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Monster Monday: Date Palm Dryad

Monster Monday: Date Palm Dryad

Date PalmAn achingly beautiful woman steps out of the trunk of a tall date palm. Her skin is like sun-bronzed wood and her hair resembles leafy palm fronds. With eyes that are wild and playful, but disturbingly inhuman, she captivates all who gaze into them.

Find out more about this dryad, which should fit nicely into any campaign or setting that includes desert terrain.

Date Palm Dryad     CR 5

XP 1,600
CN Medium fey
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Listen +12, Spot +12

AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 27 (6d6+6)
Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +8
Defensive Abilities DR 5/cold iron; Resist fire 5
Weakness tree dependent

Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +7 (1d4/19–20)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks enthralling gaze, lose the path
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th, ranged touch +7)
At will—plant growth, speak with plants, tree shape (date palms only)
3/day—fire seeds (grenades only, DC 20), tree stride
1/day—goodberry, irresistible dance

Str 10, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 18
Base Atk +3; Grp +3
Feats Alertness, Dodge, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +11, Diplomacy +6, Escape Artist +11, Gather Information +6, Hide +11, Knowledge (geography) +9, Knowledge (local) +9, Knowledge (nature) +11, Listen +12, Move Silently +11, Spot +12, Survival +16, Use Rope +4 (+6 with bindings)
Languages Common, Sylvan, one elemental language (Aquan, Auran, Ignan, or Terran)
SQ wild empathy

Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary
Treasure normal
Advancement by class; Favored Class druid
Level Adjustment —

Enthralling Gaze (Su) As dominate person, 30 feet, Will DC 17 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lose the Path (Sp) Once per day, a date palm dryad may touch a creature to make it lose its way. This functions similar to the find the path spell, but the affected creature is completely lost and unable to find its way for the duration. A DC 20 Will save negates the effect. Caster level 8th. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Tree Dependent (Su) Each date palm dryad is mystically bound to a single date palm and must never stray more than one mile from it. Any who do become ill and die within 4d6 hours. A dryad’s date palm does not radiate magic.

Wild Empathy (Ex) This power works like the druid’s wild empathy class feature, except that the dryad has a +6 racial bonus to the check.

Date palm dryads are an offshoot of normal dryads that inhabit isolated desert oases. Much wilder and more mercurial than their forest-dwelling counterparts, date palm dryads jealously guard their oases from interlopers. They embody the harshness of the uncaring desert, but also the welcome relief of fresh water.

Notoriously fickle, date palm dryads can be cruel and capricious, assuming that anyone visiting their oasis is only there to despoil it. Travelers who stumble upon a date palm dryad’s oasis could end up wandering lost in the desert before succumbing to the elements, victims of the dryad’s lose the path ability. Others are captivated by the dryad’s enthralling gaze and are forced to serve or entertain. The lucky ones are cared for as treasured slaves until the dryad tires of them, and some unfortunates dance and sing until they drop from exhaustion or thirst.

On the other hand, date palm dryads have been known to rescue lost wanderers dying of thirst, nursing them back to health before releasing them. Such fortunate travelers frequently try to find their way back to their mysterious benefactors, but find that the paths they once took are forever lost.

Habitat and Society
Date palm dryads live alone in secluded oases deep in the desert, although some keep dominated slaves. The dryads are often friendly with the janni tribes of the desert—one of the few races that the dryads allow to freely use their oases. Occasionally, a jann falls in love with a date palm dryad and willingly helps her guard and protect her oasis, but stories are full of the tragedies that inevitably follow such romances.

During Combat A date palm dryad forced into combat relies on her enthralling gaze to gain control of attackers to aid in her defense, keeping nondominated foes at a distance by using fire seeds.

Morale If reduced to 5 hit points or fewer, a date palm dryad flees by using tree stride. If her tree is attacked, a date palm dryad fights to the death.

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