Nuckelavee

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Nuckelavee
A nuckelavee.
(Creature)

Nuckelavees, nicknamed the devils of the sea, are fey creatures that are the living embodiment of nature's rage against all who have despoiled her pristine beauty.1

Appearance

At its most basic, a nuckelavee appears as a horse with a humanoid torso sprouting from its back and fins or webbed hooves for feet. These monstrosities lack skin, thus baring to the air yellow veins pulsing with black blood, slimy white sinew, and twitching, alien organs. Some nuckelavees have more peculiar features, such as oversized heads that loll limply on their necks, arms so long their oversized claws drag on the ground, or strings of tendons and veins that stretch from their equine head to their torso-like grotesque reins. The more severe the pollution that gives rise to a nuckelavee, the more horrific is its visage.23

Abilities

Nuckelavees are intelligent beings capable of speaking and understanding Common tongues, Fey, and Aklo languages.4 Nuckelavees are immune to diseases and poisons but they are vulnerable to cold iron weapons. Contact with unpolluted fresh water burns them like acid and makes them sick.4

Nuckelavees' attacks infect victims with the mortasheen disease that progresses faster in affected animals and plants. Nuckelavees can also release a foul breath of disease and poison that harms the living with void energy and causes them to persistently bleed unless treated.4

Habitat and ecology

Like many fey, nuckelavees have a connection to the natural world. However, much like how their grotesque forms stand in stark contrast to the elegant beauty of many other fey, they play a much different role: they are not protectors of the natural world but its avengers.3 A nuckelavee is regarded among the most cruel, vile, and monstrous of fey.4 When natural waterways are polluted,3 a nuckelavee is drawn out of the First World4 and charges forth in a campaign of murder and destruction to cut a swath across the land.3

Despite being seen as nature's avenger, nuckelavees are indiscriminate about whom they massacre and devour around their polluted waterway. Indeed, a nuckelavee's survival depends on living in polluted lands else it would wither away, thus those that cleanse pollution are seen as its greatest threat. Even then, nuckelavees are usually respectful of their fey counterparts, peacefully withdrawing when naiads reclaim a cleansed body of water.4

Treasure

Nuckelavees typically have no need of treasure and keep nothing apart from the masterwork weapons they wield against their foes, and some eschew even these. Any items from their victims are allowed to lie where they fall, typically being scattered around the nuckelavee's lair to be buried among muck, eaten by curious fish, or simply rot and rust to nothing.2

However, if they favor a mortal, they sometimes gift them with a token of the nuckelavee, a bracelet of briny, damp gray flesh that can purify water at the cost of tainting the wearer's own body.2

On Golarion

See also: Category:Nuckelavee/Inhabitants

Nuckelavees dwell as far north as the ice-rimmed reaches of the Ivory Sea.5

References

Paizo published a major chapter about nuckelavees in Fey Revisited.

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Julian Neale, et al. “Bestiary” in Blood for Blood, 88–89. Paizo Inc., 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ray Vallese. Nuckelavee” in Fey Revisited, 28–33. Paizo Inc., 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary 2, 186. Paizo Inc., 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Logan Bonner, et al. Nuckelavee” in Monster Core, 243. Paizo Inc., 2024
  5. Amber E. Scott & Mark Seifter. Golarion's Seas” in Aquatic Adventures, 28. Paizo Inc., 2017

External Links

  • Nuckelavee (real-world mythical creature) on Wikipedia