Ani allows her summoners to see without being seen, to vanish from sight, to poison their enemies, and to ruthlessly strike the unwary.

Ani Symbol.jpg

Legend: As with many vestiges, much of the history of Black Winged Ani is shrouded in mystery. Though not the most ancient of vestiges, she certainly predates any mortals living today and on the rare moments where she speaks of her past, it is of times and places only recorded in the oldest tomes. What is known is that she was once treated as a Demigod or may even a full God, though the current deities are silent on their relationship to her. In some places, it is said she is still worshiped, though prayers to her go unanswered. Those who know of her recall when she was a patron of love and sacrifice, a defender of love that never ended and devotion through trial, turmoil, and even war. Her symbol was known to be a white dove. Binders who have queried her and researched her history know that this portfolio is only half of the Black Winged Ani known today, who has become tainted by dark thoughts and now hates as strongly as she loves and retaliates against betrayers with vicious intent. Any binder who speaks with her will find her endlessly supportive of love and its passions, but also determined to exact revenge from any who slight her or her summoners. What no one knows is who, or what, broke her heart such that it still bleeds black.
Manifestation: Ani begins her manifestation with a furious fluttering of white doves. The creatures explode out of thin air, flutter around wildly, then begin to bleed black ichor that coats their feathers while they thrash and scream, their bodies warping into ravens and their screams into raucous laughter. The ravens fly away from each other and fade from view, revealing a beautiful female of the same race as the summoner, clad all in black. Ani has black eyes and long black hair with black feathers through the long tresses that continually fall to coat the ground around her feet. Her smile reveals black teeth, and when she speaks, her black tongue licks her lips seductively. Ani wears a noble’s finery in funerary black, and a cloak made of raven heads and feathers hangs from her shoulders. The heads start up a raucous cry whenever she gets excited, and she strokes them with her black-gloved hands and coos softly when they do. Her voice starts oily and melodic, but becomes harsh and shrill if she becomes angry.
Sign: Your teeth and tongue turn black and raven feathers grow within your hair.
Influence: While influenced by Ani, you fall in love too easily. A kind word or a friendly gesture can cause you to devote yourself entirely to another person. Should that person reject your affection, your broken heart mends the moment another attractive person shows you some kindness. Whenever you are scorned or harmed, you remember the perpetrator forever and seek subtle and painful revenge against them. In addition, if you have access to poison, Ani requires that you employ it against your foes at every opportunity.
Granted Abilities: Ani grants you the ability to spy without detection, to disappear, to use poison safely, and to strike vicious blows against vulnerable foes.
Bird’s Eye Viewing: At will, you can summon a dove or a raven to aid your powers of observation. (Use the statistics for a raven regardless of the creature’s form.) The bird appears perched on your shoulder. You have complete control over its actions, and you can see what it sees and hear what it hears. Use the bird’s skill checks to determine the results of its actions and observations (for example, Bluff, Search, Spot, Listen), but use your skill bonuses to derive information from its observations (for example, Knowledge, Sense Motive, or Spellcraft to identify a spell). If you have the trapfinding ability, you can use the bird to find traps so long as doing so doesn’t require it to manipulate an object. The bird cannot talk. You can have only one bird summoned at a time. It remains until you summon another dove or raven, mentally dismiss it (a standard action), or stop binding with Ani.
Invisibility: As a full-round action, you can make yourself invisible (as with the invisibility spell). Making an attack ends the invisibility (as normal), but otherwise, the effect lasts a number of rounds equal to your effective binder level. You can invoke this ability as a standard action at 5th level, as a move action at 10th level, and as a swift action at 15th level. Once you return to visibility, you cannot use this ability again for 5 rounds.
Poison Use: You are not at risk of poisoning yourself when handling poison or applying it to a weapon.
Sudden Strike: With your melee attack, you deal an extra 1d6 points of damage plus 1d6 points per four effective binder levels anytime your target would be denied its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class. This extra damage applies to ranged attacks only if the opponent is within 30 feet. The extra damage from sudden strike stacks with that from sneak attack whenever both would apply to the same target.

(Note: Readers of the D&D 3.5 supplement Tome of Magic will recognize that these abilities are the same as the Vestige Malthas. For my campaign he has been replaced with Ani. The character and persona of Black Winged Ani is taken from the amazing novel Maledicte by Lane Robins - a link to purchase the book can be found here)