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Shenzuzhou

This hulking headless corpse clutches a massive axe in each fist. A grotesquely skinned face stretches across the creature’s chest.

Shenzuzhou CR 12

XP 19,200
NE Large undead
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense; Perception +13; Aura fear (30-ft. radius, DC 22)

DEFENSE

AC 27, touch 12, flat-footed 24 (+3 Dex, +15 natural, –1 size)
hp 127 (17d8+51)
Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +12
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, DR 5/magic; Immune undead traits; SR 23

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee +1 battleaxe +18/+13/+8 (2d6+10/×3), +1 battleaxe +18/+13 (2d6+10/×3)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks festering heads
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +11)

At willdarkness
1/daycloudkill (DC 18)

TACTICS

Seeking to steal their victims’ heads for themselves, shezuzhous decapitate their kills, keeping grisly collections of heads from the victims they have slain.

STATISTICS

Str 28, Dex 17, Con —, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +22; CMD 35
Feats Cleave, Double Slice, Great Cleave, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Two-Weapon Rend, Weapon Focus (battleaxe)
Skills Climb +20, Intimidate +18, Perception +13, Stealth +8
Languages Giant (can’t speak)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Festering Heads (Su)

Once the heads in a shenzuzhou’s collection rot out naturally, it can hurl them as a thrown splash weapon (range increment 30 ft.) as a standard action. A thrown head ruptures on impact, releasing noxious gas that produces an effect identical to a stinking cloud spell (DC 22). The save is Charisma-based.

A typical shenzuzhou carries 1d4 festering heads. The heads do not rupture if thrown by another creature.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure standard (2 Large +1 battleaxes)

Malevolent spirits looking to bolster their armies often look no farther than the burial grounds of giant tribes, where hardy corpses are typically left unguarded and forgotten. After a giant is animated, it is beheaded in a gruesome ritual, the stump of its neck is cauterized into a blackened lump of scar tissue, and a twisted face manifests across its torso. What was once a fearsome giant is now a shenzushou. It loses the ability to speak and eat and can do nothing but obey the commands of whoever possesses its head—often the necromancer or oni that created it.

Thrall shenzushous are nowhere near as terrible as those shenzushous whose heads have been destroyed or transported to another plane. These latter creatures run aimlessly through the land, ever searching for new heads and the control they believe attaining them will bring over the monsters’ damned existences.

Even without their heads, shenzuzhous stand over 8 feet tall. Cords of thick muscle twist beneath the creatures’ hairless gray corpse-flesh. Their skin is cold to the touch and their wounds do not bleed. A shenzuzhou carries little else except for its weapons and the heads of its victims, strung together by their hair and hung from its belt.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Module: The Ruby Phoenix Tournament © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Tim Hitchcock.