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Will-o’-Wisp

Malevolent balls of colored light, will-o’-wisps haunt lonely marshes and forests where they lure unsuspecting travelers into danger. Will-o’-wisps can vary the color and illumination they shed, and delight in mimicking bobbing lanterns or distant fires to draw lost or disoriented travelers off of safe trails. They can extinguish their illumination entirely to become invisible, and they enjoy doing so once their victims are wholly lost and have realized that the bobbing light in the distance isn’t, in fact, leading them to safety. Even invisible, however, a will-o’-wisp rarely ventures far from its target, as it feasts upon the panic and dread felt by its victims.

Beneath its glow, a will-o’-wisp’s body is a spongy ball approximately 1 foot in diameter and weighing less than 5 pounds. Although most will-o’-wisps are merely translucent, featureless orbs, gaining definition only in the shifting illumination they create, a few have dark mottling that makes them resemble a skull when viewed closely. Will-o’-wisps have no need for mundane nourishment, and in fact lack the ability to consume matter of any kind; they find all the sustenance they need in the terror of nearby creatures. For this reason, they like to work alongside undead that produce terror in their victims. Will-o’-wisps are long-lived, if not effectively immortal, and they have good memories. A cowed or defeated will-o’-wisp can be a good source of lore and information, though acquiring such cooperation from such a sinister monster is no easy feat.

Will-o’-wisps inhabit desolate swamps and forests and are generally active at twilight and after dark. They are therefore reluctant to lead victims into immediately fatal areas such as deadfalls, but instead prefer hazards where their victims suffer over a long time, such as pockets of stale or poisonous air, patches of quicksand, and dens of bigger monsters. According to will-o’-wisps, different types of fear have subtle differences in flavor. The lurking dread in the pit of the stomach that gnaws at those who slowly become aware of the fact that they’re lost produces a much different taste than the sudden stark terror of imminent death in the face of a towering monster. Because of this, will-o’-wisps try to vary the ways in which they induce terror in their prey, to ensure they don’t tire of certain flavors of fear.

Recall Knowledge - Aberration (Occultism): DC 22

Will-o’-WispCreature 6

CESmallAberrationAir
Source Bestiary pg. 333
Perception +16; darkvision
Languages Aklo, Common
Skills Acrobatics +18, Deception +12, Intimidation +12, Stealth +16
Str -5, Dex +6, Con +0, Int +2, Wis +4, Cha +2
AC 27; Fort +10, Ref +16, Will +14
HP 50; Immunities magic
Glow (aura, light) 20 feet. A will-o’-wisp is itself naturally invisible, but glows with a colored light, casting bright light in the aura and making it visible.
Magic Immunity A will-o’-wisp is immune to all spells except faerie fire, glitterdust, magic missile, and maze.
Speed fly 50 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action shock +17 [+12/+7] (electricity, magical), Damage 2d8+4 electricityFeed on Fear Single ActionSingle Action (concentrate) Requirement An enemy is under a fear effect or dying within 15 feet of the will-o’-wisp. Effect The will-o’wisp feeds on the creature’s terror. It regains 2d4 Hit Points, and if it has Gone Dark, its glow reignites. A will-o’-wisp can take this action only once per round.Go Dark Single ActionSingle Action (concentrate) The will-o’-wisp extinguishes its glow, becoming invisible. It can end this effect with another use of this action. If it uses its shock attack while invisible, the arc of electricity lets any observer determine its location, making the will-o’-wisp only hidden to all observers until it moves.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Eyes of the Dead

The elder goddess Nhimbaloth, the so-called "Empty Death," is said by many to be the source of all will‑o’‑wisps. Cultists of Nhimbaloth claim she has no true form, but is merely a presence that can be felt by all in danger of a pointless and futile death. These same cultists maintain that all will‑o’‑wisps are Nhimbaloth’s eyes, and it is through these fear‑devouring creatures that she looks upon all worlds from an eldritch realm beyond even the very concept of death.

Will-o’-Wisp Variants

Some variants of this creature have the following alternate rules that adjust the standard will-o’-wisp stat block above. Despite these changes, their level remains the same.

Dune Candle

Source Pathfinder #164: Hands of the Devil pg. 62
Dune candles replace the melee Strike, Feed on Fear, and Go Dark abilities with the following abilities.

Melee flare +17 (fire, magical), Damage 2d4+4 fire plus Light the Living Wick
Heat Mirage (concentrate) The dune candle extinguishes its glow, becoming invisible. It can end this effect with another use of this action. Its body reflects creatures on fire (but not other fires) while it's invisible. As a result, when any creature within 20 feet of the dune candle is taking persistent fire damage, the dune candle is hidden to observers rather than undetected.
Light the Living Wick (arcane, evocation) A creature damaged by a dune candle's flare Strike must succeed at a DC 24 Will save or catch on fire, taking 1d4 persistent fire damage. If the creature is already taking persistent fire damage, a failed save increases the persistent fire damage by 1d4.

Grotean Candle

Source Pathfinder #164: Hands of the Devil pg. 62
Groetan candles deal cold damage with their melee Strikes and gain the following ability.

Show the Looming Moon (concentrate) Requirements The Groetan candle is invisible; Effect The Groetan candle ends its invisibility and flashes with cold brightness. Creatures within 20 feet of the Groetan candle who can see it must succeed at a DC 24 Fortitude save or become dazzled for 1 round (1 minute on a critical failure).

Spellvoid

Source Pathfinder #164: Hands of the Devil pg. 62
Spellvoids have the following ability instead of Feed on Fear.

Feed on Magic (concentrate) Requirement A creature who can cast spells is within 15 feet of the spellvoid; Effect The spellvoid feeds on the creature's magic. The spellvoid regains 2d8 Hit Points, and the target must attempt a DC 24 Will save. The target is then temporarily immune for 1 hour.
Critical Success The target is unaffected.
Success The first time the target Casts a Spell before the start of the spellvoid's next turn, the spell is disrupted unless the target succeeds at a DC 15 flat check.
Failure As success, but the effect applies the first time the target Casts a Spell within the next minute.
Critical Failure As success, but the effect applies each time the target Casts a Spell within the next minute. In addition, the spellvoid doubles the Hit Points it regains.

Will-o'-the-Deep

Source Pathfinder #164: Hands of the Devil pg. 62
These creatures gain the Amphibious trait, a swim Speed of 50 feet, and the Aquatic Ambush ability.

All Monsters in "Wisp"

NameLevel
Corpselight2
Dread Wisp9
Flickerwisp2
Voidglutton8
Will-o’-Wisp6

Wisp

Source Bestiary pg. 333
Nethys Note: this is not an official family and is a gathering of related creatures