Perilous Gateways

Bandit Lord Portals

By Robert Wiese

The Hideout Portal

mapThe Bandits of the Iron Wind are the brainchild of Kaldrav Ashray, a charismatic bard and former adventurer who became bored with his life. Through adventuring he learned the lesson that touched him more than anything else: It is easier to take the stuff belonging to others than it is to acquire it any other way. Adventurers rob tombs, take the possessions of villains they subdue, and loot other treasure piles on a regular basis. That is, in fact, how they become successful. Kaldrav recruited a band of people who thought similarly to him and founded the Bandits of the Iron Wind.

The bandits fared poorly for some years, barely scraping by and living in the worst hovels. They even fell back on adventuring to pay for food and equipment. This was not what Kaldrav envisioned, so one day he led his band into the forest in an attempt to change their fortunes. It was during this foray that they found the ruins of a lost civilization and the treasures the beings had left behind. Most importantly, they found a legacy in portals that has proven far more useful to their operations.

The Bandits of the Iron Wind immediately established a defensible base in the ruins of the city and drove off some of the nastier monsters. Kaldrav inaugurated a change in their methods to make use of the portals they discovered, and he added some tricks of his own devising. The use of the portals required the admittance of a wizard to the group, and a powerful one at that, but Kaldrav has a trusted lieutenant in the person of Jaida Goldspun, and she makes sure the wizard knows his place in the band.

The portal dearest to Kaldrav is called (by him) the Hideout Portal. This portal is located in the basement of a ruined tower that once belonged to a wizard. That is what the band thinks, anyway, since they cannot tell anything about this lost people. The portal is in a small chamber that has become overgrown with tree roots, so it is well hidden from the surface. Kaldrav has a concealed access to this chamber (covered by brush). The portal is human-sized and keyed. It leads to a small pocket plane on the Ethereal Plane that has a mansion and about two acres of ground around it. A doorway leading nowhere marks the two-way portal that opens when a piece of jade is thrown through it; Kaldrav is careful to leave no jade pieces in the chamber to alert anyone to this key. No one in the band knows the key; Kaldrav discovered it in an old book that he used a scroll to read. He uses the demiplane as his personal retreat, though he does not spend much time there. He also stores the most valuable treasures that the band captures there until these items can be sold.

Kaldrav Ashray: Male human Bard 4/Fighter 3/Duelist 3; CR 10; Medium humanoid; HD 4d6+4 plus 3d10+3 plus 3d10+3; hp 60; Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 13; Base Atk +9; Grp +9; Atk +13 melee (1d6+1, +1 rapier) or +12 ranged (1d8/x3, longbow); Full Atk +13 melee (1d6+1, +1 rapier) or +12 ranged (1d8/x3, longbow); SQ bardic knowledge +7, bardic music (countersong, fascinate, inspire competence, inspire courage) 4/day, canny defense, enhanced mobility, improved reaction +2; AL CN; SV Fort +6, Ref +11, Will +8; Str 10, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 10, Cha 14. Height 5 ft. 11 in., weight 179 lbs., age 32.

Skills and Feats: Balance +5, Bluff +11, Climb +5, Diplomacy +13, Escape Artist +10, Gather Information +11, Hide +10, Intimidate +11, Jump +2, Knowledge (local) +10, Listen +6, Move Silently +10, Perform +9, Ride +8, Sense Motive +6, Spot +6, Tumble +16; Combat Expertise, Dodge, Iron Will, Mobility, Persuasive, Spring Attack, Weapon Finesse.

Bardic Knowledge: Kaldrav can make a bardic knowledge check with a bonus of +7 to see whether he knows some relevant information about local notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places.

Canny Defense (Ex): When not wearing armor or using a shield, Kaldrav adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) to his Dexterity bonus to modify Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon (maximum allowed equals his number of duelist levels). This bonus is limited to +1 per duelist level. If Kaldrav is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.

Bardic Music: Kaldrav can use his song or poetics to produce magical effects on those around him.

Countersong (Su): Kaldrav can counter magical effects that depend on sound by making a Perform check for each round of countersong. Any creature within 30 feet of him that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack can use Kaldrav's Perform check result in place of his or her saving throw if desired. Countersong lasts for 10 rounds.

Fascinate (Su): Kaldrav can cause a single creature within 90 feet that can see and hear him to become fascinated with him. Kaldrav's Perform check result is the DC for the opponent's Will save. Any obvious threat breaks the effect. Fascination lasts 1 round.

Inspire Courage (Su): Allies who can hear Kaldrav receive a +2 morale bonus on saves against charm and fear effects and a +1 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls The effect lasts for 5 rounds after the ally can no longer hear him.

Enhanced Mobility (Ex): When wearing no armor and not using a shield, Kaldrav gains an additional +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity caused when he moves out of a threatened square.

Improved Reaction (Ex): Kaldrav has a +2 bonus on initiative checks.

Bard Spells Known (3/3/1; save DC 12 + spell level; 0% chance of spell failure): 0 -- detect magic, ghost sound, light, mage hand, prestidigitation, summon instrument; 1st -- disguise self, expeditious retreat, silent image; 2nd -- blur, suggestion.

Possessions: +1 rapier, longbow, 20 arrows, bracers of armor +3, gloves of dexterity +2, portal interruption key, wand of cure light wounds, three small pieces of jade (40 gp each).

Shrewd and inventive, Kaldrav sees his leadership of the bandits as a strategy game. He would not callously leave any member of his band to die unless he had no other choice, but he does not come across as everyone's best friend either. He is charming and funny, and everyone likes him, but there is little depth of caring. Kaldrav never learned to care for anyone deeply; casual relationships have suited him his whole life and he sees no reason to change. He prides himself on his sharp thinking and touts his successes without any shame. He likes to duel, both to keep in practice and to defeat his opponent. He never gloats over a fallen foe, even though he takes pride in his victory. He values organization in his band, but he does not care whether his underlings follow his directions exactly. This is kind of difficult anyway, since he tends to outline a plan rather than give specific instructions. His plans for the bandits change from day to day as they learn to be more successful, and some day he would like to make them a local force for change. Whether that change is good or bad remains to be seen.

Bandit Lord Portals