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Soul Skelm

Soul skelms arise not from mortal men but from other skelms, as their long-held wrath slowly twists them and replaces lingering fragments of their mortality with even more fiendish aspects. These skelms bully and exploit the souls of the dead, binding souls and undead to keep themselves indefinitely young. They bully living victims as well, stoking regret and shame even from inconsequential minutiae or outright fabrications until these feelings become unbreakable ties that the skelm can leverage from beyond the grave. A soul skelm's attentions can leave a victim isolated from friends and allies, making them all the more susceptible to the skelm's manipulations.

Ambitious soul skelms—often those who arise from palace skelms—search out powerful, high-strung mortals and trick them into bringing ridicule or shame on themselves. After their victim's death, the skelms gleefully remind them of their mortal failings, feeding on their despair.

Recall Knowledge - Fiend (Religion): DC 27
Recall Knowledge - Humanoid (Society): DC 27

Elite | Normal | Weak

Soul SkelmCreature 10

LEMediumFiendHumanoidSkelm
Source Bestiary 3 pg. 241
Perception +19; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 30 feet
Languages Aklo, Common
Skills Athletics +22, Deception +21, Occultism +19, Society +19, Stealth +17
Str +6, Dex +3, Con +5, Int +3, Wis +5, Cha +7
Items +1 striking ghost touch spiked chain
AC 29; Fort +19, Ref +17, Will +21; –2 to all saves vs. emotion effects
HP 170; Immunities possession; Weaknesses cold iron 10
Speed 30 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action fist +22 [+18/+14] (agile, evil, magical), Damage 2d8+12 bludgeoning plus GrabMelee Single ActionSingle Action antler +22 [+17/+12] (evil, magical), Damage 2d12+12 piercing plus KnockdownMelee Single ActionSingle Action spiked chain +23 [+18/+13] (disarm, evil, magical, trip), Damage 2d8+12 slashing plus KnockdownOccult Innate Spells DC 29; 7th plane shift (self only; Astral or Material Plane only); 5th harm, illusory creature, mind probe, modify memory; 4th dimension door (at will); 2nd invisibility (at will), silence (at will)
Bully the Departed Single ActionSingle Action (auditory, emotion, mental, occult, enchantment) The skelm draws upon the spirit of one of his deceased victims, tormenting their soul beyond the grave. Until the end of his next turn, the soul skelm gains regeneration 15 (deactivated by force or good), and he deals an extra 1d8 evil damage on his Strikes.Change Shape Single ActionSingle Action (concentrate, occult, polymorph, transmutation) The soul 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.Isolating Lash Two ActionsTwo Actions (illusion, occult) The soul skelm makes a melee Strike trailing a wave of shadowy illusions. The skelm is flat-footed until the start of his next turn. If the Strike is successful, the skelm increases the number of damage dice by one, and the target must attempt a DC 29 Will save. On a failure, the target becomes invisible, inaudible, and otherwise imperceptible to its allies for 4 rounds, and it likewise can't see, hear, or otherwise perceive those allies. Regardless of the outcome, the creature is temporarily immune to Isolating Lash for 24 hours.

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.