Guardian beast

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Guardian beast
Foo creature1E
A yeti prepares to throw a stone dog shaped as a guardian beast.
(Creature)

Guardian beasts (or foo creatures) are celestials that resemble types of animals on the Material Plane, and sometimes travel to or are summoned to it to serve as guardians.[2] They are the most numerous form of ascended petitioners in Nirvana, where they enjoy aiding agathions and playing with others of their kind—even those that look like natural predators of their own form.[1]

Appearance

Any type of animal can serve as the basis of a guardian beast—indeed, every type of animal has a guardian counterpart somewhere in Nirvana.[1][2] Lions are some of the most common forms taken by guardian beasts, while dogs and foxes are common in Minkai and in shrines to Daikitsu, respectively.[3][4] However, with faces that more closely resemble a humanoid's, they are rarely confused with their mundane counterparts.[2]

Artisans carve statues in the guardian beasts' likeness to serve as anchors, allowing them to remain on the Material Plane. By day, they pretend to be normal statues; at night, they either patrol the area, or leave their vessels visit places unreachable by a solid body. During this time, some send dream messages to friendly individuals, but these messages tend to be obscure due to the guardian beasts' personality and strange assumptions.[3]

Guardian beasts usually appear in bonded pairs with opposing personalities: nurturing and strict, or playful and serious. Sculptors often depict one stone animal with their young, though the latter tend to be less than dependable guardians due to their child-like nature, and need to be controlled by their parents.[3]

Abilities

Guardian beasts are significantly smarter than their animal counterparts, with a level of intelligence nearly approaching that of some humans. They can converse in Celestial and Taldane, and can understand and follow complicated instructions.[2]

Guardian beasts can also turn their skin into hard stone and stand perfectly still for indefinite lengths of time. Along with their exaggerated features, guardian beasts can resemble statues so convincingly that they can hide in plain sight.[2]

Ecology

Guardian beasts enjoy frolicking in Nirvana but are more serious when encountered on the Material Plane. They freely cooperate with kind, respectful visitors.[1] They faithfully guard a site, regardless of how disused it is, until their own statues become uninhabitable due to wear or damage.[4]

Guardian beasts can serve as mounts but dislike doing so, and also hate war.[2]

Imperial guardian beasts

Each species of guardian beast is led by a powerful imperial guardian beast, or imperial foo creature, who possesses additional magical powers. Only one imperial guardian beast of each type exists at a time. When an imperial guardian beast is killed, the next strongest one of the same species ascends to replace it.[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Robert Brookes et al. (2018). Planar Adventures, p. 161. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jesse Benner et al. (2011). Bestiary 3 (First Edition), p. 120. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-378-1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Logan Bonner, et al. (2021). Bestiary 3 (Second Edition), p. 124. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-312-6
  4. 4.0 4.1 Logan Bonner, et al. (2021). Bestiary 3 (Second Edition), p. 125. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-312-6
  5. Jesse Benner et al. (2011). Bestiary 3 (First Edition), p. 121. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-378-1