Xauphinellean Cloud Lords Prestige Class

Xauphinelle, the ancient Aelven Empire. High in the Shards, the storied homeland of the Aelvenkind stretches into time immemorial. Old beyond any human concept of the word, this land was once the greatest of all the Shards, rich in all things that matter and unmatched in all things they wished to be unmatched in. Through conquest and mercilessness they forged an Empire upon the backs of the younger races; only the reptilian Drakken withstood their tyranny. For millenia, reaching back past both Risings, the Ageless Empire spanned, seemingly eternal to the shorter lived races until tragedy struck.

The Second Rising of the Beneath brought great suffering, blotting out almost all the Shards; refugees were forced to flee ever upwards in terror and desperation driving their Aelven overlords before them. When the Beneath was finally driven back the Emperor lay dead and Aelvenkind were without a leader; to make things worse the succession was in doubt. Their numbers were reduced, their reign broken. While the younger races pushed out again and forged new nations, making alliances and warring upon themselves in a new struggle for dominance, the eyes of the Aelven were focused inward. For in this time an ugly and bitter civil war was waged between the supporters of the two children of the departed Emperor. Finally, Imperial Prince Tallisindar was victorious, driving his sister and her final supporters out of the remnants of the once great Empire.

Several centuries passed as the new Emperor shored up his position, crushed opposition, and took up the reigns of power of his much reduced Empire. In this time the younger races had cemented their own power. Soon bolder folk began to encroach upon lands formally held by Xauphinelle. Infuriated, Tallisindar vowed not one more inch of Aelven land would be transgressed by outsiders. He called for taxes to increase the size of Imperial forces, and military expansion began immediately. Aelven warrior-poets and battle mages alike have taken up the warbrand and stand ready for their Emperorís call to battle. Ancient martial orders found their rosters swollen with new applicants and old alumni eager to renew their vows.

One such martial order is the Ancient and Honorable Lords of the Clouds. An honored brotherhood of elder times, it has a long history of heroic deeds in the name of Aelvenkind amongst the Xauphinelleans, and a litany of oppressive acts at least as long amongst the younger races. The Order is highly elite and extremely selective. They accept only the best, and consider themselves above the cut. Many are nobles and some are related to the imperial family by blood or marriage, all are afforded courtly honors.

Base Attack Bonus: +3
Feats: Combat Casting, Mounted Combat, Still Spell
Skills: Concentration: 5, Ride (Pegasus): 5
Abilities: Int 13+
Alignment: Non-Chaotic
Race: Pure-bred Xauphinellean Elves only
Spellcasting: Must be able to prepare and cast Arcane Spells as a wizard
Dues: 1000 gold annually, paid upon joining and each yearly anniversary thereafter.

Level    Attack Bonus    Fortitude    Reflex   Will    Abilities
1    +0    +0    +2    +0    Granted Steed, Death From Above
2    +1    +0    +3    +1    Keep Saddle, Spell Casting Progression
3    +2    +1    +3    +1    Swooping Charge
4    +3    +1    +4    +1    Keep Focus, Spell Casting Progression
5    +3    +1    +4    +1    Diving Charge

Hit Die: D8
Skill Points: Int Bonus + 2 / level
Skill List: Balance, Concentration, Handle Animal, Ride, Search, Spellcraft, Spot

Class Abilities
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: The Cloud Lord is trained in the use of the heavy lance. No other weapon or armor proficiencies are granted by this prestige class.

Spell Casting Progression At 2nd and 5th levels the Cloud Lords spell casting capability in his previous arcane class progresses by one level. This increases spells castable per day and caster level. Thus, a Wizard 10/Cloud Lord 4 casts wizard spells as a 12th level Wizard.

Granted Steed: At 1st level the Xauphinellean Cloud Lord is granted access to the Orders aeries; a Cloud Lord may claim one Pegasus (MM pg 148) of standard abilities for personal use at any time. It is common practice for Cloud Lords to mark a specific Pegasus for their personal use. The Cloud Lord does not own this Pegasus or have any actual rights to it. The Cloud Lord is expected to care for his own mount and to ensure itís safety as much as possible. It is expected that some mounts will be killed in the course of events through no fault of the Cloud Lord, but if to many mounts die in the care of an individual Cloud Lord, that Cloud Lord will be judged negligent or reckless. In such a circumstance the Cloud Lord must provide a retainer equal to the value of the Pegasus and its saddle before being allowed its use; should the mount come to harm or die the appropriate amount will be automatically subtracted from the retainer. Acquisition of a new mount is based upon availability and the needs of the Order.

Death from Above: At 1st level the Xauphinellean Cloud Lord has learned to loose a deadly hail of arrow fire. While mounted on a Pegasus with a proper saddle and using a Composite Longbow the Cloud Lord may use Mounted Archery as a virtual feat.

Keep Saddle: At 2nd level the Xauphinellean Cloud Lord has mastered keeping his saddle when riding a Pegasus. He gains Skill Focus: Ride as a virtual feat when riding on a Pegasus which is equipped with a proper saddle.

Swooping Charge: At 3rd level the Xauphinellean Cloud Lord has learned to swoop in and make passing attacks. While mounted on a Pegasus which is equipped with a proper saddle, the Cloud Lord may use Ride by Attack as a virtual feat.

Keep Focus: At 4th level the Xauphinellean Cloud Lord has mastered trusting his mount and maintaining his concentration while riding upon a Pegasus. He gains Skill Focus: Concentration as a virtual feat when riding on a Pegasus which is equipped with a proper saddle.

Diving Charge: At 5th level the Xauphinellean Cloud Lord has learned to dive in and make devastating charges. While mounted on a Pegasus which is equipped with a proper saddle, the Cloud Lord may use Spirited Charge as a virtual feat.