Tiger Mask - Evil/Dead Prestige Class
This Prestige class uses elements that may not be applicable to the Forgotten Realms Campaign
Malevolent embodiments of pure evil, rakshasas exude might, and the privileged lifestyle they enjoy brings them into contact with many easily swayed by promises of power. Those lured by the rakshasas' plots and service crave the power the tiger-like outsiders offer, and many promise the foul creatures their very soul in order to increase their own might. Rakshasas, eager for servants and a comfortable living, delight in helping people with such goals. In exchange for the loyalty of beguiled or greedy power seekers, the rakshasa provides money, information, magical items and power. The rakshasa is then treated like a deity.
Whether deceived or willing, these servants of rakshasas are known as tiger masks, both for the deception that they perform for the feline-appearing rakshasas and for the ritual masks that they wear when appearing before their lord. To further humble their minions and to show their own superiority, rakshasas require that tiger masks speak only Infernal when addressing them.
To become a tiger mask, a potential candidate must seek out a rakshasa and pledge her undying loyalty to the creature. If she is deemed worthy and sincere (liars and weaklings are killed and eaten), the rakshasa performs a terrifying ceremony, called the "ritual of the blackened tiger," concluding with the rakshasa raking the person across the chest.
Tiger masks perform most of the mundane tasks for their masters, including theft, torture, racketeering, and murder. Their duties also include kidnapping victims for the feeding and entertainment of the rakshasa. Children are especially coveted, for their innocence provides a sweet "taste" to the infernal being. One of the first lessons the rakshasa teaches a newly created tiger mask is the proper way to flay and butcher a victim in order to make a proper meal. The tiger mask is always required to partake in the meal once it is cooked.
Tiger masks also establish drug cartels and brothels, being in a ready source of income and information, as well as sowing the seeds of corruption in the community. Would-be tiger masks are usually chosen by rakshasas because of the high place they hold in society. They provide the rakshasas with vital information, as well as access to otherwise forbidden areas. Tiger masks provide the framework from which rakshasas can operate, corrupting good people and organizations.
Tiger masks provide another, lesser-known purpose. Because of their special ability to draw in arrows and crossbow bolts (especially blessed crossbow bolts), rakshasas surround themselves with tiger masks as a form of defense. Few tiger masks are informed about this before the commit themselves to their rakshasa lords, and those who object never lie long once their patron rakshasa knows they harbor doubts about their service.
Tiger masks are commonly found among the spellcasting classes. Sorcerers, wizards, and evil clerics are drawn to the power granted by the class, as well as the mundane influence provided by their patron. Rogues are also drawn to this class, relishing in the creature comforts and unabashed power that rakshasas give to favored minions. Evil monks who have been properly trained in the arcane arts make excellent tiger masks. Rangers and fighters who have learned the arcane arts are rare, but such individuals are sometimes found as tiger masks. Paladins are the sword enemies of tiger masks and hunt them with tireless zeal.
Tiger masks are often found operating alone, although occasionally they are grouped together for particularly dangerous assignments. As mentioned above, during an assault, a rakshasa tries to gather as many tiger masks around it as possible.
Hit Die: d
To qualify to become a Tiger Mask, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:
- Race: Any non-monstrous humanoid
- Alignment: Lawful evil
- Skills: Diplomacy 5 ranks, Gather Information 8 ranks
- Language: Infernal
- Spellcasting: Must be able to cast 2nd-level spells.
- Special: Must make friendly contact with a rakshasa and undergo a ritual in which she is scarred.
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