Divine Customizations

Each nel’barzoth is unique, formed by a deity for a specific purpose. But most possess similar abilities that enable the hunter to track and destroy its prey. Each nel’barzoth also possesses three traits that change based on the nature of its divine creator.

Alignment: The nel’barzoth shares its alignment with its deity. It gains any appropriate subtypes based on this alignment.

Damage Reduction: Good-aligned nel’barzoth gain evil DR while evil-aligned gain good DR. A nel’barzoth that is neutral on the good-evil axis gains silver DR instead. A lesser nel’barzoth gains DR 5; an intermediate DR 10; and a greater DR 15.

Domain: A nel’barzoth gains all the special abilities of one of the domains of its deity (but not spells). It treats its Hit Dice as its cleric level, including for determining which abilities it has access to.

Common Traits

All nel’barzoth share several common traits, regardless of its relative power or the deity it was created for. Defensively, in addition to its Damage Reduction a nel’barzoth is immune to cold and poison and has resistance against acid, electricity, and fire. The amount of resistance depends upon whether it is a lesser, intermediate, or greater nel’barzoth (5, 10, and 15 points, respectively). It possesses spell resistance equal to 11 plus its challenge rating.

Each nel’barzoth has a number of spell-like abilities to aid it during the hunt. Each can cast atonement once per day, should its target suddenly repent and seek forgiveness. Each also possesses the ability to plane shift twice per day — once to arrive at its target’s location, and once to return to its home domain. A nel’barzoth also possesses the ability to heal itself, or others, with the relative power of this spell-like ability increasing with the creature. A nel’barzoth, especially intermediate and greater variety, may have other spell-like abilities.

Its signature ability, however, is its “smite infidel” special attack.

This ability gives the nel’barzoth an enhanced armor class against its target, as well as enhanced attack and damage rolls against any who stand in its way. A nel’barzoth uses — and is always proficient with — the favored weapon of its deity.

Deities, taken as a group, value their followers like a devil values souls. That is, followers are essentially currency and power for those with the divine spark. Unfortunately for most deities, followers possess free will; nothing gets in the way more of the best-laid plans.

Most times when a true believer strays, a simple atonement spell —typically coupled with a suitable quest — is enough to steer things back toward the deity’s favor. Sometimes, though, the offense is so severe an atonement spell just isn’t enough.

Some offenses are so severe, so drastic, that forgiveness is nigh impossible. The only recourse in these circumstances is to dole out swift and severe punishment. Most of the time, deities are loath to interact directly with mortals. To handle these special circumstances, they have an unusual breed of hunters called the nel’barzoth.

A deity forms each nel’barzoth from appropriate planar substances and imbues it with a spark of life when the creature is needed. A nel’barzoth resembles its target, except it possesses pure white eyes that shimmer, even in total darkness. A nel’barzoth that opts to assume its natural form has a humanoid shape, but is otherwise nondescript. An infidel who sees its nel’barzoth (regardless of shape) instinctively knows why the creature is hunting.

Deities have full control over when to send a nel’barzoth and what kind to send. Generally speaking, deities don’t send an over-powerful nel’barzoth to hunt as the creature requires a spark of the deity’s essence in order to gain life, and while the nel’barzoth hunts the deity is slightly weakened. Should a nel’barzoth be defeated, however, most deities won’t hesitate to escalate, sending a pair or pack, or even sending a tougher nel’barzoth if that’s deemed necessary.

If a nel’barzoth defeats the target, it returns to its creator, even if allies of the target remain alive. A defeated nel’barzoth (including its weapon) dissolves into a pool of noxious ichor that lasts for 1 minute.

Any living creature touching this substance must make a Fortitude save (DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the nel’barzoth’s HD + its Constitution modifier) or become nauseated for one hour. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is instead sickened for 3d6 minutes.

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