Thursday, November 7, 2013

[New ACKS Demon] Szofika

Fans of Exalted will probably recognize at least the inspiration for Szofika.

Szofika, the Standard-Flute, Demon of Naar-Lomion
Lair: None
Dungeon: Solitary (1) 
Wilderness: Solitary (1)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: Special
AC: 8
Hit Dice: 10***
Attacks: 4
Damage: 1d6+5 x4
Save: F8
Morale: +4
TT: Special
XP: 2,950

Szofika appears a dark-skinned woman with long, red hair done into braids and woven with bells. What few garments Szofika wears are bright blue, and her swords are curved bronze razors. Perceptive foes will notice that her fingers and toes each bear an extra joint. Upon her back is a tall back-banner of featureless blue, the stave of which is carved with fluted holes which whistle eerily in the wind. When she moves within the world, there is a heartbeat-drumming of the very air itself, keeping time with her movements.

When summoned, a great crack will be heard and the ceremonial flame will burn blue, followed 1 round later by the silhouette of a dancing form. Upon the third round, Szofika's retinue will appear around the flame. On the fourth round, the retinue begins to play their instruments, and during the fifth round, Szofika appears in the flesh, still dancing. On the sixth round, the flame dissipates and Szofika is fully within the world. If her summoner has spoken a name during this summons, Szofika shall hunt them unto the ends of the earth. Otherwise, she will choose a target of her own volition (rarely the summoner).

Szofika's retinue initially consists of the re-embodied ghosts of 3d4 extremely Chaotic berserkers. Each wears nothing but a blue-dyed loincloth, and bears either (75%) a bronze two-handed sword, or (25%) a flute-standard topped by a blue banner and a bronze mace. Each also carries a drum, flute, or bagpipe. Every turn, another berserker appears in the steam footprints left in Szofika's wake, until a full complement of 12 is achieved. If any berserker is slain, they will reappear following the same rules.

Szofika can track a target unerringly, and must when summoned. The sound of her flutes, the instruments of her retinue, and the howling of her back banner is so uncanny that most listeners are driven into that primal fear normally reserved for death itself-  this causes the bane effect (the reverse of the bless spell) to all who can hear (typically, a range of about a half a mile).

Szofika cannot lose a foe which she has chosen to track. She and her retinue will always move 30' per round faster than her foe's fastest movement type. If a foe teleports away from the huntress, Szofika's retinue will instantly turn on one another, slaying until they disappear into white ash, while she herself disappears in flame, to reappear within 1 mile of her foe. Her retinue will reform as given above. Szofika can swim as fast as she can walk, and can walk upon the surface of the sea if she so chooses. A creature which can fly indefinitely might remain safe from Szofika's ire.When Szofika catches up to her foe, and defeats them, she will devour their bones while her retinue consumes their flesh. Once this is done, Szofika is free to act as she pleases in the real world for a span of 66 hours. This typically involves finding and consummating demonic trysts, in order to engender the creation of corrupted children. Szofika is as able to impregnate a woman as she is to be impregnated by a man.

Each of Szofika's swords, in her hands, deals 1d6+5 damage and is treated as a +2 weapon. She is inhumanly fast, and may attack twice per round with each sword. Szofika cannot be harmed by nonmagical weapons, nor can she be affected by spells of 1st level. She cannot have her ability to move reduced or removed through any known means. Szofika regenerates 1d4+1 hit points per round during any round in which she does not attack.

In the unlikely event Szofika is defeated, her body bursts into flames, dealing 5d6 damage in a 10' radius, and her swords crumble away into slag. Szofika's bells, however, remain. They are made of orichalcum, and each of the thirty is worth 200 gold. Her heart, too, remains, a flawed sapphire worth 500 gp. Szofika then returns to Naar-Lomion.

The Summoning of Szofika
A desperate or vengeful sorcerer (who must be an arcane or divine caster of at least 9th level) may summon Szofika by preparing a ceremony worth 5,000 gp, then sacrificing 1 point each of Constitution and Wisdom permanently. A sapphire worth at least 2,000 gp (for a total of 7,000 gp) is banked within the rare oils and woods of the fire, and will function as Szofika's heart. The fire will cause the gem to crack, releasing the demon spirit into the world. The sacrifices to Szofika forever mark the summoner- his eyes turn deep blue, or his hair turns red, or the sound of far-off drums can be heard when he moves.

The Worship of Szofika
There are some Chaotic bladedancers who see Szofika as the greatest expression of their order. These bladedancers may choose Apostasy, replacing angelic choir with summon berserkers, charm animal with uncanny gyration, winged flight with haste, and restore life and limb with teleport.

Standard-Flute of Summoning
This magic item appears to be a standard pole, designed to be swung through the air with a banner atop it. Any character may attach their own heraldry to the banner, if such a thing exists, or may attach a flag of solid color. If found, it likely has a plain blue flag.
The wielder may sacrifice 1d4 hp to the standard in order to cast the summon berserkers spell. They may do so once per day. If the summoner is lawful, the berserkers will remain for 1d4 rounds after the end of the spell, but will be hostile to the summoner.

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