This diminutive, small-eyed creature is covered in dense, charcoal-gray fur and wears a dirt-stained smock; its pink nose twitches ceaselessly.
Muldnal CR 3
AC 14, touch 10, flat-footed 14 (–1 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 38 (4d10+16)
Fort +8, Ref +3, Will +6; +4 vs. poison
DR 5/evil or silver; Immune electricity, paralysis, petrification; Resist acid 10, cold 10, sonic 10; SR 14
Weaknesses light sensitivity, revulsion
Speed 20 ft., burrow 40 ft.
Melee mwk quarterstaff +6 (1d4) or bite +5 (1d8 plus paralysis), 2 claws +5 (1d3)
Special Attacks paralysis (1 round, DC 16)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +5)
Druid Spells Prepared (CL 4th; concentration +9)
2nd—control vermin (DC 17), soften earth and stone, summon swarm
1st—call animal, cure light wounds, expeditious excavation, shillelagh, thunderstomp
0—detect poison, know direction, purify food and drink (DC 15), stabilize
Str 11, Dex 9, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 12
Base Atk +4; CMB +3; CMD 12
Feats Bludgeoner, Vermin Heart
Skills Craft (traps) +11, Knowledge (engineering) +11, Knowledge (nature) +7, Perception +12, Stealth +10 (+14 underground), Survival +12; Racial Modifiers +4 Craft (traps), +4 Knowledge (engineering), +4 Stealth underground
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; speak with animals, truespeech
SQ dust child, hold breath, lay on hands (2d6, 3/day), wild empathy +1
Dust Child (Ex)
A muldnal is repelled by the presence of freshly spilled blood. When within 30 feet of a creature that is taking bleed damage, or if a muldnal is taking bleed damage itself, the muldnal must succeed at a DC 17 Will saving throw each round or become shaken until the start of the next round or until the bleeding creature is healed. In addition, a muldnal can’t use its burrow or earth glide abilities while under the effects of revulsion.
A muldnal that successfully saves against revulsion can’t be affected by the same source of blood for 24 hours.
Environment any underground (Nirvana)
Organization solitary, pair, or labor (3–10)
Muldnals’ appearance does not immediately command respect. They stand roughly 3 feet in height, and their wide, dirt-encrusted, clawed hands and equally filthy smocks of undyed linen belie their true extraplanar nature. Dense fur of black, brown, and gray coats their muscular bodies, while a pink nose and whiskers twitch as they sense their surrounding environment, their small black eyes lost in the fur and dirt on their bodies.
While the ferocious leonal agathions guard the portals to Nirvana, the overlooked muldnals tend to the innumerable underground passages of that plane.
When found on the Material Plane, a muldnal tends to sites of magical power associated with agriculture and nature. Many people have been fooled by their friendly and furred countenances; when provoked, a muldnal uses both a paralytic bite and command over the earth to drive off its enemies.
Formed from the souls of farmers and miners, muldnals continue the agrarian traditions they had in their mortal lives. These souls discovered peace in the ebb and flow of the passage of the seasons, the pace and planning of crops, or discovering the natural wealth beneath the earth, and their skills and talents found their home among the eternal tranquility of Nirvana.
As with other agathions, muldnals appear fully formed in Nirvana, their purpose clear in their minds as they begin their work to correct unduly chaotic or orderly influences in the deep caverns of the plane. With no need to eat or sleep, muldnals tirelessly rearrange passageways to be safer or enhance their natural beauty, improve the fertility of the soil in grasslands, and decompose fallen leaves in Nirvana’s primal forests to promote the plane’s health.
Pacifists at heart, muldnals prefer to avoid fighting, as the sight and smell of spilled blood repels them.
That does not mean they are incapable of defending themselves, though, and they wield clubs, cudgels, quarterstaves, and saps with aplomb. A single muldnal’s efforts may be only an annoyance as it harasses intruders, but an entire labor of muldnals can collapse tunnels or pen in foes while they summon the aid of more powerful allies (often silvanshees or vulpinals). Should a muldnal fall to violence, it collapses into a pile of dirt and crawling insects or worms—returning to the dust that formed its existence and purpose.
Habitat and Society
For the most part, muldnals lead solitary lives, content to repair passageways, enrich soil for farmers, and cast out evil where they find it. Self-appointed as Nirvana’s gardeners and caretakers, they also make excellent guides—if they can be found in the first place.
Compared to other agathions, muldnals are loners, preferring the company of fey or kami when journeying on the Material Plane.
Muldnals do not feel beholden to any one particular deity or empyreal lord, and unlike other agathions, they don’t actually have a representative empyreal lord. Theories abound as to why this might be, but the reclusive nature of the muldnals, as well as their avoidance of bloody conflict, may be reasons why none of them have attained the power of an empyreal lord.
Muldnals can spend their entire existence never seeing another of their kind, but when they do meet, it is a cause for celebration, and perhaps for an extraordinary engineering project. Numerous legendary underground grottos, are the works of muldnal moots. In these locations, the barrier between the Material Plane and Nirvana is much thinner—these are places where enlightenment and perfection can be touched, and therefore, they are sought after by monks and scholars alike.
Muldnals embrace a mentor-apprentice relationship in their society. Experienced muldnals are expected to teach younger muldnals everything they know, and pass it along verbally as they travel and work together. A muldnal traveling by itself leaves knowledge in the stone, constructing cairns of different types of rock, perfectly round corridors, or other earthen works of wonder.
Like other outsiders, muldnals are ageless and live immortal lives on the Outer Planes, ceaselessly carrying out their designated task without complaint. Rarely do they evolve without fully transforming into more powerful variants of agathions, but those who live eons in the dark caverns of Nirvana may grow in both size and prowess, and present an even larger threat to forces that would threaten the subterranean regions of the plane.
These elder muldnals often lead small enclaves of other muldnals and take on saintlike qualities in many of their followers’ eyes.
Elder (+2 CR): A muldnal elder commands tremendous respect among its kind. It gains the advanced and giant creature simple templates, gains blindsight instead of tremorsense, and can cast spiked pit as a spell-like ability once per day.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #117: Assault on Longshadow © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Benjamin Bruck and Thurston Hillman, with Liz Courts, Paris Crenshaw, and Jason Keeley.