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Friday, May 6, 2016

Faerie Bestiary: King of Hearts

by Adam Frank and Tim Wallace

King of Hearts
A short pale humanoid in beautifully ornate deep purple robes trimmed in gold and silver approaches. He wears a crown that seems too big for his head, studded in various assorted gems of all types, cuts, and sizes. His large nose seems to take up over half of his face and his small black eyes seem to stare into oblivion. He survey’s you and your group. “W-w-welcome to Wonder-wond-w-wonderland,” he stammers out and suddenly, his royal finery seems misfitting on someone so out of sorts.


KING OF HEARTS      CR 9
XP 6,400
NE Medium fey
Init +8; Senses low-light vision; Perception +17
Aura peace (30 ft.)
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DEFENSE
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AC 22, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+8 Dex, +3 natural, +1 shield)
hp 125 (15d6+60)
Fort +9, Ref +17, Will +8 (-4 vs. fear effects)
DR 5/cold iron; SR 20
Weaknesses slave to the queen, vulnerable to fear
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OFFENSE
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Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 mithral sword cane +12/+7 (1d6+4), +1 darkwood sheath +12/+7 (1d6+4)  
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STATISTICS
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Str 17, Dex 26, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 15
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 28 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Double Slice, Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Persuasive, Rhetorical Flourish, Two-weapon Defense, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +26, Bluff +20, Diplomacy +24, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (geography) +19, Knowledge (nature) +19, Perception +17, Sense Motive +17
Languages Common, Sylvan
Other Gear +1 mithral sword cane, +1 darkwood sheath, noble's outfit
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SPECIAL ABILITIES
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Aura of Peace (Su) Creatures within a 30-foot spread from the King of Hearts feel a sensation of peace wash over them, as if affected by calm emotions, except he can choose which creatures are affected. A DC 19 Will save negates the effects of this aura for 1 round, but a new save must be made each round to continue to resist the effects. The saving throw is Charisma-based.
Slave to the Queen The King of Hearts must follow any command given to him by the Queen of Hearts, as if under the influence of a nonmagical geas effect.
Rhetorical Flourish When using the Diplomacy skill to make a request or change a creature's attitude, The King of Hearts can use verbal misdirection. To do so, he must make a Bluff check against that creature. If he succeeds, he gains a +4 bonus on his next Diplomacy check against that creature if the check is made within the next minute. If he fails by 5 or more, he instead takes a –2 penalty on his next Diplomacy check against that creature. Alternatively, The King of Hearts can use this feat to retry a single failed Diplomacy check against a creature. He takes a –4 penalty on his Bluff check when using Rhetorical Flourish in this way. If he succeeds, rather than gaining this feat's normal bonus, he can retry his last Diplomacy check against the creature if that check was made in the past minute.
Vulnerable to Fear The King of Hearts takes a –4 penalty on Will saves against fear effects.

The King of Hearts is a small creature about three and a half feet tall. He is always seen wearing robes and a crown, both of incredible make. The King always seems confused or frightened, his face is constantly shrouded by worry and anxiety and he stammers. He is always accompanied by the Queen of Hearts and will acquiesce to anything she requests, or as is more often the case, demands of him. His face is odd with an oversized nose and small black eyes that never seem to focus on one thing too long.
Despite his fearful demeanor, or possibly due to it, many of those around the King seem to fear him. He gives off unease in waves and this will commonly lead to adventurers becoming frightened in his presence. At his heart he is a fey, and he has a fickle nature that rivals that of his queen though he rarely is able to display it while overshadowed by the Queen.
Utterly devoted to his Queen, either by love, geas, or fear, the King will go out of his way to do what the queen wants of him. Little will stop him in his task to please his lady. He will more often than not delegate to the guards and take the credit for himself unless they fail or foul up the request, then the failure, and whatever due punishment, falls at the feet, or often the heads, of the guards.