A comozant wyrd appears to be approximately 3 feet of heatless blue or violet plasma jutting from solid, protruding objects.
Speed 20 ft., fly 30 ft. (good)
Str —, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 17, Cha 18
As a standard action, a comozant wyrd can shroud the upper halves of any Small or larger creatures it can see within 30 feet of it in cold, buzzing flames similar to the wyrd’s own. Any electricity resistance blocks this effect unless the target willingly submits. Otherwise the flames persist until the wyrd is out of range. Targets of this effect take a –10 penalty on Stealth checks. A comozant wyrd can communicate empathically with creatures subject to this effect, and gains a +4 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks when doing so. Interacting with a wyrd in this way still uses standard social skills and rules. While communicating this way, a comozant can confer unexpected insight or information equivalent to a divination spell.
As a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, a comozant wyrd can shock any creature or object within 30 feet to which it has line of effect, dealing 2d8 electricity damage. The wyrd can choose for this damage to be nonlethal. If the target is also affected by the wyrd’s illuminating flames, it is stunned for 1 round (Fortitude DC 16 negates) and the flames are dispelled. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Although incorporeal, a comozant wyrd can’t hide inside solid objects. It must start its turn attached to the outside of something that’s solid and of Small size or larger, or else it takes 5 points of damage. Anyone attacking the wyrd must either take a –4 penalty on the attack roll or resolve the attack against whatever the wyrd is attached to as well.
Environment any ocean (during storms)
A comozant wyrd appears to be approximately 3 feet of heatless blue or violet plasma jutting from solid, protruding objects (usually a mast or spar of a ship). It flickers like flame, and its only static features resemble those of a humanoid face. Manifested on the Material Plane, the creature emits an uncanny buzzing, hissing noise, but does not consume creatures or objects it touches. Creatures adjacent to it or to targets of its illuminating flames often find their hair literally standing on end and their bodies crawling with harmless but unnerving sparks.
Comozant wyrds are most often encountered in the hearts of the greatest storms. They are incredibly rare, and almost always solitary; no sightings on land have ever been reported.
Because they are so rare and their natural environment makes detached study improbable, few creatures even know of comozant wyrds, let alone understand their nature. Citing their command of storms, some speculate that the wyrds are infant forms of an unknown breed of storm elementals, but others say they are fey spirits, born in the moment they appear and existing only for the brief time they shine.
Comozant wyrds have no society as such. Seafarers regard them with considerable awe for the danger and mystery that attend them, but few are brave enough to attempt conversation with living plasma on a wooden ship, especially mid-tempest. Displaying such mettle is a sure way to earn considerable respect from any ordinary sailor—persuading a wyrd to abate its storm could inspire outright awe.
Comozant wyrds rarely speak even to those fluent in Auran, preferring to communicate in a more primal way, using their illuminating flames. Those who have “conversed” with a wyrd in this way describe an alien mode of communication that is as much raw emotion and image as it is concept and word, and a mysterious mixture of knowledge and ignorance. For instance, when first encountered, a wyrd apparently does not understand how different from itself mortals are, or how dangerous storms are to mortal creatures. Overlying everything is an unsettlingly alien but somehow childlike inquisitiveness, mixed with rage or fear if the wyrd feels threatened.
The form this interest takes can vary widely. One report describes spending half an hour in communion with a wyrd, exchanging detailed mental images of elemental and humanoid creatures’ anatomies and behaviors while the storm raged unheeded around them. Another speaks of a wyrd chasing the entire crew of a pirate schooner around the deck of the ship with electrical attacks, punishing those who slowed, and stopping only when half the crew was dead. A third author writes of being flooded with comprehension of the nature of the cosmos in a single ecstatic instant, only for the wyrd to banish its own storm and disappear.
Such vanishing is a reasonably common occurrence in non-hostile encounters with comozant wyrds. Several accounts agree that once wyrds understand the peril in which storms place mortals, they use their command of the weather to end the storm, even though this apparently forces them to either leave or vanish altogether. To some, this suggests that comozant wyrds possess at least some respect for life, and that what seems like cruelty may simply be uncomprehending curiosity, even playfulness.
Naturally, those who have suffered at a wyrd’s whim are unsympathetic to this view.
One of the few things almost all accounts agree on is that the touch of a comozant wyrd’s illuminating flames seems to confer sudden insight. Judging by images glimpsed in wyrds’ minds, they appear to know, but not always understand, things that they glimpse in the thoughts, pasts, and entanglements of those with whom they converse. On one occasion, this has led to a traveler learning that one of her companions was in the pay of a hated rival. Other authors recount glimpses of scenes relevant to them that were happening at that precise moment halfway around the world, scenes of which nobody on board could possibly be aware. One way or another, very few of the available reports fail to mention the author glimpsing a secret she could not otherwise learn, an answer—or at least a hint—to a puzzle she had been attempting to solve, or a flash of inspiration that enabled her to complete some great work. These tales lead some desperate souls to seek out storms to sail into, hoping for answers they can find nowhere else.
Comozant wyrds themselves do not seem to have a discernible agenda from moment to moment, or indeed to place very much weight on past experience. They will attack—or, conversely, stop fighting and “parley”—without hesitation, based purely on whether they feel their immediate situation warrants it. This is not to say that they forget past behavior, but they seem to bear few grudges. They react badly when they detect deception, however, seemingly regarding it as only a short step down from outright violence.
St. Elmo’s fire (also known by the obscure English word “comozant,” among others) is a pale, flame-like glow, typically blue or violet and often accompanied by an electrical buzzing or drone. A harmless natural phenomenon caused by atmospheric imbalances in electrical charge, similar to the aurora borealis and the insides of plasma globes, it appears around protrusions such as masts, chimneys, spear tips, or horns, and occasionally on people as well. It usually, but not always, appears during storms. Like the wyrd’s illuminating flames, it sheds light as a candle, and characters and items it touches take a –10 penalty on Stealth checks, but there are no directly harmful effects.
Its dim illumination has no special effect on creatures vulnerable to light, and can be quelled by any spell that creates darkness or provides resistance to electricity.
Statistics from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Savannah Broadway, Ross Byers, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, James Jacobs, Matt James, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Tork Shaw, and Russ Taylor.
Ecology from Pathfinder Adventure Path #57: Tempest Rising © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Matthew Goodall.