Source: Monsters of Myth, pg(s). 22
Desert's Howl is a monster that has haunted the deserts of Thuvia for more than three millennia.
Desert's Howl looks vaguely like a man with a full beard, glowing yellow eyes, long ibex horns, lanky hands, muscular legs, cloven hooves and black claws, and is entirely composed of foul smoke, ash and nightmares. It has often been mistaken for a fiend or desert-dwelling wendigo. According to oral history, Desert's Howl was only as big as a human when it first appeared, but has greatly grown in both size and power since then.
The name Desert's Howl comes from the psychic disturbance that assaults those who sleep within miles of this creature. Victims first experience an uneasy sleep, gasping and screaming, then eventually suffer from delirium and lose the ability to discern between dream and reality. Though it can forewarn potential victims, Desert's Howl enjoys both the build-up of fear that might break them before they even see it, and the struggle that powerful, prepared adventurers can pose.
Those who survived Desert's Howl's approach describe that its presence amplifies negative feelings and thoughts, which cloud judgement and linger long afterwards. Others compare the experience to being hunted by the desert itself. Frequent travellers advise one to turn back as soon as something is amiss, lest one falls into Desert's Howl's clutches.
Desert's Howl seems to rarely hunt animals, preferring to toy with prey, and finding a twisted joy in hunting intelligent creatures. Reports talk of howling spawn, creatures that resemble Desert's Howl and stalk the Thuvian deserts. It is unknown if they are its spawn or unfortunate people who shared its fate.
The exact origin of Desert's Howl is unknown. Some claim that it came from the Abyss or was spawned by Lamashtu. The most popular story tells that Desert's Howl was once human, most often Jalari Zafikiri, a highwayman who deftly and precisely launched his raids on nobles and merchants, and always fled before his targets could understand what happened. His last job was said to be of such value that he would retire for good afterward, though he failed to expect the ensuing retribution. Since the entire desert was filled with pursuers, Jalari had to seal himself inside one of his secret troves.
In some stories, Jalari starved and eventually sold his soul to something vile and hungry. Others claim that the treasure was a wish-granting ring, and Jalari was transformed by two poorly-worded wishes. Yet others say that he stole a sun orchid elixir which he subsequently drank, without knowing that the specimen was defective. All agree that in the end, Jalari was transformed into a hungry, hateful monster.
Rumours speak of Jalari Zafikiri's caches, where he kept his spoils. Their locations and contents were his greatest secret, which he allegedly kept on gold coins worn on his neck. Such coins can still be seen in circulation and can be identified by intricate patterns made with a fine-point awl, though most are certainly counterfeit. Some curators are interested in these coins and might be able to verify their authenticity.
Others claim that this treasure can be found by tracking Desert's Howl to its lair: while it has lost most of its intelligence, it still instinctively returns to its old hideouts between feedings. According to some unsubstantiated claims, Desert's Howl has been seen wearing an old, tarnished ring with an offset ruby.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Dana Ebert. (2021). Desert's Howl. Monsters of Myth, p. 19. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-389-8
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Dana Ebert. (2021). Desert's Howl. Monsters of Myth, p. 22. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-389-8
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Dana Ebert. (2021). Desert's Howl. Monsters of Myth, p. 23. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-389-8
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Dana Ebert. (2021). Desert's Howl. Monsters of Myth, p. 20. Paizo Inc.. ISBN 978-1-64078-389-8