Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Omnipath


(Illustration by Yigit Koroglu comes from the PaizoBlog and is © Paizo Publishing.)

The last year or so has been pretty good to aboleths—their schemes are the focus of the Ruins of Azlant Adventure Path, they got a full-fledged ecology in the same, and psychic monsters and psychic magic in general have been on the upswing since the release of Occult Adventures and the Occult Bestiary. 

One of OB’s contributions was the omnipath, the information-sharing/communications network (with a dash of spying and possession) of the aboleth race.  It was also one of our first indications that the race (known as othagu or alghollthus, depending on what source you’re reading) included more phenotypes than the tentacled fish form of the aboleths and the veiled masters.  Omnipaths resemble eels, but with a horrific set of multiple jaws nested inside each other, like something from the Alien franchise.  They have equally horrifying powers: an eidetic memory, the magic of a 15th-level psychic, a touch that can turn skin transparent and vulnerable, psychic tail rays (because why not), and a telepathic mesh that allows an omnipath to share sensations and possess victims with alarming facility.  They are, in short, bad news.

If you’re an aboleth fan, omnipaths make an excellent high-level contribution to the family tree.  If you’re not, they could still be useful in your campaign, either as one-off aquatic/subterranean monsters or as part of some other cabal.  Iku-tursos and siyokoys are both good options to pair omnipaths with in Pathfinder.  And in D&D (particularly 2e AD&D Spelljammer) the neogi race may have bred omnipaths to combat the threat of illithids, or developed them in some sick collaboration with the mind flayers.

The mysterious and seemingly utopian kingdom of Ildevania is protected by the Queen’s Mantle—a phrase meant as a metonym for her power and authority, but that also nods to the very real mesh of telepathic energy she shares with her trusted agents, the Footmen.  Adventurers discover that many of the Footmen are actually omnipaths and their thralls.  Is the country’s utopian peace worth the dark bargain the queen has made?

Adventurers manage to subdue the saboteur Renoir and shut the Cypher Gate, sealing in the dread energies he meant to unleash.  His capture also reveals the very real threat of the aboleth nation lurking far below the canals of Vinchenza, City of Spices and Spies.  Incensed that Renoir shattered the Calling Crystal that allowed Vinchenza’s fleet captains to speak over long distances, the Doge’s Council wants adventurers who can do the same to the aboleths—by gutting their omnipath network like so many eels.

A spiritualist unlocks a dark secret from an adventurer’s past: She was an omnipath in her past life.  Moreover, that omnipath’s mother is still alive…and seeks to make contact with her lost daughter, in whatever reincarnated form she now takes.  The adventurer must wrestle with what to do with this information, investigate what new insights or powers her heritage might unlock…and face the possibility that this is all a complicated aboleth plot.

Occult Bestiary 38–39 & Bestiary 6 204–205

I linked to the more recent (Bestiary 6) stats for the omnipath above.

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