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Bonestorm

A swirling, 15-foot-high, funnel cloud composed of thousands of jagged human bones whirls in an uncontrolled vortex of death. From it, the air splits with the deafening grind of bone-on-bone.

Bonestorm CR 8

XP 4,800
CE Diminutive undead (swarm)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1; Aura unholy winds 10 ft. (DC 18)

DEFENSE

AC 23, touch 20, flat-footed 17 (+6 Dex, +3 natural, +4 size)
hp 72 (16d8)
Fort +5, Ref +11, Will +11
Immune cold, swarm traits, undead traits, weapon damage; SR 20

OFFENSE

Speed fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (3d6 plus 3d6 unholy)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 18), wrath
Tactics Unliving and unthinking, a bonestorm does not prepare before combat, it simply turns and speeds toward living creatures as soon as it detects their presence, intent on adding their bones to itself. A bonestorm does not preferentially select opponents, rather just seeking to encompass as many living creatures as possible. If injured, however, it does pause to suck up the bones of any convenient skeleton. Completely devoid of fear or sense of self, a bonestorm fights until destroyed.

STATISTICS

Str 3, Dex 23, Con –, Int –, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +8; CMB –; CMD
Skills Fly +20
SQ gather bones

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Gather Bones (Su)

By spending a full-round action in the same square as a dead creature, a bonestorm can shred the flesh from the corpse and absorb the bones into its swarm. The absorption grants the bonestorm healing (or temporary hit points if it is unwounded). The amount of healing depends on the size of the body absorbed. A Small creature grants 2 points of healing. A Medium grants 5 points, Large grants 10 points, and Huge grants 20 point. A bonestorm gains no benefit from collecting the skeletons of creatures smaller than Small or larger than Huge.

Unholy Winds (Su)

A bonestorm is surrounded by fierce netherwinds, the howls and raging essences of souls forever trapped within a whirlwind of death. As such, the area within 10 feet of a bonestorm is affected by winds of windstorm force. Creatures that enter this area must make a DC 18 Fortitude save or be affected by the high winds as dictated by their size: Small or smaller creatures are blown away, Medium creatures are knocked down, Large creatures are checked, and larger creatures are unaffected. In addition, these winds are responsible for a bonestorm’s movement and protect it from the damage and dispersal diminutive swarms typically face when affected by powerful winds.

Wrath (Su)

A bonestorm cuts apart creatures occupying the same space as it, not just with splintered bones and bludgeoning skulls, but with the unholy energies of the damned souls that make up the undead whirlwind. Thus, 3d6 points of the damage dealt by a bone swarm is physical, and 3d6 points are unholy damage, resulting directly from unholy power.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Bonestorms are the charnel offspring of vast battlefields, the wrathful resurrections of legions of the fallen unwilling to let go of their wrath and unable to accept defeat. Amid violent currents of tormented souls, the rent corpses of the fallen rise again, formless masses of marrow and splintered bone that know only revenge.

While bonestorms can spontaneously form—typically days or weeks after a particularly violent or meaningful battle—they have also been known to be created by malicious necromancers and arcane warlords. Brought into being to serve as lifeless engines of war or to wreak havoc upon their creators’ enemies, bonestorms purposefully brought into existence have slightly more direction than their spontaneously forming counterparts. Upon completing a task, however, its not uncommon for one of these cyclones of bones to indulge its motivating rage, attacking and destroying living things far in excess of its creator’s wishes.

A bonestorm typically rises to about 10 feet tall, though it has no weight besides the hundreds of pounds of bones caught up in its macabre vortex.

Ecology

Bonestorms are wholly unnatural creations, formed of tortured souls and rage. As mindless undead, they exist only to serve their creators or, in the cases where these horrors come into being of their own accord or escape a master’s control, blindly wreak their formless rage upon the living.

Bonestorms cannot be conversed with: they have no intellect of their own. If successfully rebuked, one of these undead swarms can be directed to follow simple commands, though once its instructions are exhausted, it goes back about its assault on the living.

Habitat & Society

Bonestorms are most commonly found wherever residual ill will and a sufficient supply of raw bone material permits them to subsist: graveyards, battlefields, and catacombs being most common. While bonestorms often rise from the corpses of defeated armies—especially those defeated while defending their countries, on religious crusades, or fighting for other strongly held beliefs—such grim sites are by no means the only places these horrors form. In some cases, bonestorms have been known to rise from trash mounds piled high with the discarded bones of wasted or maltreated animals, from the catacombs of the dishonored dead, from shipwreck sites on lonely desolate coastlines, and even from the ashes of unjustly burned outcasts. Wherever the lingering wrath of numerous souls and a large number of bones come together in one place, there might a bonestorm form.

Although mindless, bonestorms do seem to be drawn to burial grounds, ossuaries, and similar areas of death. With their ability to gather up the remains of the dead to fuel their revenge, this draw seems to be less a matter of morbid affinity and more an instinct to sustain their existence and continue on their vengeful rampages.

Creating a Bonestorm

A cleric, wizard, or sorcerer may create a bonestorm by casting create greater undead, if the caster possesses the required caster level of 19th or higher. In addition to the material components required by the spell, the caster also requires 16 Hit Dice worth of unanimated corpses within 100 feet to use as raw material. These corpses may be separated from the caster by earth or walls, allowing the creator to animate the buried or entombed.

Although mindless, and even when animated by magic, bonestorms are creatures of rage. This makes them relatively difficult to control. Whenever a bonestorm completes a task given it by its creator or other caster who has gain control of it, there is a 10% chance that the undead swarm breaks away from its controller and goes berserk, rampaging of its own accord. While a caster can regain control of a berserk bonestorm, it requires an additional control undead check.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder 10: A History of Ashes

Pathfinder 10: A History of Ashes. Copyright 2008, Paizo Publishing LLC. Author: Michael Kortes