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Lythirium

This wolflike creature’s body is composed of thick vines, fine vegetation that almost resembles fur, and enormous thorns. Its eyes shine with a green glow, and prickly vines cover the immense, antlerlike growths on its head.

Lythirium CR 11

Source Pathfinder #105: The Inferno Gate pg. 86
XP 12,800
NG Large plant
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +22

Defense

AC 26, touch 14, flat-footed 21 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 136 (16d8+64)
Fort +14, Ref +11, Will +8
Immune plant traits; Resist cold 10
Weaknesses vulnerable to fire

Offense

Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +21 (2d8+9 plus rampant growth), bite +21 (2d8+9)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks powerful charge (gore, 4d8+13), rampant growth
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th; concentration +15)
Constant—speak with plants
At will—detect evil
3/day—command plants (DC 16)
1/day—tree stride, wall of thorns

Statistics

Str 28, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 15
Base Atk +12; CMB +22; CMD 37
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Focus (gore)
Skills Acrobatics +8 (+12 when jumping), Diplomacy +10, Intimidate +10, Knowledge (nature) +5, Perception +22, Sense Motive +7, Stealth +5, Survival +5; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ thorny body, verdant glide

Ecology

Environment cold or temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, or pack
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Rampant Growth (Ex) A lythirium’s antlers teem with constantly growing thorny vines that can entangle creatures and make them bleed. When a lythirium hits a creature with its gore attack, that creature is entangled for 1d4 rounds and takes 1d6 points of bleed damage. A successful DC 22 Reflex saving throw negates the entangled condition and reduces the bleed damage to 1d3 points. The save is Constitution-based.

Thorny Body (Ex) A creature that strikes a lythirium with a natural weapon or an unarmed strike takes 2d8 points of piercing damage and is exposed to the lythirium’s rampant growth. A creature that successfully grapples a lythirium takes 2d8 points of damage and is exposed to its rampant growth at the start of the grapple each round it maintains the grapple.

Verdant Glide (Ex) A lythirium can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. It ignores any magically manipulated overgrowth with thorns, briars, or other natural growth that would normally impede its motion.

Savage hunters of those who would harm their habitats, lythiriums prowl Golarion’s densest forests, seeking to protect the wild, untouched natural growth they hold sacred. While they have lived on the Material Plane for millennia, lythiriums are actually descended from primordial beasts native to the First World—creatures that fused plant and animal so seamlessly they seemed both and neither simultaneously. Peering out of seedpod eyes that radiate a soft green glow, lythiriums have exceptionally keen senses; they are not shy about preserving their forests, and they deliver their warnings in rasping voices reminiscent of leaves blowing across the earth.

At its haunches, a lythirium measures 6 feet in height, with thorns, vines, and flowering blossoms inching ever higher. Its massive body is a matrix of vines, roots, and fine, furry moss and lichens. Immense branches shape its powerful chest and limbs. From thorny head to tail, a lythirium measures 9 feet in length; it can weigh as much as 900 pounds.

Ecology

Scholars believe the first lythiriums wandered onto Golarion through a breach to the First World in the nation now known as Kyonin or through a long-healed breach in the Barrowood or Whisperwood in what is now Cheliax (though the latter is considered less likely). Lythiriums’ First World progenitors are believed to have been even more massive than the beasts that exist today. Most posit that they had even stranger physical qualities than do Golarion’s lythiriums, such as the ability to infuse victims of their gore attacks with various poisons or diseases. The folktales that tell of such creatures in the First World are ancient and contradictory indeed, but one detail never wavers: these creatures were always said to take the forms of antler-bearing wolves, and to have senses appropriate to such pack hunters, despite having features of both elks and plants. These tales have died out among modern peoples, though, leading scholars to believe that—for whatever reason—lythiriums native to the First World no longer exist. However, the creatures’ descendants live on in the densest forests of Golarion, patrolling their territories and acting as friends and allies to those who share their goals of keeping forests safe.

Perhaps owing to their odd origins on the First World, lythiriums have a strange physiology. Foliage and reedy roots intertwine to form the creatures’ shape and size, and their central roots pump greenish, saplike fluid throughout their bodies. The small seedpods that constitute a lythirium’s eyes are opaque, fluid-filled sacs that emit a greenish glow. These give the creatures sharp vision, even in the dimmest light. In extreme darkness, the pod-eyes extend outward from the sockets like antennae, and sense subtle vibrations in the air. This allows lythiriums to see even in total darkness.

Lythiriums survive by absorbing sunlight through their leaves and by scavenging the meat of animals that died naturally. However, despite their canine appearances, lythiriums don’t hunt creatures for food, and kill only if they are attacked first.

Habitat and Society

Considering their immense size, lythiriums are able to move swiftly through the underbrush and foliage of the forested regions they inhabit. Though their native habitats are full of thick, dense forest that would impede the movement of any other beast of a similarly bulky size, lythiriums’ unique ability to pass through plants unhindered enables them to continue their unyielding hunts against those who would harm their homes. It also ensures that they can use their own nature-manipulating abilities without being negatively affected themselves.

When the season changes and temperatures drop, lythiriums’ colors deepen to fiery red, burnt orange, and plum. Their leaves begin to fall as winter approaches, and lone lythiriums seek out caves or other sheltered places in which to hibernate during the winter, when they go dormant.

Perhaps driven by instincts their kind developed on the First World, lythiriums often seek out wolf companions and sometimes even attempt to supplant an entire pack’s hierarchy. Despite their peaceful nature, though, lythiriums are shunned by most wolf packs because of their disturbing appearance and pungent scent of earth and vegetation, which wolves tend to find both strange and unappealing.

Lythiriums are rare and seldom encounter others of their kind. When chance meetings occur, lythiriums bond quickly. Although they seek to dominate the few wolf packs that accept them, lythiriums are remarkably egalitarian when living among their own. They have a complex communication system ranging from barks and whines to growls and howls, all tinged with the sound of rustling leaves.

While in its territory, a lythirium assists good-aligned adventurers and creatures against evil foes when it sees such fights break out. If adventurers approach a lythirium respectfully with news of threats against its territory, the creature does whatever is necessary to help end the menace. Lythiriums’ intelligence and protective nature make them useful confederates for good fey creatures, though they also usually consider elves and gnomes to be natural allies.

Though the dense terrain in which lythiriums live is enough to keep most intruders away, they constantly patrol their surroundings. A lythirium’s vigilance grows if virtuous folk make their homes within its territory. Many communities of forestdwelling elves refer to lythiriums as vinewolves and usually welcome their presence when settling a new region, going as far as to hollow out dead, massive trees in the hope that lythiriums might hibernate nearby and protect them.