This creature resembles an enormous, four-armed humanoid made of water. Its two faces move about its head independently.
Portunus CR 16/MR 6
AC 32, touch 14, flat-footed 26 (+6 Dex, +18 natural, –2 size)
hp 238 (17d10+145); fast healing 5
Fort +12, Ref +18, Will +18
Defensive Abilities transparency; DR 10/epic; Immune elemental traits; Resist acid 20, cold 20
At will—crushing despair, fog cloud, good hope, hydraulic torrent, water walk
3/day—control water (DC 21), dispel magic M, quickened rusting grasp, warp wood (DC 19)
1/day—control weather M (as druid), vortex (DC 24)
M mythic spell
Str 28, Dex 23, Con 20, Int 19, Wis 22, Cha 25
Base Atk +17; CMB +28; CMD 44
Feats Combat Reflexes M, Great Fortitude, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will M, Lightning Reflexes, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (rusting grasp), Stand Still, Vital Strike M
Skills Diplomacy +27, Intimidate +24, Knowledge (local, nature, planes) +24, Perception +26, Sense Motive +26, Spellcraft +24, Stealth +18, Swim +37
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ alter luck, bonded harbor, boon, liquid form
Alter Luck (Su)
As an immediate action, the portunus can spend a point of mythic power to roll its surge die and apply the result as a positive or negative modifier on a d20 roll after the result of the original roll is revealed.
This can change the outcome of the roll. The affected creature must be within 60 feet of the portunus.
Bonded Harbor (Ex)
When on the Material Plane, a portunus attunes itself to a natural bay, fjord, or inlet.
While in its bonded harbor, a portunus is considered to be on its home plane and does not gain the extraplanar subtype. A portunus loses its fast healing when not on the Plane of Water or within its bonded harbor.
Though a portunus cannot grant spells, it can grant a minor boon to those who properly propitiate it. To receive the boon, a character must perform a 1-minute ritual in or adjacent to the portunus’s bonded harbor and succeed at a DC 21 Knowledge (nature) check. The ritual fails if the portunus is not in its harbor or if it has an attitude of unfriendly or hostile to the supplicant. If the ritual is a success, the character can call upon this boon once within the next 24 hours to roll twice on a skill check and take the better result. A character cannot benefit from more than one boon at a time and cannot attempt this check more than once per day. Granting a boon requires no action by the portunus, and there is no limit on the number of boons it can grant.
A portunus can attempt to capsize a boat or ship by ramming it as a charge attack and attempting a combat maneuver check. The DC of this check is 25 or equal to the result of the boat captain’s Profession (sailor) check, whichever is higher. For each size category the ship is larger than the portunus, the portunus takes a cumulative –10 penalty on this combat maneuver check.
Liquid Form (Sp)
As a standard action, a portunus can turn into a mobile pool of water. This functions as gaseous form, except the portunus can’t fly in this form, but it can enter water. It retains its base speed, and its swim speed doubles to 120 feet. The portunus can end this ability as a standard action.
Portunuses are a kind of water elemental who inhabit natural harbors. They embody both the regular rising and falling of the tides and the inconstant shifting of the weather. Humanoids who live along bays inhabited by portunuses often revere them as genii loci, and they may give prayers and offerings to the elementals in hopes that their ship will come in—whether literally or figuratively.
A portunus is naturally invisible underwater, but when it chooses to be seen, it resembles a translucent, statuesque humanoid with four arms and two faces. The portunus’s faces can be the same or different genders. They move about the elemental’s head independently, sometimes facing in opposite directions and at other times cheek to cheek. The portunus can sense and speak from either or both faces, though it has a single mind.
When standing, a portunus towers nearly 24 feet tall and weighs around 12,000 pounds.
Portunuses are rarely seen, even by those who live along the harbors where they dwell. A portunus shows its approval by granting its boon and by using its spell-like abilities to provide unseen aid. If humanoids don’t give the proper respect to its harbor, a portunus shows its displeasure with subtle acts of sabotage, such as causing small leaks in ships or rusting away anchor chains. Only if these hints are ignored does the portunus resort to more destructive magic. A portunus revealing its true form is a sign that momentous events are occurring. The portunus may do so to punish a spellcaster who offends the gods or to defend its harbor—and its pious residents—from a disaster or invasion. Rarely, a portunus may reveal itself to a fellow servant of nature or fate in order to provide information or assistance.
Portunuses are pious creatures who revere deities of the sea and weather and deities of luck and fate. Indeed, many portunuses consider themselves agents of these gods, even if they are not part of any formal structure. Portunuses point to the element of water as proof of their divine connections. Portunuses consider it their duty to keep watch over those who employ magic to alter tides, winds, or luck to ensure they use their powers judiciously and with humility. A spellcaster who abuses or becomes reliant on such magic risks being attacked by a portunus for his hubris. Particularly strong magic may even draw portunuses from their harbors to investigate.
Portunuses do not actively seek out treasure, but over the years, they may accumulate a hoard from the offerings tossed into their harbor by supplicants and the lost cargo of ships that sink nearby. Even so, those who attempt to salvage a portunus’s treasure find their efforts stymied by the unseen elemental. Yet, a portunus is sometimes willing to give some of its treasure to those in need. Such recipients may never know who their benefactor is, as these gifts appear to be merely washed up on the beach.
Habitat and Society
On their native plane, portunuses are most often found where the Plane of Water borders other planes, playing among the storms where it meets the Plane of Air or hiding within the chasms where it meets the Plane of Earth.
Large chunks of other elements floating in the endless sea might also contain hollows where portunuses dwell. On the Material Plane, each portunus is bound to a specific natural harbor, which serves as a link to its home plane. A portunus can leave its bonded harbor, but these excursions are infrequent and usually short.
Though they might be found along any coast, portunuses are most common in regions with many inlets, islands, and fjords.
Portunuses serve as protectors of their harbors and the creatures that live there. While they may be initially wary of humanoids making use of their harbors, most portunuses come to view them as just another part of the bay’s ecosystem, as long as the humanoids are respectful of nature.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #125: Tower of the Drowned Dead © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Ron Lundeen, with Nathan King, Isabelle Lee, Erik Mona, Kalervo Oikarinen, and David Schwartz.