Arcanotrops the Awakened  

Posted by Spenser Isdahl in ,

Arcanotrops is my entry for the Obsidian Portal Giraffelich Stats & Art Contest.

This creature may once have been a giraffe, but now its grey fur, peeling flesh, and the arcane fire burning in its eyes say it is something entirely different. Strangely, the thing is made up in gaudy circus makeup, painted like a clown and dressed in sullied, once-vibrant cloth.
Awakened Giraffe Lich CR 15
XP 51,200
NE Huge undead (augmented animal) fighter 1/diviner 5/eldritch knight 7
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +40
AC 30, touch 17, flat-footed 24 (–2 size, +5 Dex, +7 armor, +6 natural, +3 deflection, +1 dodge)
hp 163 (6d8+18 plus 1d10+3 plus 5d6+15 plus 7d10+21 plus 19)
Fort +18, Ref +14, Will +12
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, rejuvenation; DR 15/bludgeoning and magic; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits
Speed 40 ft.
Melee touch +19 (1d8+9 negative energy plus paralyzing touch)
Special Attacks paralyzing touch (DC 22)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Tactics Arcanotrops is loath to enter combat without a few defensive spells cast, at the very least shield, but also likely displacement and fire shield; once in combat, he usually casts a few spells to hamper enemy movement, such as black tentacles or acid fog, then wades into combat using Greater Vital Strike, Power Attack, and Arcane Strike to deal a total of 4d8+88 negative energy damage with his touch attack.
Spells Prepared (CL 11th)
6th—acid fog, flesh to stone (DC 24), true seeing
5th—baleful polymorph (DC 23), cloudkill (DC 23), cone of cold (DC 23), prying eyes
4th—black tentacles, detect scrying (already cast), dimension door, fear (DC 22), fire shield, greater invisibility
3rd—arcane sight, displacement, fireball (DC 21) (2), fly, slow (DC 21), vampiric touch
2nd—detect thoughts, mirror image, resist energy*, scorching ray (2), see invisibility
1st—detect secret doors, identify, magic missile (2), shield*, true strike
0—detect magic, ghost sound (DC 18), mage hand, read magic
Opposition Schools abjuration, enchantment (marked with *)
Str 20, Dex 20, Con —, Int 26, Wis 18, Cha 16
Base Atk +16; CMB +23; CMD 38
Feats Arcane Armor Mastery, Arcane Armor Training, Arcane Strike, Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack, Scribe Scroll, Skill Focus (Perception), Spell Penetration, Toughness, Vital Strike
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +30, Knowledge (nature) +20, Knowledge (religion) +30, Perception +40, Sense Motive +31, Spellcraft +31, Stealth +27
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan
SQ arcane bond (ring), arcane school (divination), diverse training, forewarned
Environment any warm
Organization solitary, entourage (Arcanotrops plus 2–4 vampires), horde (Arcanotrops plus 6–36 zombies)
Treasure NPC (+3 chain barding, headband of mental prowess [Intelligence and Charisma] +2, ring of protection +3, belt of Dexterity +2, cloak of resistance +2, amulet of natural armor +1, gear)
Special Abilities
Arcane Bond (Su) Arcanotrops has chosen a bonded object (ring) for his arcane bond, selecting the iron shackle around his leg that remains from his circus days.
Arcane School Arcanotrops has chosen divination as his arcane school. Enchantment and Evocation are his opposition schools.
Fear Aura (Su) Creatures of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius that look at Arcanotrops must succeed on a Will save (DC 22) or become frightened. Creatures with 5 HD or more must succeed at a Will save (DC 22) or be shaken for 19 rounds. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by Arcanorops's aura for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
Diverse Training Arcanotrops adds his eldritch knight to his fighter level for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites for feats. He also adds his level to his wizard levels for the purpose of meeting the prerequisites for feats.
Diviner's Fortune (Sp) Arcanotrops can touch any creature as a standard action to give it a +2 insight bonus on all of its attack rolls, skill checks, ability checks, and saving throws for 1 round. He can use this ability 11/day.
Forewarned (Su) Arcanotrops can always act in the surprise round even if he fails to make a Perception roll to notice a foe, but he is still considered flat-footed until he takes an action. In addition, he receives a +2 bonus on initiative checks.
Paralyzing Touch (Su) Any living creature Arcanotrops hits with his touch attack must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 22) or be permanently paralyzed. Remove paralysis or any spell that can remove a curse can free the victim (see the bestow curse spell description, with a DC 22). The effect cannot be dispelled. Anyone paralyzed by Arcanotrops seems dead, though a DC 20 Perception check or a DC 15 Heal check reveals that the victim is still alive.

Arcanotrops was once a normal giraffe, born free under the harsh sun of the open plains. While still very young, he was captured and sold in a city market to a traveling circus, and spent many years living under harsh, oppressive conditions that his animal mind had even more trouble understanding than he later would. The carnival folk kept him chained at all times and would often paint and dress him as a clown and have him perform for their audiences. However, when the audiences weren't around, he was neglected and rarely fed properly.

While traveling one summer, an evil elven druid by the name of Ferion came across the carnival en route to its next destination, and took advantage of the remote location to slaughter the carnies and take the animals. Most of them he freed, but in Arcanotrops's sleepy eyes he saw something that inspired more. Ferion awakened Arcanotrops, meaning to bestow only a meager intelligence on the creature, but accidentally creating a genius the likes of which humanity rarely sees. This pleased Ferion even more for some time, seeing it as a reflection of his own power.

However, Arcanotrops was not pleased. He didn't like Ferion any better than his old masters, and at least with the carnies he sometimes got to please crowds. Ferion took him deep into the wilderness and usually treated him with just as much neglect as the carnies at their worst. Though Ferion tried to teach Arcanotrops the druidic arts, Arcanotrops refused, not wanting the partake in the same evil he saw in his vile companion. Instead, he learned to fend for himself, becoming violent and somewhat wild.

This refusal angered Ferion over time, and he probable would have killed Arcanotrops off had not a party of adventurers, led by a cousin of one of the carnies, come along and defeated Ferion in combat. The party wizard, a human named Selenia, felled Ferion with a volley of arcane energy, and Arcanotrops immediately desired to learn her power and revealed his intelligence to the adventurers. While they were hesitant at first, Selenia was intrigued and decided to help Arcanotrops learn the arcane arts. It was soon after than Arcanotrops took his name.

For decades Arcanotrops happily learned at Selenia's foot, becoming a powerful mage in his own right, though he was never much respected in scholarly circles except as a subject for examination and study. Unfortunately, when out on an adventure while Arcanotrops was studying some scrolls, Selenia and her party were killed by a dragon seeking the same magical artifact as they.

Crushed by his loss, Arcanotrop's misfortune was compounded when the scholarly mages immediately jumped on the chance to capture the 'genius giraffe' in Selenia's absence. Though powerful, Arcanotrops was no match for the other mages, and was subdued. They examined and experimented on him for some time until all but forgetting about him, locking him away in the deep recesses of their dungeons.

Arcanotrops remained there for some time, scratching arcane formulae on the stone walls of his cell and collecting baubles and arcane residue that leaked from above. Eventually, based mostly on vague tales in scholarly texts he'd read years ago, Arcanotrops constructed a phylactery and transformed into a lich.

Using his new powers, he managed to break free of his prison and escape the mages. He fled to a long-abandoned castle where he still lingers, picking off the occasional traveler or adventurer and growing in hatred for all humanoids with every passing year. His only true goal is to find a way to bring back his only master, Selenia, the only humanoid to treat him as an equal.

Arcanotrops's Spell Book
6th—acid fog, flesh to stone, true seeing
5th—baleful polymorph, cloudkill, cone of cold, polymorph, prying eyes
4th—animate dead, black tentacles, detect scrying, dimension door, fear, fire shield, greater invisibility, locate creature
3rd—arcane sight, displacement, fireball, fly, slow, vampiric touch
2nd—detect thoughts, mirror image, resist energy, scorching ray, see invisibility
1st—comprehend languages, detect secret doors, expeditious retreat, feather fall, grease, identify, mage armor, magic missile, protection from good, shield, true strike
0—all except abjurations and enchantments

This entry was posted on February 8, 2010 at Monday, February 08, 2010 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Just looking at the spell list makes me shiver. A True Seeing, Flying, Displaced, Mirror Imaged, Protected, Shielded, Greater Invisible Giraffe Lich.

February 8, 2010 at 5:40 PM

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