One of my treasured memories from late high school was an after-hours trip to Baltimore’s Senator Theatre to see The Secret of Roan Inish, a film about (spoilers) selkies, the sealfolk of Ireland. The movie was gorgeous and magical and years later when someone suggested “Fiona” for the name of my glorious mud-brown (that’s “gold” to you) Toyota Corolla, I seized on it for TSoRI-related reasons.
Holy crap, Pathfinder’s selkies are not those selkies.
Normally I like it when Pathfinder errs on the side of dark, especially with their fey (tooth fairies, anyone?) and fey-adjacent creatures (like Pathfinder’s grim merfolk), but these selkies are seriously dark.
So if you like your selkies to be magical and whimsical and romantic and be able to slip in and out of their sealskins like coats per the stories…well, use the swan maiden stats and adapt them for a seal-woman. But if you want a slavering, clawed shapechanger, one that is a trickster at best and a remorseless predator at worst, Pathfinder’s selkie has you covered.
A selkie on the picturesque coast of Lanx has a particular fondness for luring watercolorists and other artists to watery deaths. Her modus operandi is to sit for seaside portraits farther and farther out on the rocks until she is sure she has the artist quite alone. Often, her seal-like jaws lunging past his easel are the last thing the portraitist ever sees.
Cornered by adaros, a selkie shifts into human form to beg the aid of passing adventurers. If they help her, she promises them a necklace of great value. In truth, she plans to lead them past a nest of chickcharneys (see Isles of the Shackles) to curse them with ill luck, then leave them for draugrs to consume or slay them herself.
Cursed with a peculiar form of lycanthropy, the marchioness of Kaer Una becomes a bloodthirsty seal at the new moon and during autumn squalls. Her husband tries to keep her contained during these episodes, going so far as to construct a pool for her (refreshed daily by the high tide through a portcullis) within the curtain walls. Still, the noblewoman sometimes escapes, and every family near Kaer Una knows of a child a selkie has slain. A hunter has discovered the marchioness’s secret and has sworn to mount her hide to his wall.
—Pathfinder Adventure Path #50 88–89 & Pathfinder Bestiary 4 226
By not checking email/checking the wrong accounts I apparently I missed some killer RPG sales in the last week—some for me, some that I wanted to tell you guys about (like $2 Scarred Lands PDFs). Sorry guys!
Otakon is tomorrow! Anyone else going? Send me a note in the comments or at dailybestiary [at] gmail [dot] com.