Archives of Nethys

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Soulpierced

This translucent apparition wears tatters of once-fine clothing and jewelry. The creature’s still-beating heart glows brightly around a dagger thrust through its chest.

Soulpierced CR 17

Source Pathfinder #132: The Six-Legend Soul pg. 90
XP 102,400
CE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +16; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +39

Defense

AC 31, touch 31, flat-footed 18 (+8 deflection, +12 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 275 (22d8+176)
Fort +15, Ref +19, Will +19
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +6; incorporeal; rejuvenation; Immune undead traits; SR 28

Offense

Speed fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee incorporeal touch +28 (17d6 plus frustrating touch)
Special Attacks frustrating touch (DC 25), livid outburst (20d6, DC 25)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +28))
Constant—nondetection

Statistics

Str —, Dex 34, Con —, Int 15, Wis 19, Cha 27
Base Atk +16; CMB +28; CMD 47
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Intimidate), Skill Focus (Perception), Stand Still, Step Up
Skills Bluff +30, Fly +45, Intimidate +39, Perception +39, Sense Motive +33, Stealth +37
Languages Common
SQ site bound, soulpiercing blade

Ecology

Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or agony (3-6)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Frustrating Touch (Su) A soulpierced’s touch transfers some of its overwhelming frustration to its target. A creature damaged by a soulpierced’s incorporeal touch attack must succeed at a DC 25 Fortitude save or be staggered for 1 round. This is an emotion and mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Wisdom-based.

Livid Outburst (Su) Three times per day as a standard action, the soulpierced can release a burst of deepseated rage to overwhelm the emotions of surrounding creatures. All creatures within 30 feet of the soulpierced take 20d6 points of damage and become livid with anger. Livid creatures take a –2 penalty to AC and can’t cast spells, use Charisma- or Intelligence-based skills other than Intimidate, or use any ability that requires patience or concentration. A successful DC 25 Will save halves the damage and negates the livid effect. A livid creature can attempt a new save at the end of each of its turn to end the livid effect, but it is fatigued for 1 round after the livid effect ends. This is an emotion and mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Wisdom-based.

Rejuvenation (Su) A soulpierced can be permanently destroyed only if the blade is first removed from its heart. Otherwise, A soulpierced that is destroyed reappears in the same location 2d4 days later.

Site Bound (Ex) A soulpierced cannot travel more than 100 feet from where it was created.

Soulpiercing Blade (Su) A soulpierced’s spirit is anchored in place by the blade through its heart. While this blade is in place, the soulpierced cannot be restored to life by any means other than direct intervention of a deity. This blade is also the source of the soulpierced’s rejuvenation ability. Although a soulpierced is incorporeal, a corporeal creature can remove the blade as though it had the ghost touch magic weapon special ability. Removing the blade requires a successful disarm or steal combat maneuver made as a full-round action. As a free action, a creature removing the blade must succeed at a DC 35 Knowledge (arcana) or Knowledge (religion) check to recite an appropriate prayer; otherwise, the blade isn’t removed, even if the combat maneuver was successful. The blade disintegrates once removed, and the creature that removed it must succeed at a DC 29 Fortitude save or incur 2d4 negative levels. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Description

A soulpierced is created from the tormented spirit of a victim of ritualistic murder. Each soulpierced is bound to the site of its death by a magical blade thrust through its chest. Even as a spirit, the soulpierced’s still-beating heart is gruesomely visible, as is the blade stabbed through it. Although a soulpierced resembles a ghostly version of its living form, its features are so twisted by rage and grief that it is difficult to recognize. Prevented from moving on and receiving Pharasma’s judgment but also unable to be returned to life, these tormented creatures grow increasingly bitter and angry, magically inflicting its frustration and rage onto nearby creatures.

Even those who destroy a soulpierced find their work incomplete, as the blade through the creature’s heart causes it to rejuvenate in the same location within days. Only by removing the soulpiercing blade can anyone free the creature and permanently eliminate it as a threat. But the attempt itself poses grave danger, as close proximity to the soulpierced exposes the opponent to the creature’s wrathful attack and the blade itself can harm those who remove it.

Ecology

No soulpierced is created by accident, nor could they be. The wicked spellcasters willing to perform the elaborate and expensive magical ritual to transform a victim into a soulpierced must do so deliberately and with the utmost care. The ritual is a closely guarded secret but incorporates powerful spells such as create greater undead and soul bind. It destroys the victim’s body, leaving only her heart, and places her under a permanent nondetection spell that prevents allies or next of kin from locating her. The ritual to create a soulpierced is usually performed in some location where the perpetrator is confident the spirit won’t be discovered, such as an isolated crypt, remote woods, or an abandoned ruin. Because of the complexity and expense of the ritual, the spellcaster must be extraordinarily invested, and thus nearly every soulpierced was once a person with powerful enemies, such as a monarch with influential contenders for the throne, a military leader capable of turning the tide of a war, or a government advisor with significant authority.

The blade used in the ritual must have a personal connection to the victim, but need not be a conventional weapon; while one soulpierced’s blade might be an heirloom dagger, another’s might be a shard of mirror. The ritual can anchor any creature that has a soul, although non-humanoid victims are rare.

The torment of the binding ritual, coupled with years— or even centuries—of loneliness and spite, erodes the remains of what personality the soulpierced had in life. Each soulpierced is unaware of the link between the blade in its heart and its perpetual torment. Although it’s not impossible to convince a soulpierced that its blade must be removed, it is very difficult to overcome a soulpierced’s agony and suspicion. Even if successfully convinced of the link between her suffering and her blade, the soulpierced is unable to remove the blade from her own heart and highly unlikely to trust another creature to do so.

Removing a soulpierced’s blade is no simple matter. If the creature attempting to remove the blade isn’t familiar with powerful counter-curses and prayers of unbinding, the blade remains firmly lodged in the soulpierced’s heart. Even if successfully removed, the blade rots the life force of any creature that removes it, while crumbling the blade itself to powder.

Habitat and Society

Each soulpierced haunts a lonely location and is likely to spend many years without seeing another sentient creature. Multiple soulpierced might share a location, especially if the spellcaster who created them did so in great number or returned to a favorite spot to perform the ritual on successive victims. In a case where the family or friends of a victim have orchestrated a deliberate and coordinated search, a bounty hunter or tracker might encounter a soulpierced, but the spirit’s wrath makes it unlikely a scout returns to report on what he has found. A powerful spellcaster might take advantage of a soulpierced’s endless rage to create an intractable guard, permanently anchored to the murder site and unwilling to let creatures pass without experiencing the soulpierced’s fury.