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(Primal) Umbral


This sleek, dark dragon moves with a disturbing, serpentine grace, its eyes glowing as if lit from within by crimson embers.
Umbral dragon

CE dragon (extraplanar)

BASE STATISTICS

CR 6; Size Small; Hit Dice 7d12
Speed 40 ft.
Natural Armor +6; Breath Weapon cone, 2d8 negative energy
Str 13, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 14

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Breath Weapon (Su)

Although it deals negative energy damage, an umbral dragon’s breath weapon does not heal undead creatures.

Create Shadows (Su)

Any creature slain by an ancient or older umbral dragon rises as a shadow (if 8 HD or less) or greater shadow (if above 8 HD) under the umbral dragon’s control 1d4 rounds later.

Energy Drain (Su)

A great wyrm umbral dragon deals 1 negative level with each successful bite or claw attack (1 level, DC 32).

Ghost Bane (Su)

A young or older umbral dragon’s physical attacks deal damage to incorporeal creatures normally.

Umbral Scion (Ex)

Umbral dragons have negative energy affinity and are immune to energy drain and death effects.

Shadow Breath (Su)

Three times per day, an adult or older umbral dragon can breathe a cone of shadows. Creatures who fail a Fortitude save are blinded for 1d4 rounds and take 1 point of Str drain per age category possessed by the dragon. A successful save negates the blindness and reduces Str drain to 1d4 points.

Spell-like Abilities (Sp)

An umbral dragon gains the following spell-like abilities, usable at will (unless indicated otherwise) on reaching the listed age category.

Age Category Special Abilities Caster Level*
Wyrmling Immunity to cold, Umbral Scion
Very Young darkness
Young Ghost Bane 1st
Juvenile Frightful Presence, vampiric touch 3rd
Young Adult DR 5/magic, spell resistance 5th
Adult Shadow Breath, shadow walk 7th
Mature Adult DR 10/magic 9th
Old project image 11th
Very Old DR 15/magic 13th
Ancient Create Shadows, finger of death (3/day) 15th
Wyrm DR 20/magic 17th
Great Wyrm Energy Drain, shades 19th

* An Umbral Dragon can cast cleric spells as arcane spells.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure triple

Cruel and sadistic, umbral dragons prefer the taste of undead flesh or ghostly ectoplasm, yet never turn down opportunities to consume living flesh.

Ecology Expanded

Some dragons are spawned between worlds, beings half of the mortal plane and another. Umbral dragons are one such draconic breed—wyrms torn between two existences. Umbral dragons have a strong connection to the Plane of Shadow and share many characteristics of the mysterious, haunted creatures of that realm. Sinister and starved in appearance, these dragons’ dark scales and backward-sweeping horns cause many to mistakenly identify them as feral black dragons, but the soulwrenching scream of their devastating breath—a wave of black oblivion that draws power from the lifelessness of the Plane of Shadow—prevents such errors from being long regretted.

Umbral dragons have black scales that take on a lustrous quality as the creatures age. Even their pale underbellies darken as they advance in years, making the most ancient umbral dragons appear to be composed of living shadows. Young adult and older umbral dragons’ natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Ecology

Like most dragons, umbral dragons are powerful predators and prey upon the large creatures of their territories. Deliberately sadistic, they enjoy the sounds of screaming meals, and actively seek out sentient prey, often striking travelers, small settlements, and even city walls under the cover of darkness. Unlike other evil-aligned wyrms, though, umbral dragons have the unusual ability to reach through the ether and strike as incorporeal creatures just as easily as material beings. While umbral dragons on the Plane of Shadow hunt down the undead shadows pervasive in that dismal place, those of the Material Plane eagerly devour allips, ghosts, spectres, and all manner of other ephemeral undead.

What—if any—nutritional value the dragons gain from such creatures is widely debated, but the wyrms’ tastes for such lingering soul-stuff only enhances their already fearful reputations. This morbid hunger doesn’t pertain to incorporeal undead alone, though, as the dragons willingly consuming corporeal undead—sentient or otherwise—with the same enthusiasm they would a hapless living adventurer.

Habitat & Society

When not dwelling upon the Plane of Shadow, umbral dragons seek out places of darkness and perpetual gloom. Stormy mountains, dense forests and bogs, ancient ruins, and the lightless underworld all allow these night-scaled wyrms to luxuriate in the comfort of cool darkness. Some even seek out stories of haunted lands and ghostly curses, investigating such places to indulge their taste for incorporeal flesh.

Despite the potential threat they pose to the undead, liches, vampires, powerful necromancers, and morbid fiends go to great lengths to create alliances with these rare dragons. The wyrms’ ability to heal the dead with their breath and elicit fear from difficult-to-control undead minions—like mohrgs, spectres, and vampires—make them potent allies to would-be generals among the legions of the damned.

Umbral dragons only consider such partnerships with offers of great wealth and spirits to consume, and, even upon agreeing, remain fickle allies. More than one undead lord has been dropped to its ignominious destruction when its umbral dragon mount decided that it and its supposed master’s goals no longer coincided.

Treasure

As true dragons, umbral dragons obsessively amass vast hoards of treasure, hiding it away in hidden dungeons and darkened caverns. They tend to be more particular in their hoarding than most dragons, though. Foregoing the gleaming troves of their cousins, umbral dragons prefer dark treasures: works of sculpted basalt, obsidian weapons, and countless onyx gems. Although more particular, they range farther in pursuit of such treasures and even steal wildly valuable works of art, thus—though smaller—their troves are typically of approximately the same value of other dragons.

PF11:SoS. Copyright 2008, Paizo Publishing LLC. Author: Greg A. Vaughan

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 2, © 2010, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Wolfgang
Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Graeme Davis, Crystal Frasier, Joshua J. Frost, Tim
Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, James Jacobs, Steve Kenson, Hal MacLean, Martin Mason, Rob
McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Patrick Renie, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider,
Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Russ Taylor, and Greg A. Vaughan, based on material
by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.