As far as this faction’s concerned, justice is everything, and there ain’t no sod who can give it the laugh. Those cutters that even try’ll have the Mercykillers on their tail, so the smart thing to do is just don’t try. It’s the whole reason laws exist – to see that justice is carried out. Justice purges the evil in folks and makes them better, fit to belong in the multiverse. Once everybody’s been cleansed, then the multiverse reaches perfection, and perfection’s the goal of the multiverse.
Justice is absolute and perfect, but it’s got to be correctly applied. A body’s got to know the knights of the post, the criminals from the innocent, so he doesn’t make a mistake. Mercy’s an excuse created by the weak and the criminal. They think they can rob or kill and then escape their crimes by pleading for mercy. The Mercykillers are not so weak. Every crime must be punished according to the law. There are no such things an “extenuating circumstances.”
That being the case, some smart cutters figure they’ll hang the Mercykillers by their own yardarm and accuse them of some of their own crimes. Well’ the Red Death’ll just smile and say it answers to a higher law. Charged with protecting justice, they can do things others can’t – all in the name of justice? How else could they survive their own ideals?
‘Course now, other folks don’t agree with Red Death logic. To them, the Mercykillers ain’t above the laws or even right in what they do. The Mercykillers don’t like such folk’s attitudes, but they can’t hang a being for it’s opinions – at least not in most places. See, the Mercykillers don’t make the laws, they only enforce them. All in all, they’re no better than the rest, but no worse than a few.
Discern Lies: All members of the faction are taught how to discern lies (per the 4th-level cleric spell) once per day to a single chosen question asked by the Mercykiller with a DC of 10 + ½ their level + their charisma modifier. The Mercykiller must declare that they are using this ability when the question is asked before it has been answered.
Justice Blow: Once per day as a part of an attack or full attack action, a Mercykiller can deliver a Justice Blow to an enemy. This attack must be announced before any roll is made. The Mercykiller adds their charisma modifier (if positive) to a single attack roll. If successful, they deal double damage on this attack. If this attack is a critical hit, add 1 to the critical multiplier instead (x2 becomes x3, x3 becomes x4, etc). The Mercykiller take nonlethal damage equal to the extra damage dealt by this ability. A Justice Blow deals no damage to creatures of Lawful alignment unless the Mercykiller believes beyond a reasonable doubt that the target has broken the law.
Above the Law: The faction tends to turn a blind eye to its own violations of the law – to a point. If a Mercykiller commits a crime while pursuing or punishing a known criminal, he’ll consider himself innocent, of course. Justice takes precedence over all. On the other hand, if he commits a crime outside of his punishment of a felon, he’s subject to the full weight of the law.
Eight Tenets of Justice: Any Mercykiller – Justiciar or otherwise – who ever fails to uphold the faction’s Eight Tenets of Justice must pay the music. First, the accused gets a short hearing before the factol. If he can’t give a satisfactory explanation for having shirked his duty, he’s given a choice: death by beheading in the Guillotine Room, or abandonment in the cavernous Grotto beneath the Prison. Most Mercykillers so charged have chosen the quick and relatively painless death accorded by the guillotine. It’s said that those few who’ve chosen the Grotto found death by a much less pleasant means. (See the Eight Tenets of Justice sidebar.)
Skills: Mercykillers have a +2 faction bonus to Survival checks when following tracks. A Mercykiller always treats Diplomacy, Knowledge (local), and Survival as class skills.
Extra Discern Lies [Faction]
Benefit: You may use your Discern Lies ability 3/day instead of 1/day.
Extra Justice Blow [Faction]
Benefit: You may use your Justice Blow ability 3/day instead of 1/day. You may only deliver one Justice Blow in any given round.
Know the Guilty Heart [Faction]
Prerequisite: Mercykiller, character level 7th
Benefit: You gain the ability to hear guilty consciences in the words of others. If you succeed at a Sense Motive check with a -5 penalty against a target’s Bluff check you can hear whispers of the dark deeds that weigh on their mind. The target doesn’t actually say anything different; you merely hear the underlying guilt as a soft voice while they speak.
This ability only reveals the crimes that the subject believes to be wrong; an extreme Anarchist would not necessarily reveal horrible acts committed as part of the revolution because they believe them to be just acts, but most evil individuals would reveal their crimes because they know them to be wrong and for whatever reason simply don’t care.