Friday, December 19, 2014

Elder Thing

Thank goodness the major Lovecraftian races all hate each other.  Otherwise humanity would be doomed.  (Even sooner than it already is, I mean.)

Elder things, for instance, are an ancient, radially symmetrical race of beings who move from world to world, hibernating during their interplanetary journeys and waking to build great cities both on land and under the sea.  They might have left a more lasting mark if they hadn’t also created the shoggoths as a servitor race.  These monsters eventually rebelled, neatly illustrating why you should never create a CR 19 ooze servant when you’re a CR 5 aberration.  But as they “possess a boundless capacity for war and egotism,” according to the Bestiary 4, they’re not likely to learn that lesson any time soon. 

Speaking of that boundless capacity for war, they are also enemies of the aboleths, mi-go, star-spawn of Cthulhu, and the yithians.  All these factors, along with their clumsy and slow limited starflight, have curtailed their spread.  (According to Wikipedia, they also don’t like ice ages.)  But you have to guess that any race hated by manipulative psionic fish, intelligent fungi, time-travelling super-intelligences, and the children of Cthulhu himself probably isn’t going to be besties with the human race either.

Snow elves explore a domed crystal city not unlike their own.  Their meddling awakens the hibernating elder things within, as well as darker threats—including an immature and hibernation-weakened (but still quite deadly) shoggoth.  If the elves do not seal up the strange city their own civilization might be doomed.  But as the initial explorers accidentally brought russet mold spores back with them, they have their own problems to deal with first.  Though it shames them to admit it, the snow elves need outside help—possibly even from revolting non-elves.

The subterranean city of Dez Muthoin features an unusual proprietor of magic items: an elder thing spellcaster.  It specializes in headgear, cloaks, and other items it cannot wear, keeping useful rings, rods, and similar treasures for itself.  Its familiar is a disturbing ratling who keeps a close eye on newcomers whose magical gear the elder thing may wish to purchase…or steal.

A duergar vampire is an unusual thing, even in the largest spaceport in the cluster.  His request isn’t: He seeks bounty hunters to kill an elder thing.  All dwarves hate the terraforming colonizers, so that’s no surprise.  But that he’s willing to hire living agents straight up, with no domination…?  Well, that’s a scenario that smells of plotting and mystery, make no mistake.  Might even be worth taking the contract just to find out why this particular elder thing, why this dead dwarf, and why now, when fulfilling the contract means running through the 3rd Couatl Fleet blockade to a godsdamned mummy world…?

Pathfinder Adventure Path #46 82–83 & Pathfinder Bestiary 4 85

The full entry on elder things can be found in Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher.

Speaking of which, I’m not a huge Gothic horror fan, but I end up recommending Carrion Crown Adventure Path issues a lot simply because they’re useful.  (The first two issues, for instance, have a lot of low-level monsters, variants monsters, and haunts.  And who wants to stat up werewolves or vampires when you can just steal them wholesale from PAP #45 and #47?)  So if you’re looking for how Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones and Outer Gods fit into Golarion, PAP #46 is the issue to turn to.

Regarding einherjar, ohgodhesloose has plenty more to say…including comparing them to Games Workshop’s vaunted Space Marines…

It is really weird to have a blog apparently popular enough for fake blogs to rip off my content.  But it makes Googling myself more interesting.  Wait, no, I meant annoying.  (The best way to push imposter sites down in the rankings?  Recommend The Daily Bestiary on your favorite message boards.)

By the way, I’ll be doing my annual holiday music show (yeah, it’s mostly Christmas tunes, but I try) tomorrow morning live from 10 AM to noon, U.S. Eastern.  Tune in!

1 comment:

  1. The way shoggoths are mistreated, you'd think there be at least one adventure where we could ally with one, or at least try a Diplomacy roll. Granted, said roll should be at artillery distance, but it's worth a try.