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Naga, Deep

This creature’s massive, serpentine body is covered in dark purple scales. Its humanoid head has a wide mouth filled with fangs.

Deep Naga CR 12

XP 19,200
NE Huge aberration
Init +9; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +21

DEFENSE

AC 27, touch 13, flat-footed 22 (+5 Dex, +14 natural, –2 size)
hp 161 (17d8+85)
Fort +10, Ref +10, Will +15
Defensive Abilities spell siphon; SR 23
Weaknesses ley-line dependent

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee bite +20 (2d6+9/19–20 plus magical disruption), tail slap +17 (2d6+4)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (80-ft. line, 12d6 force damage plus magical disruption, Reflex DC 23 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds)
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 11th; concentration +14)

5th (4)commune with nature, telekinesis
4th (6)bestow curse (DC 17), cure serious wounds, illusory wall (DC 17)
3rd (7)—aversion (DC 16), dispel magic, greater magic fang, snare
2nd (7)barkskin, false life, resist energy, scare (DC 15), web (DC 15)
1st (7)cure light wounds, magic missile, obscuring mist, pass without trace, true strike
0 (at will)bleed (DC 13), detect magic, ghost sound (DC 13), guidance, mage hand, open/close, read magic, resistance, virtue

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 21, Con 20, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +23; CMD 38 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Multiattack, Step Up, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +8, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Knowledge (local) +15, Perception +21, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +16 (+20 to attune to ley lines), Stealth +12, Swim +17; Racial Modifiers +4 Spellcraft to attune to ley lines
Languages Aklo, Undercommon

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Ley-Line Dependent (Su)

Deep nagas draw their power from ley lines deep underground. While attuned to a ley line, a deep naga gains an additional +1 bonus to its effective caster level, increasing the maximum bonus possible from a ley line to +6. If the deep naga is more than 100 feet from its attuned ley line or its attunement is broken for any reason, the deep naga takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per caster level of the ley line, cannot use its breath weapon, and must succeed at a concentration check (DC = 15 + spell level) in order to cast spells until it attunes itself to a new ley line or its attunement to its previous ley line is restored.

Magical Disruption (Su)

A deep naga’s bite and breath weapon have powerful dispelling effects. A creature that takes damage from either attack has any ongoing spell effects on it disrupted as though targeted by a dispel magic spell (CL 11th).

Spell Siphon (Su)

A deep naga draws magical energy from its surroundings. Any spell that fails to penetrate the naga’s spell resistance is absorbed. Once per round, as an immediate action while absorbing a spell in such a manner, the deep naga can decrease the time until it can use its breath weapon by 1 round, attempt a new saving throw against an ongoing magical effect, or regain a spell slot of a level equal to or lower than the level of the absorbed spell.

Spellcasting

A deep naga casts spells as per an 11th-level sorcerer and can cast spells from the druid list as well as those normally available to a sorcerer. Druid spells are considered arcane spells for a deep naga.

ECOLOGY

Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair, or nest (3–4)
Treasure standard

More bestial than their surface cousins, deep nagas jealously guard their lairs in the lightless depths of the Deeplands. Deep nagas live near ley lines and other places of power because they hunger for magical energy, which they are able to siphon from their surroundings. Their volatile natures make them dangerous to deal with, but creatures who manage to appease them can earn safety within their territory. Most deep nagas measure 40 feet in length and weigh 1,800 pounds.

Some deep nagas are infused from birth with energy native to another plane of existence. These variant deep nagas replace their breath weapon damage with one of the following damage types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, or negative energy. They set up lairs in places where the borders between planes are thin rather than along ley lines, and their appearances often reflect the influence of those elemental planes.

Ecology

The chitinous scales that cover deep nagas’ serpentine bodies are reminiscent of the dark purple plates that protect purple worms. Their heads resemble those of giant, androgynous humanoids, with wide mouths filled with multiple rows of sharp fangs. Though deep nagas enjoy eating flesh, they are obsessed with the magical energy they absorb. They are able to sustain themselves in hibernation on nothing but magical energy when sources of meat are sparse, but deep nagas have a fixation on magic that goes beyond mere survival and is more akin to an addiction. What deep nagas lack in sophistication compared to the innate magic of their surface cousins, they make up for in raw power.

Deep nagas that reside in places of great magical power are able to extend their lifespans to centuries and beyond, and even their reproduction cycles are tied to magical energy. Once adult deep nagas have found a place with a steady flow of magic, they are able reproduce asexually, laying anywhere from one to three large eggs every few years.

Habitat and Society

Deep nagas can be found throughout the Deeplands. Wherever magical energy runs strongest along ancient ley lines, deep nagas make their isolated lairs and protect them with a fervor unmatched by other naga species. Deep nagas tend to be solitary creatures in the upper layers of the Deeplands, where they are rarer and surrounded by races like the dark folk, derros, drow, and duergar. These nagas even drive out their progeny as soon they can fend for themselves, so that the offspring won’t wrest the lair from their parent as they grow in power. Deep nagas of Orv form nests in ancient sites of power, with the founding deep naga lording over several generations of her progeny, the number depending on her age—though even in Orv, the strong drive out the weak if the number of deep nagas grows too high for the lair to sustain.

Solitary deep nagas and smaller nests are more likely to allow tribes of troglodytes, skum, or degenerate serpentfolk to live in their territory for mutual benefit. These tribes tend to treat deep nagas as fickle, godlike creatures who are dangerous but offer protection to those that placate them, for the nagas are extremely hostile toward intruders within their territory.

Treating with deep nagas usually falls to the shamans of the tribes, and some tribes have even formed cults that worship the creatures. These tribes bring offerings of flesh and magic to deep nagas who share their territory with the tribe. The nagas especially enjoy the flesh of magic users, which makes dealing with them even more dangerous for the shamans. If a naga is in a bad mood, the head shaman might be tempted to send an apprentice in his place because—as the tribal lore teaches—a great serpent that has feasted is easier to deal with.

Ever paranoid, a deep naga is never too far from turning on a tribe that worships her if given a reason, imagined or real. If creatures of another race aren’t useful to the deep naga, they are treated as food or threats to be extinguished.

Deep nagas are very particular about and protective of their lairs. They exert a substantial effort to find one that suits their needs, so they don’t give them up without a fight. Unless the source of magic depletes or they are driven out by a more powerful deep naga, they rarely abandon their lairs. However, if a deep naga learns of an even more potent magical site, she might try to conquer this new lair for herself. Deep nagas do not usually care what tribes that serve them do, as long as the offerings keep coming, but they might push the tribes to conquer a superior place for a lair.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #118: Siege of Stone © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Thurston Hillman, with Paris Crenshaw, Crystal Frasier, Patchen Mortimer, and Kalervo Oikarinen.