Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Demilich

Deep in a tomb that has been undisturbed for hundreds of years lies the modest resting place of Arkazam the Thrice Plagued. A lich of considerable power in his time, he hid his phylactery and his most prized possessions in a completely enclosed crypt deep underground. At the time, there was no way to enter the crypt except through teleportation, but an earthquake has fractured the solid stone in which it was once sealed, and now it is accessible to others.

Luckily for anyone exploring the area, Arkazam's consciousness long ago got distracted somewhere on the astral plane and his connection to his physical body faded. All that is left of him in the prime material plane is his skull, a gem encrusted guardian over what is left of his most prized possessions.

Map made with the Dungeon Tile Mapper

Room 1, Summoning Chamber
Except for a door on the east wall and a widening crack on the west wall, everything but the floor of this plain chamber is bare. The floor has a large magic circle inscribed into it. This room served two purposes for Arkazam: to assist him in summoning and controlling foul creatures from the lower planes, and as a teleportation chamber. The crack is but a few inches wide at most, and only Tiny or smaller creatures can fit through without the aid of magic. The door is securely locked and magically trapped - a fireball will engulf the room if the door is opened before dispelling the magical trap.
Type magic; Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none
Effect spell effect (fireball, 60 fire damage, DC 14 Reflex save for half damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 20-ft.-radius burst)

Room 2, Guardians
The door on the opposite side of the room is securely locked and trapped, just as the previous door, only with a more deadly enchantment. This room itself contains four coffins, one for each of Arkazam's undead guardians, each a foe Arkazam respected in life. In fact, he respected them so much that after he defeated them, he dismembered them, rearranged their body parts, and animated the mismatched corpses to guard him forever.
Creatures: four flesh golems (EL 11, CR 7 each)
MAXIMIZED Lightning Bolt TRAP CR 13
Type magic; Perception DC 31; Disable Device DC 31
Trigger proximity (alarm); Reset none
Effect spell effect (lightning bolt, 60 electricity damage, DC 14 Reflex save for half damage); multiple targets (all targets in a 60-ft. line); this trap may have a positive effect on any flesh golems it hits (see Immunity to Magic in the flesh golem entry)

Room 3, Arkazam's Study
This room contains a well crafted desk and chair made of ivory and bone. A skull rests on the desk, its eye sockets filled with great gems and its teeth replaced with smaller precious stones. Scattered about the table are Arkazam's final notes: a mixture of musings about extraplanar travel, copies of a prophecy he was trying to decipher, and a few new spells he was working on. One of the desk drawers contains an extradimensional space similar to the type found in a Bag of Holding. The DM should decide what treasures he was storing in this space, but should any part of the desk be disturbed, what remains of Arkazam's essence will animate in the skull and attack the intruders.

XP 38,400
NE Tiny undead
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeingPerception +27
AC 25, touch 21, flat-footed 21 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +5 profane, +2 size)
hp 142 (15d8+75)
Fort +14, Ref +15, Will +21
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +5, rejuvenation, unholy grace; DR 20/—; Immune acid, cold, electricity, magic, polymorph, undead traits
Weaknesses torpor, vorpal susceptibility
Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks devour soul
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +25)
Constant—true seeing
At will—greater bestow curse (DC 21), telekinesis (DC 19), wail of the banshee (20-ft.-radius spread centered on the demilich; DC 24)
Str 6, Dex 17, Con —, Int 21, Wis 20, Cha 21
Base Atk +11; CMB +12; CMD 30
Skills Bluff +20, Fly +23 Knowledge (arcana) +23, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +20, Knowledge (history) +15, Knowledge (planes) +15, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +27, Sense Motive +27,Spellcraft +23, Stealth +24
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Giant, Infernal
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure double
Devour Soul (Su) As a standard action with a range of 300 feet, a demilich can imprison the soul of a living creature within one of 10 special gems embedded in its skull. If the target succeeds at a DC 24 Fortitude save, it gains two permanent negative levels. If it fails, its soul is immediately drawn into one of the gems in the demilich's skull. The soul remains trapped within the gem, visible as but a gleam except under true seeing. The soulless body corrupts and decays rapidly, reducing to dust in a single round. As long as the dead creature's soul remains trapped in the gemstone, it cannot be restored to life via any means save direct divine intervention. Gems with souls trapped in them can be retrieved from a destroyed demilich, at which point they can either be crushed to release any souls within to their afterlife or used in the place of the usual material components to restore the soul and body with resurrection or true resurrection. After 24 hours, the demilich can choose to consume any soul trapped in a gem, healing it 1d6 hit points per Hit Die of the soul, at which point only miracle or wish can restore the dead creature to life. The save DC is Charisma-based, and includes a +2 bonus for the Ability Focusfeat.
Greater Bestow Curse (Sp) This spell-like ability functions like bestow curse, but can have one of the following effects: –12 to one ability score; –6 to two ability scores; –8 penalty on attack rolls, saves, and checks; or a 25% chance to act normally. This ability is treated as a 6th-level spell.
Immunity to Magic (Su) A demilich is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells function differently against the creature, as noted below.
• A dispel evil spell deals 2d6 points of damage, with no saving throw.
Holy smite affects a demilich normally.
• A power word kill spoken by an ethereal caster deals 50 points of damage to the demilich if it fails a Fortitude save (with a DC determined as though the spell allowed a saving throw).
• A shatter spell deals 1d6 points of damage per two caster levels (maximum 10d6), with no saving throw.
Rejuvenation (Su) A destroyed demilich reforms in 2d6 days. To permanently destroy a demilich, holy water must be poured over its remains within the area of a hallow spell. To complete the destruction,holy word or dispel evil must be cast. If the caster succeeds at a caster level check with a DC equal to 10 + the demilich's Hit Dice, the demilich is permanently destroyed.
Telekinetic Storm (Su) As a special use of its telekinesis spell-like ability, a demilich can churn up its treasure, dust, bones, and other loose debris in the area into a whirling storm about its skull. The storm obscures vision as a fog cloud within a 20-foot spread centered on the demilich's skull. Creatures within the storm take 12d6 points of damage per round on the demilich's turn (Reflex DC 20 for half damage). The demilich can maintain the storm indefinitely by concentrating.
Torpor (Ex) A demilich takes no actions against intruders unless its remains or treasure are disturbed.
Unholy Grace (Su) A demilich gains a bonus on saves and a profane bonus to AC equal to its Charisma modifier.
Vorpal Susceptibility (Ex) Vorpal weapons of any kind ignore a demilich's damage reduction.
This month, as a participant in the A-Z Blog Challenge, I'll be writing a post each day (except for Sundays) and letting the alphabet guide my content. Thematically, all of my April posts (at least those related to the blog challenge) will be monster related. Each day, I'll be challenging myself to create an encounter, NPC, location, etc. that features a monster I've never used before in a roleplaying game. Hopefully this will push me to include more variety in my current campaign, and who knows... maybe I'll find a few new favorites.
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