Note: Before we get started, I have a request for you all, so be sure to stick around to the end. Cheers.
According to the Bestiary 3, “A yuki-onna is the restless spirit of a woman who froze to death in the snow and was never given a proper burial.” Of course, there’s freezing to death because of bad luck and there’s freezing to death because of neglect, ostracism, foul play, and the like…and you can guess which option is more likely to cause a yuki-onna to rise. Thus, a yuki-onna-focused adventure might be only half about defeating the undead herself; thorough PCs will also want to uncover what caused her death in the first place.
In folklore some yuki-onnas carry a child, and anyone who accepts the child from her arms freezes to death. The ability to cast icy prison (from Ultimate Magic) or a similar effect might be a good way to replicate this for Advanced specimens.
Then again, maybe the key to the yuki-onna’s condition is not her frozen death, but her hatred of men (however justly or unjustly come by). If that's the case, one might find these undead far from the frozen poles…
Beaten down by attacks from grendelkin (the local name for saltwater merrows), the folk of Vanir’s Steading refuse to open their doors for a lost traveler late at night. The woman dies and becomes a yuki-onna. She lingers by the doorstep where perished so that the longhouse is battered by the winds and snow that swirl around her, and she picks off Vanir’s men one by one when they venture out for food and firewood.
Cammy was a lowly errand girl who discovered the slaughterhouse she worked for was gutting people as well as cattle. Before she could reveal her epiphany, she was caught by the foreman and left in a magically maintained freezer room to die. Now she lurks amid the frozen carcasses as a yuki-onna, trapped in her refrigerated home and blasting all who come near with ice storm.
Every night, an impossible blizzard erupts in the courtyard of Al-Kerim University. This is the work of yuki-onna Fadaya Moshet. In life, she was mocked, denied tenure, and even assaulted for no other reason than that she was a plain but intelligent woman working in a nearly all-male university. Her resolve curdled to bitterness as illness took her, and upon her death her spirit was so filled with cold hate that she has returned as an undead like no scholar of this desert college has ever seen.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 3 287
When I wrote about glacier yrthaks yesterday, I had forgotten that Pathfinder Adventure Path #54: The Hungry Storm features boreal yrthaks. Great minds think alike! Speaking of which, I guess I’m not the only one who likes yrthaks; ohgodhesloose linked us to this really nice illustration. And regarding Dragon’s “The Ecology of the Yrthak,” weschneider wrote:
Yay! I was in charge of the ecologies back in those days. That one was a blast! Since I thought yrthaks sucked so hard I figured we could go flat-out insane with them. I also drew the initial sketch of that dissection of the inside of a yrthak’s head…still have it around here somewhere.
Good times! :D
Um…I really, really, really hope it wasn’t Wes who edited the barghest article that I got feedback on but never sent in revisions for.
I’m just going to crawl into a hole of shame now.
Leave me in peace, all of you.
Wait! No! No hole-crawling for me, shame-filled or otherwise! Because I have a favor to ask you all.
Thanks to the rigors of this weekend’s travel and the subsequent fever that I’m still trying to cough out of myself—anyone want some phlegm?—this week has not been the triumphal homecoming lap I hoped it would be. But tomorrow is still a big day for The Daily Bestiary, because we are going to leave the letter Y behind and tackle the zelekhut.
I’m going to try to get the entry up as early in the day as possible, and when I do, it would be awesome if you could go out of your way to tell your friends, your gaming group, and any message boards you frequent that The Daily Bestiary has reached the letter Z. I’ve been at this for nearly three years now, so to me it feels like a pretty big deal, and if you feel the same I could really use your help getting the word out.