Terrifying tengu ranger for a horror campaign.
Whispered rumors would tell you that Klohs’bik is a witch’s raven familiar turned monstrous and commanded to protect her, or else some malevolent genie taking this form to corrupt mortals. Certainly her magic seems a bit different than the coven itself, and she knows a few secret spells that even they do not. Some call her “Closed Beak” or “Klohs’bik,” but it is unknown what language that word is or what it even means.
Whether the truth is either or neither of these, she seems content with her two primary duties for the witches she serves: to forage for spell components such as nightshade, and to protect the coven whenever required. This protection means leading wayward explorers astray in the woods as often as it means fighting them outright. When danger does come to the witches themselves, this tengu fights best when physically next to whomever she is protecting.
She is also constantly encouraging those she serves to cast as much magic as possible, even when it is unnecessary or other approaches would be simpler. While she seems knowledgeable in the oriental practices of far flung Tien and their tengu, she strangely only seems concerned with the nation of Ustalav, this setting’s version of Ravenloft.
Ponchos and wraps conceal much of her person and belongings, though glimpses of primitive wooden armor beneath is undeniable. She carries a wooden shield and a rusting flail. You can see patches here and there where her dark feathers appear to have been plucked out.
Race and Class Features
All tengus have a bite attack that deals 1d3 points of damage. Some like Closed Beak have also learned to use their claws as well, gaining two primary natural attacks that deal 1d3 each. She is also treated as having the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for the purposes of qualifying for other feats.
Closed Beak can make a DC 15 Fly check to fall safely from any height without taking falling damage, as if using the spell Feather Fall. And while falling safely she may make an additional DC 15 Fly check to glide, moving 5 feet laterally for every 20 feet she falls.
Tengus have low-light vision, allowing them to see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Tengus gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth checks.
Closed Beak adds a bonus equal to 1/2 her level on all Perception and Survival skill checks while in forest terrain. Animals reject her unnatural presence outright; she does not get Wild Empathy.
Closed Beak adds half her level (minimum 1) to Survival skill checks made to follow tracks. Note that if the quarry is an animal, it will begin to actively flee from her at a dramatic pace; she mostly uses his abilty on humans.
Closed Beak has favored enemy Human, granting +2 Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks to those targets, as well as +2 accuracy and damage. She may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify such targets. She does not gain additional favored enemies at higher levels, though she still increases her bonus by +2 at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level.
You can make Intimidate checks to make creatures respond to you with hostility. No matter which skill you use, antagonizing a creature takes a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and has a DC equal to 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier. The creature flies into a rage. On its next turn the target must attempt to make a melee attack against you, make a ranged attack against you, target you with a spell, or include you in the area of a spell.
Her level-ups give her more spellcasting than traditional rangers, due to the influence of the witch she protects. (All such spells are still considered divine, which doesn’t make tons of sense but as a silver lining it still allows her to wear armor.) All of Klohs’bik’s spells and rituals are very Blair Witch.
Whether or not a past or present familiar, she’s clearly tasked with helping her witch in all ways.
When using the Aid Another action, Closed Beak grants +3 bonus instead of +2.
As a move action, Closed Beak can use her own body to grant soft cover to an adjacent ally (+4 AC), regardless of any difference in respective sizes.
Magic: Third Eye
Closed Beak has a third eye in the center of her forehead. As long as it is uncovered and open she gets a clearer sense of someone’s inner emotions, granting a +2 trait bonus on Sense Motive checks, or +4 if it’s to notice if someone is under a mind-affecting effect. However, this eye is clearly unsettling and she takes a –1 penalty on Bluff and Diplomacy checks against any humanoid who can see it. Covering the eye pauses this trait entirely; many helms clearly show the eye for better or worse.
Drawback: Warded Against Nature
Animals do not willingly approach within 30 feet of Closed Beak, unless she or someone else succeeds at a DC 20 Handle Animal, Ride, or Wild Empathy check. In order for plot points such as caravans to progess, Closed Beak is forced to stay far away. Note that this animal unease still exists if she ever turns into the guise of a human or a large bird, feats Tengu have available for purchase. Animal companions, familiars, and mounts granted by Closed Beak’s class abilities are immune to this effect (though I can’t imagine she’d ever get one).
Drawback: Umbral Unmasking
The shadow Closed Beak casts is…monstrous. Under normal lighted conditions it’s not hard to observe, if uncommon to think of. Creatures that succeed at a DC 15 Wisdom check notice it plainly (though an additional Perception check may be required, based on environmental conditions). This is a telltale sign of “wickedness,” and cannot be concealed by any misdirection, nondetection, or illusions magic. The only magic capable of doing so involves that which affects shadows, such as the Invisibility spell. While the character themselves need not be evil, paladins and the like will have a hard time believing that to be true. (You’re not supposed to take a second drawback, but this one doesn’t end up penalizing Closed Beak in any new way. It’s just added for flavor and it does not grant a free trait.)