We’ve actually already explored the shedu before—specifically last fall when we looked at the lammasu. Both are part of a group of vaguely defined benevolent Mesopotamian beast-men that have never been deeply explored in fantasy role-playing, and much of what was said about lammasus as protectors and mentors applies here as well. (The shedus are perhaps a touch more modest, possibly due to their prescience…or their bovine nature.)
As we noted then, shedus are guardians of gateways, doors, and other thresholds. In a related vein, they hate undead for crossing back over the threshold of death into the land of the living, evil outsiders for entering the mortal planes (particularly demons, whose habit of possession also defiles the sanctity of the body and soul), and plagues and illness in general (again because of the assault on the body…and undead and outsiders like daemons who spread disease are their especial foes). Characters who fight these evils will find shedus to be great allies (and useful sources for a crucial last-minute dismissal or restoration). They can also be frustrating ones as well—how do you argue with a creature who can foresee its own future?
A mothman is determined to open the tomb of the Brazen Ibis. But the tomb is guarded by a shedu charged with seeing it remains ever shut. Defying either entity will make an enemy of it, and it is by no means clear that the shedu is right in his caution, despite his prescience.
After a city quarter falls to lamia-kin and lesser demons, a shedu appears to lead the effort in rescuing as many citizens as possible. But once the quarter’s gates are sealed, the shedu is also responsible for keeping put anyone still caught inside the quarantine area, in an effort to ward against demonic possession. This could be a problem for parties caught on the wrong side of the wall.
Part of a holy mission to the disease-wracked Olive Hills, adventurers partner with a shedu to stop the contagion’s spread. Over time though, the shedu’s behavior becomes more erratic and even hostile. It has seen the actions of the party cause its death, and finally its fear of mortality outweighs the goodness of its nature.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 243
Really serious Mystara/“Voyage of the Princess Ark” fans will remember that the patron of the enduks (the Nimmurian winged minotaurs) was a shedu.
Something I forgot to mention yesterday: If you were surprised the to see the shark-eating crab but no shark, it’s because we covered it way back in the dire shark entry.
Something else I forgot to post yesterday (…and Tuesday…and Monday) was Saturday’s radio show! I really dug this one, and hope you do, too. Keep your ears peeled for some fantastic King Kong Kicks out of Germany and some classic Land of the Loops. Plus, I may not be spinning this Saturday, so all the more reason you should download this one now. :-)