A handsome, well-formed man walks out of the waves, the gill slits on the side of his neck flexing.
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
A gillman’s body requires constant submersion in fresh or salt water. Gillmen who spend more than 1 day without fully submerging themselves in water risk internal organ failure, painful cracking of the skin, and death within 4d6 hours.
Image used by permission of Purple Duck Games.
Environment temperate oceans
Organization solitary, patrol (2–6), band (6–10 plus 1 lieutenant of 3rd level), company (11–60 plus 3 lieutenants of 3rd level, 2 commanders of 5th level, 1 commodore of 7th level, and 3–12 squids)
Treasure NPC gear (trident, light crossbow with 10 bolts, other treasure)
The enigmatic and reclusive gillmen are the aquatic descendants of a vanished race.
Physically, gillmen resemble their ancient ancestors, with expressive brows, pale skin, dark hair, and bright purple eyes. Three slim gills mark each side of their necks, near the shoulder, but they are close enough in appearance to humans that they can pass as such (for a time) without fear of detection.
Gillmen are most often encountered protecting their own peoples’ interests. Groups consisting of four to six riders and their hippocampus mounts range far from the city, but become more numerous as one approaches the Absalom harbor. The squads employ hit-and-run tactics against dangerous vessels, but they are difficult to intimidate when they are acting with the full force of Absalom’s political and economic might.
Land-dwelling gillmen find few people willing to trust them with anything but low-paying jobs, effectively trapping most of them in lifelong poverty. As a result, many gillmen join gangs of their kind, where they extort protection money from merchants and shake down unsuspecting travelers.
Gang members typically don’t threaten dangerous targets, but they aren’t afraid to pick pockets and can handle themselves if a fight breaks out. The maze of piers, alleys, and darkened waterways makes it easy to escape trouble—or to lead enemies into an ambush.
Gillmen who willingly serve the aboleths, humanity’s ancient enemies, frighten such scholars far more. Others who are driven mad by the voices of these hidden masters come to worship the Great Old Ones or venerate other vile entities. These cultists operate in the poorest areas, manipulating people and events toward terrible goals that even they barely understand. These cultists often operate alone, but may have allies gained through enchantment or other forms of manipulation.
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Keith Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Clinton J. Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Ed Greenwood, Stephen S. Greer, Jeff Grubb, James Jacobs, Michael Kortes, Tito Leati, Mike McArtor, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Eric Nelson, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Leandra Christine Schneider, David Schwartz, Amber E. Scott, Stan!, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, James L. Sutter, Greg A. Vaughan, Jeremy Walker, and JD Wiker.