Jameson (and Helena) Gord

Name: Jameson Gord
Occupation: Assassin, courier, information extraction specialist, negotiator

Race:Half-Elf
Sex: Male
Age: 42 years
Height: 5 feet, 4 inches
Weight: 145 pounds
Hair: Light Blond
Eyes: Gray
Distinguishing Marks: Gord has an old, puckered scar running from the corner of his right eye down the side of his face to the hinge of his jaw.

Current Employer: Unknown
Current Whereabouts: Unknown

Known Pastimes: Ballroom dancing, folk dancing, and wine tasting

Vital Statistics
Jameson Gord is a former operative for our service. He turned renegade after the death in action of his late wife, Madam Helena Gord, during a failed investigation of a cell in the Cult of Lereina. The exact circumstances and nature of Madam Gord's demise are unclear, since Master Gord is believed to be the only witness who is still alive. A string of deaths, most of them apparently accidental or due to natural causes, has hounded all others known to have been involved.

Gord's defection became known to this agency directly following the end of the investigation in question, when he murdered his immediate superior instead of delivering a report to him during their rendezvous in its aftermath. He subsequently disappeared for a period of some six months, after which another of our operatives encountered him in a dance hall on the other end of the kingdom. Before passing away, the operative managed to scrawl a few lines, which were found with her body and relayed to us. Similar incidents have occurred from time to time over the past decade, allowing us to form a vague idea of Jameson Gord's activities since his defection.

Through our limited ability to map out Gord's activities, we have learned that he has taken up work as a torturer, assassin, and courier for a variety of employers, operating as a freelance agent for whoever can afford to pay him. He is known to have slain a number of figures from the world of organized crime, in most cases through torture. Through the capture of prisoners from the organizations in question, we have determined the following about Gord's work habits:

  1. Upon accepting a contract to work for a given employer, Gord does not accept a contract to work against that same employer for at least the space of one year.
  2. Gord does not accept any contract which puts him in contact, whether friendly or hostile, with members of this agency. As we have already noted above, this does not seem to be the result of any residual feelings of loyalty to our operations, as he has without exception arranged for the deaths of any agents who have made contact with him through happenstance.
  3. Women with dark hair, dark eyes, and pale skin seem to attract Gord's attention. According to the prisoners interrogated concerning him, he has, on several occasions, abandoned contracted work in order to pursue them. Also according to these prisoners, these women tend to disappear. There is no discernable pattern to these disappearances. This analyst speculates, on the basis of such details as have been provided through interrogation, that Gord selects his abduction victims based on their degree of resemblance to his late wife . . . .

-Excerpted from the files of Master B. E. Fraykhiler, Spymaster Imperial

Jameson Gord

Half-elf male pal5/rog2/blackguard 5: Medium humanoid (elf, human); CR 12; HD 10d10+20 plus 2d6+4; 86 hp; Init +4; Spd 30 ft. (6 squares), reduced to 20 ft. in armor; AC 21, 10 touch, 21 flat-footed; BAB/Grapple +11/+14; Atk +15 melee (1d8+4/x3 plus 1d6 non-lethal, +1 merciful adamantine warhammer), +14 melee (1d4+2/19-20, alchemical silver dagger), +12 ranged (1d8+4/x3, +1 mighty composite longbow [+3 Str]); Full atk +15/+10/+5 melee (1d8+4/x3 plus 1d6 non-lethal, +1 merciful adamantine warhammer), +14/+9/+4 melee (1d4+2/19-20, alchemical silver dagger), +12/+7/+2 ranged (1d8+4/x3, +1 mighty composite longbow [+3 Str]); SA aura of despair, command undead 5/day, lay on hands, smite good 4/day, sneak attack +3d6, spell-like abilities, spells, poison use; SQ aura of evil, dark blessing, evasion, fiendish servant, immunity to magical sleep effects, low-light vision, trapfinding; AL LE; SV Fort +12, Ref +7, Will +6; Str 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 14.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +7, Diplomacy +13, Forgery +4, Gather Information +4, Heal +9, Hide +10, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (religion) +6, Listen +3, Perform (dance) +7, Search +2, Sense Motive +9, Speak Language (Common, Elven, Dwarven), Spot +3; Cleave, Combat Expertise, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack.

Aura of Evil (Su): The power of Jameson's aura of evil (see the detect evil spell) is equal to his blackguard level.

Poison Use (Ex): Jameson is skilled in the use of poison and never risks accidentally poisoning himself when applying poison to a blade.

Dark Blessing (Su): Jameson applies his Charisma modifier as a bonus to all saving throws.

Smite Good (Su): Four times per day, Jameson may attempt to smite good with one normal melee attack. He adds his Charisma modifier to his attack roll and deals 5 extra points of damage. If he accidentally smites a creature which is not good, the smite attempt has no effect but is still used up for the day.

Aura of Despair (Su): Jameson radiates a malign aura which causes enemies within 10 feet of him to take a -2 penalty to saving throws.

Command Undead (Su): Five times per day, Jameson can attempt to command undead as a level 3 cleric.

Spell-like Abilities: at will - detect good.

Typical Blackguard Spells Prepared: 1st-corrupt weapon, cure light wounds (DC 13); 2nd-bull's strength, cure moderate wounds (DC 14). Caster level 5th.

Possessions: alchemist's fire, courtier's outfit, +1 merciful adamantine warhammer, +1 mighty composite longbow [+3 Str], +1 shadow dragonhide plate (taken from a black dragon), +1 darkwood buckler, elixir of love, potion of shield of faith, wand of cure light wounds, alchemical silver dagger.

Jameson Gord is a lost soul in every sense of the term. Since the death of his beloved wife and co-worker, Helena, he's traveled the path of the blackguard, having offered his soul in trade for the chance to remain with his wife despite her death at the hands of a disguised pit fiend who claims to be the servant of Lereina. Even before his fall, Jameson was walking on treacherous ground because of his and his wife's highly demanding work as spies in the service of their emperor; the constant deception and misdirection necessary in the pursuit of espionage are extremely difficult for any paladin to bear.

With the death of his wife, Jameson finally gave up his battle to remain fit for the role of a paladin of Agon. For the price of his soul, the fiend returned his wife to him-corrupted, imprisoned in a jeweled amulet, and able to escape from it only as a ghost, unable to interact with him in any physical sense. Since the devil had fulfilled the letter of its bargain with him, however, the fallen servant of Agon had no recourse but to accept this state of affairs. In order to enjoy the company of a woman again, he would have either to abandon his wife after all, or to accept the devil's "help" yet again in order to circumvent its trickery. Reasoning that it would be even worse to abandon his soul for nothing, he chose the latter, and acted on the devil's advice in order to provide his wife with a new body.

Thus began Jameson's life as a kidnapper. By seeking out women with a physical resemblance to Helena and forcing them to wear the amulet, he can regain the company of his wife in the land of the living, if only for a time. Even this measure has proven itself unreliable; prolonged service as a vessel for Helena's spirit exerts a strain on even the healthiest body, and after a short time, the earthly vessels procured by Gord invariably sicken and die. Owing to his wife's illnesses and inability to enjoy an active life, Gord is driven both to repeated kidnappings to replace her surrogate body, and to freelance espionage projects to allow him to keep her in a state of luxurious comfort. In the time since his fall and her death, Jameson has placed his wife's amulet around the necks of over a hundred women, and paid out staggering sums of money to feed them delicacies and clothe them in silk and velvet.

To outside eyes, Jameson's activities look like those of some twisted serial killer and rapist; and in truth, they are. But no one, so far, even guesses at the depths to which he has truly sunk. A certain degree of cruelty and depravity are expected in his line of work, however, and between this fact and his undeniable skills as a killer, few have the urge to question him about his pastimes, and even fewer indulge such an urge.

Jameson Gord's typical procedure in selecting and kidnapping a new surrogate for his wife runs as follows: Gord frequents dance halls, ballrooms, and other such places of entertainment, where he can interact with a wide variety of young women of approximately the same physical age as his late wife at the time of her demise. He genuinely likes and is good at most forms of partnered dance, and uses this, combined with his good looks, as his primary means of making initial contact with those women whose physical appearance he deems suitably like that of Helena. He then attempts either to seduce them into a private setting, or laces a beverage with an elixir of love and tricks them into drinking it. Once he has done so, he often resorts to simple trickery to induce them to try on his wife's amulet. If necessary, however, he simply overpowers the victim and places the amulet around her neck once she is subdued.

Minor Artifact: Helena's Soul

Description: This glittering platinum amulet on a diamond-studded chain contains a large, glittering black sapphire the size of a pigeon's egg, which seems to glow with a smoky inner flame.

Function: Helena's Soul is composed entirely of magically hardened platinum, diamonds, and a black sapphire, with the entire piece possessing hardness 30 and 10 hit points. Its size is Fine.

If placed around the neck of a female human, the amulet allows Helena Gord to possess her using the malevolence supernatural ability (see "Helena Gord" below), with a +5 profane bonus to its save DC. It also extends the effect so that it lasts until Helena relinquishes control of her surrogate body. The wearer is allowed a new Will save every 24 hours to shake off Helena's influence. If successful, she is immune, for 24 hours thereafter, to further attempts on Helena's part to possess her body. For every week during which Helena maintains control of the amulet’s wearer, the amulet deals 1 point of Constitution drain to the wearer.

In addition to the above functions, this necklace imparts a +6 enhancement bonus to Helena's Charisma score when she is in control of a surrogate body. If Helena's surrogate body is killed or destroyed, Helena is returned to the amulet, and she is unable to use her manifestation supernatural ability for 1d3 days thereafter. Destroying the amulet releases Helena's soul from its captivity, and she then passes on to her appointed afterlife (note that unless the player characters successfully redeem her before the amulet's destruction, her fate is that of any other evil soul).

Strong necromancy [evil]; CL 20th.

Helena Gord

Female human ghost bard 7: Medium undead (augmented humanoid, human, incorporeal); CR 9; HD 7d12; 45 hp; Init +6, Spd Fly 30 ft. (perfect) (6 squares); AC 17, 17 touch, 15 flat-footed; BAB/Grapple +5/+4; Atk +4 melee (1d3-1 non-lethal, incorporeal touch vs. ethereal creatures); SA bardic music 7/day, malevolence, manifestation, spellcasting; SQ bardic knowledge +8, darkvision 60 ft., incorporeal traits, rejuvenation, turn resistance +4; AL NE; SA Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +5; Str 8, Dex 14, Con --, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 20.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +15, Diplomacy +19, Hide +10, Listen +18, Perform (dance) +15, Perform (vocals) +15, Search +9, Sense Motive +10, Sleight of Hand +14, Speak Language (Common, Elven, Draconic), Spellcraft +11, Spot +8; Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Focus (illusion).

Malevolence (Su): Once per round, Helena can merge her body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 10th), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the Helena must be manifested and must try to move into the target’s space; moving into the target’s space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 20). A creature that successfully saves is immune to Helena’s malevolence for 24 hours, and she cannot enter the target’s space. If the save fails, Helena vanishes into the target’s body.

Manifestation (Su): Helena dwells on the Ethereal Plane, and as an ethereal creature, she cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When she manifests, she partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. She can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. She can pass through solid objects at will, and her own attacks pass through armor. Helena always moves silently, and can strike with her touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon. When manifested, Helena remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where she is not incorporeal. She can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane; her incorporeality helps protect her from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

When she is not manifested and is on the Ethereal Plane, Helena's spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When Helena manifests, her spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. Her touch spells don’t work on non-ethereal targets.

Helena has two home planes, the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. She is not considered extraplanar when on either of these planes.

Rejuvenation (Su): It’s difficult to destroy Helena through simple combat; she will often restore herself in 2d4 days. When she would otherwise be destroyed, Helena returns to her old haunt in the 100 ft. radius around her amulet with a successful level check (1d20+7) against DC 16. Destroying her amulet puts her to rest permanently.

Bard Spells per Day: 5/4/3/1; caster level 7th.
Bard Spells Known: 0th-daze (DC 17), detect magic, ghost sound (DC 16), light, read magic, summon instrument; 1st-alarm, charm person (DC 18), disguise self (DC 17), sleep (DC 18); 2nd-blur, hold person (DC 19), minor image (DC 18), rage (DC 19); 3rd-confusion (DC 20), scrying (DC 18).
Possessions: None, in incorporeal form. When inhabiting a body, Helena typically wears the following magical items in addition to Helena's Soul: circlet of persuasion, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1.

The figures above represent Helena's statistics when she is not residing in a surrogate body. When she resides in such a body, she loses her racial bonuses to her skills, and replaces her physical ability scores and ability modifiers, hit points, and other bodily characteristics with those of her new body. She retains all of her class abilities, including her base saving throws, her skill ranks, and her bardic music and bardic knowledge abilities, as well her base attack bonus and weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies. See the magic jar spell, on page 250 of the Player's Handbook or in the System Reference Document, for more information. See the stat block, below, for a sample version of Helena's statistics when she inhabits the body of a level 1 commoner with ability scores of Str 10, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 11, Wis 10, and Cha 11. Note that Helena’s surrogate is entitled to a Will save every 24 hours to reassert control over her own body; the example surrogate has a +0 Will saving throw bonus, and must overcome a DC of 28 (the normal Will DC to resist Helena’s malevolence is 20 [15 base +5 Charisma], but Helena’s amulet grants a +6 enhancement bonus to her Charisma score, and a +5 profane bonus to the save DC, for the given total [15 base +8 Cha +5 profane]). If for some reason, Helena should forsake her surrogate body and attempt to possess another, the save DC of her malevolence falls back to 20.

Helena Gord (Possessing a Body)
Female human ghost bard 7:
Medium undead (augmented humanoid, human, incorporeal); CR 9; HD 7d12; 5 hp; Init +0, Spd 30 ft. (6 squares); AC 11, 11 touch, 11 flat-footed; BAB/Grapple +5/+5; Atk +5 melee (1d3 non-lethal); SA bardic music 7/day, malevolence, manifestation, spellcasting; SQ bardic knowledge +8, rejuvenation, turn resistance +4; AL NE; SA Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +6; Str 10, Dex 11, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 26.
Skills and Feats: Bluff +21, Diplomacy +25, Listen +10, Perform (dance) +21, Perform (vocals) +21, Sense Motive +10, Sleight of Hand +12, Speak Language (Common, Elven, Draconic), Spellcraft +11; Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Improved Initiative, Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Focus (illusion).

Malevolence (Su): Once per round, Helena can merge her body with a creature on the Material Plane. This ability is similar to a magic jar spell (caster level 10th), except that it does not require a receptacle. To use this ability, the Helena must be manifested and must try move into the target’s space; moving into the target’s space to use the malevolence ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The target can resist the attack with a successful Will save (DC 20). A creature that successfully saves is immune to Helena’s malevolence for 24 hours, and she cannot enter the target’s space. If the save fails, Helena vanishes into the target’s body.

Manifestation (Su): Helena dwells on the Ethereal Plane, and as an ethereal creature, she cannot affect or be affected by anything in the material world. When she manifests, she partly enters the Material Plane and becomes visible but incorporeal on the Material Plane. She can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, magic weapons, or spells, with a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source. She can pass through solid objects at will, and her own attacks pass through armor. Helena always moves silently, and can strike with her touch attack or with a ghost touch weapon. When manifested, Helena remains partially on the Ethereal Plane, where she is not incorporeal. She can be attacked by opponents on either the Material Plane or the Ethereal Plane; her incorporeality helps protect her from foes on the Material Plane, but not from foes on the Ethereal Plane.

When she is not manifested and is on the Ethereal Plane, Helena's spells cannot affect targets on the Material Plane, but they work normally against ethereal targets. When Helena manifests, her spells continue to affect ethereal targets and can affect targets on the Material Plane normally unless the spells rely on touch. Her touch spells don’t work on non-ethereal targets.

Helena has two home planes, the Material Plane and the Ethereal Plane. She is not considered extraplanar when on either of these planes.

Rejuvenation (Su): It’s difficult to destroy Helena through simple combat; she will often restore herself in 2d4 days. When she would otherwise be destroyed, Helena returns to her old haunt in the 100 ft. radius around her amulet with a successful level check (1d20+7) against DC 16. Destroying her amulet puts her to rest permanently.

Bard Spells per Day: 5/4/3/1; caster level 7th.
Bard Spells Known: 0th-daze (DC 20), detect magic, ghost sound (DC 19), light, read magic, summon instrument; 1st-alarm, charm person (DC 21), disguise self (DC 20), sleep (DC 21); 2nd&-blur, hold person (DC 22), minor image (DC 21), rage (DC 22); 3rd-confusion (DC 23), scrying (DC 21).
Possessions: circlet of persuasion, cloak of resistance +1, ring of protection +1.

Helena Gord's death opened the door to her husband's fall from righteousness. In turn, she has also suffered the touch of evil; the process of being raised from death to eternal life as a ghost has left her soul twisted into an evil semblance of its formerly warm and caring nature. The knowledge of the strength of her husband's devotion to her horrified her at first, but with time she has grown proud of her hold on him, and arrogance has taken root in her nature.

Even in life, Helena was fond of luxurious accommodations and fine dining, and her tastes have only grown more decadent and sophisticated with her transition to undeath. Whereas Jameson once took joy in approaching his wife with gifts, he now finds himself compelled to furnish her with fine furniture, clothing, perfumes, jewelry, and delicacies with which to indulge her senses, if he wishes to remain in her good graces and enjoy her company.

Notes on Including Jameson and Helena Gord in a Campaign

Jameson can fit easily into most campaigns; his statistics are based entirely on core material, as are those of his wife. As he is presented, a powerful pit fiend is responsible for his fall, but any powerful evil outsider will do. He is presented here as a fallen paladin of Agon, a deity from the Mereflow Valley campaign setting’s human pantheon, but any Lawful Neutral or Lawful Good deity who sponsors paladins is acceptable. As presented, Jameson's tempter is a pit fiend, a lawful evil creature serving Lereina, an evil deity from the same pantheonAny lawful evil deity would substitute just as well. By changing the fiend's identity to a balor, one might easily replace Lereina with a chaotic evil deity, instead. Motivations on the fiend's part for corrupting Gord are similarly subject to change at the DM's whim; as presented, it suffices for the pit fiend that Jameson is a paladin -the soul of such an individual is valuable currency in hell, as is the prestige garnered by obtaining it.

On the same note, Helena Gord is readily translatable into any campaign in which the dead can come back as ghosts. Like her husband, she uses core material almost exclusively; the amulet associated with her was created as a minor artifact, and only functions for her, making it in essence a powerful unique cursed item.

Increasing CR for Jameson and Helena

Increasing Jameson's power level is relatively simple; he will advance as a blackguard for the next five levels, until he finishes the prestige class. He will then, at the Dungeon Master's option, gain levels as a fighter, a ranger, a rogue, or an assassin until he reaches level 20. Ability score increases will be placed alternately in his Strength and Constitution scores. Epic levels will see him advance in one of his non-paladin, non-prestige classes until class level 20, and then begin epic progression in the same class. Assign him improved magic items and other equipment using the NPC wealth chart (Table 4-23 in the Dungeon Master's Guide), or use your own discretion.

Advancing Helena is slightly more complicated. Her current CR is 9; she has been allowed approximately the same amount of magical items as a level 7 NPC in addition to her amulet. Adding more magical items to bring her total exclusive of the amulet) up to the level of a 9th-level NPC from the table should render her slightly more challenging. For a more striking increase in her CR, Helena can advance as a bard, adding ability score increases to Charisma and/or Intelligence.

Using Jameson

For the most part, Jameson is temperamentally unsuited to working as the primary villain of a campaign; despite his increasingly bitter and vicious nature, he simply does not possess the motivation to formulate his own agenda. Instead, he can serve admirably as a gun-for-hire to the big, bad, evil guy (or gal) of your choice. In another twist, it's entirely possible that his wife has developed or will develop ambitions of her own. In that case, Jameson is happy to serve as her devoted protector and henchman. While he is more than capable as a warrior, he also possesses a very high degree of skill as a spy, and his Intimidate check makes him extremely effective as an interrogator or torturer. He is also highly trained in negotiation.