Excerpt from
Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss

Demons. The creatures you love to hate (or who love to hate your character!). You can get an Abyssal-sized serving of these creatures, their organizations, their powers, their tactics, and more in Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. Make no mistake, though. This book has a lot of crunchy bits for the players of characters who have it in for demons, too! Take a look at some of the excerpts we're providing for your fiendish amusement. The excerpts below include information about nabassu, Yeenoghu, three feats, and the location known as Pazunia.

NABASSU

The demon's body is tall and sinewy. The head is long, with small horns and ears like a bat's. Its teeth are practically tusks, set in a mouth that seems too large for its head. Its eyes glow with a hateful yellow light. Its long fingers end in equally long talons, and scales cover its wings and skin. Tufts of black fur stud the tops of its shoulders. The demon's back and arms are dull black, while the chest and belly are a sickly dirty gray.

Juvenile Nabassu CR 5
Always CE Medium outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar'ri)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +10, Spot +10
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
AC 18, touch 12, flat-footed 16
(+2 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 52 (5 HD); DR 5/cold iron or good
Immune electricity, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 16
Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +8
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +11 (1d8+6) and
2 claws +6 (1d4+3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +5; Grp +11
Atk Options sneak attack +2d6
Special Actions death-stealing gaze, feed
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th):
At will -- darkness, obscuring mist
Abilities Str 22, Dex 14, Con 22, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 17
SQ camouflage, tanar'ri traits (see page 28)
Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will
Skills Bluff +11, Concentration +14, Diplomacy +5, Hide +10 (+18 in underground or barren environments), Intimidate +13, Jump +16, Knowledge (local) +10, Listen +10, Move Silently +10, Spot +10, Tumble +12
Advancement 6-14 HD (Medium); see text

Camouflage (Ex) A juvenile nabassu has the ability to change the coloration of its flesh between various shades of black, gray, and brown. As a result, it gains a +8 circumstance bonus on Hide checks made in underground or barren environments.

Death-Stealing Gaze (Su) 30 feet, Fort DC 15 negates, bestows 1 negative level. Any humanoid creature drained to 0 levels by the juvenile nabassu's deathstealing gaze dies and is immediately transformed into a ghoul (MM 119) under the nabassu's permanent command. The death-stealing gaze has no effect on creatures that are not humanoids. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Feed (Su) A juvenile nabassu can feed on the body of a helpless living humanoid, devouring both its flesh and life force. To do so, the nabassu makes a coup de grace attack against the humanoid creature; this provokes an attack of opportunity from any creatures that threaten it. If the victim is slain by the coup de grace, a significant physical portion of its body is eaten by the nabassu while the remaining portions quickly rot away to a foulsmelling paste. This prevents any form of raising or resurrection that requires part of the corpse. A wish, miracle, or true resurrection can restore a devoured victim to life.

For every three humanoids the juvenile nabassu devours in this fashion, it gains the following benefits:

+1 profane bonus on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks
+5 hit points
+1 profane bonus to its natural armor
+1 effective level (whenever the nabassu's level is used in a die roll or calculation, increase it by 1)

A juvenile nabassu that devours 30 humanoids in this fashion loses the above benefits and instantly transforms into a mature nabassu (see below for statistics). On its next turn, the newly matured nabassu plane shifts back to the Abyss with any items currently in its possession, abandoning its ghoul minions.

Sneak Attack (Ex) A juvenile nabassu can make a sneak attack as a rogue, dealing an extra 2d6 points of damage whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when the juvenile nabassu is flanking.

Mature Nabassu CR 15
Always CE Medium outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar'ri)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +23, Spot +23
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.
AC 31, touch 15, flat-footed 26
(+5 Dex, +16 natural)
hp 202 (15 HD); regeneration 5; DR 10/cold iron or good
Immune electricity, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 26
Fort +20, Ref +14, Will +16
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 90 ft. (good)
Melee bite +24 (2d8+9/19-20) and
2 claws +19 (1d8+4)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +15; Grp +24
Atk Options sneak attack +6d6
Special Actions death-stealing gaze, feed, summon tanar'ri, vampiric link
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th):
At will -- darkness, enervation (+20 ranged touch), ethereal jaunt, greater dispel magic, greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only), hold monster (DC 20), obscuring mist, silence (DC 18), true seeing, unholy aura (DC 24), unholy blight (DC 20)
3/day -- blasphemy (DC 23), energy drain (+20 melee touch; DC 25)
Abilities Str 28, Dex 20, Con 28, Int 20, Wis 21, Cha 23
SQ camouflage, tanar'ri traits (see page 28)
Feats Ability Focus (death-stealing gaze), Combat Casting, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Iron Will
Skills Balance +7, Bluff +24, Concentration +27, Diplomacy +8, Gather Information +8, Hide +23 (+31 in underground or barren environments), Intimidate +26, Jump +15, Knowledge (arcana) +23, Knowledge (local) +23, Knowledge (religion) +23, Knowledge (the planes) +23, Listen +23, Move Silently +23, Spot +23, Tumble +25, Use Magic Device +24
Advancement 16-19 HD (Medium); 20-29 HD (Large); 30-45 HD (Huge); see text

Camouflage (Ex) As the juvenile nabassu (see above).

Death-Stealing Gaze (Su) 30 feet, Fortitude DC 25, bestows 1d4 negative levels. Any humanoid creature drained to 0 levels by a mature nabassu's death-stealing gaze dies and is immediately transformed into a ghoul (MM 119) under the nabassu's permanent command. The death-stealing gaze has no effect on creatures that are not humanoids. As a standard action, a nabassu can actively use its gaze to kill a single creature within range, regardless of the creature's type. A creature that fails the DC 25 Fortitude save against this killing gaze is immediately slain. This is a death effect.

The save DC for either version of the gaze is Charisma-based and includes the +2 bonus from the nabassu's Ability Focus feat.

Feed (Su) A mature nabassu can feed on the body of a helpless living humanoid, devouring both its flesh and life force. To do so, the nabassu makes a coup de grace attack against the humanoid creature; this provokes an attack of opportunity from any creatures that threaten it. If the victim is slain by the coup de grace, a significant physical portion of its body is eaten by the nabassu while the remaining portions quickly rot away to a foulsmelling paste. This prevents any form of raising or resurrection that requires part of the corpse. A wish, miracle, or true resurrection can restore a devoured victim to life.

A mature nabassu that devours a humanoid in this fashion gains the effects of a death knell spell (CL 20th).

Regeneration (Ex) Damage caused by good-aligned weapons deal lethal damage to a mature nabassu.

Sneak Attack (Ex) A mature nabassu can make a sneak attack as a rogue, dealing an extra 6d6 points of damage whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when the mature nabassu is flanking.

Summon Tanar'ri (Sp) Once per day, a mature nabassu can summon 2d4 babaus or 1d4 hezrous with a 70% chance of success, or one glabrezu with a 30% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 7th-level spell (CL 15th).

Vampiric Link (Su) As a standard action, a mature nabassu can establish a vampiric link between itself and any living creature within 30 feet that it can see. The targeted creature can resist the link with a DC 23 Will save; otherwise the link remains in place until the target moves out of range or the nabassu targets a different creature. A creature affected by a vampiric link finds that whenever he damages the nabassu, be it with spell or weapon, he takes the same amount of damage. Additionally, if the creature targets the nabassu with a spell, the effects of that spell are duplicated and affect the caster as well, even if the spell fails to penetrate the nabassu's spell resistance or the nabassu makes its saving throw. This is a necromancy effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

The nabassu is a gaunt, demonic assassin with strong ties to the undead. Unlike most demons, it must spend part of its existence on the Material Plane to realize its goals.

STRATEGY AND TACTICS

All nabassus have two stages of growth during their lives -- juvenile and mature.

Juvenile nabassus have few spell-like abilities. They use darkness or obscuring mist to get in close to their prey, and then make sneak attacks and use their death-stealing gaze to full effect, clawing and biting until its foe is dead and it can feed.

A mature nabassu is far more dangerous. Before combat, it always summons tanar'ri to send into combat as front-line troops. The nabassu enjoys barking orders and uses these summoned minions to help it flank prey and make sneak attacks. If it hasn't killed anyone with the aid of its death-stealing gaze after the third or fourth round of combat, it retreats to regenerate for a few rounds while picking off singular targets with the more lethal version of its gaze.

SAMPLE ENCOUNTER

Juvenile nabassus are never encountered on the Abyss, since they plane shift to the Material Plane as soon as they are created (see Ecology). Mature nabassus quickly establish dominions on the Abyss, ruling areas as debased kings or queens. They prefer to remain in their holdings and use their numerous minions to handle any problems that arise. Some mature nabassus choose not to establish a domain and instead work as assassins or mercenaries; many of them serve Orcus, while a few serve the King of the Ghouls.

The Haunted Henge (EL 6): Something grim is plaguing the town of Winteroak. Woodcutters and hunters have been vanishing with alarming regularity. The mayor hired two bands of adventurers to explore the woods and investigate rumors of evil fey lurking therein. Both bands of adventurers have vanished without a trace, and the town is growing desperate. When the mayor hires the PCs, they'll soon find out that the strange standing stones in the woods the mayor sends them to investigate are actually the hunting grounds of a juvenile nabassu. The demon attacked the mayor a few weeks ago; in exchange for his life, the mayor promised to be the demon's servant and gather victims for him. The nabassu has fed on eight humanoids so far and transformed four others into ghoul thralls. The longer the PCs take to discover it, the more powerful it becomes.

ECOLOGY

As soon as a nabassu is created (be it from an ascended mane or a spontaneous Abyssal birth), it immediately plane shifts (as the spell) to the Material Plane. If it survives long enough to reach maturity, it plane shifts back to the Abyss, having done its duty spreading fear and death on the Material Plane. A nabassu can plane shift in this manner only twice in its lifetime and cannot bring other creatures with it.

Environment: Juvenile nabassus seek out rural areas on the Material Plane, preferably areas where there are enough humanoids to feed on but not so many that they're likely to face powerful defenders. Mature nabassu fortresses are usually found on Abyssal layers not controlled by demon lords. Those nabassus who serve a demon lord directly usually serve Orcus, since their close association with the undead amuses the demon prince.

Typical Physical Characteristics: A nabassu stands 7 feet tall and weighs 140 pounds.

SOCIETY

Nabassus are unusual in that they are the only true demons who are forced to live a significant part of their lives on the Material Plane. As a result, these sinister creatures bear a particular hatred for those that dwell there, as if they blame the denizens of the Material Plane for the humility of this exile. A nabassu that survives life on the Material Plane often lives the rest of its immortal life as a demonic recluse within its Abyssal fortress. Those few nabassus that escape this mental trap often become assassins or spies for Orcus. Nabassu that please him are often granted loyal undead minions of their own to use as they please.

TYPICAL TREASURE

Juvenile nabassu might collect incidental treasure in their lairs, but greed is low on their list of vices at this stage in their lives. Once a nabassu matures, this changes. A mature nabassu's greed is a powerful thing, and it often sends its minions out to seek highly specific treasures and trophies to display in its Abyssal fortress. A standard mature nabassu has double the normal treasure for a creature of its CR, at least half of which consists of strange and unusual trophies gathered from around the planes.

Standard Treasure: 1,300 gp, 70 pp, 12 golden goblets styled after the astrological signs of a dead world (each goblet is worth 200 gp), large masterwork painting of a nymph cavorting with a druid (worth 800 gp), suit of masterwork mithral full plate (still containing the skeleton of the elf king who owned it in life), a twisted set of six platinum and ruby bracers connected by gold chains once worn by a marilith (worth 2,500 gp in all), gold-plated goristro horns (worth 1,500 gp), 2,000 gp in other various minor works of art (no single one of which is worth more than 100 gp), +1 fey bane cold iron punching dagger, pipes of haunting, horn of fog.

ADVANCED NABASSUS

Nabassus that serve Orcus advance by taking class levels. Rogue is the nabassu's favored class, although many also take levels as clerics, rangers, or sorcerers. A nabassu that selects a few different feats or skills can even progress as an assassin or blackguard -- these nabassu are particularly valued by Orcus as elite agents.


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