Spellbook
Summon Blood Elemental
By Ramon Arjona

Several decades ago, a young cleric named Siashton Mith decided to devote his life to the study of divine healing. So dedicated was he to his chosen field that his grasp of healing magic soon surpassed that of his teachers, and he established his own hospital.

In the course of his work, Siashton developed a number of unique spells. Many of these were intended to help inexperienced clerics temporarily stave off the worst effects of illness or injury in their patients until more powerful aid became available. But though he was praised and even revered for his work, he was not content. He began to expand his research into less savory areas, reasoning that even power intended for ill might somehow be used to benefit others. As his research progressed, the spells he developed began to take on a darker cast. Eventually, he began to search the planes for potential new sources of healing magic.

During the course of such an investigation, Siashton discovered a strange new outer plane (possibly in an alternate cosmology) that was home to ravening hordes of evil, alien creatures whose bodies resembled animated blood. Because of this resemblance, he called it the Elemental Plane of Blood, though it was far removed from any of the elemental planes, and from most of the multiverse for that matter. Believing that he had discovered a primal wellspring of life, Siashton worked feverishly on summoning spells until at last he managed to call a few of the less powerful denizens of that realm to the Material Plane. This success was what finally cost the famous cleric his mind.

No one knows precisely what happened when Siashton summoned these creatures, but it was clear from the evidence that there had been a major battle that had destroyed his study. When his three best students found him, insane and covered in blood from head to foot, they tended his wounds and tried to piece together the events that had led up to the incident. Most of his copious writings about the Elemental Plane of Blood had been destroyed in the fight, but the summon blood elemental spell still survived. Upon examining it, the younger clerics realized that it was evil in nature, and that the creatures he had summoned with it must have been responsible for what had occurred. After a long discussion, the three decided that his line of research had been ill advised and much too dangerous. Because the terrible knowledge he had gained presented a danger to the world, they agreed not to cure his mind, lest he continue to pursue his research with the dogged zeal for which he was famous. But they could not bring themselves to destroy the spell itself -- the last link to the realm of the blood elementals -- in case a way might someday be found to benefit others through it, as Siashton had intended.

Thus, Siashton now languishes in the care of his former students, who claim that he is incurably insane. Known by the common people as the Mad Healer, he constantly babbles strange, incomprehensible phrases and sometimes scrawls words and images on the walls of his chamber in blood. Only his three senior students even know that the summon blood elemental spell exists. Though they have been tempted to try casting it themselves, they have not yet dared to do so, lest another disaster occur that would spread the knowledge of it beyond the walls of their hospital.

Summon Blood Elemental
Conjuration (Summoning) [Evil]
Level: Clr 5
Components: V, S, M, DF
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One summoned Medium-size blood elemental
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

This spell summons a blood elemental to attack your enemies. It appears where you designate and acts immediately, on your turn. As soon as it arrives, you must designate its target or targets by pointing. If there are multiple creatures in the general area where you point, it attacks them all. Because of the blood elemental's incomprehensible nature (see the Incomprehensible special quality, below), it is not possible to communicate with it by any means that involves language (including a tongues spell or a monk's tongue of the sun and moon ability). Thus, you cannot redirect its attacks verbally, command it to take other actions, or otherwise control it in any way.

A blood elemental cannot be dismissed the way other summoned creatures can. If there are no enemies present, or if the blood elemental destroys all the creatures designated as enemies before the duration of the spell ends, it either returns to its home plane voluntarily (25% chance) or attacks the nearest creature (75% chance), even if that creature is you. If it decides to continue attacking and there are multiple potential targets at the same distance, it chooses the one that seems weakest. When the spell duration expires, the creature disappears at the end of your turn if it has not already departed.

Material Component: A drop of blood from a good creature.

Blood Elemental
Medium-Size Outsider
Hit Dice: 5d8+12 (37 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 20 ft., swim 90 ft.
AC: 20 (+1 Dex, +9 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 19
Attacks: Slam +8 melee
Damage: Slam 1d8+4
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft
Special Attacks: Bloodbath, cause insanity
Special Qualities: DR 5/+1, incomprehensible, immunities (critical hits, mind-affecting effects, stunning), outsider traits
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 19
Skills: Listen +8, Move Silently +9, Search +8, Spot +8, Swim +19
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack
Climate/Terrain: Any
Organization: Solitary
CR: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Large); 11-15 HD (Huge)

A blood elemental is a dreadful creature from a remote outer plane. It is extremely alien in both appearance and outlook, and it has a bizarre intelligence all its own. In their home plane, blood elementals have a civilization of sorts, though its nature is incomprehensible to visitors. When summoned to the Material Plane (see summon blood elemental spell, above), they are eager to lay waste to all about them.

A blood elemental resembles a water elemental except that its fluid body is composed entirely of red, viscous blood. It oozes and undulates as it moves, leaving streaks of red on any surface it traverses.

Blood elementals communicate with each other via a language of their own that sounds like a series of shuddering gurgles and burps.

COMBAT

Blood elementals are extremely hostile and do not hesitate to fight any creature designated as an enemy by their summoners. In melee, they prefer to deal damage immediately with their slam attacks, then use their bloodbath ability on foes that seem weak enough to grapple. Beyond this technique, they exhibit no clear strategy.

Bloodbath (Ex): With a successful grapple check (grapple bonus +12, including a +5 racial bonus on grapple checks), a blood elemental may engulf a creature of up to its own size category. An engulfed creature is subject to drowning (see the Drowning Rule in Chapter 3 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). The elemental may eject the engulfed creature at any time. A victim that is still alive when it emerges from the blood elemental'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 15) on emerging or be nauseated for 2d6 rounds.

Cause Insanity (Su): Once per day, a blood elemental can produce an effect identical to that of the insanity spell (caster level 13th; save DC 16).

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

Incomprehensible (Ex): Because of its alien mentality, a blood elemental does not understand verbal communication of any sort, nor can its own gurgling language be understood by any creature except its own kind. A blood elemental is immune to all language-dependent spells and effects, and 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) functions with respect to it.

Outsider Traits: A blood elemental has darkvision (60-foot range). It cannot be raised or resurrected.

About the Author

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

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