Medusa/Gorgon

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medusa
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Greek mythology Medusa was a Gorgon, a chthonic monster, and a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto. The author Hyginus, (Fabulae, 151) interposes a generation and gives Medusa another chthonic pair as parents. Gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. She was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.

Medusa in classical mythology

The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or Phorkys) and his sister Ceto (or Keto), chthonic monsters from an archaic world. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound who places both trinities of sisters far off "on Kisthene's dreadful plain":

Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged
With snakes for hair— hated of mortal man—

While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as beings born of monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar already speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa".

In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," priestess in Athena's temple, but when the "Lord of the Sea" Poseidon raped her in Athena's temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa's beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. In Ovid's telling, Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Minerva (Athena) as just and well-deserved.

Death

Antonio Canova (1757–1822) Description: Perseus holding Medusa's head. Marble, ca. 1800.

Antonio Canova (17571822) Description: Perseus holding Medusa's head. Marble, ca. 1800.

In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphos as a gift. With help from Athena and Hermes who supplied him with winged sandals, Hades' cap of invisibility, a sword, and a mirrored shield, he accomplished his quest. The hero slew Medusa by looking at her harmless reflection in the mirror instead of directly at her, to prevent being turned into stone. When the hero severed Medusa's head from her neck, two offspring sprang forth, the winged horse Pegasus and the golden-sworded giant Chrysaor.

Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, and that potency resides in the head; she is in a word a mask with a body later appended... the basis of the Gorgoneion is a cultus object, a ritual mask misunderstood."

In Odyssey xi, Homer does not specifically mention the Gorgon Medusa:

"Lest for my daring Persephone the dread,

From Hades should send up an awful monster's grisly head."

Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."

According to Ovid, in North-West Africa Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone. In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Aethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood.

Perseus then flew to Seriphos where his mother was about to be forced into marriage with the king. King Polydectes was turned into stone by the gaze of Medusa's head.

Then he gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the Aegis.

Medusa

[This content was created for the Pathfinder rules by Paizo Publishing LLC and is part of the Pathfinder RPG product line.]

This slender, attractive woman has strangely glowing eyes and a full head of hissing snakes for hair.

Medusa CR 7
XP 3,200
LE Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +6; Senses all-around vision, Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13 ( +2 Dexterity, +3 natural)
hp 76 (8d10+32)
Fort +6, Ref +8, Will +7
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Dagger +10/+5 (1d4/19–20), snake bite +5 (1d4 plus poison)
Ranged mwk longbow +11/+6 (1d8/×3)
Special Attacks petrifying gaze
STATISTICS
Strength 10, Dexterity 15, Constitution 18, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 13, Charisma 15
Base Atk +8; CMB +8; CMD 20
Feats Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +10, Disguise +10, Intimidate +13, Perception +16, Stealth +13; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception +9
SPECIAL ABILITIES
All-Around Vision (Ex)

A medusa's snake-hair allows her to see in all directions. Medusas gain a +4 racial bonus to Perception checks and cannot be flanked.

Petrifying Gaze (Su)

Turn to stone permanently, 30 feet, Fortitude DC 16 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex)

Bite—injury; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d3 Strength; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate marshes and underground
Organization solitary
Treasure double (Dagger, masterwork longbow with 20 arrows, other treasure)

Medusas are human-like creatures with snakes instead of hair. At distances of 30 feet or more, a medusa can easily pass for a beautiful woman if she wears something to cover her serpentine locks—when wearing clothing that conceals her head and face, she can be mistaken for a human at even closer distances. Medusas use lies and disguises that conceal their faces to get close enough to opponents to use their petrifying gaze, though they like playing with their prey and may fire arrows from a distance to lead enemies into traps. Some enjoy creating intricate decorations out of their victims, using their petrified remains as accents to their swampy lairs, but most medusas take care to hide the evidence of their previous conflicts so that new foes won't have advance warning of their presence.

Used to concealing themselves, medusas in cities are usually rogues, while those in the wilderness often pass themselves off as rangers or trackers. The most notorious and legendary medusas, though, are those who take levels as bards or clerics. Charismatic and intelligent, urban medusas are often involved with thieves' guilds or other aspects of the criminal underworld. Medusas may form alliances with blind creatures or intelligent undead, both of which are immune to their stony gaze. Spellcasting medusas often serve as oracles or prophets, usually dwelling in remote locations of legendary power or infamous history. Such oracle medusas take great delight in their roles, and if presented with the proper gifts and flattery, the secrets they offer can be quite helpful. Of course, the lairs of such potent creatures are liberally decorated with statues of those who have offended them, so the seeker of knowledge is well advised to tred carefully during such meetings.

All known medusas are female. Rarely, a medusa may decide to keep a male humanoid as a mate, usually with the help of elixirs of love or similar magic, and is always careful to not petrify her prisoner—at least until she grows tired of his company.

Medusi Revisited

The ultimate outcasts, medusas are hated, loathed, and feared by members of every race vulnerable to their abilities. At a distance, a medusa resembles a shapely woman with supple skin that ranges from alabaster to ebony and sparkling eyes as hard as diamonds. However, the reality of the deceptive being becomes all too apparent as one nears her, for one discovers that the beautiful woman's hair is actually composed of dozens of writhing serpents, and her captivating gaze is capable of turning the casual onlooker to stone. Medusas' horrific visages and destructive powers mark them as monsters in most cultures, and their status as exiles drives them to despise their persecutors in return. While not innately evil, medusas are driven to pursue their dark desires out of spite, scornful of those who shun them for their curse. It is no wonder that medusas as a rule do not pursue more wholesome endeavors, for they are confined to the outskirts of society, forced to victimize innocents and formulate underhanded schemes in order to simply get by. Unfortunately, for most medusas, simply getting by isn't nearly enough.

Medusas are avaricious, lustful, and driven by the need for vengeance. They make their lairs far from the societies that shun them, preferring to adopt as their homes either labyrinthine cave systems or neglected structures in remote marshes and jungles, and often construct underground passages that link both such realms in order to bolster their mobility. Though they reside in places of squalor, medusas take pride in how they ornament their abodes, filling each room with resplendent jewels, masterfully crafted works of pottery, and unique pieces of beautiful art. To acquire such decorations, a medusa will sometimes journey to nearby settlements with a veil drawn over her eyes and a hood over her hair, seducing vendors and private collectors alike with her charming wiles or stealing the items while they have their backs turned. When a medusa has a target with particularly desirable wares in a vulnerable position, she may unleash her petrifying gaze, turning her victim to stone and allowing her to plunder his goods at her whim. Of course, the medusa is sure to dispose of the evidence of her crime-destroying her newly created statue and hiding the rubble-lest the surrounding populace become aware of her presence.

Ecology

A medusa's diet reflects her environment; one who spends most of her time dwelling in her marshy lair will make her meals out of the other denizens of the swamp, preferring the raw meat of crocodiles, giant frogs, and boggards. Since their appetites are largely carnivorous, medusas often become experts at stealthily hunting down their prey and killing it from afar so as not to petrify their meal before it can be consumed. A medusa's stony gaze doesn't discriminate, and neither birds nor vermin are immune to her curse. Thus, for a marsh-dwelling medusa, any bugs that may have acted as pollinators and seed-bearers are often accidentally turned to dust and gravel, and though medusas are fond of wine and fresh fruit, most must travel away from their lairs in order to acquire such luxuries, the plant life having become neglected by the because of their accursed presence. While it is partly true that medusas have an affinity for lonely and bleak places far from those who despise them, this is primarily so because medusas create bleakness and desolation wherever they linger, and even if they establish new homes, it is not long before bleakness and desolation follow them once more.

While many medusas reside in distant swamp lairs, some opt to move into the dark underbellies of the societies that hate them, if only to be closer to the objects of their own depredations. Such medusas often hone their archery skills in the wild before utilizing them in urban areas, turning their mastery of the hunt into viable careers as rogues or assassins. Others pursue the arcane or divine arts, acting as oracles and seers for those bold enough to pay for such fickle beings' services. Customers who pay adequate homage to a fortunetelling medusa are often rewarded with valuable advice, while those who either overtly or inadvertently insult such monstrous sages quickly find themselves among the numerous statues of previous insolent customers decorating the medusa's parlor.

Medusas can mate with any race capable of propagation with humans, though their children are always female and always carry their mother's curse. A medusa typically chooses the finest breeding stock for her pleasures and for reproduction, manipulating her subjects with trickery and disguise while driving them into poverty with her incessant desires for expensive material goods. The hereditary curse of medusas is outwardly reflected in their gaze and hair, but less well known is that within every medusa's chest beats a heart made of literal and figurative stone. As hard as rock yet as contractile as any human heart, a medusa's heart is made up of an ever-renewing, mystic precipitate, which the blood of the creature constantly erodes and replenishes as it pulses through. Within it is said to be some lingering trace of the immortal, a chemical that extends medusas' lifespans beyond those of even elves.

Habitat & Society

A medusa is often solitary as a byproduct of her powers, since few allies can survive around her for long, but among those who can withstand their damning gaze, medusas are quite fond of organizing heists and planning other illicit activities. Medusas often find it difficult to work together, as individuals tend to have very particular ideas about how best to accomplish their goals; even if they agree on what those goals are, a medusa is rarely willing to submit to the authority of another, as each feels she should be in control. A particularly strong medusa may be able to recruit others to her cause and enforce a strict hierarchy and chain of command, and a cadre of medusas working in concert is truly a terrifying thing; it is far more common, however, for a single medusa to establish a network of spies and minions of other, lesser races to work for her.

Medusas who dwell in ancient ruins-especially those who fancy themselves clerics or other channelers of the divine-often ally with intelligent undead or animate skeleton and zombie servants, as beings of unlife are immune to their lapidifying gaze. For similar reasons, medusas with a more academic bent may delve into ancient secrets that allow them to control constructs that patrol and protect their lairs. Still others form oracular cults, doling out prophecies and encouraging their monstrous petitioners to wholly blind themselves and rely on their supernatural senses, forcing their subjects to wear hoods or blindfolds, or burning incense from banks of censers and hanging thuribles so as to conceal their faces amid the haze.

Medusas who choose to make their homes far from the realms of civilization have little reason to hide their collections of petrified victims, and may place them in artistic arrangements around their lairs to intimidate intruders or those they've lured to such desolate places. More cautious medusas, especially those whose homes aren't especially far from outposts or urban centers, meticulously dispose of petrified remains in deep pits, pools, and bogs, or bury them under sand and soil to avoid alerting explorers to the danger. Even so, clever adventurers might notice the peculiar absence of vermin and small animals that normally crawl about the warm, damp environs medusas typically reside in, and even a tiny bee made of stone can be a dead giveaway of a medusa's presence.

A medusa living among humans and their ilk must be an expert at disguise or stealth, and keep her visage constantly hidden behind a veil or beneath a low-hanging hood. Such social medusas excel at creating elaborate networks of unassociated cells, each unaware of the activities and objectives of the others. A medusa usually uses different disguises with each sect of her organization to ensure that the uncovering of one will not lead to discovery of another, as well as to keep her true nature and identity hidden. While loath to sacrifice followers for no reason, medusas are ruthless in expunging those who fail to advance their objectives or who prove incompetent. Medusas can often be found as the leaders of thieves' guilds, smuggling rings, slave trafficking operations, or any other exploitive enterprise. Labyrinthine lairs in sewers or decayed slums are often the favored homes of urban-dwelling medusas, but many ambitious individuals take an entirely different tack, infiltrating the upper echelons of society through seduction, blackmail, or outright assassination. Some may steal the identity of reclusive, elderly, or sickly patricians or members of such wealthy families, living in opulence under the stony gaze of victims petrified in their own homes before smashing the evidence and moving onto another set of prey.

Campaign Role

Medusas make excellent foes for PCs in both urban and wilderness campaigns. The snake-haired monsters can be found behind closed doors in the corrupt parts of vast metropolises as well as in the abandoned ruins of forts and citadels in boggy swamps, and how medusas intersect with both environs can create an interesting dynamic for PCs used to simply exploring one or the other. Tracking down the criminal mastermind behind a massive slave-trading operation can take an unexpected twist when the leader's home contains a secret entrance to a vast underground network of interwoven cave systems. Likewise, treasure hunters exploring the apparently empty lair of a temporarily absent medusa would be surprised to find a tunnel full of the petrified remains of countless victims leading to the slum district of a nearby town, and such events can create interesting roleplaying opportunities in addition to combat encounters.

Medusas in the wild are often the hunter rather than the hunted, and PCs who find themselves in the territory of a medusa may discover their error all too quickly when an arrow narrowly misses an adventurer's throat. Such medusas typically attack intruders they believe are getting too close to their lairs, though a particularly tactical medusa may instead set up her home to attract such intrusions, utilizing various preset traps as well as the ledges, catwalks, balconies, trenches, and pits that dot the environment. A medusa typically allows PCs to get just close enough for her to use her gaze while staying out of melee combat. Medusas with class levels will often focus on Acrobatics or Climb (or acquire magical equipment to enhance these skills) to render these strategies more effective, and when getting close enough to petrify foes is not a wise choice, they rely on their longbows to subdue ranged opponents before moving in to deal with the rest.

Medusas make excellent foes for the end of low- to mid-level adventures, and can be given class levels to enhance their prowess in combat even further. As they typically guard huge treasure troves of wealth and lore, the items an adventuring party finds upon destroying a medusa can double as strong plot hooks, as the PCs might need to return a powerful artifact to its proper resting ground in order to prevent further chaos, or might find a treasure map signifying further plunder to be found in a distant region. Thanks to both the range of possibilities granted by their greed, as well as their mid-range CR, medusas make for excellent transitional monsters when a GM wants to shift a campaign in an entirely different direction midway through a party's adventuring career.

In a high-level game, multiple medusas attacking simultaneously constitute a legitimate threat, as they are immune to each other's gazes, while PCs must continue to save every round for every medusa as long as they are within range. Their humanoid forms and ability to blend in with more mundane societies make medusas particularly viable monstrous candidates for adding class levels and developing interesting backstories. Medusas with class levels are excellent high-level opponents, especially as rogues who sneak attack enemies averting their gaze, or as foes with levels in a Charisma-based class such as bard, oracle, sorcerer, or cleric, since their higher ability scores and access to powerful magic items and spells make their Charisma-based gaze weapon even more potent. Even medusas who take levels in fighter, barbarian, or monk can prove powerful, taking PCs by surprise if they expect a less physical opponent.

Treasure

Medusas are collectors of all forms of wealth, and because of their greedy nature some develop obsessive fixations on particular objects of art and beauty. Medusas prize jewelry, carvings, and other types of artistic possessions, and whenever possible they trade raw coin and gemstones for such works. Even finely crafted but mundane items such as lamps, furniture, and utensils appeal to the aesthetic of medusas, who see the beauty in anything that has been crafted from something raw into something functional and magnificent. Favorite magic items of medusas include all types of magical jewelry (such as necklaces, rings, pendants, crowns, and circlets), figurines of wondrous power, marvelous pigments, rods of splendor, and magical cloaks and robes of ostentatious design-and of course jars of stone salve to help them loot their petrified victims. A medusa may stow gaudy items when she requires stealth, but when she reveals herself she wants every eye drawn to her.

In some ways, the dwelling place of a medusa may be a treasure in and of itself. While medusas are rarely scholars of history and magic, their affinity for beauty extends to a fascinated appreciation for ancient architecture and weathered relics of past civilizations. Whether they sense the faded glory of these artifacts and crumbling edifices or simply enjoy the time-touched patina of the ages surrounding their collections, medusas all share a fascination for the relics of old, and take great pride in collecting them. A medusa's hoard is often amassed in the most stunning room in her lair, and the chamber is frequently constructed out of carefully rescued and restored architectural features decorated with etchings, mosaics, reliefs, and friezes of all sorts, accented by marvelous idols, icons, statuettes, and figurines. More than a few long-lost secrets of the ancients have been uncovered as a result of piecing together the oddments of a medusa's horde.

Variants

Though most medusas are essentially humanoid in form save for their monstrous locks and unearthly powers, in lands where the serpent-haired beauties are particularly prevalent there occasionally rises to notoriety a different sort of medusa, one with the lower body of a snake instead of legs. These beasts are known as brazen medusas, and their powers are just as potent as the common medusa, save that they have a hardened body of dark bronze scales and an animalistic hunger that is difficult to sate. Though it comes from the womb of an ordinary medusa, a brazen medusa is anomalous, and is usually the result of the mother mating with a particularly powerful individual of monstrous nature. Brazen medusas tend to isolate themselves in the more remote regions of the world, as their monstrous figures make it difficult for them to integrate into civilized societies. They still have the trademark greed of medusas, but they satisfy their compulsions through more primitive acts of hunting and slaughter rather than by amassing wealth, and so many brazen medusas take levels in classes that enhance their ability to stalk and kill, especially fighter, ranger, and rogue.

Brazen Medusa (+1 CR)

A brazen medusa is of Large size, and gains two claw attacks and a tail slap attack in addition to her snake bite melee attack. Her tail slap attack can grab enemies, and she has the constrict special attack. In addition, a brazen medusa is immune to poison and gains DR 5/adamantine and magic.

Medusas In Mythology

In traditional Greek mythology, it is said that medusa was one of the three monstrous Gorgon sisters produced by the elder deities Phorcys and Ceto. Later, however, the Roman writer Ovid characterized medusa as a lovely priestess of Minerva (the Roman incarnation of Athena), who after consorting with Neptune (Poseidon) was punished by the goddess-her hair was turned into snakes that transformed anyone who gazed upon her to stone.

Slaying medusa, the only mortal Gorgon, was the object of Perseus's epic quest. Sent on a suicide mission by King Polydectes-who sought to marry Perseus's mother-Perseus received several gifts from the gods to aid him in his journey, including a mirrored shield he used to avoid looking directly at the monster, an adamantine sword he used to strike off her head, a magic bag to carry it, and a cap of invisibility to enable him to escape medusa's immortal sisters. On his return journey, Perseus used medusa's head to petrify the Titan Atlas, slay his rival suitor while pursuing Andromeda, and kill King Polydectes. The drops of blood that spilled from medusa's head whenever Perseus set it down are thought to have created the corals of the Red Sea as well as the vipers of the Sahara Desert. His mission accomplished, he returned the gods' gifts and offered medusa's head to Athena, who mounted it upon her shield, the Aegis.

Section 15: Copyright Notice - Mythical Monsters Revisited

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythical Monsters Revisited © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Jesse Benner, Jonathan H. Keith, Michael Kenway, Jason Nelson, Anthony Pryor, and Greg A. Vaughan.

MEDUSA LORE

Medusa by Caravaggio (after 1590; Oil on canvas mounted on wood; Uffizi)

Medusa by Caravaggio (after 1590; Oil on canvas mounted on wood; Uffizi)

Originally posted by Eric Cagle

Evandar_TAybara of the Wizards Community forums.

On this Thread

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Arcana) can learn more about medusas. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Arcana)
DC Result
16 This horrific humanoid is a medusa. This reveals all monstrous humanoid traits.
21 The gaze of a medusa turns its victims permanently into stone.
26 Medusas have snakes for hair that inflict powerful poison when they successfully bite.
31 Medusas are skilled at lying and keeping their appearance hidden. They use these skills to lure victims into believing the situation is safe before using their abilities.

Variates

Sstheno

Medusa from the 1981 film Clash of the Titans.

Medusa from the 1981 film Clash of the Titans.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Originally Posted by

RavenDrake of the Wizards Community forums.

On this Thread

Sstheno are serpentine monsterous humanoid related to the Medusa, and they are often seen in mixed company.

Sstheno
Medium Monsterous Humanoid
Hit Dice 6d8+12(39hp)
Initiative +0
Speed 20ft, Climb 10ft, Swim 20ft
AC 17 (+5 natural, +2 heavy steel shield), touch 10, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple +6 / +9
Attack trident +9 melee (1d8+3), or trident +6 Ranged (1d8+3), or Claw +9 Melee (1d6+3 plus poison), or Snakes +9 Melee (1d4+3 plus Poison)
Full Attack trident +9/+4 Melee (1d8+3) and Snakes +4 Melee (1d4+1 plus poison) or 2 Claws +9 Melee (1d6+3 plus Poison) and Snakes + 5 Melee (1d4+1 plus Poison)
Face/Reach 5ft / 5ft
Special Attacks Poison, Insanity Gaze
Special Qualities Darkvision 60ft
Saves Fort +4, Ref +5, Wil +6
Abilities Strength 16, Dexterity 11, Constitution 15, Intelligence 12, Wisdom 13, Charisma 13
Skills Balance +4, Climb +7, Hide +8, Intimidate +4, Listen +7, Move Silently +7, Spot +7
Feats Alertness, Power Attack, Cleave
Environment Temperate Marsh
Organization Solitary, Covey (2-4), or Toika (1 Medusa, 1 Sstheno, 1 Euryale)
Challenge Rating 8
Treasure Double Standard
Alignment Usually Chaotic Evil
Advancement By Character Class

Sstheno, like Medusa, are humanoid in shape, generally, but have snake-like faces with long fangs, and a cluster of writhing, venemous serpents for hair. Sstheno, however, have the lower body of a serpent from the waist down, and slither on a wide coil of serpentine flesh. Thier hands end in long, brassy claws that can tear flesh with ease and constantly drip in thier dangerous poison.

Sstheno stand about 4 and a half to five feet tall, though thier length is much greater in total, because they support themselves on their coiled tail.

Combat

Because of their more monsterous appearence Sstheno generally eschew subertfuge for ambush, throwing a trident or javalin coated in thier poison at a weak looking foe from cover before charging. They typically keep thier Confusion Gaze supressed for a couple of rounds of combat, thrilling in the rush of battle and lulling thier foes before they re-activate it.

Poison(Su) The Sstheno's poison, delivered by their serpentine locks, requries a saving throw against initial damage 1d6 Constitution, secondary Damage 2d6 Constitution. Save DC 15. This save DC is Constitution Based.

Insanity Gaze(Sp) Willpower Save (DC 14) or be rendered mad as by the Insanity spell. The Save DC is Charisma Based.

Skills Thanks to thier sleek, serpentine lower bodies Sstheno have a +4 Racial bonus to Balance, Climb, Hide, and Move Silently checks.

Euryale
Medium Monsterous Humanoid
Hit Dice 6d8 (27hp)
Initiative +6
Speed 20ft, Fly 60ft(good)
AC 15 (+2 Dexterity, +3 Natural), Touch 12, Flatfooted 13
Base Attack/Grapple +6 / +10
Attack Snake Lash +6 Melee (1d4 plus Poison)
Full Attack 3 Snake Lash +6 melee (1d4 plus Poison)
Face/Reach 5ft / 10ft
Special Attacks Charming Gaze, Poison, Spell-like Abilities, Disgorge Serpents
Special Qualities Darkvision 60ft
Saves Fort +2, Ref +6, Wil +7
Abilities Strength 11, Dexterity 14, Constitution 10, Intelligence 14, Wisdom 15 , Charisma 19
Skills Concentration +7, Diplomacy +10, Move Silently +7, Spellcraft +8, Spot +8, Use Magic Device +10
Feats Ability Focus(Charming Gaze), Fly-by Attack, Improved Iniative
Environment Temperate Marsh
Organization Solitary, Covey(2-4), or Troika (1 Medusa, 1 Sstheno, 1 Euryale)
Challenge Rating 9
Treasure Double Standard
Alignment Usually Neutral Evil
Advancement By Character Class

Euryale are serpentine monsterous humanoids with ties to the Medusa and Sstheno. They resemble humans, but thier hair is composed of exceptionally long writhing serpents. Their arms end in long, lashing clusters of serpent heads which seem to stretch and reach of thier own accord. Their legs split into clusters of lashing snake tails and they have a single, large heavy tail that extends from thier lower back which seems to help them Balance on their otherwise somewhat ungainly legs. Their shoulders feature two large, metalic scaled wings with leathery flaps and long, brassy claws with give them excellent agility in the air.

Euryale stand between 5 and 6 feet tall. They Speak common

Combat

When faced with Combat most Euryale will prepare themselves first with spell-like abilities, using thier powers from cover to weaken and test thier foes, often by Disgoring thier swarm and sending it after thier foes. While they are distracted, they move in to charm as many as possible, using them to restrain anyone who resists thier gaze. In melee they can extend their snakes much farther than one would expect, and use that range to their advantage. When possible they strike from the air, flying by and using thier long reach to strike foes outside thier attack range.

Charming Gaze(Sp) Willpower save (DC 19, including the +2 bonus for Ability Focus) or become Charmed permenantly as the spell charm monster. The save DC is Charisma based.

Poison The Euryale's paralytic poison is delivered by any of thier lashing serpents on thier arms or head. It requires a fortitude saveing throw at DC 13 or suffer initial 1d6 Dexterity damage, secondary 2d6 Dexterity damage. This save DC is Constitution based.

Spell-like Abilities Always On: Speak With Animals(serpents only); At will: Doom, Gust of Wind, Tongue Serpents(BoVD);

3/Day: Acid Arrow, Bestow Curse, Obscuring Mist;

1/Day: Dispel Magic, Poison, Deeper Darkness.

Caster Level 6th, Save DC 14 + Spell Level

Disgorge Serpents(Su): Once per day, as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, an Euryale may vomit forth a swarm of Tiny Vipers(see Swarm template[or below] for more information). This swarm, when summoned, occupies any set of adjacent squares to the Euryale. This swarm will serve the Euryale for up to one hour before the individual serpents disperse and flee.

Establishing a Troika

A Troika is established by a Euryale and requries the willing participation of a Medusa and a Sstheno. When the three join together in a special ritual that involved mixing each other's blood with wine and esoteric mystic components worth at least 2000gp and drinking it, they join thier powers and abilities making all of them stronger. When joined in a Troika the three gain the following benefits:

The three can communicate telepathically at a distance of up to 500ft.

The Save DC's for thier Gaze Attacks and for thier poison increase by +2.

They each gain Damage Reduction 5/Magic.

They are each immune to the Gaze attacks of the others in the Troika.

If all three concentrate at once(each using thier action for the round) they can activate the following Spell-like Abilities once per day: animate objects, bull's strength, Mass; Cat's Grace, Mass; Cure Moderate Wounds, Mass; Flamestrike at 6th Caster level.

The three members of the Troika must be within 30ft of each other. The Euryale dircts this ability, selecting targets and useing her Charisma modifier to set the save DC.

The benefits of the Troika last until two of the component members are slain.

This Increases thier individual Challenge Ratings by 1.

The Euryale's Viper Swarm

Viper Swarm
Tiny animal (Swarm)
Hit Dice 4d8 (18hp)
Initiative +7
Speed 20 ft., Climb 20 ft., Swim 20 ft.
AC 15(+2 Size, +3 Dexterity), Touch 15, Flatfooted 13
Base Attack/Grapple +3 / -
Attack Swarm (1d6 plus Poison)
Full Attack Swarm (1d6 plus Poison)
Face/Reach 10ft / 0ft
Special Attacks Distraction, Poison
Special Qualities Scent, 1/2 Damage from Slashing and Piercing Weapons
Saves Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities Strength 4, Dexterity 17, Constitution 11, Intelligence 1, Wisdom 12, Charisma 2
Skills Balance +10, Climb +10, Hide +15, Listen +6, Move Silently +4, Spot +7, Swim +10
Feats Ability Focus(Poison), Weapon Finesse(B)
Environment Warm Forest
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 2
Treasure None
Alignment Neutral
Advancement -

This is a swarm of deadly, poisonous vipers such as mocasins, rattlers, or similar snakes.

Combat

A viper Swarm is rare, and usually only encountered in a den or lair. In such a case they are likely to feel threatened and will attack any creature that presents itself out of self defense, swarming over it and biteing it into submission.

Poison Vipers have a poisonous bite that deals initial and secondary damage of 1d6 Constitution. The save DC is 14(which includes the +2 bonus for Ability Focus). The save DC is Constitution-based.

Distraction (Ex) Any living creature that begins its turn with a viper swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Skills A Viper Swarm has a +4 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, and Spot checks and a +8 racial bonus on Balance and Climb checks. It can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. It uses its Dexterity modifier for Climb checks. It has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

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