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Bramble Throne

The low branches of this stout tree form the shape of a throne. Gold-trimmed leaves and thick vines grow on the branches.

Bramble Throne CR 16

Source Pathfinder #132: The Six-Legend Soul pg. 82
XP 76,800
N Huge plant
Init +10; Senses low-light vision, thoughtsense, tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +17
Aura supplication (30 ft., DC 24)

Defense

AC 30, touch 14, flat-footed 24 (+6 Dex, +16 natural, –2 size)
hp 230 (20d8+140)
Fort +19, Ref +12, Will +12
Immune plant traits

Offense

Speed 10 ft.
Melee bite +25 (2d6+11 plus grab), 4 vines +25 (1d8+11 plus bleed and grab)
Space 15 ft., Reach 10 ft. (20 ft. with vines)
Special Attacks bleed (2d6), blood drain (1d4 Constitution), puppet ruler
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +24)
Constant—thoughtsense
Psychic Magic (CL 16th; concentration +20)
30 PE—dominate person (5 PE, DC 19), greater command (5 PE, DC 19), paranoia (2 PE, DC 16)

Statistics

Str 33, Dex 22, Con 25, Int 4, Wis 18, Cha 19
Base Atk +15; CMB +28 (+30 bull rush); CMD 44 (46 vs. bull rush, can’t be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Power Attack, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite, vines)
Skills Perception +17, Stealth +11
Languages Common

Ecology

Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Puppet Ruler (Su) As a full-round action, a bramble throne can thrust psychically empowered tendrils into any Small, Medium, or Large creature seated on its throne that has been dead for less than 1 minute. The corpse becomes a zombie-like creature, but it isn’t treated as being undead and is immune to spells and effects that affect only undead (including damage from positive energy). The puppet ruler shares the bramble throne’s space, moves with it, and can make attacks independently of the bramble throne. If the bramble throne removes its tendrils as a move action, or if the puppet ruler is removed from the throne, it reverts to an ordinary corpse. The puppet ruler has cover while on the throne, but attackers can otherwise attack either the bramble throne or the puppet ruler freely. Area-effect spells affect both the bramble throne and puppet ruler. Killing the bramble throne destroys the puppet ruler.

Supplication Aura (Su) While the bramble throne is using its puppet ruler ability, any creature that begins its turn within 30 feet of the bramble throne must succeed at a DC 24 Will save or fall prone and become fascinated by the puppet on the throne for 1 round, viewing it as a ruler worthy of adoration. A creature affected by this ability does not view either the bramble throne or the puppet as a potential threat, but an attack by either the bramble throne or the puppet ends the fascination. This is a mindaffecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Vines (Ex) A bramble throne’s barbed vines are primary natural attacks that deal bludgeoning and piercing damage. A bramble throne doesn’t gain the grappled condition when grappling enemies with its vines and can maintain grapples with any number of its vines with the same standard action.

Description

Bramble thrones grow where the blood of power-hungry rulers has been spilled, and particularly where the bodies of these grasping monarchs have been laid to rest. A ruler’s obsession over the power of a throne can be so powerful that it leaches into the soil, infusing a growing tree with a psychic fixation on the trappings of rule and powers of domination. As the plant grows, its branches form into the shape of the ruler’s throne and its leaves sprout in regal colors such as gold and violet.

A bramble throne’s wide trunk typically rises only 2 feet above ground before branching into a throne 8 feet wide and 10 feet high. Leaves surround the throne like an ornate canopy, and several thick, barbed vines wind around the entire tree. A bramble throne can slowly pull itself along the ground with these vines, although it more frequently uses them to lash out at creatures that stray within the range of its psychic senses. If it kills an intelligent creature, it seats the corpse upon the throne, using invasive tendrils to give the corpse the semblance of animation and regal authority. With a corpse seated upon it, a bramble throne can compel other creatures to make the obeisance it craves.

Bramble thrones retain an echo of the ruler’s imperious nature, allowing it to speak basic commands such as “approach,” “bow,” and “kneel” through a jagged, mouth-like slit in its trunk. Bramble thrones speak whatever languages the ruler knew in life.

Bramble thrones grow up to 12 feet wide and 20 feet high and weigh about 4,000 pounds.

Ecology

Bramble thrones draw nutrients from sunlight and soil, although their root systems are very shallow and they often supplement their diets with fresh blood. A bramble throne grows astonishingly quickly when prey is plentiful.

A bramble throne can detect when creatures are near and can readily distinguish between unintelligent and intelligent prey. When it detects an animal or other unintelligent creature, the bramble throne simply waits patiently, allowing the creature to approach within the range of its vines. Once its prey has ventured near, the bramble throne grabs the creature in a flurry of movement, draining it of blood through the barbs along its supple vines. Once the creature is dead, the bramble throne consumes its corpse whole, digesting it within its trunk. Against intelligent prey, a bramble throne adopts subtler tactics. It targets lone travelers with dominate person, compelling the traveler to approach within range of its lethal vines. A bramble throne that has recently fed might instead command its new minion to seek out others and bring them back to the tree, ensuring an audience (and further food) at a later time.

A bramble throne uses greater command to compel groups to approach it, using paranoia against disobedient creatures to discourage them from interfering with the bramble throne’s psychic control. Once a group of creatures has surrounded the bramble throne, the creature kills the most regal-looking victim, transferring the victim’s corpse onto its throne once it is dead. The plant lends the corpse a mockery of life and authority, insisting that others bow before it with powerful psychic commands. It then kills these supplicants one at a time, staining the ground around its trunk with their blood.

Most bramble thrones perch atop a crypt, mausoleum, or monument of this ruler and are rarely ever found far from it. Instead of migrating, most hungry bramble thrones instead enter a dormant stage, appearing as a dead tree: a bramble throne can remain dormant for centuries, arousing itself when prey returns.

Habitat and Society

Since bramble thrones develop only from rulers who are both vain and ambitious, they are almost exclusively solitary plants. Where multiple power-hungry rulers share a gravesite—such as a king and queen, or ruling siblings— the resulting bramble throne can be particularly intelligent and sometimes even displays additional psychic powers. These bramble thrones are often racked with indecision or hesitation created by the powerful dueling psyches that gave the creature its psychic abilities.

Native animals learn to avoid an area with a bramble throne, so keen-eyed travelers might suspect a predator is near even before spotting the distinctive thronelike tree. Vegetation is usually lush around a bramble throne as a result of the blood-soaked soil from the creature’s kills, providing it with some concealment against its prey.