleaned by the powers of good. He retains shadowy, vague memories of his past. The sight of a onetime ally or enemy triggers a vague sense of unease or pain, but details or exact memories are no more than shards of a split second of the past. Freed from the burden of guilt and the influences of those who drove him to evil, a hellbred is free to seek his own path.
Hellbred Racial TraitsEdit
- Humanoid (Hellbred): Hellbred are humanoid creatures despite their monstrous appearance.
- Infernal Mien (Ex): Hellbred have a sinister presence. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks.
- Evil Exception (Ex): Regardless of alignment or class restrictions, a hellbred can cast spells with the evil descriptor and never gain negative levels while wielding evil magic items, such as unholy weapons or demon armor. This ability does not shield a hellbred from losing access to class features if he violates a class's code of conduct. For example, using a +1 unholy longsword to slay orcs would not violate a hellbred paladin's code of conduct, though using the weapon to kill another paladin would.
- Hellbound (Su): A devil has a claim on a hellbred's soul. As a result, a hellbred can be restored to life only by a resurrection spell or greater magic.
- Devil's Favor: A hellbred gains Devil's Favor as a bonus feat for which it does not need to meet the prerequisite.
- Infernal Aspect: Upon completing the Scourging, a hellbred chooses one of the following aspects to manifest. Once the choice is made it cannot be changed.
- Body (Ex): A hellbred who chooses body as his infernal aspect gains a +4 bonus on saves against poison. In addition, he gains +2 to Constitution and takes a -2 penalty to Intelligence. The process of the Scourging strengthens his body but weakens his mind. At 4 HD, he gains a bonus devil-touched feat. At 14 HD, he gains another bonus devil-touched feat.
- Spirit (Su): A hellbred who selects the spirit aspect acquires infernal senses, gaining darkvision out to 30 feet and a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition the process of the Scourging leaves him with a strong mind, but a weak body. The hellbred gains a +2 bonus to Charisma and takes a -2 penalty to Constitution. At 6 HD, his darvision extends to 60 feet. At 9HD, his darvision extends to 120 feet. At 12 HD, he gains the ability to see in darkness, even that created by a deeper darkness spell. At 15 HD, he gains telepathy out to 100 feet.
- Automatic Languages: Infernal. Hellbred gain the ability to speak infernal upon their transformation, but they do not lose the ability to speak languages they previously knew before the Scourging.
- Favored Class: Paladin
Hellbred are the accursed, the damned, and the outcast. They are loners, cast-offs of their former societies. Despite their noble intentions, many see them as abominations. Thus most societies shun hellbred.
Hellbred are almost always lawful good. A few are chaotic good or neutral good. Hellbred are fully dedicated to eradicating evil.
Hellbred have no lands of their own. Few can endure being ostracized by people they now defend, so many choose to wander, taking in the beauty of the mortal world before meeting their fate. All hellbred must contend with the inner revulsion of what they once were, so they see lands where the baatezu have the most influence, hoping the unravel their plans.
Lacking the numbers or society to found settlements of their own, hellbred congregate in encampments. Many lead crusaders to vanquish the servants of Hell. Hellbred camps are always orderly and neat, reflecting the disciplined leaders that form such groups.
Hellbred are deeply devout individuals. Because of their choice, they have gained the tools to destroy their gravest foes and earned a chance to find a place on one of the celestial planes. Many hellbred revere St. Cuthbert taking strength from the promise of justice he offers, but most embrace the valor inherent in Heironeous. Many hellbred turn to Phieran, the deity of suffering, endurance, and perseverance, since the Tortured God understands their sacrifice. And celebrats their martyrdom.
So long as hellbred keep their nature concealed, they have little problems interacting with other races. Certainly, the somber pall hanging about these characters makes such interactions subdued, but most individuals are at least cordial. Hellbred learn to find the good in all creatures, seeing past monstrous exteriors to judge individuals based on their merits. They find friendship in unexpected places, often with members of other outcast races, such as half-orcs. Many of these individuals remain good despite the prejudice and bigotry they must face. Reformed drow, tieflings, or the rare good-aligned gnoll, goblin, or hobgoblin often prove consistent companions.
Hellbred are both intelligent and charismatic, being natural leaders despite the curse they bear.
Time is short for a hellbred. In all likelihood, no reward waits for him at the end of his life--no blessing, no warm heavenly welcome. All he has to look forward to is an eternity of suffering, the subversion of his character or utter annihilation and absorption by the Nine Hells. As a result, a hellbred strives to achieve great deeds of heroism. He struggles against evil in all its forms to prove his worth and virtue in the slim hope that he can escape certain doom.
A hellbred holds good-aligned adventures in high esteem. He sees in them individuals who share his values and beliefs. On the other hand, treasure seekers and thieves are scum, and a hellbred might be unfriendly or even hostile in his dealings with such mercenaries.
Given the abilities available to a hellbred, any feat that adds or enhanes existing abilities can only help him. Many a hellbred character does well to pursue the paladin class. If so, a hellbred's potentially high charisma score grants additional uses of turn undead. By also taking divine feats, he can spend turn attempts to aid his fight against the forces of Hell in a variety of ways.
Upon transformation, hellbred retain their first names, but replace their last with something fitting for their new nature
Surnames: Covenant, Devilbrood, Doomdriven, Heavenrent, Hellbound, Martyr, Soullost.
Roleplaying a HellbredEdit
Hellbred are intense characters. Evil is a real and active force, and they live to oppose it. They don't work well with those who dabble in evil, and are quick to destroy those who embrace wickedness.
Brooding and grim, hellbred are not known for their levity. They approach every situation with seriousness. They are champions of good, stalwart defenders of the innocent, and they have little tolerance for corruption, dealing with evil with their swords rather than discussion.
Roleplaying Application: Sulk frequently. Try not to laugh at jokes, and certainly don't crack them yourself. Try to focus on the mission. Be all business, all the time.
Hellbred are methodical about everything they do. They are patient and careful, always aware of the threats arrayed against them. They rarely rush headlong into a fight, taking time to make sure every angle is covered. A mistake in battle can lead to death--and a nonstop trip to Hell.
Roleplaying Application: You're not likely to offer quarter, but you should accept it when asked. Before getting involved in combat, be sure to consider every angle. Take a strong role in planning your groups actions.
Sparing with their words, hellbred are not conversationalists. They are obsessed with the fight against evil, and their conversations tend to slip back to a discussion about one infernal plot or another. Some hellbred proselytize, evangelizing to their companions.
Roleplaying Application: Listen more than talk. When you do speak, it should be important. Hellbred can be depressing people so couch your statements in terms of doom, temptation, and virtue.