Monday, December 9, 2013
Ragossa (Monsters of the Kalaramar Drifts)
They cast no shadow. They make almost no noise. They have no eyes, yet they discern many things other beings overlook or are incapable of apprehending. The Ragossa are proud of this ability. It almost makes up for their innate illiteracy. They cannot read any form of writing whatsoever. They are incapable of learning how to read, despite incredible innate magical gifts and their peculiar form of Paratemporal Awareness that allows them to discern events and occurrences across dozens of alternate timelines at once. It is for this reason that the Ragossa hold a particular grudge against any who flaunt their ability to read before them. It is also the root of their intense hatred of magical scrolls, spell books and grimoires.
Ragossa consume the sapience and special abilities of any magical item or weapon they wield for more than an hour. The bonuses to hit/damage remain intact, but all else is drained away and lost permanently. But the Ragossa are unable to affect scrolls or other written forms of magic, from which they can draw no sustenance, so they attempt to destroy such things at every opportunity.
A Ragossa should never be summoned unless the conjurer wishes to part with a substantial amount of their personal library. These beings are notoriously greedy in their need to despoil books of magic. All other literature is dull and worthless to them and thus ignored.
The favored tactic of a Ragossa is to lurk in the shadows and observe its prey at a distance. They will use Clairvoyance to learn what they can, then they will select one or more victims to duplicate through use of their Clone spell, using Duplicate Weapon to properly equip them. They will then direct the clones against their originals using Telepathy. If the clones defeat the originals, they will be allowed to take over the identities they've earned. The Ragossa will use its Telepathy to transfer most of the original's memories over to the new clone, a process requiring a Save to avoid insanity. If the clones are defeated, the Ragossa must make a Morale check (-2 for each clone defeated). If they do not flee (using Passwall, Levitate, etc.), the Ragossa will play its trump card spell, Conjure Paratemproal Surrogate, and summon forth a version of the strongest remaining opponent from an alternate timeline. If the Paratemporal Surrogate defeats the original character, it will have the option to swap places with them. If the Paratemporal Surrogate is defeated, the Ragossa will flee.
Ragossa's will always consider an offer to parley if it is backed-up with an offer of magical scrolls or spell books that it can destroy, or magical items it can drain. It is a special weakness in their character that numerous adventurers have exploited to avoid unnecessary hostilities and unpleasantries.