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Asura

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 21

Asuras are immortal beings whose origins are rooted in rejection and destruction. They are manifestations of divine accident, living blasphemies risen from mistakes made by the gods themselves. Given horrible life through these unspeakable divine errors, the asuras seek to sow doubt among mortals and ultimately revenge themselves upon the gods for their accursed existences.

Most asuras share a cohesive philosophy that culminates in nothing less than the systematic destruction of everything the gods have had a hand in creating. To this end, asuras study and meditate on the nature of creation so that they might better know how the cosmos can be unmade. The simplest among these fiends seek out the pious to torment, as well as holy places and relics to pollute with the taint of loathing and faithlessness. Once the destruction or corruption of a holy place is complete, asuras might take up residence in the area to contemplate what they have wrought and consider future misdeeds. The precise records and histories some temples keep can end up being the undoing of other bastions of faith. Thus, asuras spread.

Asuras have reason to seek places to dwell and brood, for unlike many other outsiders, the asuras have no realm to call their own. While the largest population of them dwells in the vast wildernesses of Hell, these fiends can be found throughout the Great Beyond, living anywhere they can make room for themselves. Asuras spend time plotting and nurturing their vast abhorrence of all things. They perfect arts of war and ruin. Even devils are unsafe in asura domains, because although asuras share the alignment of their hellspawned neighbors, devils are proper creatures of the extant multiverse. So consuming is asura antipathy that devils too must eventually fall for asuras to accomplish their ultimate goal.

Despite their warlike and devastating actions, most asuras have an ascetic quality and great insight into reality. They know a great deal about the cosmos. Further, little in the way of material wealth or comfort can sway them from their goals. An asura might possess treasure, probably pillaged from temples lost to asura raids, and it might have servants to see to its wants and needs. However, it values such aspects of existence only insofar as they help the asura move toward its ends.

Other asuras perfect modes of fighting or act as guardians or even extraplanar mercenaries. Such asuras become instruments of ruin, their presence antithetical to the lives of their enemies, whomever those foes might be. They rarely care whom or what they are hired to battle, so long as they can end the existence of a deity's work.

Asuras often collect and guard treasuries of looted religious relics, letting such objects serve as bait for pious heroes powerful enough to locate such treasures despite the asuras' elusive aura. The fiends know the loss of such holy objects often grieves and undermines the beliefs of common members of a faith, and so do all they can to draw out such spiritual suffering.

While an asura's individual incarnations can be slain, these fiends are nearly impossible to destroy permanently. The divine spark in them returns to the presence of mighty asura lords, the asura ranas, in Hell or elsewhere. Within a variable amount of time, usually some multiple of 7 years, a slain asura reincarnates as a weaker asura. A truly devoted asura that died in service to the asura cause might be given its old form at the cost of some of the asura rana's essence. Reincarnated asuras remember their past lives, their origins, and any enemy who has wronged them, and while their appearances and resources change, their thirst for revenge is eternal.

Rarely, however, contemplation on the nature of the multiverse or a desire for something more than eternal strife causes an asura to choose a different course. Such asuras meditate to become closer to that which they once sought to destroy, purifying themselves of their soul-burning hatred. Redeemed asuras are seldom good or religious, but they do wander the planes, dispensing wisdom and working against wanton destruction. Evil asuras loathe these traitors, and seek them out to destroy them with teeming fervor.

Known Asura Ranas

Asuras can grow mighty indeed in their endless cycle of reincarnation. The most powerful among them are the asura ranas who dwell in ruined holy places, abandoned deific domains, or in the wilds of Hell. These potent fiends have unique forms, and can demand anything of lesser members of their race, as they are revered as sages and profane bodhisattvas. They usually dwell in places that allow them to deny devotees of the deities access to holy objects or sites. The following list includes several asura ranas named in myth and tales of woe.
  • Andak the Dismembered
  • Bohga the Treasurer
  • Chugarra the Guru of Butchers
  • Chupurvagasti, Lady of Poison Mist
  • Gavidya the Numberless
  • Hydim of the Eternal Fast
  • Ioramvol with the Mouth Full of Boulders
  • Maeha, Father of False Worlds
  • Onamahli the Twice Pure
  • Rahu the Sun Eater
  • Rytara, Serpent of the Eastern Eye
  • Taraksun, Awakener of Wrath
  • Zurapadyn, the Beast Who Waits in Smoke

Creatures in "Asura" Category

NameCR
Adhukait7
Aghasura11
Asurendra20
Nikaramsa14
Tripurasura2
Upasunda9
Vayuphak5

Asura, Nikaramsa

This muscular giant has two ferocious lion heads, each with a long, black, lashing tongue.

Nikaramsa CR 14

Source Book of the Damned pg. 242
XP 38,400
LE Large outsider (asura, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +11; Senses darkvision 60 ft., detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, see invisibility; Perception +30 Aura elusive (75 ft.)
Aura elusive (75 ft.)

Defense

AC 29, touch 17, flat-footed 21 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, -1 size)
hp 200 (16d10+112); regeneration 10 (good)
Fort +14, Ref +17, Will +17; +2 vs. enchant.
DR 10/good; Immune curses, disease, poison; Resist acid 10, electricity 10; SR 25

Offense

Speed 50 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 bites +20 (1d8+5), 2 claws +20 (1d6+5), 2 tongues +20 (1d6+5 plus trip)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft. (20 ft. with tongues)
Special Attacks pervert miracle, rend (2 tongues, 1d6+7)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th; concentration +19)
Constant—detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, detect law, see invisibility
At will—greater teleport (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only), invisibility, magic aura, veil (self only), ventriloquism (DC 16)
3/day—bless, cure serious wounds, good hope, neutralize poison, remove blindness/deafness, remove curse, remove disease
1/day—blasphemy (DC 22), dream, limited wish, summon (level 6, 1d3 upasundas 50%)

Statistics

Str 20, Dex 25, Con 25, Int 18, Wis 25, Cha 20
Base Atk +16; CMB +22 (+24 trip); CMD 40 (42 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Deflect ArrowsB, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Mobility, Spring Attack
Skills Bluff +24, Disguise +24, Escape Artist +32, Fly +24, Knowledge (planes, religion) +19, Perception +30, Sense Motive +26, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +22, Use Magic Device +24; Racial Modifiers +6 Escape Artist, +4 Perception
Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ savor heresy

Ecology

Environment any (Hell)
Organization solitary or perversion (2-5)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Pervert Miracle (Su) As an immediate action, when a creature within 60 feet either casts a spell that a nikaramsa can use as a spell-like ability three times per day or casts a spell that would counter or remove one of those spells (i.e., bane, bestow curse, blindness/deafness, contagion, crushing despair, inflict serious wounds, or poison), the nikaramsa can attempt an opposed Charisma check against the caster. If successful, the nikaramsa converts the spell into its opposite against each original target as it’s cast.

Savor Heresy (Su) A nikaramsa gains a +2 profane bonus on attack rolls and a +5 profane bonus on damage rolls against any creature that has committed an act of heresy or changed its alignment in the last year. Furthermore, the asura’s natural attacks also ignore such a creature’s damage reduction.

A nikaramsa exploits the hubris and awe of mortal priests by disguising itself as a deity’s chosen messenger and granting divine boons to a congregation, confusing believers by imparting more and more heretical lessons as gospel truths. The nikaramsa then corrupts the faith’s blessings, causing the religion to collapse in the wake of its own clergy’s atrocities.