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Linnorm

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 181
Treacherous primeval dragons of the northern regions of the world, linnorms thrive on their hatred for those they deem to be lesser creatures and seek to inflict as much suffering as possible unto their unfortunate victims. Sweeping bones and treasures alike into giant piles in its lair, the typical linnorm has a barbaric nature made all the worse by its insatiable greed and atrocious gluttony. Few creatures are as bold and as cruel as linnorms, and for that most people are thankful.

Linnorms are not true dragons, but they nonetheless possess incredible strength and deadly powers that often rival authentic dragon brutality. Their massive frames make crushing smaller enemies a simple task, and of those who have felt the sting of a linnorm's venomous bite, few have survived the devastating poison long enough to tell the tale. A linnorm's body is serpentine and lacks wings, yet these dragons fly through the air with supernatural ease, accomplishing the feat as easily as a fish through water.

Beyond the physical might, venom, and devastating breath weapons typical of all linnorms, the beasts all share a potent final defense—the death curse. This powerful plaguing of the mind manifests itself in myriad forms, but always serves as a horrid vengeance against any who might manage to slay a linnorm. Some theorize that the curse is a sending from malevolent gods who watch over linnorms and view them as destruction-loving pets. Others believe the linnorms' curse is the closest remaining connection they have to the primeval world of the fey, from whence the first of these monsters is said to have come. Whatever the case may be, its curse makes killing a linnorm as dangerous as letting it live.

True dragons of higher intellect often hold linnorms in great scorn, viewing the beings as prematurely evolved beasts and refusing to even acknowledge the creatures as related to them. Linnorms have few feelings regarding the matter, battling younger and older dragons alike just as readily as any other creatures who dare to step foot in their territories. Their simplemindedness stifles any ability to assemble mass sieges or even cooperate in small groups, so linnorms almost always function alone, individually hunting over large territories in order to waylay as many travelers as possible. Linnorms only seek a mate once during their long lifetimes, the female producing several clutches of up to six eggs as a result. Of these eggs, only one will survive—the first to hatch immediately feasts on its unhatched brethren.

Despite their lust for devastation, linnorms usually live in relatively remote areas, never straying far from the northernmost reaches of the world. As they are universally hated and feared by most other intelligent creatures, their tendency to dwell in more isolated regions helps ensure their survival; while linnorms are vicious and unforgiving, their lack of organization makes them highly susceptible to raiding parties seeking to eradicate their presence, though such parties would need to be made up of truly impressive individuals. More often than not, a linnorm resides totally undisturbed in the spot it chooses as its own for hundreds of years, stewing in its own malevolence until finally snapping and going on a rampage. Sometimes, villages aren't even aware of a slumbering linnorm's proximity, but usually such settlements have long traditions and local legends revolving around “their linnorm.” Since a linnorm can hibernate for centuries, villages composed of shorter-lived humanoids might consider these tales as little more than quaint stories, but when the linnorm wakes, the truth becomes impossible to doubt.

Linnorms come in many different varieties, but all share the qualities of being horribly strong and bestial. They feast solely on meat, usually eating goats and other mountain animals when more intelligent creatures such as humanoids don't readily present themselves. Linnorms are prone to gorging and then falling into a deep sleep near their treasure hordes, waking either when they become aware of intruders in their vicinity or to feed once more.

The linnorms presented on the following pages represent only four of their kind. The most legendary linnorms are the crag linnorm, ice linnorm, and tarn linnorm, but others exist as well. Rumors of even more powerful unique linnorms persist in lands where these dragons are well-known and feared. The largest of their kind, unique linnorms are never less powerful than tor linnorms (who are often mistakenly thought to be the most dangerous species).

Linnorm Special Abilities

While each linnorm has several unique powers, they all share certain abilities in common, as detailed below. In addition to these, every linnorm possesses a breath weapon and a poisonous attack, but the specific effects of these attacks vary from species to species.

Death Curse (Su): When a creature slays a linnorm, it becomes targeted by that linnorm's death curse. The exact effects of a death curse vary, depending upon the type of linnorm. The save DC of a linnorm's death curse is always Charisma-based.

Freedom of Movement (Ex): A linnorm has continuous freedom of movement, as per the spell of the same name. This ability cannot be dispelled.

True Seeing (Ex): A linnorm has continuous true seeing, as per the spell of the same name. This ability cannot be dispelled.

Creatures in "Linnorm" Category

NameCR
Cairn Linnorm18
Crag Linnorm14
Fjord Linnorm16
Gare Linnorm15
Ice Linnorm17
Sea Linnorm22
Taiga Linnorm19
Tarn Linnorm20
Tor Linnorm21

Linnorm, Fjord Linnorm

This massive, eel-like dragon has two webbed talons. Its tail ends in large and powerful-looking flukes.

Fjord Linnorm CR 16

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 183
XP 76,800
CE Gargantuan dragon (aquatic)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, true seeing; Perception +24

Defense

AC 30, touch 12, flat-footed 24 (+6 Dex, +18 natural, –4 size)
hp 248 (16d12+144); regeneration 10 (cold iron)
Fort +19, Ref +18, Will +15
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement; DR 15/cold iron; Immune cold, curse effects, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep; SR 27

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 100 ft. (average), swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +25 (2d8+13/19–20 plus poison), 2 claws +25 (2d6+13), tail +20 (2d6+6 plus grab)
Space 20 ft., Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, constrict (tail, 2d6+19), death curse

Statistics

Str 36, Dex 23, Con 28, Int 5, Wis 21, Cha 26
Base Atk +16; CMB +33 (+37 grapple); CMD 49 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Fly +19, Perception +24, Swim +40
Languages Aklo, Draconic, Sylvan
SQ amphibious

Ecology

Environment cold mountainous coastlines
Organization solitary
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a fjord linnorm can expel a 120-foot line of icy fluid, dealing 16d8 points of cold damage to all creatures struck (Reflex DC 27 for half damage). The freezing liquid quickly hardens to sheets of ice, causing any creature that takes damage to move at only half its normal speed for 1d4 rounds. A DC 27 Strength check made as a full-round action allows a character to break free of the ice before this duration expires. The save DC and Strength check DC are Constitution-based.

Death Curse (Su) Curse of Drowning: save Will DC 26; effect creature can never gain the benefit of water breathing, and if it possesses this ability, loses it as long as it suffers the curse. In addition, the creature can hold its breath only half as long as normal, and whenever the cursed creature holds its breath, it functions as if sickened.

Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 27; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 3d6 cold damage and 1d6 Con drain; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Description

Fjord linnorms dwell among the deep waters that grace northern coastlines where fingers of land create complex rivulets, venturing out to sea to feed on sharks and whales when they cannot find settlements or traveling caravans to savage. As their favored haunts often overlap with coastal trade routes, regions known to be within the territory of a fjord linnorm are often avoided by ships. Fjord linnorms are not particularly adept at capsizing ships, as are some other large aquatic monsters, but one might argue that such tactics are unnecessary for a creature the size and power of a fjord linnorm in the first place.

Both the curse and poison of a fjord linnorm are extremely dangerous for those who frequent the waterways of the north. The fjord linnorm’s curse is particularly devastating to aquatic creatures, and such beings are careful to avoid any possible conflict with such linnorms.

A fjord linnorm is 60 feet long and weighs just over 10,000 pounds.