Archives of Nethys

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Bolla

This immense serpent is covered in dull red fur; the four vestigial legs sprouting from its sides don’t quite touch the ground.

Bolla CR 14

Source Pathfinder #136: Temple of the Peacock Spirit pg. 88
XP 38,400
NE Huge magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +29

Defense

AC 29, touch 11, flat-footed 26 (+3 Dex, +18 natural, –2 size)
hp 207 (18d10+108)
Fort +17, Ref +14, Will +12
Defensive Abilities all-around vision; DR 10/magic; Resist acid 20, electricty 20
Weaknesses blindness vulnerability

Offense

Speed 40 ft., burrow 30 ft.
Melee bite +24 (4d8+8 plus grab and lethargy curse), tail slap +19 (2d6+4)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks darting strike, lethargy curse, swallow whole (4d8+12 bludgeoning and lethargy curse, AC 19, 20 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +22)
1/day—call lightning storm (DC 19), horrid wilting (DC 22)

Statistics

Str 27, Dex 16, Con 22, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +18; CMB +28 (+32 grapple); CMD 41 (can't be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Following Step, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack, Step Up, Step Up and Strike, Vital Strike
Skills Perception +29, Stealth +16, Survival +22; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
Languages Abyssal, Thassilonian (can’t speak)

Ecology

Environment cold or temperate mountains
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Blindness Vulnerability (Ex) A bolla takes a –4 penalty on saving throws against spells and effects that would blind it.

Darting Strike (Ex) When a bolla hits with an attack of opportunity, it can move up to 15 feet as an immediate action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Lethargy Curse (Su) A creature bitten or swallowed by a bolla is affected by a curse of overwhelming lethargy.
Bolla Lethargy: Bite—injury; save Fort DC 23; frequency 1/round; effect 3d10 nonlethal damage and fatigued; cure 2 consecutive saves. A creature that falls unconscious while subject to this curse stops taking nonlethal damage, falls asleep, and cannot be woken until the curse is removed. The victim ages normally, but does not require any nourishment. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

Resembling immense serpents or wingless dragons, bollas are remorseless gluttons that spend much of their time hibernating in remote mountain ranges. They have little concern for other creatures except as food, but particularly prize the taste of intelligent prey. Fortunately, the creatures are as lazy as they are hungry; despite their aggressive dispositions, they rarely rouse themselves from their mountain lairs to assail the smorgasbord of civilization.

Bollas have exceptionally keen vision, thanks to their silvery compound eyes. When disturbed, they often feign sleep or sluggishness to lure intruders close before lashing out with surprising speed. Their bite inflicts a magical lethargy on foes, making targets easy meals for the gluttonous beasts.

A typical bolla is 30 feet long and weighs 2 tons.

Ecology

Born of foul experiments performed by the runelords of Haruka at the height of the Thassilonian empire, bollas are creatures of gluttony and sloth conceived as living weapons to further the machinations of their magical masters. Designed by Runelord Ivarinna and developed by her successor, Krune, the runelords’ goal was to create a voracious war machine that could be easily returned to a torpor when not in active use. Bollas were bred from monstrous serpents native to the mountains of Haruka and infused with the essences of fiends, linnorms, and even stranger creatures of storm and sky. Due in part to Krune’s preference for conjuring beasts when needed rather than engaging in the laborious process of breeding creatures over time, and in part to general indolence, bollas were never perfected and were deployed only sporadically.

Bollas can remain in hibernation for many years. When not hibernating, they are driven by their ravenous urges and eagerly attack any creatures unlucky enough to cross its path. When given the opportunity, bollas prefer to attack intelligent creatures first, plucking knights from horseback or slithering around hunting animals to get at their humanoid handlers.

Despite their vicious temperaments, bollas are intelligent, sometimes stalking foes for hours to analyze the foes’ strengths and weaknesses before striking. When faced with multiple foes, bollas slither through the battlefield, cursing or swallowing weaker enemies to buy time to concentrate on tougher targets. On rare occasions, a bolla might strike a deal with creatures it finds too powerful to defeat, but these negotiations are always aimed at feeding its endless hunger.

An adverse side effect of bollas’ experimental origin is their keen but delicate compound eyes. While the mirror sheen of a bolla’s eyes makes it impossible to determine exactly where the creature is looking—and even conceals whether it is currently asleep or awake—its eyes are particularly fragile. A bolla that has been robbed of its sight is both pitiful and desperate, lashing out haphazardly in a roaring frenzy.

Bollas dislike others of their kind and usually attack them on sight. When the creatures occasionally come together to mate, they produce a small clutch of eggs and leave it in an isolated cave or canyon. The first bolla to hatch eats its siblings before taking a long rest, and thus begins its life alternating between gluttony and torpor. Unless killed by accident or violence, bollas can survive for millennia.

Habitat and Society

During the time of Thassilon, Runelord Krune’s agents deployed bollas as tools of extermination, loosing them into enemy camps to devour the inhabitants in a gluttonous frenzy. Once no more victims remained in a camp, the bollas would rest and their handlers would retrieve them. These handlers relied on powerful magic items to pacify bollas, as the beasts were always irascible, no matter how sated, and never truly loyal.

In the aftermath of Earthfall, the surviving bollas retreated to the far corners of Golarion to wait out the darkness. A bolla that has been hibernating for a year might consume only a single person and then resume its slumber, while one in hibernation since Earthfall could embark on a nation-devouring rampage once it finally awakens.

Unlike most creatures that hibernate for extended periods of time, bollas get stronger, rather than weaker, the longer they rest. Over years or decades, their bodies draw upon the fiendish essences instilled in their nature, growing more powerful and vicious. The outward manifestations of this metamorphosis are twofold. First, a hibernating bolla slowly sheds and replaces its furry skin, recovering from any injuries and regenerating any missing appendages. Second, its tongue grows and splits. While younger bollas have the familiar forked tongue of a snake, older bollas exhibit multiple tongue splits—their maws are filled with tangled masses of red, fleshy ribbons. Older bollas sometimes develop into kulshedras. A bolla’s growth is slowed when it regularly consumes intelligent creatures, as the bolla feeds on the ephemeral spiritual residue of its victims rather than its own inner fiendish essence. Rumors tell of isolated settlements that make offerings of criminals or unlucky travelers to appease a bolla, hoping to keep its growth in check with these sacrifices.

Kulshedras

When a bolla has gone without eating an intelligent victim long enough for its tongue to split into nine forks, it undergoes a final, sinister metamorphosis. The bolla sheds its skin one last time and emerges as a kulshedra. Kulshedras are just as voracious as their lesser bolla kin, but they are more crafty and wicked. Kulshedras seek to cause strife on as wide a scale as possible, favoring indirect means such as conjuring storms and causing droughts. They enjoy watching desperate communities tear themselves apart. Unlike bollas, kulshedras do not hibernate, and they instead spend their time plotting the destruction of nearby communities. Kulshedras are bollas with the giant and fiendish simple templates. They gain an additional +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks to grapple foes due to their many tongues and gain control weather as a spell-like ability usable once per day.