Gwideon IX

Name: Gwideon IX, The Mender of Ways, The Azure Knight, The Emperor of Otep
Class: Duskblade 6
Race: Human
Alignment: Neutral Good

Commanders Auras: Spell Slinging Commander – All allies within 30ft do an additional 1d6 points of damage on spells that deal damage.

Double Strike Commander- Any ally within 30ft that rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll gains an additional attack with that weapon using the same attack bonus.

Combat Tactics: Gwideon normally begins combat with a charge from his Lance, hopefully devastating the most powerful target. He then switches to sword and shield, relying on his magical attacks to supplement the loss of strength from using a two handed weapon. His vast knowledge on most creatures allows him to recognize weak points, he is almost always aware of his opponent’s capabilities. Enemies who survive multiple rounds of combat with him suddenly find him exposing weaknesses in their fighting styles as he switches from sword to spell and back again, each blow becoming more powerful and decisive until he slays his opponents. Enemies who attempt combat maneuvers against him, such as tripping or grappling, quickly find he is prepared for their tactics while those that would strike from hiding or from afar are unable to defeat him before he closes the distance.

Feats:
1) Master of Lore
1) Power Attack
3) Knowledge Devotion
6) Fiery Burst

6) Battle Caster Offense
6) Mounted Combat
6) Blind Fight
6) Block Arrow
6) Cleave
6) Ride Bye Attack
6) Close Quarters Fighting
6) Combat Intuition
6) Insightful Reflexes
6) Spirited Charge
*Bonus Feats- Combat Casting

Skills:
Concentration
Diplomacy
Decipher Script
Knowledge History
Knowledge Arcana
Knowledge Nobility Royalty
Knowledge Local
Knowledge Religion
Knowledge Nature
Knowledge Dungeoneering
Knowledge The Planes
Listen
Ride
Sense Motive
Spell Craft
Spot
Swim

Equipment
- Gwideon has access to any item that can be crafted within this world. He has a complete set of equipment and several items that do not take up slots. He has several stat boosting items which have been worked into his stats. He also has the 5 imperial arms, which are detailed below. Other equipment is not detailed because he changes it depending on the fight.

The Luminous Lance
- The Luminious Lance is a +3 Sacred Brilliant Energy Lance. It can be “Called” as an immediate action, causing it to manifest in the wielders hands. It can only be used by someone descended from the Gwideon Bloodline.
- The Luminous Lance was created by Gwideon I for his son and has been the weapon of choice for Imperial Princes who take part in mounted combat.

Armor of the Azure Knight
- A Suit of Glamoured +4 Ghost Touch Mithril Full Plate.
- This suit of Armor was forged by Gwideon IX. During his adventures he continued to improve upon it. When he saved Sophitia Xelesta from the Serpent cult of the Headless Witch it received a blessing from one of the Hidden Angels of Otep, giving it the power it has today.

The Imperial Ward
- The Imperial Ward is an impressively sized Gem situated in crown Gwideon wears into battle. Granted to the Emperor by Uncle Orfan at the start of his reign, it protects the man attuned to it a permanent Death Ward and Death Sight.

The Pheonix Crest
- This Called +2 Moderate Fortification Heavy Steel Shield continuously manifests a Circle of Protection against Evil.
- Created by J.J. Manrig, the Imperial Ward was one of the treasures found within his laboratory after his death. A Phoenix, the symbol that would become the imperial crest, lies proudly on a field of blue on this Shield.

Blade of the Lost King
- A +5 Metalline Longsword, the sword can cast Phantom Steed 3/day
- Gwideon IX won this blade in a Contest against one of the Hunting Lords, powerful Fey allowed onto Otep one night every 100 years. The sword can not be taken from Gwideon unless he is slain, attempt to disarm it automatically fail.

The Young Prince

Gwideon IX is the grandson of Dafia I, the imperial Regeant who took over when his father died as a youngman. Gwideon was raised without the assurance that he would be emperor. His cousins had a more direct claim than he did and his father’s early death left no feelings of great loyalty among the people.

Thus young Gwideon was raised in a rather permissive atmosphere, where rather than being shaped for the position of emperor he was allowed to develop his own talents. Originally many thought he would be a mage, but his strength and health pointed him in other directions… as did his love of swordplay and horses.

Quickly advancing upon the respected path of the Duskblade, Gwideon was consistently told of his resemblance to both his ancient ancestors Gwideon I and II, as well as his father. As it became more and more obvious that Gwideon would become a serious contender for the throne he developed several powerful enemies in multiple noble houses, including his own.

Rather than risk entering the political game early Gwideon absconded to his two favorite places in the world, the Imperial Library and the Voluptuous Valkerie Inn. There he studied hard learning history, lore on many subjects and spell craft. During his “rough times” he learned to be a fine judge of character, how to get his way without resorting to brute force or his position, the tricks of fighting dirty, and the simple pleasures of fine ale and the open road.

Adventuring Life

Eventually Whiteport could not contain him and he left the city incognito to begin a career as an adventurer. He quickly met up with another young man who shared his fancies of a fortune made by ones own hand, and fame earned with ones own deeds… Warren Wayne. Warren was a Bard, gracious, open and easy going capable of charming an entire room in the blink of an eye. His ready laugh, good ear for gossip and ability to tell a story made him many friends, while Gwideon’s vast knowledge and strong sword arm protected the equal number of enemies his flirtatious friend seemed to gain.

While doing a service for the church of the Platinum Lord they were joined by a young and humble priest named Sho who preached the values of Pacifism and Mercy. Sho’s influence on the two friends was not immediately noticeable, but the reputation that most adventurer’s had for raucous fighting and insensitivity to the populace never followed the three friends.

When Gwideon met Jean-Marie Daris, better known as the Black Swan, he found his first love. The Swan was openly sexual and flirtatious, but a woman of mystery who kept Gwideon intrigued and enthralled. The fact that she knew his true identity, still unknown to his other friends, caused a bond between them that deepened what would have normally been nothing but a “Camp relationship”. Her usefulness as a warrior and scout completed the band of adventurer’s.

The Menders, so named due to their first mission which involved ceasing hostilities between the Orc tribes of the Dessert and the city of Ember, had many adventures together which led them to slowly gain reputation, fame and fortune. Warren had a habit for telling grand stories in the inn’s they habited, increasing his friends reputation without revealing his own identity. Gwideon, desperate to find an alias that would not describe him to his searching family, rechristened himself “The Azure Knight” due to his Blue Enameled Armor.

The Menders were not limited to the Empire, and they ventured both to the Primordial Isle of the Sea Bulls and the Kingdom of the Underfolk righting wrongs and fighting grave peril. While in the Underworld the kind influence of Sho and Gwideon saved a young Drow Magister from crossing the line into damnation, and Kri-Ala joined up with the group… her secret adoration for the charming bard not unnoticed or unreturned. Her knowledge of the Fey allowed Gwideon to triumph in his contests with the Hunting Lords, powerful Fey allowed in Otep for one night every century.

For several years the Menders crossed the world gaining a reputation as the primary adventuring group of the age, forging a name for themselves based on both heroic action and gracious humility. Unlike many adventuring parties the Menders were known for assisting local’s as best they could, giving charity and donating time to those in need. The added mystery of two beautiful women and an unnamed swordsman did little to dampen public enthusiasm for the group. Thus when the blessed daughter of one of the most ancient families in Murkeye was kidnapped by a cult dedicated to the foul Headless Witch, the Menders were immediately dispatched to rescue the princess.

The Kidnapped Princess

It was possibly the hardest battle of the groups career, the cult was blessed by the presence of several foul demons and an agent of the Mobb known as the Strangling Man. But before the princess could be sacrificed to the Two Headed Serpent she was rescued by Gwideon and his friends who destroyed the cult down to the last man. It is rumored that one of Otep’s “Hidden Angels” aided them in their battle, bestowing blessings upon them which stay with them to this day.

Sophitia Xelesta, the rescued princess, immediately recognized Gwideon as the missing prince of the empire, and revealed this to the group at large. Several of his friends were hurt by the deception, others excited to be in the presence of Royalty. Gwideon realized that it would not be long before this information became common knowledge, and began to prepare his return to Whiteport… an action he knew that would imprison him within the Imperial Court. Sure enough it took only a few months after the rescue of the princess for word to spread that the heroic Azure Knight was in fact the lost Prince of the Empire. He received an imperial summons within days, calling him home.

Simultaneously he was wrestling with his twin desires, one for the sexual and mysterious relationship he shared with the distant and flirtatious swan, the other for the mutual attraction and respect he felt for the Winged Princess. They represented the twin halves of his personality, his duty and his freedom. When the Swan refused to return to Whiteport with him, choosing freedom over responsibility, he made his choice and ended their relationship. Similarly Warren and Kri-Ala were having difficulties of their own, Warrens flirtatious personality and open nature made the shy and reserved Drow Magister uncomfortable in public and their fights were spectacular to behold. When Warren made it clear he would return to White Port to become a darling of the court, Kri-Ala left him to return home and answer her own responsibilities as a head Magistus in Orfans Rest.

Warren, Sho, Sophitia and Gwideon returned to Whiteport which elicited great fanfare for all involved. Gwideon was quickly pronounced Imperial Heir, his head for diplomacy, his vast reserves of lore, and the adoration of the people placed him at the forefront of Imperial Politics. His choice of duty over freedom was a heavy one and it took many years for the Emperor to stop dreaming of his adventuring days. The Church of the Platinum Lord, seeking to gain the favor of the Imperial Family nominated Sho for a leading position in the order… but also forcing him back to Elora to attend to his duties. Warren fulfilled his promise and quickly became a darling of the court. Courtiers flocked to him attempting to manipulate his position as a friend to the heir, never realizing that it was they who promised much in exchange for little return.

Gwideon married Sophitia despite her family’s lack of political clout. The wedding was the greatest celebration of the last 30 years, embraced by nobility and commoner alike in their adoration for their prince. Interrupted only by a spat between Kri-Ala and Warren, the week leading up to the ceremony was said to go off without a hitch. This time of joy ended in tragedy when Warren was murdered by one of his many lovers that night. The crime began Gwideon’s association with the man who would become his Secret, Jean-Marc, the younger brother of his first love. His orders “Make her fear you Jean-Marc, but not as much as she will fear me” and the resulting punishment remain quietly spoken of in court, a whispered detail of the heavy heart that rests within the normally kind man. Rumors of demonic conspiracy in the murder have never born fruit, the tragedy of humanity is often the evil that lies within.

Ascension to the Throne

Gwideon’s ascension to the throne was marked shortly after by the birth of his daughter Gidia Rose and the revelation of the tome that would forever change his life. Jean-Marc had secured a document during a raid on subversives who had been revealed as Demon worshipers. The document written in Abyssal detailed information about the Mobb lands unknown to the Empire as a whole. Within it the Emperor confirmed a fear he had long suspected; that the source of the Mobb’s power, a Gate to the Abyss, lies open in the heart of their darkest temple. That night the Emperor began to plan his crusade, realizing that his kingdom would never know peace as long as the Gate remained open.

Year’s passed, the 500th anniversary of the Empire came and Gwideon put his plans into motion. “The Manrig Games” a test to gather the greatest heroes of the age… and to draw out any foul plots that would threaten his kingdom while he was away. He never expected the depths of corruption within his Capital City, to doubt the faith he placed in his daughter, or to loose one of his closest advisors to an assassin’s arrow. Gwideon was willing to Martyr himself for the cause… but never to ask another to do the act for him or for legendary heroes to aid his dream.

Now he stands at the gateway of the lands of the Two Headed Serpent, bloodied but unbowed at the head of an army fresh on the eve of their first true victory and determined to fulfill his goal. Gwideon has sworn he will reach the Obsidian Pit and vanquish all who stand in his way to close the Gate to the Abyss, even if it costs him his own life.

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