The most deadly of all elven warriors is the Bladesinger (El'Tael in Elvish). While most elves dabble in swordplay and magic, the Bladesinger has made them his life. The Bladesinger is the champion of the elven way of life and sworn protector of his people. In order to become a Bladesinger, an elf must prove himself to be an accomplished wielder of both sword and sorcery, as well as mastering the elven art of the Bladesong. They use very discrete tactics and precise movement in battle to maintain a highly effective combat defense. Using a mixture of arcane and martial abilities, Bladesingers act as roving guardians of surface Tel'Quessir culture, seeking to promote Tel'Quessir ideals, and as protectors and champions of the eladrin and elven communities.
Bladesingers have a prominent place in the society of the Tel'Quessir of Faerûn, being renowned as heroes of the Tel'Quessir race, and welcomed in Tel'Quessir communities. Bladesingers are taught in a single master-apprentice tutelage system, with a master taking on a single apprentice to carry on the work of defending the Tel-Quessir and promoting their principals and way of life.
Hopeful Bladesingers must petition themselves to an established Bladesinger for training. The mentor can choose to either accept the applicant or to send him on his way until such time as he is truly “ready”. Once a mentor has accepted a pupil, he trains him in the way of the song, not releasing him until such time as the mentor feels his student has fully embraced the song. This could take anywhere from a year to half a century, depending on the teacher and the student. He is then publicly proclaimed a bladesinger and either given an assignment (Many elven nobles have a Bladesinger or two as a personal bodyguard) or quested to advance the elven way on his own. However, even a “free” Bladesinger may be called back in times of need and must heed that call.
The Seven Forms
The Initial training for young Tael is rigorous. Before finding the Bladesong, young Bladesingers are taught the Seven Forms beginning with the Center (or Haera). This is the beginning, and allows them a meditative state to calmly assess the situation, and react. The Seven Forms include different stances and breathing techniques among other things. The Seven Forms, however, are just the first notes of the Bladesong. They are drilled and drilled and drilled into the young Bladesinger's heads, and then when they can be preformed fluidly and without pause they must be promptly forgotten.
The Bladesong is the epitome of the bladesinger style. The poised steps of the Bladesong not only reveal the Bladesinger to be a creature of beauty during battle, but the steps also carry him or her into advantageous positions for either defensive or offensive combat. The Bladesinger can use for the song to instinctively grasp the flow of battle around him, and his feet will carry him through the intricate manuevers necesaary to optimize attack. Once learned it is relied on so heavily in combat that most Bladesingers don't even realize they are utilizing it.The Bladesong first manifests in the Bladesinger's heart. It meets the tempo of battle, and pulls them into it. Once there they see the battle as it is unfolding, and react accordingly. If the flow of battle changes so does the song. Typically, young Bladesingers try to pull away and make the song do as they want it to, but that is a loosing battle. As they grow older they find the song pulls them, and cannot be tamed. Many loose themself in it so fully that they even begin to sing in battle, releasing the song within their bodies out so that their enemies can hear it. Rarely are two Bladesinger's songs exactly the same. It is even more common, however, for a Bladesinger's song to manifest on its own. As the air passes across the blade of the sword, the air whistles and whines, and often, as if magically, follows the same pattern and melody as the song inside the Bladesinger's heart.
Standard Form: Those who practice the Bladesong appear as if they are dancing when they fight. Their movements seem misleadingly slow and elegant, deflecting opponent's blades while lazily drifting back to score hits themselves. While using this form, the character receives both a competence bonus to attack and a dodge bonus to Armor Class equal to the Song Bonus listed on Table 1 below (Equal to ½ of the bladesinger level +1, rounded down).
Offensive Form: The Bladesong shows it's practitioners that the sting of many small wounds can bring down the largest foe. By concentrating on the speed of the Song, as a full attack action, the character may make an additional attack at his highest base attack bonus. When employing this form however, all of the character's attacks do not receive any positive Strength modifier. This ability cannot be combined with any other ability or feat that allows extra attacks per round or increases the damage per attack.
Defensive Form: Practitioners of the Bladesong learn that building false perceptions help keep an opponent off guard and less effective in combat. His movements become deceptive, masking actual body positions with grand flowing gestures. When a character is employing this technique, he may sacrifice an attack to gain a dodge bonus to his AC equal to one-half (rounded down with a minimum of 1) of the sacrificed attack's bonus plus the Song Bonus listed on Table 1 below (Equal to ½ of the bladesinger level +1, rounded down). If the character is capable of multiple attacks, he may sacrifice more than one in this manner or use them normally.
Typically Bladesinger guilds exist to train young warriors. Members have the guilds seal tattooed on their person, and though the Bladesingers are defenders of the elven culture they report to their Guild first and foremost. These elves typically become their brothers, and they often travel, train and adventure together. The Guild even helps new Bladesingers buy weapons, armor and other items starting out, and expect the utmost loyalty after giving such gifts.
To qualify to become a bladesinger, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Race: Elf or half-elf.
Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Skills: Balance 2 ranks, Concentration 4 ranks, Perform (dance) 2 ranks, Perform (sing) 2 ranks, Tumble 2 ranks.
Feats: Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Weapon Focus (longsword or rapier).
Spells: Able to cast arcane spells of 1st level.
|Level||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||Bladesong Style||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|3rd||--||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|4th||Song of Celerity (2nd)||--|
|5th||--||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|7th||--||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|8th||Song of Celerity (4th)||--|
|9th||--||+1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class|
|10th||Song of Fury||--|
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Bladesingers gain no proficiency with any weapon. They gain proficiency with light armor but not with shields.
Spells per Day: At every odd-numbered level gained in the bladesinger class, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in an arcane spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained, except for an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one arcane spellcasting class be fore becoming a bladesinger, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for purposes of determining spells per day.
Bladesong Style (Ex): When wielding a longsword or rapier in one hand (and nothing in the other), a bladesinger gains a dodge bonus to Armor Class equal to his class level, up to a maximum of her Intelligence bonus. If the bladesinger wears medium or heavy armor, she loses all benefits of the bladesong style.
Lesser Spellsong (Ex): When wielding a longsword or rapier in one hand (and nothing in the other), a bladesinger of 2nd level or higher can take 10 when making a Concentration check to cast defensively.
Song of Celerity (Ex): Once per day, a bladesinger of 4th level or higher may quicken a single spell of up to 2nd level, as if she had used the Quicken Spell feat, but without any adjustment to the spell’s effective level or casting time. She may only use this ability when wielding a longsword or rapier in one hand (and nothing in the other). At 8th level and higher, she can quicken a single spell of up to 4th level.
Greater Spellsong (Ex): A bladesinger of 6th level or higher ignores arcane spell failure chances when wearing light armor.
Song of Fury (Ex): When a 10th-level bladesinger makes a full attack with a longsword or rapier in one hand (and nothing in the other), she can make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack and each other attack made in that round take a –2 penalty. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the bladesinger might make before her next action.
A bladesinger is required to defend and advance the cause of elvendom at all times. They are required to lend aid to any elf in need. Unless the elf is proven to be an enemy of the elven way of life, the bladesinger must sacrifice life and limb to save the elf's life. The bladesinger is free to determine whether there is, in fact, an elf in danger. However, should he fail to protect a legitimate charge, he will lose all special class abilities until he has atoned to the elven gods.
Bladesingers that turn away from the protection of elven life are branded as one of the Fallen. The tattoo of his guild is branded through with a black X. This identifies his status to all he meets. He may no longer gain any levels in the bladesinger class, but retains any abilities already gained. A Fallen bladesinger receives a -4 penalty to Charisma to any elf that he meets, and they generally react to him warily.