Umbrax (3.5e Creature)
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An indistinct presence, more of a deathly whisper than an actual physical form, seems to suction all the warmth from your body. These invisible entities endeavour to leave your physical forms destitute of life and then proceed to ambulate their corrupt essences within your soulless remains.
Occasionally, when incorporeal undead run afoul of the abyss, the chaotic energies warp and transform them into umbraxi. Although a rare occurrence in general, this transformation happens most readily with greater shadows that somehow end up incarcerated upon abyssal layers that are proximate to the Dreaming Gulf. Umbraxi are weightless and have no discernible visible form, their immaterial presence only betrayed by an unusually thick, writhing shadow cast upon the ground below its presumed location.
An umbrax loves to attack a party of adventurers by means by possessing one of them and urging the others to attack their friend to expel it. When no such opportunity presents itself, it mercilessly lashes out with its energy draining natural attacks and its spells.
Lifedrain (Su): An umbrax's touch attack bestows 1d4 negative levels as incorporeal claws rend the creature's very soul. Each time an umbrax successfully damages a creature in such a way, it heals 5 points of damage to itself for every negative level bestowed. An umbrax cannot use this ability while possessing a body.
Negative Essence (Ex): An umbrax still possesses strong residual traits from its earlier time as an undead. It treats cure and inflict spells as an undead does. It can also still be turned or rebuked (but not destroyed or commanded) as if it were an undead, albeit with a turn resistance of +10 (half its spell resistance rounded down).
Possession (Su): An umbrax is able to possess a creature by entering its space and successfully attaching its shadow to the creature's form. To possess a still living creature, the umbrax must succeed on a successful melee melee touch attack and enter the creature's space. A successful DC 23 Fortitude saving throw expels the umbrax from the creature's body before it can take root, returning it to the square it occupied prior to making the possession attempt. If that saving throw fails, the umbrax's essence enters the creature's body, possessing it.
An umbrax is also able to possess creatures that are already dead as a standard action, simply by entering a square occupied by a corpse, instantly possessing it. Whether the recipient is alive or dead, an umbrax can only possess creatures of the following types; animal, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid and vermin. The body cannot be headless or destroyed beyond recognition, and an umbrax cannot possess a creature living or dead in the area of a magic circle against chaos, magic circle against evil, hallow spell or other similar effect. In case of still living creatures, an umbrax cannot possess a creature protected by a death ward.
An umbrax-possessed living creature shudders into a grotesque mockery of life, where every second of exposure quickly seems to deteriorate the host's health. During each round of possession, at the beginning of the umbrax's turn, the host incurs one negative level. As long as the umbrax possesses the creature, the penalties from incurred negative levels are suppressed; a possessed creature does not experience the loss of hit points or the cumulative penalties to attack rolls, saves and checks. When the amount of negative levels incurred exceeds the host's total of hit dice and class levels, it still immediately dies, and becomes a corpse under the umbrax' possession.
When an umbrax-possessed body is already dead from the start, it rises to its feet on the umbrax's next action. The fiendish essence of the umbrax restores the dead body to its full hit points; old wounds simply vanish, and burns from magic or the effects from drain, as well as conditions that might have once affected the host are removed. An umbrax can inhabit such a body indefinitely, and the body doesn't age while possessed. If the possessed body is reduced to -10 hit points, the umbrax is forced out of the body and into an adjacent square (or the nearest available space). Unless the body is beheaded or completely destroyed, an umbrax can attempt to possess it agtain on its next turn.
An umbrax-possessed body gains the benefits of its natural armor and any armor it wears, but not the umbrax's deflection bonus to AC. The umbrax adopts the statistics of the creature it is possessing but gains none of its extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like abilities, nor can it use any of the possessed creature's intelligence-, Wisdom- or Charisma-based skills. Due to the constant energy drain effect of an umbrax's possesion, a possessed corpse gains effective fast healing 5.
A dismissal, dispel chaos, or dispel evil spell cast on the possessed body immediately drives the umbrax from the body into an adjacent square (or the nearest available space) and dazes the umbrax for 1 round (no save). Without the umbrax to inhabit it, the body lifelessly collapses to the ground if already dead, or becomes stunned for 1 round if still alive.
Shadow's Embrace (Su): Once per day as a standard action, an umbrax in its natural form can impart a gift to a mortal creature by touch. A constant blurring effect grips the creature, giving attacks against it a 20% miss chance. Furthermore, it gains a +5 profane bonus to saving throws against death effects as well as the ability to see in darkness (see above). The effect lasts for 24 hours or until the target creature is affected by a dispel evil spell. Until this point, the affected creature radiates evil as if his alignment were evil. As such, during this time, the creature's natural attacks and attacks with any weapons it wields are treated as evil-aligned for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction. As long as the gift persists, the gifted character is wreathed in smoky strands of shadowy force.
The shadow's embrace also creates an unwholesome bond between the character and the umbrax. As long as the embrace persists, the umbrax can monitor the character's condition and location as if it had placed a status spell on that character. If the creature dies before the bond dissolves, the umbrax can attempt to possess its body as a standard action despite any physical distance between the two and as long as the body and the umbrax are on the same plane. If the possession succeeds, the umbrax is immediately whisked to the creature's position.
Accepting an umbrax's embrace is an evil act and could have repercussions on the recipient's alignment. A creature can attempt to resist gaining the powers from the embrace with a DC 23 Will save. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Skills: An umbrax gains a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks that grows to +16 in an area of shadowy illumination.
For Player Characters
A chaotic evil-aligned spellcaster that has prior come in contact with an umbrax or has studied the umbraxi from a reliable source of information, such as one of the black scrolls of Ahm, may attempt to summon an umbrax with a summon monster IX spell. Summoning an umbrax gives the spell the Chaotic and Evil descriptors. A summoned umbrax is unable to perform its shadow's embrace ability.