View Full Version : [3.5] Unique Undead Cohort: Apaaya, the River of Teeth

2013-04-14, 10:12 PM
An old folktale is told by the lightfoot Halflings of the plains; of a demigod in ancient days known as Radavali. He was a kind spirit of growth and fortune in the service of the brothers and sisters of the Halfling pantheon, who took the form of a pure-white field mouse with twinkling insectoid wings, like those of a honeybee, but forever sparkling as if moonlight were passing through them. As the story goes, he would watch from his mouse-hole in the sky and, when a Halfling child began to lose their first set of teeth, he would fly down in the night and, if the tooth was laid out in the open, along with a thimble of wine or mead, he would take the offering and leave a copper piece behind, or a silver for the cuspids (a slight variation on the tale states that he left toys instead).

Of course, this story is absolutely true. But what isn't told is the fate of Radavali, and why he no longer dotes on Halfling children as he used to.

Once upon a time, a cunning and terrible Goblin champion by the name of Todukk, seeking the glorification of his dark gods, snuck into a Halfling village under the cover of a moonless night, slipped into a home unnoticed, and silently murdered the occupants in their sleep. Then, he disguised himself as a Halfling child and, plucking a tooth from his own mouth, set out an offering for Radavali. When the mouse-god arrived, he placed the tooth in his tiny satchel, and drank of the wine, only for the goblin's treachery to be revealed. Todukk pounced upon his prey with a cursed blade, overwhelming Radavali, whose small frame had begun to be slowed by the nefarious poison in the wine he had consumed. The struggle lasted a few minutes; long enough to draw attention from the surrounding townsfolk, who left their beds to investigate, only to find an empty blood-stained and corpse-strewn house while Todukk made his escape unseen.

After the Goblin had put enough distance between himself and the town to be safe, he took the broken, but still alive Radavali from his pack, and assembled a make-shift altar to Maglubiyet on the bank of a river. There, as the sun rose, he strangled the mouse to death, and tossed him into the rapids, where his godly blood dispersed and diluted to nothing and his wings evaporated into the refracted sunlight. For this, Todukk was rewarded handsomely. He remains alive to this day, after so much time, a demigod himself, in the service of the Goblin pantheon.

But Radavali remains, too. Or, at the very least, what was left of him. One month after his death, on the next moonless night, the river to which he was interned became a pale white, and began to fill with the countless mountains of teeth that the mouse-god had collected in life. Once there was no water remaining, the river rose up like an enormous serpent and scythed away all living things for miles around over the next three nights and days, including the Halfling and Goblin settlements within.

In the next few years to come, Halfling clergy from every faith and clan would take a pilgrimage to slay the beast in the name of their lords and ladies and, eventually, one succeeded, shattering the gruesome river to nothing with golden fire. But, what they didn't know was that the roiling abomination was only a manifestation of Radavali and not his true self.

Time passed between then and now, long enough for true stories to fade into wisps of myth, but the remnant of the mouse-god remains, the part of him left when his blood and wings had left him. This creature is Apaaya, a two-ton skeletal wolf with a grinning skull and a flowing mane of children's teeth that extends down his back to form a tail, whose eyes are lit with white fire that shines like a full moon, eternally dripping with river-water that shimmers brightly in the faintest light. His den is a forsaken wasteland; a shallow but wide valley between tall hills that all Halflings for miles around know not to tread, though they may not remember why. Apaaya has not been disturbed in a very long time indeed, and his power has atrophied while he lay, half-submerged, in the dust of what is left of the dry canal in which a river once flowed. But he is not dead, and perhaps he can find purpose and power once more in a world that has forgotten him.


Apaaya can be acquired as a cohort using the Undead Leadership feat, provided that the leader does not have a cohort or any followers derived from that feat during the acquisition process. He is considered to be 8th level for the purposes of what leadership score is required. To acquire him, a potential leader must first find his den, awaken him, and court his consent to serve.

In general, the following things make him more interested or amiable to a character's cause.
-The leader supplicates him with gifts. In particular, tooth-themed magical items, such as a Tooth of Dahlver-Nar (see the Tome of Magic) makes an effective gift, as does Halfling-made wine (though he remembers not why).
-The leader has a grand quest that aligns with Apaaya's sensibilities. A quest to bring ruin to Goblin-kind, or to notorious distheistic cults (such as cults of Orcus or Tenebrous) would be agreeable. As would a quest to rescue lost or kidnapped children (especially the leader's children).
-The leader can promise entertainment on their travels (though it need not be directly from the leader). Apaaya dislikes music in general, but enjoys poetry, as well as recitations of historical events that have transpired while he slept, and knowledge about the face of the world. Therefore, a companion with ranks in Perform (Poetry), Knowledge (History) or Knowledge (Geography) will tempt him.

In general, the following things make him less interested in following a particular character.
-The leader utilizes Necromancy. Apaaya is suspicious of most arcane spellcasting to begin with, but Necromancy legitimately bothers him. He realizes that his state of being is unnatural and does not like being reminded of it, even though his memories of Before are foggy at best. Casting a Necromancy spell in his presence is a bit like throwing Fireballs around a serious burn victim. It's just in poor taste.
-The leader has a quest, the purpose of which does not include any real change to the world. An overarching purpose of "get rich" doesn't give him much reason to slog out of his river-bed. It's not a matter of disliking greed or wealth, but just a lack of caring. If he's going to move, it's because he'll be doing something meaningful.
-The leader is a Goblin, Hobgoblin, or Bugbear. In this case, their initial meeting might be tense indeed, or even violent. The only way Apaaya would accept such a leader were if they sought revenge on their own kind, or if they had some kind of prophetic quest to redeem their people from the ways of evil and the worship of their malevolent gods.

Once Apaaya has been gained as an ally, he will likely remain, even after a quest relevant to his interests has been accomplished, preferring to remain with competent companions than to go back to sleeping in a ditch. There are a few things that would cause him to desert, however. If his leader commits, or permits, acts of violence against noncombatant children (even goblin ones), he is likely to leave in disgust. If his leader doesn't treat him with respect for long enough, he may begin to prefer the solitude of his valley. He isn't lazy by any means, but will strongly question any requests that he be used as a pack animal, transporting the leader's spoils, and while he doesn't mind being used as a mount, he won't allow a saddle to be placed on him. Finally, if given the opportunity to regain his godhood, or to ascend to one of the Halfling God-Realms in their good graces, he will almost certainly take it.

In regards to followers acquired via the Undead Leadership feat, Apaaya supplies his leader with his own particular followers. For 1st level followers, he supplies either Halfling or Goblin Skeletons with hair made of teeth, and for followers of 2nd level or higher, he provides Wolf Skeletons or appropriately Advanced Wolf Skeletons that look much like he does, but in miniature. His Halfling and Goblin Skeletons possess a natural primary Bite attack that deals 1d6 base damage, owing to unnaturally contorted jaws filled with razor-sharp teeth resembling those of a shark. Any of his Wolf Skeletons that have been Advanced at least one hit die retain enough personality to possess the Trip extraordinary ability of a live wolf. Every night of the new-moon, he produces more followers to replenish those lost, and to fill out any new positions if the leader's leadership score has increased.

As for alignment, Apaaya is True Neutral when met. He cares for his own goals, desires, and well-being, and those of the ones he knows as friends, but is largely unconcerned with the suffering of others when it does not intersect with his path. He doesn't see the need to go out of his way to do good, though is just as offended by gratuitous evil as a normal person would be, opposing such things in word, and possibly in deed if the offender is smaller than he is and not too far away.

This could change, however. As Radavali, he was Neutral Good, and could be persuaded in that direction again by a suitable leader that provides a virtuous example. His nature has changed too drastically to ever be gentle again, but he could conceivably become a warrior of righteousness and a symbol of terrifying justice, promising torturers, murderers, rapists, and abusers of children that they will be all too fortunate if death finds them first.

Of course, he is also an undead monstrosity, forsaken by his loved ones and, in the wrath of his unliving creation, he did find it in himself to slaughter both friend and foe. An insidious enough leader could potentially corrupt him to the point where the foggy memories of his past are forgotten entirely, and his hunger and ferocity consume the whole of his personality until he is merely a glutted monster perched upon a mountain of bones, howling senseless blasphemy at the sky.

Apaaya, the River of Teeth
Size/Type: Huge Undead
Hit Dice: 8d12+32 (88hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 70ft, Swim 50ft
Armor Class: 22 (-2 size, +3 Dex, +7 natural, +4 profane), touch 15, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+21
Attack: Bite +11 (2d6+9)
Full Attack: Two Claws +9 (1d6+4) and Bite +11 (2d6+9)
Space/Reach: 15ft/15ft
Special Attacks: Crushing Maw
Special Qualities: Undead Traits, Scent, Unholy Toughness, Odontophage, Damage Reduction 5/Magic, Fire Resistance 10, Cold Resistance 10, Electricity Resistance 10
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +11
Abilities: Str 29, Dex 16, Con -, Int 13, Wis 21, Cha 18
Skills: Balance +7 (1 rank), Intimidate +13 (1 rank), Jump + 32 (5 ranks), Knowledge (Religion) +7 (6 ranks), Knowledge (The Planes) +7 (6 ranks), Listen +16 (11 ranks), Sense Motive +13 (8 ranks), Spot +16 (11 ranks), Survival +6 (1 rank), Tumble +10 (5 ranks)
Feats: TrackB, Multiattack, Improved Initiative, Lifebond (LM)
Challenge Rating: 6-8 (See Below)
Alignment: True Neutral

Unholy Toughness (Ex): Apaaya's maximum hit point total is increased by (Charisma Modifier x Hit Dice) points, and he adds his Charisma Modifier as a profane bonus on Fortitude and Reflex saving throws, as well as to his Armor Class.

Crushing Maw (Ex): When Apaaya hits with a Bite attack, he may attempt to trip the target as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip him back. In addition, when he successfully trips a target with this ability, who is two size categories smaller than himself or more, he may attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity or making a touch attack, and may hold the grapple using only his mouth. In this case, his target is considered grappled, but he is not, and is free to move around and do as he pleases. He may not use his Bite attack while doing so, but each successful grapple check made against the held foe deals damage as if they had been bitten. While holding an opponent in just his mouth, Apaaya takes a -10 penalty on those grapple checks.

Odontophage (Ex): Apaaya can derive power from consuming the portion of a creature's spirit that resides in its teeth. The creature must be dead (which makes the energy vulnerable enough to be consumed), but for no more than three days (after which their residual energy has dispersed too thoroughly). He may spend a Swift action to devour one set of teeth (either by tearing the lower half of a corpse's skull off, that is within his Reach, or by accepting a set of teeth willingly offered to him; his Wolf Skeletons often bring such spoils to him from their own kills), or he may spend a Full-Round Action to devour all applicable sets of teeth within his Reach. Creatures that have the spiritual energy of their teeth devoured are toothless in their afterlife, and if they ever return from the dead, are similarly deformed in life. A Regeneration spell, or similar, can fix them.

For each set of teeth he devours, Apaaya gains one Spirit Mote, of which he may store a maximum equal to his Hit Dice. As long as Apaaya possesses at least one Spirit Mote, a core of white fire burns in his ribcage, and he gains Damage Reduction X/-, where X is equal to his current number of Hit Dice. However, when an attack has its damage reduced by this Damage Reduction, but still damages Apaaya, he loses one Spirit Mote. This loss may only happen once per round.

In addition, Apaaya may channel one or more Motes, up to a maximum of his Wisdom modifier, to grant himself special bonuses or abilities, listed below. Channeling Motes into an ability, or switching which abilities his Motes are channeled into to, is a Full-Round Action. When Apaaya loses a Mote from taking damage, and all of his Motes are already being channeled, he may choose from which ability a Mote is extracted and lost.

Burning Blood of Grief: With one Mote channeled into this ability, Apaaya's body begins to radiate unnatural heat as he recalls every pain and indignity of his own death. The river-water that coats his body begins to simmer and steam, causing a cloud of mist to obscure him slightly, granting him Concealment against ranged attacks. With a second Mote committed, the water boils, producing a thick, burning cloud of steam that protrudes 20ft in all directions from his body, and remains with him. Creatures within the cloud have Concealment against other creatures within 5ft, or Total Concealment against creatures farther than 5ft away and, at the beginning of their turn, take 5 points of fire damage. Apaaya's vision is not obscured by the steam.

Moonlight Glare: With one Mote channeled into this ability, the flames that normally constitute Apaaya's eyes condense into solid orbs of light that shed bright light for 30ft in all directions, and shadowy illumination for twice that distance. Inside this area of light, colors appear washed out and invisible creatures can be seen as blurry and abstract featureless blots of darkness. A second Mote can be temporarily channeled into this ability. In this case, Apaaya's eyes flare brighter still, and attempt to dispel all [Darkness] spells within 30ft. He rolls a d20 and adds his Hit Dice, against a DC of 11 + spell's caster level. Success destroys the magical effect, and returns the second Mote back to his pool. Failure causes the extra Mote to be destroyed entirely (and, of course, does not dispel anything).

If Moonlight Glare is also active while two Motes are channeled into Burning Blood of Grief, the effect is eerie enough to grant a +4 circumstance bonus on Intimidate checks.

Ivory Typhoon: With three motes channeled into this ability, Apaaya's legs break apart and are subsumed into his mane and tail, as it twists around his body, shatters into its component pieces, and begins to spin into a whirlwind of teeth. In this form, Apaaya loses his Claw attacks, but gains a secondary Tail Slap natural attack, which deals (1d8 + Str modifier) slashing damage. He also gains a 100ft Fly speed with perfect maneuverability. Finally, any opponent that ends its turn in the same space as Apaaya (such as while grappled) automatically takes (1d8 + Str modifier) slashing damage.

Predator Instincts: For every Mote channeled into this ability, Apaaya gains a +1 competence bonus on all attack rolls and Survival checks, as he more perfectly synchronizes with the concept of his wolf form.

Undying Body: For every Mote channeled into this ability, Apaaya gains Fast Healing 1 (or increases the Fast Healing granted by this ability by 1, of course), concentrating on reconstituting his physical form.

Skills: Apaaya has a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

Advancement: Apaaya does not progress as other cohorts do. Rather, he gains Undead Hit Dice to accommodate the maximum cohort level that his Leader's leadership score allows (while still respecting the limit of always being at least two levels behind the Leader himself). He also gains new abilities, as seen below, as he gains hit dice.

10 Hit Dice:

Killing Reflexes: For every Mote channeled into this ability, Apaaya may make an additional attack of opportunity in a given turn. With at least one Mote channeled, Apaaya may even make an attack of opportunity in response to a 5ft step. With at least two Motes channeled, Apaaya may make an attack of opportunity in response to a Withdraw action. With at least three Motes channeled, Apaaya inflicts a penalty on all Tumble checks made by opponents within his Reach equal to his Strength modifier.

12 Hit Dice:

Upon gaining this Hit Die, Apaaya gains only one of the following abilities, based on his Leader's encouragement.

Intellect Returned: Apaaya regains some of the mental capacity he lost with his death. His Intelligence score permanently increases by 3 points, and he gains a lump sum of 50 skill points, which he may spend immediately. When he spends this lump sum, he may treat any (non-psionic, non-Use Magic Device, non-Iajutsu Focus) skill as a class skill and, afterward, any skill he spent points on is thereafter considered a class skill.

Sagacity Returned: Apaaya regains some of the spiritual intuition he lost with his death. His Wisdom score permanently increases by 3 points, and he may use Commune as a spell-like ability once per day, with a caster level equal to his Hit Dice, but only to contact deities of the Halfling pantheon, or otherworldly agents thereof.

Ego Returned: Apaaya regains some of the inner strength and confidence he lost with his death. His Charisma score permanently increases by 3 points, and his Unholy Toughness quality also applies his Charisma modifier to Will saves and to melee damage rolls.

14 Hit Dice:

Upon gaining this Hit Die, Apaaya gains only one of the following abilities, based on his moral alignment. It is also at this level that his personality solidifies as a spiritual entity - he gains the alignment subtypes corresponding to his alignment, and is unlikely to ever be swayed away from that alignment. A Neutral Evil Apaaya, at this point, is as likely to be redeemed to the path of righteousness as a Yugoloth, for instance; a prospect so difficult as to be largely indistinguishable from impossibility.

Alabaster Denfather: Good Apaaya gains the ability to use Shield Other as a spell-like ability a number of times per day equal to his Wisdom modifier, with a caster level equal to his Hit Dice. Beneficiaries of Shield Other also receive the same benefits that Apaaya is gaining from his Undying Body and Killing Instincts at any given time, and their eyes mimic his, burning with white fire. Furthermore, if the recipient of one of his Shield Other spells is a child, he may choose to receive 100% of the damage they would take, instead of the normal 50%.

Pale Bodhisattva: Neutral Apaaya gains five (Domain) Devotion feats (see Complete Champion) as bonus feats. In addition, he may sacrifice a Spirit Mote to re-activate a Devotion that he has already expended his daily use for.

Bleached Monstrosity: Evil Apaaya gains the ability to effect all foes within 30ft when he Demoralizes with the Intimidate skill, foes rendered Shaken are Shaken for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier, and he may Demoralize as a move action.

16 Hit Dice:

River of Teeth: As a full-round action, which can only be activated while Apaaya has a full reserve of Spirit Motes, he may reclaim his form as the River of Teeth. In a process that requires a full minute, in which Apaaya is incapable of taking any other actions until its completion, his mane flows outward, producing tiny, child-sized, innumerable teeth from some unseen space. It continues flowing outward for the whole minute, until it reaches a thousand feet in length, and has utterly consumed his wolf-body. What remains is a gargantuan river, composed of thousands of howling and gnashing wolf skulls, themselves formed of whirling clouds of children's teeth.

Do to the granular nature of his form, Apaaya does not receive any automatic size bonuses from the transformation, but his statistics do change in the following ways.

His size is effectively Colossal++. His Space becomes 30ft at the ends, and 1000ft in length (and about 30ft high), but his Reach does not change (though it extends along his entire body). He loses his Claw attacks, but retains his Bite, extruding flowing wolf-like currents of teeth to strike his opponents. When he makes a Full-Attack, he may make a single Bite per 100ft of his length, one on either side (for a total of 20 attacks, assuming enough opponents in the right places). He may move up to 30ft with a single 5ft Step action. Due to the exceptional number of skulls he is capable of manifesting, he may keep as many opponents grappled via his Crushing Maw ability as he has space to hold them within himself. Apaaya's land and swim speed both change to 300ft (using his Ivory Typhoon ability grants him a Fly speed of 300ft (Perfect) while in this form). He gains the Trample special attack, using his Bite in place of a Slam attack for calculating damage. Finally, his physical enormity translates to a certain kind of spiritual growth as well, granting a +6 profane bonus to his Charisma score.

Apaaya can maintain this form indefinitely, but is forcibly reverted if he has no Spirit Motes remaining. When Apaaya changes back to his normal form (whether forcibly or willingly), he suffers 6 Charisma Burn from the strain. He may not become the true River of Teeth again until this Ability Burn is restored.

18 Hit Dice:

If Apaaya has re-established communications with the Halfling Gods, slain his own murderer or another champion of Goblin-kind of similar significance, or sworn an oath as steward and protector of a particular region of the world, he receives the following ability. If not, it waits for him to do so.

The Spark Reignited: While he is still lacking the power and station he had in life as a demigod, Apaaya has at least returned to the strength he had when he first arose in undeath. And, perhaps, he may one day exceed even that, rejoining his fellow gods in their realms on the Outer Planes, as friend, monster, or something else entirely. But, for now, all of his ability scores permanently increase by a single point and he receives a Divine Rank of 0 (see Deities and Demigods).

2013-04-14, 10:53 PM
...trippy...I'm going to haave nightmares...its cold, dark, and foggy outside....:smallconfused::smalleek::smallfrown:

2013-04-15, 03:18 AM
I like it. It's certainly more interesting than your average cohort.

You know what this might be awesome as?

Influence for one of the remaining Barghest Knacks. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=13351356&postcount=5)

If you could find it in your heart...