Thursday, April 9, 2015


It’s hard to get more mythic than the julunggali.  A Colossal, semidivine snake, the julunggali can literally move heaven and earth courtesy of spell-like abilities like control water, create water, mythic move earth, and mythic control weather.  And you don't want to mess with a being that can bestow curses at will, throw mythic baleful polymorphs (which transform partially even on a successful save), and choose at whim how serious the poison is when it bites you—including aging you a whole age category. 

That said, because julunggalis often preside over rites of passage, PCs are as likely to encounter one at the very start of their careers as they are at the end of them.  “Encounter” being the key word here, not “fight”…until they’re at least Level 16 or so.  And should they break one of the snake’s sacred taboos, they might find out just how vengeful a CR 21/MR 8 magical beast can be.

The key to stopping a qlippoth invasion is to pour the blood of a seraph onto an ideogram-carved rock in a distant wilderness.  But doing so means breaking the taboo of a julunggali adamantly opposed to keeping the carvings unmolested.  Can she be convinced to relent?  (After all, she is old enough to remember the dark epoch when qlippoths ruled.)  Or must she be defeated as the penultimate trial before the party’s showdown with the iathavos?

Even for a famously close-mouthed race like the dwarves, the Stone Shapers are a breed apart.  This is because they don’t worship the traditional dwarven pantheon, but instead revere their patron julunggali.  The dwarves keep their worship secret from outsiders, working with the serpent to reshape their domain in ways large and small according to mythical earth nodes and ley lines.  Perhaps to compensate for their spiritual divide from other dwarves, the Stone Shapers are otherwise fierce snake hunters, famous for fighting serpentfolk, tarnished couatls, hollow serpents, and the like.

The path to the Outer Planes has been blocked ever since the Rainbow Bridge was shattered.  A julunggali gathered up the pieces and has guarded them in her temple complex ever since.  Adventurers who wish to restore the bridge must complete three tasks, which may include being polymorphed into other races and species, living cursed for a year, fetching an artifact from the Realm of Death (and trusting the julunggali to supply the necessary raise dead), or fighting the Colossal serpent itself.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 164

Given that the julunggali seems to be inspired by the Australian Aboriginal rainbow snake goddess Julunggul, this mythic serpent would be perfect paired with the Aborigine-inspired chameleon men portrayed in “The Voyage of the Princess Ark in Dragon Magazine #186.  In fact, one of the Land of Wallara’s patron deities is Agundji, the Rainbow Serpent, an aspect of the draconic Immortal known as the Great One.

(I’m finally getting over my pedantic squeamishness about linking to PDFs of old Dragon issues.  Normally I’m pretty fierce about protecting OC, but we’re talking 20+ years, three editions past, and no easy way to get these mags legally, so screw it.)

(Speaking of which, that issue also has Michael Gabriel’s “50 Castle Hauntings,” James R. Collier’s “Welcome to the Neighborhood!”—a look at fantasy cities (especially fantasy ethnic neighborhoods) that still feels fresh today)—and an installment of “The Marvel-Phile” that shows Groot years before he got turned into a household name.

Is there a German word for that feeling you get when you see an old friend from years ago opening for and then dancing with the Mountain Goats?

Ah yes: Ausgezeichnet.

(Actually I missed the opening part because last night I was on hospital discharge duty for a loved one, but I was there for all of the Mountain Goats and accompanying dancing.)

Also I ran into my brother’s friend Alice, whose current flaming neon-red hair upends everything you think you know about what a League of Women Voters co-chair looks like.  Let’s put it this way: There are a lot of blue-haired old ladies in the League, but when Alice is one of them, she means it.

I also saw David Sedaris Tuesday night!  And am seeing The Ting Tings Saturday.  Skipping Alex Winston tonight because I am tiiiiiiiiiired.

No comments:

Post a Comment