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Thriae

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 263
Highly spiritual creatures and keepers of the world's greatest secrets, the thriae are a race of female, beelike seers coveted for their powers of divination and prophecy. Roughly humanoid in size and appearance, thriae keep to the outskirts of civilization, tending to their mysterious rituals and maintaining a watchful—if passive—eye over the machinations of nearby societies. While possessing an eerie air of mysticism, thriae are nonetheless startlingly beautiful, their slender bodies giving an unexpected grace to the otherwise unsightly mannerisms of giant bees.

Settlements that find themselves near the hilly homes of thriae hives often send a chosen citizen to visit the creatures, hoping to glean helpful insight from the wise prophetesses regarding the growth of the settlement's crops, the prosperity of its people, or the strength of its warriors. Thriae have little interest in the affairs of most humanoids, but do aid those who come bearing offerings of gold or physically fit male consorts. All thriae are female, and so the queen must breed with humanoid males in order to propagate the colony. If a colony hasn't received an offering of a suitable consort recently, thriae sometimes visit nearby settlements in the hope of garnering young male volunteers to come and live with them for the rest of their lives—living with the thriae exposes chosen males to many of the mysterious race's secrets, so the prophetesses cannot afford to let them leave the thriae's domains once they have entered. The life of male consorts is one of comfort and luxury, however, as they spend their days in a blissful trance brought on by the mind-altering effects of the thriae queen's nourishing honey, a substance called merope. Once they are too old to continue their duties, the males are put in a deep, numbing sleep, whereupon the thriae painlessly devour the consorts' elderly bodies. Thriae generally do not have emotional ties to their humanoid mates, using them for procreation only—exceptions exist, particularly among non-queen thriae, who cannot lay eggs but sometimes choose a willing mate anyway. Only the queen can lay eggs; a typical queen produce 400 to 500 eggs in her lifetime. The life span of a typical thriae who does not die in battle is about 200 years.

Thriae choose particularly spiritual individuals to become seers, members of the colony who perform the rituals that allow them to divine their cryptic prophecies. These seers drink from merope and derive meaning from their spiritual hallucinations, traveling into the forests or mountains to decode various patterns among nature. Thriae hold a particular reverence for the structures and communication patterns of common bees, patterns which they often study intently while undergoing their merope-induced spiritual journeys. The bond thriae have with common bees and giant bees extends beyond this, however, as many powerful thriae possess the ability to call forth such insects when they are in need of aid, such as while protecting their homes. Thriae are extremely territorial, and disrupt their normally stoic behavior to passionately fight off intruders or creatures otherwise imposing upon their domain. Many thriae colonies can trace back their lineages thousands of years, keeping extensive archives hidden within the catacombs of their labyrinthine hives. The hives thriae reside in resemble the beehives of their miniature relatives, but constructed on a much grander fashion and scale. Since thriae fly wherever they go, they tend to build their most important chambers higher up in order to deter bipedal would-be burglars.

Thriae come in various shapes and sizes, their abilities ranging equally in terms of specialization. An individual thriae's occupation within the particular thriae society she is born into is selected by her elders when she reaches adolescence, several months after her development as a larva and then as a pupa. Once her occupation is determined, a young thriae is assigned a “mother,” and is trained by this elder to perform her tasks perfectly so as to keep the hive in fully autonomous order. Many thriae never see battle in their lifetimes, instead performing tasks such as recording scriptures derived from seers' verbal prophecies, cultivating the crops and herd animals that thriae use for food, or crafting elaborate crowns, necklaces, and other ornaments unique to thriae and renowned by jewelers the world over. Thriae have a fascination with all kinds of rare metals, and the intricate ways in which they utilize these alloys in building their wares exemplifies the race's passion and ingenuity. They do not regularly trade with outside societies except in times of dire need, such as during a feud or war that cuts off access to needed resources.

Thriae Merope

Merope, the magical honey produced by thriae queens, possesses numerous supernatural properties. Even among thriae, the effects of drinking merope are remarkably diverse. A specific amount of merope for one thriae may put her into a tranquil haze, while the same amount for another could set off a bout of insatiable rage. The effect of merope on a specific type of thriae is marked in a thriae's stat block.

To non-thriae, merope generally has similar effects to strong alcohol. The substance can be addicting to the weak-willed, and those who begin to rely on merope quickly become addicted thralls and servants bound to servitude within a hive. Some thriae claim to have developed merope with the ability to affect non-thriae with more potent effects, but such claims are regarded as something between blasphemy and treason by most thriae hives.

Creatures in "Thriae" Category

NameCR
Thriae Dancer6
Thriae Queen18
Thriae Seer11
Thriae Soldier4

Thriae, Thriae Seer

Lithe and beautiful, this half-bee, half-woman creature wears elaborate makeup and wields an ornate staff.

Thriae Seer CR 11

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 264
XP 12,800
LN Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect secret doors, low-light vision; Perception +27

Defense

AC 25, touch 15, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dex, +10 natural)
hp 133 (14d10+56)
Fort +8, Ref +16, Will +15
Immune poison, sonic; Resist acid 10; SR 22

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee +2 quarterstaff +16/+11/+6 (1d6+4), +2 quarterstaff +16/+11 (1d6+3), sting +11 (1d8+1 plus mind sting)
Special Attacks merope consumption
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +22)
Constant—detect secret doors
At will—calm emotions (DC 20), detect thoughts (DC 20), sound burst (DC 20)
3/day—divination, invisibility purge, locate object, misdirection (DC 20), symbol of sleep (DC 23)
1/day—summon bees (level 5, 1d3 giant queen bees or 1d4 wasp swarms), true seeing

Statistics

Str 14, Dex 20, Con 19, Int 19, Wis 22, Cha 27
Base Atk +14; CMB +19; CMD 31
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Alertness, Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Lightning Reflexes, Two-Weapon Fighting
Skills Bluff +22, Diplomacy +22, Fly +26, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Perception +27, Sense Motive +24, Spellcraft +18, Use Magic Device +22
Languages Common, Sylvan, Thriae

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or triad
Treasure double (+2 quarterstaff, 3 doses of merope, other treasure)

Special Abilities

Merope Consumption (Su) Three times per day as a standard action, a thriae seer can consume a dose of merope in order to further tap into her spiritual powers for 1d6+3 rounds. Starting on the round after she consumes the merope, the thriae seer gains an insight bonus to her AC and on damage done with melee attacks equal to her Wisdom modifier (+6 for most thriae seers).

Mind Sting (Su) A target stung by a thriae seer becomes confused for 1d4 rounds unless it makes a successful DC 21 Will save. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

Sought after for their wisdom and guidance as well as their enchanting beauty, thriae seers are among the most spiritually gifted members of their colony. Their prowess for foretelling the future and deciding upon the soundest courses of action in dire situations earns them respect from other thriae as well as outsiders from other societies, and seers wield their gift with a stoic humbleness. Nonetheless, most seers expect an offering before they will grant an audience a divination. These offerings usually consist of ornate jewelry and sums of gold, though some seers desire the company of humanoid male or female consorts, many of whom gladly oblige the captivating seer with their presence.

While their combative abilities mainly comprise their magical powers and they appear at first glance to be thin and frail, seers still possess the trademark strength and resilience of all thriae.

Thriae seers spend most of their time meditating in one of the many chambers in the colony’s hive dedicated to such activities. Consuming large amounts of their queen’s merope to enhance their powers of divination, seers ponder the best solutions to their colony’s problems, and often act as a sort of spiritual political council for the queen. If a particularly wealthy group of outsiders has sought the counsel of several thriae seers, this council of prophetesses will combine their powers in order to read a difficult divination.

Thriae seers are 6 feet from head to toe and weigh 150 pounds. The thriae seer presented here represents the least of her kind. Many thriae seers take levels of monk or rogue so as to be even more adept at protecting their queen. Thriae oracles and sorcerers are also relatively common—such thriae are particularly valued by their hive for their magical abilities.