Ithaqua the Windwalker

Ithaqua the Windwalker

CR 16; XP 76,800
CE Great Old One of cannibalism, cold, and the wind
Primary Source August Derleth, “The Thing that Walked on the Wind”

Cult

Domains Air, Chaos, Evil, Weather
Subdomains Cloud, Ice, Storms, Wind
Favored Weapon handaxe
Symbol antlered wooden humanoid effigy
Temple frozen mountaintops, glaciers, ice caves, snowy forests
Worshipers arctic-dwelling madmen, cannibals, deranged explorers and hunters, those who seek to walk the wind
Servitors wendigos

Influence Stage 1 (DC 24)

Speed 50 ft., fly 100 ft. (capable of much swifter speeds in outer space)
Area 100-mile radius; Nucleus 15-ft. square
AC 31; Saves +19; hp 240
Effects howl, storm
Escalation After a week or when 20 creatures succumb to Ithaqua’s howl (whichever comes first), his influence escalates to stage 2.

Influence Stage 2 (DC 26)

CR 19; XP 204,800
Speed 50 ft., fly 250 ft. (capable of much swifter speeds in outer space)
Area 200-mile radius; Nucleus 15-ft. square
AC 34; Saves +21; hp 330
Effects eyes of Ithaqua, howl, storm
Escalation After a week or when 5 creatures succumb to the eyes of Ithaqua (whichever comes first), his influence escalates to stage 3.

Influence Stage 3 (DC 28)

CR 22; XP 614,400
Speed 50 ft., fly 500 ft. (capable of much swifter speeds in outer space)
Area 400-mile radius; Nucleus 15-ft. square
AC 39; Saves +23; hp 440
Effects abduction, eyes of Ithaqua, howl, storm
Escalation After a week, Ithaqua’s influence escalates to stage 4. If he successfully abducts a creature, though, his influence is reduced back to stage 1.

Influence Stage 4 (DC 30)

CR 25; XP 1,638,400
Speed 50 ft., fly 1,000 ft. (capable of much swifter speeds in outer space)
Area 600-mile radius; Nucleus 15-ft. square
AC 43; Saves +26; hp 560
Effects abduction, eyes of Ithaqua, howl, storm

Defeat

Combat Ithaqua can be driven back by damage. Fire inflicts full damage to Ithaqua. A control weather spell cast within Ithaqua’s influence has a 1% chance per caster level of forcing his influence down one stage.

At stage 1, this will end Ithaqua’s influence. Regardless of failure or success, Ithaqua takes notice and swiftly travels to confront the daring fool who used such magic in his presence. In this case, Ithaqua can pinpoint the spellcaster’s exact position as long as the spellcaster remains within his influence.

Influence Effects

Abduction Once per night, Ithaqua seeks out a single creature currently under the rage effects caused by his eyes. When Ithaqua’s nucleus approaches within 100 feet of the target, the target must make a successful Will save or compulsively run to the nucleus, whereupon it is swept into the sky to ride on the storm with Ithaqua.

On a successful save, Ithaqua’s nucleus retreats into the storm but tries again on subsequent nights as long as the initial target remains in the area of influence. A creature that is abducted in this way vanishes without a trace and returns 1d100 months later. Upon returning, the victim has become a ravenous wendigo with 3d6 growth points already accumulated. At influence stage 3, a successful abduction causes Ithaqua’s influence to reduce to stage 1, but at influence stage 4, a successful abduction does not reduce his influence. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Eyes of Ithaqua All who approach within 300 feet of the nucleus of Ithaqua’s influence can see the Great Old One’s immense yellow eyes burning through the sleet and hail. Creatures who have not succumbed to the effects of the influence’s howl must make a Will save at the start of their turn to resist becoming shaken (this is a fear effect) for as long as they remain in the area of influence. Creatures who have fallen under the howl’s influence who fail this Will save instead become affected as if by a barbarian’s rage that lasts as long as the creature remains in the area of influence. At the start of each round, a creature under the effects of this rage must make a new Will save to resist the compulsion to attack the closest creature of its same type, friend or foe. If no such creature exists, it attacks the nearest creature of any type. A creature under the effects of this rage will never voluntarily attack any wendigo or the focus of Ithaqua’s influence. These effects apply regardless of whether a creature gazes at Ithaqua’s eyes, and even sightless creatures can be affected. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Howl Once per day, a number of creatures within the area of influence equal to twice the influence stage hear the howl of Ithaqua (the GM should select which potential creatures are targeted, first selecting any who actively oppose Ithaqua). Those who hear the howl must make a successful Will save or be compelled to commit an act of cannibalism if, within the next 24 hours, they see a dead body of the same creature type and subtype as they are. Each round such a dead body is visible to a creature affected by the howl, the creature must make a successful Will save to resist the urge to approach the dead body. If this save fails when the dead body is adjacent, the creature spends a full-round action feeding on the body. Once a creature feeds in this way, the compulsion effect ends for it, but it is now subject to additional effects from Ithaqua’s eyes and abduction. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Storm Ithaqua’s area of influence is constantly wracked by an immense storm. At all stages, the storm functions as a cold arctic squall. This storm has strong winds and snow, with temperatures in the affected area functioning as cold weather (ranging in temperature from 1º F to 40º F). At higher influence stages, the storm is more powerful closer to the area’s nucleus, as detailed below.

Influence Stage 2: Within a 1-mile radius of the area’s nucleus, winds increase to severe and precipitation increases to heavy snow. Creatures within 100 feet of the nucleus are attacked each round by various supernatural and enraged creatures that have fallen under Ithaqua’s influence, and take 2d6 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from these attacks each round at the start of their turn (a successful Reflex save negates this damage). Attacking these creatures damages the influence.

Influence Stage 3: Within a 10-mile radius of the area’s nucleus, winds are severe and snow is heavy. Within a 1-mile radius of the nucleus, these winds are windstorm level, and precipitation combines heavy snow with sleet. Temperatures here drop to the severe cold category (-20º F to 0º F). Creatures within 200 feet of the nucleus are attacked each round by various supernatural and enraged creatures that have fallen under Ithaqua’s influence, and take 8d6 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from these attacks each round at the start of their turn (a successful Reflex save halves this damage). Attacking these creatures damages the influence.

Influence Stage 4: Within a 100-mile radius of the area’s nucleus, winds are severe and snow is heavy. Within a 10-mile radius of the nucleus, these winds are windstorm level, and precipitation combines heavy snow with sleet; temperatures are in the severe cold category (-20º F to 0º F). Within a 1-mile radius of the nucleus, the winds are hurricane force, with precipitation combining heavy snow and hail; temperatures here drop to the extreme cold category (below -20º F). Creatures within 400 feet of the nucleus are attacked each round by supernatural forces as per influence stage 3, but are also subject to attacks by Ithaqua himself. At the start of each round, two randomly selected targets within this area must make a successful Reflex save. Failure indicates they are plucked from the ground by Ithaqua’s immense talons, taking 20d6 points of slashing damage and 20d6 points of cold damage; Ithaqua then drops them from a height of several hundred feet to fall to the earth at a random point within 400 feet of the nucleus, where they take an additional 20d6 points of falling damage.


Ithaqua walks the spaces between the stars. As such, he is often called the God of Outer Space. Ithaqua is only truly comfortable in the frigid cold, which is why he is associated with the arctic. Until his final assault upon a world, he can only remain for limited periods. Even at sub-zero temperatures, Ithaqua cannot withstand the relative heat of an earth-like world for more than a few hours at a time.

Ithaqua is a twisting white entity that at first may look wraith-like and ethereal. It has no legs, two emaciated clawed arms, a skull-like head, and icy, visible breath. The “ghostly” nature of the god’s appearance is an illusion: it has an inner core of solid, physical matter, and an exterior “shell” which becomes more or less solid when the god manifests. The central core of Ithaqua (the god’s “heart”) is a large (several yards tall) entity which typically forms a sort of semisolid outer body made of plasma, snow, ice, and arcane energy. As the god grows in size and influence, this outer body takes on greater size and solidity. This outer shell is an extension of the god’s form, and the god completely controls its senses and movements. When the outer shell is damaged, the god feels it, and the shell either shrinks or becomes less solid.

Ithaqua has cultists in the high mountains and arctic who seek to ready the world for his return. In this way, his cult has certain resemblances to the Cult of Cthulhu, which also seeks to bring its lord to power. Unlike followers of Cthulhu, however, the Windwalker’s worshipers can physically summon up their god and interact with him more closely.

Ithaqua is always associated with storms and blizzards. It’s unclear whether he causes the storms or if the storms make it likelier for the Windwalker to arrive, but the effect is the same. Even when hidden by the blizzard, Ithaqua’s presence is nonetheless pervasive.

The Wendigo Horror

Proximity to Ithaqua has effects on humanoids that are initially mental and ultimately physical, transforming them into wendigos (page 396) in several degenerative stages. These stages progress as Ithaqua's presence becomes more and more imminent and tangible.

The Howl: First, Ithaqua’s storms cover hundreds of square miles. Even though Ithaqua is vast in scale, in the huge expanse of the driving gale and ice crystals, most victims never see the Great Old One himself but only hear his infamous howl above the wind. Anyone who hears Ithaqua’s howl feels a pull—a yearning for the forbidden. If a victim is hungry, this can become irresistible, and he may attempt the first step of becoming a wendigo by turning to cannibalism, leaving him vulnerable to the eyes.

The Eyes: The second stage of Ithaqua’s imminence is when the victim sees Ithaqua's yellow eyes burning through the sleet and hail. When this happens, anyone who has ever eaten the flesh of his own kind (i.e., a cannibal, even if by accident) starts to feel a craving for it and a lust for violence, occasionally escalating into a berserker fury. At this point, though a strongly-willed target may still be able to resist lapsing into cannibalism, the fury and feral rage of the Windwalker becomes overwhelming, leading to greater ferocity in combat. The target may fly into a rage at small provocations, and lose control at inopportune times. Should the victim ever actually succumb to the dreadful hunger for the blood and flesh of his own kind, the Windwalker may abduct the poor soul.

The Abduction: Once the victim is ripe with primal rage, the titanic bulk of the Windwalker approaches one night in the wilderness. There, Ithaqua snatches the victim into the air, “granting” a ride with the God of Outer Space. Ithaqua returns his chosen to the world hours, days, weeks, or even years later. Though appearing outwardly human upon arrival, the creature that returns is actually a wendigo. Within a few weeks, the transformation process is complete and no trace of the victim’s formal self is remotely evident.


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