29 September 2014

Azata, Lunula

The following creature was my submission for Here Be Monsters contest organized by Sword For Hire blog and Freelance Forge community. As it can be easily noticed by looking on Sword For Hire webpage I haven't made to the top five so I decided to show this monster here on my blog.

Each of the submissions had to be based on a request made in Pathfinder's Bestiary 5 Wishlist thread on Paizo messageboard — I went with Jason "Mikaze" Garrett's request for "octopus-based agathion (or any other celestial)". The last part is the important one, because while I was writing this creature it morphed from agathion to azata. There were two reasons for that:

1) There are two aquatic agathions already in Pathfinder Bestiaries (three counting Mikaze's aequoreal agathion from Wayfinder #8, with excellent picture drawn by Crystal Frazier, if I am not mistaken—there is no signature on the picture itself but I think that it was mentioned in thread about that Wayfinder issue) but no aquatic azata...

2) When I was writing this creature I felt that despite having an animal-based shape it's secondary to its freedom-loving nature. I felt nothing animalistic  about it, which I think is integral part of agathion nature.

The following part is in the form I sent as submission, without changes. I am pretty sure I would rewrite some parts, especially the description. I might work on this monster in the future to make it better—I think that very short description failed to capture both the essence of the monster and hearts of the judges.

The name of the entity itself is based on second part of greater blue-ringed octopus scientific name: Hapalochlaena lunulata.

Azata, Lunula

This rainbow-hued octopus floats in the air, the shortest two of its eight tentacles ending with humanoid hands. Unlike mundane octopus it has human-like face in place of its beak.

Azata, Lunula CR 10
XP 9,600
CG Large Outsider (aquatic, azata, chaotic, extraplanar, good)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +24
DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 12, flat-footed 21 (+3 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 126 (12d10+60)
Fort +4, Ref +13, Will +13
Defensive Ability price of freedom; DR 5/cold iron and evil; Immune electricity, petrification; Resist cold 10, fire 10; SR 21
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect), swim 30 ft.
Melee kiss +19 touch (gift of peace), 6 tentacles +18 (1d6+4 plus grab and pull)
Ranged 2 rainbow rays +14 touch (2d6 plus special)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (20 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks constrict (1d6+4), pull (tentacle, 5 ft.), rainbow pulse
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +15)
At will—greater teleport (self and 50 lbs of gear only), remove fear
3/day—magic circle against evil or law (lunala’s choice), mass cure light wounds
1/day—break enchantment, raise dead, restoration
1/year—freedom
STATISTICS
Str 26, Dex 16, Con 20, Int 17, Wis 21, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +21 (+4 grapple); CMD 33 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Multiattack, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Bluff +18, Diplomacy +18, Escape Artist +26, Fly +24, Knowledge [history] +18, Knowledge [planes] +18, Perception +24, Sense Motive +24, Stealth +14 (+26 when motionless); Racial Modifiers +8 to Escape Artist, +12 to Stealth while motionless
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ amphibious
ECOLOGY
Environment any (Elysium)
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3-6)
Treasure standard
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Gift Of Peace (Su) A sentient creature kissed by a lunala is given a vague but vivid vision of choice between peaceful existence and aggression. Creature that chooses peace is placed in blissful dream-like state while her body remains safe in temporal stasis. This effect lasts as long as the creature remains in contact with the lunala plus one round thereafter. A creature that chooses aggression is staggered for one round and remains sickened for as long as it remains in contact with lunala plus one round thereafter. A creature making the choice is fully aware of results of both choice.

Price of Freedom: A lunala can use its freedom ability as an immediate action to interrupt an effect that would bind, capture or otherwise restrain it. Whenever a lunala uses its freedom spell-like ability, it is forced back to Nirvana and put into a dream-like stasis similar to its own gift of peace for a year and a day, though.

Rainbow Pulse (Su): Once per day, a lunula can project a pulse of rainbow light as a standard action. A rainbow pulse is 60-ft. radius burst affecting all creatures within as if they were struck by a rainbow ray.

Rainbow Ray (Su): A lunala can project beams of rainbow light from its hands with 60 feet range. Any creature struck by one of the rays immediately receives another saving throw (if one was allowed to begin with) against any spells or effects that possess or exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment [charm] effects and enchantment [compulsion] effects, such as charm person, command, and dominate person). This saving throw is made with a +2 morale bonus, using the same DC as the original effect. If successful, such effects are suppressed for a number of rounds equal to the lunala’s Charisma bonus (3 rounds for typical lunala). This spell does not expel a controlling life force (such as a ghost or spellcaster using magic jar), but it does prevent them from controlling the target.

A lunala is entity of benign chaos, champion of freedom and individual choice restrained only by compassion and empathy. Sometimes lunalas are mistaken for an exotic agathion, which happens from time to time because of their animalistic appearance. While they don’t seem to mind this, they always try to correct whoever made that mistake believing that knowledge is important component of being able to make free choices.

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