Byatis the Serpent-Bearded

Byatis the Serpent-Bearded

CR 15; XP 51,200
CE Great Old One of forgetfulness, prisons, and toads
Primary Source Ramsey Campbell, “The Room in the Castle”

Cult

Domains Chaos, Darkness, Evil, Knowledge
Subdomains Loss, Memory, Night, Thought
Favored Weapon dagger
Symbol coil of tentacles encircling a fanged mouth filled with darkness
Temple caverns, secret basements, ruined castles
Worshipers amphibious creatures, insane spellcasters
Servitors monstrous amphibians and reptiles

Influence Stage 1 (DC 23)

Area 120-ft. radius
Effects enhance elder influences
Escalation Every day, Byatis’s influence gains 1 growth point. When it reaches 100 growth points, it escalates to stage 2.

Influence Stage 2 (DC 25)

CR 18; XP 153,600
Area 1200-ft. radius
Effects amnesia, enhance elder influences, lure
Escalation Byatis’s influence continues to gain 1 growth point per day at stage 2, but growth points alone cannot escalate the influence to stage 3. In order to escalate to stage 3, Byatis must feed via its lure effect. Once Byatis has successfully fed on 20 creatures, its influence escalates to stage 3.

Influence Stage 3 (DC 27)

CR 21; XP 409,600
Area 10-mile radius
Proxy avatar (see below)
Effects amnesia, enhance elder influences, lure, mobile influence

Defeat

Combat At stage 3, defeating Byatis’s avatar causes its avatar to decompose to filth and ends his influence immediately.

Sacrifice At stage 1, sacrificing a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or higher to Byatis while inside its area of influence causes it to lose 1d6 growth points. At stage 2, sacrificing a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or higher in this way adds to the number of creatures it must feed on to reach stage 3. Instead, each day it is prevented from feeding on a creature via its lure, it loses 1d6 growth points, returning to stage 1 influence as soon as it goes below 100 growth points. Sacrifices and feedings no longer affect Byatis’s influence once it reaches stage 3; at this point, only the defeat of the Great Old One’s avatar can end its influence.

Influence Effects

Amnesia Once per day (either as soon as a creature enters Byatis’s area of influence, or once every 24 hours), a creature exposed to this area of influence must make a successful Will save or lose all knowledge of Byatis, its influence, and associated lore. All Knowledge checks pertaining to Byatis automatically fail, and while the character can learn this information again if others explain it, a new Will save every hour is required to avoid forgetting again. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Enhance Elder Influences The presence of Byatis’s influence causes other elder influences that overlap to quicken. All other elder influences that overlap with Byatis’s influence increase their save DCs by 2. Any Elder Influence that possesses a random chance of escalating has its chance of escalation doubled when it overlaps with Byatis’s influence. At the GM’s discretion, an Elder Influence that spends several days overlapping may automatically escalate.

Lure Once per day, one creature suffering from the influence’s amnesia effect and who has an Intelligence of 3 or higher within Byatis’s influence must make a successful Will save to avoid unconsciously seeking the heart of the area of influence and presenting itself for consumption. Only one creature per day can be affected in this way. If more than one target is available, the most powerful (highest CR) target in the region is selected first.

If there are multiple targets of equal CR in the region, the one that is physically closest to the center of the influence is affected. A lured creature that manages to reach the center of the influence’s area offers itself to Byatis as a sacrifice and will not willingly move from that location. Each hour, there is a cumulative 10% chance that Byatis takes note and extends a feeding tentacle through folds in space and time to accept this sacrifice. The tentacle seems to emerge from a nearby patch of darkness, hole, or other aperture, from which it strikes without fail and attempts to consume the lured victim.

The victim must make a successful Fortitude save each round. On a success, the victim is not consumed but must make a new saving throw each round. On a failure, Byatis consumes the victim and moves one step closer to escalating to stage 3. Others can attempt to move the lured victim to safety, but must do so by transporting that individual beyond the reach of the influence; otherwise Byatis merely extends a new feeding tentacle from some nearby point to attempt consumption of the lured victim each round.

Mobile Influence Byatis’s influence is always centered on its avatar, allowing the avatar to wander as it will without being physically limited by the constraints of influence. Of course, the avatar still cannot magically travel via teleportation effects beyond the reach of its influence.


Avatar of Byatis (CR 21)

XP 409,600
CE Huge aberration
Init +10 Senses blindsight 60 ft., see in darkness, true seeing; Perception +35

Defense

AC 37, touch 18, flat-footed 27 (+10 Dex, +19 natural, –2 size)
hp 407 (22d8+308); regeneration 15 (cold)
Fort +21, Ref +17, Will +23
Defensive Abilities DR 15/epic and lawful; Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, aging, death effects, disease, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, petrification, poison; Resist electricity 30, fire 30; SR 32

Offense

Speed 50 ft., swim 50 ft., air walk
Melee 3 bites +30 (2d6+16/19–20 plus grab), 3 tentacles +28 (1d8+8 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+16), feed

Spell-Like Abilities (CL 21st; concentration +28)
Constant—air walk, true seeing
At will—greater dispel magic, hold monster (DC 22), modify memory (DC 21), nightmare (DC 22), resilient sphere (DC 21)
3/day—demand (DC 25), quickened feeblemind (DC 22),
forcecage, limited wish (self only, only to duplicate spells)
1/day—imprisonment (DC 26), symbol of insanity (DC 25)

Statistics

Str 43, Dex 30, Con 38, Int 27, Wis 30, Cha 25
Base Atk +16; CMB +34 (+36 bull rush); CMD 54 (56 vs. bull rush; can’t be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bites), Improved Vital Strike, Multiattack, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (feeblemind), Staggering Critical, Vital Strike
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +33, Knowledge (engineering) +30, Knowledge (history) +30, Knowledge (local) +30, Knowledge (nature) +30, Knowledge (religion) +30, Perception +35, Sense Motive +32, Spellcraft +33, Stealth +27, Survival +35, Swim +24, Use Magic Device +29
Languages Aklo, Common; telepathy 100 ft.

Special Abilities

Feed (Ex) Once per round, Byatis may feed from a creature which it has grabbed with one of its bite attacks. When it does so, it inflicts 1 negative level and 1d6 points of Constitution drain. A successful DC 35 Fortitude save reduces this effect to 1 Constitution drain. The save DC is Constitution-based.


Byatis the Serpent-Bearded is an imprisoned Great Old One. Wherever it is called, it typically appears in an underground cavern or the lower levels of a built-up structure. It is huge, weighing many tons. It is scaled and reptilian, though with an array of mouthed tentacles which it extends from its prison to feed. In some ways it may seem less dangerous than other Great Old Ones, because it is nearly immobile, but this impression would be a mistake.

Byatis gradually grows spiritually and physically by consuming creatures. As Byatis festers in its lair, undisturbed, its environs start to grow a greater and greater gate, letting baleful influences seep into the world. Natural laws start to alter. Given enough time, the gates open wide, and the Outer Gods and their minions pour through unchallenged. This horrendous fate can be averted by periodic attacks on Byatis, interrupting and reverting this spiritual growth. It can also be slowed or stopped by sacrificing victims to Byatis, who must focus on the victims rather than the gates.

God of Forgetfulness

Unfortunately, keeping one’s distance from Byatis is not always an option. It has the ability, over an extended area, to erase knowledge of its existence from mortal beings. It can also use its mental influence to cause people to come to it, unknowingly feeding themselves to it. It takes time for this amnesia to take effect, but one result is that the inhabitants nearest to Byatis often are the least aware of its presence and cannot guide outsiders to its lair. Any propitiatory or worshipping cult must come from further away, and then leave before they forget about Byatis.

Byatis in Combat

Byatis attacks with several snout-like proboscises, each of which ends in a toothed mouth which can attach to and suck out the life from victims. They can also clamp down and simply chomp, which does more immediate damage but does not drain the victim’s strength. Byatis also has a multiplicity of lesser tentacles ranging from flail-like whips to constricting boas, all useful in battering the unfortunate forms of its foes. It has thick scales for armor, almost impenetrable by most means, and it has access to countless magical abilities.


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