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Protean

Source Bestiary 2 pg. 213
Beings of pure chaos, the serpentine proteans slither through the anarchic improbabilities of Limbo, remaking reality according to their whims. According to their own history, they were already here when the first gods pulled forth the other planes from raw chaos—and they have been battling against the indignity ever since. Hereditary and ideological enemies of Axis, Heaven, and Hell, and especially of the residents of those planes, all proteans see it as their sacred duty to return the bland, static expanses of mundane reality to the beautiful incongruities of Limbo, for the planes' own good and for the greater glory of their mysterious god, a dualistic deity which may be a living aspect of Limbo itself. They are Limbo's living, breathing immune system, rooting out infections of mundanity and replacing them with beautiful entropy.

Primeval in shape and philosophy, proteans are the race that most perfectly embodies the twin aspects of creation and destruction (although certain aeons might contest this claim). Even their language is mutable, evolving so quickly that few outsiders can understand it without magical aid. Ecological study is nearly impossible, as reproduction can take a wide variety of forms, from sexual union to fission to spontaneous generation. Despite their deceptively similar natural appearances, the two things that truly unify the protean race are slavish devotion to their strange god and a fervent desire for the dissolution of reality as we know it.

Proteans are organized into several sub-races or castes, each with its own individual abilities and roles. Other proteans than the four presented here doubtless exist, but they do not interact with other races nearly to the extent that these four types do.

Voidworms: Disowned by greater proteans, who find these tiny beings shameful, voidworms nevertheless retain all the characteristics of true proteans, and are frequently found swimming through Limbo in vast schools or serving as spellcasters' familiars.

Naunets: Possessing little in the way of culture, the powerful naunets are the most bestial of the true proteans, representing the lowest recognized caste. Naunets are the shock troops of the protean race, and patrol the borderlands between Limbo and other planes, seeking out lawful incursions and making daring, savage raids into the realms of their enemies.

Imenteshes: These cunning proteans seek to subvert the forces of order from within their own systems, whispering information and insinuations where they can do the most damage. Endlessly creative, they adore reforming the landscapes of Limbo to suit their fancies, but enjoy warping the vistas and creatures of other planes even more.

Keketars: Priest-kings and voices of Limbo itself, keketars rule their fellows in the name of their bizarre god. Though their forms are extremely mutable, keketars can always be recognized thanks to eyes that glow amber or violet and floating crowns of swirling and changing symbols that often appear above their heads. Organized into cabals called choruses, keketars seek only to understand and follow the will of entropy.

Protean Lords

While the keketars are the highest caste of the protean race, there exist a few scattered individuals who put even the mightiest chorus to shame. Equal in power to demon lords or empyreal lords, the beings known as protean lords are an enigma, far older than other proteans and perhaps spawned in a previous iteration of the multiverse or somewhere beyond the depths of Limbo. Disdaining direct leadership, protean lords act according to their own desires, occasionally appearing to advise their lesser kin or keep an inscrutable eye on entities whose powers rival their own.

Warpwaves

Many proteans, particularly the imenteshes, have the ability to create and manipulate ripples in reality known as warpwaves. Yet even a protean can't predict what effects a warpwave might have. When a creature is affected by a warpwave, roll 1d20 and consult the table below to see what effect the entropic energies have.

d20Warpwave effect
1Target takes 2 Strength damage.
2Target takes 2 Dexterity damage.
3Target takes 2 Constitution damage.
4Target takes 2 Intelligence damage.
5Target takes 2 Wisdom damage.
6Target takes 2 Charisma damage.
7Target gains 1 negative level.
8Target is blinded or deafened for 1d4 rounds.
9Target is confused for 1d4 rounds.
10Target is entangled by filaments of energy for 1d4 rounds.
11Target becomes fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued).
12Target becomes nauseated for 1d4 rounds.
13Target is stunned for 1d4 rounds.
14Target is sickened for 1d4 rounds.
15Target is staggered for 1d4 rounds.
16Target gains 4d6 temporary hit points.
17Target is affected by a heal spell (CL = protean's CR).
18Target is turned to stone.
19Target is affected by baleful polymorph (CL = protean's CR).
20Portions of target's body burst with energy of a random type (choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire), dealing 4d6 points of damage of the appropriate type to the target.

Creatures in "Protean" Category

NameCR
Akizendri3
Azuretzi5
Hegessik15
Ibshaunet11
Illureshi9
Imentesh10
Keketar17
Naunet7
Ourdivar4
Pelagastr8
Voidworm2

Protean, Akizendri

This cackling protean’s serpentine body is surrounded by flowing, illuminated script pulled from nearby tomes and pages.

Akizendri CR 3

Source Concordance of Rivals pg. 56
XP 800
CN Small outsider (chaotic, extraplanar, protean, shapechanger)
Init +7; Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., detect law; Perception +9

Defense

AC 16, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +6
Defensive Abilities amorphous anatomy, freedom of movement; DR 5/lawful; Immune acid, polymorph; Resist electricity 10, sonic 10

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect), swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d6+2 plus 1d2 Wisdom damage), tail +7 (1d6+1 plus grab)
Special Attacks constrict (1d6+2), garbled thoughts and twisted tongues
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +11)
Constant—detect law
At will—arcane mark, erase (DC 13), dimension door
1/day—explosive runes (DC 15), sepia snake sigil (DC 15)

Statistics

Str 14, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 14
Base Atk +4; CMB +5; CMD 18 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +10, Disguise +9, Fly +20, Perception +9, Sleight of Hand +10, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +14, Swim +14
Languages Abyssal, Protean
SQ change shape (polymorph), text immersion

Ecology

Environment any (Maelstrom)
Organization solitary, pair, or garble (3–5)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Garbled Thoughts and Twisted Tongues (Su) An akizendri’s bite deals 1d2 points of Wisdom damage (Will DC 14 negates). A confirmed critical hit doubles the Wisdom damage and causes creatures within 20 feet of the target to become confused (Will DC 14 negates). The save DC is Charisma-based.
Text Immersion (Su) As a standard action, an akizendri can physically immerse itself in a book, scroll, or similar object. It gains a +20 bonus on its Disguise check to disguise itself as a book and gains full control over the actual text the object displays. It cannot make physical attacks, but it can use its spell-like abilities and cast any spells recorded in a scroll it has immersed itself within, or cast spells up to 5th level if it’s immersed in a spellbook. The akizendri can still be targeted by attacks and effects while immersed, but any damage is dealt to the object. The akizendri is forced out if the object is destroyed or affected by antimagic field, break enchantment, dispel magic, or mage’s disjunction.

Description

Akizendris are the bane of scholars, capable of altering text, transposing sections between disparate tomes, and erasing book chapters only to vomit them up elsewhere.