Whenever demons or undead take over a country, or some horrible magical event happens in a region, there’s always the question of what life in a realm of death is actually like. Like, what happens to the animals? Do they flee? Do they remain, skittish and agitated? Do ghouls eat them all or do they find a way to persist? Or are they, too, morphed?
The plagued beast is the result of demon plague—in Golarion, yet another stain from the Worldwound. But in your game it can work for any necromantic or fiendish affliction, and is useful for giving your undead something to ride that’s sturdier than a skeletal steed.
The centaurs of the Iron Lands are in dire straights. Demon plague is racing through their herds, decimating the stock just before the yearly horse fair the centaurs depend on for buying winter stores. If they can’t cull the undead beasts and save their horses, they will have to rely in the Medichar Bank for a loan—an ill prospect, as Medichar law protects only humanoids from slavery if they default. Adventurers are needed to hunt down the plagued steeds (possibly hindered by Medichar Bank agents) and discover the root of the infection.
Loch Annis is famous for three things: a series of three sentry keeps, the hag (long slain) that gave the loch its name, and a serpentine beast, likely an elasmosaurus, that draws tourists and naturalists. But when some necromantic storm engulfs one of the keeps, the lake monster “Annie” becomes a plagued horror, terrorizing towns up and down the loch.
A traveling circus’s showstopper is covering one lucky farmer’s animal in gold. Crowds for miles around come to watch the Eeling & Sons Circus lead a horse, mule, or kite deer through a magic mirror, which it comes through dusted in real gold leaf the farmer can then curry out of the animal’s hide. But three months into the act, an alarming pattern is emerging: Every animal that has gone through the mirror comes down with demon plague. After a plagued deer terrorizes a halfling village, the sheriff wants the circus stopped—permanently.
—The Worldwound 56 & Pathfinder Bestiary 5 194
Long time no see, huh? Happy holidays, everybody.
Looking for the piranha swarm? We’ll cover it when we cover the dunkleosteus.