Monster Mayhem
Blood Mother
By Ramon Arjona

Jared and Abner found Master Siashton crouched in the corner, babbling like an infant. He'd gouged long furrows out of his cheeks with his fingernails; blood smeared his face and arms. They were confused because the Master seemed uninjured. Where had all of the blood come from? Had he taken leave of his senses and committed some heinous crime? What could drive such a noble soul to such an extreme of madness?

The two students did not immediately notice the dark-haired woman approaching them, until Abner felt her soft hand touch his shoulder and Jared heard the deep, sanguine sound of her laughter.

Then her body warped and expanded into an undulating mass of red liquid. The students gaped in horror as the tidal wave of blood rushed to engulf them. They tried to scream as the viscous fluid swallowed them, but could only gurgle as they disappeared forever beneath its surface.

Siashton Mith, the Mad Healer, stumbled upon an Outer Plane that he mistakenly dubbed "The Plane of Elemental Blood." While he lost his sanity before he could share this discovery with many other mortals, he attracted the attention of the denizens of the plane: creatures of chaotic intent and alien physiology. More evil than any devil and utterly insane by the standards of any familiar being, these creatures have begun a slow invasion of the Material Plane.

Most powerful among the so-called "blood elementals" -- or at least among those that have appeared on the Material Plane thusfar -- are the blood mothers. While it is possible that there may be only one of these horrendous extraplanar creatures, the few mortals unfortunate enough to be burdened with knowledge of the blood elementals' existence agree that there are likely several of these formidable creatures. It is difficult to say whether the blood mothers work in concert or are at odds with one another--or are even aware of one another at all.

Blood Mother
Large Outsider
Hit Dice: 24d8+72 (180 hp)
Initiative: +10
Speed: 20 ft., swim 90 ft. (30 ft. in mortal form)
AC: 28 (+10 Dex, +9 natural, -1 size), touch 19, flat-footed 18
Attacks: Slam +27 melee
Damage: 2d6+7 slam
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Bloodbath, cause insanity, frightful presence, spells
Special Qualities: Assume mortal form, DR 10/+3, incomprehensible, outsider traits, immunities (critical hits, mind-affecting effects, stunning), SR 20
Saves: Fort +17, Ref+24, Will +17
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 31, Con 16, Int 20, Wis 17, Cha 16
Skills: Bluff +30, Concentration +30, Diplomacy +9, Intimidate +34, Knowledge (arcana) +32, Knowledge (the planes) +32, Listen +30, Move Silently +37, Search +32, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +32, Spot +30, Swim +40
Feats: Cleave, Combat Casting, Heighten Spell, Maximize Spell, Power Attack, Quicken Spell, Sunder
Climate/Terrain: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 18
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 25-30 HD (Huge)

The blood mother is a dreadful creature from a distant outer plane. It resembles a water elemental but is composed entirely of red, viscous blood.

Blood mothers seem to be entertained by the novelty of the Material Plane, and frequently adopt a mortal form to hide their true nature while they prowl among the unsuspecting masses. While in mortal form, blood mothers have been known to engage in bizarre extremes of behavior: One is believed to have spent months caring for plague victims before ultimately slaughtering all of her patients and fellow caretakers in an evening of violence that defies description. Another used her spell-like abilities to drive an entire village of halflings insane before herding her victims toward a nearby goblinoid encampment. The chaos that ensued as the crazed halflings overwhelmed the unsuspecting goblinoids was remarkable. On yet a third occasion, a blood mother is supposed to have summoned a horde of blood elementals, which she directed to engulf a tribe of orcs preparing to attack a human settlement. The humans attributed their salvation to a welcome, if gruesome, miracle -- until the blood mother turned her spells on them, causing pestilence and suffering far worse than any the orcs could have wrought.

The only discernible theme in blood mothers' behavior is a delight in suffering and chaos; they pursue both these ends with vigor and apparent glee. Of those who have drawn their attention, none remain. The few who know of them can do little but pray that they are not noticed by the blood mothers, and so escape their sanguineous wrath.

Combat

A blood mother is a canny opponent who prefers to attack through underlings rather than entering combat herself. It relies on its spell-like abilities, summoning blood elementals to aid it if it finds itself in physical jeopardy. The blood mother resorts to using its bloodbath special ability only if cornered, finding the "taste" of normal creatures unpleasant.

Bloodbath (Ex): With a successful grapple check (grapple bonus +33, including a +5 racial bonus on grapple checks), a blood mother may engulf a creature of up to its own size category. Creatures so engulfed face drowning (see the Dungeon Master's Guide, page 85). The blood mother may eject the engulfed creature at any time. A victim that is still alive when it emerges from the blood mother's body (whether by escaping the monster's hold or by being ejected) takes 1d6 points of Wisdom damage because of the strain on its sanity that the sensation of drowning in blood produced. Furthermore, the victim creature must make a successful Fortitude save (DC 25) on emerging or be nauseated for 2d6 rounds.

Cause Insanity (Su): Six times per day, a blood mother in its normal form may attempt to drive a living target insane. This ability functions like the insanity spell (caster level 18th; save DC 25).

Frightful Presence (Su): When a blood mother assumes its normal form, it inspires terror in all creatures within 30 feet that have fewer Hit Dice or levels than it has. Each potentially affected opponent must succeed at a Will save (DC 25) or become panicked for 4d6 rounds if it has 4 or fewer Hit Dice or shaken for 4d6 rounds if it has 5 or more Hit Dice. A successful save leaves that opponent immune to that blood mother's frightful presence for 24 hours.

Spells: A blood mother can cast spells as a 13th-level cleric. It has access to spells from the Evil and Death domains, though it does not receive extra domain spell slots or granted powers. Spells per day: 6/6/6/5/4/3/2/1; save DC 13 + spell level.

Assume Mortal Form (Sp): As a standard action, the blood mother may transform itself into a middle-aged human female, as if using the spell polymorph self (caster level 18th). While in mortal form, the blood mother may not use its bloodbath or cause insanity special abilities, but it may converse normally with mortal creatures. A blood mother in mortal form has perpetually ruddy skin, as though constantly blushing.

When a blood mother is in human form, the following changes apply to its statistics: Medium-size outsider; Spd 30 ft., swim 90 ft.; AC 29, touch 20, flat-footed 19; Atk +28 melee (2d6+7, slam); Face/Reach 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Immunities(Ex): The blood mother's alien psychology and physiology make it immune to critical hits, mind-affecting effects, stunning.

Incomprehensible (Ex): Because of the blood mother's alien mentality, the gurgling language it speaks in its normal form cannot be understood by any creature except blood elementals and other blood mothers. No mundane or magical effect that usually allows verbal communication (including a tongues spell or a monk's tongue of the sun and moon ability) allows any other creature to understand it. Blood mothers can, however, learn the languages of other species to the limits of their Intelligence. They can understand such languages while in their natural form, but they can speak them only in mortal form. Because they are capable of understanding other languages, blood mothers are not immune to language-dependent effects.

Summon Blood Elemental (Sp): Three times per day, a blood mother may summon 1d6 blood elementals to assist it. She may communicate with them even while in mortal form.

About the Author

Ramon Arjona is a software developer with Wizards of the Coast. His poetry has appeared in the Absinthe Literary Reviewand the Hawaii Review. His short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons.


1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.