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Monday Monster: Pale Shepherd

Monday Monster: Pale Shepherd

A lonely figure appears from out of the mists; a small frightened child wearing a faded smock and carrying a shepherd’s crook. The child has pasty white skin, bulging blue veins, and eyes that are little more than cadaverous black hollows. Trailing behind her is a writhing parade of horror-stricken shades, their ghostly bodies pulled along in her wake. Suddenly, the child’s fears vanish, and her lips form into an evil bloodless grin.

The pale shepherd is a legendary creature that inhabits fog-shrouded moors and barren hills. Many times she has been mistaken for a lost shepherdess, her mournful sobs drawing victims to her deadly crook. Those she slays join her spectral flock, their souls trapped and slowly consumed by the pale shepherd until they are gone…
[More…]

Pale Shepherd CR 15

NE Small Undead
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., can see through fog, smoke or mist without impediment; Listen +24, Spot +24

DEFENSE
AC 29, touch 20, flat-footed 25 (+1 size, +5 deflection, +4 Dex, +9 natural)
hp 195 (17d12+85); fast healing 10
Fort +12, Ref +14, Will +19
Defensive Abilities damage reduction 15/silver and magic, immune to ability damage, ability drain, critical hits, disease, death effects, poison, paralysis, stunning, sleep effects and mind-affecting spells or effects; Resist cold 10, electricity 10.

OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee crook of torment +19/+14 (1d6+13/19–20 plus soul hook)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with crook)
Special Attacks crook of torment, create fog, soul hook, spectral flock

TACTICS
Before Combat A pale shepherd blankets an area in thick fog and prowls through the mist using her darkvision and ability to see through fog and mist to stalk potential foes. She also uses her mournful cries to draw victims to her.
During Combat The pale shepherd takes to the air and attacks a single victim while her spectral flock harasses the rest. She is supernaturally strong and can easily humble powerful knights with blows from her shepherd’s crook.
Morale The pale shepherd fights until slain, since she knows her unholy reign will never end until she is permanently slain.

STATISTICS
Str 24, Dex 18, Con –, Int 14, Wis 19, Cha 20
Base Atk +8; Grp +11
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (B), Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Skills Bluff +25, Hide +28, Listen +24, Move Silently +25, Survival +24, Spot +24
Languages common, plus one other
SQ deathly fortitude, deathly grace, rejuvenation

ECOLOGY
Environment barren moors and hills
Organization solitary plus 2d6 specters
Treasure none
Advancement 18-34 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Crook of Torment (Su) The twisted ashen crook wielded by a pale shepherd is treated as a +3 extending ghost touch weapon and deals the same damage as a quarterstaff. The crook vanishes if the pale shepherd is killed or if it leaves her hands. Should she be disarmed or the crook sundered, she he can create another as a move action.
Create Fog (Su) As a swift action, a pale shepherd can fill an area with thick fog. This fog spreads out to a 40-foot radius and rises 40 feet into the air. The fog created by this ability is otherwise identical to that produced by a fog cloud spell.
Soul Hook (Su) Should a pale shepherd strike a creature with her staff and score a critical hit or reduce it to negative hit points, the creature must make a DC 23 Fortitude save or have its soul visibly pulled from its body. This attack instantly slays the victim and causes their body to collapse as a soulless husk. At the beginning of the pale shepherd’s next turn the creature’s soul becomes a spectre in her flock and follows her commands with fanatical devotion. Even if the creature survives the attack it still takes 1d8 points of Constitution drain. The save DC for soul hook is Charisma-based.
A victim transformed into a spectre by this attack can only be restored by a miracle, wish or true resurrection cast after the pale shepherd is destroyed.
Spectral Flock (Su) A pale shepherd is always followed by 2d6 spectres. These dismal wailing shades protect the pale shepherd from attack and fade from existence once she is destroyed. Any spectre that is part of her flock gains a +4 turn resistance.
Spectres in a spectral flock are slowly consumed by the pale shepherd over the course of several months, and thus she must constantly replenish her flock. Without a flock to call her own a pale shepherd loses her deathly fortitude, deathly grace and fast healing abilities.
Deathly Fortitude (Su) A pale shepherd gains a number of bonus hit points per Hit Dice equal to her Charisma modifier.
Deathly Grace (Su) A pale shepherd gains her Charisma modifier as an Insight bonus to saving throws, and as a deflection bonus to her AC.
Rejuvenation (Su) If a pale shepherd is destroyed she reforms within 1d6 weeks, possessing the body of a dead or dying shepherd and transforming it into a new vessel for her power. A pale shepherd can only be permanently destroyed on consecrated ground.

The pale shepherd is a deadly apparition who lurks in desolate rural areas, such as the hills and moors where farmers feed their hungry livestock. Some pale shepherds also lurk near deserted crossroads or out-of-the-way bridges, hoping to catch victims unaware and make them part of her flock.

Pale shepherds always take the appearance of a pretty young girl between the ages of 6 and 12 carrying a pale shepherd’s crook and wearing slightly dirty or old garments. Most pale shepherds are less than 5-feet tall and weigh under 70 pounds, yet their frail appearance belies a strength and cunning that would shame a troll.

Ecology
A pale shepherd is a disturbing form of undead distantly related to a devourer. Like a devourer, it feasts on the souls of those it slays, the unfortunate victims held in thrall by the undead until they are consumed. A pale shepherd is constantly searching for fresh souls to add to her flock, and targets any living creature that crosses her path regardless of its power.

Pale shepherds are the manifestation of departed souls who suffered terrible and lingering deaths while lost in the wilderness, but still hoped that they would be found and saved. When enough people die in this way, their spiritual energy joins to become a pale shepherd.

Habitat and Society
Pale shepherds are seldom found without a flock of spectres trailing along behind them. Aside from her spectres, a pale shepherd can sometimes be found near the domicile of a powerful undead, such as the forlorn castle of a vampire lord or the hidden crypt of a lich, drawn to the despair and negative energy flooding the area. When such an event occurs, the undead usually leave one another alone, unless of course the pale shepherd’s craving for souls should interfere with the other undead’s plans.

Pale shepherd’s live in isolated rural areas close enough to civilization to encounter the occasional victim, but far enough away that most ordinary folk never encounter them. As a result, a number of legends and tales have been made up about pale shepherds, and adventurers are often confused by the falsehoods and wives tales that abound.

New Weapon Special Abilities

Extending: As a swift action the wielder of an extending weapon can cause the weapon to elongate up to double the weapon’s normal reach. This does not cause the weapon to change size categories or type. It requires a second command to reduce the weapon back to its original length.

Moderate Transmutation; CL 7th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Price +1

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