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Shrine Skelm

The unquestioned authority that a priest wields, with influence over even the most intimate details of a congregation's lives, is the ultimate prize for a shrine skelm. Most shrine skelms insinuate themselves into positions of judgment in powerful religious groups to gain that power for their own use and abuse. Shrine skelms wear the old-fashioned, traditional apparel of whatever faith they've infiltrated, brandishing religious symbols made of precious metals to better blend in and give an impression of age and power.

No matter what religion they infiltrate, a shrine skelm is a master at taking established teachings out of context to justify elaborate, painful, and often humiliating punishments for his victims. He usually targets people with the audacity to question his position or teachings, but also relentlessly harasses anyone he envies.

Shrine skelms are skilled listeners, especially in settings like group prayers where they can learn worshippers' fears or hopes. They exploit whatever information they learn for their own prestige and power, but they also watch for jealousy and the seeds of rage that could be nurtured to make a new skelm. They can even intercept sincere prayers and steal their effects for themselves, and they command several spells to manipulate and control their unwitting, vulnerable victims.

Recall Knowledge - Humanoid (Society): DC 20

Elite | Normal | Weak
Proficiency without Level

Changes from being Elite are marked in red below.
NOTE: The +2 damage bonus to non-strike offensive abilities (+4 if the ability is limited, such as spells) is NOT factored in.

Elite Shrine SkelmCreature 5

LEMediumHumanoidSkelm
Source Bestiary 3 pg. 239
Perception +13; scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Languages Aklo, Common; telepathy 30 feet
Skills Athletics +14, Deception +16, Intimidation +16, Occultism +13, Religion +13, Stealth +14, Thievery +14
Str +5, Dex +3, Con +4, Int +4, Wis +2, Cha +5
Items silver religious symbol
AC 24; Fort +15, Ref +14, Will +13; –1 to all saves vs. emotion effects
HP 100; Weaknesses cold iron 5
Seize Prayer ReactionReaction (abjuration, concentrate, occult) Trigger A creature the shrine skelm can hear within 30 feet Casts a divine Spell with a verbal component; Effect The shrine skelm utters an incantation and attempts to counteract the triggering spell (counteract modifier +14, counteract level 3rd). If he successfully counteracts the spell, the skelm and the caster each take 1d8 mental damage per level of the triggering spell, and if the spell had one or more targets, the skelm learns its effect and can allow the spell's effects to continue with himself as the only target (any other effect is still counteracted).
Speed 25 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action fist +17 [+13/+9] (agile, magical), Damage 2d4+2+7 bludgeoning plus GrabMelee Single ActionSingle Action antler +17 [+12/+7] (magical), Damage 2d8+2+7 piercing plus KnockdownOccult Innate Spells DC 24 (+4 dmg); 3rd command, enthrall, mind reading (×3), soothe
Change Shape Single ActionSingle Action (concentrate, occult, polymorph, transmutation) The shrine skelm can take on the appearance of any Medium male humanoid. This doesn't change his Speed or his attack and damage bonuses with his Strikes but might change the damage type his Strikes deal.

All Monsters in "Skelm"

NameLevel
Palace Skelm8
Shrine Skelm5
Soul Skelm10
Street Skelm3

Skelm

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 238
Rage-filled skelms are drawn to any settlement with more than a few hundred souls. Using magical disguises and leveraging societal norms to their benefit, these antlered monsters crave fearful respect and brutally punish any who dare disagree with their lofty opinions, even in the slightest degree. Although quite dangerous on their own, skelms are at their deadliest when leading an angry mob. Their cruel and exploitative nature has made their name synonymous with villainy.

An existing skelm can transform any evil humanoid who's overwhelmed with rage into one of their kind. Skelms heap enraging humiliation on potential new brothers as a form of indoctrination, convincing these recruits that some other person or group is responsible for their misery. This practice ensures skelms begin their new existence with sufficient vitriol to plot their revenge.

Many newly forged skelms carry on their lives in the roles they held as mortals; and in fact, these roles often shape the type of skelm they become. Skelms can arise among members of nearly any ancestry, though they're more common among cultures with deeply entrenched gender roles, unjust hierarchies, and those that don't offer healthy ways to experience and process anger.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Mockeries of Masculinity

Skelm women don't appear to exist. The few researchers who have tracked skelm mating behavior have found skelms' offspring are undifferentiated members of the mother's ancestry. The fact that skelms are cruelly manipulative shapeshifters, but all male, has led to the theory that skelms are the mystical male counterpart to hags.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Skelm Antlers

All skelms have branching antlers resembling those of a stag. Skelms with smaller antlers shame and bully skelms with larger antlers, although they always use some other excuse. However, skelms pretend they don't have antlers at all when dealing with non-skelms, regardless of evidence or argument. Skelms will even gore enemies with their antlers in combat, even if afterwards they deny the action they obviously just took.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Skelm Origins

The transformation from man to skelm takes place over a remarkably short period of time—sometimes as little as a few hours—as the physical changes involved are relatively minor compared to the emotional devotion required.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Skelm Society

Alliances between skelms rarely last long, as it's only a matter of time before one wounds another's incredibly fragile ego, breaking the alliance. Many form hierarchical clubs with mortal members to delay such conflict while also identifying prospective new skelms.