Athasian Minstrel

"Set aside your cares for a time, my lords and ladies, and lend an ear to my song. Tomorrow is for toil and worry; tonight we make revel!"

The minstrels of Athas are entertainers to the wealthy and powerful elite of the city-states. Singers, acrobats, poets, dancers, and storytellers, minstrels tour the cities of Athas in troupes or individually, making a living with their wits and talents. The civilized peoples of Athas have long celebrated minstrels, and by tradition all but the poorest or most suspicious of hosts are proud to open their doors to traveling performers. Hosting a minstrel or sponsoring a troupe’s performance reflects well on the host, and most Athasians are eager to forget their troubles with a few hours of song and dance. Nobles often send troupes of minstrels to one another as gifts; it is seen as a great insult to refuse such a gift, even when all involved know that minstrels are often spies or assassins.
    The most skilled (or fortunate) minstrels are highly paid companions to nobility, trusted advisors or agents who enjoy the most intimate confidences of their patrons. Minstrels are often retained by noble houses to tutor young nobles or teach them about the world. They might serve as bodyguards and fighting instructors at the same time. Minstrels who belong to a troupe lack the comfort and trust bestowed on a kept minstrel, but they enjoy the freedom to travel and the aid of a network of informants and allies throughout the Tyr Region. The poorest and most humble minstrels are simple wandering storytellers or jugglers who perform for their supper from night to night.
    Many minstrels have a dark side they conceal beneath their charm and talent. Those with ambition and ruthlessness find opportunities in the employ of the elite classes. Minstrels often lead double lives as blackmailers, thieves, spies, or assassins; a minstrel’s visit or a troupe’s performance might conceal a mission of espionage or murder. They are renowned as masters of poison, concealed weapons, and subtle trickery. Even the humblest wandering minstrel with threadbare cloak and battered lyre might be more than he or she seems—there’s no better spy than someone who seems harmless and is welcome wherever he or she goes.

Athasian Minstrel Feature Poisoned Strike

You splash a few drops of poison on your weapon from a vial at your belt, and slash at your foe. The pain can bring your target to its knees.

Encounter        Martial, Poison, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee or Ranged weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 1[W] damage plus 5 poison damage. Until the end of your next turn, if the target willingly moves more than 2 squares or makes an attack, it then falls prone, and it is immobilized until the end of its next turn.
Level 11: 2[W] plus 5 poison damage.
Level 21: 3[W] plus 5 poison damage.


Athasian Minstrel Utility 2Concealed Weapon

You have learned how to keep a weapon completely hidden from searching eyes.

Encounter        Martial
Minor Action      Personal

Target: One weapon you’re holding

Effect: The target weapon is invisible until the end of the encounter or until you attack with it. The first target you attack with a weapon affected by this power grants you combat advantage for that attack.


Athasian Minstrel Attack 3Fever Poison

You draw a hidden vial and sprinkle its contents on your weapon in one swift motion before attacking. This poison dazes and disorients your foe.

Encounter        Martial, Poison, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee or Ranged weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] damage plus 5 poison damage. Until the end of your next turn, if the target willingly moves more than 2 squares or makes an attack, it is dazed until the end of its next turn.

Level 13:

  Hit: As above, but 3[W] damage plus 5 poison damage.

Level 23:

  Hit: As above, but 4[W] damage plus 5 poison damage.


Athasian Minstrel Attack 5Draining Poison

A splash from a tiny vial coats your weapon with a lethal venom that cripples the target with cramping muscles.

Daily        Martial, Poison, Reliable, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee or Ranged weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends). The first time the target takes the ongoing poison damage, it takes a -4 penalty to its next saving throw against the ongoing damage. The target is also slowed until the start of its next turn.

Level 15:

  Hit: As above, but 2[W] damage plus 5 poison damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).

Level 25:

  Hit: As above, but 2[W] damage plus 10 poison damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).


Update (6/28/2011)
Changed to match July update.

Athasian Minstrel Utility 6Envenomed Weapon

You smear prepared poison on your weapon to erode your enemy’s stamina.

Encounter        Martial
Minor Action      Melee touch

Target: One weapon you're wielding

Effect: The next creature hit by a melee attack using this weapon before the end of the encounter gains vulnerable 5 poison until the end of your next turn.


Athasian Minstrel Attack 7Crystal Spider Poison

You splash a few drops of a debilitating poison on your blade before striking, briefly weakening your foe.

Encounter        Martial, Poison, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee or Ranged weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] damage plus 5 poison damage. Until the end of your next turn, if the target willingly moves more than 2 squares or makes an attack, it is then weakened until the end of its next turn.

Level 17:

  Hit: As above, but 3[W] damage plus 5 poison damage.

Level 27:

  Hit: As above, but 4[W] damage plus 5 poison damage.


Athasian Minstrel Attack 9Insidious Poison

You envenom your weapon with a lethal poison that is exceptionally difficult to shake off. Few survive its touch.

Daily        Martial, Poison, Reliable, Weapon
Standard Action      Melee or Ranged weapon

Target: One creature

Attack: Primary ability vs. AC

Hit: 2[W] + ability modifier damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends). The first time the target takes the ongoing poison damage, the target cannot make a saving throw against the ongoing poison on its turn.

Level 19:

  Hit: As above, but 2[W] + ability modifier damage plus 5 poison damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).

Level 29:

  Hit: As above, but 2[W] + ability modifier damage plus 10 poison damage, and ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends).


Update (6/28/2011)
Changed to match July update.

Athasian Minstrel Utility 10Framing Assassin

You have mastered a fighting technique in which you lunge swiftly toward one opponent to strike at other foes behind it.

Daily        Martial, Stance
Minor Action      Personal

Effect: You assume the stance of the framing assassin. Until the stance ends, you can use a square adjacent to you that is occupied by an enemy as the square of origin for your weapon attacks.


Published in Dark Sun Campaign Setting, page(s) 39.