Shardos, Blind Juggler
by Uziel & Joe Mashuga
Male civilized human master 9: CR 9; Medium humanoid (human); HD 9d6; hp 34; Init +3; Spd 15 ft.; AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 10; Base Atk +6; Grp +7; Atk +9 melee or +11 ranged (1d4+3/19-20, +2 dagger of returning); Full Atk +9/+4 melee (1d4+3/19-20, +2 dagger of returning); SA –; SQ blind, knacks, primary focus (performer), secondary focus (sage); AL NG; SV Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +8; Str 12, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 15.
Skills and Feats: Balance +17*, Bluff +6, Concentration +6, Diplomacy +10, Gather Information +6, Knowledge (history) +15, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nobility) +9, Listen +17, Move Silently +6, Perform (juggling) +21*, Sleight of Hand +19, Speak Language (Abanasinian, Gnome, Nerakan, Solamnic), Spot *, Tumble +12*. Blind-Fight, Deflect Arrows, Deft Hands(B), Improved Unarmed Strike, Point Blank Shot, Skill Focus (Listen)(B), Skill Focus (Perform: juggling)(B), Snatch Arrows.
*Shardos's blindness often (but not always) bestows a –4 penalty to these skills, and makes Spot checks impossible.
Blind: Shardos possesses the Blind-Fight feat, which mitigates some of the penalties associated with blindness. Shardos moves at half speed, takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class, and takes a –4 penalty on Search checks and on most Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks. All opponents are considered to have total concealment (50% miss chance) relative to Shardos.
However, Shardos does not lose his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class when in melee, and melee attackers do not get the usual +2 bonus for being invisible. In addition, whenever Shardos misses a melee attack because of concealment, he can reroll his miss chance percentile roll one time to see if he actually hits. See Chapter 8 of the Player's Handbook for more information.
Knack—Inspiration (Ex): The master performer can inspire allies with performances, bolstering them and improving their chances of success. An ally must listen to and observe him for a full round for the inspiration to take hold, and he must make a Perform check (DC 15). The effect lasts for X rounds.
Inspired allies gain a +2 morale bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, and damage rolls. The master performer can inspire up to four allies with this ability, but he cannot inspire himself.
Knack—Lore (Ex): With this knack, the master has acquired a talent for picking up assorted facts, historical trivia, and random legends, just as a bard does with bardic knowledge. The master sage may make a lore check (1d20+12), which otherwise functions exactly like a bardic knowledge check.
Knack—Virtuoso (Ex): The master performer has learned to apply talents in one technique to others. With this knack, he may substitute ranks in a Perform skill for ranks in another Perform skill in which he has no ranks on a two for one basis for the purposes of making Perform checks.
For example, Shardos has 12 ranks in Perform (juggling). He may attempt a Perform (sing) check as if he had 6 ranks in that skill. Ability bonuses and other modifiers (such as the master's primary focus) are applied as usual. Skills such as Sleight of Hand and Tumble may not be mimicked with this knack.
Primary Focus (Ex): This master's primary focus is performer. As such he gains a +4 competence bonus to all Perform skill checks and may choose knacks from the performer group.
Secondary Focus (Ex): This master's secondary focus is sage. As such, he gains a +2 competence bonus to all Knowledge skill checks and may choose knacks from the sage group.
Possessions: bracers of armor +2, +2 dagger of returning, sling, backpack, juggling props, pottery bowls, tattered entertainer's outfit.
The blind juggler Shardos was a mystery to everyone but himself. He was an older gentleman, who claimed to be the youngest son of a circus family who originally hailed from Kothas. With his family, he also claimed to have traveled across most of Ansalon, and also to have lived for over two hundred years. His juggling skill was tempered well with his ability to tell a good tale. Shardos' boon companion was his dog Birgis, a fearsome hound, which was highly protective of his master.
Whether the long-lived claims of Shardos were true or not, one thing was certain. He was extremely knowledgable for a blind juggler who once worked in a circus. The juggler knew numerous languages, detailed histories of various cultures and families, as well as juggling, singing and possessing several other talents. Shardos was instrumental in aiding Sir Galen and his comrades into the depths of the Que-Tana territory and also in defeating Firebrand, Namer of the Que-Tana.
When Galen brought the Crown of the Namer back to the surface, it was Shardos who was granted the crown, and who also revealed himself as the Namer of the Que-Nara tribe. With the crown restored to it's former glory, the shadow of Sargonnas dissipated, Shardos resumed guiding the Que-Nara as their spiritual leader.
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