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Azuki Arai

Azuki Arai
Azukiarai (小豆洗, A spirit that makes the sound of azuki beans being washed) from the Ehon Hyaku monogatari (絵本百物語)

A bent, dwarfish man stands by the side of the river, his clothing homespun and crude. He is mostly bald, with a few tufts of hair sticking up from his pate, and a patchy beard and mustache. He clutches a shallow wicker basket in his clawed, webbed hands and stares with yellow, bulging eyes.

Source Demiurge113
Orginally posted on Probing the Membrane of Science

Those that travel along the most remote forest streams report hearing the sound of beans being washed in the river, accompanied by eerie singing about catching and eating people. This song is sung by the azuki arai, a strange humanoid with mystical, musical powers.

Despite their traditional song involving the consumption of human flesh, azuki arai rarely eat the flesh of sentient creatures. Most of their diet consists of azuki beans, and azuki arai villages are often enshrouded in these vines. Almost all azuki arai are male, living either alone or in small communes on hidden islands or remote glens where they farm and weave. Azuki arai cloth and baskets are coarse and rough, but durable enough to last several human lifetimes.

Azuki arai are shy and retiring creatures that are more likely to flee from adventurers or even a lone wanderer than attack or converse. The one exception is when an azuki arai desires to mate. Female azuki arai, known as azuki baba, are vicious and cruel creatures that demand nuptial gifts of treasure and humanoid meat for the privilege. Normally peaceful azuki arai in a mating frenzy descend on remote villages and lone wanderers in order to obtain these trophies. Azuki baba are poor parents, leaving their babies to be cared for by the father until they reach adulthood.

Azuki Arai CR 3
XP 800

CN Small monstrous humanoid

Init +6; Senses low-light vision, Perception +4
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 13 (+1 size, +2 Dexterity, +2 natural)

hp 32 (5d10+5)

Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +3
Speed 20 ft., Swim 20 ft.

Melee 2 claws +8 (1d3), bite +8 (1d4)

Special Abilities confounding flourish, distracting song, sneak attack +1d6

Spell-like Abilities CL 5th, concentration +7

 At will – ghost sound (DC 12)

 3/day – invisibility, ventriloquism (DC 13)

1/day – scare (DC 14), sound burst (DC 14)

Strength 10, Dexterity 15, Constitution 12, Intelligence 9, Wisdom 11, Charisma 14

Base Atk +5; CMB +4; CMD 15

Feats Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse

Skills Climb +5, Craft (weaving) +7, Intimidate +6, Perception +4, Perform (sing) +3, Stealth +10, Survival +4, Swim +12; Racial Modifiers +4 Craft (weaving)

Languages Common

Special Qualities gifted musician
Environment temperate forests

Organization solitary, pair, clan (3-6) or tribe (8-32)

Treasure standard
Confounding Flourish (Su)

As a standard action when it is using its distracting song or bardic music, a azuki arai can unleash a pulse of disorienting sonic energy.
All creatures within 60 feet must succeed a DC 14 Fortitude save or fall prone. By using this ability, the azuki arai must end its distracting
song or bardic Performance. This is a sonic mind-influencing effect. The save DC is Charisma based.

Distracting Song (Su)

As a standard action, a azuki arai can begin to sing an eerie and unpleasant song that hinders those that hear it. All enemies of an
azuki arai that hear its distracting song take a -1 penalty on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls and saves against fear and charm for as long as the azuki arai continues to sing. An azuki arai can sing for as many rounds as a bard of his Hit Dice (12 rounds for a typical azuki arai) as a free action each round after the first. This is a language-dependent mind-influencing ability that requires verbal components.

Gifted Musician (Ex)

An azuki arai’s rounds of distracting song add to any duration of bardic music effects he gains when taking levels in the bard class.

Only about one in one hundred azuki arai are female, and these azuki baba are vicious and spiteful creatures. An azuki baba resembles a withered crone rather than a clownish old man, and they are much more likely to follow through on their sing-song threats. An azuki baba is an azuki arai with the advanced simple template and the ability to cast charm person 3 times per day as a spell-like ability. Azuki baba count as hags for the purposes of joining a coven- a coven containing at least one azuki arai loses the ability to cast bestow curse and can instead cast shout.

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