|Climate/Terrain:||Any astral or ethereal|
|No. Appearing:||1 (2-8)|
|No. of Attacks:||1|
|Special Attacks:||Engulf, psionics|
|Special Defenses:||Immune to Type B weapons, ½ damage from Type S|
|Size:||L (8’ body)|
Psychoportation – Sciences: probability travel, teleport; Devotions: astral projection, teleport trigger, time/space anchor.
Telepathy – Sciences: mind link, superior invisibility; Devotions: contact, ESP, false sensory input, invisibility, life detection, phobia amplification.
Psychometabolism – Sciences: nil; Devotions: chameleon power, displacement, ectoplasmatic form.
The dhours are a voracious race of dimensional hunters that haunt the Astral and Ethereal Planes. They’re large, amorphous, amoebalike creatures of translucent protoplasm. Strange organs and bizarre pulses of light shift and move in their bodies, and a large, three-lobed brain is suspended in the center of its mass. A dhour can flatten its body out to a foot-thick pancake 10 feet across, or form a single cone-shaped heap about 6 feet tall; this is their most common form for travel and combat.
Dhours’re bound to the Astral and Ethereal Planes by the structure of their bodies; the only way they can leave is by using openings others have made. A dhour searches constantly for a recently used conduit or color pool, and then strikes out to capture and devour whatever made the disturbance. A dhour can maintain itself away from the Astral or Ethereal only by using its psionic powers: when it runs out of PSPs, it must return to its native planes.
Generally, dhours take note of both physically present and astrally projecting travelers. They’re fond of lurking near color pools to waylay creatures nearing their astral destinations. Dhours can sense creatures passing through conduits in the Astral; a cutter might be instantaneously whisked through the Silver Void in the blink of an eye, only to be visited weeks later by a dhour that caught sight of him as he passed. In the Ethereal, dhours watch over curtains of vaporous color in much the same way as they guard color pools in the Astral.
The chant is the dhours’re new to the planes. The Godsmen report that dhours’ve shown up on the Astral only within the last decade or so. A few bloods have managed to communicate with a dhour by means of telepathy or similar psionic powers. They say that the dhours’ minds are alien and unreadable, but that the creatures were able to make their thoughts known to them. The dhours display a keen sense of curiosity about the other planes and show some willingness to exchange information – but only when they’re not hungry.
Combat: A dhour tries to attack its prey on the Astral or Ethereal Plane, but if it can’t catch up to its intended victim, it follows the poor sod wherever he goes. Once a dhour’s sighted a victim, it can use its psionic powers to enter any plane and attack its victim again and again. The only defense against this is to kill the dhour or stay in planar layers that can’t be reached from the Astral. Once a dhour’s set on a victim, it’ll keep trying to catch and devour him until it succeeds.
The dhour attacks physically by lashing at its victim with a powertful pseudopod, delivering 4d4 points of damage with a blow. If it manages to grab hold of its prey by rolling a natural 19 or 20, it can throw itself over the poor sod and engulf him. The victim gets a saving throw versus paralyzation to pull free, but if he fails the dhour surrounds him. Engulfed victims immediately begin to suffocate (death follows the number of rounds equal to one-third the character’s Constitution score), and suffer 2d6+6 points of acid damage each round.
While the dhour engulfs its victim it can lash out at any other nearby creatures with its pseudopods, but can’t move. Dhours are immune to Type B weapons and suffer only half damage from Type S weapons due to their amorphous structure. Successful attacks on dhours that’ve engulfed victims (or are in the process of doing so) cause the same damage to the victims as to the monsters.
The dhour prefer to avoid mental combat unless it’s necessary to reach its chosen victim. It must use the science of probability travel to leave the Astral Plane, and therefore its ability to remain on any other plane is limited. The dhour uses its telepathic abilities to locate its prey and then set an ambush for the poor sod. Note that a dhour can often gain surprise by using invisibility or chameleon power in its attack. Dhours are considered monsters for purposes of using contact against them, but they don’t suffer this penalty against their one chosen victims.
Habitat/Society: Dhours prefer to hunt alone, and are only rarely encountered in groups. The creatures aren’t territorial, but instead mark their chosen victims to warn off other dhours. The mark affects the victim’s psychic aura. It can be detected by the psionic power of aura sight, and removed using psychic surgery. No dhour’ll attacj a character who’s been marked by another dhour until the one that first sighted that prey is dead.
From time to time, dhours stop hunting and gather in small bands or circles. There’s a 25% chance that any encounter with the dhours actually takes place during this nonaggressive cycle. Such circles comprise 2 to 8 dhours. The dhour circle seems to be the sole social activity of the monsters; they drift aimlessly through the Astral, all but ignoring the Void around them, communicating telepathically. The only time a dhour’ll converse with a cutter is when it’s travelling to or from a circle meeting. Although a dhour circle ignores anything except a direct attack, it’s still dangerous to be around – if the dhours notice any creatuers observing their circle, they’re likely to mark the intruders and seek the sods out later.
Ecology: Dhours aren’t native to any known universe and likely came to the planes from some distant, alien, prime-material world. Their predatory habits and single-minded pursuit of prey are of great concern to any astral or ethereal traveler. No one knows the dark of why the dhours do qhat they do; some bashers’ve speculated that dhours devour more than the mere flesh of their victims. It’s rumored that priests can’t raise sods that’ve been eaten by a dhour, but this hasn’t been proven yet.
Dhours appear to reproduce by amoebalike division, after gathering in their circles. A dividing dhour actually splits its hit point total in halves, and each new individual grows to full size and strength within 6 months.
Last Modified: March 01, 2014, 03:40:08 GMT
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