Monstrous Physique — Aziza

Variety is the spice of life and this idea is no less relevant when it comes to monsters. There are a number of creature types in Pathfinder, but there are some that have yet to see some love in Monstrous Physique. This week, I figured it was time for fey to have their chance to shine. Not only that, though, I’m also interested in presenting creatures from folklore in all parts of the world. Today’s post pulls from West African myth to bring the aziza.

aziza


This tiny humanoid flies with wings that look like that of a moth or a butterfly. The wings contrast pleasingly with its dark skin.
Aziza                                CR 3
XP 800
NG Tiny fey
Init +5; Senses low-light vision; Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 12 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 14 (4d6)
Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +7
DR 5/cold iron; SR 14
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee longspear +9 (1d3—3)
Ranged shortbow +9 (1d2—2)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks weapon of peace
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +6)
At will—invisibility, ghost sound (DC 12), know direction
3/day—cause fear (DC 13), discern lies (DC 16)
1/day—barkskin, cure moderate wounds, find the path, protection from evil
STATISTICS
Str 5, Dex 21, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 14
Base Atk +2; CMB –3; CMD 14
Feats Dodge, Mobility, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Diplomacy +9, Escape Artist +12, Fly +16, Knowledge (geography) +8, Knowledge (nature) +8, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +13
Languages Common, Sylvan
SQ throw spell
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate and warm forests
Organization solitary, pair, band (3–6), tribe (10–50)
Treasure standard
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Weapon of Peace (Su) An aziza has the innate ability to distinguish between good and evil through the use of its weapons. When an aziza attack hits a creature, the damage is affected based on the target’s alignment. Evil creatures always take lethal damage from an aziza’s weapons, even if it would be minimal damage due to penalty to damage rolls. Good creatures always take nonlethal damage from an aziza’s weapons, even from a critical hit or coup de grace. Neutral creatures take damage normally. An evil or good creature damage by an aziza’s weapon glows with a dim hue of shadow or light only visible to the aziza for 1 minute. This glow represents a creature’s evil or good nature and can be seen by the aziza as faerie fire.
Throw Spell (Su) An aziza can treat any spell with the harmless descriptor as if it had a range of close.

Aziza are tiny fey that are protectors of forests. Commonly confused for pixies, aziza are more bashful, choosing to hide in their homes and watch visitors from afar. Aziza watch these visitors to make sure that they bring no harm to the forests in which the aziza reside. Aziza are particularly interested in kind creatures. When encountering a good-natured creature, aziza follow them silently, acting with secret benevolence. Good hunters, small children, and families all tell stories of finding themselves lost in forests when they suddenly know the way back home. Unbeknownst to them, this is usually the work of an aziza attempting to help. Evil creatures commonly find themselves harried with strange noises and feelings of dread, the work of aziza looking to buy time until far stronger fey can come by and deal with the evil intruder. Aziza generally live in warm forests, but are occasionally found in cooler climes. These aziza are covered in hair to help combat the colder weather.

In Your Game

Missing Child
A small child runs away from home, looking to avoid a wicked step-parent. The PCs are tasked by the other parent to find the child. The search leads to small aziza tribe now intent on defending the child at all costs. The PCs must convince the aziza that they will bring no harm to the child, which may include removing the wicked step-parent from the child’s life.

One of Us
The PCs are magically transformed into aziza. They must navigate the forest as well as the social life of the local aziza tribe. The PCs must locate someone in the forest to help them return to their original forms while at the same doing their best to avoid drawing the ire of the rest of the aziza.

Unintentional Guardians
The PCs are traveling through a forest when they are met by an aziza. The aziza has found an evil group attempting to enact a wicked ritual to harm the forest. The aziza has very little time and stumbled upon the PCs first. It’s up to the PCs to find the group and put an end to the ritual.

Monstrous Origins

Aziza are faerie-like creatures with origins in Western Africa. They are said to be benevolent in nature, providing aid for hunters. I wanted to take this aspect of the myth and make a really helpful fey. With this in mind, I have the aziza a number of beneficial spell-like abilities. Combine this with the throw spell ability and it is easy to imagine a hiding aziza casting a spell on a lost person in the forest. Additionally, I wanted to add a guardian aspect to the aziza. This is where the weapon of peace ability came into play. The aziza needs a way to distinguish good from bad creatures, so I found this as an interesting way to do so. A good person might feel a harmless little bump which can easily be ignored while an evil person might obviously cry out in pain. As a further nod to the origin, I made sure that some aziza were still furred, much like the original aziza are covered in hair.

That’s it for this week! Please let me know if you are interested in other specific creature types or less commonly seen mythology.   If the aziza make it in to your campaign, or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a freelance writer from Lincoln, Nebraska. He has written for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Hugo the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

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