Iku-turso are evil eel-men who worship disease. How awesome is that?!? Let me repeat that: Evil eel-men who worship disease! That’s some China Miéville-esque shiz right there. Sure, I probably should be saying some learned stuff right now about how Iku-Turso was originally a Finnish god, or talk about the iku-tursos’ amazing transforming-disease-laced bite, or their array of speedy physical feats (including Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes). But I’m too busy thinking about the bad-ass villainy of evil eel-men who worship disease!
While doing reconnaissance on a sea hag’s lair for a triton basileus, a party of adventurers is ambushed by iku-tursos. Just as the encounter looks like it might go badly for the party, the cell leader gasps in apparent recognition and calls off the attack. He then apologizes to one of the party members, referring to the bewildered woman as “The Thrice-Blessed Queen.”
Ceratioidi and iku-tursos are both creatures of the depths, as evidenced by their light lures. Naturally, they also loathe each other. Ceratioidi fear the stronger iku-tursos and their poisonous claws, and consorting with the eel-men is one of the worse crimes in ceratioidi society. Nevertheless, ceratioidi cultists of foul entities like Dagon, the Grasping Deep, the Sponge Mother, and Naerus the Bleached all occasionally traffic with the abhorrent creatures.
The gift of a cursed dagger has turned an already vile cardinal into an iku-turso. He now rules the city from the waterlogged catacombs beneath Cathedral Mount. The people laud him for having opened two new public hospitals, but secretly he no longer sends clerics to tend to the sick. Meanwhile, his once noble Musketeer Guard has turned into a network of spies, enforcers and smugglers running black powder weapons and explosives to shadowy figures on the docks in the dark of night.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 153
Okay, I had no idea Finns were going to come up again—and for real this time. (Also, the Forgotten Realms’ Loviatar takes her name from a Finnish goddess—who knew? Clearly I need to read the Kalevala. My Tolkien professor probably wants to throttle me for not having done so yet.) Also, Dagon was apparently a grain god before he became a fish god. Bizarre.
Pathfinder Adventure Path 56: Raiders of the Fever Sea has a bit more on iku-tursos and pretty much all the aquatic races of Golarion, courtesy of Adam Daigle, et al.
Pity the poor iguanodon. Because of the way I’m handling paired entries from the Bestiary 3, we won’t get to it until we circle round the alphabet and tackle the dimetrodon. (If that pains, you, it pains me even more, given that (thanks to the U.S. military) I was born in Belgium.)
Also I’m 10 Tumblr posts away from 150, and six followers away from 100. I can do something about the former; only you can do something about the latter. Tell your friends!