Em (3.5e NPC)
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|LN Gargantuan dragon (cold)|
|Init/Senses||+4/blindsense 60 ft., keen senses; Listen +45, Spot +45|
|Languages||Maridian, Mitter, Luskan, Khabarat, Vulici, Gutnisk, Or|
|AC||47, touch 11, flat-footed 47|
(-4 size, +5 ring of deflection +5, +36 natural)
|hp||459 (34 HD)|
|Speed||40 ft. (8 squares), fly 200 ft. (clumsy)|
|Melee||bite +42 (4d6+12), 2 claws +40 (2d8+6), 2 wings +40 (2d6+6), tail slap +40 (2d8+18)|
|Atk Options||crush 4d6+18, tail sweep 2d6+18|
|Special Actions||breath weapon, frightful presence, spells, spell-like abilities|
|Spells Known||(CL 15th):|
|Spell-Like Abilities||(CL 15th):|
|Abilities||Str 35, Dex 10, Con 25, Int 26, Wis 27, Cha 26|
|SQ||immunity to sleep, paralysis, acid and cold, cloudwalking, alternate form, vulnerability to fire, damage reduction 15/magic, spell resistance 29, blindsense 60 ft., keen senses|
|Feats||Blind-Fight, Empower Spell, Greater Spell Penetration, Heighten Spell, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor ×3, Lightning Reflexes, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Focus (knowledge), Spell Penetration|
|Skills||Bluff +45, Concentration +44, Craft (cartography) +45, Diplomacy +45, Disguise +45, Escape Artist +37, Forgery +45, Intimidate +45, Knowledge (history) +48, Listen +45, Search +45, Sense Motive +45, Spot +45, Use Magic Device +45|
|Possessions||ring of deflection +5, pale lavender ioun stone|
|Breath Weapon (Su)||Em has two types of breath weapon: a 60-foot cone of cold, once every 1d4 rounds, damage 20d8 cold, Reflex DC 34 half; or a 60-foot cone of paralyzing gas, once every 1d4 rounds, paralysis for 1d6+10 rounds, Fortitude DC 34 negates. The save DCs are Constitution-based.|
|Frightful Presence (Ex)||Em can unsettle foes with her mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever she attacks, charges, or flies overhead. Creatures within a radius of 300 feet are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD than Em. A potentially affected creature that succeeds on a DC 35 Will save remains immune to that dragon’s frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 4 or less HD become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more HD become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Dragons ignore the frightful presence of other dragons.|
|Crush (Ex)||This special attack allows a flying or jumping Em to land on opponents as a standard action, using her whole body to crush them. Crush attacks are effective only against opponents three or more size categories smaller than Em (though she can attempt normal overrun or grapple attacks against larger opponents).
A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under Em's body. Creatures in the affected area must succeed on a DC 34 Reflex save or be pinned, automatically taking bludgeoning damage during the next round unless she moves off them. If Em chooses to maintain the pin, treat it as a normal grapple attack. Pinned opponents take damage from the crush each round if they don’t escape.
A crush attack deals the indicated damage.
|Tail Sweep (Ex)||This special attack allows Em to sweep with her tail as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a radius of 30 feet, extending from an intersection on the edge of her space in any direction. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are four or more size categories smaller than Em. A tail sweep automatically deals the indicated damage. Affected creatures can attempt DC 34 Reflex saves to take half damage.|
|Alternate Form (Su)||Em can assume any animal or humanoid form of Medium size or smaller as a standard action three times per day. Em can remain in her animal or humanoid form until she chooses to assume a new one or return to her natural form.|
|Cloudwalking (Ex)||A silver dragon can tread on clouds or fog as though on solid ground. The ability functions continuously but can be negated or resumed at will.|
|Blindsense (Ex)||Em can pinpoint creatures within a distance of 60 feet. Opponents she can’t actually see still have total concealment against her.|
|Keen Senses (Ex)||Em sees four times as well a human in shadowy illumination and twice as well in normal light. She also has darkvision out to 120 feet.|
NOTE: Em is an NPC in the Years of Gold setting, and the entry reflects that. She should be easy enough to adapt to games and campaigns in other settings with only minor cosmetic changes.
In the prehistory of the world, before Auri forged the world anew, the future pantheon of Pansaer had to fight the rest of the great powers for dominance. The battle was fierce: the great titans fought their lesser kind as well as all sorts of primordial horrors and horrendous gods. One of them was a reptile monster, a coiling winged horror whose breath freezed and numbed. It entered melee with Luni, the moon titan, who managed to beat the reptile by encasing it in silver and burying it under Caragos Eavorn.
That held for the early years of the world, but the early days of the Conquering Years finally woke the creature from slumber. Perhaps it was the forging of the dwarven gates in Carag Vorn and Carag Maragos; in any case, the silver prison was broken, and out came the reptile, now shining like the precious material it was encased in. It dwelled below the mountain for a while, mad with anger at the gods who had scorned it so.
Finally it came out, dressing itself in the form of a dwarf, the only sentient race it had met. But when it wandered in the world, wearing the form of those it dwelled among, something awoke in it. A want. A desire. These little creatures, mortals who lived no longer than a blink, had cultures! Histories! And music, oh the music! The things it had once thought pathetic were, in a very important way, more than it had ever been.
It wanted... she wanted to be one of them.
The creature clad itself into a human form, for they were the most common among the races, and took to calling itself Em, after the letter. Why, she'd never say, even if someone knew to ask: perhaps it carried some primordial meaning, or she just liked the sound.
She studied the young races, and after long years of thorough research, she decided that being a historian is what she wanted to concentrate on. There was much wisdom about how the world was, but much less about how it had been. Of the mortal sentients, only dwarves seemed truly vested in maintaining score of what took place in the past, and even their memory reached nowhere near as far as Em's. She began her life's work: the Reckoning, a perfect timeline of the world from the beginning of the age to this moment. The timeline claims that Year 0 is the moment when the world was forged anew, but it actually marks the precise moment Em was imprisoned - a touch of pride is very mortal, Em thinks.
Appearance and personality
|This unassuming woman is one of|
the oldest beings in Pansaer.
Em spends almost all of her time in her human form, and has long considered it her true form. And perhaps she's right: who's to say she has to remain the primordial worm she was born as? The human shape, one of many mortal guises, is 6' 6'', a considerable height, and she weighs 175 lb. She retains some of the pride of her godly days, and all the inherited pride that seems so inherent to mortals, so she makes her mortal guise a gorgeous one. Never so beautiful as to garner unwanted attention, however. Her mouth often has a very recognizable pout, as if she is constantly slightly peeved about something.
Em dresses in clothes of exquisite make that nonetheless can stand the harshness of the road. She travels constantly, usually to someone or something that can fill in on some historical minutiae. Em has a sharp voice that she's not afraid to use, and is incredibly knowledgeable about matters both current and ancient. She has a habit of engaging people in conversation about the specifics of some far-off culture that doesn't exist anymore, then getting offended when her interlocutor can't keep up.
Her dragon form is a terrifying sight: a vast, legless worm of pure, blinding silver, with massive wings and a hideous, lamprey-like jaw. The dragon form has no eyes but seems to see all, and speaks in a voice that buzzes like thousands and thousands of hideous insects. It's incredibly rare that she assumes this form, however: for one, she dislikes it, and in any case the opportunity rarely presents itself. Em carefully avoids wearing silver jewelery (her magical ring is brass); you can never be too careful.
A few words more could be said about Em's name, or indeed names. As a woman of a thousand forms, Em has an equal number of names at her disposal. She only ever uses "Em" with extremely close associates and as a pen-name in her publications, where it can do her little harm. Many (but not all) of her alterate monikers start with M, and include Marianne, Moldowe, Emmanuelle and Maini.
Followers and allies
As a woman constantly on the move and with a penchant for solitude, Em doesn't have any followers per se. While she does travel with others when the occasion presents itself (as long as the companions are intelligent enough to keep up with her discourse), these are temporary affairs. She doesn't see the point of deeper relationships of the romantic or sexual nature.
What Em does have, however, is people who owe her. Em has as many aliases and alternate forms as there are stars in the sky, and each and every one of them has someone dependent on her wisdom. Librarians, historians, wizards and warlords across the continent pale at the mention of the woman with the pout. If need be, Em could probably sway armies to her cause. She never would, however: she's an observer, not a mover.
Recent activity and plans
Em's current plan is the one she's had for thousands of years now: perfect the Reckoning with ever more accurate dates, complex annexes and family trees. It's all she's wants to do, and it would take quite a crisis to draw her attention away from it. However, if something were to threaten the whole world, she might be moved to action. You can't chronicle the history of a world that doesn't exist.
The first response Em has to all combat is to leave the situation - not because of fear, but rather out of disinterest. She uses greater teleport as the spell of choice for this, but if she's unable to, sanctuary doubles as back-up. It'd be very hard to try and stop her even if she were to escape by more mundane means: waves of fatigue and hold monster make short work of pursuers.
If someone manages to force her to fight, usually by cornering her when she can't teleport away or by making her remarkably angry, she doesn't hold back. She uses her most powerful spells immediately to end the fight quickly. This means foes are pelted with destruction, empowered lightning bolts and insect plague, with her in a strategically valid position. If she has the time, she has her host of protective spells ready (note that as a genius, her spell immunity almost always protects her against the most dangerous spells the foe could throw at her). She makes sure no one can get too close to her with blade barrier.
She hasn't fought anyone in her dragon form since the dawn of time, so there's no telling how she'd fight in it. It's probably in people's best interests not to drive her to it.