Wednesday, June 29, 2016


We’re finally at the letter E!  (D took ridiculously long, I know.)

Inspired by medieval bestiary descriptions of remoras, the echeneis is basically a magical remora (surprise, surprise!) with the delightfully frustrating ability to sap the speed of larger animals or vessels while magically hasting itself.

As with a lot of CR 1 monsters, the echeneis is a great way to kick off a 1st-level campaign.  A simple job cleaning the magical remoras off the hull of a ship can lead to any number of adventure, depending on who or what they encounter in the job. 

Of course, if you’re running a chase scene and the party members are getting  too lucky on the die rolls, a run-in with a school of echeneises is a perfectly fair in-game way of evening the odds…

Captain Cole hires a group of local youths to scrap echeneises of his hull.  The job runs long, and they are just finishing up when they hear muffled voices above them on the pier.  The speakers toss a roughly dwarf-sized bundle into the harbor…but when they check to see whether the parcel has sunk, they spot the youths.  The strangers draw knives and approach, aiming to eliminate any witnesses.   Meanwhile the corpse—for that is what the wrapped shroud contains—draws larger, lamp-eyed night echeneises out for a feeding.

The aquatic elves of Merinar have a rule: They guarantee safe passage but no human may enter their waters—ever.  So why is the adventurers’ boat being chased by river pirates?  It’s a mystery they have to survive to solve, and that task isn’t made any easier when they run aground on a sandbar and an  echeneis latches on to their ship.  Fighting the fish means breaking the elves’ treaty…if it’s even still in force, given the presence of the pirates bearing down on the doughty adventurers.

Seagoing echeneises are a hassle.  Voidgoing echeneises are a true hazard, particularly on long journeys where any loss of speed can keep ships from achieving escape velocity or cost the crew precious hours of oxygen.  Gnomes in particular hate the remora-like beasts, as void echeneises plague the skywhale pods upon which the gnomes rely.  For adventurers looking to get off world, a few days’ work unhooking echeneises might be just the ticket for getting in good with a pilot.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 103

Most of this was written during jury duty yesterday.  I did not get picked.  (The prosecution did not seem to want me for some reason.)  Sadly, there was no Wi-Fi, in the Quiet Room, so I couldn’t post either.

Wes name-checks the echeneis in this important article.

Looking for the earth vela and earth wysp?  We’ll get to them when we swing back around to A (for the air vela and the aether and air wysps).

Also, I should have mentioned on Monday that if you’re looking for the dvorovoi, we covered it back here.

Hey, here’s my Brexit radio show!  Okay, it’s only got a li'l Brexit, but still I think this is one you’re going to want to check out, because I’m pretty proud of it.  Also new Maggie Rogers, Cymbals Eat Guitars, and Wye Oak.  Stream or download it here till Monday, 7/4, at midnight.

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