Thursday, May 24, 2012


Gorynyches feel like old-school dragons—manipulative, multiple heads, fire-breathing, a penchant for maidens—in a way that many dragons haven’t felt since the first edition of the world’s oldest role-playing game.  But they still feel very fresh at the table.  (They made their 2nd Edition appearance only in Dragon Magazine 158 and a Monstrous Compendium Annual, and didn’t pop up in 3.5 until Lost Empires of Faerûn.)  So they’re a GM’s dream: CR 15, able to play the brute or the mastermind, a throwback that’s as old as St. George but will still surprise and terrify.  Delicious.

Any wag will tell you that Amber Vrees, the daughter of the local viscount, is no maiden—which did not stop a gorynych from luring her away with alter self and charm person, and then setting fire to half the Blue Wald.  For while the young lady may be no virgin, the gorynych knows that Elissa, the underprepared paladin of Meris likely to be sent after her, most certainly is….

An ember of lust—for gold, for territory, for mates, for power—burns in the heart of even the noblest dragon.  The gorynych embodies that lust with no apologies.  In the bowl-shaped valley of Beggar’s Cauldron, the gorynych Sal Vesh Ru (each name corresponding to one of its heads and personalities) rules over a horrid city dominated by ogrekin, harpies, lamia nobles, and lustspawn, bestowing curses and limited wishes at its leisure.

The gorynych’s obsession with maidens is a hunger that goes beyond mere lust.  Consuming both the body and the potential spiritual energy of a virgin helps a gorynych advance in power in a manner similar to a barghest.  Unlike the barghest’s feeding, this ritual consumption and metamorphosis is a slow process that takes days, so it is not a threat during combat.  Still, it can yield gorynyches of unspeakable power.  The bogatyrs of Kern report that a specimen known as Grisha can regenerate, roar the equivalent of a sonic burst, and has birthed a deaf and dumb albino fourth head that breathes frost.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 137

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