Living seal (3.5e Epic class)
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|“||Within me lies the death of this world, just remember that when you're trying to cut my head off||”|
|—Lilith, a Succubus Living Seal, who contained the Elder evil Atropus shortly before the end of the world and just before she was beheaded, Unknown|
Merging your soul with an elder evil may be a selfless act for some or an attempt to quickly attain great power for others but the outcome is always the same, unimaginable power at an unimaginable price...
A Living Seal seeks to contain and eventually merge with the elder evil they have trapped within their body. They may have done this as a selfless act, sacrificing their very soul to save their world. Others (Most) however, will have purposely done this so as to attain immeasurable power that can rival even the gods and can , pheraps, pave their own path to the ascent or fall to becoming an Elder Evil.
Becoming a Living Seal
Characters pursue this class exclusively so as to merge their soul with an Elder evil, usually as a last resort to stop it from destroying the campaign world or to master it and gain its power. A character may have previous levels in any class though spellcasting ones are most common as they are usually the last ones left alive once the rest of their party has been killed and this is their last hope, spell casters will also benefit the most from this class's abilities.
While a character can take the first level in this class at any time they must successfully seal an Elder Evil within themselves, using The Last Rite Ritual learned at level one, in order to progress any further in this class.
|Skills:||Knowledge (Religion) 10 Ranks, Knowledge (Spellcraft) 10 Ranks.|
|Patron:||Can have any or none so long as they have not sworn allegiance to any Elder Evils.|
|Special:||This is an epic class so a character must have an ECL of at LEAST 20 to take a level in this class. It's also a good idea to only take this class if you're sure that Elder Evils will be used in your campaign.|
|1st||+1||+1||+1||+1||The Last Rite, Divine Anathema|
|2nd||+2||+1||+1||+1||Tainted Soul, Sealed One|
|3rd||+3||+2||+2||+2||Anethematic Secrecy, Corrupted Form|
|4th||+4||+3||+3||+3||Elder Knowledge, Sign of Doom: Faint|
|5th||+5||+3||+3||+3||Force of Will, Dark Speech|
|6th||+6/1||+ 4||+4||+4||Anathema to Life, Sign of Doom: Moderate|
|7th||+7/2||+4||+4||+4||Adopted Malefic Ability|
|8th||+8/3||+5||+5||+5||Sign of Doom: Strong, Elder Will|
|9th||+9/4||+5||+5||+5||Sign of Doom: Overwhelming, Chosen Malefic ability|
|10th||+10/5||+6||+6||+6||Elder Ascendance, One Soul One Mind|
All of the following are class features of the Living seal.
The Last Rite (Ex): At level 1 the character gains innate knowledge of a powerful sealing ability, first created by the gods as a last resort when all of creation seemed threatened. This ritual allows the character to seal an elder evil within their own body, to do this requires the elder evil to be fully manifested in your current plane and that it be below 1/4 health, the character must also know the creatures true name. Furthermore, the ritual requires the souls of three epic level characters (or NPC's) these must be free from their body's (dead, astrally travelling, etc) but do not need to be willing, in order to use an unwilling soul the caster must succeed on an opposed Will check. These souls are used to lure and bind the elder evil and so are irrevocably destroyed in the process making it impossible to revive them by any means. The caster must have some personal connection to the soul, these need not be a friendly one though.
The ritual itself takes 1 round plus one additional round for every unwilling soul to perform, during which the caster is considered flat-footed and any succesful attack against them forces them to succeed on a DC 25 concentration check or be forced to start again. While casting the Elder Evil can act normally but is unable to escape from the casters plane. Once cast the elder evil is immediately affected and both the caster and it must perform an opposed check this can be either a Charisma, Intelligence or Wisdeom check both choosing separately. If the Elder evil beats the characters roll all souls used are utterly destroyed, making it impossible to revive them by any means. If the caster wins then the elder evil appears to disintegrate (or whatever's appropriate) and be absorbed into the casters body. Any creatures it summoned are instantly banished and it's sign disappears from the world over the next 1d4 hours. Until you have successfully sealed an elder evil within yourself you cannot take any more levels in this class.
Divine Anethma: The mere knowledge of power capable of sealing beings once thought unstoppable is enough to set any deity on edge. The character is unable to contact any deity, a cleric or paladin no longer receives spells from their deity and is sickened for 1d6 hours should they try. A deity will also attempt to stop this character from entering their realm and temples, unless they have some reason to let them. It also becomes impossible for this character to contact a deity by any means from simply praying to the greatest of magics, the deity will never talk to the character willingly. This does not stop a cleric or paladin who prays to an alignment for their spells as these things are beyond such concepts as 'forbidden' knowledge.
Sealed One:At level 2 the character has successfully managed to seal an Elder evil inside of them, this grants great power though whether you'll get to enjoy that power for long is still undecided. The Elder evil is harmless while sealed inside the character, it cannot affect the outside world in any way without the Sealers consent. The Sealer is able to communicate telepathically with the Evil but it is unable to 'talk' back unless permitted to. The sealer can allow the Evil to cast or manifest any of its abilitys through them, though the Evil decides what it actually does and can only use powers that don't require any body parts the Sealer lacks. This essentially means the sealer grants the Evil control of their body just long enough to do whatever they've agreed to. Whenever the Sealer allows this to happen they must make an immediate opposed check of the same type they used to seal the Evil (it must also use same type) this occurs after the agreed duration has run out. The Sealer must also do this whenever they have to make Will save. If they succeed then they retain control of their body, the Evil goes back to being harmless and another check doesn't need to be made for 1 hour. If the Sealer fails however then the Evil seizes limited control of their body and retains this for 1 full round for every point they beat the Sealers opposed check by, while they have control they may act however they wish they know nothing more than what they usually do about the Sealer and retain all of their usual mental abilities but adopt the physical ones of the Sealer. Additionally the Sealer retains enough control to stop the Evil taking any obviously suicidal action, like slitting their own throat, however this doesn't stop the Evil from charging an entire army of Demi-gods if it thinks it's able to beat them. The Sealer can still be possessed whether or not they have taken the second level in this class, however they cannot allow the Evil to act through them until they have taken the second level.
Tainted Soul: Sealing an Elder Evil within oneself was never going to be good for the soul but few can imagine the true cost of binding yourself to such a creature. The Sealers soul is indelibly tainted by the Elder Evil, they are now detected by a detect evil spell and are unable to cast any spells with the good descriptor. Their soul will also be banished to the Void upon their death, where if they are not revived within 24 hours will become lost forever making it impossible to revive them by any means. Should the Sealer be killed and their soul lost forever in the Void the Elder Evil within them will be freed, the timeline for their coming will be reset and all their abilitys are fully restored. The caster level of any spell cast by the Sealer with the evil descriptor is increased by the Evils HD and all psionic powers can be modified so as to do half their damage as Vile damage, the Sealers natural attacks also now do an extra 1d8 vile damage.
Corrupted form: At level 3 the Sealer has committed themselves to mastering the Elder evil within them and this lust for dark power is reflected in their form. The Sealer begins to take on the appearance of the Evil, this is mostly subtle and cosmetic (Such as scale-ly skin or worms crawling over the Sealer when they sleep, etc). However, the Sealer also gains a monstrous body part, this can be anything from a tail to undead flesh or a set of dogs teeth. As the Sealer gains levels they should increasingly take on the Elder Evils characteristics, eventually becoming an unholy combination of what they were and what lies sealed within them. These may give the Sealer a natural attack or make them eligible for new feats (undead flesh= undead feats, etc), the body part gained should fit with the sealed Evil and after this level all other changes are purely cosmetic.
Anethematic Secrecy (Ex): This is a Malefic ability which all Elder evils have, upon gaining this ability the Sealer has taken their first step towards becoming one with the Evil within them. This ability grants total immunity to all divine divination Spells and effects.
Sign of Doom: Faint (Ex): At level 4 the Sealer has started to absorb a small part of the Evils essence and can now invoke the sign of its coming as a standard action a number of times per day equal to their levels in Living seal. The sign is considered to be at Faint intensity and if no time of effect is given in its entry lasts for 1 full round per levels in Living Seal.
Elder Knowledge: The Sealer is able to forcefully delve into the Evils memories, risking madness in order to discover the greatest secrets of the universe. The Sealer can use Bardic knowledge as a Bard of her Living Seal level, they receive a +10 on this check but if they roll a natural 1 then they are affected by the insanity spell for 1d4 rounds and the Evil can attempt to possess them once this duration has ended.
Force of Will: At level 5 the Sealer has finally begun to tip the scales in their favour when dealing with the Elder Evil directly. Once per possession the Sealer can re-attempt their opposed check to try and seize full control of their body back from the Evil.
Dark Speech: The Sealers and Elder evils knowledge is starting to coalesce, representing how the boundary between the two is beginning to collapse. The Sealer gains Dark Speech as a bonus feat while the Evil learns one of the Characters languages allowing complex communication between the two if it was before impossible. If the Evil is effectively mindless then it gains nothing.
Anethema to Life: At level 6 the Sealer has started to blur the line between what they were and what are becoming, an abomination pheraps worse than even an Elder Evil. All unintelligent creatures (Int 3 or less) are instantly shaken when they detect the Sealer and will remain so until they can no longer detect them, all deities also take an active interest in the Sealer though whether they wish to destroy or control them varies (gameplay wise this means the pantheon will become aware of the Sealer and may take measures against them, it's really up to the DM how this manifests)
Sign of Doom: Moderate (Ex): As Sign of Doom: Faint, except the signs intensity increases to Moderate.
Adopted Malefic Ability: At level 7 it starts to become unclear if the Elder evil still fully exists within the Sealed, so much of its power has been absorbed into their body. The Sealed gains the Malefic ability of there Sealed Elder Evil, the Evil loses this ability until they are freed.
Elder Will: At level 8 the Sealer begins to absorb the will and goal of the Elder Evil, giving it a greater chance to seize control of their body and a chance at true freedom. Whenever the Sealer allows the Evil to cast one of its abilitys through them the sealer is now able to control and affect this ability as if it were their own. However, the Evil gains a +10 to its opposed check to seize control of the Sealer. Should the Sealer fail three opposed checks in a row, including those caused by taking a will save, then they must attempt a fourth one, in which the Evil does not get its +10. Should they fail this they are instantly killed and if not revived within 24 hours the Elder Evil will be freed.
Sign of Doom: Strong (Ex): As Sign of Doom: Faint, except intensity is increased to strong.
Chosen Malefic Ability: At level 9 many may consider the Sealer to be a Pseudo-Elder Evil themselves whose growing powers makes any hope of manipulating them too risky, possibly causing supposed allies to turn on the Sealer. To represent the Sealers new Status they are able to choose a Malefic ability from the Elder Evils Rulebook, this is in addition to their adopted one. Creatures will also begin reacting to the Sealer as if they were a actual Elder evil, they may gain a cult as well as a band of meddling adventurers looking to send them straight to the void (again how this manifests is mostly up to the DM)
Sign of Doom: Overwhelming (Ex): As Sign of Doom: Faint except the intensity is increased to overwhelming and the duration can be made Permenant so long as the Sealer is alive, this moves with her. So if she has the Dead sun sign and goes to a different plane it will stop affecting the first plane and affect the new one instead as she travels to it.
One Soul One Mind: At level 10 both the Sealer and Elder Evil cease to exist as separate beings, there minds and souls are merged together resulting in the creation of a new far more terrifying creation. The Sealer gains all the memories and experiences of the Elder Evil and knows everything it knew, this includes languages and knowledge meaning they no longer risk insanity when using Elder Knowledge. As the Elder Evil has essentially ceased to exist the Living Seal is no longer subject to possession attempts but cannot allow the Evil to act through them. Furthermore, the sealer gains the 'Elder Evil' type as well as the specefic traits of the Evil e.g. Summoned creatures, Resistances, Etc. They do not receive any extra Malefic abilitys but do retain any levels in previous classes. Should the Sealer be killed after merging they are temporarily separated from the Elder Evil and if not revived within 1 year will be lost in the void while the Elder Evil will be freed.
Elder Ascendance (Ex): The Living Seal becomes capable of taking the form of the Elder Evil formerly trapped within them, for planet sized Evils such as Atropus or Leviathan the Sealer can choose to morph into there appropriate incarnations instead. Doing this is a full-round action and if killed in this form they do not return to their original one. The Sealer gains all the abilities of the Elder Evil while in its form while also retaining its own mental abilities, HD and any still other abilities that are still applicable in there new form. The Sealer can assume this form for 1 round per character level, they are otherwise effected as if by a special version of the change shape ability. Once this duration ends though the Sealer must succeed on another opposed check against the Elder Evil, should they fail this they are consumed by the strength of its lingering will and must seek to fulfill the Evils goal for 1 round per every point they lost the check by. So if they Sealed Atropus they must seek to destroy all life, etc. During this time they are considered mindless and cannot be reasoned with.
A spell that removes the Knowledge of The Last Rite from your mind before you have sealed an Elder Evil causes you to lose the Divine Anethema ability, should this happen you are immediately aware that something has been lost and can seek to try and remember it regardless of how you forget it.
The only other way to stop being a Living Seal is to lose you're Sealed Elder Evil but still somehow return from the Void (by striking some deal with what lurks there to get it to show you the way out then have someone revive you normally, DM discretion is advised). If this happens you must re-seal that specefic Elder Evil to regain you're lost class abilities and Extrodinary powers, sealing a different Elder Evil is possible but forces you to re-take all the subsequent levels. Doing this does not give you extra save or BaB bonuses, it simply allows you to regain you're lost abilities.
Playing a Living Seal
Combat: Can really take any role though the most common is a spellcaster or psion standing far back from any fighting and watching there Evil spells and Sign of Doom destroy their enemy's and should any get close they can just take their Elder Ascendent form and utterly annihilate the whole planet. In short their more than a one man army, their a one man Armageddon.
Advancement: Wizards, Sorcerers, Clerics, Psions, Wilders, Etc really anything that lets you take advantage of the buff to evil spells and let's you planeshift away from anywhere you "accidentally" obliterate.
Resources: None, given the rarity and power of Elder Evils it's almost impossible that two Living Seals will ever actually meet. Though there are rumors of those who teach The Last Rite and practice for when they may be needed to make the ultimate sacrafice to protect their worlds.
Living Seals in the World
|“||My Soul or the Worlds? Why the hell do I have to choose? I'll just take both.||”|
There the perfect bad guy for any campaign where an Elder Evil just isn't good enough, now you can combine all that character advancement with the sheer awsomness of an Elder Evil. It's always satisfying to tell you're adventures "Uhhh, yep, that guy you just insulted turns into a giant snake who looks an awful lot like depictions of Dendar, eater of worlds. Well this'll be fun". Alternatively you can supply a couple of these as a 'last resort' option for adventurers who are facing a particularly challenging Elder Evil and might be willing to trust there worlds (and souls) fate in the hands of chance.
NPC Reactions: A level one Living Seal is impossible to tell apart from a normal man unless you have a connection to a god, or are one. Beyond level one though it becomes increasingly obvious what they are and although most people don't even know what an Elder Evil is they can tell that the guy with snake skin and a tail is probably bad news so will avoid them like the plague. Anyone who actually knows that the character harbours an Elder Evil inside of them may seek to Permenantly imprison or banish them from there realm.
Living Seal Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Religion) can research Living Seals to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|15||They are capable of sealing Evil creatures within themselves and use there power, though this can come at a heavy price.|
|20||They can seal Elder Evils within themselves and are capable of using some of their powers but are always at risk of the Evil Seizing temporary control. They are also capable of far worse...|
|25||A strong Living Seal is an object of fear and respect to even the mightiest Devils and Gods, they are physically changed by the Elder Evil but are unable to cast good spells while there evil ones increase in power, killing them will release the Elder Evil.|
|30||A max level Living Seal has fully absorbed the Elder Evil within them, gaining total control over all of its powers and abilities. It's even rumoured that they become an Elder Evil themselves and are capable of taking the originals form, though many regard this as mere rumors.|