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101 Mythologized Bestiary Entries

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
So we all know the problem... we look at the bestiary, we see a really cool thing, but it makes no sense in an ecology or as a race or species.

But who needs that? Lets go back to the classics, where monsters can be individuals of great power and might. And lets say we're using the Percy Jackson model of spirits who reincarnate eventually once they die. Lets make the monsters unique again! Possibly with a bit of extra flair...

1) Night Twist: A horrible undead tree that has an especially nasty and flavorful Death Curse. If you kill it, you suffer a Nightmare spell every night. And if you die while still cursed by it, a new Night Twist sprouts from your grave.

In this variant the Night Twist is an oracle, and to gain it's knowledge you need to kill it and suffer the nightmares. Once you bear it's cursed 'gift' of prophesy, you WILL be expected to eventually return by the Keepers of the Oracle and allow it to grow and be claimed again. No permanent cures for the curse even if you can manage it, or you'll get some powerful enemies. Being rid of it may require some loophole abuse or further ritual.

2) Owlbear: People call the Owlbear the product of a drunk or mad wizard. They know nothing. The Owlbear is in fact a nocturnal griffon, with all that represents: combining the King of the Beasts with the King of the Night Birds. Silent and regal, you seek it for spiritual counsel and knowledge of the forest. Animals naturally defer to it, and the health and mental state of the Owlbear is a good indicator of the state of the region: The king is tied to the land after all.

3) Bugbears: Bugbears are almost goblin Changelings. Monstrous children born into innocent goblin families, they inevitably murder their parents and flee into the wilderness. The gigantic, bestial bogeymen in a warped parody of Goblin form. Luckily for the Goblins, there aren't that many of them. In fact there are only five. But killing them is only a temporary solution: sooner, rather than later, they will be reborn into a new family and the cycle of terror will begin again.

3a) The Bugbears are a family of spirits, and each is represented by one of the Pathfinder variant bugbears. Their names are Kardan, Wikkawak, Murd, Koblak, and one which has forsaken it's name and calls itself the Slate Stalker. They all have their own habits and quirks, but will quickly move the avenge each other should one be slain. Koblak is the head of the family, with his horrifying powers of necromancy, and commands a small army of undead children.

4) Hags - Of the dozen odd hag types listed in the Pathfinder bestiary, each is unique. Almost a human equivalent of a Bugbear, a powerful evil spirit born in a human body. They are fiercely competitive, and hold long grudges against both each other and anyone who kills them. Someone who kills a hag had best be prepared for her angry return in several years time.

5) Ettercap - The Ettercap is mostly known for it's traps and snares. But the horrid half-spider monstrosity has another gift as well: that of dreamweaving and prophesy. By carefully stringing it's web in mystic patterns, as much instinct and insight as plan, it catches and collects the essence of dreams and nightmares in a web size of a stadium. The dream extract drips down to the center, where it gains the benefit of dream-maddened insight. It interacts with human supplicants who come offering sacrifice or trade through a marionette made of bones and clothes and web, concealing the strings in flickering firelight while it watches from the trees. It is, of course, entirely happy to hunt anyone approaching to visit the oracle: they don't know the oracle and it's fell guardian are one and the same.
 

epicfalcono

Registered User
Validated User
This looks pretty interesting. I don't have too many ideas, but I think 5e stone giants and 4e giants were both pretty good examples of this sort of thing.
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
6) Barghest - The twisted spirits of particularly corrupt Goblin Kings. Give them a name, and a history: who were they in life, and what have they done since? For a human, a Barghest would be like Caligula reborn. Obviously works best with Goblins who aren't always evil. Greatly feared by other spirits because of their ability to devour a soul, killing them permanently and preventing resurrection. They are also fervent servants of the Wendigo, who is the likely source of their ability to devour souls, and serve as his enforcers when Ithaqua calls.

7) Wendigo - Lets be honest, a CR 17 creature is basically a demigod and is perfectly capable of wrecking the day of an entire army. So lets treat it with the dignity it deserves. It's actually Ithaqua, of Lovecraft fame. Lord of dark spirits, winter, and hunger. It does NOT have the ability to spawn another CR 17 creature basically at will, that's stupid. You only get another Wendigo from that with a target that has enough hit dice, most of the time you'll get ghouls or ghasts with the cold type.

If you DO get another Wendigo, the two inevitably fight for dominance. The victor devours the loser, and becomes the new Ithaqua.

8) Shadows - A Greater Plague Shadow, possibly with some of the other Variant templates stacked on it, is the local Spirit of Plague. It also owns the Hourglass of Shadows minor artifact. The plague shadows it spawns don't carry shadow blight, each one carries a different disease native to the region. It does NOT seek to spawn an endless army of shadows, and destroys any of it's spawn that attempt such a thing. Disease is ultimately a force of balance in nature. But that's small comfort when an overpopulated town is stalked by shadow spirits spreading typhus and bubonic plague.

It would not be entirely wrong to imagine him as the Black Rabbit of Inle.
 
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