Elspeth Black

89855[1]Faces of the Tarnished Souk – Elspeth Black

By Thilo Graf

This pdf from Rite Publishing is 13 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 2 pages of advertisements, leaving 8 pages for Elspeth, so let’s dive in!

I’ll go through the 3 incarnations in reverse order, from her lowest CR up to the highest. People who’ve followed my reviews probably know that I have a soft spot for Elans and this file details one. “Elan” you say? Yep, as this instalment of Faces of the Tarnished Souk is a collaboration between Rite Publishing and Dreamscarred Press, offering support for my beloved PFRPG-psionics. AWESOME! Can her 3 incarnations stand up to this great premise? I’ll see!

Her low-level incarnation is

  • Lady Elspeth, Agent of Blackblade (Elan Psychic Warrior 4), CR4 – Nice build, although there is a minor typo, with her name in the “During Combat”-section being written like exponentials. Other than that, a nice build! (1 page)

Her mid-level incarnation is

  • Elspeth Black, Operative of Blackblade Section X (Elan psychic warrior 5/metamind 1/war mind 1), CR 7: An even cooler build that utilizes two complementary PrCs to their potential. Cool!

We also get 2 magic item properties, “Reshaping” and “Weightless” (both featuring an extra “h” in the CL-section)and 4 new magic items. The items are:

  • Crystal Key, Lesser: Open a portal to a specific plane 3/day. Do not travel with the user.
  • Crystal key, Greater:  Like their lesser variant, but they do travel with their user.
  • Gate Key: Like the Greater Crystal key, but works for any plane.
  • Gloves of Activation: Bonus to Use Magic Device, three sets are given in the construction section: +2, +5 and +10.

We also get 3 new feats:

  • Battlefield Intuition: Add Wis-modifier to Initiative, stacks with other modifiers.
  • Combat Advice: Move action to grant allies +1 to damage and attacks
  • Command: Gain command points equal to your level. Each time you use a move action to direct/command your allies, you can spend command points up to your Cha-mod to grant allies competence bonuses to their rolls.

Items and feats take up about one and a half page.

Additionally, there are 1.5 pages of stats for the 3 different incarnations of Elspeth’s Psicrystal, Raze, as well as a little sidebox on its personality – Nice!

Her high-level incarnation (CR 15) takes up 2 pages and is

  • Elspeth Black, Executive Officer of Blackblade (Elan Psychic Warrior 5/Metamind 5/War mind 5) Much to my delight, this statblock also features a whole paragraph on a potential cohort of hers, including names and short characteristics.

As is the standard in the FotTS-series, Elspeth also gets 1 page of aptly-written character background, including dream-burning information and a side-box on how to use her.


Layout adheres to the RiP-standard,  artwork is nice and the additional content provided (especially the feats) make this a nice deal. Once again, we get complex statblocks and her lower-level incarnations might make for nice rank-and-file Blackblade operatives. The fluff made me curious about the organisation and I’d like to know more about it in a future supplement. Given that I’m a sucker for psionics and that this character simply rocks, I’d immediately settle for 5 stars. Due to the minor glitches, I’ll rate this 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4 for the purpose of this platform. (If the glitches are taken care of, this is a straight 5-star-file!)

Faces of the Tarnished Souk – Elspeth Black is available from:

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