Archives of Nethys

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Ikelos

This creature’s eyes are large and lidless, and its large head dominates its lanky frame. Tiny wings spread across its back and the four digits of each hand end in sharp claws.

Ikelos CR 7

Source Pathfinder #95: Anvil of Fire pg. 84
XP 3,200
CE Medium outsider (extraplanar, incorporeal)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
Aura lethargy (30 ft., DC 17, 10 rounds)

Defense

AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 13 (+3 deflection, +4 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 67 (9d10+18)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +9
Defensive Abilities dream-phased, incorporeal
Weaknesses fear dependency

Offense

Speed fly 30 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 incorporeal claws +13 (2d6)
Special Attacks frightful gaze

Statistics

Str —, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +9; CMB +13; CMD 27
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Stealthy, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +16, Bluff +15, Escape Artist +6, Fly +24, Intimidate +15, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +14, Stealth +18
Languages Aklo, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ feed on fear

Ecology

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

Special Abilities

Dream-Phased (Su) An ikelos is typically invisible. Creatures that are fatigued or under the effects of see invisibility can see an ikelos, but its nature is partially obscured. An ikelos gains the benefit of partial concealment against such creatures. In addition, its claws deal 3d6 points of damage to such creatures, instead of 2d6. Creatures that are exhausted or under the effects of true seeing can see the ikelos clearly. They suffer no miss chance when striking the ikelos. However, an ikelos’s claws deal 4d6 points of damage to such creatures, instead of 2d6.

Fear Dependency (Ex) An ikelos is a creature of nightmares, and it depends completely on fear for its sustenance. An ikelos doesn’t recover hit point damage naturally and cannot heal by any means other than its feed on fear ability.

Feed on Fear (Su) Anytime an ikelos is within 15 feet of a dying creature or a creature subject to a fear effect, it gains fast healing 5.

Frightful Gaze (Su) Creatures within 30 feet that meet an ikelos’s gaze must succeed at a DC 17 Will save or be paralyzed with fear for 1 round. This is a mind-affecting fear effect and a paralysis effect. A creature that succeeds at this saving throw is immune to the frightful gaze of that ikelos for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lethargy Aura (Su) An ikelos exudes an aura that makes nearby creatures increasingly lethargic. Creatures that fail a DC 17 Fortitude save become fatigued. Fatigued creatures that fail a DC 17 Fortitude save become exhausted. The effects of the aura end 10 rounds after an affected creature exits the aura. An ikelos can suppress or reactivate its aura as a free action. Ikeloses are immune to this ability. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

Ikeloses are monsters that lurk just out of the sight of insomniacs; they are nightmares that freeze the body even as the mind recoils in horror.

To those who are fully awake, an ikelos remains unseen, a silently invisible nightmare that can travel undetected wherever it pleases. Only supernatural vision or drowsy eyes perceive these creatures. Ikeloses are painted in the colors of dreams—constantly warping hues that cannot be reproduced with light or pigments, and as such are impossible to accurately remember.

An ikelos is frightening in aspect, appearing as a distorted humanoid with large eyes and elongated limbs. Its flat, ovoid face has the barest hint of a nose, and its mouth is a barely noticeable seam until distended to reveal row upon row of sharp teeth. An ikelos’s short wings are unnecessary for its flight, but when unfolded, they give the creature the illusion of size. Many a dream-addled victim has mistaken an ikelos for a sinister fiend or an avenging angel.

Ikeloses are commonly the size of a human, though both larger and smaller members of their kind exist. As incorporeal beings, they are entirely weightless.

Ecology

Ikeloses are born in dreamscapes in the Dimension of Dreams. They begin as recurring nightmares. When they’ve fed on enough fear, they create bodies from planar gossamer that can survive even as their dreamscapes crumble each morning. Eventually, a mature ikelos rides its dreamer back to the Material Plane, usually drawing its first meal from the unwitting “parent.”

Although they don’t need to eat or breathe in the conventional sense, ikeloses draw sustenance from fear. They use fear to mend their wounds and replenish their dream-spun forms. Deprived of this emotional fuel, they eventually waste away to nothing.

An ikelos’s frightful gaze is often enough to extract the emotion it needs. By returning to a victim several times a week, it can, in theory, sustain itself without killing the victim. In practice, however, such unfortunate souls often die of fright or sleep deprivation, or else seek means to ward off their tormentors. Against a victim that resists its paralyzing gaze, an ikelos resorts to violence. The resulting corpses usually foment more fear and sleeplessness in others.

An ikelos could rely solely on its aura of lethargy to tire its victims and quickly extract their fear. But being born from nightmares, ikeloses see such direct tactics as inelegant, and take pride in creative plans that slowly drive their victims mad. As a few surviving victims remember from the monster’s taunts, ikeloses claim that fear tastes better when it has time to ripen. When an ikelos is threatened, it doesn’t hesitate to unleash its aura of lethargy and viciously claw apart whoever stands in its way.

Ikeloses usually prey on insomniacs, those most prone to weariness and paranoia. In a pinch, they drift around invisibly during the day, searching for anxious individuals to target. They prefer to torment prey with alien whispers and intrusive thoughts—which become increasingly diffficult to dismiss as days pass into weeks—before revealing their true forms. Many ikeloses dislike that diviners can grant themselves and others the ability to see them, and target these spellcasters out of spite. Magic that pierces invisibility reveals ikeloses but, as with fatigue, makes the viewer more susceptible to ikeloses’s malignancies.

Habitat & Society

Ikeloses exist wherever sentient creatures dream, especially poor urban areas where hopes die and anxieties run high. Though they don’t need to sleep, ikeloses become torpid during the day, anticipating their nocturnal games.

An ikelos’s alien mind is ever turned toward finding suitable prey and devising new and unexpected ways to horrify. Typically loners, ikeloses sometimes form packs—not for companionship, but to aid in their hunting. Like a wolf pack, ikeloses surround their prey, increasing the chance that the victim will be paralyzed or unable to flee. Interactions between such ikeloses are usually contests of dominance. While food and mating are of no concern to these creatures, the dominant ikelos makes most of the decisions for the group; ikeloses crave autonomy as much as any living thing hungers or lusts. Acts of deviousness and depravity are the usual measure of standing. Knowing it can’t heal in a normal fashion, an ikelos almost always avoids committing violence against others of its kind, unless it can do so without anticipation of reprisal.

Ikeloses don’t interact with living creatures except to harvest their fear. Even were they not often invisible and intangible to most beings, they have little desire to socialize with creatures they consider food. However, as parasites, they can be found living invisibly amid all manner of creatures. An ikelos might seek to defend its “cattle” from other predators—whether monsters preying on its human stock or adventurers slaying its hobgoblin victims—or else seek to harvest a new source of fear. Creatures who are immune to fear cannot sustain an ikelos’s unnatural existence, and thus hold little interest for these stalkers.

Occasionally, ikeloses encounter creatures similar to themselves, such as house-haunting undead or soulharvesting night hags, and choose to form temporary alliances. Such a creature might complement the ikelos’s abilities, and an ikelos has no use for its victim’s bodies or souls. However, such alliances can prove tenuous and dangerous for both sides. Perhaps the creature most similar to an ikelos is an animate dream (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 2 29). While animate dreams are nonspecific fragments of a single dream, ikeloses are specific figures that build up strength across multiple dreams. Ikeloses and animate dreams each believe themselves to be superior manifestations, and when an ikelos and an animate dream set their sights on the same prey, the conf lict typically ends in violent confrontation.