Ability Requirements: Strength 9

Dexterity 15

Wisdom 13

Charisma 12

Allowed Races: Human

The Dervish is a warrior subclass concerned with the preservation of the Baklunish tenets of society. Though they can and will fight in a just cause, they prefer to follow more peaceful paths. Their skills make them excellent judges and mediators, roles which they commonly fill among Baklunish peoples. A Dervish is a religious, scholarly person, who studies and meditates in an effort to approach holiness and approval in the eyes of the god, Al-Akbar.

The Dervish must be of Good alignment, though there is no requirement regarding law, chaos, or neutrality. Furthermore, all Dervishes follow the faith of Al-Akbar. Though they often revere other gods as well, Al-Akbar is the representation of all the Dervish holds dear, the embodiment of Baklunish honor, compassion, and justice. Dervishes progress on the Ranger/Paladin experience chart, but gain clerical saving throws.

Dervishes can use any weapon. However, they are limited to wearing studded leather or lighter armor, and they do not use shields. The Dervish comes from a culture with a history of being nomadic, and are trained in their fighting skills with an emphasis on speed rather than strength. Also, because of this emphasis, a Dervish may, at first level, select two weapons that they may use at the same time at no penalty. This two-weapon skill may only ever be used with those two weapons, and the weapons must, of course, be ones that can normally be wielded in such a manner. For example, the Dervish may choose two shortswords, or a handaxe and sickle, etc.

Though they don't normally seek out battle, Dervishes do believe in protecting the people under their care, as well as combating the evils Al-Akbar stands against. Thus, at fourth level, a Dervish may choose a weapon to focus in, similar to the specialization ability of the fighter. This gives them a +1 bonus both to hit and to damage with that weapon from that point on. If they so wish, this focus weapon can be one of the two they chose at first level for the two-weapon fighting skill; however, in the focus bonus may only ever be applied to one of the two weapons the Dervish is using. Normally this will be the one used in the Dervish's primary hand, but if the Dervish is ambidextrous they can choose which hand gets the bonus. This limitation is due to the fact that two weapons used at once will get in the way of each other if they're both waved around too much, regardless of how much training the character has had.

Dervishes begin at first level with 4 weapon proficiencies, and gain more as a warrior. They also begin at first level with 4 non-weapon proficiencies, to reflect their scholarly bent. Again, they gain more as a warrior. However, they also begin play with a bonus proficiency in Religion.

As holy warriors dedicated to the path of Al-Akbar, Dervishes do gain a limited number of special abilities. They can Detect Evil Intent, as a paladin does, up to 60 feet away simply by concentrating on locating evil in a particular direction. A Dervish can do this as often as desired, but each attempt takes a round.

Also, the Dervish has the ability to Bless a Weapon once per week, for use against evil and unholy creatures. This gives no actual bonuses to hit or damage. However, it does allow the Dervish to use the blessed weapon to harm creatures that normally may only be hit by magical weapons. At levels 1 to 4, a blessed weapon may act as a +1 weapon for this purpose. From level 5 to 8, it may act as a +2 weapon. At level 9 and beyond it will function as a +3 weapon. The duration of the blessing is always 10 rounds.

The most feared ability of the Dervish is their fighting trance. Once per day, and only when battling in a just cause (slaying trolls as part of an adventuring party does not count; however a group of ogres intent on destroying a village would), a Dervish may enter this fighting trance, which lasts for 5 rounds +1 round per the Dervish's level. While in this trance, the Dervish focuses her righteousness into battle, becoming a whirl of motion that grants her a -4 Armor Class bonus, as well as an additional +3 to hit and damage. Additionally, her faith that Al-Akbar is with her grants her an extra +2 hit points per level for the duration of the trance. Any damage done to her while in trance is taken first from these phantom hit points. When she comes out of trance, these hit points vanish, as does all damage applied to them. For example, a 4th level Dervish with 35 hit points enters a fighting trance against a bandit intent on harming two children. The Dervish gains an extra 8 hit points, bringing his total to 43 for the length of his trance. During the next 9 rounds, the bandit does 10 points of damage to our heroic Dervish. The first 8 are taken out of the phantom hit points, and the other two are applied to his actual 35 hit points. At the end of that time, the Dervish comes out of trance and loses the extra 8 hit points. This brings him back down to 35 max. However, he is now at 33 hit points.

Finally, as far as the Dervishes are concerned, their most holy ability is that of the oracle. Once per month, a Dervish may attempt to find the answer to an important problem. This can be anything from "To stop the feud between these two families, I must discover which actually owns that field" to "What is the antidote for the poison killing my friend?" To activate this ability, the Dervish announces he is going to use it, and then rolls percentile dice. To find the answer, he must roll under the total of his Charisma + Wisdom + current level. If he succeeds at this roll, then something will occur in the next few moments that the Dervish knows will lead him to the answer he seeks. The DM is encouraged to be creative here. Rarely does an answer suddenly pop into the Dervish's head. Though this has occasionally been known to happen (more for the god's purposes than the Dervish's, usually), it is much more common for the Dervish to have a flash of insight, or to coincidentally start a conversation with a person who has heard of that poison, and knows a rumor that the cure lies with a sage living in the Great Kingdom. Perhaps the Dervish feels an inclination to follow a rabbit that runs across his path, and along the way he notices an old and worn property mark that both the warring families missed. The fact that the Dervish can find the answer does not mean that the answer is easy to find. Sometimes the Dervish finds it necessary to go on a quest of some type to finally solve the mystery. Typically, the successful use of this power will point the Dervish in the right direction, rather than solve his problem for him, especially when the problem is a deep or complex one. Answers to such things must be earned, and the god does not appreciate the abuse of this power for selfish or inane reasons. A Dervish who uses this ability frequently to answer puzzles he only needs to think about, or who attempts to do something such as find a pirate's buried treasure so that he can become personally wealthy (as opposed to, say, a village that needs money for grain so it doesn't starve) will find himself no longer able to use this power.

Dervishes are not common. They live by a strict code of honor and must meet stringent requirements to be considered worthy by their god. The Baklunish have a code called the Four Feet of the Dragon, and this is what the Dervish must hold to, reinforce, and encourage in himself and others. These four feet are honor, family, generosity, and piety, and a Dervish will do everything in her power to uphold all of them. They are the code that, like Al-Akbar, represents everything good and wholesome about Baklunish society.

Honor has no complex behavioral code to go with it. In fact, a person's honor is mostly enhanced by following the other three tenets. It tends to mean nothing more than following morality, the law of one's land, and generally not doing anything to shame oneself or associates.

Family is the most important tenet to a Baklune. Family comes before all other things. One must be loyal to one's family, take care of them when they need it, help one's relatives to thrive and be happy. The flip side is that other members of the family should do the same. Dervishes swear a special oath declaring all Baklunes their family, and thus will do everything in their power to help any Baklune in need of aid. Also, many Dervishes understand the tenet of generosity as well, and have big enough hearts to come to the aid of *anyone* who needs it, not just Baklunes. Of course, a Dervish's family often holds a special place in their heart, being the ones who raised her, and even a traveling Dervish will often make a habit of periodically writing letters or sending money home to her poor parents.

The third tenet, generosity, is rather self-explanatory. Hospitality, sharing money and possessions rather than hoarding them, and trying to be kind to others even when they're rude all fall under the tenet of generosity.

Lastly, piety is also self-evident. Dervishes try to live their lives as a prayer to their god and an example to others. They spend a great deal of time meditating on the flaws in their natures and how to better themselves, and, through their actions, they attempt to encourage others to do the same. Though not everyone has a calling to morally perfect themselves, everyone can make small changes. By sharing her money with villagers, a Dervish can demonstrate to a banana-hoarding child how to be more giving. By defending a town from raiders, a Dervish can show townspeople how to be more assertive and independent. By passing wise judgements when citizens come to a Dervish for mediation, the Dervish can illustrate compromise and harmony.

Though it may seem simple for a Dervish to live by those four tenets and be a good example to others, it can truly be very difficult. Though Dervishes are not well-known outside of Baklunish lands, most Baklunish will recognize a Dervish and accord him a great deal of respect. Because the Baklunes know the rules Dervishes try to live by, Baklunish often look up to them and try to follow their example. Also, in most Baklunish lands, Dervishes function as a kind of moral authority, and are sometimes even recognized by law as official judges and mediators. Thus, the decisions and judgements a Dervish makes can be legally binding. Even when that is not the case, many Baklunes will turn to a Dervish for civil or personal decisions, such as property disputes they don't want to take to court, or how to help a marriage work. Because of this, a Dervish can feel a great deal of pressure to be a proper example.

Outside of Baklunish lands, Dervishes typically consider themselves to be bringing the Baklunish tenets out into the world, which often needs some sort of ethical improvement. There, a Dervish can find their work even more difficult, as she tries to help people who are suspicious of her and attempts to spread a faith that most people disparage. Sometimes even her actions will be ridiculed by boorish people who don't care about morality. But, all is not lost, as the traveling Dervish often finds himself joining up with other people of like mind, such as paladins, rangers, and clerics of the more peaceful faiths, and such groups will sometimes make it a practice to go adventuring simply in order to do a good turn for others.

Though Dervishes do not follow tenets of honor and righteousness to the extent of a paladin, they can go astray. Similar to a paladin or ranger, a Dervish who intentionally commits an evil act will find himself no longer a Dervish, but only a fighter. Also, a Dervish who is somehow forced into an evil act may no longer gain experience until he has performed some penance for his crime. Also, a Dervish who commits acts against his code will find himself losing special abilities, beginning with the fighting trance, until he does something in recompense. The DM may judge what would be a worthy penance. The Dervish doesn't necessarily know unless he goes to a cleric of either Al-Akbar or Istus to find out, although the Dervish can try to assume a penance for himself. If he chooses a worthy one, then his abilities and standing will be granted back to him. Otherwise, he will find his situation unchanged. At the DM's option, a Dervish who has committed a particularly terrible crime, or who simply seems to act this way too often, can either be required to go on a quest (for which he will need to speak to a cleric of Al-Akbar or Istus-because Istus is the goddess of Fate and just knows stuff like that), or may simply no longer find himself a Dervish.

If a character loses his Dervish class, the character will revert to a fighter of equal level (losing any experience he gained that would put him beyond that level), will lose all special abilities, and will forever after only be able to progress as a fighter. Like a paladin or ranger, the ex-Dervish may not specialize in a weapon since he didn't choose that option to begin with.