Archives of Nethys

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Leshy

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 176
Originally grown as servants for more powerful fey and intelligent plant life such as elder treants, leshys are sentient plants who look after their unintelligent brethren and serve as nature's verdant watchers. Several breeds of leshy exist, each being kindred to a broad group of plants or fungi. Among the best known are superstitious gourd leshys, wise seaweed leshys, strange fungus leshys, and wary leaf leshys, though others are rumored to exist, such as the surly cactus leshy, the sinister flytrap leshy, the garrulous snapdragon leshy, and the enigmatic lotus leshy.

Leshys begin their existence as sentient though bodiless spirits of nature of the sort contacted by spells such as commune with nature. These spirits normally have no way to directly manipulate the physical world, but a skilled spellcaster (typically a druid) can grow a special plant body for one of these spirits, giving the spirit a home to animate.

Once accepted into a body, a leshy's spirit remains within unless the body is destroyed. Leshys do not fear death as many other creatures do, knowing that should they fall, their spirits merely return to the natural world and can be called to inhabit a new leshy body at some point in the future. As a leshy's body dies, the magic animating it unravels in a burst of life energy that infuses its surrounding and quickens the growth of any plants in the vicinity. Some leshys even voluntarily discorporate to save the lives of ailing plants, knowing that their sacrifice may mean the continuation of countless otherwise helpless flora. Regardless of how a leshy dies, leaving the body traumatizes the spirit, and the leshy retains only faint memories of past corporeal existences. Leshy spirits need not return to the same form if bound again to a body. During the course of its existence a single spirit can inhabit any number of different types of leshys. A leshy without a body has no power to affect or contact the material world.

The rites and special materials required to create a leshy's physical form vary between individual leshys. Once the creator assembles the necessary materials, a leshy must typically be grown in an area of natural power, such as a treant's grove, a druidic circle, or a site of pristine natural wonder. A newly born leshy is a free-willed, neutral being, under no obligation to serve its creator.

As a group, leshys share certain common attributes. They resemble plants but with vaguely humanoid appearances, and are always Small. While leshys of the same species share the same general shape, leshys have all the diversity of the plant world in appearance. For example, one fungus leshy may have a classic red, white-dotted mushroom cap, while another might have the spongier and darker contours of a morel, while a third might have the coloration of a pale gray cave mushroom.

Growing a Leshy

The process of growing a leshy has some similarities to making a construct, but doesn't require the Craft Construct feat. Typically, the creator of a leshy must be a powerful druid, but anyone capable of making the required Knowledge checks and casting the required spells may attempt the process.

Growing a leshy body takes 2 weeks per Hit Die, during which the nascent form must be well fertilized, watered as needed, and kept safe from harm. During this period of growth, certain rare nutrients and fertilizer must be used to prime the leshy's transformation from a normal plant into a sentient one—the cost of these components varies according to the leshy, but is never less than 1,000 gp. The cultivator must make a successful Knowledge check at this time (usually a Knowledge [nature] check) in order for the plant body to be properly formed—the exact check as well as the required DC varies according to the leshy. If the check fails, the plant withers and dies and the cultivator must begin anew.

If, on the other hand, the skill check is successful, the cultivator must then step in and perform a 24-hour ritual within a day of the leshy's cultivation. During this ritual, the cultivator must cast a number of spells (see each individual leshy for a list). At the ritual's climax, there's a flat 50% chance that the attempt to create a leshy succeeds—if this final check fails, no appropriate spirit is close enough to answer the call. The plant body rots and the creator must begin anew with fresh materials if he wishes to try again. At the GM's discretion, this final chance for success might increase to 75% or even 100% for particularly magical areas where leshy spirits are much more common than normal. Discovering such a rare and magical site should be the focus of its own adventure.

If the ritual is successful, the leshy awakens fully formed and able to serve as a minion. A freshly created leshy is under no particular compulsion to obey its creator, but most regard their makers as friends and allies.

Plant creatures are particularly adept at growing leshys. Such creators gain a +5 racial bonus on their Knowledge checks, halve the time required to grow the leshy, and reduce the cost to create the creature by 25%. A plant creature is always successful in luring a spirit into the body, and need not make the final percentile roll for success.

Leshys with more Hit Dice than normal can be created. Each additional Hit Die adds 2,250 gp to the cost of creating the leshy (and thus 4,500 gp to the overall price), increases the DC of the Knowledge check by +2, and requires an additional 2 weeks of growth. Attempts to create leshys larger than Small always fail—the strange spiritual energies that animate these creatures are only capable of doing so to a body no larger than that of a human child.

Creatures in "Leshy" Category

NameCR
Cactus Leshy2
Flytrap Leshy4
Fungus Leshy2
Gourd Leshy1
Leaf Leshy1/2
Lichen Leshy3
Lotus Leshy5
Seaweed Leshy3
Snapdragon Leshy4
Sunflower Leshy1

Leshy, Fungus Leshy

Mismatched eyes dot this plant creature’s thick mushroom cap, while below works an overlarge maw set with pale fungal teeth.

Fungus Leshy CR 2

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 177, Pathfinder #34: Blood for Blood pg. 86
XP 600
N Small plant (leshy, shapechanger)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +2

Defense

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+2 Dex, +1 size)
hp 15 (2d8+6)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +2
Immune electricity, sonic, plant traits

Offense

Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +2 (1d6), 2 claws +2 (1d3)
Ranged puffball +4 (1 plus spores)
Special Attacks spores
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +6)
Constant—pass without trace

Statistics

Str 10, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 7, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Blind-Fight
Skills Stealth +10 (+14 in swamps and underground), Survival +3 (+7 in swamps and underground); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth and Survival in swamps and underground
Languages Druidic, Sylvan; plantspeech (fungi)
SQ change shape (Small fungus; tree shape), verdant burst

Ecology

Environment any swamp or underground
Organization solitary or cluster (2–16)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Puffball (Ex) A fungus leshy can spit a puffball as a standard action. If it hits, this attack deals 1 point of damage (this damage is not modified by Strength) and affects the target struck (but not adjacent targets) with the fungus leshy’s spores. The puffball has a range increment of 20 feet.

Spores (Ex) A fungus leshy is riddled with molds and spores. Anytime a fungus leshy takes damage, a cloud of spores bursts from its body, forcing all adjacent creatures to make a DC 14 Fortitude save or have their vision reduced to 10 feet for 1 minute. Spending a full-round action to wash one’s eyes with water ends this effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Keepers of cavernous mushroom forests and rotting compost pits deep within the swamp, fungus leshys preside over subterranean growth and the rot that fertilizes new life. Among the most alien and monstrous-looking of all leshys, these tiny rot farmers’ frightening appearance has more to do with the asymmetrical eeriness intrinsic to molds and fungi than an outward expression of evil. Like all their kin, fungus leshys vary widely in form, often adopting the colors and shapes of the mushrooms and other large fungi common to the areas they tend.

Fungus leshys are spawned from realms of underground wonder or the rotting places of the natural world. They perform an important service in the lands they keep, encouraging the growth of fungi, transporting rotting material to fertilize other plants, and making the most use of growth that has died off. Fungus leshys are most active at night and spend the day in the forms of plump fungi amid their ripest compost heaps or fungal glens.

Fungus leshys are 2 feet tall and weigh 25 pounds, their spongy interiors full of hollows and fluffy spores.

Growing a Fungus Leshy

A fungus leshy is usually grown amid the compost of a treant’s groves, in dens of mold deep underground, or in eerie hillocks at the heart of dense swamplands.

Fungus Leshy

CL 8th; Price 2,500 gp

Ritual

Requirements Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, obscuring mist, plant growth, summon nature’s ally II; Skill Knowledge (dungeoneering or nature) DC 14; Cost 1,250 gp