Herecite

From PathfinderWiki
Herecite
(Creature)

Herecites are particularly blasphemous undead created through the sacrifice of followers of a non-evil deity to an evil one and transformed into devoted followers of the latter.[1][2]

Appearance

Herecites resemble bastardized versions of the deity they worshiped in life. This commonly manifests as an undead mimicry of their old god.[1]

  • A herecite created from worshipers of Gozreh might appear as a decrepit old man with a fanged stag's skull in place of a head, its mouth dripping with the blood of hunters-turned-prey.[2]
  • A herecite created from worshipers of Desna might appear as a woman burdened by shackles and chains, with a pair of tattered and useless butterfly wings protruding from her back.[2]

Ecology

Creation

Herecites are created through an ritual which requires at least five young, inexperienced victims who worship the same non-evil deity and one victim of the same faith of higher station than the others, typically a high priest. A worshiper of an evil deity, like Asmodeus[1] or Zevgavizeb,[2] then sacrifices the lesser victims to their god while the superior is forced to watch. The pain of the high priest having to watch their acolytes being tortured, killed, and raised in undeath is used as the ritual's catalyst. The sacrificed victims then seethe and melt, fusing together both body and soul into a singular herecite.[1]

The fate of the high priest is irrelevant after the conclusion of the ritual and the formation of the herecite. Those who lose their faith or their sanity due to their witnessing of the ritual often transform into a huecuva and become an oracle of the same evil deity the herecite was made to serve.[1]

Among assorted blasphemous tomes, heretical scriptorums, and necromancer lairs, the instructions needed to perform the ritual of creating a herecite is known to be recorded within the Book of the Damned.[1]

Community

Herecites are almost always found in the company of cults of evil religions. While these are usually the ones who created them, this is not always the case, as different evil faiths may trade herecites among themselves to allow them to form cabals.[2]

Similar to hag covens, herecites can form cabals of up to five members to share their abilities among each other. Creating a cabal requires a full day of prayer and vile sacrifice to bind the herecites together. Herecites do not need to be of the same faith to create a cabal together, and a cabal formed from herecites of varying faiths is actually stronger than one of those who share a deity.[1] Once the cabal is created, the linked herecites are bound by distance, though the nature of this can vary. Either they must all remain within the immediate area where they created their cabal[1] or at lest two members of the cabal must remain within a mile of each other at all times.[2] In either case, if these conditions are not met, the cabal immediately dissolves and all members lose their power. To herecites, a cabal is far more than a means of gaining power, as fellows of their kind with whom they can pray seems to be one of the few things they can take solace in.[2]

Herecites often outlive the groups that created them. When isolated in such a manner, herecites often seek out other of their kind to form a cabal. Those who do not may instead make a pilgrimage to holy site of their former faith. Their motivations for such a journey are known only to them, but always end in the desecration of the site and the massacre of its inhabitants.

Despite their undead nature, the Whispering Way takes no interest in them other than as curiosities and does not consider them viable additions to its ranks.[1]

Habitat

Herecites often become guardians of the temples that created them. Lone herecites, especially those who lost their masters, might wander away, but those who form a cabal usually stay in the same area for centuries, as leaving that area will break the cabal.[1]

Religion

Herecites are always intensely religious to their new deity and have little interest in anything other than praying to them, usually in the form of warped versions of their old faith's prayers. However, in spite of this obsessive devotion they never become clerics, as the ritual that created them leaves them unable to profess such a powerful faith in a deity ever again. Those who train in magic usually become sorcerers or witches instead.[1]

References

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Adam Daigle and James Jacobs. (2015). Bestiary. A Song of Silver, p. 117. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-795-6
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Anthony Bono, Jacob W. Michaels, Andrew Mullen, Patrick Renie, Alex Riggs, Timothy Snow, and Greg A. Vaughan. (2020). "Adventure Toolbox". Life's Long Shadows, p. 80–81. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-216-7