Crown of Shadows
There is a cry across the shattered land of Eredane, one that cannot be heard by mortal ears. The spirits of the land itself are wracked by the pain of Izrador’s triumph and by the vampiric lust with which he drains the magic from the world. Some say that Aryth herself is responding to the Shadow’s rape of all life and energy. She cannot do so directly, they say, and she has therefore chosen messengers, warriors and champions of her cause.
Others suggest that these adventurers simply come to the forefront via fate, luck, or determination. These have the blood of angels and devils in their veins or can trace their ancestry to giants, lycanthropes, or any number of other magical creatures. It is only natural, these storytellers say, that such exceptional folk will come to the forefront of the fight against the Shadow.
Regardless of the source of these powers, each person follows her own path, one determined by the unique expression of her abilities. Some may choose to follow their destinies, while others will deny the gifts they have been given. However, these are not professions, religions, or skills . . . they are part of who the character is. It is these powers, and the choices and responsibilities that come with them, that set the PCs apart from all of the other individuals in the world of MIDNIGHT. And it is those choices and responsibilities that define the PCs, for good or ill, as heroes.
Heroic paths are one of the few edges that characters in MIDNIGHT have, but it is a potent one. Some hone their skills to best utilize their path; for instance, someone born to the naturefriend heroic path is quite likely to find himself becoming a wildlander. On the other hand, some heroic paths can have surprising effects on a character; the most peaceful channeler may suddenly find herself directing seasoned warriors in combat.
Heroic Path Mechanics
All PCs must choose a single heroic path at 1st level. This choice is permanent—a character can never change her heroic path or have more than one. There are no prerequisites for any heroic path; granted abilities are gained at the listed character level, regardless of which class a character selects. Sample heroic paths are presented below; others are possible, however, and many have yet to be discovered.
Unless otherwise noted, all heroic path abilities are extraordinary abilities. Spells granted by a heroic path are spell-like abilities and function at a caster level equal to the character’s current level. Ability score increases are inherent bonuses. Other abilities are explained in the individual entries for each heroic path.