The Vale

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The Vale is the name for the land at the far north of Catti, above the Treant Forest. The Vale is a wild land, dark, in habitable, most of the things that grow here are poisonous and those that aren’t taste like they are, it takes a rare skill to find anything of worth here. Monsters roam the lands, not massive beasts but the kind who hide in the dark or the beyond and strike with fear and speed over brute force. Displacer Beasts, ghosts, banshees, grappling vines and many other dangers, not to mention small gangs of orcs or other similar creatures who are too violent to live in normal society but too incompetent to move somewhere where the land itself isn’t trying to kill them. Needless to say not many of these bands exist for long.

No civilized people live in vale except a wizards’ collage. The placement of this collage is no mistake. The wizards here are tasked with the true importance of the Vale, keeping it shut. The Vale itself is actually a dimensional rift. Where the Vale leads is a secret held only by a few in the wizards’ collage (if any even still truly know), and outside the collage few even know of the Vale’s existence besides as a name for a terrible place.

The wizards’ collage trains not only wizards but has a separate school which train the protectors of these arcane masters. Each wizard in their youth is paired with a ranger in a Soul Bond. The two rarely see each other after the pairing until they are ready to graduate and begin adventuring together, but throughout their entire childhood they can feel the other, and even having spent so long apart they truly know each other as no other two beings can. Up on graduation the wizards either take their place as apprentices at the collage, to eventually learn to teach there. Or they are sent into the world to find their destiny. The rangers are trained from the point they receive their end of the soul bond in the ways of survival and protection, their destiny is chosen for them, to serve and protect their Soul Bond partner.

Soul Bond Ranger/Wizard variant:
Soul Bonded Wizard: Loses the “Summon Familiar” ability and the benefits it grants but gains the ability “Protected”. The ranger takes the place of the wizard’s familiar and acts as protector. Protected – The Soul Bond wizard takes half of any damage dealt of any kind. This damage is dealt instead to the Soul Bond ranger. If the Soul Bond ranger dies the wizard will immediately feel the death as if suffering it themself and take a permanent negative level that cannot be restored except by a Wish or Miracle. Furthermore the wizard will take a 10% XP loss from that point onward.
Soul Bonded Ranger: Must obey orders from the Soul Bond wizard as if each order is a Geas/Quest spell. Loses the “Animal Companion” ability and gains the “Protector” ability. Protector – Take 50% of all damage dealt to the Soul Bond wizard of the same type that was dealt to the wizard, this includes energy and ability damage but not death effects. If the Protected dies the Protector will immediately feel the death as if suffering it themself and take a permanent negative level that cannot be restored except by a Wish or Miracle. Furthermore the Protector will take a 10% XP loss from that point onward.
In addition however the Protector gains benefits on the chart below based on the Protected’s character level.
1st–2nd +1 AC, +6 HP, Alertness, Devotion, Empathic Link
3rd–4th +2 AC, +7 HP, Deliver touch spells
5th–6th +3 AC, +8 HP, Telepathic Link
7th–8th +4 AC, +9 HP, Gain +2 synergy for each 5 ranks the wizard has in that Knowledge skill
9th–10th +5 AC, +10 HP, Share Spells
11th–12th +6 AC, +12 HP, Spell resistance (wizard’s character lvl +5)
13th–14th +7 AC, +14 HP, Two-way Scry on Soul Bond
15th–16th +8 AC, +16 HP, Improved Evasion
17th–18th +9 AC, +18 HP, Die Hard
19th–20th +10 AC, +20 HP, Protector ability works on death effects if the ranger chooses to accept the effect.

The Vale

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