Monday, August 29, 2016

Fire & Water Veelas

(Illustration by Aleksey Bayura comes from Paizo’s Tumblr and is © Paizo Publishing.)

Pathfinder’s veelas are the beauty and exultant joy of raw elemental power given form.  A crackling fire, splashing waves, leaves caught in a whirling wind, the tumble of an avalanche—all of these are embodied in veelas.  As such, they straddle the line between elemental and fey, both of their element and a metaphor for it all at once.  And as with many fey, a dance with one is both exhilarating and exhausting, an experience that taxes even as it gives. 

The veelas in these particular adventure seeds are a bit more aggressive than most of their kind, but that’s intentional on my part so that you have plenty of excuses to use them as antagonists.

A smith has a secret: He is regularly visited by a trio of fire veelas who dance with him in his forge and help him craft elegant blades.  When adventurers go to ask him about the provenance of a murder weapon, the veelas ambush them as snoopers and stealers of trade secrets.  (Speaking of secrets, two of the outsiders are natural veelas, but one of the dancers has wispy memories of a long-ago mortal life—the one she lived before her village was incinerated by the red dragon Visarojax.)

A water veela has long visited the poor near the river docks, appearing as an azure ministering angel to sick Downsiders who can’t afford a doctor.  But as the city’s industry has grown, the waters of Downside have become polluted, and this seems to have caused a shift in the veela’s outlook.  Instead of offering the balm of cure serious wounds, she now beckons patients into exhausting dances.  Some have even turned up dead or with strange corruptions coursing through their bloodstreams.

The City of Brass has an embassy on one arm of the inevitable-managed planar city of Caltrop.  Among the staff are fire veelas whose ballet performances, fire cupping, and deft conversation are meant to set visitors at ease.  The veelas are actually all consummate spies and occasional assassins for the efreet.  Because the embassy is considered sovereign soil, the veelas are subject to Plane of Fire law, not inevitable codes of justice, should any “incidents” occur.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 264–265

I should of mention that veelas—or rather, vilas—come from Slavic folklore.  Of course, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire gave them their big break on the fantasy stage. 

Bestiary 6 has been announced!  Tumblr readers have already seen my reaction here.

I never posted my radio show last week—mostly out of aggravation, since circumstances beyond my control made me late.  But what show there was was still lot of fun, so if you want it you’ve got till midnight tonight (sorry!) to snag it.  Click here and fast-forward to about 35 minutes in.

Also, as of right now it looks like I will be back on Tuesdays for the fall semester, so look for me tomorrow night at 10 PM if you want to listen live!

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