A palpable sense of despair clings to the rotting frame of this decaying man. Tears of blood run from his eye sockets, yet his expression is one of unquenched rage.
Herecite of Asmodeus CR 9
AC 24, touch 19, flat-footed 20 (+4 Dex, +5 natural, +5 profane)
hp 138 (12d8+84)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +11
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +6, profane insight; DR 10/good; Immune undead traits; SR 20 (24 vs. divine spells)
Speed 40 ft.
Melee +2 unholy heavy mace +19/+14 (1d8+10/19–20 plus faith-stealing strike), slam +12 (1d8+5 plus faithstealing strike) or 2 slams +17 (1d8+8 plus faith-stealing strike)
Special Attacks faith-stealing strike
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +15)
Constant—detect good, see invisibility
At will—burning hands (DC 16), disguise self
3/day—invisibility, produce flame, unholy blight (DC 19)
1/day—confusion (DC 19), fireball (DC 18), nondetection, wall of fire
Str 22, Dex 19, Con —, Int 14, Wis 9, Cha 21
Base Atk +9; CMB +15; CMD 34
Feats Combat Casting, Improved Initiative, Improved Iron Will, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Bluff +17, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (planes) +14, Knowledge (religion) +17, Perception +20, Sense Motive +14
Languages Common, Infernal
SQ cabal, herecite domains (Fire, Trickery), profane insight, unleash heresy
Multiple herecites can form a cabal to gain increased magical abilities and defenses. A cabal consists of two to five herecites. The ritual to form a cabal (or to welcome new herecites into an existing cabal) requires 24 hours of worship, prayer, and vile sacrifice, after which point the herecites become bound to the area in which the ritual was performed (this area can be no larger than one 50-foot cube per herecite in the cabal, to a maximum of five 50-foot cubes for a cabal of five herecites). If any one member of a herecite cabal leaves this area, it and all other herecites in the cabal lose all of the shared abilities granted by their cabal and they must perform the ritual once again to regain these abilities. All herecites in a cabal gain the spell-like abilities granted by each individual herecite’s domains (in the case of duplicate domains, no additional spell-like abilities are gained—most herecite cabals consist of herecites with individually different domains). All herecites in a cabal share one mind, can communicate telepathically, and gain a +4 bonus on initiative checks and Perception checks. If at least one herecite in a cabal disbelieves an illusion, all other herecites in the cabal are considered to disbelieve the illusion. If one herecite is aware of combatants, all other herecites in that cabal area also aware of those combatants, and if one member is injured or killed, all remaining herecites are aware of it. As long as the cabal exists, all herecites in the cabal gain fast healing 10.
A herecite’s very existence is an embodiment of desecration, and as such it exudes a 30-foot-radius aura of desecration. It and all undead within this area gain a +2 profane bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws, and the DC to resist negative channeled energy in the area increases by 6.
The herecite itself gains 2 hit points per Hit Die (+24 hit points for most herecites). All of these benefits are calculated into the above stats, and while they do not stack with those granted by desecrate spells, neither do they vanish if the herecite enters an area under the effect of a consecrate spell.
A nonevil divine spellcaster struck by a herecite’s slam attack or by its favored weapon must succeed at a DC 21 Will save or be unable to cast any divine spells for 1 round. Once a creature successfully saves, it is immune to further faith-stealing strikes from that particular herecite for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
A herecite is associated with one evil god, and is always of the same alignment as that god.
The herecite selects two domains granted by that god, gaining both domain’s 1st-level spells as at-will spell-like abilities, the 2nd-level spells as 3/day spell-like abilities, and the 3rd- and 4th-level spells as 1/day spell-like abilities. Inappropriate spells granted by domains, or spells that duplicate the herecite’s existing spell-like abilities, are replaced with inflict spells of the same level. For example, a herecite with access to Healing would swap out all four of its cure spells for the inflict versions, while a herecite with access to Glory would swap out bless weapon for inflict moderate wounds, searing light for inflict serious wounds, and holy smite for inflict critical wounds.
The herecite above is a herecite of Asmodeus with the Fire and Trickery domains. These spell-like abilities are in addition to the herecite’s base spell-like abilities (detect good, see invisibility, and unholy blight).
A herecite adds its Charisma bonus (+5 for most herecites) to its AC as a profane bonus. It is proficient with the favored weapon of its associated deity, and if it wields its deity’s favored weapon, that weapon gains the unholy weapon ability. Against divine spells, the herecite’s SR increases by 4.
When a herecite is destroyed, it explodes, dealing 3d6 negative energy damage to all creatures in a 30-foot radius (Reflex DC 21 half).
Organization solitary or cabal (2–5)
Treasure double (+2 heavy mace, other treasure)
Herecites are a particularly blasphemous form of undead created via an obscure ritual of sacrifice, wherein a priest of an evil god offers up at least five worshipers of a nonevil deity to her own deity. All of the sacrifices must worship the same deity. Upon the death of the sacrificed worshipers, their souls and bodies seethe and surge with negative energy, then melt away only to reform into a single entity—a herecite. Even the herecite’s appearance serves to support its heretical nature, for these foul creations always appear as undead versions of their prior god, even though now, in their new unlife, they are devoted worshipers of the god to whom they were sacrificed. Regardless of the size and shape of the worshipers sacrificed, or the mythological size of their prior deity, a herecite is a human-sized creature.
The ritual for the creation of a herecite is recorded in certain rare and blasphemous texts hidden away in dark libraries. It is known to exist in the Book of the Damned, and likely exists in texts associated with the Whispering Way, although that group finds herecites more of a curiosity than a viable addition to their ranks. The ritual itself often focuses on the torture and slaughter of young, inexperienced priests while a captured leader is forced to watch. The pain and anguish experienced by the enemy high priest as his acolytes are forcibly converted in undeath serves as the ritual’s catalyst. High priests driven mad or forced to lose their faith after witnessing such a ritual often rise again as huecuvas that then go on to gain levels as oracles of the ritual’s profane deity.
Herecites never take levels in cleric, for the ritual of their creation results in a tenuous awareness and an inability to profess such powerful faith in a deity ever again. Those who do train after their creation typically become sorcerers or witches.
Herecites, once created, typically remain as guardians by the temple responsible for their forced conversion.
In some cases, a lone herecite may wander from the site of its creation, especially if it loses its creator, but once a group of herecites forms a cabal, its members remain bound to that area for months, years, or even centuries—if they leave the area, the cabal is broken, and a new ritual must be performed in order to reaffirm their blasphemous faith. They have very little interest in their new lives save for the constant offering of blasphemous prayers to their new deity; these prayers often consist of warped versions of sacred chants and songs devoted to their prior faith.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #99: Dance of the Damned © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Richard Pett, with Stephanie Lorée, Michael McCarthy, Alistair Rigg, F. Wesley Schneider, and Todd Stewart.