If you haven’t taken a look at the very beautiful and very sad anime/manga that is The Ancient Magus’ Bride/Mahō Tsukai no Yome, you are missing out. One of my favorite moments in the anime was Chise and Ruth/Ulysse forming their contract. So here is my loosely inspired homage to their bond as an akashic veil, with some additionally inspiration from the real world myths surrounding the church grim.
Descriptors: Good, Law, Shadow
Class: Huay, Lunar, Nexus, Radiant, Vizier, Volur
Slot: Body, Chest, Wrists
Tie now the silver thread. Tie now the roots of our veins. The holly, so that we may not be separated. The ivy, so that we may not come apart. Tie to the yew tree seven times. Until the day the snake spits out its tail. — Chise & Ruth
Shaping this veil causes a woven band of silver thread to appear around your wrist that links your shadow to a noble church grim. Your shadow reshapes itself to look like that of a large shaggy dog. Your shadow attacks foes as you direct it dealing 1d4 points of sacred damage per hit. It attacks a creature adjacent to you that you designate as a standard action, and continues attacking that creature each round thereafter on your turn as long as that creature remains adjacent to you. It uses your base attack bonus (possibly allowing it multiple attacks per round in subsequent rounds) plus your veilweaving modifier as its attack bonus. You can direct your shadow to attack a different creature as a standard action. Attacks made against the church grim shadow are treated as sunder attempts made against this veil and it has an AC equal to your touch AC.
This veil cannot be shaped by evil aligned creatures, undead creatures, or by creatures that have evil descriptor veils shaped.
Essence: For each point of essence invested in this veil the sacred damage dealt by your shadow increases by 1d4.
Chakra Bind (Wrists) By binding this veil to your Wrists chakra, you gain the ability to manifest a true church grim from your shadow. As a full-round action you can call forth a church grim that serves you faithfully. It treats any square you occupy, and a 30 foot radius around you, as it’s territory for the purposes of its territory weakness, but lacks the final duty and vigilant guardian abilities. The church grim can be dismissed as a move action.
For each point of essence invested in this veil, the church grim gains a +1 insight bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks, as well as gaining 5 additional hit points. For every two points of essence invested into this veil, the church grim gains 1 additional point of essence in its essence pool and its natural attacks deal an an additional 1d4 points of sacred damage . If at least 4 points of essence are invested in this veil the church grim gains 2 claw natural attacks appropriate for its size. These claw natural attacks are always treated as secondary natural attacks.
You lose access to this veil’s base effect while you have the church grim summoned. However, while adjacent to the church grim you gain a +2 insight bonus to AC.
Chakra Bind (Chest) In addition to the benefits granted by binding this veil to your Wrists chakra, binding this veil to your Chest chakra temporarily fuels the church grim with enhanced supernatural power. The church grim gains a number of additional Hit Dice (d10s) equal to the number of points of essence invested in this veil, and treats its essence receptacles as though it shares any improved essence capacity class feature increases you possess. Hit points gained from these additional HD start each day at full but are not restored when essence is removed and re-added; they must be healed normally.
Chakra Bind (Body) In addition to the benefits granted by binding this veil to your Chest chakra, binding this veil to your Body chakra increase the church grim’s might. It increase its size category to the next larger one, which grants it a +4 size bonus to Strength and Constitution, a –2 penalty to Dexterity, and a +2 enhancement bonus to your natural armor. In addition, it gains the benefits of Robe of the Forgotten Deitiy’s Body bind effect.
Sacred damage comes from attacks that are heavily infused with the power of sheer Good and carry this holy power over as a form of harmful energy to evil-aligned beings. Sacred damage deals full damage to incorporeal targets, and deals damage as if the weapon were good-aligned. As it is not a weapon damage type, it automatically bypasses all damage reduction.
Church Grim CR 3
This large, black canine has a shaggy coat and luminous red eyes. Spectral shadows seem to dance around it’s form. Though its appearance is fearsome, its bearing is noble, and its demeanor is gentle and kind.
LG Medium magical beast (akashic)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +7
AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 22 (3d10+6)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +4
Defensive Abilities robe of the forgotten deity (15% miss chance [25% in in dim light or darker lighting conditions])
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +6 (1d6+3 plus trip)
Special Attacks Castigating Howl
Str 15, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 12
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 16 (20 vs. trip)
Feats Essence-Honed Flesh, Iron Will
Skills Perception +7, Stealth +6 (+10 within its territory), Survival +2 (+6 scent tracking); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth when inside of its territory, +4 Survival when tracking by scent
Languages Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal, Necril, Sylvan
Essence Pool 4
SQ Final Duty, Gravetender, Spiritsense, Spirit Touch, Vigilant Guardian, veils shaped (robe of the forgotten deity – body)
Castigating Howl (Su) While within its territory the church grim can let loose a bone chilling howl as a standard action. This howl echoes throughout its entire territory. Evil creatures, and creatures that mean to harm or steal from the church grim’s territory or creatures within it, must make a successful DC 12 Will save or become frightened for 2d4 rounds, treating both the church grim and its territory as the source of their fear. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be affected by the same church grim’s howl for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
This ability can be invested with essence. For each point of essence invested in this ability its DC increases by +1 and its effect extends 10 feet beyond the boundaries of the church grim’s territory.
Final Duty (Ex) Even at the moment of its death a church grim seeks to protect its territory and its contents. If a church grim dies within its territory, its spirit appears above its remains and releases a soul chilling howl. The nearest church grim, on the same plane, that lacks a territory hears this howl regardless of distance and knows that a territory has lost its guardian. Such a church grim also knows with perfect accuracy the location of the unguarded territory.
The church grim can bind A single point of essence to this ability as an immediate action. If essence is bound to this ability, the church grim that hears this howl arrives in the territory within 2d12 hours, regardless of is current distance if it wishes to claim it.
Gravetender (Su) By spending a minute tending a grave by doing tasks such as filling in dirt, clearing snow, removing trash, or placing an offering(e.g. flowers, shiny stones, dead squirrels), a church grim can soothe the sprit of grave’s occupant. This functions as if the church grim had cast sanctify corpse on a corpse occupying the grave. A church grim can only use this ability within the confines of its own territory.
Spiritsense (Su) A graveyard grim gains a +2 insight bonus on Perception and Survival (tracking) checks vs undead creatures, and creatures that have stolen from, harmed, or desecrated a portion of their territory. Additionally, a church grim can use Perception instead of Knowledge (religion) to identify undead creatures.
This ability can be invested with essence. For each point of essence invested in this ability the insight bonuses it grants increases by +1.
Spirit Touch (Su) A church grim’s natural weapons are treated as though they had the ghost touch weapon special ability.
Territory (Ex) After residing in a cemetery, graveyard, or similar resting place of the dead for at least 24 hours a church grim church grim can designate it as its territory. This territory also includes any churches, temples, shrines, abbeys or similar structures dedicated to non-evil deities that are located on, or are adjacent to, their territory. It is possible for a church to take a lone grave as its territory. In such a case their territory includes a 250 foot radius around such a grave. A church grim can only have one location designated as its territory at any given time. A church grim that does not have a territory or that is absent from its territory is sickened and loses access to a number of its abilities until such time that it gains a territory or returns to its current territory.
Vigilant Guardian (Su) While within its territory, a church grim is treated as being under the effects of a constant see alignment effect. It can change the alignment it can see with this ability as a full-round action.
Environment any land (graveyards, cemeteries, resting places of the dead)
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–5)
Though fearsome in appearance, church grim are good natured creatures that seek only to tend the resting places of the dead. They are most often found dwelling in such places and draw some of their strength from them.
Many legends hint that church grim were all originally dogs that were laid to rest alongside their masters, or that died waiting for their deceased masters to return. Regardless of their origin, church grim are known to be fierce protectors of whatever burial ground they make their home. They are also known for attempting to offer comfort and solace to mourners, especially lone ones.
A church grim will normally never attack a creature that enters their territory, so long as the creature is not there for an evil purpose, to steal from the dead, or to damage graves or other structures. They will even permit the presence of evil creatures and undead, so long they show proper respect to the dead. Though they do keep a close eye on such visitors and are hostile towards them.
The church grim above presented above has invested 1 essence each in the Robe of the Forgotten Deity veil, the Essence-Honed Flesh feat, and the sprititsense ability. It has also bound 1 point into its final duty ability.