Friday, May 9, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Forlorn Kaida

Frightful Fridays! has returned once again (many apologies for the long absence), and it does so with a new kaida, albeit an undead one. The little bit of mythology I have developed for these dragons and their affinity for particular objects, ideals, or areas, caused me to question what happens when the focus of their affinity gets destroyed or (worse) abandoned by others. The fact that I'd let this feature go dormant provided some impetus to the idea, and I had a new monster.
Serendipitously, before I could seek out an image to match the concept I had in mind, Theodric got me in touch with an artist who agreed to provide the first ever commissioned piece of art for Frightful Fridays! I was quite excited to see the piece below, which captures the forlorn kaida's essence. This link takes you to her DeviantArt page. I look forward to future collaborations with her, and you may see some of her non-FF creations in this very blog!

Thanks for reading (and your patience during the long downtime)! I plan to be back next week with a new monster.

This little draconic creature seems to fade into nothingness; its sorrowful expression hints at a great tragedy that befell it.
Forlorn Kaida CR 4
XP 1,200
NE Tiny undead (incorporeal)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9

AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 15 (+3 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities incorporeal, rejuvenation; Immune undead traits

Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +8 (2d6)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +8)
At will—touch of fatigue (DC 14)
1/day—ray of exhaustion (DC 17)

Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 17
Base Atk +3; CMB +4; CMD 17 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Knowledge [arcana]), Spell Focus (necromancy)
Skills Fly +23, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Perception +9, Sense Motive +9
Languages Common, Draconic
SQ bond focus

Special Abilities
Bond Focus (Ex) A forlorn kaida retains memories related to its former bond. The kaida can take one of the following as a class skill: Appraise or any Craft or Knowledge skill (the default is Knowledge [arcana]). The selection for the kaida's Skill Focus feat matches its chosen class skill.
Breath Weapon (Su) A forlorn kaida can breathe out a 15-foot cone of gray mist once every 1d4 rounds. Those caught in the cone must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or suffer from the effects of crushing despair (–2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls). The spell good hope counters the breath weapon's effect. This is a mind-affecting affect with a Charisma-based save DC.
Rejuvenation (Su) Simple combat does not usually destroy a forlorn kaida. It instead restores itself in 2d4 days. Truly destroying a forlorn kaida requires some action related to the formerly living kaida's bond (recovering a lost bonded object, finding a new item to which the kaida's spirit can bond, or the like).

The vast majority of bonded kaidas discover new items with which they bond when something destroys their bonded item. However, some kaidas become so attached to their bonded items, they die when the items are destroyed. The dragons' spirits remain behind as forlorn kaidas to haunt the locations where the destruction occurred. Other forlorn kaidas form when their bonded items' owners casually discard the items. All forlorn kaidas take on the same appearance regardless of their former physical appearance, suggesting to sages who study the dragons that the kaidas all bond similarly with the despair they experience regardless of the cause.

While forlorn kaidas detect as evil creatures, most kaidas do not wish to inflict harm on others. Unfortunately, they seek release from the all-consuming sadness they do not understand, and people who come across the dragons experience a portion of that sadness during the encounters. The forlorn kaidas' bonds provide them with unique knowledge, and those who communicate with the dragons may gain information about their former bonds. This in turn, may provide some understanding of the way to put the kaidas at rest. Those kaidas that have given into their despondency often find themselves as companions to more powerful undead creatures.



  1. Welcome back! A very nice little kaida (great image too). A battlefield or similar catastrophic ruin teeming with multiple forlorn kaidas (and likely haunts and undead) could make a very interesting encounter(s). ;)

    1. Multiple forlorn kaidas from the broken and/or forgotten items of power from the fallen dead.

      Hmmm, is there a template for animals mutated by high background counts of necromantic energies? (Possible inspiration?)

  2. I hadn't planned on developing a kaida-centric adventure, but now you've got me thinking about one...