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Walcofinde

The torso of a humanoid figure with jagged claws extends outward from a wall, its features patterned with the texture of the structure around it.

Walcofinde CR 2 (XP 600)

NE Medium undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +6

DEFENSE

AC 14, touch 11, flat-footed 13 (+1 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +4
Immune undead traits

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +4 (1d4+2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with claws while using structural possession)

STATISTICS

Str 14, Dex 12, Con —, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 15
Base Atk +2; CMB +4; CMD 15
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Climb +6, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (engineering) +1, Perception +6, Stealth +6
Languages Common
SQ isolated restoration, structural possession

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Isolated Restoration (Su)

A walcofinde in a sealed chamber, such as one closed with locked doors and windows, regains 1 hit point every hour. If the chamber is fully enclosed, with no intentional methods of exit, the walcofinde instead regains 3 hit points every hour.

Structural Possession (Su)

As a full-round action, a walcofinde adjacent to a wall in a sealed chamber can merge part of itself with that wall. For as long as it maintains physical contact with a portion of the wall, the walcofinde can manifest through any part of that wall within 100 feet, including the opposite side of the wall.

A walcofinde’s manifestation occupies the same space as a 5-foot-long portion of the wall, appearing as if its torso were emerging from the wall but with the texture of the wall (such as wood or stone) instead of its normal decayed flesh. It cannot manifest from broken areas of a wall, nor can this manifestation separate from the wall at any time. The walcofinde can perceive creatures with all of its senses through this manifestation, and the manifestation can make claw attacks against creatures within 10 feet of the portion of wall from which it is manifested. As a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity, the manifestation can reposition itself along this wall at a maximum speed of 15 feet per round. The manifestation can be attacked as though such attacks targeted the walcofinde, but it gains a +2 bonus to its AC due to partial cover from the wall it occupies.

While using this ability, the walcofinde is helpless. It can cease its manifestation as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity from creatures threatening either the manifestation or the walcofinde.

If a walcofinde using this ability is moved 10 or more feet away from the wall it has merged with, it takes 1d8 points of damage and its manifestation immediately disappears. If the walcofinde is killed, its manifested body is immediately reabsorbed into the possessed wall.

ECOLOGY

Environment any underground
Organization solitary or immurement (2–8)
Treasure none

Similar to the undead monstrosities known as immured, walcofindes are pitiful undead creatures that manifest when a living being is sealed within a structure and perishes there. These unquiet dead often rise after having been intentionally walled into a structure. This process is what many have attributed its name to, with some treatises on undead referring to them as “wall-coffined.” While both walcofindes and immured form from humanoids who were either sealed within a wall or victims of a collapse, their divergent abilities have led scholars of the undead to posit why the differences manifested as they have. Immured have the ability to displace life-giving oxygen, suggesting they perished through suffocation while trapped. Walcofindes, instead, ultimately succumbed to death by starvation while trapped. These latter transformed undead resemble the decayed appearance of zombies, albeit with vicious bony claws—the result of desperate escape attempts prior to the starvation that ultimately sealed their demise. It is rare for other creatures to ever see a walcofinde’s true appearance, as these undead most often harry the living by possessing nearby walls.

Ecology

Most adventurers stumble upon a walcofinde as it manifests from nearby walls, using its structural possession ability to move beyond its sealed chamber and unleash its rage against creatures traversing halls or caverns it possesses. In this manifested form, the walcofinde takes on the texture of the structure it possesses, appearing with the shape it had in life but made from stone, wood, or whatever substance makes up the wall from which it emerges.

A walcofinde’s structural possession ability is its primary means of movement and interaction with the outside world. The walcofinde positions itself adjacent to a wall within its chamber and then touches the wall with both claws, entering a trance wherein it possesses and manifests along the wall. Prior to its death, a creature destined to become a walcofinde often succumbs to the basest, most desperate attempts to escape its imprisonment. Desperately clawing at walls reduces the creature’s fingers to ragged stumps of jagged and sharpened bone. To assist in its murderous capabilities, a walcofinde possessing a structure can elongate its vicious clawed arms while manifesting from a wall to strike foes who might have thought themselves safe.

Those startled by the sudden appearance of a walcofinde often believe the undead has the same structural makeup as the wall it emerges from, but the walcofinde receives only minor protection from the nearby terrain, and its manifested form is almost as vulnerable as its true body. In fact, defeating a walcofinde’s manifested form also destroys the undead.

Because of this, a walcofinde often retreats from combat, rather than risk destruction. The fact that a walcofinde exhibits supernaturally expedited healing while within sealed chambers likewise encourages a hit-and-run style of punishing intruders.

Habitat And Society

For a walcofinde to rise, a living creature must die while trapped in a walled-in chamber.

Sometimes this can be as mundane as a group of miners trapped in a collapse. In some cultures, immurement is a sign of favor, and rising as a walcofinde is considered a gift from the heavens that enables the creature to continue defending a site in death. Most often, though, this grisly event occurs during a construction project where secrecy is paramount and workers involved with important portions of the construction are intentionally trapped within the edifice.

The often-flawed logic behind this method of murder is to prevent the bodies from ever being exhumed and interrogated.

Due to its relatively intact intelligence, a walcofinde can understand enemy tactics and even recognize different threats based on its observations over time. Many walcofindes are cunning enough to assess the appearance and equipment of their foes, allowing them to prioritize targets.

As with most undead, a walcofinde endeavors to slay divine spellcasters as quickly as possible. Because of the effort required to cease manifesting, a walcofinde knows that it is particularly vulnerable to channeled positive energy, so it often hides in order to surprise intruders in an opening assault before foes with such abilities can act.

Humans are the most populous progenitor species for walcofindes, simply a result of humanity’s high population. After humans, dwarves and halflings are the most frequently encountered varieties of walcofindes.

Some old dwarven rituals required fortresses to be regularly fortified by walcofindes at regular intervals—hundreds died to fuel these depraved rituals. Conversely, halfling variants (walcofindes with the young creature simple template) are found in ruins of many empires, having died while serving as slave labor in construction efforts.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #127: Crownfall © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Thurston Hillman, with Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, and Adrian Ng.