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Monster Monday: Umbral Vampire

Monster Monday: Umbral Vampire

MonsterMondaysThe umbral vampire appears as a pale, exceedingly gaunt humanoid dressed in archaic finery falling to rags. Tangled wisps of hair cling to parchment flesh pulled taut against its skull, and misty strands of darkness leak from its empty eye sockets, yawning nasal cavity, and mouth. Fingers twisted into jagged claws and a permanent rictus grin completes the appearance of undeath. But it is not undead. It is something much worse.

Legends speak of an ancient city whose origins are lost to the ages. Ruled by a cabal of wizards with the power to manipulate the flow of time and stay the hand of death, the inhabitants of this city became immortals. For centuries, citizens dedicated themselves to such enlightened pursuits as art, literature, and the accumulation of knowledge. But mortals weren’t meant to live forever. Without death’s merciful release, the weight of ages pulled their souls down into darkness. Turning to crueler pursuits, these citizens made war on other cities and enslaved entire races purely for entertainment. Legends differ on how their wickedness came to an end. Some say the gods punished them, and others say one of their own wizards despaired at what they had become and destroyed them. In the most well-known version of the tale, the city drowned under the weight of its own sins and passed from the world. Their power broken, the wizards could no longer hold back the ravages of time. The citizens aged centuries in moments but, instead of dying, lingered on in their dark realm.

Umbral Vampire (CR 7)

XP 3,200
CE Medium outsider (chaotic, evil, incorporeal, native)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)

DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+4 deflection, +4 Dex)
HP 59 (7d10+21)
Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +7
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; DR 5/good or magic; Immune cold, poison
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee Incorporeal touch +11 (1d6 cold damage plus 1d4 Strength damage)
Special Attacks shadow blend
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th)
At will—shadow walk
1/day—black tentacles

STATISTICS
Str —, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +7; CMB +11; CMD 25
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Acrobatics +14, Bluff +14, Fly +22, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (local) +12, Perception +20, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Languages Aklo
SQ shadow duplicates, shadow merge, shadow taint

ECOLOGY
Environment shadow dimension or areas without sunlight
Organization solitary or cabal (3–12)
Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Shadow Duplicates (Su) Using existing shadows, the umbral vampire can sculpt duplicate umbral vampires to confuse its enemies. The effects of this ability are identical to the wizard spell mirror image, creating 1d4+1 duplicates.

Shadow Merge (Su) When in any conditions other than bright light, an umbral vampire can become one with the surrounding shadows as a move-equivalent action. This has two effects. First, the umbral vampire effectively becomes invisible. Second, shadows within 10 ft. of the umbral vampire become an extension of the umbral vampire, granting it a 10-ft. reach. If this allows the umbral vampire to attack a foe from multiple positions, this opponent is treated as flanked.

Shadow Taint (Su) Once per day and in conditions other than bright light, an umbral vampire can temporarily infect nearby shadows with supernatural qualities. When the umbral vampire activates this power while shadows are present, everyone within a 30-ft. radius must make a Will save (DC 13) or be affected as if by the wizard spell crushing despair (–2 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls) for 1d8 rounds.

Ecology

While not undead, umbral vampires have no true ecology. They do not eat, sleep, breathe, or reproduce. Retaining the cruelty that marked them in life, umbral vampires seek only to inflict suffering.

Habitat and Society

Umbral vampires are usually only encountered in the City Fallen into Shadow. Despite the terrors it holds, adventurers continue to seek out this place due to legends of potent artifacts and boundless treasures accumulated during its golden age. Occasionally, an umbral vampire may slip through into the mortal world. Lairing in a place seldom or never touched by sunlight, it will emerge at night to search for victims.

Tactics

Retaining the arrogance and malice it possessed in life, the umbral vampire is an intelligent but somewhat overconfident foe. It will use its shadow powers to torment its victims before finally finishing them off with its deadly touch. If confronted by a formidable opponent, it will flee to its lair. If pursued there, the umbral vampire will remain in the shadows and try to pick off its foes one by one.

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