Vaynard the White Wolf, Lord of the Northern Marches
"It is a pity... You chose to tempt the wrath of the wrong Northman."
Youngest son of the Baron of the Northern Marches, one of the survivor states of the fallen kingdom of Northfast, Vaynard was born with hair as white as the winter snows, a sign of one destined to wield great magic. Not surprisingly, the lord wasted no time in looking for tutors to induct his son into the Art of wizardry. Sadly, skilled practitioners were hard to come by in th northlands, but the baron knew of the fabled academies of the south, as well as those of the elves in the Heartlands, and exploited every contact he knew in order to find a school willing to accept his son. His persistence soon paid off, and he was able to reserve a spot in the Magisterium, an elite school for budding magists. When Vaynard reached four winters of age, his family sent him off to the school, where he was to spend the next fifteen or so years of his life.
Vaynard proved to be an exceptional student, much to his family's pride, and while there were those among his peers who were better at learning new spells, or practicing drills, the young man excelled in the scholarly fields, and few in his class could his well-rounded knowledge of history, geography, and arcane theory. Some of his professors despaired at his generalist attitude to learning, and once or twice tried to convince him to specialize in one spellcasting school or another, but Vaynard preferred doing things his way, as it allowed him to learn at his own pace.
In all, the time spent at the Magisterium were one of the happiest years of Vaynard's life, but it was not to last. A few months before he was to receive his senior robes, dire news arrived from the North: a horde of giants, ice trolls, and other monsters had descended from the mountains to rampage across the lowlands.. And the Marches were directly in the horde's warpath. He gathered his belongings, and hastily traveled back to his homeland. He arrived just in time to see his father and older siblings fall, and the armies of the cities of the Marches crushed underneath the heels of the monstrous host.
As the other realms of the North and the Savage Coast mustered their own forces to meet the incoming threat, Vaynard gathered the survivors of the defeated armies of the Marches, as well as a dozen adventuring companies from all over the continent that had volunteered to fight the monsters. It was soon apparent that, with the little magic he had under his disposal and the forces he under his command, it would be suicidal to face the horde head-on; that sort of pitched fighting was more suited to the allied armies of the cities of the Savage Coast. However, there was still a way to strike at their enemies: from the shadows.
And so a guerilla campaign was decided upon, where small, semi-independent units would harry the horde in its march, cutting off lines of communication and supply, delaying the movement of individual units, isolating and destroying any remaining occupying forces, as well gradually decreasing the horde's numbers by ambush or assassination. Much to the surprise of many, Vaynard personally led and took part in most of the raids, tracking down stragglers, setting up places for ambush, and utilizing his magic to even the odds for his troops. The tactic was incredibly effective. By the time the forces of the Allied Cities met the horde near the northern fringe of the Great Forest, the horde had been whittled down to less than half its original strength.
With the horde defeated by the armies of the Allied Cities, Vaynard returned to the Northern Marches to help his people rebuild the shattered realm. Realistically, it would take at least a decade for the region to fully recover, but with the cooperation of his people, as well as the veterans of the conflict, who had seen first-hand how the young lord had fought ferociously for their cause, it doesn't seem that too-impossible to accomplish.
Tall, and muscular, with a head of short snow-white hair and possessing intense ice-blue eyes, Vaynard doesn't look anything like your typical sharp-minded magic user, especially when dressed for battle in his ancestral armor and winter wolf cape of office, and carrying his father's imposing halberd. He uses this fact to his advantage, in politics as well as in battle, and many an opponent has underestimated him to their ultimate folly.
The young lord would want no better than to return to his studies at the Magesterium, but has resigned himself to the fact that he has other responsibilities now. Still, it always brightens his day to hear about the goings-on at the school, or when a classmate or professor drops by to visit him at his home. He is constantly worried though that whoever - or whatever - it was that gathered the horde is still out there, so he sponsors any adventuring company willing to investigate the mountain lairs of the giants for any clue to the plans of his enemies.
Vaynard the White Wolf, male Wizard 5/Ranger 6: CR 11; Medium-sized humanoid (human); HD 5d4+10 plus 6d8+12; hp 77; wp 15; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18 (touch 13, flat-footed 17); Base Attack +8; Grapple +8; Attack +9 melee (1d10+5 plus 1d6 fire/x3, +1 flaming halberd), or +10 ranged (1d8+5/x3, +2 distance precise composite longbow); Full Attack +9/+4 melee (1d10+5 plus 1d6 fire/x3, +1 flaming halberd), or +10/+5 ranged (1d8+5/x3, +2 distance precise composite longbow), or +9 ranged touch (arcane spell); SA Arcane spell use, ranger spells; SQ Animal companion (Ervan, male wolf), combat style (archery: Rapid Shot), endurance, familiar (Duskflight, male hawk), favored enemy (+4 giants, +2 orcs), improved combat style (archery: Manyshot), wild empathy; Alignment Chaotic Good; Saves Fort +10, Ref +9, Will +9; Str 16, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 13. Height 5 ft. 9 in.
Skills and Feats (with Synergy bonuses included): Concentration +10, Climb +7, Craft (Armorsmithing) +9, Handle Animal +5, Heal +5, Hide +10, Jump +7, Knowledge (Arcana) +11, Knowledge (History) +5, Knowledge (Geography) +8, Knowledge (Nature) +7, Knowledge (the Planes) +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +15, Ride +3 (4cc), Search +7, Sense Motive +3 (4cc), Spellcraft +13, Spot +5, Survival +7 (+9 to avoid getting lost), Swim +7; Craft Wand (B), Craft Wondrous Items, Die-Hard, Endurance (B), Leadership, Manyshot (B), Rapid Shot (B), Scribe Scroll (B), Spellcasting Prodigy (wizard), Spell Focus (Evocation), Track (B).
Languages Spoken: Common, Draconic, Elven, Goblin.
Common Wizard Spells Prepared (4/4/3/2; DC = 13 + spell level, 14 + spell level for Evocation; Arcane spell failure 10%): 0 - dancing lights, detect magic, flare, resistance; 1st - magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield, true strike; 2nd - invisibility, Melf's acid arrow, mirror image; 3rd - dispel magic, fireball. Caster Level 5th.
Common Ranger Spells Prepared (2; DC = 12 + spell level): 1st - entangle, pass without trace. Caster Level 3rd.
Wizard's Spellbook - all of those listed above including the following: 1st - alarm, comprehend languages, expeditious retreat, mage armor; 2nd - continual flame, darkvision, fog cloud, protection from arrows; 3rd - daylight, fly, haste, Leomund's tiny hut.
Standard Equipment*: +2 distance precise composite longbow (range increment is doubled, no -4 penalty when fired at an opponent in melee, +3 Str bonus to damage), +1 flaming halberd (1d6 additional fire damage), +1 cold resistance mithril chain shirt (resistance 10 against cold weather effects, cold-based spells and spell-like abilities), boots of elvenkind (+5 competence bonus to Move Silently), gauntlets of ogre power, ring of defense +2 (+2 deflection bonus to AC, +2 resistance bonus to saves), spell scrolls (expeditious retreat, fireball, fly, haste, invisibility, mirror image, protection from arrows), wand of fireball, wand of magic missile (5th).
*Vaynard has a greater number of magic items than what it usually expected for someone of his level, as fully half of those on his list are either heirlooms recovered from slain family members, or salvaged from enemy officers.
Adventuring Gear (in backpack): Antitoxin (1 dose), bedroll, blanket (winter), candles (5), clothes (explorer's), flint and steel, iron pot, mirror (small steel), oil (2 pints), potions (3 potions of cure light wounds, 2 potions of lesser restoration), quiver of 10 cold iron arrows, quiver of 20 normal arrows, quiver of 20 silvered arrows, rope (silk, 50 ft.), soap (1 bar), spade, spellbooks (2), trail rations for six days, waterskin (full, water), whetstone.
Class Abilities and Special Qualities:
Animal Companion (Ex): Vaynard has a male wolf, named Ervan, as his loyal animal companion.
Ervan: Male wolf animal companion; CR - ; Medium magical beast; 4d8+8; Hp 35; Init +2; Spd 50 ft; AC 17 (touch 13, flat-footed 14); Base Attack +1; Grapple +2; Atk or Full Atk +4 melee (1d6+2, bite); Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.; SA Trip; SQ Bonus tricks, evasion, link, low-light vision, scent, share spells; AL N; SV Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +3; Str 14, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Hide +2, Listen +3, Move Silently +3, Spot +3, Survival +1 (+4 when using scent for Tracking); Track (B), Weapon Focus (bite).
Evasion (Ex): If Ervan is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, it he takes no damage if he makes a successful saving throw.
Link (Ex): Vaynard can handle Ervan as a free action, and gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all Handle Animal and wild empathy checks made in regards to his animal companion.
Share Spells (Ex): At Vaynard's option, any spell that targets himself also affect Ervan, but must be within 5 feet of each other during the casting. Any spell whose duration is not instantaenous ceases functioning on Ervan when he goes beyond 5 feet of Vaynard.
Tricks Known: Attack, come, down, fetch, guard, heel, seek, stay.
Arcane spell use: Vaynard can cast arcane spells, limited to those listed down on his spellbook.
Combat Style (Ex): Choosing Archery as his fighting style, Vaynard gains Rapid Shot as a bonus feat, accessible to him as long as he is unarmored or wearing light armor.
Endurance: Vaynard gains the Endurance feat as a bonus feat.
Familiar: Vaynard has a male hawk named Duskflight as his familiar, gaining a +3 competence bonus on spot checks during daytime. Duskflight uses the better of its own and Vaynard's base save bonuses.
Duskflight: Hawk familiar; CR - ; Tiny magical beast; HD 5d8; Hp 38; Init +3; Spd 10 ft, fly 60 ft. (average); AC 20 (touch 15, flat-footed 17); Base Attack +0; Grapple -10; Atk or Full Atk +5 melee (1d4-2, talons); Space/Reach: 2 - 1/2 ft./0 ft.; SQ Alertness, empathic link, deliver touch spells, improved evasion, low-light vision, share spells, speak with master; AL N; SV Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +4; Str 6, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Listen +2, Spot +14; Weapon Finesse.
Alertness (Ex): When Duskflight is within arm's reach, Vaynard gains the Alertness feat.
Deliver Touch Spells (Su): Duskflight can deliver touch spells for Vaynard.
Empathic Link (Su): Vaynard has an empathic link with Duskflight out to a distance of up to 1 mile. He cannot see through Duskflight's eyes, but can communicate empathically, with general emotional content being known. Because of this link, Vaynard has the same connection to a place or item that Duskflight does, and can, for example, teleport into a room that the hawk has seen or been in.
Speak with Master (Ex): Vaynard and Duskflight can communicate with each other verbally as if using a common language. Other creatures cannot understand the exchange without magical help.
Improved Evasion (Ex): If Duskflight is subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex save for half damage, it he takes no damage if he makes a successful saving throw, and half damage on a failed save.
Share Spells: At Vaynard's option, any spell that targets himself also affect Ervan, but must be within 5 feet of each other during the casting. Any spell whose duration is not instantaenous ceases functioning on Ervan when he goes beyond 5 feet of Vaynard
Favored Enemy (Ex): Vaynard has chosen giants and orcs as his favored enemies, gaining a +4 bonus on Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, Survival checks and weapon damage rolls against the former, and a +2 against the latter.
Improved Combat Style (Ex): Vaynard gains the Manyshot feat as a bonus feat, regardless of prerequisites, and is accessible to him as long as he is unarmored or wearing light armor.
Ranger Spells: Vaynard has access to a small number of nature-based spell, casting in the same way a druid would normally do.
Scribe Scroll: Vaynard gains Scribe Scroll as a bonus feat at 1st level.
Track: Vaynard gains Track as a bonus feat.
Wild Empathy (Ex): Vaynard can use body language, vocalizations, and demeanor to improve the attitude of an animal, functioning like a Diplomacy check. He adds +7 to determine the wild empathy check result. To use wild empathy, Vaynard and the animal must be able to see each other, meaning they must be within at least 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. He can also use this ability to influence a magical beast, but incurs a -4 penalty on his checks when doing so.