Archives of Nethys

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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.


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


Protean, Hegessik

This serpentine creature has shimmering golden plumage that transitions into sparkling gemstones on its back.

Hegessik CR 15

Source Bestiary 6 pg. 209, Pathfinder #101: The Kintargo Contract pg. 84
XP 51,200
CN Large outsider (chaotic, extraplanar, protean, shapechanger)
Init +10; Senses blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., detect law; Perception +26
Aura maddening whispers (20 ft., DC 24)


AC 30, touch 15, flat-footed 24 (+6 Dex, +15 natural, –1 size)
hp 212 (17d10+119)
Fort +17, Ref +13, Will +16
Defensive Abilities amorphous anatomy, freedom of movement; DR 10/lawful; Immune acid, polymorph; Resist electricity 10, sonic 10; SR 26


Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (average), swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +27 (2d8+11/19–20 plus warpwave), 2 claws +27 (1d8+11), tail slap +23 (2d6+5 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d6+16), leaching gaze, telekinetic reach, warpwave (DC 25)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +21)
Constant—detect law
At will—confusion (DC 20), greater dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), slow (DC 19)
3/day—baleful polymorph (DC 21), chaos hammer (DC 20), quickened displacement, quickened mirror image
1/day—plane shift (DC 23), polymorph any object (DC 24)


Str 32, Dex 23, Con 25, Int 18, Wis 22, Cha 23
Base Atk +17; CMB +29; CMD 45
Feats Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Quickened Spell-Like Ability (displacement, mirror image), Staggering Critical
Skills Acrobatics +26, Bluff +26, Diplomacy +26, Fly +24, Knowledge (arcana, planes) +24, Perception +26, Sense Motive +26, Spellcraft +24, Swim +36
Languages Abyssal, Protean; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (greater polymorph)


Environment any (Maelstrom)
Organization solitary or cloister (2–6)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Leaching Gaze (Su) When opened, a hegessik’s third eye produces a powerful gaze attack with a 30-foot range. A creature affected by this attack takes 1d3 points of Wisdom damage unless it succeeds at a DC 24 Will save. Proteans are immune to this effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Maddening Whispers (Su) A mind-bending susurrus of voices and false perceptions infuses reality in close proximity to a hegessik protean. Any creature within the range of the protean’s aura must succeed at a DC 24 Will save or be confused for 1 round. A creature with a chaotic component to its alignment gains a +4 bonus on this save, and creatures with the chaotic subtype are immune. This is a mind-affecting effect, and the save DC is Charisma-based.
Telekinetic Reach (Su) Every 1d4 rounds, a hegessik protean can take a full-round action to make all of its natural attacks as a flurry of telekinetic force with a range of 60 feet. Such attack rolls take a –5 penalty when made at a distance of up to 30 feet, and a –10 penalty when made at a distance of 31–60 feet. A hegessik protean must have line of effect to a target in order to use this ability. A hegessik can’t use its grab or warpwave ability with attacks made using this ability.


The reclusive hegessiks are the wandering clergy of the protean race, itinerant spiritual elders and voices in the supernatural wilderness. Detached from the ever-shifting pseudo-structure of powerful protean cabals, hegessiks serve as intermediaries between them and as agents of the protean lords. Along with keketar proteans (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 215), they deal with those gods who dwell within the Maelstrom.

The average hegessik is 14 feet long and weighs 1,400 pounds.