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Nisid

This small, naked creature looks like a lithe halfling, but with long, tapered ears and tough, brown skin. His hair is unkempt and his flesh is weathered, but his large eyes glitter violet.

Nisid CR 4

XP 1,200
CG Small fey
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +1 size)
hp 33 (6d6+12)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +8
DR 5/cold iron

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee dagger +7 (1d3–1/19–20) or spear +3 (1d6–1/×3)
Ranged longbow +7 (1d6/×3) or spear +7 (1d6–1/×3)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +10)

At willcharm animal (DC 15), create water, endure elements
3/daydetect thoughts (DC 16), entangle (DC 15), invisibility (self only)
1/daycall lightning (DC 17), confusion (DC 18), gust of wind (DC 16), hallucinatory terrain (DC 18)

STATISTICS

Str 9, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 18
Base Atk +3; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Alertness, Self-Sufficient, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +13, Climb +8, Heal +5, Knowledge (geography, nature) +7, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14, Stealth +16, Survival +18; Racial Modifiers +4 Survival
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ island bond, isolation, never come back

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Island Bond (Ex)

A nisid who resides on a small, uninhabited island for an extended period of time forms a strong bond with the land, gaining a number of powers meant to protect the sanctity of its territory. The island must be no larger than 1 square mile in area per Hit Die the nisid has (usually 6 HD), and the nisid must be the only intelligent creature on the island for 1 uninterrupted year to cement the bond. After the bond has been formed, the nisid gains the isolation and never come back abilities (see below), and receives a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks while on his island. A nisid who leaves his island for more than 1 hour per Hit Die or whose island is inhabited by an intelligent creature for longer than 1 month per Hit Die loses its island bond and must restart the bonding process, either on a new island or on the same island once all prerequisite conditions are met.

Isolation (Su)

A trespasser on the nisid’s bonded island must succeed at a DC 17 Will save every full day she remains on the island or she takes 1d2 points of Wisdom damage as the nisid magnifies the trials of survival on an uninhabited and dangerous island with little hope of rescue. This Wisdom damage does not heal naturally until the trespasser leaves the nisid’s island (though it can be healed through magic normally), slowly driving her mad.

The nisid can suppress this ability at will; typically, it does so until it determines the trespasser will not soon leave of her own volition or is otherwise going to be trouble. This is a mind-affecting curse effect. The saving throw DC is Charisma-based.

Never Come Back (Su)

The nisid’s ties to its island help keep it hidden from repeat visits, ensuring that even trespassers who want to return find doing so difficult. When a trespasser leaves a nisid’s bonded island, she must attempt a DC 17 Will saving throw. Failure results in her memories of the place becoming hazy—especially when it comes to locating it again. She takes a –10 penalty on Survival and Knowledge (geography) checks to determine the island’s location or find it again, and the island and the nisid are treated as though under the effects of a permanent nondetection spell for any divination spells the target casts (use the nisid’s caster level to determine the difficulty of overcoming this effect). This is a mind-affecting curse effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

ECOLOGY

Environment any island
Organization solitary
Treasure double (dagger, spear, longbow with 20 arrows, other treasure)

Nisids are castaway spirits, protectors of uninhabited or deserted islands. These little fey look like they might once have maintained a more delicate and youthful appearance, but after having spent decades or centuries alone, they look haggard, with unkempt hair and tough skin. Nisids rarely wear clothing, as they have little need for modesty or protection. They are excellent survivalists, living off what their island can provide.

Loners by nature, a nisid claims and forms a bond with a single uninhabited island as his territory, and he seeks to preserve the island’s untouched sanctity—and his own solitude. Should someone happen upon a nisid’s island, whether as a castaway, stranded by a storm, or deliberately seeking something, the nisid first spies on the interloper using invisibility and detect thoughts to assess her intent. If he determines that the trespasser simply wishes to get off the island, the nisid often offers to help his guest survive and escape (if only to hasten the process and return the island to its isolation). Using magic and his natural skill at survival, he may give the castaway access to water, food, or shelter—in exchange for leaving the island unsullied when she leaves. Those who agree and please the nisid might even be gifted with a final gust of wind to send them on their way.

However, those who arrive with no intention of leaving hastily, or who drastically overstay their welcome without hope of escape, find the nisid a more hostile host, as a nisid finds murder a small price to pay for solitude. Unwelcome guests find the trials of survival and hopelessness to be maddening, and every day drift closer to insanity through the nisid’s isolation ability. Once the trespassers have been driven toward madness, the nisid attempts to turn them against each other, sowing distrust and casting confusion on large groups. If all else fails, the nisid might coax charmed animals, the nisid’s only companions, into attacking interlopers: nothing says “get off my island” like a giant beast crashing out of the jungle.

With no desire to die—only to be left alone—the nisid eschews direct combat as much as possible, preferring to have his enemies deal with each other or succumb to the dangers of the island itself. If pushed to combat, he casts call lightning and attempts to strike down his enemies from hiding, using his knowledge of the island to his advantage.

Even when helping agreeable castaways, the nisid won’t make life too easy, lest the trespassers decide to extend their stay. He makes just enough food and water available to sustain the “guests,” using abilities like hallucinatory terrain to keep any particularly bountiful areas of the island hidden. Should the island be a truly deserted one, perhaps where an ancient civilization once flourished, a nisid is especially vigilant in keeping ruins or artifacts that could attract further interest in the island well hidden. And once a castaway leaves a nisid’s island, she rarely finds a way to return.

A typical nisid stands 4 feet tall and weighs 70 pounds.

Ecology

Not much is known of nisids, since they are rarely encountered and even more rarely remembered. The first nisids may have been castaways themselves, banished from the First World until they discovered the small islands on which they could be alone, or other fey spirits who found their little pieces of land suddenly cut off from everything else. Whatever their origin, most nisids have lived solitary lives for decades or centuries—and prefer it that way, finding solace in solitude and having no desire to share their hidden homes.

Nisids can be any gender, but have little interest in companionship or reproduction. With no one around to impress, they don’t care about their appearance—though their fey nature still shines through despite their neglect.

Over time surviving alone, their hair becomes ragged and their skin grows exceptionally tough. They craft their few weapons out of whatever the island has to offer.

Nisids have no interest in treasure, as they have no use for it; however, they tend to collect the belongings of those who wash up on their shores and don’t escape.

They keep their treasure troves well hidden to prevent attracting interest from other trespassers.

Habitat and Society

Nisids might choose any small, uninhabited island as home, regardless of climate. Jungle isles filled with strange fauna are equally as appealing to them as barren rocks in the icy north or island ruins in temperate climes.

Some nisids favor deserted islands that once held civilization of some kind as homes. Those who choose such locales have the additional goal of keeping their islands’ ruins a secret from outsiders; the last thing a nisid wants is a boat full of explorers and adventurers arriving on his island to plumb its depths, and he will use his abilities to keep such adventurers away.

Nisids are introverts to the extreme. They have no interest in any kind of company, and engage in conversation for only as long as it takes to accomplish their goals. There is never more than one nisid on an island. No one has learned why nisids prefer such isolation, or what they do in their long years alone.

A nisid’s only companions are the local fauna, which the nisid charms to act as guardians. Small islands far from continental land are known for their oversized animals, and a canny nisid in residence holds the threat of such beasts as motivation for trespassers to leave or to avoid the island’s inner depths—perhaps unleashing the animals upon them should their stay provoke hostility. However, their relationships with dolphins are a bit antagonistic, as the creatures delight in attempts to force the nisid to socialize and guide travelers to their isolated islands.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #122: Into the Shattered Continent © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Robert Brookes, with Ayla Arthur, Adam Daigle, Lucas J.W. Johnson, Robin Loutzenhiser, Ron Lundeen, and Mark Moreland.