These mysterious vessels may perplex scholars, but they’re perfect monsters. A statue that swallows creatures is nasty. A statue that shunts them into an airless extradimensional stomach is really nasty. A statue that might either reward (with treasure from previous victims) or punish (with said previous victims, assuming they could survive without air) whoever destroys it is a video game monster come to life (in a good way).
PS: Golarion fans, there is a Runelord of Gluttony’s lair out there just waiting to be filled with these things. (And since gluttony magic is also known as necromancy, some of these taotiehs should definitely have undead-filled stomachs waiting to be unleashed.)
A hungry ghost is terrorizing a medical school. That is the theory at least—students are vanishing without a trace—but the young healers-in-training have had no luck rooting out the spirit. The culprit is actually a taotieh placed on campus by a former rejected applicant. Disguised as a guardian statue, the construct has orders to capture only students that it can catch alone.
A taotieh in a fallen dwarfhold hides more than one threat in its extradimensional belly. Its dark creator placed a magically held devourer inside it as a booby trap. More recently, within the last fortnight the cat statue swallowed two chardas. The creatures immediately went into lifesaving hibernation and could well revive (and attack) if released.
Taotiehs are usually styled to look like tigers, but other varieties exist. The feathered serpentfolk of Vhaaz naturally prefer reptilian motifs. The tribesmen of the Hurn Highlands have taken up the worship of ogre deities, and were rewarded with a pot-bellied, bear-bodied, ogre-faced taotieh as a result. Taotiehs resembling squid, octopi, gulper eels, and sharks are all that remain of the raised (and razed) former aboleth city of Bohm.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 260
Yes, the hungry ghost in a medical school above is a reference to Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior—absolutely required reading.
Mail call! Fortooate was nice enough to write:
Always impressed that you can just drop a whole, unique campaign idea as just part of a single entry on this blog. ‘Space-metal linnorm’ has so much potential…
Thanks! Just doin’ my job.
Meanwhile filbypott writes:
In Japanese folklore, tanukis have gigantic scrotums that are the source of their power. In Pathfinder, they have a slam attack they can perform with their hands full. Just saying.
Y’know, I debated mentioning tanukis’ rather large…assets…in the post, and decided not to bother. Clearly, I missed that special slam attack. But keep in mind that—hang on, wait, wesschneider has something to add:
First, as you’re familiar with Pom Poko, consider why these guys have a slam attack… 0_0
Aw man, now even Wes is on my case! I yield! Let there be raccoon dog scrotums for everyone! (Besides, I’m from Baltimore; we’re not exactly shy about that kind of thing.)
Anywhere, where were we?
Second, as a Night Vale listener and native Marylander a thousand thanks for posting that link! That’s Awesome!
Glad you like it! (Where are you from in Maryland?) And actually, to be totally frank I did more for the show than just link. (You may see a familiar name in the credits.) Ironically, I won’t ever actually get to hear it live since it airs at the same time as mine…