The Bestiary 3 introduced us to a new, nearly tarrasque-class level of monsters: the behemoths. “Immense, ageless, and very nearly invincible, behemoths deliver divine retribution to the mortal realms,” it says, and then goes on for an entire page describing the devastation these kaiju-like creatures wreak across the land.
Given that Paizo has spent that much real estate on them, I don’t have much to add, except this: These creatures understand Aklo, the language of subterranean monsters, aberrations, and Lovecraftian horrors. Which raises certain questions…namely: Why? Is this because it’s a simple, primordial language that’s easy to understand? Or is Aklo close to the original words of creation? Or maybe the gods didn’t create behemoths—maybe they just use them, but the behemoths’ genesis comes from an earlier age. Perhaps the use of behemoths as weapons is the original sin that has kept the great Old Ones from being banished from this dimension entirely—as long as behemoths exist, perhaps the Old Ones can maintain the tiniest sliver of a foothold…
Again, this is just something to think about if you want an origin story besides the one in the Bestiary 3. For the same reason, here are three tempest behemoth adventure seeds that try to explore uses for these Colossal nightmare birds outside of divine retribution. (Though that’s cool, too…)
The Elemental Planes cycle in and out of phase with the world of Mater, bringing decades of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air in turn—and with them, the behemoths of each element. Now the cycle of Air is ascendant, and mountaintops calve off floating earthbergs, winds scour the grasslands, and tempest behemoths own the skies.
A humbaba champion has been crippled beyond the aid of mortal healing magic. Mortified by defeat and wounding, he seeks to compensate by doing more than just curing his injury. He means to gain wings…and not just any wings, but wings befitting his power: the wings of a tempest behemoth. And he knows just the people to help him—the adventurers who laid him low in the first place.
Tengus have been branded as traitors for their role in the Free Rebellion, down to the very last bird-man. Now the First Empire is rounding them up, seeking to use genocide to make an example to its subject peoples. Good adventurers and rebels are able to ameliorate some of the worst crimes. But as tengu numbers decline, the crow-priests take a desperate step: They sacrifice themselves to summon a tempest behemoth. The creature takes its wrath out on the Emperor of the First and his capital, but tragically it does not stop there…
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 37
Mail call! Friday’s post got a lot of well-wishers. Thanks especially to fuckyeahdnd for the enthusiasm (and reblogs) and to wesschneider, who highlighted the fact that tatzlwyrms first showed up in Hollow’s Last Hope:
This was also the first monster ever stated up under the Pathfinder brand, appearing in our first adventure Hollow’s Last Hope! It still has a special place in the hearts of all of us here at Paizo! :D
Also, re: the tarrasque, I’m not sure if justjingles is fleeing in terror or squeeing in delight—probably the latter; she likes civilization-ending monsters.
Also, vanadies had more to say on the tanuki:
“If you’re interested in a take on tanuki and tengu mythology in modern culture that isn’t quite as preachy as Pom Poko, I highly recommend a recent anime series called The Eccentric Family.”
And regarding the syrinx, titleknown added:
Oh god. I can just imagine one of these guys pausing in the middle of an elaborate and erudite villain speech to swallow a guinea-pig whole like in the background of that one .gif, horking it down while the players look on in horror.
This is the first use of “horking” in this blog.
I should also call out my most enthusiastic rebloggers, jenna-darknight and forsaac, for being awesome in general.
Finally big hugs to hewnoire for liking the music video I had a (admittedly tiny and job-related) hand in creating, and uwtartarus for reblogging(!) my radio show. I know you guys come here for the monsters, but I really appreciate those of you who investigate some of my other projects. (And I take requests, BTW…)
Oh yeah, my radio show! Download it here! Once again this week the intro song got cut off (grrr…it was Folk Implosion’s “Natural One”). But keep listening—there’s plenty of Au Revoir Simone, Haley Bonar, Vic and Gab, and more. Enjoy!