Magic Books of Faerun
Hate of the Cobra
(Spells from the Church of Set)
By Sean K Reynolds

The Hate of the Cobra is a collection of papyrus pages bound to a sun-bleached bone and wrapped in a black and green snakeskin. Leather straps keep it tied closed.

Last Record: Thah Rahalar, hound archon and divine minion of Set, present day.

Description: This "book" is a collection of Mulhorandi papyrus sheets tied to a human arm bone with leather cords and wrapped in the skin of a fiendish snake. Thick leather cords tie together to close the collection. No writing is on the snakeskin, but the first page of papyrus shows a coiled cobra symbol and several lines of Mulhorandi text explaining that the book is a collection of spells brought together by the priests of Set. The pages are frequently illustrated in the archaic style of the Mulhorandi people.

History: The Setite priest Aap Nura, born about four hundred years ago, created this book by collecting and inscribing several spells appropriate to the worship of his evil god. He eventually rose to a prominent position in his church, and, in his waning years, his deity turned him into a divine minion (a special servitor of one of the Mulhorandi deities, see below) for his service. The book passed through the hands of many priests in the intervening years and was lost several times because of attacks from the servitors of other Mulhorandi gods. In 1300 DR, a Setite priest presented it to a divine minion of Set as payment for services.

Since that time the minions have guarded the book and taken responsibility for lending it to mortals so the spells remain in circulation among the faithful. Now anyone who knows the prayers to summon or call a divine minion can request the bearer of Hate of the Cobra so he or she can study the spells within it. Its current guardian is Thah Rahalar, who was once a hound archon in the service of good but is now corrupted into an evil creature by Set's magic.

Contents: The book's 31 pages hold six spells, the title page, and one page of prayers that details how to use summon monster V and planar ally spells to summon or call a divine minion (see the divine minion creature description, below). The spells are considered unusual spells, and any spellcaster who wishes to use them must first decipher them as described in the Divine Magical Writings section of Chapter 10: Magic of the Player's Handbook. The spells are inscribed in the order listed. Note that these spells are known by more complex names in Mulhorand, and while they are identical to the named spells developed in western Faerūn, they were developed independently by Mulhorandi priests.

  • faith healing (Magic of Faerūn)
  • snakebite (Magic of Faerūn)
  • incarnation of evil (new spell, see below)
  • spell phylactery (Player's Guide to Faerūn)
  • undeath after death (Player's Guide to Faerūn)
  • stormrage (Magic of Faerūn)

Incarnation of Evil
Transmutation
Level: Cleric 5
Components: V, S, DF
Range: Personal
Target: You

This spell functions like polymorph, except as noted above and as follows. You can assume the following forms only: crocodile, jackal (dog), Medium scorpion, or Medium viper. You can change form to a different animal once each round as a standard action. The spell ends when you return to your own form. The first time you change shape, you regain lost hit points as described in the polymorph spell, but later changes in shape do not heal you.

Price: 1,450 gp (spellbook value only). As an example of an old Mulhorandi spellbook, a scholar or collector (including the scribes of Candlekeep) would pay an additional 500 gp for it. The church of Set would pay 5,000 gp over the spellbook price to a potential ally of the church, though if the bearer is an enemy of Set, the church is more likely to send assassins (including divine minions of Set) to kill the bearer and reclaim the book.

Last Known Bearer: Thah Rahalar, hound archon/divine minion of Set.

When the Mulhorandi incarnations traveled to Faerūn thousands of years ago to liberate their kidnapped worshipers from enslavement by the Imaskari, some of the Mulhorandi deities remained behind, sending only some of their divine servants. One of these gods was Anubis, a benign jackal-headed god whose portfolio included guarding the dead. He sent a cadre of jackal-headed hound archons with the goddess Nephthys. Thah Rahalar was one of these archons, and he served Nephthys faithfully. About sixty years ago a group of powerful minions of Set fought a pack of hound archons and captured Thah Rahalar. The minions delivered the hound archon to their superiors, who tortured him for years and finally infused him with Set's essence, converting him into a divine minion of that god. A few years ago the divine minion guarding Hate of the Cobra received a promotion, and Set chose Thah Rahalar as the book's new guardian, appreciating the irony of having a fallen celestial protecting a book of spells of his evil faith.

Now Thah Rahalar is a twisted version of his former glory. Although he always had a jackal-head, now his flesh is sunken, his eyes glow a dull red, and he is taller and leaner than other hound archons.

Mulhorandi Divine Minion (Template)

Mulhorandi divine minions (hereafter just "divine minions") are special servitors of the Mulhorandi pantheon. Fanatical followers of their patron, divine minions serve as messengers and enforce the god's will on Faerūn, sacrificing their lives to do so if necessary. The vast majority resembles Mulhorandi men or women, and they usually arm themselves with large weapons such as khopeshes, scimitars, or two-handed swords. Most divine minions are created from a god's mortal servants (usually humans with six or more class levels in barbarian, fighter, paladin, or rogue), but a few divine minions were originally other types of fiends or celestials and given additional powers. A cleric of the Mulhorandi pantheon who knows the correct prayers can use summon monster V to summon a 6th-level divine minion, or he can use an appropriate planar ally spell to call one of a desired level.

Creating a Mulhorandi Divine Minion

"Mulhorandi divine minion" (hereafter "divine minion") is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid, monstrous humanoid, humanoid or monstrous humanoid with the celestial or fiendish template, or humanoid-shaped outsider (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A divine minion uses all of the base creature's statistics and abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The creature's type changes to outsider, and any alignment subtypes it has changes to match the corresponding alignment subtypes of its deity. Divine minions encountered on the Material Plane have the extraplanar subtype. Do not recalculate the creature's Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saves, or skill points.

Special Qualities: A divine minion retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the following special qualities. Any alignment-based special attacks the base creature had are replaced by equivalent abilities that match its new alignment, if any, or are lost entirely if no equivalent substitutions exist.

Fast Wild Shape (Su): A divine minion can wild shape as an 11th-level druid into one or more animal forms that depend on the deity it serves (divine minions of Set also have a vermin form). The divine minion can use this ability at will, can change form as a free action, and can spend time in animal form indefinitely. They prefer to keep their shapechanging abilities secret so that they can use them to surprise their enemies in combat. Unlike a druid, minions can use this ability even if they're wearing metal armor.

Deity Name Minion Animal Forms Available
Anhur Lion
Bast (Sharess) Cat, leopard, lion
Geb Brown bear
Hathor Cow (bison)
Horus-Re Hawk, lion
Isis Hawk
Nephthys Constrictor snake, crocodile, hawk
Osiris Brown bear, hawk
Sebek Crocodile
Set Brown bear, constrictor snake, crocodile, jackal (dog), Large giant scorpion, Medium viper, Medium giant scorpion
Thoth Baboon, ibis (hawk)

Fear Immunity (Su): Divine minions are immune to fear effects.

Environment: Heliopolis

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +0 for divine minions of Anhur, Hathor, Isis, Nephthys, Sebek, or Thoth; same as the base creature +1 for divine minions of Bast, Geb, Horus-Re, Osiris, or Set.

Treasure: Same as the base creature. Most of a divine minion's wealth is invested in its weapon, and they carry little other gear.

Alignment: Same as the patron deity

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +1 for Anhur, Hathor, Isis, Nephthys, Sebek, or Thoth; same as the base creature +2 for divine minions of Bast, Geb, Horus-Re, Osiris, or Set.

Thah Rahalar: Male hound archon/divine minion of Set; CR 4; Medium outsider (archon, extraplanar, evil, lawful); HD 6d8+12; hp 39; Init +6; Spd 40 ft.; AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +6; Grp +8; Atk +8 melee (1d8+2, bite) or +9 melee (1d8+4/19-20, +1 khopesh) and +3 melee (1d8+1, bite); Full Atk +8 melee (1d8+2, bite) and +3 melee (1d4, slam) or +9/+4 melee (1d8+4/19-20, +1 khopesh) and +3 melee (1d8+1, bite); SA spell-like abilities; SQ aligned attacks, aura of menace, change shape, damage reduction 10/evil, darkvision 60 ft., fast wild shape, immunities (electricity, petrification), magic circle against good, outsider traits, scent, spell resistance 16, teleport, tongues; AL LE; SV Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +6; Str 15, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 12.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +11, Diplomacy +3, Hide* +11, Jump +15, Listen +10, Move Silently +11, Sense Motive +10, Spot +10, Survival* +10; Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Track.

*While in canine form, a hound archon gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Hide and Survival checks.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- aid, continual flame, detect evil, message. Caster level 6th.

Aligned Attacks (Su): Thah Rahalar's natural attacks are treated as evil and lawful weapons for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction.

Aura of Menace (Su): A terrible aura surrounds Thah when he fights or gets angry. Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of Thah must succeed on a DC 16 Will save to resist its effects. Those who fail take a -2 penalty on attacks, AC, and saves for 24 hours or until they successfully hit Thah. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by Thah's aura for 24 hours.

Change Shape (Su): Thah can assume any canine form of Small to Large size. While in canine form, Thah loses his bite, slam, and khopesh attacks, but gains the bite attack of the form he chooses. For the purposes of this ability, canines include any doglike or wolflike animal of the animal type.

Fast Wild Shape (Su): Thah can wild shape as an 11th-level druid into one of the following animal forms: brown bear, constrictor snake, crocodile, jackal (dog), Large giant scorpion, Medium viper, or Medium giant scorpion. Thah can use this ability at will, can change form as a free action, and can spend time in animal form indefinitely. He prefers to keep his shapechanging abilities secret so that he can use this ability to surprise his enemies in combat. Unlike a druid, Thah can use this ability even if he is wearing metal armor.

Magic Circle against Good (Su): A magic circle against good effect (caster level 6th) always surrounds Thah. (The defensive benefits from the circle are not included in Thah's statistics block.)

Outsider Traits: Thah cannot be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected (though a limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore life). Darkvision 60 ft.

Teleport (Su): Thah can use greater teleport at will, as the spell (caster level 14th), except that he can transport only himself and up to 50 pounds of objects.

Tongues (Su): Thah can speak with any creature that has a language, as though using a tongues spell (caster level 14th). This ability is always active.

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About the Author

Sean K Reynolds lives in Encinitas, California, and runs his own small press game company. His D&D credits include the Monster Manual, the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, and Savage Species. He'd like to thank Brian Cortijo for his advice in this article series. You can find more game material at Sean's website.


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