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Thayan Marked Slave

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Thayan Marked Slave

Post  The Sub-Creator on Mon May 03, 2010 4:27 pm


Prime Requisite: Constitution 12

Levels as: Rogue

Races: Any (most are human—either Rashemi or Mulan in origin)

Development: Thayan slaves are typically a poor breed, as their Red Wizard masters care nothing for their life or death. Because of the magic imbued within the tattoos of the Marked Slave, however, a reasonable amount of thought goes into keeping them alive. All this really means is that Marked Slaves aren’t dispensed on whim, or, necessarily, without care. Don’t be fooled by this, though. They are still slaves beneath the heel of a wicked and sadistic group of wizards whom are entirely self-serving. If the time should come that a marked slave must die to preserve the master, there will be no hesitation on the part of the Red Wizard to let it happen.

Marked slaves are always born into slavery within the Red Wizards ownership; they are never one who has been captured or bought. The reason for this is simple: a slave taken into captivity or bought may have a will to resist or rebel, while a slave taken directly from the womb can be broken of these urges from the beginning via methods preferred by the Red Wizard. Along this same vein, the master also has the ability to train the slave physically, enabling him to create a specimen capable of the tasks the Red Wizard deems necessary.

Marked Slaves are also a very well-kept secret, for the most part. It’s possible that those enemies most often in conflict with Thay (such a Rasheman or Aglarond) do know of them, but, for the most part, the rest of Faerun remains ignorant to the existence of these unique slaves. If not from the above two nations (and that’s not to signify that everyone from these nations have a clue about the existence of Marked Slaves), then one would have to be incredibly learned to know anything about them. In truth, the Marked Slave is not a common sight, not even in Thay! (Think about the fact that a Red Wizard must be 16th level to cast the spell to create them, and that alone should tell you something!)

Appearance: As with all slaves in Thay, marked slaves are forbidden to cut their hair for any reason. Thus, their hair will be long and unkempt most of the time, though Red Wizards have been known to allow these slaves to wash their hair and tie it back for important meetings with individuals of wealth and grandeur. In fact, this is the norm for the marked slaves. They are forced to wear shabby rags for clothing and are not permitted to bathe unless a special occasion calls for it. Being a magical tool of important Red Wizards can have its advantages.

Red Wizards tend to place their tattoos in locations on their body where they are decorative, but also readily displayed as a source of power wielded by the mage. In the case of their slaves, the tattoos are used as brands of property. Another Red Wizard will understand that a specific tattoo—placed openly upon the slave—acts akin to a wizard mark, warning peers and rivals alike that this slave belongs to a powerful magi, and to beware tampering with the slave.

Almost without fail, a marked slave will bear many other scars on their body other than the magical ones artistically designed to be there. Their raising in the Thayan society will be grueling and extremely harsh, leaving an abundance of traces behind for all others to see. These ruthless scars are never intentionally hidden, as, like the tattoos themselves, the Red Wizards think of them as their own personal marks upon property—a sure indication for all that these marked slaves have been earned through the use of years of hard toil on the Red Wizard’s part.

Role: The Marked Slave has one major benefit over a regular slave in the Thayan Red Wizard mentality: they are, for all intents and purposes, a magical item, as opposed to simply another human life. This fact gives them a unique usefulness to their masters that keeps them alive far longer than the average slave’s life expectancy.

Marked Slaves are not a common role in Thay. These slaves are imbued with permanent magical tattoos that give the slave the ability to use potent magical abilities. In this respect, they are no different than a magic wand or ring to the Thayan Red Wizard, except that the marked slave gives the mage one major advantage over an opponent: the casting of an additional spell in a round that the other mage can’t imitate. With a simple gesture or word, the Red Wizard can command the marked slave to release the magical potential of a tattoo, and still be able to cast a spell of his own.

All Marked Slaves have usefulness according to the Red Wizard that tattoos them. Some are designed with a specific purpose in mind, while some are designed for a bit more versatility in the magic of their tattoos, but all are carefully planned with an understanding of the most prominent opponents the mage will probably have to face in mind. A Red Wizard understands the power struggles inherent within the workings of Thay, as well as the enemies that he’s most likely to deal with in his mechanizations with the outside world, and so a marked slave will unerringly fall into the scope of handling these things.

Remember always that a marked slave belongs to the Red Wizard—the slave’s powers are not his own to use as he pleases, or sees fit! That’s not to say that the master is necessary for the dispensing of their power, only that a marked slave has been viciously trained to not dare and call forth the power of a tattoo without the express permission of his master to do so. Because of this, one will virtually never see a marked slave recklessly abusing the power given him. Not only has his willfulness to act as an individual vessel been summarily tortured out of him, but, also, nothing incurs the wrath of a Red Wizard more than the desire to use a magical item and find that the power has already been used up for the day by a careless lout of a slave.

Special Abilities: The abilities of the Marked Slave are primarily subject to the whims of the Red Wizard (which should be taken into account upon creation of the slave character). However, they do have one benefit that resembles an actual rogue: Move Silently and Detect Noise. These beginning scores are only what can be gotten from the Base Score + Dex bonus + Racial bonus + Armor/Lack of Armor bonus, as noted under the Thief Section of the PHB. Marked Slaves do not gain any additional points to distribute between the two scores at character creation. They do gain 15 points to distribute amongst these skills at level advancement.

The most potent and unique aspect of the Marked Slave comes with the magical tattoos placed upon them by their Red Wizard master. These tattoos are permanent once put on the slave, and give the slave special spell-like abilities as any magical creature (pixies or demons, for example). These tattoos are given the slave immediately upon character creation, and their potency will no doubt be exceptional for the early levels of the character. DM’s are encouraged to work with the PC on what the tattoos will do (the restrictions here are limited solely by the imagination), but should remember that these slaves are meant to be potent magical items for a specific purpose, and that the magic of these tattoos are really the only unique quality given this kit until (and there’s an ‘if’ involved here) the slave dual-classes! Not wanting to unbalance the campaign is completely understandable, but some leeway should be permitted—and encouraged!—for what kinds of magic the tattoos contain. With that said, what follows gives the game rules for the tattoos.

POWER POTENTIAL: The tattoos placed upon the Marked Slave are an 8th level improvement to the 2nd level Red Wizard spell Create Enchanted Tattoo. This equivalent allows for infinitely greater magical potential to be locked into the tattoo permanently. A Marked Slave will have up to 1d12+10 spell levels worth of magical potential woven into the tattoos that scar his body, and these spell levels equate to both the spell placed within the tattoo, and the number of uses a day for that spell. (Example: if Haste is imbued into a tattoo, it takes up three of the total spell levels; however, if the Haste spell is imbued to work up to 3 uses per day, it takes up nine of the total spell levels.) The spells discharge at the level equal to that of the Red Wizard who put them there. Thus, if the tattoo is placed by a 20th level Red Wizard, the spell discharged by the tattoo will be identical to that of a 20th level casting.

CASTING TIME: All spells cast through the power of the tattoos have a casting time of three. The magical energy needed already exists within the tattoo; the slave need only concentrate on bringing it forth, which takes a moment to occur.

The final benefit of the Marked Slave comes into play when/if the slave should ever become separated from his Red Wizard master, and, through interaction with others, somehow finds himself strong enough to conquer the chains of restraint enforced upon his will since the beginning of his life. Should this happen (and what a wonderful roleplaying experience it could turn out to be!), the Marked Slave has the incredible ability to pick up another class. The slave is already adept at listening and following directions to the letter, as well as forcing his body to do what is required of him, which gives him a hand up in learning an entirely new vocation if someone should desire to teach him!

In such a case, the dual-classing rules come into play, and should be followed in accordance with the PHB, with the exception of one aspect: the Marked Slave needs only the minimum requisite needed for the class in which they will become, as opposed to the 17 normally required. Thus, if a fighter/paladin type seeks to train the slave to become a fighter, the slave needs only a Strength Score of 9 to do so (as is the requisite according to the PHB for being a fighter), not a score of 17. This works for every class the slave may get trained in. (Ranger or Paladins or other specialty class aspects such as illusionists or druids are possible, as are a normal or specialized thief class, but their requirements are far more difficult to fulfill, and so may not be an option for a Marked Slave, depending entirely upon their ability scores.) This benefit works only for the first dual-class situation; if the slave should choose to dual-class again, the normal attribute requirement of 17 in the prime requisite will be necessary.

Special Hindrances: The first, most notable hindrance to this rogue class is that it gets none of the other skill sets of the rogue except for the Move Silently and Detect Noise abilities. The rest of these skills, as well as backstabbing, thieves cant, and the potential to read scrolls at 10th level are lost to him entirely.

Another minor hindrance, which, from a roleplaying perspective, could be considered far greater, is that the Marked Slave has spent his entire life under the rule of a self-serving, sadistic tyrant who has made demands of pain and suffering on the slave. This has effectively wiped clean the slave’s desire to think, or do things, for himself, as acting independently of his master’s wishes would have brought a terrible amount of anguish down on him. Thus, while the Marked Slave has this incredible power source available to him in the tattoos, he willfully won’t use them unless directed to do so! Obviously, over time (and copious amounts of roleplaying), this may change, but it should not be taken for granted that it is a benefit to have these tattoos because of the high mental toll the character has had to pay for them.

Finally, the very fact that the Marked Slave is Red Wizard property remains the largest of his hindrances! Slaves are a dime per five score in Thay, but Marked Slaves are more valued because of their magical potential. This hindrance takes effect in two primary ways:

1) Because the Marked Slave acts more as a magical item than just a typical slave, Red Wizard masters are far more careful with wanting to maintain them. This doesn’t mean the Marked Slave is kept from pain; this means he is often “guarded” via powerful enchantments, so as to keep the slave from using his powers against the master. This can take the form of a variety of creative fashions, all of which should be lethal to a slave who uses his powers in a way that is not to the master’s liking—and, sometimes, will be excruciatingly painful even if the slave does listen, just to prove a point to the slave! These protections to steer the Marked Slave can be one or many, but they should always be powerful, and potentially lethal. And, as the slave, himself, is never schooled in magical theory, he will never know what exactly has been done to him.

2) The possibility exists (though is certainly rare) that a Red Wizard master may in some way perish or disappear, leaving behind a Marked Slave still very much alive. In this case, it’s very likely that some colleague (almost certainly another Red Wizard) will seek to lay ownership over the slave! The indication here is that even if freedom might seem a possibility for the Marked Slave, chances are it’s really only an illusionary thing! As Marked Slaves are prized possessions in Thay (it requires an 8th level spell to make owning one possible!), it is highly unlikely that such a slave will ever be without a Red Wizard coming to claim him as their own!

This is my word, and, as such, is beyond contestation.

The Sub-Creator

Posts : 508
Join date : 2009-09-19

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