Monday, June 23, 2014


Some plant monsters emphasize the monster, being practically humanoid (vegepygmies) or beastlike (shambling mounds).  Others rely largely on ambushes (assassin vines) or active hunting (quickwoods).  And some, like most carnivorous plants in real life, fish through seductive lures.

In the alraune’s case, that lure is seductive indeed: a beautiful woman.  Or man.  Or whatever—it can reform its pistil into the shape of whatever it thinks its victims (whom it has scoped out in advance via commune with nature) will desire.

And those stats! CR 13, AC 27, 19 Hit Dice, Melee +20, Int 10, Wis 17, Speed 40 ft. (not to mention special and spell-like abilities)!  Normally when we talk about plant monsters we talk about them in terms of side quests, hazards, and random encounters…but there’s no reason an alraune can't be the main antagonist for an entire adventure arc.  With four languages under their bulbs, they’re more articulate than the party barbarian and they can outrun the party paladin without any effort.  They even “convince foes to dig their own graves [emphasis mine] and bury themselves” prior to feeding!  Forget side trek…the alraune might as well be listed after the atomie under “Audrey III.”

The Forest of Doon is rumored to be haunted by dryads and harpies, as few who go in ever return, and sometimes shrieking can be heard at odd hours.  Actually, all the “dryad” sightings are of the same alraune using different lures.  The shrieks are her cries of frustrating at being thwarted.  Should prey ever escape her grasp (a rare occurrence), she uproots herself and chases after her victim on great thorny vine legs, screaming in outrage the entire time.

An alraune and a vouivre have embarked on a rather unorthodox lover affair, conducted almost entirely through their respective humanoid lures.  Of course, their shared lust for blood far outpaces any lusts of a physical nature.

Covered in thorns, rose elves are practically more plant than elf; indeed, they are the ones who pioneered the adoption of plant animal companions (see the Advanced Race Guide).  The subrace’s dark secret is that they are not ruled by their fellow elves at all, but rather by alraune botaniarchs.  Most rose elves are druids or sorcerers, but a few enchanters are always needed to help lure more willing victims to their queens.

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 13

I tried to tackle the alraune over a year ago at the request of a reader, but that didn’t end up working out and I never got back to it.  Apologies, Sincubus!

Sadly, Earthdawn beat me to the idea of thorn-covered blood elves.

My sister-in-law called my show “weird” this weekend.  Which it was, because it was done completely on the fly and with five random DJs hanging out in the booth with me.  Also, the stream ripper is nearly 10 minutes ahead, so the file has dead air at the start and then cuts off early.  Nevertheless, if you’re loyal and pure of heart, this show is for you.

(Yeah, there’s eight minutes of dead air at the front. That’s what the fast-forward slider is for.  If the feed skips, Save As an mp3 and enjoy in iTunes.  Link good till Friday, 6/27, at midnight.)

1 comment:

  1. "botaniarchs" is one of my new favorite "-arch" ahead of Exiliarch. Awesome. Also thorn-covered elves is pretty good too. Consider me inspired to try and find a place to throw in a significant Alraune villainess.