Large, regal, and filled with a curiosity better suited to children this genasi seems to be prepared for just about anything.
The Pentifex Monolith
Level 12 Warlord (Leader)
Medium natural humanoid (Genasi)
Current HP: 78
Current HS: 8
Action Points: 2
Benefit Points: 1
Initiative: +6; Passive Senses: Perception/Insight 15
HP: 78; Bloodied: 39
Healing Surge: 20; Surges Per Day: 8
AC: 30; Fortitude: 25, Reflex: 25, Will: 21
Alignment: Lawful Good; Languages: Deep Speech, Cerian
Skills: Arcana +16, Athletics +15, Diplomacy +13, History +16
Feats: Extra Manifestation, EM 2, EM 3, EM 4, Manifest Resistance, Armored Warlord, Elemental Companions, Versatile Word
Str 22 (+6/+12) Dex 22 (+5/+10) Wis 9 (-1/+5)
Con 11 (+0/+6) Int 20 (+5/+11) Cha 14 (+2/+8)
Possessions: Adventurer’s Kit, Arcane Signet Ring, Bedroll, Journeybread (9), Waterskin, Grappling Hook, Crowbar, Climber’s Kit, Belt Pouch, Backpack, Blue Dragon Scales, Farbond Spellblade Boradsword +3, Distance Javeline +1, Imposter’s Wyvernscale Armor +3, Bracers of Mighty Striking (heroic), Acrobat Boots (heroic), Gloves of Piercing (heroic), Reading Spectacles (heroic), Raven Cloak +2, Belt of Vigor (heroic), Shield of Silver Light Heavy Shield (heroic), Eternal Chalk (heroic), Potion of Healing (heroic)
Racial Traits: Elemental Origins, Elemental Manifestation (Voidsoul, Caustic, Stormsoul, Cindersoul, Windsoul)
Class Features: Battlefront Leader, Commanding Presence (Resourceful Presence), Inspiring Word, Elemental Surge, Dual Manifestation, Elemental Attacks
Farbond Spellblade Broadsword: (standard; at-will) ✦ Weapon +17 vs. AC; 1d10 + 11 (21 + 3d6 on crit) damage. Farbond Spellblade Broadsword: (standard; at-will) ✦ Weapon +17 vs. AC; 1d10 + 11 (21 + 3d6 on crit) damage.
At-Will ✦ Keywords
Action Type 1
Monk Attack 1
Encounter ✦ Keywords
Attack: +YY vs. Defense
Monk Attack 1
Daily ✦ Keyword
Standard Action Range
Current XP: 32,340
The Pentifex Monolith
In an unexplored and largely unknown demiplane far from the mortal toil resides a quaint and extraordinarily peculiar old human. Born in Sigil and raised among the more inhabitable planes it was chaos that shaped young Penni’s perspectives on existence. His family unit traveled far and wide to scrape out a living and it was this plane hoping that proved pivotal to his development. Almost every aspect of daily life was malleable, mutable as the seas and twice as dangerous. While other children were learning about their world, content and safe, young Penni was fighting futility to rise above the basic needs of survival and make sense of his bleak existence. His teddy bear was entropy and strife his playground. Struggling against the tides of fate honed his mind to a frightening edge, nurturing the talents of a functional savant. It would be fair to say that his mind broke from normal reality far too early and that in recovering found places within that should remain dormant.
Eventually life slowed down and some stability became possible. His parents found peace at a little villa two hops from sigil, remote enough to be safe but close enough to bring work. It was then that they first noticed the peculiarity with which Penni spoke. His perspectives on planes and the role of mortals therein was astounding, if not utterly frightening. In one breath it was commerce and politics from the eyes of innocence and in the next a damning prophecy with the backing of infallible logic. To make matters worse, young Penni had never received the socialization necessary to bring about real empathy. He could use reason to identify the emotions of others but never fully grasp their value and weight. It often put him at cross purpose to those around. Without a good sense of connection he found it difficult to approach the high brow subjects of his fancy without eliciting some degree of hostility.
Unfortunately, too many people of power took exception to the boy’s assertions and Penni was all but driven from common society. Where it suited the purposes of those with influence he was labeled a charlatan or corrupter. In other situations it was heresy that explained Penni’s unique perspectives to the uneasy populace. All too often his tongue would find trouble before his senses could catch up, giving townsfolk more than enough confirmation of his oddity. Without a viable alternative he was often hidden among family before being stolen away to some other plane. By all measures he was a social refugee with few ports of harbor.
For years he assumed this role of darkened shadow, forgotten son, unspoken and denied. So isolated was he by this tragic necessity that he could do naught but nurture the recluse within. Before long those nearest to him found so little to connect with that even they could not provide a meaningful human connection. He was left to thoughts and privacy without regard for sanity, unable to find reprieve from the dreadful silence of isolation.
Yet more, lonelier, years passed.
Feeling he had little choice, driven by an intangible force it seemed, he delved deeply into the questions of life and the meanings of souls? The obsession filled a need for personal connection that had not been met for many years. It was his personal therapy and one of the greater catalysts in his adult life.
Penni’s knowledge of planes and other intricate intellectual details grew as he focused the denial of solitude into pursuits of the mind. He became powerful in arcane subtleties and a great manipulator of realities. Attention to detail and clear thought, unfettered by the trappings of social convention, allowed him to discover things other mortals had all but given up on. By the time his immediate kin were no longer available, disowned or dead, he was able to steal himself away in times of trouble.
At first it was simple, falling into new pockets of reality with a bit of effort. It quickly progressed to defined research which lead to a full on obsession. Penni found, after some harrowing experiences, that he could both create and gain access to fundamentally new planes of existence without so much as a formula. Almost by will alone he could set the space around him to be what was desired, crude at first but as detailed and nuanced as common reality over time.
Having long since grown tired of conventional society, Penni found his salvation in a world of his own making, meticulously prepared and permanent. He took pieces from the planes of his preference, mostly places he visited as a youth, in order to foster connection with what reality that still made sense. The planes themselves were friends, memories, teachers and in their presence he still felt something akin to comfort. What resulted was a demiplane far from the mortal toil which gave to Penni everything he needed. Years rolled by while his connection to that place grew deeper and stronger. He found such solace there that all thought of leaving vanished from his desires. Every piece of his being went into that place. Each day he would find some new thing to learn about, or create, and it became as natural as breathing. He became linked to the world, amplifying its influence on him. Thoughts at the forefront of Penni’s mind would leap into existence as the plane itself surged through him.
In the microcosm of that demiplane Penni was the one true deity, isolated and alone but responsible for all existence. For an age he flourished in that state, learning every truth that could be learned in that realm. The ebb and flow of time washed over him and he was everything. Still, something lacked.
It sounds trite and simple but in all the realizations of his will Penni had lost any purpose, meaning, he once held. It had been enough to strive for ultimate understanding, knowing that you will not succeed. That inevitable failure is motivating. Penni, however, had long since been removed from such pursuits and was now wasting away in his immortal stagnation. Without the influx of new ideas and experiences the creature known as Penni suffered.
Penni had set out to find solace from an unforgiving world whose inability to connect with him led to great sorrow and fear. He sought knowledge so that he might find within it peace, and all that is to be known was revealed. Now he wasted away, worse off than before. Lack of vision had imprisoned him in the very isolation he worked to create and now he needed to escape in order to survive. Without fresh experiences he, the plane, would not survive. Alone in a world of your own making, without variation, life becomes less … tangible… more theoretical. It fades.
With few choices, Penni contrived a plan to remove from the equation of his continued existence the one thing he could not find solution for; escape. If that single restriction could be fudged he might just stand a chance of avoiding the dubious honor of greatest failed experiment. I mean really, who gets locked in their own demiplane with nothing to keep them sane?
As is true of many desperate plans, everything hinged on a single detail. Will. Penni created a vessel from bits of his demiplane to infuse it with a deep connection to the place, enough to bring it back home when necessary. Like a scientist attempting to explore an uninhabitable world, Penni would send forth this emissary, drone, spy, observer; a creature to soak up the experiences of other realms and bring them back.
The first experiment was successful, awkward but fruitful. Penni’s collector returned at the specified time and with a wealth of nuanced details previously unknown. There was something odd though, an intelligence. Penni had created the thing to think like him so that experiences it brought back would fit more easily into the fold. He hadn’t considered the thing becoming self aware and wanting to continue living. Fortunately, he learned quickly that an emissary allowed to continue living created new experiences too, a combination of its creation and its experiences. Penni wanted more.
These collectors could be created with a return mechanism, timed to fill whatever need Penni wished. A month on the abyss, a year in the feywild, a lifetime stumbling around sigil to feel as many nooks and crannies as possible. It was all about the experiences, the lifeblood of variation and Penni’s one need. He began to fill that need with more and more collectors until …
Into being emerged a stout genasi styled creature with pieces of Penni’s favored plane etched onto its ‘soul’. Swirling through its mind were the experiences of countless truths and at its core a desire to pursue more. It was the distilled essence of Penni’s entire existence, the Pentifex Monolith, but with scrambled memories. The details of Penni’s life were disjoint and elusive, far away concepts in the new being’s mind. It knew of something before but could not make out specifies. A bridge between the pursuit of knowledge and its acquisition lay at the core of the entity, tempered by great reasoning ability and insatiable curiosity. No collector had ever been as reflective of Penni or allowed as much autonomy.
The Pentifex Monolith was released into the worlds eight years ago, dropped in the elemental chaos with a full complement of gear and little concept of reality. For three minutes the creature didn’t even breathe. It wasn’t aware of the necessity. By day’s end it had mastered breathing, walking, running, jumping, falling, and a host of other basic body mechanics. On the second day it learned how to sit down.
From that humble beginning the being began its journey, wandering from curiosity to curiosity as does a kitten. It observed the natural wonders of the elements and was introduced to concepts like gravity, pain, bleeding, fear and ultimately death. It ate only after observing the predator / prey cycle and immediately thereafter began to appreciate the fragile nature of existence. Being extremely intelligent and yet without knowledge makes for interesting lessons on the road of life. As more and more information was absorbed it led to a greater understanding of its own abilities and finally the appreciation for memory. That appreciation allowed it to access resources given to it by the creator and that is how it managed to piece together an understanding of planar travel. Before the first month of its life was spent it was already seeking such an exit.
For many weeks The Pentifex Monolith traveled less inhabited planes and put together a basic framework from which to hang its perspectives. It avoided contact with sentient creatures until some of the kinks got worked out of its system and over the next many months it found a voice. A few mistakes later and it even developed a pretty good handle on things like language and social norms. Learning, after all, was first nature.
By the time it reached Sigil a few months later it had a commanding grasp of culture. Harrowing experiences aside, the city of doors was pivotal. The need for discretion became immediately obvious as The Pentifex Monolith picked up the moniker Pen to avoid those awkward, and unnerving, stares that too frequently would follow from one place to another. It was fortunate that Pen had become familiar with his abilities because they were certainly put to the test. As he proved himself capable, if not a bit brash and brazen, an opportunistic fellow with fair enough intentions took interest. He offered Pen a job guarding his private estate and agreed to trade for those services, after some negotiation, full and complete access to his extensive library; room and board included of course. Pen saw the deal fair and accepted. For several months he spent every available moment devouring the written word, gaining a profound knowledge of history and the arcane among other things.
It was there that Pen learned of the troubles on the prime, in Falamar, and of the disappearances in Iso’Latarin. He discovered Ilius and the Lich Lord Razael and their role in things, such as it was known. He picked up on a bit of religious overtone, basic church structures and such, but stuck primarily to matters of historical significance. The mages, or lack thereof, concerned him greatly. His memories, fragmented and broken, still held the nuances of wizardly magic and a distinct impression of imprisonment. The desire for self awareness had been growing in Pen and he found the need to satiate it a desperate sort of thing. Perhaps the necessary catalyst could be found in the space vacated by those wizards.
With lore on Falamar rich in Sigil he had no problem compiling lists of known wizards that might still be active there. He intended to find one of these practitioners and befriend them. With an actual wizard of the prime at his disposal the search for further clues about the disappearance of the others would surely be easier. The more information he could gather about that incident the more likely it would be that his own origins might become known. This is the logic he used.
Quickly he gathered what information he could and relieved himself of his current duties. Reluctantly, he was allowed to leave and with him he took a newfound hope, along with many notes. He was bound for Kya in the lands of Falamar and a wizard named SOL. If the stories of SOL were half true he would find in him a great resource.