Ophiduan, Hominis Caste (Delphyne)
This is fan-created conversion.
She is called the Pythia because when Apollo was young he killed the chthonic serpent Python, and his wife, Pythia, who lived beside the Castalian Spring Python had attempted to rape Leto while she was pregnant with Apollo and Artemis. The bodies of the pair were draped around his Rod, which, with the wings created the caduceus symbolic of the God.”
These serpents lived underground. Near Delphi, there is a fissure vented from Hades and those vapors that give the Oracle her visions.
“This spring flowed towards the temple but disappeared beneath, creating a cleft which emitted vapors that caused the Oracle at Delphi to give her prophesies. Apollo killed Python but had to be punished for it, since Python was a child of Gaia. The shrine dedicated to Apollo was originally dedicated to Gaia.
There you have it–the Delphic Sibyl is the Pythia. In fact, there are several names for her: Pythia, Herophile and Delphica.
Since the Shrine at Delphi originally belonged to Gaia (who was driven underground), her attendants have fled underground as well. As well as her original snake cultists attendants that have changed over time due to the vapors.
Gaia’s daughter, Echidna (“Mother of All Monsters) was described as “half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth.” Thus, it would seem that snakes are sacred to Gaia.
Some of the Pythia’s priestesses and attendants are human looking and the more snakelike creatures live deeper underground. Some of them might have converted when Apollo took over the shrine while the rest fled underground.
The individual before you might pass for human, were it not for the supple scales that make up her skin. Her eyes are dark and unblinking, her features gaunt, her teeth unusually sharp. A dark shock of hair begins at a widow’s peak at her forehead, and flows down her neck and back.
|Ophiduan, Hominis Caste CR 5|
CE Medium monstrous humanoid (reptilian)
Init +6; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Scent; Perception +15
|AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +2 Dexterity, +1 Dodge, +2 natural)|
hp 45 (7d10+7)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +10
Defensive Abilities immune to poison; SR 18
|Speed 30 ft.|
Melee masterwork Spiked Chain +10/+5 (2d4+1)
Ranged masterwork longbow +10/+5 (1d8/x3)
Special Attacks command serpents, ophidiophobia
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
At will – alter self
3/day – entangle (DC 15), hypnotism (DC 15), sleep (DC 15)
1/day – charm monster (DC 18), deeper darkness, freedom of movement
|Strength 13, Dexterity 15, Constitution 13, Intelligence 20, Wisdom 20, Charisma 18|
Base Atk +7; CMB +8 (+10 to trip); CMD 20
Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Improved Initiative, StealthyB,Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Disguise +11, Escape Artist +11, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (religion) +12, Perception +15, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +14
Languages Ophiduan, Common, Abyssal, Aklo, Draconic, Undercommon
SQ speak with serpents
Gear ophiduan scale
|Command Serpents (Su) A hominis can command serpents at will as the feat Command Undead. Serpent, in this case, is defined as any snake or snake-like creature of the animal type. |
Ophidiophobia (Sp) A hominis ophidian can psionically implant a terrible fear into the mind of a chosen creature within 30 feet. The subject must succeed on a DC 19 Will save or instantly develop an insurmountable phobia of snakes, which lasts for 5d4 minutes. For the duration, the subject is instantly panicked should any snake or snake-like creature (including ophiduan) come within 20 feet, and will not voluntarily move to within 20 feet of such a creature. This ability has an equivalent caster level of 14th. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.
|Environment warm forest, jungle|
Organization solitary, pair, clutch (3-5), or nest (2-5 hominis, 2-13 semiferum, and 2-4 anguineum), brood (10-80 hominis, 20-160 semiferum, and 10-40 anguineum)
Treasure double standard
Hominis prefer to let semiferum and anguineum do their fighting for them, directing from the rear like so many generals. When they must engage in battle, they strike from a distance with their spell-like abilities (and spells, when they have them). Only if the tide of battle depends on immediate reinforcement do hominis willingly enter melee.
The hominis caste are the culmination of the ophiduan’s years of experimentation. Combining the best aspects of humans and ophiduan (in their own eyes, at least), they are quick, vicious, and inhumanly intelligent. While a hominis ophiduan cannot pass for human under normal circumstances, their innate spellcasting abilities and their skills at deception and disguise make such masquerades easy to pull off. Many hominis move through human and humanoid communities without arousing even the slightest suspicion.
Initially, the hominis were created to serve the anguineum, just as the semiferum had been. The hominis swiftly realized, however, that while they were physically no match for their progenitors, their greater Intelligence and aptitude for clerical spells made them the superior caste. They rose up in bloody rebellion, and when their divine magics proved more potent than those of the anguineum, the elder caste capitulated to their authority.
The hominis ophiduan average slightly taller than humans of the same weight. Their scaly skin covers the entire spectrum of hues, much as do those of true snakes, though darker colors such as blacks and deep greens seem most prevalent.
Section 15: Copyright Notice – The Iconic Bestiary: Classics of Fantasy
The Iconic Bestiary: Classics of Fantasy Copyright 2005, Lions Den Press; Author Ari Marmell