This titanic earthen creature is humanoid-shaped with a hunched, pugnacious posture. The enormous hump of its back bears a ring of standing stones that crackle faintly with energy.
Zarxorin CR 19
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +36 (6d8+16 plus grab), 2 slams +36 (4d6+16/19–20)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks joggle, menhir focus pool, swallow whole (6d8+24 bludgeoning damage, AC 30, 70 hp), trample (4d6+24, DC 40)
Str 42, Dex 10, Con 25, Int 7, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +28; CMB +52 (+56 bull rush, grapple); CMD 62 (64 vs. bull rush)
Feats Awesome Blow, Cleave, Critical Focus, Great Cleave, Great Fortitude, Greater Bull Rush, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Lunge, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Stealth), Staggering Critical
Skills Appraise +29, Intimidate +31, Perception +31, Stealth +21 (+29 in rocky terrain); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in rocky terrain
SQ freeze, hill retreat, stony stomach
A zarxorin that has used its hill retreat ability appears to be a large earthen mound with a ring of standing stones around its crown, and it can take 20 on its Stealth check to hide in plain sight as a hill or rock. A zarxorin that has spent at least 10 years within its hill becomes covered with vegetation and nests for wildlife, gaining an additional +10 bonus on this Stealth check until it ends its hill retreat.
Hill Retreat (Ex)
As a move action, a zarxorin can withdraw its body into the hump on its back to protect itself from danger and increase its connection to deep power within the earth.
The zarxorin gains a +8 bonus on saving throws and to CMD against drag, bull rush, pull, or push attempts and against any other effect that would physically move it from its position. The zarxorin also gains a +8 enhancement bonus to its natural armor, although this benefit does not apply against attacks made by creatures that the zarxorin has swallowed whole. While in its hill retreat, a zarxorin cannot take any action except to end the retreat or to use its joggle ability. The zarxorin recovers 1 point in its menhir focus pool for each year it spends using this ability. The zarxorin can end its retreat as a move action.
As a full-round action, a zarxorin can rapidly shake its bulk to scatter its foes and churn the ground; all creatures in the zarxorin’s space or adjacent to it that are at least three sizes smaller than the zarxorin take 5d6 points of bludgeoning damage (Reflex DC 40 negates); creatures that take damage from the zarxorin’s joggle are pushed to the nearest unoccupied square and fall prone. The zarxorin’s space and all adjacent spaces thereafter become difficult terrain. The save DC is Strength-based.
Menhir Focus Pool (Su)
The standing stones on a zarxorin’s back gather latent power from the earth into a menhir focus pool that the zarxorin can use to create a variety of powerful effects. The pool contains a maximum number of points equal to the zarxorin’s Hit Dice (28 for most zarxorins), although a zarxorin is typically encountered with only 1d10+10 points in its menhir focus pool due to the slow rate at which they are recovered. A zarxorin can spend these points as noted below, but cannot spend more than 2 points from its menhir focus pool each round.
A zarxorin can recover points in its menhir focus pool only through use of its hill retreat ability. The save DCs are Strength-based.
- As a free action, a zarxorin can expend 1 point from its menhir focus pool when it strikes an opponent with a slam attack to stun the opponent for 1d6 rounds (Fortitude DC 40 reduces the duration of the stun effect to only 1 round).
- As a swift action, a zarxorin can expend 1 point from its menhir focus pool to calcify a creature that it has swallowed whole, as per flesh to stone (Fortitude DC 40 negates).
- As a move action, a zarxorin can spend 2 points from its menhir focus pool to unleash a blast of power that deals 20d6 points of electricity damage to all creatures in a 300-foot-radius burst (Reflex DC 40 half) other than the zarxorin; creatures that take damage from this effect are slowed (as per the slow spell) for 1d6 rounds.
Stony Stomach (Ex)
A zarxorin’s stony interior makes it difficult for creatures it has swallowed to escape. Its stomach gains a +4 bonus to AC and has double the normal hit points when determining the success of a creature attempting to cut its way free.
Environment any hills or underground (Plane of Earth)
A zarxorin is an immense, humanoid-shaped elemental with a vast hummock of rock and earth across its back like an enormous shell. Several weathered menhirs protrude from its back, resembling a circle of standing stones. The creatures are prone to long bouts of hibernation, during which they connect to the ley lines and energy sources of the deep earth and slowly gather power in their standing stones. A hibernating zarxorin is often mistaken for a hill, its standing stones believed to be evidence of some ancient, sacred site. Humanoids can live peacefully near one of these “druid hills” for decades, only to be flabbergasted when the hill suddenly rises up and lumbers away.
Zarxorins engage in short stretches of exploration between their long rests, treading doggedly across mountain ranges or through underground caverns. They are by nature pugnacious, likely to swat away anyone in their path, and they rarely back down from a fight.
Although zarxorins have no need to eat, they have a vast, stony stomach and can swallow smaller creatures whole, grinding them up within their cavernous bellies.
A zarxorin is 75 feet tall and weighs more than 10,000 tons.
They prefer to inhabit hilly regions on the surface or massive caverns underground, where their titanic bulk can nestle within sunken valleys along ley lines.
Zarxorins pull their bodies into the massive humps on their backs to rest, becoming indistinguishable from an ordinary hill capped with standing stones. When in this pose, zarxorins feel a peaceful connection to the energy sources that flow deep within the earth, restoring their energy. Once the zarxorin can draw no more energy—often after decades—it rises up to find a new resting place.
Although its heavy tread shakes the ground, knocking over trees and setting rockslides in motion, a zarxorin has very little further impact on its environment. While at rest, it serves as a place for plants to root and animals to nest; when it wakes, it simply shakes these creatures off before moving on. Despite featuring an enormous mouth with jagged stones for teeth and a belly filled with grinding rocks, a zarxorin does not need food and generally only swallows troublesome attackers who won’t get out of its way or who wake it from hibernation.
An angry zarxorin can discharge the energy stored within its back-menhirs against its foes, either by channeling power through its stony body or by blasting the energy through the air. A zarxorin’s menhirs cannot be removed without causing the creature great pain, as with pulling a healthy tooth, but they grow back after several centuries if removed.
Zarxorins are effectively immortal, and some have been wandering for millennia.
Habitat and Society
Zarxorins prefer to be left alone, particularly while they are hibernating. Despite their connection to ley lines and natural forces, zarxorins feel no particular connection to druids, shamans, or powerful nature spirits. When zarxorins encounter one another, they share stories of their travels slowly, over many days, and then depart peacefully. Zarxorins are not particularly bright, and might be convinced to ally with another creature in exchange for directions to a magic-rich place to rest. They are generally too powerful to fear any other creatures, but great elemental rulers have been known to bully zarxorins into temporary service, creating an army of towering hills.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #120: Vault of the Onyx Citadel © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Larry Wilhelm, with Paris Crenshaw, Crystal Frasier, Tim Hitchcock, Kalervo Oikarinen, and Greg A. Vaughan.