By Thilo Graf
This instalment of the Faces of the Tarnished Souk-series by Rite Publishing is 16 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages advertisements, leaving 11 pages for the 3 incarnations of Arhanoth, so let’s check them out!
In the tradition of the FoTS-series, this one kicks off with an aptly-written one page of character introduction, information on dream-burning (though this one is dream-barren), a lore-section as well as a how-to-use sidebox for the DM.
As per my format for these reviews, I’m going to work from back to front: There are a lot of templates in this book: The “Broken creature”-template that makes constructs “broken” and thus weaker (immensely useful in my opinion), the exemplar template that makes a creature one paragon of its kind with better and more pronounced attributes, the suzerain template, which makes you a natural born leader and the time-seer template (which is probably the coolest), which lets a creature perceive the future and act according to this constant barrage of possibilities via a wisdom check – otherwise it gets impeded by the conflicting images it constantly perceives. The pdf also does something I’ve longed for quite some time, introducing a lesser version of the Kolyarut-inevitables that clocks in at CR 6, making it easier to give them class-levels.
Next up is the low-level incarnation of Arhanoth and what can I say – He’s a Kolyarut-inquisitor using a meteor-hammer (a chain with a huge ball, gets its own stats) that doubles as a censer. Matt Banach and Justin Sluder have officially infiltrated my mind – in my home-brew campaign there’s a legendary inquisitor with exactly that weapon, including passing dispassionate judgment! The low-level incarnation has no class-levels and thrice the broken template and has not yet the time seer template, while the mid-level incarnation gets monk and inquisitor levels. In the most powerful incarnations, he is the leader of the Iron Gavel, a group of powerful individuals serving Arhanoth and passing judgment in the Souk. He gets 2 traits, Dream-barren and Killer and 2 new bracers are introduced that keep their wearers alive. His deadly meteor-hammer gets its powerful stats and 3 feats are provided to expand judgments, extra banes and cohorts. The true star, though, is the awesome, deadly high-level CR 21-incarnation of Arhanoth: Using 3 templates, cool items and finally providing for a cool high-level inquisitor/monk, he ranks among the most deadly and relentless combatants I’ve seen in quite some time.
Layout adheres to the classic B/w-RiP -two-column standard. Formatting is top-notch and I only noticed one very minor editing glitch, a superfluous asterisk in the time seer template. The piece of artwork for Arhanoth is awesome and the NPC per se is awesome – hell, I practically admit to having just about this character in my home-campaign, thus, of course, I love him. If his signature litany would be In Strict Confidence’s “Engelsstaub”-song as a theme, I’d be sure that Matt and Justin have somehow infiltrated my table – With the lack of any significant glitches, the cool ideas and the beautiful stat-blocks, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 5 stars, continuing the excellent track-record of the FoTS-series.
Faces of the Tarnished Souk–Arhanoth, the Iron Gavel is available from: