Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I can only imagine that starving to death is a terrible fate.  So mass starvation must be truly horrific.  The gashadokuro is the embodiment of that trauma—a Huge undead giant composed of the countless bones of the starving dead and animated with their desperate hunger. 

Like devourers, gashadokuros are terrifying because they can consume characters nearly utterly, and they are even more indiscriminate, gobbling up any living thing in their path.  The bones then fall out of the gashadokuro’s rib cage—one explanation for its constant hunger—or are vomited up as a breath weapon.

Personally, I think a gashadokuro’s appearance should reflect the conditions where it was born.  A gashadokuro born in a dust bowl might be a sandy thing constantly surrounded by spiraling winds, while a gashadokuro born in a ghetto might have tenement floorboards and cheap shingles stuck among its many bones.

One final note: The gashadokuro’s stat block reads: “Organization solitary.”  And 99% of the time that should be the case.  But we have a name for that other 1%, one that could make for a hell of a campaign: Attack on Titan.

For years a decanter of endless water was all that kept an isolated valley fertile.  When the decanter was stolen, the river dried up and the people starved.  Now a gashadokuro tirelessly hunts the bearer of the decanter, and it matters little if the current owner is innocent of the original theft.

Adventurers airlift supplies to a far-flung colony…only to find it deserted.  The headman’s diary speaks of failed crops, famine, and growing desperation.  Then a gashadokuro erupts from the ground, crippling their flying mounts in gout of bone shards and stranding them far from home.

Even devils avoid the Tantalan Fields.  Here sinners used to harvest crops they would never eat and sit at tables where the food turned to ash on their plates.  The collective hunger of the souls was enough to create a fiendish gashadokuro that defied the minor devil overseers’ attempts to command or destroy it. They have moved the remaining souls rather than report their failure up the chain of command, leaving the Fields a blind spot that adventurers can take advantage of—if they survive the undead guardian.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 121

More on the gashadokuro can be found in Pathfinder Adventure Path #54: The Empty Throne.

1 comment:

  1. In the original mythology, the only way to detect a gashadokuro before it attacked was by a ringing in the ears. If the creature was hunting you personally, the ringing would be the sound of loud bells. I think there's something neat there. Maybe this:

    When a schism split the church of High Morduria into the Falzetti, Barucha, and sundry minor factions, war wracked the city. In the slums, countless poor crowded into the catacombs beneath the chapel of Saint Venestris the plentiful in an effort to hide from the blooshed; Vanestris' clergy had no stake in the fighting between the Falzetti and Barucha factions, each of which was backed by nobles and had access to real soldiers. When the Falzetti gained the upper hand, their noble backers took the opportunity to rid the city of its poor once and for all, and had their armies raze the slums, trapping the poor below ground,where they starved to death by the thousand, unable to dig their way out.

    After crushing the Barucha and bringing the minor factions to heel, the Falzetti Primate, now head of the church, ordered the ruins of the slums cleared to make way for a new basilica— unfortunately for him, his workers disturbed the ruin of the chapel of Saint Venestris. A gashadokuro rose out of the rubble, the ragged steeple of the church embedded in its back. It slaughtered the workers and began stalking the city. Now the sound of cracked church bells in the night signals that the creature known as the Parish of Venestris is abroad in the darkened streets, and any nobleman or Falzetti sympathizer it finds is in terrible danger. It seems to ingore the minor factions and the crushed remains of the Barucha, and the nobles, taking note, are preparing to take reprisals.