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Asura

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 21
Asuras are immortal beings whose origins are rooted in rejection and destruction. They are manifestations of divine accident, living blasphemies risen from mistakes made by the gods themselves. Given horrible life through these unspeakable divine errors, the asuras seek to sow doubt among mortals and ultimately revenge themselves upon the gods for their accursed existences.

Most asuras share a cohesive philosophy that culminates in nothing less than the systematic destruction of everything the gods have had a hand in creating. To this end, asuras study and meditate on the nature of creation so that they might better know how the cosmos can be unmade. The simplest among these fiends seek out the pious to torment, as well as holy places and relics to pollute with the taint of loathing and faithlessness. Once the destruction or corruption of a holy place is complete, asuras might take up residence in the area to contemplate what they have wrought and consider future misdeeds. The precise records and histories some temples keep can end up being the undoing of other bastions of faith. Thus, asuras spread.

Asuras have reason to seek places to dwell and brood, for unlike many other outsiders, the asuras have no realm to call their own. While the largest population of them dwells in the vast wildernesses of Hell, these fiends can be found throughout the Great Beyond, living anywhere they can make room for themselves. Asuras spend time plotting and nurturing their vast abhorrence of all things. They perfect arts of war and ruin. Even devils are unsafe in asura domains, because although asuras share the alignment of their hellspawned neighbors, devils are proper creatures of the extant multiverse. So consuming is asura antipathy that devils too must eventually fall for asuras to accomplish their ultimate goal.

Despite their warlike and devastating actions, most asuras have an ascetic quality and great insight into reality. They know a great deal about the cosmos. Further, little in the way of material wealth or comfort can sway them from their goals. An asura might possess treasure, probably pillaged from temples lost to asura raids, and it might have servants to see to its wants and needs. However, it values such aspects of existence only insofar as they help the asura move toward its ends.

Other asuras perfect modes of fighting or act as guardians or even extraplanar mercenaries. Such asuras become instruments of ruin, their presence antithetical to the lives of their enemies, whomever those foes might be. They rarely care whom or what they are hired to battle, so long as they can end the existence of a deity's work.

Asuras often collect and guard treasuries of looted religious relics, letting such objects serve as bait for pious heroes powerful enough to locate such treasures despite the asuras' elusive aura. The fiends know the loss of such holy objects often grieves and undermines the beliefs of common members of a faith, and so do all they can to draw out such spiritual suffering.

While an asura's individual incarnations can be slain, these fiends are nearly impossible to destroy permanently. The divine spark in them returns to the presence of mighty asura lords, the asura ranas, in Hell or elsewhere. Within a variable amount of time, usually some multiple of 7 years, a slain asura reincarnates as a weaker asura. A truly devoted asura that died in service to the asura cause might be given its old form at the cost of some of the asura rana's essence. Reincarnated asuras remember their past lives, their origins, and any enemy who has wronged them, and while their appearances and resources change, their thirst for revenge is eternal.

Rarely, however, contemplation on the nature of the multiverse or a desire for something more than eternal strife causes an asura to choose a different course. Such asuras meditate to become closer to that which they once sought to destroy, purifying themselves of their soul-burning hatred. Redeemed asuras are seldom good or religious, but they do wander the planes, dispensing wisdom and working against wanton destruction. Evil asuras loathe these traitors, and seek them out to destroy them with teeming fervor.

Known Asura Ranas

Asuras can grow mighty indeed in their endless cycle of reincarnation. The most powerful among them are the asura ranas who dwell in ruined holy places, abandoned deific domains, or in the wilds of Hell. These potent fiends have unique forms, and can demand anything of lesser members of their race, as they are revered as sages and profane bodhisattvas. They usually dwell in places that allow them to deny devotees of the deities access to holy objects or sites. The following list includes several asura ranas named in myth and tales of woe.
  • Andak the Dismembered
  • Bohga the Treasurer
  • Chugarra the Guru of Butchers
  • Chupurvagasti, Lady of Poison Mist
  • Gavidya the Numberless
  • Hydim of the Eternal Fast
  • Ioramvol with the Mouth Full of Boulders
  • Maeha, Father of False Worlds
  • Onamahli the Twice Pure
  • Rahu the Sun Eater
  • Rytara, Serpent of the Eastern Eye
  • Taraksun, Awakener of Wrath
  • Zurapadyn, the Beast Who Waits in Smoke

Creatures in "Asura" Category

NameCR
Adhukait7
Aghasura11
Asurendra20
Hishandura15
Japalisura12
Nikaramsa14
Tripurasura2
Upasunda9
Vayuphak5

Asura, Hishandura

This muscular fiend has two vertically mirrored faces, four arms, and a quartet of sinister punching daggers

Hishandura CR 15

Source Pathfinder #136: Temple of the Peacock Spirit pg. 82
XP 51,200
LE Large outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent, scent of carnage, smoke sight; Perception +29
Aura elusive (75 ft.)

Defense

AC 30, touch 12, flat-footed 27 (+3 Dex, +18 natural, –1 size)
hp 207 (18d10+108); regeneration 10 (good spells, good weapons)
Fort +17, Ref +11, Will +15; +2 vs. enchantment spells
DR 10/good; Immune curse effects, disease, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10; SR 26

Offense

Speed 50 ft.
Melee +1 punching dagger +23/+18/+13/+8 (1d6+8/19–20/×3), 3 +1 punching daggers +23 (1d6+4/19–20/×3), bite +19 (2d6+3) or bite +24 (2d6+7), 4 slams +24 (1d6+7)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks destructive blades, punitive penance, rend (2 slams or 2 punching daggers, 4d6 bleed and punitive penance), repentant rain
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +24)
At will—gaseous form
3/day—chain lightning (DC 22), cloudkill (DC 21), cone of cold (DC 21), dimension door, fire snake (DC 21), greater dispel magic, wall of fire
1/day—control water, control weather, greater shout (DC 24), summon (level 6, 1d3 aghasuras, 40%)

Statistics

Str 25, Dex 16, Con 23, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 22
Base Atk +18; CMB +26; CMD 39
Feats Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Critical (punching dagger), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Multiweapon Fighting, Nimble Moves, Power Attack, Staggering Critical
Skills Escape Artist +9, Intimidate +27, Knowledge (local) +13, Knowledge (planes) +13, Knowledge (religion) +22, Perception +29, Sense Motive +25, Spellcraft +19, Use Magic Device +27; Racial Modifiers +6 Escape Artist, +4 Perception
Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard (4 +1 punching daggers, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Destructive Blades (Su) A hishandura’s melee attacks ignore hardness of less than 20 and damage reduction, except for damage reduction bypassed by epic weapons and damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—). Whenever a hishandura makes a full attack against an object or a structure, its attacks deal double damage.

Punitive Penance (Su) When a hishandura rends a target, that creature must succeed at a DC 25 Will save or experience overwhelming grief for its past actions, as per terrible remorse. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Repentant Rain (Su) Once per round after confirming a critical hit with a melee weapon, a hishandura can spray gore from the wound in a 30-foot cone originating from any square occupied by its target. Each non-asura in the area is blinded for 1d3 rounds unless it succeeds at a DC 26 Reflex save. A blinded creature can wipe the gore from its eyes as a standard action, removing the blindness; alternatively, another creature adjacent to a blinded creature can wipe away the gore as a standard action. Jumping into a body of water or being subject to an effect that creates a lot of water (such as create water or hydraulic push) also removes the blindness. The save DC is Strength-based.

Scent of Carnage (Ex) A hishandura’s sense of smell is especially sensitive to blood and fresh injuries. The asura gains blindsense with a range of 60 feet but can sense only corpses, badly wounded creatures (those with half their total hit points or fewer), those suffering from bleed damage, and those affected by the asura’s repentant rain ability.

Smoke Sight (Ex) A hishandura can see through fire, fog, and smoke as if they were perfectly clear, ignoring the miss chance for these obstructions, up to its normal range of its vision.

Description

Ages ago, a short-sighted god sought to punish his flock for a perceived slight, infusing a champion with a fragment of his power and sending it to wreak havoc. The champion did as commanded, tearing apart the faithful and showering their city with blood. The deity heard the tearful cries of the mortals, pleading for mercy and insisting that any kindly god would never visit such hatred upon his people. The god felt an upwelling of shame for having engineered such violence, but rather than accept responsibility or undo the damage, the god appeared before the city and forsook the divine champion, insisting that it was a raving beast sent by some less caring patron than himself. Empowered by their lying god’s words and magic, the people praised him, rallied, and killed the champion. From this act of betrayal—and the remains of the slaughtered champion—rose the first hishandura.

Hishanduras are 13 feet tall and weigh 1,800 pounds.

Ecology

Hishanduras most often originate from petitioners and lesser asuras convinced that the gods never rewarded them for their loyal service. Channeling their frustration into violence, these wronged souls ascend through reincarnation to become hishanduras.

A hishandura’s body hums with destructive passion. This reflection of the original hishandura’s divine mandate drives these asuras to slaughter living creatures, destroy beautiful works, and listen for the piteous cries for mercy from the fearful and faithful alike. Hishanduras can see effortlessly through the smoke of burning buildings, locate the cowering weak and wounded, and extract hateful revelations from the bloody precipitation flung by their blades. They can bypass nearly any defense to inflict their malign punishments, effortlessly teleporting past guards and discorporating to slip through portcullises.

Habitat and Society

Of all asuras, hishanduras are among the most likely to lash out at strangers or purposefully prey on mortals. Despite this violence, they harbor a remarkable sympathy for divine avengers and scapegoats, considering every relationship between a mortal and the divine a tragedy waiting to happen.

A hishandura’s camaraderie is especially strong with the divine engines of destruction known as behemoths (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 3 36). Behemoths and hishanduras rarely attack one another. Instead, hishanduras delight in finding signs of dormant behemoths, waking them, and reveling in the resulting destruction. The longer the beast has slumbered, the more suggestible it seems to be to the asuras’ insistence that the behemoth has been forgotten or betrayed, as though being abandoned by the gods for so long makes the behemoths bitter.

Unlike other asuras, hishanduras rarely remain in the same place for long. They become restless when lingering in a site they have demolished or despoiled and are quick to move on and seek out a new target. This is only partially due to impatience, as hishanduras also dislike having to face holy champions seeking retaliation for their despoliation. It isn’t the threat of defeat that irritates the hishanduras, but rather the possibility that some paladin might appear to vindicate her blind obedience to her god by killing the fiend.

Hishanduras distrust any beings placed above others, and distance themselves from asura ranas, whom they see as hypocrites. Hishanduras who honor asura ranas do so because they see truths in their violent teachings, not because they consider the ranas as lords to be slavishly obeyed. These hishanduras favor violent and vindictive patrons such as Chugarra, the Guru of Butchers; Chupurvagasti, Lady of Poison Mist; and Zurapadyn, the Beast Who Waits in Smoke.