Today’s Exotic Encounters features an odd mix of Japanese and Scandinavian folklore. As you probably know, in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, the race of outsiders known as oni, based loosely on Japanese folklore, are spirits that take bodies similar to humanoid races. Most of the existing oni are giants of some kind, which seems like a shame, and the first race that sprang to my mind for an interesting oni was elves.
As you may or may not be aware, the current fantasy interpretation of elves, based largely on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, was not always the way elves were perceived. In fact, folklore is full of tales of terrifyingly evil, otherworldly elves, who would invisibly afflict victims with diseases known as “elf-shot.” This seemed like a perfect side of elves for an elf-oni to explore. Which brings us to today’s monster, the irafu oni.
This willowy figure is impossibly lithe and tall, with snow-white skin and long hair that seems to be made of real gold. Its eyes are large and beautiful almond-shaped pools of iridescent jade. Despite its beauty, a cold cruelty seems to radiate from it.
IRAFU CR 6
NE Medium outsider (elf, native, oni, shapechanger)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +18
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +6 Dex)
hp 76 (9d10+27); regeneration 3 (acid or fire)
Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +8
Immune enchantment spells and effects, sleep
Speed 40 ft.
Melee mwk elven curve blade +11/+6 (1d10+3/18–20)
Ranged +1 composite longbow [+2 Str] +16/+11 (1d8+3 plus disease)
Special Attacks alfenshot, beautiful gaze
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +10)
Constant—pass without trace
At Will—dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 16), jump (self only)
3/day—entangle (DC 17), invisibility (self only), see invisibility
1/day—charm animal (DC 17), speak with plants
Str 14, Dex 22, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 18
Base Atk +9; CMB +11; CMD 27
Feats Deadly Aim, Manyshot, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Shot
Skills Bluff +16, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (nature) +13, Perception +18, Sense Motive +14, Spellcraft +17, Stealth +18; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception, +4 Spellcraft
Languages Common, Elven
SQ change shape (Medium humanoid, alter self)
Environment temperate forests
Treasure standard (mwk composite longbow [+2 Str], mwk elven curve blade, mithral chain shirt)
Alfenshot (Su): An irafu oni is able to channel its hatred of living things through any bow it wields. Any longbow or shortbow the irafu wields is treated as though its enhancement bonus were 1 higher than it actually is. Additionally, any creature damaged by an arrow fired by a bow wielded by an irafu oni is exposed to the following disease.
Alfenshot: injury; save Fort DC 18; onset none; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Str damage; cure 3 consecutive saves. The saving throw DC is Charisma-based.
Beautiful Gaze (Su): An irafu oni’s beauty is such that it can easily fascinate those who look upon it, but when its anger is roused, its beauty becomes a stark and terrifying thing to behold. This is a gaze attack with a range of 30 feet. At the beginning of its turn each round, the irafu oni can choose whether affected creatures are fascinated for 1 round or shaken for 1 round. Either way, a DC 18 Will save negates. The saving throw DC is Charisma-based.
Vanity (Su): If an irafu oni is the subject of a critical hit, its otherworldly beauty is marred, weakening it. The irafu oni loses its beautiful gaze special attack until all damage dealt by the critical hit is healed (by the irafu oni’s regeneration, or through other means). Additionally, until the damage is healed, the irafu oni is shaken, as it obsesses over the temporary flaw in its beautiful body.
Irafu are oni that have taken the shape of elves, and exaggerate the features of that race. Like their kin, they revel in the baser pleasures of life, and are particularly fond of beauty and beautiful objects, going out of their way to collect such things in vast collections and treasure troves of aesthetic perfection. There is perhaps no beauty that an irafu likes to behold so much as itself, however, and some irafu have been known to spend hours simply gazing into the mirror, or even taking mirrors with them wherever they go, so they are never more than a moment away from being able to behold their own beauty. Because each irafu believes itself to be the most beautiful creature, they tend to be unable to bear each other’s company for long.
Whether it is due to the elven race’s close relationship with nature, or for some other inscrutable reason, many irafu were once kami spirits associated with plants and animals of the forest, and irafu tend to display a certain amount of control over these elements even in their fallen oni forms.