The Lonesome Road
|Climate/Terrain:||Temperate to subtropical woodlands|
|No. of Attacks:||1|
|Damage/Attack:||1d4 or by Weapon|
|Special Attacks:||Sleep, Poison|
What was that? Did you hear…? Damnation. Quick, cover your ears! Don’t ask questions, pretty boy, unless you want to wake up covered in your momma’s blood and holding a knife in your hand.
Kashehotapolo are an ancient race of goblinoid creatures which inhabit remote woodland areas. Though naturally skittish, they take special delight in driving men to acts of evil.
A kashehotapolo is a humanoid standing about three feet in height, with distinctly goblinoid features. The overall build is almost fetal in shape, with a large head and stubby limbs. The face is small and wrinkled, and the ears are pointed. A kashehotapolo has black, beady eyes and a wide mouth filled with human-like teeth that have been filed to points. Skin color varies widely, but is always a hue that enables them to hide effectively in the forest. Dappled greens and muddy earth tones are typical. Kashehotapolo keep their black hair in a short mohawk with a central braid in the back. They wear nothing except for bone ear plugs in their stretched lobes.
Kashehotapolo speak their own language, which sounds like an eerie cacophony of bird chirps and hoots. They do not appear to understand other humanoid tongues.
Combat: Kashehotapolo attack with their sharp teeth for 1-4 points of damage, or with simple weapons such as blowguns, clubs, slings or spears. Unsurprisingly, the barbaric kashehotapolo are quite adept at combat in their native forests. They are excellent at using the terrain to their advantage, and have a repertoire of thief-like abilities at their command. They can move silently, hide in shadows, detect noise, and climb walls all at a chance of 85%. They can also pass without trace at will, in a manner similar to a druid.
The ability which forest travelers fear, however, is their mournful singing, which has the power to put opponents into a deep sleep. This functions as a sleep spell, except that it affects all those within earshot (30 yards), and lasts a mere five rounds. Additionally, victims may make a saving throw vs. spell to negate the effect. Characters who make their saving throw are not affected by the singing of kashehotapolo for the next 24 hours.
Kashehotapolo usually use their singing to give them an opportunity to beat a hasty retreat. However, they often pierce their sleeping opponents with a special thorn-tipped stick as they flee. The wound causes no damage – and thus does not awaken the slumberer – but leaves behind a dose of the musk from the kashehotapolo’s anal glands. For reasons that are not clear, kashehotapolo do not coat their other weapons with this poison. The stick they utilize may have some ritual significance to them, as it is often elaborately decorated with geometric designs.
Victims poisoned in this manner must save vs. poison or fall victim to its insidious symptoms (paladins and lawful good priests gain a +2 bonus). The poison does not have an immediate effect but lingers in the wound, gradually shifting the character’s alignment to chaotic evil. Every three days, beginning with three days after exposure, the character’s alignment moves one step towards chaotic evil. First the ethos portion of their alignment shifts in discrete steps towards chaos, and then their morality towards evil. For example, a lawful good character would progress as follows: neutral good, chaotic good, chaotic neutral, chaotic evil.
The poison can be cured by any magical means, such as a neutralize poison spell, and sometimes even through careful use of herbalism. However, because of the normally unnoticeable wound and the gradual symptoms, the cause of the character’s alignment shift is often difficult to determine. Once cured, characters return to their original alignment at the rate of one step per day. Those unfortunates who remain chaotic evil for one week become chaotic evil permanently – only dispel evil or a wish will restore the character’s old alignment. Paladins, rangers and other characters with rigid alignment requirements who are cured must still make atonement for their misdeeds, though their actions count as involuntary. Powers checks which are made while the character is under the influence of the poison should have their percent chance of failure halved (DMs should be judicious but perhaps a bit lenient when calling for powers checks while characters are in such an altered state).
Habitat/Society: The kashehotapolo are lawless creatures without many possessions. They live in a loose hunter-gatherer society where bands of individuals group together for protection. There are no kashehotapolo leaders, and the band members remain fairly independent unless the group is threatened. They do not build permanent homes, but make their lairs in regular, secluded locations, such as the mouths of caves or in hollow logs. Though nocturnal, they are most active at dusk and dawn. There do not appear to be distinct sexes of kashehotapolo, and their reproduction remains a puzzle.
Ecology: Kashehotapolo are remarkably resourceful creatures which in many ways epitomize the conception of a savage race living in harmony with nature. Their malicious tendencies emerge when they sing their victims to sleep and poison them, apparently just to encourage the spread of evil. When they encounter other intelligent beings, their natural skittishness battles their gleeful desire to infect good beings with evil. Very occasionally, they will engage in cannibalism of intelligent creatures if food is scarce. Many necromancers and evil priests desire to obtain a sample of kashehotapolo musk, but it is not known how long the poison keeps.
The Lonesome Road
Last Modified: January 28, 2014, 12:52:58 GMT
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