A shifter avenger
An avenger is an agent of one or more gods who seeks to bring divine wrath unto the enemies of their divine patron. Invested with traditions both ancient and quite often secret, avengers serve as a well-crafted weapon of their deity, finding the enemies of their faith and striking them down. Of all a god's agents they are the most deadly, marked and empowered by rituals of investiture similar, but not identical to those that mark the training of a cleric or paladin.
Avengers are not a part of every faith or organization. The work of an avenger is, for one thing, abhorrent to pacifists, since, in all but name, avengers are killers working on the behalf of the divine. Similarly, members of their own religion are as likely to view avengers as heretics as champions of the divine or perhaps an unpleasant necessity. As a result, many avenger traditions are so secretive that they are largely forgotten by the unitiated. This is not a problem for avengers, whose methodology requires a degree of focus that makes outside distractions most unwanted. Most avengers are, in fact, trained in monasteries akin to those used by monks.
The races most likely to breed avengers are humans, but when given to the task elves and shifters make also make excellent avengers. Regardless of race, avengers most commonly serve deities that are less considered about good and evil than those that openly promote virtue. This is not to say avengers are usually evil, they are most commonly neither, serving gods such as Kelemvor or Oghma, but the duties of an avenger are contrary at times to the mandate of a god with a forgiving or compassionate nature and an avenger must match the alignment of their deity. Avengers are often also aligned along the lines of ancient feuds between the gods, seeking out the worshipers of their patron's rival or enemy.
Avengers, like other divine spellcasters, cast prayers, also known as divine spells. Avengers, like clerics and paladins but unlike invokers draw on the power of their god through rituals of investiture and sophisticated training, rather than by innate talent. However, avengers so internalize these rites that it could be said that they cast prayers instinctively, rather than with conscious purpose. Avenger prayers, sometimes called "mysteries," are generally deadlier than those wielded by other divine spellcasters, though with a number of adverse effects that go along with the power.
Avengers typically have no training in the use of any armor and are limited most often to the use of simple weapons. However, this martial inferiority is upset by avengers’ training in other manners. For instance, an avenger has no clear need for armor since their god wards them against damage with a similar degree of effect. Likewise, the prayers that an avenger wields are so deadly that there is little need for the avenger to use a weapon any more deadly than a dagger or spear, the oath of enmity prayer allowing avengers deadly accuracy in their attacks. Avengers do, however, commonly use holy symbols as implements.
Like other divine spellcasters, avengers have access to channel divinity prayers, which enable them to draw directly on the power of their god. For avengers in particular, the prayers abjure undead and divine guidance are gained. The former allows an avenger to blast an undead creature with radiant power and draw it closer to be struck again while divine guidance lets an avenger imbue an ally with their god’s power, giving them the chance to strike once more against a foe under the effect of the oath of enmity prayer.
All avengers are trained to focus their mind, body, and soul towards the goal of eliminating the foes of their god. However, how they do this varies from avenger to avenger, though most follow one of the following methodologies.
While most avengers prefer to hunt the enemies of their faith as a solitary hunter, some prefer to work in packs. Individuals of this philosophy are most often commanding avengers, who learn the censure of unity, which enables an avenger to take advantage of their allies' positioning for their own benefit, cornering an enemy in order to make their attacks all the more deadly. Like other avengers, practitioners of the censure of unity value a high degree of perceptiveness in their line of work, but commanding avengers also encourage intellectual growth and, to a lesser degree, nimble reflexes.
Isolating avengers aim in battle to corner their foes and cut them off from potential allies, skewing the situation against them. As such, isolating avengers focus on taking down one enemy and one enemy alone at a time, often learning the censure of retribution variety of oath of enmity, which makes it dangerous for other enemies to intervene in an avenger’s battle between themselves and their target, wreaking deadly vengeance through cunning and divine power on the target if they are injured by others. Focused, even compared with other avengers, isolating avengers are both wise and intelligent, having a tactical awareness of the battlefield that makes them deadly enemies.
Agile and dexterous, pursuing avengers take the approach of earnest persistence as their methodology. Although pursuing avengers are less capable than other avengers of manipulating the battlefield to their benefit, they have a dogged tenacity about them that makes it difficult for their target to escape them, no matter how or where they flee. Often learning to use oath of enmity through the censure of pursuit, pursuing avengers learn to exploit the stumbles and mistakes a fleeing enemy makes, using this in conjunction with divine magic to reap attacks that are even more deadly on escaping foes than those who turn and fight upfront. As one might expect, pursuing avengers hence value both awareness of one’s environment as well as a high degree of dexterity.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2, p. 32. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2, p. 33. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2, p. 31-32. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
- ↑ Rob Heinsoo, Richard Baker, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (July 2009). Divine Power, p. 6. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 978-0-7869-4982-3.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2, p. 32-33. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.