(aquatic, mythic, water)
|CR||24 / MR 9|
Source: Bestiary 5, pg(s). 230
A shen's true form is that of an enormous serpentine dragon, adorned with green and gold glistening scales. It constantly writhes and wiggles its body into a pattern of twirls and knots. Shen are rarely seen in true form, preferring to appear as a pheasant, shellfish or pearl. Instead of sleeping, a shen might spend years or decades as a pearl before emerging again into the natural world.
Shen are typically benevolent and have been known to answer prayers for rain and to herd fish into the nets of needy fisherfolk. However, they might become petty and capricious when slighted, and these transgressions can seem random: eating a swallow (their preferred food), trespassing in their hunting grounds on special ceremonial days and committing acts of petty vandalism. For this reason, it's suggested that shen are creatures of balance seeking to maintain the natural order. They bring about an early thaw to a harsh winter or destroy predators of villages to return everything to a state of balance. More often than not, unusual good or bad fortune is attributed to shen.
Shen prefer quiet contemplation amid large bodies of water, or more rarely in large rivers. They need little food, preferring fish and fowl. When taking their petty revenge, they eat livestock and freeze crops, but do not typically engage in feasts or destruction.
Like most dragons, shen accumulate hoards, usually offerings but sometimes loot from those they vanquished. Shen are extremely protective of their hoards from disturbance and go to great lengths to restore even trivial items stolen. Shen are powerful illusionists and manipulators of weather and climate, and to protect their treasures, shen create immense, elaborate mirage castles resembling human dwellings, whose surface resemblance only serves to confuse visitors.
Shen are more gregarious than most dragons and occasionally work with other shen to accomplish some great task or deed. They rarely interfere with mortals but are known to show pity and aid in times of great need. Because of this and out of fear for them, local peoples give shen considerable reverence, and pay them tribute with sacrifices or treasure.