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Grand Defender

This mighty golem made of polished iron resembles a keen-eyed dwarf. It carries a warhammer and a large shield bearing a holy symbol.

The Grand Defender CR 15

XP 51,200
LG Huge construct (extraplanar, herald)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +20

DEFENSE

AC 32, touch 7, flat-footed 32 (–1 Dex, +20 natural, +5 shield, –2 size)
hp 157 (18d10+58)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +8
DR 15/adamantine; Immune construct traits, magic

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee warhammer +27/+22/+17/+12 (3d6+11/×3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, hammer storm

STATISTICS

Str 32, Dex 9, Con —, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 13
Base Atk +18; CMB +31 (+33 bull rush); CMD 40 (46 vs. bull rush, 44 vs. trip)
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Stand Still, Throw Anything, Toughness
Skills Knowledge (dungeoneering, engineering, history, local, nature, religion) +11, Perception +20
Languages Celestial, Dwarven, Ignan, Terran
SQ ablative adaptation, defender’s shield, dwarf traits (defensive training, hardy, hatred, stability, stonecunning, weapon familiarity) Other Gear +3 heavy steel shield

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Ablative Adaptation (Su)

As a standard action, the Grand Defender can shed its outer layer of metal, revealing a slightly smaller version of itself underneath. This new form may be made of cold iron (changing its DR to 15/cold iron), mithral (DR 15/silver), or iron (DR 15/adamantine, as normal). Its attacks count as this metal type for overcoming damage reduction. If the herald is brought to 0 hit points, it becomes inert; 1d4 hours after it last took damage, it sheds its outer layer and reanimates at half its normal hit points.

Once shed, the outer layer decays into worthless powder over 1d4 minutes.

Breath Weapon (Su)

The herald’s poisonous breath weapon functions like that of an iron golem (free action every 1d4 rounds, 10 ft. cube, Fort DC 19, 1d4 Con, 2 consecutive saves). The save DC is Constitution-based. The cloud persists for 1 round.

Defender’s Shield (Ex)

The herald’s shield is a +3 heavy steel shield, though it becomes non-magical if the herald is destroyed or is no longer holding or wearing it.

Hammer Storm (Ex)

The herald can expel a volley of warhammers from its mouth, which functions like a breath weapon (30-foot cone, 15d6 bludgeoning damage plus Awesome Blow, Reflex 19 half, usable 1/day). If the herald is in its cold iron or mithral form, these hammers count as cold iron or silver, respectively. The herald can exclude any number of squares in the cone. The hammer storm creates 24 physical warhammers that persist after the instantaneous attack and may be used by creatures (though they’re normal warhammers, not masterwork, cold iron, or mithral). The herald can spend 1 minute eating 24 warhammers (or an equivalent amount of metal such as that created by its ablative adaptation ability) to recharge this ability. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Immunity to Magic (Su)

The herald has the same immunity to magic as an iron golem.

ECOLOGY

Environment any land (extraplanar)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Created by a god to serve as his herald, the Grand Defender is a powerful golem animated by the collective will of dozens of great dwarf heroes. The heroic souls within the golem consider it an honor to lend their knowledge and love of battle to this mighty shell so it can protect dwarves in the mortal world. These heroes control the golem for anything from a single manifestation to several consecutive months of tasks, and afterward return to their reward in the afterlife. These multiple identities contribute to its varying appearance in each incarnation, even changing its apparent gender. The above statistics describe a typical manifestation of the herald, though if it is summoned for a specific purpose, the individual spirits within might have greater knowledge pertaining to that purpose.

Ecology

The spirits within the Grand Defender retain all their mortal memories and knowledge, and when in the mortal world they have been known to recognize or call out through the herald to old friends, relatives, or offspring with an unexpected familiarity and affection. If visiting a place one of its spirits had been as a mortal, the golem might know secret exits or caches of materials long forgotten by the current inhabitants.

Without the heroic spirits, the herald barely has a will of its own and acts in a programmed fashion like a common iron golem; however,it is never sent to the Material Plane that way, and existing knowledge of its “empty” state only comes from rare visitors who encountered the herald.

As a construct controlled by dead heroes, the Grand Defender has no need for rest or sustenance.

However, the controlling spirits may enjoy the company of other creatures, and the golem can consume materials, though its sense of “taste” is certainly altered to suit its magical abilities. For example, most of the heroic souls report mild intoxication after eating metal in order to recharge the hammer storm ability.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Inner Sea Gods © 2014, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Sean K Reynolds, with Amanda Hamon, James Jacobs, John Ling, Mark Moreland, David N. Ross, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Tork Shaw, James L. Sutter, Jerome Virnich.