Banner spirits are literal incarnations of the esprit de corps of a body of soldiers, summoned into existence by a regimental magician. They are common to the Empire of Splendour but other nations with an organised army often summon them. A banner spirit usually appears as a barely perceptable sheen surrounding the soldiers and their banner, but they can manifest as a visible form. This is typically a large, idealised version of the soldiers that it supports although some have animal features or other variations. An Imperial banner spirit often appears in the guise of the geomantic patron of soldiers, Glass Frog, as a tall, muscular humanoid frog with a glowing throat pouch and a golden spear. Regardless of the visual form that a banner spirit takes, its statistics are always the same.
Banner spirits rarely intervene physically in a battle, but instead boost the morale of their regiment and strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. The Imperial Rules of War have harsh penalties for a commander who orders his banner spirits to physically fight, but other militaries are not so bound to tradition. In the war-torn Ashoyin Protectorate it is quite common to see banner spirits fighting each other above the heads of battling armies, when the various sides in the civil war meet.
Large Elemental (Spirit)
Hit Dice: 8d8+40 (76 hp)
Speed: Fly 30 ft. perfect (6 squares).
Armor Class: 18 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +6 deflection), touch 18 , flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+15
Attack: +1 spirit weapon incorporeal melee +8 (1d10+1) or +1 spirit weapon melee +12 (1d10+11) or +1 spirit weapon ranged +7 (1d10+8)
Full Attack: +1 spirit weapon incorporeal melee +8 (1d10+1) or +1 spirit weapon melee +12 (1d10+11) or +1 spirit weapon ranged +7 (1d10+8)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./ 10 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities, spirit weapon
Special Qualities: Elemental traits, inspire courage, manifestation, symbiosis
Saves: Fort +11, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities: Str 25, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 15
Skills: Intimidate +13, Perform (battle song) +13
Feats: Cleave, Iron Will, Power Attack
Environment: Spirit plane.
Organization: One per regiment.
Challenge Rating: 7
Advancement: Large (9-12HD), Huge (13-16 HD) or by character class.
Level Adjustment: —
A banner spirit only deigns to enter physical combat if the banner to which it is anchored is threatened. It usually manifests as an oversized idealised version of the soldiers it supports, wielding a spiritual version of their weaponry. However it may appear, the ‘armour’ and ‘weapons’ of the spirit are merely constructed from its own essence and always work the same way in game mechanics terms. Banner spirits can attack with incorporeal touch attacks when manifested, but they sometimes choose to become fully embodied, where they gain the ability to employ their great strength.
Inspire Courage (Su): The mere presence of a banner spirit inspires the soldiers of its regiment and fills them with courage. All members of the regiment within 300 feet of the banner, and who can see the banner, gain a +1 morale bonus to all saving throws against fear, and a +1 morale bonus to attack and damage rolls. It may do this even when in the Spirit Plane.
Manifestation (Su): A banner spirit is normally invisible and native to the Spirit Plane. It can choose to become visible but incorporeal. In this form it can use its spell-like abilities and incorporeal attacks. It can also become embodied, taking on corporeal form. In this form it can make physical attacks, and use all of its other powers. A banner spirit may change between any of these forms at will, once per round.
Spell-like Abilities (Sp): 1/round – Cause fear (DC 13). 3/day – Fear (DC 15), heroism. Saving throws are Charisma based. Caster level 8th. A banner spirit must be manifested to use these abilities.
Spirit Weapon (Su): The appearance of a banner spirit's weaponry may change, but it always functions as a +1 two-handed melee weapon, causing 1d10 damage with a x2 critical multiplier and threatening on a 20. The type of damage; piercing, bludgeoning or slashing, depends upon the shape of the weapon. Banner spirits of troops armed mainly with ranged weapons may manifest a ranged version of the weaponry which causes 1d10 damage plus strength modifier and has a range increment of 200 ft. They usually have the Far Shot feat (increasing range increment to 300 ft.) instead of Cleave.
Symbiosis (Ex): A banner spirit is attached to a military standard and the regiment that it represents. If the standard is destroyed, or the regiment reduced to one tenth of its original complement, the banner spirit is also destroyed.
(c) 2008 The Creative Conclave.