Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Got your Bestiary 3 handy?  Okay, flip open to page 83 and look at the art.  Pretty much sells itself, doesn't it?  That eyeball of a face!  Surrounded by fangs!  Those claws!  And is that a cloak?  Hair?  Sand?  All three?

Even if you never use another div (though I think you should, because the idea of corrupted genies with weird phobias is awesome), the aghash is worth putting into your campaign.  As an embodiment of the evil eye given physical form, it can curse from near or far (with spectral hand) and then dimension door to safety—making it a potential long-term threat capable of dogging the PCs’ every step.  And while the aghash’s genie origins and sandstorm ability suggest desert encounters, its compulsion to despoil and ruin things of beauty might find it up to no good in the most secure art museum or harem, far from the ruins favored my other divs.

Plus, the evil eye is a universal enough notion that you could ally the aghash with any number of monsters (hags especially) or come up with other origins.  (Dare I mention the Far Realm again?)  Given its wide-ranging potential, the following adventure seeds play relatively fast and loose with the aghash for exactly that reason…

A blood hag and her aghash servant lived deep in the desert, but come to town from time to time for their own mysterious purposes—to hunt changelings, to acquire components for crude homunculi, or to treat with ghuls over a corpse dinner.  The aghash’s main task is to lure comely men to the blood hag’s lair via suggestion and minor image.  Comely women it jealously keeps—and maims—for itself.

A cyclops witch can trace his ancestry back to a demigod of shipwreckers and reavers.  He has the ability to pluck out his own eyeball and send it in the form of an aghash to spy on and assault his foes.  (Killing the aghash temporarily blinds and enrages the cyclops, but he has magic to compensate…)

Hobgoblins attack the market square with no memory of why, imperiling a decade-old peace treaty.  Ghouls begin to make raids in broad daylight.  A once harmless club for spouse-swapping nobles descends into scarification and gouged-out eyeballs.  Behind it all is the subtle suggestions and darker magic of an aghash.  Though a div, he serves not Ahriman, but something known as the Yellow Sign…

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 83

Slim Naccache wondered, “Are you forgetting [adlets] are not evil but chaotic neutral ?…”  Thanks for the second look, Slim!  But looking back over yesterday’s seeds, I’m still comfortable where I netted out.  No alignment judgments are made in the first adventure seed.  In the third, the emphasis is on the capricious breaking of a contract.  (Besides, given how I describe the noble houses’ games, I doubt the emperor is a paragon of virtue.)  In the second, the shaman is indeed responding to an unusual situation with an evil act…but chaotic neutral creatures are certainly capable of evil, and the adlets might have been reasonable neighbors otherwise until the wendigo forced their hands.

Plus, keep in mind that adlets have no compunctions about cannibalism (which is specifically called out as evil in books like 3.5’s Book of Vile Darkness).  So adlets may be chaotic neutral, but they’re not far from the evil border.  They point is, they are CR 10 hunters from a resource-poor land.  In good times, they are likely good neighbors and trading partners.  In bad, they hunt, and previous alliances or contracts or the nobility or intelligence of their prey be damned.  They aren't evil per se, in the same way nature isn't evil.  A winter storm isn’t evil, but it will kill you all the same…


  1. Ah yeah, the Yellow Sign!

    The Aghash did have some compelling art, and it's modest CR gives it some versatility, but I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet.

  2. Aghash have an unique-look. One appears at the Empty Grave module, plaguing an old temple.