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Herald of Armageddon

A long crimson cloak drapes over the form of this large faceless being, which floats just above the ground on footless legs as its menacing flail crackles with blue currents of electricity.

Herald of Armageddon
CR 15

XP 51,200
CN Large outsider (chaotic, extraplanar)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +21

DEFENSE

AC 31, touch 15, flat-footed 27 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 insight, +16 natural, –1 size; never surprised or flat-footed)
hp 225 (18d10+126); fast healing 5
Fort +18, Ref +11, Will +19
DR 10/law and magic; Immune confusion, insanity; Resist acid 30, cold 30, electricity 30, fire 30; SR 26

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee +1 shock heavy flail +23/+18/+13/+8 (2d8+7/17–20 plus 1d6 electricity and maddening strike)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks destructive aura
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18th; concentration +24)

Constant—foresight (self only), true seeing (self only)
At will—arcane eye, quickened bleed (DC 16), hideous laughter (DC 18), knock, magic missile, shatter (DC 18), telepathic bond, touch of idiocy, true strike
5/day—confusion (DC 20), contact other plane (see below), feeblemind (DC 21), greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), mind fog (DC 21), nightmare (DC 21), phantasmal killer (DC 21)
1/day—break enchantment, disintegrate (DC 22), harm (DC 22), insanity (DC 23), mage’s disjunction (DC 25), mass invisibility, moment of prescience, power word kill, weird (DC 25)

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 17, Con 24, Int 17, Wis 16, Cha 22
Base Atk +18; CMB +23 (+25 sunder); CMD 39 (41 vs. sunder, can’t be tripped)
Feats Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Improved Critical (heavy flail), Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (heavy flail)
Skills Disable Device +18, Fly +16, Intimidate +24, Knowledge (geography) +18, Knowledge (history) +21, Knowledge (religion) +21, Perception +21, Sense Motive +21, Spellcraft +18, Stealth +17, Use Magic Device +24; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping
Languages Aklo, Common, Cyclops, Draconic, +3 additional; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ madness, no breath

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Adaptable Life Force (Su)

Any effect that heals living creatures and harms undead or heals undead and harms living creatures (such as cure spells, inflict spells, and channeled energy) always heals the herald, even if the source of the power intended to harm it.

Contact Other Plane (Sp)

This ability functions as the spell contact other plane, but the herald can only ask questions on the behalf of another creature, the questioner (not the herald) must make the Intelligence check (if any) to avoid losing Intelligence or Charisma, and the loss is permanent rather than temporary.

Destructive Aura (Su)

As a swift action, the herald can emit a 30-foot aura of destruction for 15 rounds per day. All attacks made against targets in this aura (including the herald) gain a +7 morale bonus on damage rolls, and all critical threats are automatically confirmed. These rounds do not need to be consecutive.

Maddening Strike (Su)

If the herald successfully hits a creature with its flail, as a swift action it may force the opponent to make a DC 25 Will save. If the creature fails its save, it is confused for 1 round. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Madness (Ex)

The herald uses its Charisma modifier on Will saves instead of its Wisdom modifier, and is immune to insanity and confusion effects. Only a miracle or wish can remove its madness. If this occurs, the herald gains 6 points of Wisdom and loses 6 points of Charisma; it automatically reverts to its insane state 1d10 minutes later.

Telepathic Bond (Sp)

This ability functions like telepathic bond, except any creature linked to the herald’s disturbing thoughts takes 1 point of Wisdom damage every 10 minutes.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Astral Plane)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard (Large +1 shock heavy flail, other treasure)

The Herald of Armageddon is an enigmatic creature that is both more and less mysterious than its master. It looks like a giant shrouded figure floating above the ground, legless and faceless, wielding a heavy flail with ends made of glowing energy. Its visage is often confused with a reaping undead, though it is a living outsider and acts mildly insulted when others assume it to be otherwise. Its voice is hollow and distorted, as if echoing from the far end of a long metal tube, and colored with accents from ruined empires and dead languages. It rarely comes to the prime material plane, and for most of these visits it is merely a silent witness to a great slaughter upon the battlefield or the last gasp of a dying city, though it may strike out with its weapon or magic at a seemingly random wounded or dying target, as if making sure the creature dies as expected.

The herald may be insane from associating with the god of Armageddon, but it has a clarity unknown to mortal worshipers; perhaps its vast knowledge somehow protected it from a truly insane fate, or its status as a herald may give it a kind of lucidity that pierces the fog of madness. It does not cackle at itself like a madman, respond to unheard voices, kill for pleasure, or exhibit any of a dozen other obvious signs of insanity typically exhibited by the mad followers of Armageddon.

The herald does not eat, drink, or breathe; it lacks a face or mouth, and cannot be bribed with food or pleasure. It acts like an unfeeling thing, more patient than a mountain, slowly scouring away at existence like the ocean’s tide or a desert wind. It has no role in the creation of life, and does not seem to take any part in the cultivation or upbringing of creatures or civilizations.

Though it is known to kill without being provoked, it only does so if the target has already suffered serious harm or is on the brink of death, and even these it may ignore; it has drifted over a bloody battle, passing hundreds of dying heroes and officers, only to strike at a single common soldier before vanishing. Once, it killed a human woman moments after a difficult but successful birth, and chose to spare the child. It acts in this callous way toward mortals, undead, outsiders, and even dragons, but never against mindless creatures or those with animal-level intellect. Perhaps these killings are the directive of its god, steering a soul’s course in the afterlife or preventing some future event; perhaps they represent an obscure code, with the time of death and name of the deceased unlocking a cipher over the course of a millennium; or perhaps they are just random acts of violence, the only evidence of the creature’s tightly suppressed lunacy. If attacked, the herald retaliates, though sometimes it ends combat simply by driving some or all of its opponents insane and then retreating. It may return to dispatch these defeated foes days, months, or years later, even on the victim’s deathbed, or it may ignore them utterly and show no recognition if the healed opponents confront it again.

When called by mortals, the herald demands specific deeds of death, injury, or property damage, for the herald always seeks to further the end of times. For example, it may ask that every third adult male in a village be branded on the face with a mysterious symbol, or that a prince with black hair be nearly drowned, or a castle’s eastern wall be cracked but left standing. Usually, these acts have no apparent link to the needs of the herald’s conjurer, and most create a series of events that takes years or decades to play out. It favors the burning of incense and exotic woods, lingering over the fragrant smoke and making strange contortions.

When not serving its god or called by the faithful to perform a specific task, the herald flies over the surface of its god’s moon, pausing to alter parts of the writing on the surface or draw runes on a blank area untouched by the god’s madness. Sometimes it can be seen curled up there on the moon or reclining somewhere on the Astral Plane as if sleeping, though the eerie being is clearly not at rest. It makes no gestures of friendship or comradeship toward other divine servants of its god, though it accepts their presence (and their insanity) as if used to them. On one occasion, it absorbed a servitor into itself, inhaling the creature like smoke, then expelling it a year later with no explanation or apparent harm to the creature.

Section 15: Copyright Notice – Pathfinder Adventure Path #64 Beyond the Doomsday Door

Pathfinder Adventure Path #64: Beyond the Doomsday Door © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Tito Leati.