This bear-sized creature looks like a gangly black wasp. Its wings are large and delicate, and fine hairs cover its joints and feet. Its front-most legs end in graceful articulate hands, and its jagged abdomen terminates in a wicked pair of stingers as long as a man’s arm. Though its alien face has no human-like expression, intelligence gleams in its eyes.
The Herald of Passion CR 15
Speed 50 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (poor)
Melee bite +24 (1d8+9), 2 claws +23 (1d6+9), sting +24 (2d8+9 plus poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks implant, mind control, poison
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +19)
At will—dimension door, dispel magic, lover’s vengeance, message, neutralize poison, rage, secret speech*
5/day—crushing despair (DC 19), cat’s grace, cure moderate wounds, remove disease, suggestion (DC 18), summon swarm, telekinesis, teleport, wall of thorns
1/day—heal, insect plague, scrying (DC 19)
Before Combat The Herald prefers to let her alluring scent seduce her opponents. If she anticipates a battle she uses cat’s grace on herself.
During Combat If facing weaker opponents that aren’t a threat to her, the Herald likes to use rage to end the battle quickly. Against more dangerous opponents, she uses suggestion to send enemy spellcasters away from the battle, crushing despair to weaken melee fighters, summon swarm or insect plague to harass ranged attackers, and dimension door to avoid being flanked or captured.
Morale The Herald is willing to surrender or flee if necessary, as she knows that sometimes vengeance must wait for the right opportunity.
Str 28, Dex 20, Con 26, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB +25; CMD 40 (48 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Hover, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Step Up, Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Focus (sting)
Skills Acrobatics +20, Bluff +23, Climb +17, Diplomacy +23, Fly –1, Heal +11, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (history, planes) +15, Knowledge (nature) +12, Perception +22, Perform (dance) +12, Sense Motive +22, Spellcraft +14, Stealth +19
Languages Abyssal, Common, Elven; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (elf, wasp, or giant wasp; alter self or vermin shape II)
The Herald of Passion’s subtle aroma causes creatures in her vicinity to become placid and react favorably toward her. Any creature that fails a DC 25 Fortitude save against the aura improves its attitude toward the Herald of Passion one step closer to friendly. Creatures with the scent ability take a –4 penalty on this saving throw. Creatures in the aura must attempt a saving throw each minute. This is a mind-affecting poison effect. The DC is Constitution-based.
Once per day, the Herald of Passion can implant eggs in a creature using its sting. The creature must succeed at a DC 25 Fortitude save to resist implantation. The target is nauseated for the next 2d4 rounds while the eggs gestate. When the eggs hatch, they form a chaotic neutral hellwasp swarm, kill the host in 1 round, and inhabit the corpse. The eggs can be surgically removed with a successful DC 30 Heal check (this check deals 2d6 points of damage to the host regardless of success) or by remove disease or similar spells. The save DC is Constitution-based.
The Herald of Passion can inject its scent into the brain of a helpless or willing target, controlling it for the next 24 hours (as the spell dominate person, Fortitude DC 25 negates), although the Herald of Passion must verbally give the target instructions. The save DC is Constitution-based.
The Herald is a personification of lust, vengeance, and trickery. She is the chief immortal agent of the Goddess of Passion in the mortal world—bereft of morals, she seduces, tricks, or murders any creature necessary to complete her mission. In her true form she is a great wasp-like creature weighing just over 1,400 pounds. Though she can fly, her wings create a loud buzzing noise audible from over 500 feet away, so when she must be stealthy she walks or climbs. The Herald needs no armor, for her exoskeleton is as hard as adamantine. She observes her environment with an alien detachment, missing no detail but only acting when she feels the time is right.
When subtlety is necessary, she can take the shape of an exotic elf of either gender, a giant wasp, or a normal wasp. Her humanoid form is almost a caricature of elven beauty, with long ears, narrow cheekbones, and long graceful limbs—if elves look more elven than half-elves, the Herald looks even more elven than true elves, as if elves are near-perfect mortal copies of the “true” elven ideal.
In this form she lacks most of her combat ability, but can still seduce with her wits and good looks, or even use her pheromones on reluctant targets. The the Goddess of Passion’s Book refers to hundreds of transparent, sealed chambers in the Goddess of Passion’s palace, each containing a sleeping creature resembling the Herald’s elven form; the goddess awakens one of these any time she needs a new herald or wants to create another one of her succubus-like avengers.
A supernatural spirit clad in immortal ageless flesh, the Herald does not need to eat, drink, or rest, though she enjoys these activities as much as any elf. Her interests are elven interests—pleasant company, fine wine, savory food, and intricate music. She can conceive and give birth, though it is rare for her to do this as she must remain in elven form for the duration of her pregnancy and the Goddess of Passion dislikes having her herald unavailable for extended periods. Her offspring are usually mortal elves resembling feytouched, aasimar, or tieflings, though some have enough magic in them to be born as young vengeance demons. Church heretics and mad elven wizards suggest the Herald could breed with insect-like outsiders, but she has shown no interest in such things, particularly as most of them have sub-human intelligence or contrary agendas.
Habitat & Society
The Herald is a singular creature; the Goddess of Passion is only known to have one in existence at any time, so the herald usually socializes with the goddess’s succubus-like “vengeance demons” and other servitor entities. The Herald is very curious about mortal elven society, regardless of the elf’s social status, homeland, or relationship with other elves or even other races. Her interest in non-elves is similar but less ardent; she has been known to watch a particular elf (usually disguised as a common wasp) off and on for years, while non-elves rarely keep her attention for more than a few days. The Herald is a creature of spirit but has a physical body, and sometimes seeks attractive elves (using her elven form) to satisfy her carnal desires; this is a sign of great favor among the devout, though the experience is usually so overwhelming that the lucky partner cannot articulate its full extent.
The Herald has a long memory and has been known to bear a grudge to the second or third generation against an elf that offended her or one of her predecessors. She sometimes attends the goddess as a handmaiden (in elven form) or silent observer (in insectoid form). The Goddess of Passion has been known to send the Herald to meetings disguised as the goddess herself, especially when she is unsure of the other party’s motivations.
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.