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Linnorm

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 181
Treacherous primeval dragons of the northern regions of the world, linnorms thrive on their hatred for those they deem to be lesser creatures and seek to inflict as much suffering as possible unto their unfortunate victims. Sweeping bones and treasures alike into giant piles in its lair, the typical linnorm has a barbaric nature made all the worse by its insatiable greed and atrocious gluttony. Few creatures are as bold and as cruel as linnorms, and for that most people are thankful.

Linnorms are not true dragons, but they nonetheless possess incredible strength and deadly powers that often rival authentic dragon brutality. Their massive frames make crushing smaller enemies a simple task, and of those who have felt the sting of a linnorm's venomous bite, few have survived the devastating poison long enough to tell the tale. A linnorm's body is serpentine and lacks wings, yet these dragons fly through the air with supernatural ease, accomplishing the feat as easily as a fish through water.

Beyond the physical might, venom, and devastating breath weapons typical of all linnorms, the beasts all share a potent final defense—the death curse. This powerful plaguing of the mind manifests itself in myriad forms, but always serves as a horrid vengeance against any who might manage to slay a linnorm. Some theorize that the curse is a sending from malevolent gods who watch over linnorms and view them as destruction-loving pets. Others believe the linnorms' curse is the closest remaining connection they have to the primeval world of the fey, from whence the first of these monsters is said to have come. Whatever the case may be, its curse makes killing a linnorm as dangerous as letting it live.

True dragons of higher intellect often hold linnorms in great scorn, viewing the beings as prematurely evolved beasts and refusing to even acknowledge the creatures as related to them. Linnorms have few feelings regarding the matter, battling younger and older dragons alike just as readily as any other creatures who dare to step foot in their territories. Their simplemindedness stifles any ability to assemble mass sieges or even cooperate in small groups, so linnorms almost always function alone, individually hunting over large territories in order to waylay as many travelers as possible. Linnorms only seek a mate once during their long lifetimes, the female producing several clutches of up to six eggs as a result. Of these eggs, only one will survive—the first to hatch immediately feasts on its unhatched brethren.

Despite their lust for devastation, linnorms usually live in relatively remote areas, never straying far from the northernmost reaches of the world. As they are universally hated and feared by most other intelligent creatures, their tendency to dwell in more isolated regions helps ensure their survival; while linnorms are vicious and unforgiving, their lack of organization makes them highly susceptible to raiding parties seeking to eradicate their presence, though such parties would need to be made up of truly impressive individuals. More often than not, a linnorm resides totally undisturbed in the spot it chooses as its own for hundreds of years, stewing in its own malevolence until finally snapping and going on a rampage. Sometimes, villages aren't even aware of a slumbering linnorm's proximity, but usually such settlements have long traditions and local legends revolving around “their linnorm.” Since a linnorm can hibernate for centuries, villages composed of shorter-lived humanoids might consider these tales as little more than quaint stories, but when the linnorm wakes, the truth becomes impossible to doubt.

Linnorms come in many different varieties, but all share the qualities of being horribly strong and bestial. They feast solely on meat, usually eating goats and other mountain animals when more intelligent creatures such as humanoids don't readily present themselves. Linnorms are prone to gorging and then falling into a deep sleep near their treasure hordes, waking either when they become aware of intruders in their vicinity or to feed once more.

The linnorms presented on the following pages represent only four of their kind. The most legendary linnorms are the crag linnorm, ice linnorm, and tarn linnorm, but others exist as well. Rumors of even more powerful unique linnorms persist in lands where these dragons are well-known and feared. The largest of their kind, unique linnorms are never less powerful than tor linnorms (who are often mistakenly thought to be the most dangerous species).

Linnorm Special Abilities

While each linnorm has several unique powers, they all share certain abilities in common, as detailed below. In addition to these, every linnorm possesses a breath weapon and a poisonous attack, but the specific effects of these attacks vary from species to species.

Death Curse (Su): When a creature slays a linnorm, it becomes targeted by that linnorm's death curse. The exact effects of a death curse vary, depending upon the type of linnorm. The save DC of a linnorm's death curse is always Charisma-based.

Freedom of Movement (Ex): A linnorm has continuous freedom of movement, as per the spell of the same name. This ability cannot be dispelled.

True Seeing (Ex): A linnorm has continuous true seeing, as per the spell of the same name. This ability cannot be dispelled.

Creatures in "Linnorm" Category

NameCR
Cairn Linnorm18
Crag Linnorm14
Fjord Linnorm16
Gare Linnorm15
Ice Linnorm17
Sea Linnorm22
Taiga Linnorm19
Tarn Linnorm20
Tor Linnorm21

Linnorm, Taiga Linnorm

With menacing black horns jutting from its head, this two-legged dragon is covered in dark green scales and vicious black barbs.

Taiga Linnorm CR 19

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 184
XP 204,800
CE Colossal dragon
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, true seeing; Perception +30

Defense

AC 34, touch 9, flat-footed 27 (+7 Dex, +25 natural, –8 size)
hp 346 (21d12+210); regeneration 15 (cold iron)
Fort +22, Ref +21, Will +18
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement, spines; DR 15/cold iron; Immune curse effects, electricity, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep; SR 30

Offense

Speed 40 ft., fly 100 ft. (average), swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +29 (3d8+16/19–20 plus poison), 2 claws +29 (2d6+16), tail +24 (3d6+8 plus grab)
Space 30 ft., Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, constrict (tail, 3d6+24), death curse

Statistics

Str 43, Dex 25, Con 30, Int 6, Wis 23, Cha 28
Base Atk +21; CMB +45 (+49 grapple); CMD 62 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Fly +23, Perception +30, Stealth +15 (+23 in forests), Swim +48; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in forests
Languages Aklo, Draconic, Sylvan

Ecology

Environment cold forests
Organization solitary
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a taiga linnorm can expel a 60-foot cone of electrified vapor, dealing 21d8 points of electricity damage to all creatures struck (Reflex DC 30 for half). The vapor itself persists for 1d4 rounds, filling its cone-shaped area with electrified mist that deals 4d6 points of electricity damage (no save) to any creature that ends its turn in the mist. The mist does not hinder vision. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Death Curse (Su) Curse of Electrocution: save Will DC 29; effect the creature gains vulnerability to electricity.

Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 30; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 4d6 electricity damage and 1d8 Dex drain; cure 3 consecutive saves.

Spines (Ex) Any creature that makes a melee attack against a taiga linnorm takes 1d6 points of piercing damage per attack from the linnorm’s spines. A melee weapon with reach provides protection from these spines.

Description

A beast covered with hundreds of spines, the taiga linnorm is a terror to all those who venture through the arctic forests of the north. Taiga linnorms take down foes and prey first with their electrifying breath and finish their victims off with their devastating bite.

In winter, when light is sparse and the nights are long, it is easy for a taiga linnorm to blend in with the coniferous forests it dwells in, hiding among the trees and ambushing imprudent travelers or unwary adventurers setting up camp. A taiga linnorm often lies in wait for days—sometimes weeks—just for the opportunity to maim and devour unsuspecting victims. When this subtler tactic does not work, a taiga linnorm simply rampages through the woods in order to find nearby settlements to pillage, taking twisted delight in shocking the inhabitants before shredding them with its massive jaws or destructive forelimbs. In any event, taiga linnorms rarely venture far from their woodland territories save for short flights to attack outlying villages.

A taiga linnorm is 50 feet long and weighs just over 13,000 pounds.