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Linnorm

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 181

Treacherous primeval dragons of the northern regions of the world, linnorms thrive on their hatred for those they deem to be lesser creatures and seek to inflict as much suffering as possible unto their unfortunate victims. Sweeping bones and treasures alike into giant piles in its lair, the typical linnorm has a barbaric nature made all the worse by its insatiable greed and atrocious gluttony. Few creatures are as bold and as cruel as linnorms, and for that most people are thankful.

Linnorms are not true dragons, but they nonetheless possess incredible strength and deadly powers that often rival authentic dragon brutality. Their massive frames make crushing smaller enemies a simple task, and of those who have felt the sting of a linnorm's venomous bite, few have survived the devastating poison long enough to tell the tale. A linnorm's body is serpentine and lacks wings, yet these dragons fly through the air with supernatural ease, accomplishing the feat as easily as a fish through water.

Beyond the physical might, venom, and devastating breath weapons typical of all linnorms, the beasts all share a potent final defense—the death curse. This powerful plaguing of the mind manifests itself in myriad forms, but always serves as a horrid vengeance against any who might manage to slay a linnorm. Some theorize that the curse is a sending from malevolent gods who watch over linnorms and view them as destruction-loving pets. Others believe the linnorms' curse is the closest remaining connection they have to the primeval world of the fey, from whence the first of these monsters is said to have come. Whatever the case may be, its curse makes killing a linnorm as dangerous as letting it live.

True dragons of higher intellect often hold linnorms in great scorn, viewing the beings as prematurely evolved beasts and refusing to even acknowledge the creatures as related to them. Linnorms have few feelings regarding the matter, battling younger and older dragons alike just as readily as any other creatures who dare to step foot in their territories. Their simplemindedness stifles any ability to assemble mass sieges or even cooperate in small groups, so linnorms almost always function alone, individually hunting over large territories in order to waylay as many travelers as possible. Linnorms only seek a mate once during their long lifetimes, the female producing several clutches of up to six eggs as a result. Of these eggs, only one will survive—the first to hatch immediately feasts on its unhatched brethren.

Despite their lust for devastation, linnorms usually live in relatively remote areas, never straying far from the northernmost reaches of the world. As they are universally hated and feared by most other intelligent creatures, their tendency to dwell in more isolated regions helps ensure their survival; while linnorms are vicious and unforgiving, their lack of organization makes them highly susceptible to raiding parties seeking to eradicate their presence, though such parties would need to be made up of truly impressive individuals. More often than not, a linnorm resides totally undisturbed in the spot it chooses as its own for hundreds of years, stewing in its own malevolence until finally snapping and going on a rampage. Sometimes, villages aren't even aware of a slumbering linnorm's proximity, but usually such settlements have long traditions and local legends revolving around “their linnorm.” Since a linnorm can hibernate for centuries, villages composed of shorter-lived humanoids might consider these tales as little more than quaint stories, but when the linnorm wakes, the truth becomes impossible to doubt.

Linnorms come in many different varieties, but all share the qualities of being horribly strong and bestial. They feast solely on meat, usually eating goats and other mountain animals when more intelligent creatures such as humanoids don't readily present themselves. Linnorms are prone to gorging and then falling into a deep sleep near their treasure hordes, waking either when they become aware of intruders in their vicinity or to feed once more.

The linnorms presented on the following pages represent only four of their kind. The most legendary linnorms are the crag linnorm, ice linnorm, and tarn linnorm, but others exist as well. Rumors of even more powerful unique linnorms persist in lands where these dragons are well-known and feared. The largest of their kind, unique linnorms are never less powerful than tor linnorms (who are often mistakenly thought to be the most dangerous species).

Linnorm Special Abilities

While each linnorm has several unique powers, they all share certain abilities in common, as detailed below. In addition to these, every linnorm possesses a breath weapon and a poisonous attack, but the specific effects of these attacks vary from species to species.

Death Curse (Su): When a creature slays a linnorm, it becomes targeted by that linnorm's death curse. The exact effects of a death curse vary, depending upon the type of linnorm. The save DC of a linnorm's death curse is always Charisma-based.

Freedom of Movement (Ex): A linnorm has continuous freedom of movement, as per the spell of the same name. This ability cannot be dispelled.

True Seeing (Ex): A linnorm has continuous true seeing, as per the spell of the same name. This ability cannot be dispelled.

Creatures in "Linnorm" Category

NameCR
Cairn Linnorm18
Crag Linnorm14
Fjord Linnorm16
Gare Linnorm15
Ice Linnorm17
Sea Linnorm22
Taiga Linnorm19
Tarn Linnorm20
Tor Linnorm21

Linnorm, Sea Linnorm

This unfathomably large serpent sports a distinctly draconic face. Its body is deep, blackened gray with swatches of crimson. An entrancing set of lures dangles off its face, each glowing with a pulsating orange light accented by regular electrical discharges.

Sea Linnorm CR 22

Source Pathfinder #126: Beyond the Veiled Past pg. 90
XP 614,400
NE Colossal dragon (aquatic)
Init +13; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, true seeing; Perception +37

Defense

AC 39, touch 11, flat-footed 30 (+9 Dex, +28 natural, –8 size)
hp 39, touch 11, flat-footed 30 (+9 Dex, +28 natural, –8 size)
Fort +26, Ref +24, Will +23
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement; DR 20/cold iron; Immune curse effects, electricity, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep; SR 33

Offense

Speed 40 ft., fly 100 ft. (average), swim 100 ft.
Melee bite +35 (3d8+17/19–20 plus poison), 2 claws +35 (2d8+17), tail slap +30 (3d6+8 plus grab)
Space 30 ft., Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (DC 34), constrict (tail, 3d6+24), death curse, lure

Statistics

Str 44, Dex 28, Con 32, Int 7, Wis 27, Cha 29
Base Atk +26; CMB +51; CMD 70 (can't be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Following Step, Great Cleave, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Vital Strike, Power Attack, Snatch, Step Up, Step Up and Strike, Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +9 (+13 when jumping), Fly +30, Perception +37, Stealth +22, Swim +54
Languages Aklo, Draconic, Sylvan
SQ amphibious

Ecology

Environment cold oceans
Organization solitary
Treasure triple

Special Abilities

Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a sea linnorm can expel a 120-foot line of intense stored bioelectricity, dealing 26d8 points of electricity damage to all creatures struck (Reflex DC 34 half). A secondary discharge arcs off each target that fails its save, striking the nearest creature within 30 feet as long as that creature has not already been targeted by the breath weapon or another discharge. Secondary discharges do not cause tertiary discharges. The bioelectricity overwhelms the nervous systems of living creatures, causing any living creature that takes damage from the linnorm’s breath weapon to be stunned for 1d4 rounds. A successful DC 34 Fortitude saving throw negates the stunning effect. Creatures struck by a secondary discharge receive a +4 bonus on this saving throw. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Death Curse (Su) When a creature slays a sea linnorm, the slayer is affected by the curse of crushing depths.

Curse of Crushing Depths: save Will DC 32; effect creature takes 3d6 points of damage every round while fully submerged in water, as though suffering water pressure damage, regardless of the creature’s actual depth and bypassing any magical protection against water pressure (such as freedom of movement or life bubble). The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lure (Su) As a free action, a sea linnorm can light the dangling lures on its head; any other creature within a 120-foot radius that can see the lure must succeed at a DC 32 Will save or become fascinated for 1 round. In addition to the regular effects of being fascinated, a creature affected by this ability also takes a –4 penalty on saving throws against the sea linnorm’s breath weapon. Regardless of the preceding interactions between the sea linnorm and its target, a creature affected by this ability does not view the sea linnorm who has fascinated it as a potential threat until that sea linnorm actually attacks—allowing it to approach without breaking the fascination effect. Once a creature succeeds at its saving throw against this effect, it is immune to the same sea linnorm’s lure ability for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 34; frequency 1/round for 10 rounds; effect 8d8 points of electricity damage, 1d6 Dex drain, and 1d6 Con drain; cure 3 consecutive saves.

Description

Few, if any, linnorm breeds are more reclusive than the sea linnorm. These immense specimens of primeval draconic lineage dwell in the deepest underwater trenches of the world, blending into their surroundings thanks to their darkened scales. A sea linnorm’s distinctive facial lures attract all manner of sea life, which the linnorm promptly feasts upon before returning to its lair. Luckily for all nonaquatic civilizations, sea linnorms rarely leave the ocean depths they call home.

A typical sea linnorm grows up to 55 feet long and weighs around 14,000 pounds. It is believed that sea linnorms are effectively immortal, with the oldest recorded sea linnorms surviving well over 5,000 years.

Ecology

Electricity courses through a sea linnorm’s body. The linnorm uses this internally generated power to fuel both its facial lures and, when necessary, its devastating breath weapon. This natural attack manifests as a powerful line of orange bioelectricity that overwhelms the nervous system of any living creature in its path. The innate bioelectrical energy of creatures struck by the breath weapon further empower the attack, creating additional discharges that arc off the breath weapon’s naturally straight trajectory toward the nearest living creature. When the linnorm uses this attack to hunt larger underwater creatures, the subsequent discharges quickly overwhelm entire schools of fish for the sea linnorm to devour.

Luckily for the surface world, sea linnorms rarely have any reason to depart their deep underwater homes. Teeming schools of aquatic megafauna roam in the depths that sea linnorms inhabit. This primordial wildlife is of such size that a waking sea linnorm rarely concerns itself with having to roam far for a fulfilling meal. After eating, a sea linnorm hibernates for years, or even centuries, at a time. In some instances, entire aquatic settlements spring to life near the hidden lair of a sea linnorm, only to incur the beast’s excessive wrath when it awakens from its slumber. Some of these unfortunately placed settlements even adjust their entire societies to provide for “their” linnorms, shepherding schools of fish toward the beasts’ lairs and, in harder times, encouraging visitors to visit the linnorms’ dens.

Habitat and Society

Sea linnorms inhabit the deepest trenches of the world’s oceans. Only the abundance of large underwater life sustains the voracious appetites of the bioelectrically charged beasts. As a result, a sea linnorm’s perceived territory encompasses a space of several thousand square miles. Any sentient creature that the sea linnorm perceives as a threat is sought out and slain. Those few settlements permitted to exist within a sea linnorm’s domain are used as early warning systems; each settlement is seeded with traditions of alerting the great linnorm to the presence of potentially threatening outsiders or of certain types of aquatic alphapredator life-forms, such as krakens, luscas, or sea serpents. A sea linnorm immediately seeks out intruders, recognizing that it will either triumph or die—better to be slain fighting in the open water than cornered in its lair.

Few mortals know of the existence of sea linnorms, let alone hunt these ancient creatures. The sole recorded instance of a successfully slain sea linnorm was by the Linnorm King Elgar Fahrstad. As the king crossed the Arcadian Ocean on his way to the mystical paradise of Valenhall, Fahrstad is said to have leapt without uttering a word from the side of his longship into the depths of the ocean. For 3 days and 3 nights, his entourage waited. On daybreak of the fourth day, Elgar Fahrstad emerged from the sea, accompanied by a ride of eight valkyries and the severed head of a sea linnorm. A half-dozen skalds departed the expedition, forsaking the paradise of Valenhall so they could return to the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and retell the final journey of King Fahrstad.