Rakshasa, Zalyakavat

This sinewy humanoid with putrid green skin and a grotesque, shrew-like snout wears little more than a colorful silk sarong and a thin, flexible blade worn as a belt.

Zalyakavat CR 13

XP 25,600
LE Medium outsider (native, rakshasa, shapechanger)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +24


AC AC 28, touch 17, flat-footed 21 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +11 natural)
hp 178 (17d10+85)
Fort +15, Ref +16, Will +11
DR 15/good and piercing; SR 28


Speed 40 ft.
Melee +2 urumi +24/+19/+14/+9 (1d8+6/15–20)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with urumi)
Special Attacks detect thoughts (DC 20), urumi forms
Spells Known (CL 10th; concentration +12)

5th (3/day)wall of stone (DC 17)
4th (5/day)dimension door, ice storm
3rd (6/day)dispel magic, lightning bolt (DC 15), protection from energy
2nd (7/day)blur, darkness, knock, see invisibility
1st (7/day)expeditious retreat, identify, mage armor, magic aura, ray of enfeeblement (DC 13)
0 (at will)acid splash, bleed (DC 12), detect magic, ghost sound (DC 12), mage hand, mending, message, open/close, read magic


Str 19, Dex 22, Con 21, Int 16, Wis 18, Cha 15
Base Atk +17; CMB +21; CMD 38
Feats Acrobatic Steps, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Critical (urumi), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Nimble Moves, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (urumi)
Skills Acrobatics +26 (+30 when jumping), Bluff +26, Disguise +30, Knowledge (arcana, local) +23, Perception +24, Sense Motive +24, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +26; Racial Modifiers +4 Bluff, +8 Disguise
Languages Common, Infernal, Undercommon
SQ change shape (any humanoid; alter self), inconspicuous urumi, urumi affinity


Inconspicuous Urumi (Su)

A zalyakavat can wear an urumi in its belt slot and draw it as a free action. While wearing an urumi in its belt slot, the zalyakavat gains a bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks equal to the weapon’s enhancement bonus, if any. If the urumi has an enhancement bonus of +2 or higher, the zalyakavat also gains the benefit of nondetection with a caster level equal to the zalyakavat’s caster level plus the weapon’s enhancement bonus.


A zalyakavat casts spells as a 10th-level sorcerer.

Urumi Affinity (Su)

A zalyakavat doesn’t drop its urumi when panicked or stunned, and it treats its reach with an urumi as 5 feet greater than normal.

Urumi Forms (Su)

When holding an urumi in one paw and carrying nothing in its other, a zalyakavat can expend unused spell slots to activate a variety of special abilities and weapon modifications known collectively as urumi forms. Activating an urumi form is a swift action, and the zalyakavat cannot cast spells during a round in which it activates one. Whenever the zalyakavat activates an urumi form, in addition to the other effects below, the zalyakavat gains the benefit of freedom of movement until the start of its next turn. The zalyakavat can select from the following urumi forms, each of which last until the start of the zalyakavat’s next turn.

  • Contingent Strikes: A zalyakavat can expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher to imbue an urumi it wields with a single magic weapon special ability. The special ability is added to any the weapon already has, but duplicate abilities do not stack. The zalyakavat can select from the following special abilities. 1st-levelcorrosive, flaming, frost, ghost touch, shock; 2nd-levelaxiomatic, corrosive burst, flaming burst, icy burst, shocking burst, unholy, wounding; 3rd-levelspeed; 4th-levelbrilliant energy; 5th-levelvorpal. Imbued magic weapon special abilities do not function for any creature other than the zalyakavat.
  • Deft Strikes: A zalyakavat can expend a spell slot of 2nd level or higher to gain Improved Disarm and Improved Trip as bonus feats, as well as a competence bonus on disarm and trip attempts equal to the level of the spell slot expended.
  • Dispelling Strikes: By expending a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, a zalyakavat can disrupt magic with an urumi it wields, causing any creature struck by the zalyakavat’s urumi to be the subject of a targeted dispel magic with a caster level equal to the zalyakavat’s caster level plus the level of the spell slot expended. A creature can be the subject of only one such targeted dispel per use of this ability, but if the urumi strikes more than one creature, each creature struck is subject to the dispelling effect.
  • Garrote Whip: A zalyakavat can expend a spell slot of 4th level or higher to make an urumi it wields longer and more flexible. The zalyakavat’s reach with the weapon increases by 5 feet, and the zalyakavat can attempt to strike and strangle a single target as a standard action. The zalyakavat makes a melee attack at its highest bonus. On a successful hit, the attack deals damage as normal, and the zalyakavat can attempt a combat maneuver check against the target’s CMD as a free action. This combat maneuver does not provoke attacks of opportunity. If the maneuver succeeds, the target takes an additional 1d8 points of damage plus the zalyakavat’s Strength modifier and must succeed at a DC 22 Fortitude save or fall unconscious for 1d4 rounds. This ability works only on creatures that breathe and have a discernible neck. The save DC is Strength-based.
  • Whip of Many Blades: A zalyakavat can expend a 5th-level spell slot to cause extra blades to sprout from the hilt of an urumi it wields. When the zalyakavat makes a full attack with the weapon, it can make two extra attacks at its highest base attack bonus. This benefit is not cumulative with similar effects, such as haste.


Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or muster (3–6)
Treasure standard (+2 urumi, other treasure)

Shrew-faced rakshasas with a lust for physical combat, zalyakavats are spiritually and magically bound to their weapon of choice, the urumi. Fueling their whip-like swords with arcane power, they perform astonishing feats of martial prowess. To sate their lust for swordplay, zalyakavats continually seek opponents to challenge.

A zalyakavat stands 6 and a half feet tall and weighs around 170 pounds.

When the most ruthless and dishonorable of warriors dies in ignominy, their vile spirits are reborn as zalyakavats, usually to a rakshasa mother. Even in infancy, zalyakavats dream of slashing their enemies and drawing blood. In these dreams, they always wield an urumi, and zalyakavats become obsessed with the flexible blades as they mature.

As rakshasas, zalyakavats are selfish and powerhungry, but unlike many of their kind, they desire the thrill and frenzy of violent combat more than material wealth. They are not reckless, however, and use guile and magic to stack the odds in their favor.

Habitat and Society

Zalyakavats typically reside in urban areas, often maintaining homes or hideouts in several different cities. Their lairs are less opulent than those of many rakshasas, though still lavish by most humanoid standards. Individual zalyakavats have different and sometimes eccentric proclivities when it comes to selecting opponents, and they plan their guises accordingly. For example, a zalyakavat who prefers to victimize haughty nobles might operate as a silk merchant or purveyor of fine jewelry, while one who favors dueling with seasoned veterans might pose as a traveling noble to employ such men-at-arms as unsuspecting caravan guards. After slaying an opponent, a zalyakavat often plucks a valuable or gruesome trinket from the corpse to serve as a reminder of the encounter and as a decoration for one of its lairs.

Zalyakavats rarely interact with other types of rakshasas. When convenient or unavoidable, they might serve maharajas or rakshasa immortals as warriors or bodyguards, but a zalyakavat remains forever preoccupied with its desire for melee combat and is thus an unreliable soldier. On rare occasions, zalyakavats gather to participate in prearranged contests of arms. Zalyakavats almost never fight each other in these events, instead coercing or tricking unfortunate mortals into their hidden arenas to serve as opponents.

From plush divans surrounding the arena, zalyakavats watch each other take turns fighting the unlucky souls as entertainment.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #130: City in the Lion’s Eye © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Mikko Kallio, with Eleanor Ferron, Mike Headley, Joe Kondrak, Kalervo Oikarinen, and Liz Smith.

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