This ancient, weathered statue of a venerable monk with a shaven head possesses an air of both reverence and patience.
Dosojin Kami CR 7
AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 85 (10d10+30); fast healing 4
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +11
DR 5/cold iron; Immune bleed, mind-affecting effects, petrification, polymorph; Resist acid 10, electricity 10, fire 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +13 (1d6+2)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +13)
Constant—know direction, misdirection (DC 15), speak with plants
3/day—dispel magic, fog cloud, quickened invisibility, longstrider, pass without trace, stone shape
1/day—locate object, mirage arcana (DC 18), nondetection
Special Attacks manipulate path, mimic statue
Str 15, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +10; CMB +12; CMD 25
Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (invisibility), Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Disguise +16 (+36 as statue), Handle Animal +16, Knowledge (nature) +14, Perception +4, Sense Motive +19, Survival +15
Languages Common; speak with plants, telepathy 100 ft.
SQ merge with ward, ward (roads or trails)
As a standard action, a dosojin can alter the structure and stability of its ward, making travel along its road or trail either easier or harder for specific groups of travelers. Helping travelers in this way makes a dosojin’s ward sturdier and more straightforward, allowing creatures to reach their destination in half the time they would normally take (though this does not grant a bonus to creatures’ movement speeds in combat). If a dosojin instead chooses to hinder travelers, it creates unexpected twists and turns within its ward, turning the path into difficult terrain and so causing travelers to take twice as long as they normally would to reach their destination. These effects last as long as the targets stay within the boundaries of the dosojin’s ward.
As a standard action, a dosojin can assume the appearance of any Medium-sized statue, such as a stone marker, a religious icon, or a sculpture carved into the side of a cliff. A dosojin’s body is hard and has the texture of rough stone no matter what appearance it takes. A dosojin gains a +20 racial bonus on Disguise checks when imitating a statue in this manner.
Environment any land
Organization solitary, mated pair, or cloister (3–10)
Dosojins are kami that take the form of stone icons and watch over roads and trails. They are often found in statue form at the edges of villages, along mountain passes, at the beginnings of tunnels and other major works of roadway construction, or at simple country crossroads. In urban areas, dosojins can sometimes be found on street corners and near bridges. They serve as the guardians of travelers, keeping the malicious and malevolent off the paths they diligently watch over. Wise travelers know to seek a dosojin’s blessing before traveling upon its ward, for falling out of favor with the kami of travel is a sure way to become lost or hampered. Pious mortal couples also seek out dosojin for their own reasons, as the kami are often regarded as patrons of fertility, and are known for their habit of choosing mates and standing beside one another for their entire lives. In many regions, the blessing of a dosojin is believed to ensure a long and happy marriage, as well as many healthy children.
The average dosojin stands about 4-1/2 feet tall and weighs upward of 400 pounds.
As creatures that symbolize travel and connections, dosojins straddle the line between the lands of the civilized and the wild, often with one foot literally in each. Dosojins spend most of their time guarding their chosen sites in the form of nondescript statues and way markers, meditating motionlessly for seasons at a time. While semi-social dosojins within cities and other settlements are not uncommon, the majority of these kami stand along remote and secluded roads, going to great lengths to ensure that their true identity is not known. It is not uncommon for dosojins to create false duplicates of themselves using their stone shape ability, and these misleading markers inspire a certain amount of faith among those who look out for the kami of roads, as one can rarely tell if a sculpture is a dosojin by looks alone. A dosojin requires no sustenance, but it is not uncommon for travelers to leave offerings for a silent watcher, usually tributes of fruits, nuts, and potables, gifts that the kami gladly shares with hungry travelers, happy to inspire such good faith among passersby and to foster a system of give-and-take between strangers.
Dosojins are fond of the creatures that traverse their roads and trails, and maintain the roadways they guard to ensure both the ward’s survival and the safe travel of the voyagers that traverse it. Though they have an affinity for the creatures that constructed their roadways, dosojins still protect their wards with the aggressive righteousness typical of all kami, and scarcely hesitate when faced with an oni or other evildoer seeking to disrupt the balance. Dosojin have little patience for those who litter on their roadways or unnecessarily obstruct the paths, and they take it upon themselves to discipline those they deem worthy of punishment. Rarely violent in an overt sense, dosojins prefer to use their magic in order to trick travelers into becoming lost, letting the wilds they travel through become the primary instruments of their demise. Dosojins prove quite deadly to those who fail to show kami proper respect, as they use their powers of illusion to lead troublesome caravans into impassible ravines and destructive oni onto unsound, derelict bridges.
Dosojins are odd among kami in that they are known to select mates from among their own kind, and it is not uncommon to see two seemingly redundant statues standing next to one another near a trailhead or fork in the road. While they do not reproduce in any typical sense of the word, dosojins are nonetheless sought out by mortal couples hoping to conceive, as many people see the kami as symbols of fertility. However, most scholars agree that dosojins do not collaborate in this way to foster fecundity, but rather act as symbols of camaraderie and companionship for travelers on their roads, encouraging teamwork and cooperation among groups of diverse individuals with a shared goal.
While most dosojins are content to watch over particular highways or roads for their entire existences and act as helpful guardians for most passersby, some choose instead to act as appraisers of travelers’ skills and bravery. Cunning individuals that indulge in acts of trickery more often than their tamer brethren, these rogue dosojins craft obstacles and trials for travelers they deem worthy of the challenge. The tests are not meant to substantially impede voyagers, and are simply forms of innocent fun that a dosojin uses to gauge the strength and resolve of various wayfarers. Those who surpass a dosojin’s challenges (which usually take the form of puzzles or illusions) earn the kami‘s respect and the assurance of safe travel throughout the rest of its domain, while those who avoid the obstacle or overcome it through brutish and witless means garner only scorn. Careful travelers know to watch out for the statuelike kami when making their way along potentially protected roads, as the guardians expect voyagers to act honorably and respectfully while travelling upon their paths. Some of the most important mandates to keep in mind when interacting with dosojin and walking through their territories are as follows.
- Mortals who respect the land and its laws shall know no harm.
- Mortals who fail to show proper reverence for tradition shall not pass by a dosojin upon the first attempt.
- Mortals who actively harm the natural world shall be cursed to wander it.
- Mortals who stray from a dosojin’s path to do harm should not expect to find that path ever again.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #52: Forest of Spirits © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Richard Pett.