Wednesday, January 11, 2017


To paraphrase Krusty the Clown: Once in a great while, we are privileged to experience an RPG event so extraordinary, it becomes part of our shared heritage.

1986: Pegataur walks on the moon.  1989: Pegataur walks on the moon… again.

Then, for a long time, nothing happened.  

Until tonight.

[And in a perfect world, I would post a picture of Ben Wooten’s Bestiary 5 ichthyocentaur—BAM—right here.  But I can’t find a legit (i.e. not from Pinterest) copy anywhere.  Grrr…]

Okay, I may be overstating the case here.  Perhaps nothing will ever top my beloved pegataurs for awesomeness, but ichthyocentaurs are pretty badass too [as the art I cannot show you would demonstrate were it here I repeat grrr…].

With Pathfinder’s merfolk being more cagey and isolationist than in other RPGs—a legacy of Golarion’s wild and woollier early days—and aquatic elves being beset on all side from skum, sahuagin, and worse, ichthyocentaurs are left to take up the mantle of undersea courage and nobility.  Ichthyocentaurs are everything you want from a race you share a coastline with—friends of wisdom and courage; led by bards, clerics, or oracles; mentored by fey and sphinxes; able to pull a seashell cart when you need to move house…ideal neighbors, really.

But ichthyocentaurs are also proud, quick to defend their homes when necessary, and as susceptible as any other race to falling under the spell of charismatic demagogues or bloody-minded religions.  So while PCs should be inclined to think of ichthyocentaurs as friends, they could easily end up facing the wrong end of a masterwork harpoon.

Inspired by their time frolicking on the beach with a seilenos, a band of ichthyocentaurs began honoring a fey lord of revelry and intoxication.  The fey power answered them by sending a pair of maenads to tutor them in madness and the drinking of blood.  Now fish-men and fey alike stalk the coast for cogs laden with wine and victims.

A school of ichthyocentaurs traveled through the Strait of Misfortune to consult the famous Sphinx at Sparrow Rock.  When they got there, they found the Sphinx was a sham—the androsphinx that had once lived here had been slain and his taxidermied skin used by illusionists to gull travelers out of magic items.  Distraught, the ichthyocentaurs seek vengeance for the sphinx and a new home for themselves.  Heartbroken and suspicious, they likely treat adventurers as enemies until the latter prove themselves to be friends.

The Quondam Conch is a spiraling, shell-shaped demiplane of sand and sea that houses civilizations that have sunk below the waves or been lost to tsunamis.  Ichthyocentaurs ply the seas between these city-states, on errands of their own or in service to the demiplane’s mysterious stone idol overseers.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 146

Do any of my readers have Wikipedia editing powers?  That entry on Vengeance of Alphaks needs some help (the right sidebar, especially).

Another place you might have seen pegataurs was the D&D Creature Catalogue, which I wrote a long appreciation of two years ago.

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