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Cairn Linnorm

Cairn linnorms are disturbing, even by linnorm standards. They make their homes in necropolises, burial grounds, and the sites of immense and gory battles. Some point out that cairn linnorms feast on shambling undead and thus provide a service to the living, but these beasts are not choosy and will happily consume any creature, whether or not it draws breath.

Some tales state that cairn linnorms will not—or cannot—enter a tomb without the permission of a descendant of the deceased (or the permission of the deceased itself, in the instance that it has risen from the dead). Likewise, once a cairn linnorm has entered a tomb, it won't leave until it has secured permission to do so. Whether such legends are true or not is anyone's guess; nevertheless, reports of a cairn linnorm in the vicinity are harrowing enough to dissuade even the most foolhardy grave robber from peeking into too many crypts or mausoleums.

Recall Knowledge - Dragon (Arcana): DC 40

Elite | Normal | Weak

Cairn LinnormCreature 18

UncommonCEGargantuanDragon
Source Bestiary 2 pg. 166 2.0
Perception +30; darkvision, scent (imprecise) 60 feet, true seeing
Languages Aklo, Draconic, Sylvan
Skills Acrobatics +32, Athletics +35
Str +9, Dex +6, Con +8, Int -2, Wis +6, Cha +7
AC 43; Fort +34, Ref +30, Will +26; +1 status to all saves vs. magic
HP 360, regeneration 15 (deactivated by cold iron); Immunities acid, curse, paralyzed, sleep; Weaknesses cold iron 15
Curse of the Crooked Cane (curse, primal) When a creature slays a cairn linnorm, it must succeed at a DC 44 Will save or become permanently enfeebled 2. In addition, the victim ages at an accelerated rate, aging 1 year every day, eventually causing it to die of old age if the curse is left untended.
Attack of Opportunity ReactionReaction Tail only.
Speed 35 feet, climb 40 feet, fly 100 feet, swim 40 feet; freedom of movement
Melee Single ActionSingle Action jaws +35 [+30/+25] (magical, reach 25 feet), Damage 3d12+17 piercing plus cairn linnorm venomMelee Single ActionSingle Action claw +35 [+31/+27] (agile, magical, reach 25 feet), Damage 3d8+17 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action tail +35 [+31/+27] (agile, magical, reach 25 feet), Damage 3d10+17 bludgeoning plus Improved GrabPrimal Innate Spells DC 40; Constant (8th) freedom of movement; (7th) true seeing
Breath Weapon Two ActionsTwo Actions (acid, evocation, primal) The cairn linnorm expels a 60-foot cone of negative energy–infused acid, dealing 19d6 acid damage to creatures in the area (DC 40 basic Reflex save). The acid also saps the life out of affected creatures. At the beginning of the linnorm's next turn, each creature that failed the Reflex save must succeed at a DC 40 Fortitude save or become drained 1 (drained 2 on a critical failure). The cairn linnorm can't use Breath Weapon again for 1d4 rounds.Cairn Linnorm Venom (acid, poison) Saving Throw DC 41 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 10 rounds; Stage 1 6d6 acid damage and drained 1 (1 round); Stage 2 8d6 acid damage and drained 2 (1 round)

All Monsters in "Linnorm"

NameLevel
Cairn Linnorm18
Crag Linnorm14
Fjord Linnorm16
Ice Linnorm17
Shoal Linnorm15
Taiga Linnorm19
Tarn Linnorm20
Tor Linnorm21

Linnorm

Source Bestiary pg. 224
Immense, primeval dragons of the northern reaches of the world, linnorms hate those they deem to be lesser creatures and seek to inflict as much suffering as possible upon their unfortunate victims. While these serpentine monstrosities might not be the powerful winged dragons most imagine, they nonetheless possess incredible strength and deadly powers that often rival authentic dragon brutality.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Death Curses

The death curses of the linnorms are often the subjects of tragic sagas, and those who would think themselves vanquishing heroes for slaying a linnorm often meet their dooms soon thereafter, succumbing to these curses well after the death of the linnorm responsible for bestowing it.

Sidebar - Additional Lore First World Connections

Linnorms have a deep connection to the First World, the primordial home of the fey. While linnorms typically won't think twice before devouring a gnome or other fey, they do have an unusual respect for wielders of powerful primal magic. The only way to cow a linnorm, according to common wisdom, is to remind it that there are forces of nature even stronger than itself.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Linnorm Kings

In the storied Lands of the Linnorm Kings, the slaying of a linnorm is traditionally required for those who would claim a nation’s crown. Recently, though, the Linnorm King White Estrid claimed her crown not by slaying a linnorm but by beating it into submission, gaining a powerful and dangerous ally to help secure her rule.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Linnorm Legends

Creatures as powerful as linnorms tend to spawn stories of their own, accurate or not. Critical failure on a check to Recall Knowledge on linnorms might suggest that you can avoid a linnorm's death curse by closing your eyes as you deliver the fatal blow, or that rubbing poison oak on yourself can ward off a linnorm's attention.

Sidebar - Treasure and Rewards Linnorm Treasure

As with true dragons, linnorms tend to amass immense piles of treasure in their lairs. These hoards consist of the weapons, gear, and belongings of would-be vanquishers more often than minted coins or works of art.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Newborn Linnorms

Almost all linnorms lead solitary lives; they are too reprehensible for even their own kind to tolerate for any length of time. Most species do not even meet to reproduce; rather, female linnorms usually deposit a solitary egg in a remote location, which a wandering male linnorm then fertilizes and places in a nook suitable for incubation. Newborn linnorms range in size from that of adult crocodiles to full-grown bulls, and their growth is rapid. Even a juvenile linnorm is strong enough to wreak havoc on a small settlement— though most don't dare to commit such audacious pillaging, for fear of evoking the anger of another, larger linnorm in the area.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Other Linnorms

Linnorms exist in a variety of forms beyond the four detailed here. The gaunt cairn linnorm, the spiny taiga linnorm, and the aquatic fjord linnorm each terrorize their own specific regions of the Material Plane.

Sidebar - Related Creatures Rarer Linnorms

While the linnorms presented here and in the first Bestiary constitute the majority of these creatures, others exist, particularly in the remote regions of the First World. It may be that these rare linnorms simply find the Material Plane too constraining for their might!