Today marks the beginning of Gold Week, and it also just so happens to be tax season, so naturally, my mind goes straight to taxes and the folks that collect them. In Pathfinder, there’s one particular group of outsiders that seem to fit in with the typical interpretation of tax collectors, but there doesn’t seem to be a member of that group set aside for this purpose (as there are for so many other purposes). This week’s Exotic Encounters remedies that problem with a tax-collecting devil.
Devil, Iraxtar (Tax Devil)
As this red-skinned fiend removes its half-moon spectacles with its clawed hands, it spreads its red bat-like wings, and a scorpion-like tail emerges from under its plain black robe.
TAX DEVIL (IRAXTAR) CR 15
LE Medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., debtsight, see in darkness; Perception +27
AC 30, touch 20, flat-footed 23 (+7 Dex, +10 natural, +3 profane)
hp 225 (18d10+126)
Fort +17, Ref +15, Will +17
DR 10/good and silver; Defensive Abilities armor of infernal authority; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 26
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee 2 claws +25 (2d6+6), sting +20 (1d10+3 plus poison)
Special Attacks claim wealth, confiscate
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 18; concentration +21)
At Will—demand offeringOA (DC 15), greater teleport (self plus 250 lbs. of objects only), soul bind (DC 22)
3/day—blur, greater dispel magic, lightning bolt (DC 16), mirror image
1/day—demand (DC 21), summon (level 6, 1d3 bone devils, 60%), trap the soul (DC 21)
Str 22, Dex 25, Con 22, Int 22, Wis 23, Cha 17
Base Atk +18; CMB +24 (+28 disarm or steal); CMD 44 (46 vs. disarm or steal)
Feats Combat Expertise, Greater Disarm, Greater Steal, Improved Disarm, Improved Steal, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Appraise +27, Bluff +24, Diplomacy +24, Fly +25, Knowledge (planes) +27, Knowledge (local) +24, Knowledge (nobility) +24, Perception +27, Profession (clerk) +27, Sense Motive +27, Sleight of Hand +28, Stealth +28
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
Armor of Infernal Authority (Su): A tax devil gains a profane bonus to AC equal to its Charisma bonus.
Claim Wealth (Sp): As a full-round action, a tax devil can touch a helpless or willing creature, or the corpse of a creature that was killed in the last hour, in order to forge an arcane link between the creature and its possessions, and use that link to transport the victim’s valuables to the vaults of Hell. The creature is entitled to a Will save (DC 22) to resist this effect (if a corpse is touched, use its saving throw bonus from the moment of its death). All of the creature’s worldly possessions of any value, beginning with those on its person, and then continuing to the nearest objects it owns that aren’t on its person, are teleported to a vault in Hell. This ability can affect only a total gp value’s worth of items up to the gp value of debt that the touched creature owed. In the event that the creature’s nearest possessions do not evenly add up to the exact gp value of its debt, this ability “rounds up” to include the next item, even if this causes the total gp value to exceed the value of the debt, but no further items after that are affected.
This debt need not be owed to the tax devil or even to an individual or organization for which the tax devil works. Once this maximum gp value limit is reached, any further possessions of the target are unaffected, and any further uses of this ability on that creature have no effect, unless he accrues new debt. This clears the creature of debt according to the tax devil’s debtsight ability, but may or may not legally clear the creature of debt.
Confiscate (Su): Whenever a tax devil successfully damages the same creature with both of its claw attacks in one round, it can make a disarm or steal combat maneuver against that creature as a free action. If it successfully disarms or steals an object, it can choose to have that object be teleported to its vaults in Hell, instead of holding the item or having it fall in a nearby square.
Debtsight (Su): Tax devils have a sixth sense that allows them to sense any debts that a creature may currently owe or be owed. As a standard action, the tax devil can identify whether a specific creature within 60 feet owes any major debts or is owed any major debts (and it can distinguish between the two). If it spends another standard action on the following round, it can learn several details about the debt, including its value in gp, or estimated value in the case of debts that are more difficult to quantify, as well as whether it is a formal debt with a contract and recognized by a legal authority, or an informal debt backed only by the individual’s reputation, and who the debt is owed to (or from). If it continues to concentrate for a third round, it learns when the debt is due, and any agreed penalties for default.
It is no surprise that the overlords of Hell take matters of debt quite seriously, and in fact they maintain legions of tax devils who consider it their sworn duty to oversee each and every debt in the multiverse, even (perhaps especially) those that do not involve Hell directly at all. These devils spend most of their time cataloguing debts and collected payments, but are often required to travel to the Material Plane in order to collect on debts, both infernal and otherwise.
While these devils are quite adept at collecting bargained souls with their spell-like abilities (and fearsome combat prowess), what they spend most of their time focusing on are debts for material goods. If a tax devil identifies an individual with an outstanding debt, it disables or slays them, and then uses its claim wealth ability to transport the owed wealth to vaults in Hell, where they are catalogued, sorted, and stored for safekeeping until the rightful owner comes to claim them. Of course, Hell being what it is, this wealth has a way of sitting in holding for decades or even centuries as it awaits processing, and by the time it finally is sorted, the owed individual has frequently already passed on, at which point the wealth conveniently defaults back to Hell. Those in the know can bribe the infernal hierarchy in order to expedite the process, and sometimes even avoid having to travel to Hell to pick up the goods in person.