An Epic

Balthinal "Coress" of House Levan

(Long-time holder of the Stone of Silence)

Male Elf, Farlandic Rgr 6/Shadowalker 6: Medium Humanoid ; HD 6d10 (Ranger), 6d8 (Shadowalker); hp 69; Init +7; Spd 30; AC 22; Atk +14 base melee, +15 base ranged; +16 (2d6+4, +1 Greatsword); +16 (1d8, Longbow, composite, Masterwork); +15 (1d4+2, Dagger, Masterwork); SQ: Elven traits (Ex), Immunity: Sleep (Ex), Low-light vision (Ex); RF: +2 Will bonus to Enchantment spells, Effectively immortal but eventually departs into the West.; AL NE; SV Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +4; STR 15, DEX 17, CON 10, INT 14, WIS 11, CHA 18. CR:13 Languages: Elven, Kelevan, Kalish Class Features Ranger: Favored enemies: orcs and giants, improved two weapon fighting, track Shadowalker: Darkvision, Speak with Plants and animals (2x/day), Shadow Armor (+4 AC, 50% miss chance), Shadow Jump (50 ft.), Shadow Walk (1x/day)

Possessions: +1 Greatsword: Defending; Longbow, composite, Masterwork; Dagger, Masterwork. Armor: +1 Chain shirt. Goods: Backpack; Explorer's Outfit Magic: Stone of Silence (Elven Artifact)

Skills: Diplomacy +8, Gather Information +10, Heal +10, Hide +13, Intuit Direction +5, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Listen +8, Move Silently +12, Search +4, Sense Motive +5, Spot +5, Survival +9.

Feats: Dodge, Expertise, Improved Initiative, Quick Draw, Track, Weapon Focus: Greatsword.

Spells Prepared: 1st - Entangle.

Shadow Armor: The Shadowalker becomes cloaked in a translucent film of shadow. The shadow is non-tangible yet somehow deflects weapons, granting him a permanent +2 deflection bonus to AC and one-quarter concealment. He can cloak himself in the shadow armor at will as a free action. Long contact with the powers of the Stone of Silence has strengthened Coress' Shadow Armor, increasing its protection to +4 and giving him 100% concealment.

Shadow Jump (su): The Shadowalker has the ability to travel between shadows as if by means of a dimension door spell. The limitation is that the magical transport must begin and end in an area with at least some shadow. The Shadowalker can jump a total of 25 feet each day in this way, although this may be a single jump of 25 feet. This amount can further be split up among many jumps, no matter how small, but each jump counts as a 10 foot increment.

Shadow Walk (su): The Shadowalker can use the spell shadow walk as a standard action. The duration is figured using Shadowalker levels only. The Shadowalker cannot use this ability to travel to other planes besides the prime material plane and the plane of shadow.

Speak with Plants and Animals (sp): This ability functions as the spells of the same name, although the Shadowalker merely wills it to occur, so there are no verbal or somatic components. The duration is figured using Shadowalker levels only. He can also speak with both plants and animals, switching back and forth between the two at the same time.

Born in 7871 F.R. in the hidden Elhil city of Gloralion (the Summervale), this notable elf was named Balthinal by his father Dior, head of House Levan. It wasn't until his thirtieth year that his mother, the doomseer Marienna, pronounced his doomname Direnel "Dark Heart," and predicated his fate as follows: "you will be an aid to the humans, but not through your own might. You will walk long in shadow, but in shadow you shall make your dwelling." After pronouncing this doom, the pale Marienna soon set off for Faerie; something seemed to trouble her deeply, but what it was she never told.

Balthinal quickly grew into a skilled painter, poet, and artisan, even measured according to the high standards of his people. But he was never called Balthinal, rather he quickly became known as Coress "Honey-tongued," for his skill at oratory and writing* soon won him great acclaim and the notice of Elvenking Baranwë the tall himself. Coress spent a brief time in the company of the king, but he took a liking to the king's friend, the Captain of the Talranuil, Leanorfin of House Arduval. This mighty Elhan took the young Coress under his wing and trained him to be a Shadowalker. Coress proved to be a quick learner, and soon the other Elven Rangers admired him both for his skill with stealth and blade and for his amazing and lucid theories about how the Elves could help the lesser races. He veritably charmed his comrades with his subtle wit and charisma. He quickly rose to become second in the ranks of the Talranuil. When Coress learned about Gonwe Dim, the great Stone of Silence, he vowed that he would find it and recover it for the Elven peoples. Leanorfin warned him that seeking the Stone was not his doom and that no good would come of it, but the proud elf would not be swayed from his intentions. He set off to track down the Stone, journeying as far as Daven, the last known location of the artifact. This kingdom proved to offer no information as to the whereabouts of the Stone, however, and it was perilous. Thus the intrepid elf started the return journey to an outpost of the Shadowalkers in the south of the Black Wood in Kelerak, but he did not forsake his quest. Whenever he could get away from his duties as a Shadowalker, he would seek news of the item, and finally he forsook his office completely, wandering the kingdom for many years seeking news of the artifact.

As fate would have it, however, he received word from a group of barbarians that a strange Stone had appeared in their village. He tracked the Stone, which had been abducted by a tribe of Frost Giants. In a daring venture, Coress secretly invaded the keep of the giants and recovered the Stone, leaping into the realm of Shadows, but not before he was badly wounded by the Jarl of the Giants. Yet he had recovered the Stone! Making his way to a secret hold deep in the heart of the Black Wood, Coress healed and learned about the powers of the Stone. There the power and immunity it afforded him so grew on his mind that he forsook all of the teachings of his people and set himself up as King of the Ettercap hoards that inhabited the wood, using his considerable powers and the Stone to fulfill every desire in his dark heart. After 100 years, Coress was slain in 8170 by the Elhan Valanduil of House Cirana, Bartarius of Outelion, and their companions.

*An exerpt from one of Coress's works, entitled On the Necessity of an Elhil Society for the Extension of the Lifespans of Lesser Races:

"I write this treatise to express some new concepts at which I have arrived, ideas that may brighten the future of the less fortunate mortal races in the Hinterlands. These races are sown with strife and discord; they throw their short lives away fighting themselves and each other, when in fact they should be cherishing each moment of their lamentably short time.

These are beings to whom we certainly owe our consideration, for we are their stewards. They are as children to us, but yet it seems to me that they are more: the dwarves, the humans, the gnomes, and the halflings all seem to represent a facet of the elven soul. The dwarves are the part of our hearts that loves crafts, the halflings are our love of the land and of home, the gnomes are our love of dweomers, and the humans are our desire to learn and accomplish things; by aiding these races to overcome their respective flaws, it is as if we are erasing these blemishes in our own hearts. Or perhaps it is we who represent a facet of the human soul, those beings who are so inticately complicated and mysterious; who can tell? This possibility is born out by the fact that the humans have very some capable thinkers among them who might be able to teach our race something.

Yet their span is so short. If a way could be found to lengthen it, we could indeed have the time to teach these races our wisdom, so that it has a lasting impact. What if we bottled some of the waters of the pool of Melim, and used powerful dweomers to enhance its potential magic? Could a drought of this brew extend the brief span of mortal years? The cool brooks of the Elfspires constantly replenish the waters of Melim, so we could never run short. Certainly deathlessness is beyond them, but much good could be done if we undertook to test this thesis. We could be bringers of life to these mortal races, turning back the hands of the clock on these free peoples, for whom time flies so fast. Let us share the gift!