Prestige Class; Legionnaire of Salt Legion (LoSL)
author: Ruemere (Patryk Adamski)
The following text is a summary of information recovered from a sealed amphora. It pertains to one, previously unknown mercenary legion of old. Using this information an enterprising individual can resurrect the tradition, rituals and restore mystic connection between the world of the living and that of the dead.
Legionnaires of Salt Legion are required to fearlessly shed their blood for their brothers in arms and further the causes of their commanders. In return for a steady income and mystical protection, they are expected to fulfil ancients pacts, which, if honored, can prolong their service into cold eternity of undeath.
It must be noted though, that not many are aware of the pact - most of them treat it as mystical mumbo-jumbo, a tradition to be obeyed but never to be taken seriously. Even if dying (or dead), the legionnaire can decide not to honor the pact - after all, it takes a lot to willingly succumb to eternal torment and, while unforgiving, ancient spirits understand the need for the decision to be made out of free will.
Hit Die: d10
In order to become a full-fledged legionnaire, the character must undergo a long period of service and prove oneself in battle.
Base Attack Bonus: +3
Abilities: Strength 10, Constitution 10, Wisdom 10
Alignment: Any with the exception of Chaotic Evil
Feats: Weapon Focus (Any)
Special: Must have fought at least one battle for Legion of Salt.
The Legionnaire's of Salt Legion class skills are (and the key ability for each skill): Climb (Str), Craft (Int) - including Craft (Siege Engines), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points at Each Level: 3 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Legionnaire of Salt Legion prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Legionnaires of Salt Legions are proficient with all Simple and Martial Weapons. They are also proficient with shields, light andmedium armors. While it may seem a little surprising, at the time of Salt Legion existence heavy armors were not used.
Leaving the Legion: Legionnaires who who want to leave the legion are allowed to do so (it's difficult to endure endless visitations of the dead) provided their superior agrees (obviously, sometimes it's impossible to get the superior to agree). Deserters face an unhappy prospect of being targetted with a Culling the Weak ritual.
Those who leave the legion cannot gain a new level in this class. They cannot benefit from Rituals of Salt effects. If their service to the legion lasted longer than one year, they have attracted a ghostly protector and must continue to observe their Ties of Salt duties or suffer appropriate penalties.
Legion Training, Lesser (Ex or Feat): You are very skilled in coordinating your efforts with your brothers in arms. Sometimes you even seem to know what manoeuver your ally is going to attempt before they begin to execute it.
If you are within 5' of another individual with Legion Training, Lesser ability or feat, you gain +1 morale attack bonus and +1 dodge armor class bonus.
This ability can be taken as a feat with the following prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +3, Weapon Focus (Any), Special: must have fought at least one battle for the Legion of Salt, Special II: must be employed by Legion of Salt.
Ties of Salt, Lesser (Su): You dream about friends who died fighting for you. The dreams are very vivid and disconcerting as the apparitions seem to try to talk to you about important things, but you always seem to fail to understand.
If somebody you know dies, you suffer -1 penalty to saving throws and skill checks until you hold a Night Vigil (see Salt Legion Rituals section below), Remove Curse effect is applied or if you leave the legion. The penalty begins at the end of the first 8 hours rest since the death of your acquintance.
Rituals of Salt, Lesser / Intermediate / Greater (Su): You may become a recipient of benefits of one of Rituals of Salt (see Salt Legion Rituals section below), however the strength of ritual benefits depends upon your Ritual level.
If your have Rituals of Salt, Greater, you may perform these rituals for others (leading the ceremonies).
Bonus Feat: Hard training pays off. You may choose one feat from Fighter's list of bonus feats (including Fighter's only feats of Weapon Specialization, but not Greater Weapon Specialization or Greater Weapon Focus).
Legion Training, Intermediate (Ex or Feat): You have learnt to direct others to accomplish difficult tasks in the battlefield.
By taking a move action (shouting orders), you allow other individuals within 60' with Legion Training, Lesser (ability or feat) gain +2 morale attack bonus and +4 morale bonus to Will saves vs fear or mind-affecting effecting.
This ability can be taken as a feat with the following prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +5, feat: Legion Training, Lesser.
Ties of Salt, Intermediate (Su): From time to time you seem to hear a whisper when everyone is silent. Often, a corpse or a sculpture appears to look at you.
You must carry a talisman of sorts, a little bag filled with salt and ash, at all times. This talisman, though nonmagical, uses a neck (head) slot. Failure to obey this results in your nerves being slowly undermined by vivid dreams, movements only you can see and so on (game mechanics: -2 to Spot and Listen due to distraction, -2 to to Will saves due to shattered neves) until you have worn your talisman for at least 1 day. The penalty begins exactly one day after you lose your talisman.
Legion Training, Advanced (Ex): Your vast knowledge of military topics and an access to appropriate resources broadens your horizons.
Choose 3 skills to become your class skills from now on. Gain 4 skill points to distribute between those skills. Also, the number of skill points you gain from now on is increased by 2 (starting with the next level).
This ability cannot be taken as a feat.
Ties of Salt, Advanced (Su): You see the dead walk among the living. And some of them seem to follow you at all times.
You are able to see Ethereal Plane within 15 feet radius.
Your fallen brothers of arms care for you. As long as you remain faithful to the Legion (and observe requirements of previous Ties of Salt), you gain benefits of Legion Training, Lesser ability even if you are alone on the battlefield. Failure to fulfil requirements results in a Bestow Curse placed on you - no save allowed (if successfully removed, the curse will be renewed at next sunset). In order to permanently remove the curse, the individual must either continue to observe the requirements of previous Ties of Salt or defeat (slay) the ghosts of his brothers in arms.
There is 1 + (1 per year of service) fallen brother in arms watching over you. Use 3rd level Warrior with 1 level of Legionnaire of Salt Legion with Ghost template applied. These ghosts remain in Ethereal Plane and do not manifest (their purpose is to serve the Legion, not to torment the living), their alignment is Lawful Neutral (with Evil aura due to Negative Energy influences) and they cannot enter holy or hallowed ground.
The ghosts of the fallen do not talk or move. They only stand and watch you for as long as you continue to faithfully serve the Legion.
Rituals of Salt
The following rituals are routinely performed by priests, arcanists or officers of Salt Legion. These rituals allow to strengthen ties between members of the legion and their ghostl brothers.
In order to gain benefits from the ritual, one has to possess Rituals of Salt ability.
All benefits are cumulative.
This ritual is performed in order to placate spirits of recently died. The veil between this world and the Underworld is very thin for the members of the Legion, so the dead, especially those who died a violent death, often haunt dreams of the legionnaires.
The ritual must be performed during night time (lasts an hour or so).
During the ritual the character listens to the sermons given out by priests, arcanists or officers of the Legion and then, at the end of the sermon, sheds a drop of blood into a cup of wine (usually everyone participating adds a bit of their blood to the cup), then the person leading the ceremony spills wine on the ground loudly inviting the spirits of the dead to participate.
Lesser: you can placate spirits of those who recently died (see Ties of Salt, Lesser). You can perform this ritual.
Intermediate: you gain +4 sacred bonus to Will saves to resist fear or mind affecting effects until next sunset.
Greater: you may, at your will, talk for a short while with the recently departed during the next the you sleep.
eve of the battle
The ritual calls upon the dead to help the living brothers to fulfil their duties and obligations.
The ritual can be performed at any time, though Intermediate and Greater effects require nighttime. The effects persist until next sunset. It takes an hour or so to perform it.
During the course of the ritual brothers exchange portions of salt among themselves and taste it. Talisman bags are replenished and the dead are honored with wine (as per Night Vigil).
Lesser: gain +4 sacred bonus to the next save.
Intermediate: gain +4 deflection bonus to armor class during the next charge action you perform.
Greater: gain 20 temporary hitpoints.
Dedication of the champion
The ritual allows one of the Legion to risk life for the good of brothers. This ritual performed only when there is a need for a sacrifice (for example to cover orderly retreat), honorary duel on behalf of legion or protecting the life of important individual.
The ritual must be performed at night and takes a whole night. Its effects persist for 10 days. After the period the recipient of the ritual must make a Fortitude save versus DC25 or die. Even if successful, the recipient loses a level of experience as the dead take their due - the level cannot be restored as it is a payment to the fallen. Only one champion may be dedicated at any time.
There is an alternative, desperate, version of this ritual. As many as six willing brothers can be dedicated. The effects last for three days and there is no save to avoid death at the end of this period. This ritual takes 20 minutes to perform and in order to succeed, the dead must recognize the need for this desperate variant.
The ritual includes scarification and putting salt mixed with ash on bleeding scars. The alternative version requires that the recipients inflict a mortal wound on themselves - if the sacrifice is accepted, the bleeding stops immediately and the death is postponed (set Constitution to 10 for all the recipients, do not adjust hitpoints otherwise).
Lesser: you do not need to sleep, eat, drink or breathe. Gain +4 insight bonus to Spot, Listen and Search. Gain +2 morale bonus to attack, damage, armor class and saves. Gain 10 temporary hitpoints.
Intermediate: you do not tire, you are not affectetd by Fatigue, Exhaustion or any effect which decreases your physical stats. Your physical statistics cannot be drained. If you die, you raise as a Ghost 1d4 rounds later and continue to perform your duties. Afterwards, you become one of the fallen brothers.
Greater: gain additional 20 temporary hitpoints. Gain +4 enhancement bonus to Strength.
Culling the Weak
Ritual of Culling the Weak is used to punish traitors, deserters or others guilty of serious crimes.
The ritual takes an hour to complete. Its effect persist until the target victims's superior calls of or the victim expires or a lunar month passes - whichever comes first.
The ritual requires that the person enacting the ritual possesses both Rituals of Salt, Greater, and that the names of both executioner (a fallen called to exact the punishment, Fighter 3/Legionnaire of Salt Legion 1 with Ghost template applied) and the recipient of the punishment and the crimes to be punished for. The ritual works only on former members of the legion. The ritual consists of naming the target and its executioner for the crimes of which litany is recited three times before gathered brethren. The person leading the ceremony loses 10xp per day this ritual is active.
Greater: the recipient of the ritual is visited during sleep by a ghostly messenger (the executioner), but not more often than once per night. The messenger attacks for one full round using either Corrupting Gaze or Horrific Appearance powers. The attacks continue until the ritual duration runs out.