A dark shadow moves rapidly across the ground. In the skies high above, silhouetted by the sun, a monstrous, black-feathered avian creature circles. Slowly, a supernatural wind begins to swirl about the creature, and crackling sparks erupt from its body. Screeching wildly, it descends as if falling from the sky, its blood-flecked wings tipped with cruel curved hooks, and its protruding lower beak scalloped with vicious, jagged barbs.
The tribesfolk of southern Africa tell tales of a ruthless winged shapeshifter, a bloodthirsty demon and hunter of men. They call this being impundulu, a name that loosely translates to ‘lightning-bird’ after its savage avian form. Legend describes this creature as a huge, stork-like bird that rides upon fierce storms and whose dark feathers crackle with lightning. It is believed that an evil shaman summoned the first impundulu and that using an ancient, taboo ritual, the two formed a blood pact. The shaman offered the impundulu the ability to wear his mortal flesh in exchange for mastery over the demon’s significant occult powers. As soon as the impundulu seized control of the shaman’s body, it broke the pact, however, the ancient ritual bound the fiend to the mortal form, and even after the shaman perished, it could not shed its flesh. Thus despite its own immortality, the impundulu became forever tied to the realm of mortals. For this reason, it is said, the creature continues to forge pacts with mortal spellcasters in the hope that one day it will unbind the secrets of its cursed existence.
|Impundulu CR 11|
NE Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar, shapechanger)
Init +9; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Low-Light Vision; Perception +21
|AC 25, touch 15, flat-footed 20 (+5 Dexterity, +10 natural)|
hp 133 (14d10+56)
Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +10
DR 10/magic and cold iron; Immune electricity; Resist cold 10, fire 10; SR 22
|Speed 20 ft. (30 ft. in humanoid form), Fly 60 ft. (good)|
Melee bite +19 (1d6+4 plus 1d6 bleed and 1d6 electricity), 2 talons +19 (1d4+4 plus 1d6 electricity and grab), 2 hook +13 (1d4+2 plus 1d6 electricity)
Special Attacks bleed (1d6), breath weapon (60-ft. line, 8d6 electricity, Reflex DC 21 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), electrical discharge Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +19) 3/day – call lightning, charm person, gust of wind
|Strength 18, Dexterity 21, Constitution 19, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 18, Charisma 20|
Base Atk +14; CMB +18 (+22 grapple); CMD 33
Feats Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite), Weapon Focus (talons)
Skills Bluff +22, Diplomacy +19, Fly +9, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (arcana) +12, Knowledge (nature) +12, Knowledge (planes) +12, Perception +21, Sense Motive +21, Spellcraft +19, Stealth +22
Languages Abyssal, Common, Fey, Infernal, Polyglot; speak with animals, telepathy 100 ft.
SQ change shape (one humanoid), shaman form
|Environment temperate or warm forest|
Organization solitary, pair, or flock (2d6)
Treasure standard (and impundulu fat)
|Blood Drain (Ex) If it grapples a foe, an impundulu drains blood at the end of its turn, dealing Constitution damage. |
Electrical Discharge (Su) An impundulu builds substantial electrical charges in its body- electrical charges visibly crackle about its form. If the impundulu hits a creature with two talons in the same round, this charge releases into that creature, dealing 4d6 points of electricity damage (this damage is in addition to the electricity damage from its talon attacks). The target may attempt a DC 21 Fortitude save for half damage. If one or both of the talon attacks is a critical hit, the jolt is so potent that the target is stunned for 1d4 rounds (creatures that are immune to electricity are immune to this stunning effect). The save DC is Constitution-based. Once the creature releases this charge, it cannot use this ability again for 1d4 rounds while it waits for the energy to build again (though this energy buildup does not affect the electrical damage from its regular talon attacks).
Familiar Service A mortal of 7th level or higher with the Improved Familiar feat can summon an impundulu to serve as her familiar; an impundulu familiar appears as a birdlike imp or Quasit, has the normal statistics of an imp or Quasit, and loses all of its own abilities except its subtypes, alignment, and damage reduction. If its master is slain, the impundulu seizes its former master’s soul, retreats to a hidden place, and consumes the soul, after which it metamorphoses over the next 24 hours into its natural form, regains all of its normal abilities, and becomes free; most aging masters pass on their impundulu familiars to younger family members rather than let the creatures turn on them.
Shaman Form (Su) An impundulu using its change shape special quality can take on one specific humanoid form as if it had the change shape ability. This form usually resembles that of a jungle shaman, except it has claw-like fingernails and its feet end in talons. In this form, it cannot Fly or use its breath weapon, electrical discharge, or hook attacks. An impundulu can remain in this form indefinitely. Its natural form is its bird form. If killed, it reverts to its true form. Witchcraft An impundulu serving as a witches familiar gives its master additional spells known, just like a witches patron. The master must choose from one of the following patron themes when binding the impundulu, and this choice cannot be changed without dismissing and re-summoning the impundulu: Agility, Elements, or Transformation. These patron spells known are in addition to any granted by the witches actual patron.
The impundulu’s fat possesses magical properties and is a highly sought reagent among tribal witchdoctors. When properly rendered with a DC 28 Craft (alchemy) check, the fat becomes approximately 1 cup of sticky, highly combustible oil. Weapons dipped in the oil gain the flaming property for 10 minutes; 1 cup of this oil can coat up to five weapons or 50 pieces of ammunition.
Similarly, the oil dilutes healing potions while maintaining their strength at the original concentration. One cup of oil can dilute one potion of cure serious wounds, two potions of cure moderate wounds, or 20 potions of cure light wounds, doubling the number of potions as a result (one potion becomes two, two become four, and so on). These potions cannot be diluted further without losing their potency.