Archives of Nethys

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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, Tripurasura

This tiny monstrosity has the body of a well-muscled man, a crown of frilled horns, and eyes that glow like rubies.

Tripurasura CR 2

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 24
XP 600
LE Tiny outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect magic; Perception +10

Defense

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 insight, +2 size)
hp 19 (3d10+3); fast healing 2
Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +5
DR 5/cold iron or good; Immune curse effects, disease, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10

Offense

Speed 20 ft.
Melee sting +7 (1d4–1 plus poison)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +7)
Constant—detect magic
At will—feather fall
3/day—levitate, locate object, spider climb
1/week—commune (6 questions, CL 12th)

Statistics

Str 8, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 14
Feats Dodge, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +8 (+4 when jumping), Appraise +4, Bluff +7, Escape Artist +8, Knowledge (arcana) +4, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +10, Perform (dance) +5, Spellcraft +4, Stealth +14; Racial Modifiers –4 Acrobatics when jumping, +6 Escape Artist, +4 Perception
Languages Common, Infernal
SQ change shape (any Small humanoid; alter self), elusive

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary, pair, or gang (3–10)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Change Shape (Su) The tripurasura has only one alternative form—when it uses change shape, it always appears as the same Small humanoid. Most take the form of gnomes or human children.

Elusive (Su) The tripurasura and items it carries are considered to be under the effects of a nondetection spell. A caster must succeed at a DC 14 caster level check to overcome this effect.

Poison (Ex) Tongue—injury; save Fort DC 12; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Wis damage; cure 1 save.

Description

Tripurasuras, or sly ones, are among the weakest asuras, manifestations not of divine mistakes but instead creations of the most powerful of asuras exhibiting their loathing of the gods by creating blasphemous mockeries of their creations. A newly created tripurasura most commonly exists for one of two reasons: to give an asurendra sage the raw materials it needs to create more powerful asuras, or to seek out mortals—especially mortal spellcasters—to recruit into the asura cause.

Using its power to assume a pleasing or innocuous form, a tripurasura wanders the world, seeking pious mortals to corrupt. When it encounters a promising spellcaster (typically one who has some sort of link to a church or religion, but not necessarily a divine spellcaster), the tripurasura presents itself as an apprentice, pilgrim, or other type of curious student eager to learn from the spellcaster. The tripurasura keeps its true nature and its powers hidden, and seeks opportunities to steer its “master” away from decisions it might have made in good conscience to acts that promote the collapse of religious belief, faith, and society. When, as it inevitably does, the wayward spellcaster runs afoul of justice or is confronted by those seeking revenge, the tripurasura fades away to watch the final stage of the spellcaster’s fall from grace, then seeks a new victim in another city or region.

Some spellcasters, on the other hand, actually seek out these tiny fiends to employ as familiars. A tripurasura greatly values these opportunities, since it need not abandon its master once its work is done and can continue to spread its agenda for as long as its master survives. A spellcaster must be lawful evil, at least 7th level, and have the Improved Familiar feat to gain a tripurasura as a familiar.