Arthus Malthusson, Soldier of Light


"If you were expecting someone like my father, you're sadly mistaken."


Near the end of the March of the Dead, as the forces of the Alliance fought their way towards the fortress of the Lich-King, he and his monstrous allies began raiding communities near the front lines, slaughtering their occupants and reanimating the corpses to bolster his army. Whole towns were depopulated, despite the best efforts of the Alliance vanguard to secure them. By the end of the war, most of the continent's countryside was empty, its once-bustling farms and villages transformed into little more than ghost towns.

It was during one such raid that a child, barely even more than a toddler, witnessed the murder of his parents and his neighbors. He would have shared their fate, if not for the intervention of a group of riders and their escorts, who were on their way to join the main forces of the Alliance storming the Lich-King's lair. One of the riders took pity on the boy, and swore that if he returned alive from the battle they were about to face, he would raise the boy himself. At that the riders stormed off to the Lich King's keep, leaving behind their escort to take care of the burial of the village's dead, and look after the child until they returned.

The group of riders were the Balance, and the one that swore to raise the boy was none other than Malthus Tannhauser. After the Lich-King was destroyed in his battle with the Balance, Malthus made good his promise, and raised the child -- whom he named Arthus -- in the best way he knew.

As the years passed Malthus' ward grew into a fine warrior, whose ideals were rooted in the power of goodness and of compassion, much like his own. However, Arthus had his own interpretation of how to spread good, and it was far from the rigid adherence to rules and laws the paladin favored. Also, much to the paladin's dismay, Arthus obssessed on evil undead, instead of the other evils that plagued much of the world.

Despite his foster father's admonitions, Arthus drew upon what he learned from the paladin and created his own martial tradition focused on fighting undead. Striking out on his own, he soon secured a reputation as a relentless foe of the unliving. He hunted down and destroyed vampires and minor liches with impunity, as well as anyone who dared to animate the bodies of those who had passed on. He aided adventuring companies that shared similar goals with him, going as far as to train those who were willing to emulate his fighting style. These followers would eventually come together to found the Soldiers of Light, a holy order dedicated to eradicating the scourge of undeath.

However, for all his success, it was his own zeal that proved to be his downfall. In a battle against a particularly powerful lich, his hatred blinded him to the trap that had been laid just for him, until it was too late. The trap triggered a specially-designed stasis spell, one that bound him to the lich's very existence; as long as the lich was not utterly destroyed, he would remain in suspended animation...

Nearly three hundred and fifty years passed, before the lich was finally defeated by a party of adventurers, and its phylactery shattered. Much to the shock of the adventurers, what they had thought was a dust-covered statue came back to life. After a few tense moments, Arthus was able to convince them that he was in no way dangerous, and through them was able to piece together just how long he spent trapped in the lich's spell. At that, he joined them as they ventured out of the lich's lair, more than a little curious at how much the world had changed during his imprisonment.

Arthus was surprised to learn that his foster father Malthus is still alive, and news of his latest apprentice Eleanore intrigues him. While he has no plans to confront either any time soon, he is keenly interested in hearing of their current exploits. He was pleasantly surprised to learn about the Soldiers of Light as well, and eagerly listens to anything pertaining to the order's activities.

Barrel-chested and muscular, Arthus is nearly twenty-eight winters old (not counting the time spend in stasis), with muddy-blue eyes and chiseled features. He wears his wheat-colored hair short, and prefers unpretentious clothing. While generally open-minded, he angers quickly when the topic turns to undead.


Arthus Malthusson, male Fighter 8/Soldier of Light 10*: CR 18; Medium-sized humanoid (human); HD 8d10+24 plus 10d10+30; hp 200; wp 16; Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 32 (touch 14, flat-footed 31); Base Attack +18; Grapple +23; Attack +28 melee (1d10+13 plus 2d6 holy vs. evil/19-20/x3, +4 holy impact adamantine maul of disruption), or +21 ranged (1d8+2/x3, +2 distance precise longbow); Full Attack +28/+23/+18/+15 melee (1d10+13 plus 2d6 holy vs. evil/19-20/x3, +4 holy impact adamantine maul of disruption), or +21/+16/+11/+6 ranged (1d8+2/x3, +2 distance precise longbow); SA Divine spell use, smite undead 1/day, turn undead 13/day; SQ Aura of good, celestial companion*, detect undead, divine grace, divine vengeance, fast healing 2, positive energy burst, spurn death's touch +2, spontaenous casting; Alignment Neutral Good; Saves Fort +27, Ref +15, Will +16; Str 21, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 22. Height 5 ft. 10 in.

Skills and Feats (with Synergy bonuses included): Climb +11, Concentration +13, Diplomacy +16, Heal +7, Intimidate +12, Jump +11, Knowledge (Religion) +9, Ride +7, Sense Motive +12, Spellcraft +6, Survival +3, Swim +11; Blind-Fight (B), Die Hard, Divine Might, Divine Vengeance (B), Endurance, Exalted Turning, Extra Turning, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative (B), Improved Unarmed Strike (B), Leadership, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Maul) (B), Weapon Specialization (Maul) (B).

Languages Spoken: Common, Celestial.

Prepared Spells per day (3/3/2/1; spell DC = 12 + spell level): 1st - divine favor, hide from undead, protection from evil; 2nd - consecrate, resist energy, restoration (lesser); 3rd -daylight, searing light; 4th - death ward. Caster level 10th.

Signature Equipment: Eternal Rest (+4 holy impact adamantine maul of disruption), +2 keen silvered dagger, +2 distance precise longbow, +4 heavy fortification mithril full plate, +4 animated heavy steel shield, belt of giant strength +6, cloak of charisma +6, great helm of seeing (as gem of seeing), Heward's handy haversack, holy symbol of the Light (wood), clasp of health (as the periapt), ring of defense +3, ring of sustenance, winged boots

Adventuring Gear (in Heward's handy haversack): Antitoxin (2 doses), backpack, bedroll, blanket (winter), candles (5), clothes (explorer's), flint and steel, healer's kits (2), holy water (3 flasks), iron pot, mirror (small steel), oil (3 pints), potions (8 potions of cure serious wounds, 2 potions of haste, 2 potions of heroism, 3 potions of lesser restoration, 1 potions of waterbreathing), quiver of 10 cold iron arrows, quiver of 20 normal arrows, quiver of 20 silvered arrows, rope (silk, 50 ft.), soap (1 bar), spade, trail rations for six days, waterskin (full, water), whetstone.


Class Abilities and Special Qualities:

Aura of Good (Ex): Arthus radiates an overwhelming aura of good, as a cleric of his level.

Celestial Companion (Su): Once per day, as a full-round action, Arthus may summon a loyal celestial companion -- such as a celestial hawk, dog, or wolf -- the animal appearing immediately adjacent to his position and staying for 24 hours; it can be dismissed as a free action. If his celestial companion is slain, he can summon another after 30 days or when he advances a level, whichever comes first.

The celestial companion has +6 additional hit dice, a +5 bonus to its natural armor, a +3 bonus to its Strength, and 8 Intelligence. Further more it gains an empathic link with Arthus, Improved Evasion as a skill, can share spells with him, and can communicate with him verbally. The companion also is affected by a blood bond, meaning it gains a +2 bonus to all attacks, checks, and saves when it sees Arthus threathened or harmed, the bonuses lasting as long as the threat remains.

Detect Undead (Sp): Arthus can detect undead as the spell at will.

Divine Grace (Su): Arthus applies his Charisma modifier to all his saving throws.

Divine Vengeance: Arthus gains Divine Vengeance as a bonus feat, enabling him to do spend one of his turning attempts to add 2d6 sacred damage to all his melee attacks against undead until the end of his next action.

Fast Healing (Ex): Arthus' injuries recover quickly, healing 2 points of damage every round, where all subdual damage is healed first. Arthus cannot access this ability if he is exhausted or fatigued.

Positive Energy Burst (Su): Arthus may choose to sacrifice 2 turn attempts for the day to release a wave of positive energy centered on himself, dealing 10d6 damage to all undead within 100 ft. Undead in the area can escape with half damage if they succeed a DC 26 Reflex save.

Smite Undead (Su): Arthus may add his Charisma bonus to attack and his Soldier of Light levels to damage vs. an undead opponent, once per day.

Spontaenous Casting: Arthus can 'lose' any prepared spell in his repertoire in order to cast any cure spell of the same level or lower.

Spurn Death's Touch (Su): Arthus has a +2 sacred bonus to all saves against death spells or effects, all spells of the necromancy school, and all spells that drain energy or use negative energy to power them.

Turn Undead (Su): Arthus can turn undead as a 10th-level cleric.


*DM's Notes:

Arthus was created using a modified version of the Soldier of Light prestige class presented in the 3rd Edition Deities and Demigods supplement. A few feat requirements were added (Endurance, and Great Fortitude), the energon companion was replaced by a celestial companion, the positive fortitude ability was reworded, and the saving DC of the Positive Energy Burst was changed to a base of 20 + Arthus' Charisma modifier.