Prestige Classes


"You face three millennia of fighting skill. Perhaps you should take a moment and reconsider your decision."

-Aedar Windblade, eternal blade of the Hidden Grove

An eternal blade is an elf who learns a variety of exotic fighting maneuvers with the aid and advice of the spirit of a mighty, ancient elf warrior. The eternal blades once swore to defend the elves against the forces of evil, but in ages past, the blades turned against each other, causing a schism that echoes to the present day. Some eternal blades embrace the responsibilities that come with this class's training. Others seek to use their talents to further their own ends.

The eternal blades were once champions of Corellon Larethian. They served as guardians of the people, defenders of the faith, and wardens of the ancient elf forests. The blade guides, the spirits of ancient eternal blades who serve as advisors and teachers to the current generation of warriors, kept the blades on the path of righteousness, preserved their teachings across each generation, and helped guide them in protecting elfkind. For thousands of years, the eternal blades beat back goblin invasions, would-be conquerors, and other threats. From the lone blade who slew an ogre that threatened a village, to the mighty general who commanded hundreds of these warriors in battle, the eternal blades fought evil wherever and whenever it threatened their kin.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. In time, the eternal blades grew arrogant and aloof. After all, they had provided safety and security to the elf realms on countless occasions. If they kept the elves safe, did it not follow that their brethren owed them something in return? A growing faction within the blades believed that the eternal blades were the only ones fit to rule the elves. Even worse, a number of the blade guides turned to evil and abandoned the order. In time, the eternal blades fell into disfavor. More and more elves refused the blade guides' call. Today, the order is a mere shadow of its former glory, although legends tell of a heroic warrior who will one day lead the order back to prominence. The remaining blades hope that this triumph lies in their future, but many elves believe the story to be nothing but wishful thinking.


The elves hold that one does not choose to become an eternal blade. Rather, a blade guide, the spiritual companion to an eternal blade, chooses a young elf to walk this path and manifests in a young elf's dreams long before the child is ready to train as a warrior. Sometimes, these manifestations are merely flights of fancy. Other times, they are heralds of things to come. Most elves who become eternal blades begin their careers as warblades. Rangers, fighters, paladins, and barbarians who learn maneuvers from the Diamond Mind or Devoted Spirit disciplines also commonly enter this prestige class.

In a few cases, a blade guide appears to an elf late in life. This occurrence is rare, and it usually signals an elf warrior who is destined for great things. Legends tell that only five elves have been selected in this manner. Each of them became a great hero who led the blades to a great victory against seemingly impossible odds.


A blade guide, in large part, shapes and molds the persona of an eternal blade. The guide acts as it did in life. Some are gruff, demanding perfectionists. Others are quiet and withdrawn masters who prefer to let their combat expertise speak for them. Many eternal blades get along fine with their guides, but some bicker and argue. In particular, a blade guide's centuries of experience sometimes clash with a younger eternal blade's thirst for action. When you are playing an eternal blade, your DM should take on the role of your blade guide and help you form a relationship with it. When the party stops to discuss its plans, your guide likely makes its opinions known.

As a member of a dying order, you might want to strive to help pull the eternal blades back from the brink of oblivion. Remember, every action you take reflects on your order as a whole.


In combat, you are a war leader, a central focus of the group's melee resources. You must wade into combat to prevent threatening monsters from getting to your group's vulnerable spellcasters. The key to your class abilities lies in your talent to focus yourself for one encounter. A standard fighter might have more feats, and thus do more damage with his typical swing, but your abilities allow you to push yourself ahead of the curve. With judicious use of your eternal training, defensive insight, and tactical abilities, you can deal impressive amounts of damage, absorb attacks, or set up an ally's deadly attacks.


As noted above, you might not have selected this path so much as it chose you. Becoming an eternal blade does not involve an application process, an interview, or a test. Instead, the blade guides select elf warriors based on a nebulous criterion. Sometimes, they see a spark for heroism and self-sacrifice, and wish to cultivate it. In other cases, a blade guide cannot guess how it came to be linked to a specific person. All a guide knows is that its charge was chosen to become an eternal blade. Its place is not to ask why, but to guide the young aspirant unfailingly.

Once you become an eternal blade, you might seek out the nearest redoubt of this order (if one still stands) and confer with its elders. Some eternal blades never make contact with the order, seeing it as a failure. Rather, they seek to strike out on their own. Perhaps a mighty warrior will someday pull these wanderers together into an effective fighting force.

When selecting feats and skills, look to abilities that function in a wide range of circumstances. Some of your class features have a limited number of uses, or function only when you use a swift action. This puts them in competition with any boosts you might learn through martial maneuvers. Don't increase this competition by acquiring many more abilities that require actions. Instead, look for feats that provide a consistent, constant benefit, such as Weapon Specialization.


Once, the eternal blades had a tremendous range of resources to draw upon. Sadly, those glory days are gone. You can expect little help from other eternal blades in the form of food, shelter, weapons, and armor. Most will gladly stand beside you in battle, but the order is simply too weak to marshal an extensive store of material resources. You are welcome in the few remaining blade-held castles, but even these offer little comfort, with their crumbling walls and faded glory.


"We retreated merely to ascertain the enemy's strength. These upstart elves will be defeated ere the sun rises again, I swear by my life."

-Tergin Bloodoath, battle herald of Hextor (deceased)

The eternal blades comprise a small, dying group that rarely ventures far beyond elf lands. The difficulty of introducing a member of this prestige class into a campaign depends on when a player decides to take up the class. A character built from 1st level to enter this class might receive visions and dreams from his blade guide throughout his career. The guide might shepherd the character along the eternal blade path, leading him where he is needed most, giving clues that lead to lost treasure, ancient enemies, and so forth. For a higher-level character, the blade guide might simply manifest at a later age. Not every blade guide appears to an elf in childhood, and such a manifestation might herald an epic destiny for the character so chosen.


The good-aligned eternal blades gather in small groups called cadres. Each cadre is centered on a grove deep within the elven forests. These locations have names such as Blade Deep Grove, Ten Trees Stand, and the Eternal Redoubt. Many of these places were once majestic castles that housed hundreds of elite warriors. Today, they are mostly empty, dusty reminders of past glory. A number of them are located far from elf territories. In the long centuries since the groves were built, the forests around them might have been burned, a diverted river might have flooded them, and so forth. Orcs, goblins, or even a human king might occupy what was once an elf fortress. In other areas, the blades' redoubts have become monster-infested dungeons.

The eternal blades dwindle in numbers each year, and as their number grows smaller, they become increasingly unable to offer protection to their people. Many elf towns and cities haven't seen a visiting eternal blade in centuries. In some lands, these warriors are regarded as no more than myths from a bygone, better time.

A council of nine officers leads each grove, though in recent times many can't muster such numbers. Typically, as few as three or four senior elves coordinate the eternal blades of each grove. These warriors are usually too old to continue questing across the land. Instead, they seek to recruit new eternal blades and provide what training they can offer. Although a council might work hard, a deep sense of doom, misery, and pessimism rests over most groves. The elders can remember when hundreds of eternal blades would gather to defeat a dragon or throw back an invasion. Today, the elders watch in sorrow as fewer and fewer blades return from the quests they embark upon.

In some cases, a grove and the castle associated with it have fallen to invasion or been abandoned to the elements. The eternal blades have lost the location of many of these fortresses, and they are keen to reclaim them. Legend holds that a mighty artifact, the Blade of Endil, lies hidden in one such grove. Only when it is recovered can the eternal blades once again return to power.

NPC Reactions

Most folk know little of the eternal blades. Even deep within ancient elf forests, the blades are known only as a small band of once-renowned knights. Many elves see them as well-meaning but misguided. These elves wonder why the blades must cling to the shadows of a once-great past. As befits their chaotic nature, most elves see life and history as a series of changes. What worked in ages past might not be a good fit for today. In a typical elf community, an eternal blade is seen as an anachronism - a figure who has stepped out of history, yet refused to adapt to the modern world.

Elves who enjoy the protection and aid of the eternal blades have a much different view. These elves see the blades as helpful guardians. In the regions around their fortresses, the eternal blades can expect at least a friendly welcome, food, and lodging from any elves. Unfortunately for the blades, a dark chapter in their history prevents them from becoming truly welcomed into the community. In ages past, a faction of eternal blades attempted to seize control of the elf realms. Elves who fall under the blades' protection today appreciate and welcome their assistance, but they take care to maintain their independence from these warriors.

Few nonelves have any knowledge of the eternal blades. The few who remember regard the blades as stalwart defenders of the realm. Dwarves and gnomes in particular treat them with respect, because on several occasions the eternal blades have worked to form alliances between the elves and other folk.


Characters with ranks in Knowledge (history) can research eternal blades to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.

DC 10: The eternal blades are an order of elf knights who fell into disfavor long ago for attempting to seize political control of several elf lands.

DC 15: The eternal blades use a strange fighting style that is almost magical in nature.

DC 20: An eternal blade communes with the spirit of an ancient warrior. This spirit aids the warrior in battle by providing advice, menacing his enemies, and lending him strength and support.

Finding an eternal blade is no easy task, since the few remaining members of this order dwell far from the realms of humanity. The best way to find an eternal blade grove is to consult with elf sages or historians to find the supposed location of a grove, travel there, and hope that the place has not yet fallen into neglect and ruin.


Eternal blades are relatively easy to add to your game, since they are few in number and hard to find. The characters might not encounter any blades until well into the campaign, when you have decided that it is dramatically appropriate for them to appear. They might be forgotten defenders of an ancient item that the party seeks, or an elf warblade in the party might be the one prophesied to lead the eternal blades back to glory. This latter plot idea can be even more interesting if the elf PC is a reluctant hero, one who would rather seek glory on his own than deal with leading an entire order of warriors into battle.

Players with an interest in weaving epic plots and detailed backgrounds around their characters might find the eternal blade an interesting class. As written, the class cries out for a PC to take the role of the chosen warrior who leads the blades back to glory. Perhaps a great threat grows across the land, and only the eternal blades have the martial power needed to battle it. Until a skilled leader, such as a PC, emerges, the blades are too scattered and few in number to battle the threat.


The eternal blades' background casts them as rare, isolated, and mostly forgotten to make them easy to integrate into a campaign. Almost any setting with elf kingdoms of any sort can play host to these talented warriors.

If you need a villain, or wish to add a sinister layer to the blades, perhaps the schism within the blades' ranks persists to this day. The original elves who led the attempt to seize control of the forests are now blade guides who corrupt the order. Some of them have the ears of the blades' leaders, and they use this access to render the blades ineffectual or self-destructive. A young warrior who teeters between good and evil might have an evil blade guide, or even a pair of opposed guides, fighting for his soul.

Sample Encounter

Aedar Windblade is an eternal blade who has taken it upon himself to seek out and shepherd young blades. He hopes that, by offering advice and help, he can guide young elf warriors to the order and help it regain its former glory. In particular, he is convinced that a messianic figure is destined to restore the blades and lead them to a glorious victory. Perhaps the prophecies and signs he has heard point to a PC elf as the most likely candidate for this honor.

EL 13: Aedar Windblade (LG male elf fighter 10/eternal blade 3) can be found wandering the land with his warhorse, Skychaser. He is a gregarious, friendly person with a natural tendency to help others. He might come across the PCs as they fight a monster in the wilds, or the PCs might find him attempting to defend a helpless family against a gang of monsters. If the PCs show their mettle, and if an elf warrior is in the group, Aedar strikes up a friendship and tries to determine if the elf PC is a good candidate for his order. Even if the group lacks an elf, he might attempt to convince the PCs to help the blades complete an important quest or drive off a humanoid invasion.

Hit Die: d10.


To qualify to become a eternal blade, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Race: Elf.

Base Attack Bonus: +10.

Feats: Weapon Focus (any).

Martial Maneuvers: Any two Devoted Spirit or Diamond Mind maneuvers.

Class Skills

The eternal blade's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Martial Lore (Int), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: The Eternal Blade

Level Base
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 1 0 0 Blade guide, eternal training 1/day
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 0 0 0 Guided strike
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 1 1 0 Armored uncanny dodge, eternal training 2/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 0 0 0 Eternal knowledge
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 1 0 1 Eternal training 3/day
6th +6 +5 +2 +2 0 1 0 Defensive insight
7th +7 +5 +2 +2 1 0 0 Eternal training 4/day
8th +8 +6 +2 +2 0 0 0 Tactical insight
9th +9 +6 +3 +3 1 1 0 Eternal training 5/day
10th +10 +7 +3 +3 0 0 0 Island in time
Class Features

As an eternal blade, you fight and train with the assistance of a blade guide, the incorporeal spirit of an ancient member of this order. The guide is similar to a familiar in that it confers benefits to you when you are in close proximity to it. A blade guide also increases your flexibility, since it can teach you new maneuvers and lend you the wisdom of its combat experience.

All of the following are class features of the eternal blade prestige class.

Maneuvers: At each odd-numbered level, you gain a new maneuver known from the Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, or White Raven discipline. You must meet a maneuver's prerequisite to learn it. You add your full eternal blade levels to your initiator level to determine your total initiator level and your highest-level maneuvers known. At 3rd level, 6th level, and 9th level, you gain an additional maneuver readied per day.

Stances Known: At 5th level, you learn a new martial stance from the Devoted Spirit, Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, or White Raven disciplines. You must meet a stance's prerequisite to learn it.

Blade Guide (Su): You gain a blade guide, the spirit of an ancient member of the eternal blades, that provides you with advice, tactical assistance, and training. The blade guide is incorporeal, has hit points equal to your own, and is size Fine. Its AC is 18, and it can fly with perfect maneuverability and a speed of 30 feet.

If your blade guide is destroyed, or it somehow moves out of your line of effect, it reappears in your space in 1d6 rounds. The guide is the physical manifestation of a spirit that resides on the Outer Planes. Destroying a blade guide's form merely severs its link to the Material Plane for a short time.

A blade guide appears as a mote of white energy. It uses your senses to see and hear, and communicates with you by telepathy. Thus, it cannot interact with objects and creatures that you cannot see. Your blade guide is meant to aid you in combat, not serve as a scout.

Sometimes, your guide appears as a ghostly image of how it looked in life. This manifestation requires tremendous effort, and your guide chooses to attempt it only when it must communicate with others under dire circumstances. When a blade guide manifests, it can speak with others as normal. A blade guide can appear in this manner for up to 10 minutes per day. While it manifests, you lose access to your blade guide and any class abilities that require it to function. If a blade guide must make a saving throw, it uses your save modifier. It lacks skill ranks, feats, Hit Dice, and ability score modifiers.

Eternal Training (Ex): Your blade guide offers you intense martial training based on its years of combat experience in mortal life. Each night when you enter trance, your blade guide enters your mind. In your dreams, the two of you spar and practice across a hundred different battlefields. You fight ogres, trolls, and other monsters that your guide creates from the ether of dreams. You practice maneuvers beyond your normal capacity. With each night that passes, you become more and more skilled in the fighting arts.

Once per day, you can draw upon this nightly training to aid you in a single battle. You can choose one of two benefits. Each of these benefits lasts for one encounter.

You gain an insight bonus equal to your Intelligence bonus (if any) on attack rolls and damage rolls against creatures of a single type. If you select humanoid or outsider as the type, you must also choose a subtype.

Alternatively, you can gain the use of one maneuver from the Diamond Mind or Devoted Spirit discipline. You must meet the prerequisite for this maneuver as normal. A crusader/eternal blade who selects this option is immediately granted this maneuver. A maneuver gained with eternal training can be recovered with your normal recovery method (if you have one) during the encounter, but knowledge of the maneuver fades immediately after the encounter ends.

You gain an additional use per day of this ability at 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th level. Even if you have multiple uses of this ability per day, you can use this ability only once per encounter. You can use this ability only while you have access to your blade guide.

Guided Strike (Ex): Your blade guide assesses your enemies, seeking out weak points in their armor and offering you advice on where and how to strike. Drawing on its experience and keen eye for strategy and tactics, your guide grants you advice that can render even the most daunting foe impotent.

Beginning at 2nd level, as a swift action, you can confer with your guide concerning a single foe that you face. For the rest of your turn, you automatically overcome your foe's damage reduction, if any. You can use this ability only while you have access to your blade guide.

Armored Uncanny Dodge (Ex): So long as your blade guide is active, you gain the benefit of uncanny dodge starting at 3rd level. See the rogue class feature. If you already have uncanny dodge, you instead gain improved uncanny dodge. If you lose access to your blade guide, you lose this ability until your guide returns. You can use uncanny dodge or improved uncanny dodge even if you wear medium or heavy armor.

Eternal Knowledge (Ex): Your blade guide is an expert in a variety of areas. In addition to the tactical and strategic guidance it offers, it also grants you access to great stores of lore. From history to planar phenomena, your guide has seen almost everything.

When you attain 4th level, your blade guide can make Knowledge checks with a bonus equal to your eternal blade level + your Int modifier. When you first gain this ability, you can select two areas of knowledge. For each additional two levels you gain in the eternal blade prestige class (at 6th, 8th, and 10th level), your guide gains access to another area of knowledge.

Defensive Insight (Ex): Your blade guide's advice and insights grant you an intellectual edge in combat, but there is a fine line between knowing how to do something and executing it in combat. If you take a moment to focus yourself, you can apply your knowledge to the situation at hand.

Beginning at 6th level, as a swift action, you can size up an opponent and use your tactical knowledge against him. You gain a dodge bonus to AC equal to your Intelligence bonus (if any) against a single foe of your choice until the beginning of your next turn. You can use this ability only while you have access to your blade guide.

Tactical Insight (Ex): Although you might be young by the elves' reckoning, your blade guide lends you the experience and wisdom of one who has fought battles across countless fields. In almost any situation you face, you have the experience, tactical lore, and knowledge needed to defeat your enemy.

From 8th level on, as a swift action, you can assess a tactical situation and make an attack that improves the attacks of your allies. For the rest of your turn, any opponent you hit with a melee attack takes a penalty to AC equal to your Intelligence bonus (if any) for 1 round. This penalty applies only to attacks made by your allies. If you lose access to your blade guide, you lose this ability until it returns.

Island in Time (Ex): At 10th level, you can throw yourself into a fight under your blade guide's careful direction. You meld with it, allowing it to control your actions while you draw upon its vast combat experience.

Once per encounter, you can take your turn as an immediate action. Using this ability does not change your initiative count, and you can use all your actions as normal. For example, if your initiative count is 15, you could act normally, use this ability to act again on initiative count 14, then act normally on the following round on initiative count 15. If you lose access to your blade guide, you lose this ability until it returns.