Assassins of the Netherworld

The pokan are what most people of Conclave think of when they use the expression 'goblins'. They are small malicious creatures from the Underwater Darkness World, often the first to foray through to the mortal realm and wreak havoc. A typical pokan is small and wiry, with dark green-black skin, and coal-black eyes and teeth (which are naturally small and pointed). They are mostly humanoid, but each pokan has some feature grotesquely over- or under-sized. One might have huge goggling eyes, whilst another will have one large pointed ear, and another a small withered left hand. These features are purely cosmetic and do not seem to help or hinder the pokan in any way.

Pokan delight in organised mischief. Stealing babies, harming animals, poisoning drinking supplies and destruction of property are all favoured pokan activities. They are masters of poison and of manipulating shadows, making them excellent assassins. Pokan in the mortal realm tend to accumulate in dismal areas where no-one else goes. The largest group of them is rumoured to be in the Pokan Marsh, near the Plains of Pesh along the Anhoi River. Pokan may also be summoned using a summon monsters II spell.

Pokan, Small Humanoid (Netherworld, Spirit)
Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +2 leather armour), touch 12, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-3
Attack: Shortbow +3 ranged (1d6) or kukri +2 melee (1d3, crit. 18-20)
Full Attack: Shortbow +3 ranged (1d6) or kukri +2 melee (1d3, crit 18-20)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., naturally stealthy, shadow evocation
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +3, Will -1
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 9, Cha 10
Skills: Climb +2, Craft (poison) +4, Hide +11, Move Silently +7
Feats: Lightning Reflexes
Environment: Netherworld
Organization: Solitary, gang or tribe
Challenge Rating: 1
Advancement: By character class

Combat: Pokan prefer the art of ambush to frontal fighting, and love to use missile fire. They will pepper tough opponents with poisoned arrows and shadow magic to soften them up.

Naturally Stealthy (Ex): Pokan always count Hide and Move Silently as class skills.

Poison (Ex): Pokan are experts at the use of poison, and never risk poisoning themselves with poisoned weapons. They employ a wide range of poisons including a selection of exotic types that they brew themselves.

Shadow Evocation (Su): A pokan can manipulate the element of shadow to produce effects similar to spells. They can do so 1/day plus their Constitution modifier (minimum of once). The effect is similar to the spells shadow evocation and greater shadow evocation except that a pokan may only emulate an evocation spell with a level equal or less than half their hit dice. A 1 HD pokan can emulate 0th level evocation spells, with a Save DC of 10. Caster level is equal to Hit Dice, and the saving throw is Charisma-based.

Skills: Pokan have a +2 racial ability to Craft (poison), Hide and Move Silently checks.

Ability Scores: Pokan have the following modifiers the their ability scores: Strength -2, Dexterity +2, Intelligence +2, Charisma +2. The pokan warrior given above had the following scores before adjustment: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, INt 10, Wis 9, Cha 8

Pokan Bilemaster
Pokan Adp4: CR 3; Small Humanoid (Netherworld, Spirit); AL NE
Abilities Str 7 (-2), Dex 13 (+1), Con 8 (-1), Int 14 (+2), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 12 (+1)

Initiative +1; Speed 30 ft.
Armour Class 14 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +2 leather armour) touch 12, flat-footed 13
Saves Fortitude +0, Reflex +2, Will +6
Hit Dice 4d6-4+3; hit points 13

Base Attack Bonus/Grapple +2/-4
Melee Kukri +2 (1d3-1, crit 18-20);
Ranged Grenade-like weapons +4 (special)
Special Attacks Poison
Special Qualities Darkvision 60.ft, naturally stealthy, shadow evocation

Skills: Craft (poison) +10, Heal +7, Hide +7, Knowledge (nature) +8, Move Silently +3, Profession (brewer) +6, Spellcraft +6, Survival +7
Feats: Brew Potion, Skill Focus (craft: poison)
Languages: Low Imperial, Spiritspeech
Possessions: Leather armour, kukri, masterwork poison-making kit, flask of fuming fury, vials of distilled nightmares (3), vial of dark-burr, block of zemit, vial of blue whinnis, toad familiar.

Spells per Day: 3/1/1
Spells Typically Prepared:
1st level: command, cure light wounds, endure elements.
2nd level: cat's grace, delay poison.
0th level: create water, ghost sound, guidance.

Shadow Evocation (Su): 1/day, can emulate up to 2nd level spell as per shadow evocation at caster level 4th. Save DC 13.

The pokan bilemaster is a master crafter of poisons, potions and even potent pokan beverages. A bilemaster usually has a few samples of its wares carried on its person, ready for defence or for sale. Bilemasters are considered highly important in what passes for society amongst the pokan, as they produce the race's sole means of reproduction through the agent of dark-burr.

Pokan Abductor
Pokan Asn4/Rog5/Shadowdancer4: CR 13; Small Humanoid (Netherworld, Spirit); AL NE
Abilities Str 12 (+1), Dex 18 (+4), Con 13 (+1), Int 12 (+1), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 10 (+0)

Initiative +4; Speed 30 ft.
Armour Class 17 (+1 size, +4 Dex, +2 leather armour) touch 15
Saves Fortitude +4, Reflex +16, Will +7
Hit Dice 5d6+4d6+4d8+13; hit points 62

Base Attack Bonus/Grapple +9/+6
Melee Kukri +11/+6 (1d3+1, crit. 18-20);
Ranged Shortbow +14/+9 (1d6)
Special Attacks Death attack, poison, sneak attack +5d6
Special Qualities Darkvision 60.ft, evasion, hide in plain sight, naturally stealthy, poison resistance +2, shadow evocation, shadow illusion, shadow jump 20 ft., summon shadow, trap sense +1, uncanny dodge (can't be flanked or flat-footed)

Skills: Balance +14, Bluff +8 (+10 in character), Climb +7, Craft (poison) +10, Diplomacy +2, Disguise +7, Escape Artist +13, Hide +20, Intimidate +2, Jump +10, Listen +10, Move Silently +17, Perform (dance) +5, Sleight of Hand +15, Spot +10, Tumble +15, Use Magic Device +7
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Iron Will, Mobility, Spring Attack
Languages: Low Imperial, Spiritspeech
Possessions: Leather armour, kukri, masterwork shortbow, 20 arrows, vials of shadow essence (5), vials of blue whinnis (5), pinches of wombtwist (2), vial of distilled nightmares, vials of eyeburn (3), wand of spider climb (24 charges).

Spells per Day: 4/1
Spells Known:
1st level: disguise self, feather fall, ghost sound, true strike.
2nd level: cat's grace, invisibility, pass without trace.

Death Attack (Ex): Study target for 3 rounds. May make a single attack to kill or paralyse. Fortitude save DC 15 to negate.
Shadow Evocation (Su): 2/day, can emulate up to 6th level spell as per shadow evocation at caster level 13th. Save DC 16.

The pokan abductor is one who specialises in stealthy assaults on mortals, whether to steal their dreams to make distilled nightmares, to infect them with wombtwist poison or to steal infants for whatever twisted purpose the pokan put them.

Pokan Poisons
The pokan love using poisons of all kinds. Favoured combat poisons are blue whinnis and shadow essence, depending on if their goal is to capture or kill their opponent. They also distill a number of distinctive brews of their own:

- Distilled Nightmares. The pokan harvest the night terrors of sleeping mortals and brew them into a dark blue liquid that induces fear. They like to use it on their arrowheads. Injury DC 14. Initial effect: subject becomes shaken for 1d6 rounds. Secondary effect: subject becomes cowering for 1d6 minutes.

- Wombtwist. This insidious poison is a dark red powder concocted from various organs of monstrous Netherworld creatures. It only affects female creatures that are currently bearing young, whether the species produces eggs or live young. It causes the offspring to be born as a violent, mutated horror. Pokan will sometimes cast this powder into the face of a sleeping woman, but also enjoy infecting herd animals with it. Inhaled, DC 13. Initial and Secondary effect (only one save needed): Offspring is born with the Wombtwisted template (see below). The birth of a womb-twisted offspring is painful and traumatic, and the mother must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or die during childbirth. Egg-laying creatures do not need to make this save.

- Dark-burr. This is a thick green liquid that affects plants and plant-creatures. It causes a swelling to grow on the plant that eventually bursts to release new pokan (who are born fully-formed). Ordinary plants are automatically affected, and are killed when the burr bursts 50 % of the time. For plant creatures, treat as a DC 15 Injury poison. Primary and Secondary effects: Burr growth, causes 1d6 Con damage, hatches after 30 days to give 2d3 pokan. The host must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be killed by this process.

- The Fading. This slow-acting poison is a variant of shadow essence, brewed using the strongest of shadow creatures in the darkest reccesses of the Netherworld. It is used by the pokan on their poisoned arrows, and like shadow essence causes the loss of Strength but acts more like a disease in game terms than a poison. Injury DC 15. Initial damage: 1d3 Strength. Secondary damage: Each day the victim must make a further DC 15 Fortitude save or lose 1d3 Strength. Two successful saves are needed to halt the degradation. The victim takes on a shadowy, insubstantial appearance as further Strength is lost, although they do not actually become incorporeal or gain any benefit thereof. If the victim reaches 0 Strength, he dies and rises immediately as a free-willed shadow.

- Eyeburn. This injury-base poison affects eyesight. It is distilled from bulbous Netherworld plants, and is a fluorescent green paste. Injury DC 16. Initial damage: victim becomes blinded for 1d6 minutes. Secondary damage: victim becomes blinded for 1d4 days.

- Zemit Fumes. Pokan even distill their own organs to produce poisons, and this one is formed from a non-essential gland that they all possess. A block of red resinous Zemit incense is burned to produce cloying fragrant fumes that, if inhaled, put the victim into a suggestible state. Pokan are immune to these effects of zemit fumes, and merely find them pleasant and relaxing. Inhaled DC 14. Initial effect: victim goes into a suggestible state. The first thing anybody says to them is treated as a suggestion spell, although they get a Will save DC 14 to resist. Secondary effect: the suggestible state increases, and the victim is treated as if affected by a memory modification spell. These effects are treated as mind-affecting and language dependent.

- Truth Serum. Said to be created from the rendered fat of the innocent, pokan truth serum is one of the few of their brews that they sell to outsiders. Ingested, DC 17. Initial and secondary effects: imbiber is unable to tell a lie, although evasions are still possible. Lasts 1d6 minutes initially, 1d4 hours if the secondary save is failed.

- Lying Serum. The pokan are nothing if not perverse, and they also brew a drug that causes the victim to compulsively lie, as they have found this can be a good way of spreading mischief. Ingested, DC 17. Initial and secondary effects: imbiber is unable to tell the truth. Lasts 1d6 minutes initially, 1d4 hours if the secondary save is failed.

- Fuming Fury. This is an acrid, fuming liquid brewed from distilled hatred. The liquid itself is acidic and one dose of the poison can be treated as an acid flask, but the physical damage is secondary to the effects of the fumes (which fill a 10 ft. cube when released). Inhaled, DC 15. Primary effect: the victim becomes enraged and attacks the nearest creature with its best means possible. This effect lasts 2d4 rounds, and of one target is killed in this time the victim will move onto the next nearest, and so on. Secondary effect: if the victim still lives once its anger has died down, its body begins to sweat acid and dissolve itself in a horrific fashion. The victim takes acid damage in a similar fashion to a heat metal spell. On the first round that they begin to suffer the secondary effects the victim feels a burning sensation but suffers no damage. On the second round their pores begin to leak acid and they take 1d4 acid damage. On the third fourth and fifth rounds they ooze acid from every orifice, including their tear ducts, and they take 2d4 acid damage per round. On the sixth round, assuming that they still live, the acid flow begins to diminish and they take 1d4 acid damage, and on the seventh round the acid flow has diminished to a point where it no longer causes damage.

Wombtwisted Template
Wombtwisted creatures are mutants that have been born to mothers infected with the wombtwist poison, created by the pokan. 'Wombtwisted' is an inherited template that can be applied to any creature that is birthed naturally, either as live young or hatched from an egg (herein known as the base creature). This therefore excludes creatures such as those spawned in vats, dreamed by gods or risen from the grave (although a dead wombtwisted creature could be re-animated as an undead). In the World of Conclave, both the rootlike Edraldi and the crustacean Shelled Ones are immune to the effects of wombtwist as both species reproduce by means of magical rituals. The pokan, creatures born of poisoned trees, are similarly immune.

Size and Type: The creature's type changes to Aberration, but do not recalculate Hit Dice, base attack bonus or saves. Size is unchanged.

Armour Class: The creature gains a natural armour bonus dependent on size. This stacks with any existing natural armour bonus the creature may have. Tiny or less get no bonus, Small +1, Medium +2, Large +4, Huge +6, Gargantuan +8, Colossal +10.

Attack: The creature gains 2 claws and bite attack, and are automatically proficient with each. The claws are primary natural weapons, bite is secondary. Medium creatures cause 1d4 damage with their claws and 1d6 with their bite. These change with size according to the progression given here.

Special Attacks: A wombtwisted creature retains any special attacks of the base creature and gains the following special attacks:

- Poison (Ex): A wombtwisted creature's claws carry an injury-based poison. Initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 1D6 Str. Fortitude save DC is 10 + 1/2 base creature's Hit Dice + base creature's Constitution bonus.

- Acidic Saliva (Ex): The bite of a wombtwisted creature causes an extra 1d6 acid damage.

Special Qualities: A wombtwisted creature retains any special qualities of the base creature and gains the following special qualities:

- Darkvision 60 ft. (Ex)

- Fast Healing 2 (Ex)

Abilities: Change ability scores from base creature as follows: Con +4

Challenge Rating: As base creature +2

Alignment: Always chaotic evil.

Wombtwisted Horse
CR 3; Large Aberration (Augmented Animal); AL CE
Abilities Str 16 (+3), Dex 13 (+1), Con 19 (+4), Int 2 (-4), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 6 (-2)

Initiative +1; Speed 50 ft.
Armour Class 17 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +7 natural) touch 10, flat-footed 16
Saves Fortitude +7, Reflex +4, Will +2
Hit Dice 3d8+12; hit points 25; Fast Healing 2

Base Attack Bonus/Grapple +2/+9
Melee Claw +4 (1d6+3 plus poison);
Full Attack 2 claws +4 (1d6+3 plus poison) and bite -1 (1d8+1 plus 1d6 acid)
Special Attacks Acidic saliva, poison
Special Qualities Darkvision 60.ft

Skills: Jump +5, Listen +4, Spot +4
Feats: Endurance, Run

Poison (Ex): Injury (bite), Fort DC 15, initial and secondary damage 1D6 Str.

The creature appears to be a normal horse at first glance, but a closer look shows that instead of hooves it has vicious claws, and when it bares its teeth they are sharp, dripping with foaming saliva. Hostility and madness gleam in its eyes.

The wombtwisted horse (heavy) is an example of pokan interference with livestock.It could be the terror of a small farming community, or a creature driven to wandering the wilds in search of prey.

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Anhoi River States
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Plains of Pesh
Shelled Ones