Vestige Level: 6th
Binding DC: 27
Special Requirement: Yes
The first of the “city-born fey,” represented today by such creatures as the zeitgeist (Cityscape pg.138) and the gray jester (Heroes of Horror pg.151), Desharis is a boon to those who work to spread civilization, and anathema to most fey and worshipers of the wild. He grants binders shelter against the dangers of the wild, and he provides powers to carve out their own niche against nature.
Legend: According to ancient myths, the earliest true community was a human village called Desh, or “shelter” in the old tongue.Here the people dwelt together for protection against predators, and they first constructed structures rather than use existing shelters for protection against the elements. (For more on the legend of Desh,see Races of Destiny.)
This legend itself is neither uncommon nor unknown today. What few realize, however, is how swiftly the natural and magical worlds adapt to changes within. Desh was not merely the first community,but it also birthed the first urban fey, a distant ancestor of what would become the mighty zeitgeist.
Desharis knew nothing of his own origins. He knew only that of his two conflicting urges — one to protect the sanctity of the natural world, the other to defend Desh and the people therein — the latter was by far the stronger. Invisibly, he worked to stave off attacks from predators; to keep the village free of plague; and to aid its inhabitants when other humanoids attempted to raid Desh for its supplies. While the people of Desh thanked the gods and spirits for their fortune, however, they never knew of Desharis himself. The other fey of the world, horrified at the notion of a spreading society that might supplant the natural order, counted Desharis a traitor. They worked to thwart his efforts and even destroy him. Though he was, in effect, the very embodiment of community, Desharis was ever alone.
Desharis grew bitter at the disdain of the other fey, and some suggest that he inspired the spread of civilization as vengeance against them. Whatever the case, Desharis spread as the notion of community did,growing ever more diffuse, ever larger. Though he gained in size and influence, he gained nothing in the way of power; smaller villages added nothing to his abilities, and larger communities frequently birthed their own urban fey. Eventually, the spirit of community was too diffuse and spread out to exist as a being at all —and yet, as the embodiment of civilization, now a permanent part of the world, he could not entirely fade away.
Special Requirement: If you have gone more than a day without binding Desharis, you may only draw his seal in a village or larger city. Attempts to do so elsewhere fail outright. You can, however, “carry” Desharis into the wild; this is why you may continue to summon him, even outside the urban environment, if you have not allowed more than a day to lapse since you last did so.
Manifestation: Desharis appears with the sound of a hundred distant voices talking and shouting, though specific words remain completely unintelligible. A veritable mob of individuals appears as from a great distance, as though the air above his seal had become a window to some other place. As the mob approaches, these bare silhouettes meld together even as they take on greater details, eventually combining to form a single humanoid shape standing 10 feet in height. Though the silhouettes look human, Desharis himself appears made of equal amounts of stone, wood, metal, and glass.
Sign: While hosting Desharis, your eyes turn to glass. Anyone meeting your gaze sees the movement of multiple silhouettes behind them, as though looking through a window at a busy street.
Influence: Under Desharis’s influence, you cannot stand to be alone, and the more people you have around you, the better. You never voluntarily accept any task that requires you to be alone, and you argue vigorously against options that would split the party. If you have the opportunity to socialize with large groups of people (such as entering a boisterous tavern), you must take it unless doing so is overtly harmful,or you have reason to suspect the individuals are hostile to you.
Granted Abilities: Desharis grants abilities that reflect his desire to protect the civilized peoples of the world, plus provides a few that show his anger at the fey and other creatures of nature.
City-Dweller: While hosting Desharis, you move at your normal rate when moving through a crowd, rather than requiring two squares of movement for every square as is normal. In addition, you gain a +6 competence bonus on Gather Information and Knowledge (local) checks (and may use the latter even if you have 0 ranks in it).
Infinite Doors: Once per day, you can pass through an exterior doorway (one that leads from inside a building to outside), and appear through another exterior doorway within 3,000 yards. The two doors must both be set in buildings made of similar materials; for instance, you could pass from a wooden building to another wooden building, or a stone building to another stone building. You can either select a specific door with which you are familiar as the destination, or simply declare that you are appearing through the closest appropriate door to a given distance. (If no appropriate portal exists within range or in the direction you wish to travel, the effect does not function.) This is a teleportation effect.
Language of the City: You can speak with any humanoid, as per the tongues spell.
Smite Natural Soul: You may attempt to smite an animal, elemental, fey, or plant with a single melee attack.You add your Charisma bonus (if any) to the attack roll and deal 1 extra point of damage per effective binder level. If you accidentally smite a creature that is not one of the above types, the attempt has no effect. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.
Spirits of the City: You can animate objects, as the spell, as a caster of your binder level. Once you have used this ability, you must wait 5 rounds after the effect has expired, or all the objects have been destroyed,before you may do so again.