Epigram

"God and other artists are always a little obscure." Oscar Wilde

Friday, November 9, 2012

Frightful Fridays! First Fright


Welcome to the first official Frightful Fridays! offering. This week I present the tammuz, a demonic creature that doesn't quite resemble its namesakethe Sumerian god, Tammuz. Based on the myths surrounding Tammuz, though, it makes sense that this creature would spring up out of the Abyss from the sheer despair Tammuz experienced while imprisoned on the plane.

I hope you enjoy this week's Frightful Friday! I will see you next week.




This skull-faced scorpion clacks its claws and waves its stinger menacingly, while a palpable sense of despondency emanates from it.
Tammuz          CR 12
XP 19,200
CE Large outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +22
Aura despair

Defense
AC 27, touch 15, flat-footed 21 (+6 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 168 (16d10+80)
Fort +15, Ref +11, Will +13
DR 15/good; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 23

Offense
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee 2 claws +24 (2d8+9), sting +24 (2d6+9/19–20 plus poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +17)
At will—eyebite (DC 19)
3/day—waves of exhaustion (DC 20)
1/day—power word stun (DC 21)
1/6 months—plane shift (DC 20)

Statistics
Str 28, Dex 23, Con 20, Int 19, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +16; CMB +26; CMD 42 (54 vs. trip)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Cleave, Critical Focus, Critical Mastery(B), Exhausting Critical, Improved Critical (sting), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Tiring Critical
Skills Bluff +22, Fly +27, Intimidate +22, Knowledge (arcana) +23, Knowledge (planes) +23, Knowledge (religion) +23, Perception +22, Sense Motive +22, Spellcraft +23, Stealth +21
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Common, Infernal

Ecology
Environment any (the Abyss)
Organization solitary or court (2–8)
Treasure standard
Special Abilities
Aura of Despair (Su) A tammuz radiates despair in a 30-foot radius; any creature within that radius must succeed on a DC 21 Will save to resist its effects. Any creature who fails takes a -4 penalty on saves for 24 hours or until it successfully hits the tammuz generating the aura. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by the same tammuz’s aura for 24 hours.
Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 23; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 2d4 Con and 1d4 Wis; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

When the Sumerian demi-god Tammuz’s wife Inanna returned from the underworld that had been her prison, she required Tammuz to take her place. Tammuz hid from her, but demons eventually found him and dragged him to the underworld where he remained until Inanna granted him a reprieve of sorts, allowing his sister Geshtinana to trade places with him every six months. During Tammuz’s initial imprisonment in the Abyss, he despaired, and the strange stuff of that plane reacted by creating evil creatures embodying his hopelessness. The creatures took the name of their erstwhile creator and travel to the Material Plane to inflict their particular brand of evil on unsuspecting mortals. A tammuz (plural tammuz) is 10 feet in length, including its 3-foot long tail that ends in a wicked stinger, and it weighs 600 pounds.

A tammuz is an extremely foul-tempered creature that delights in fatiguing or otherwise hampering its prey. After it has rendered its victim helpless, it repeatedly stings the unfortunate creature and laughs gratingly at the creature’s cries of pain and despair. It feeds on a dying creature’s feelings of hopelessness; the longer the creature expresses its agony, the longer a tammuz will allow it to live. Assuming no one has hunted down the creature by the point of its six-month plane shift cycle, it goes quiet as it stalks a victim that it eventually attempts to plane shift to the Abyss. Sometimes, a tammuz presents itself as a disturbing sage of sorts, and it offers obscure knowledge in exchange for allowing the demonic creature to plane shift the beneficiaries to a plane of its choosing. In most cases where it makes this bargain, its sends its victims to the Abyss, but capriciousness might dictate that it send its victims to another more appropriate plane (sending primarily chaotic characters to Hell, for example).

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