Ad Astra Per Arcana
The Hellbred are damned souls who repent of their evil ways in the moment after death, before their condemnation to the hells. The gods of goodness and justice, suspicious of the hellbred’s motives, allow them to return to life to prove the truth of their repentence, but having come so late, only the most epic victories over the forces of evil will allow the hellbred to achieve that goal. Thus, hellbred throw themselves with reckless abandon into every doomed cause, knowing that in all likelihood, their struggle will still be in vain. Meanwhile, the tyrants of the nine hells have had a taste of the hellbred’s soul, and resent them for eluding their grasp at the final moment. They nurse a special hatred for the hellbred, and scheme their downfall; the torments of the hellbred who fail to achieve salvation (which is most of them) are multiplied a hundred fold.
By means of the Scourging, the damned soul is restored to life. The Scourging removes most of the hellbred’s memories of their past life, including the precise nature of their crimes, releasing them from the claims of evil and guilt on them and giving them a second chance. They retain only a dull, shadowy memory, enough to drive them and remind them of why they have been given this second chance. The Scourging changes their appearance utterly, putting them into a new, diabolical body with smooth red skin and horns. Once the scourging is complete, they are dropped, fully-formed, into the realm of the living—as one final mercy, in proximity to whatever nexus the gods of fate have provided as the hellbred’s slim chance of salvation.
Humanoid (hellbred) Despite their appearances, hellbred are humanoids.
Infernal mien (Ex): Regardless of alignment or class restrictions, a hellbred can cast spells with the evil descriptor and never gains negative levels while wielding evil magic items, such as unholy weapons or demon armor. This ability does not shield a hellbred from losing access to class features if he violates a class’s code of conduct. For example, using a +4 unholy longsword to slay orcs would not violate a hellbred paladin’s code of conduct, though using the weapon to kill another paladin would.
Hellbound (Su): A devil has a claim on the hellbred’s soul. As a result, the hellbred can be restored to life only by a resurrection spell or greater magic.
Devil’s Favor: A hellbred gains Devil’s Favor as a bonus feat, even if he doesn’t meet the requirements.
Infernal aspect: Upon completing the Scouring, a hellbred chooses one of the following aspects to manifest. Once chosen, the choice cannot be changed.
Body (Ex): A hellbred who chooses body as his infernal aspect gains a +4 bonus on saves against poison. In addition, he gains a +2 bonus to Constitution and a -2 penalty to Intelligence. The process of the "Scourging strengthens his body but weakens his mind.
- At 4 HD, he gains a bonus devil-touched feat.
- At 14 HD, he gains another bonus devil-touched feat.
Spirit (Su): A hellbred who selects the spirit aspect acquires infernal senses, gaining darkvision out to 30 feet and a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition, the process of the Scourging leaves him with a strong mind but a weak body. The hellbred gains a +2 bonus to Charisma and takes a -2 penalty to Constitution.
- At 6 HD, his darkvision extends to 60 feet
- At 9 HD, his darkvision extends to 120 feet
- At 12 HD, he gains the ability to see in darkness, even that created by a deeper darkness spell.
Automatic languages: Infernal. Hellbred gain the ability to speak Infernal upon their transformation, but they do not lose the ability to speak languages they previously knew before the Scourging.
Path of Redemption: Hellbred paladins can leave that class and return to it without penalty.
Image by Syreene