Random Encounters
The Cult of Tharizdun
By Darrin Drader


The cultists of Tharizdun find themselves drawn to the banished god for a number of reasons. Some of them are criminals, while others have been beaten by the uncaring forces within their civilization. They often have enough negative experiences with humanity in general that they decide that the world is fundamentally flawed. They furthermore decide that if they cannot obtain the finer things in life, no one deserves to have them. The cult of Tharizdun has committed itself to the destruction of all things, but they welcome potential cultists with open arms, pretending to care about the injustices that they have been victimized by, and promising that when Tharizdun reduces the world to smoking ruins, his followers will be rewarded with all the things they cannot possess in the world as it currently exists. They are also treated to excesses of food, flesh, and wealth previously denied to them.

The blighter prestige class, with its ability to ruin natural locations, holds great appeal to Tharizdun's mortal worshippers. Many Tharizdun cultists briefly follow the druidic path just long enough to learn how to despoil nature. The cultists claim that Tharizdun, and not nature itself, empowers their druidic spells and abilities.

Blighter Cultist of Tharizdun: Male or female human ex-druid 5/cleric 3/blighter 3; CR 11; Medium humanoid; HD 5d8+10 plus 3d8+6 plus 3d8+6; hp 71; Init +5; Spd 30 ft.; AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 18; Base Atk +7; Grp +9; Atk +12 melee (2d6+6/19-20, +3 greatsword) or +8 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); Full Atk +12/+7 melee (2d6+6/19-20, +3 greatsword) or +8 ranged (1d8/19-20, light crossbow); SA blightfire, deforestation, rebuke undead 2/day; SQ sustenance, undead wildshape 1/day; AL NE; SV Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +13; Str 14, Dex 12, Con 15, Int 11, Wis 16, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Concentration +13, Heal +12, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Knowledge (nature) +8, Knowledge (religion) +2.5, Knowledge (the planes) +3, Listen +9, Spellcraft +11, Spot +9, Survival +9; Cleave, Improved Initiative, Martial Weapon Proficiency (greatsword), Power Attack, Scribe Scroll.

Blightfire (Su): As a standard action, a blighter cultist can unleash a scorching blast of fire. This effect deals 5d6 points of damage to every creature within 10 feet (DC 16 Fortitude save) and ignites flammable objects it touches.

Deforestation (Sp): The cultist of Tharizdun can kill all nonsentient plant life within a radius of 60 feet as a full-round action once per day. If a potentially affected plant is under the control of another (such as a druid's liveoak or dryad's home tree), the controller can make a DC 16 Fortitude save to keep it alive. Affected plants immediately cease photosynthesis, root tapping, and all other methods of sustenance. Like picked flowers, they appear vibrant for several hours, but within a day, they turn brown and wither. Except for plants saved by a controller, nothing can grow in a deforested area until it has a hallow spell cast upon it and it is reseeded. Deforestation enables the cultist of Tharizdun to cast his daily allotment of spells. This ability works in any terrain, but deforesting a sandy desert, ice floe, or other environment with only sparse vegetation does not empower the character to cast spells.

Sustenance (Ex): The cultist of Tharizdun no longer needs food or water to survive.

Undead Wildshape (Sp): Once a day, the cultist of Tharizdun gains a version of the wild shape ability, except that he uses the skeleton template to the animal form it transforms into.

Cleric Spells Prepared (4/4/3; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic, detect poison, guidance, inflict minor wounds; 1st -- bane, cure light wounds, entropic shield, obscuring mist, protection from good*; 2nd -- bull's strength, detect thoughts*, shatter.

*Domain spell. Deity: None. Domains: Evil (cast evil spells at +1 caster level), Knowledge (cast divinations at +1 caster level).

Blighter Spells Prepared (5/4/2/1; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- detect magic, flare, ghost sound, read magic, touch of fatigue; 1st -- burning hands, decomposition, inflict light wounds, ray of enfeeblement; 2nd -- chill touch, warp wood; 3rd -- contagion.

Languages: Common, Infernal.

Possessions:+1 half-plate armor,+3 greatsword, light crossbow, 20 bolts, 3 potions of cure moderate wounds.

Bringing the Parts Together

Regardless whether the PCs face the cult of Tharizdun while they are attacking a local populace or while they are investigating the disappearance of local people who will serve as sacrifices, they are likely to encounter numerous cultists before they reach the more powerful priests, who many know as the Witnesses of Tharizdun.

Coming in Part 2 of the Cult of Tharizdun

The destruction of all things requires unique and deadly magic secretly forged in the darkness, away from the sensibilities of civilization and law.

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