Shiireiken

The soul-reaping undead samurai who eternally seek powerful foes to challenge and slay

Description

  A vengeful spirit born from warriors, samurai, knights, and other combatants, the Shiireiken are a strange breed of undead that are beholden with a vast degree more intelligence and critical thinking than most other Undead - and unlike most undead, they do not yearn to destroy the living, but instead yearn for power, and ascension - they burn with the ambition to seek out worthy foes, crush them, and prove their true and utter dominance over the world of martial combat. They are never satisfied, no matter how strong they get - they are eternally cursed to seek more, and are thus often born from the souls of warriors who died abruptly during their lives before their goals or missions could be achieved, or from those who lived their entire lives seeking power, fame, status, and notoriety - and who followed their search so vehemently that even after death their obsession with martial perfection and personal power ensured they would rise as one of the Undead to see their rise to power completed, even if it takes centuries.   Another unique facet of the Shiireiken is their nature as power-hungry martial warriors - whenever they defeat a foe that is stronger than them, they will rapidly scale in power to match those they had defeated, absorbing bits of their knowledge and experience to reach the level of their defeated foe. Adding onto this is their ability to reap and steal the souls of their defeated foes and bind their souls into the weapons they wielded in life - and once done, they can raise their defeated foe as a retainer that serves their new master in undeath with all the intelligence and battle abilities they did before they untimely demise. However, they can also accept living, mortal retainers as well without needing to raise them from the dead - and since the retainers they keep are supernaturally infused with knowledge and experience to grow alongside their lord, it is not uncommon for mortal warriors who seek power to swear themselves into the service of a Shiireiken, binding themselves to its unholy power in the promise of dramatically growing in power alongside their lord - and since a Shiireiken is an unnaturally level-headed undead, such relationships can even be fruitful for both parties, if the mortal retainers takes care to not provoke their master or grow stronger than them, lest they be attacked and slain.   Finally, a Shiireiken is unusually coherent and tactical for an Undead - because they are dedicated martial warriors that seek martial power and worthy challenges, they will rarely engage weaker foes if they do not have to. Instead, if they cannot easily find worthy targets or run out of worthy foes in an area for one reason or another, they will sometimes resort to extended plans and schemes in the hopes of drawing out or fostering others with the strength to challenge them - to this end, they will frequently take over local holdings and overthrow local lords and daimyos, supplanting the leaders of villages and small fiefs and installing themselves as a ruthless Daimyo or Dictator - oftentimes enacting cold and cruel policies on the populace in a calculated act of brutality designed to draw out those with the desire to resist them, then slowly foster strength in such people until such a time that they can provide the Shiireiken a worthy challenge. In this way, they are considered odd creatures who are strangely likely to foster heroes for the sole reason of crushing them if a supply of worthy foes cannot be found.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Shiireiken are mostly zombie-like in their appearance - their anatomy is mostly the same as it was when they were alive, aside from the fact it is now non-functional. Some may care to maintain their physical appearances, but otherwise their bodies are left to rot inside of the armor they died in, or found after their rebirth as an undead.

Genetics and Reproduction

As zombie-like undead, Shiireiken are completely unable to reproduce.

Growth Rate & Stages

Though they do not grow in the traditional sense, Shiireiken can grow in power with each enemy they defeat that is stronger than they themselves are, allowing for technically infinite growth as long as they keep defeating stronger enemies.

Ecology and Habitats

A Shiireiken can be found most anywhere that warriors can be found. They are equally likely to crop up anywhere that warriors burn with ambition to become the mightiest warrior of all, but are obviously more prominent around civilized areas or areas with plenty of warriors and worthy foes, as they naturally gravitate towards places that can provide a steady stream of strong challengers.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Shiireiken have no need nor desire to consume anything of any kind, though some incredibly rare exceptions might still desire vices they had in life such as alcohol.

Biological Cycle

As an undead, a Shiireiken has no biological cycle.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

The face of a Shiireiken, when they are freshly risen, resembles how they looked in life with pale bluish or pale white skin to signify their new undead state - though some might take care to maintain this and their rotting flesh, others care little for such pleasantries and let their flesh rot away into a bleached white skull.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

A Shiireiken can be found most anywhere that warriors can be found. They are equally likely to crop up anywhere that warriors burn with ambition to become the mightiest warrior of all, but are obviously more prominent around civilized areas or areas with plenty of warriors and worthy foes, as they naturally gravitate towards places that can provide a steady stream of strong challengers.

Average Intelligence

Shiireiken are only slightly more intelligent than the normal Human average, though they are more cunning and witty than average.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Thanks to their new nature as Undead, Shiireiken are gifted with excellent sight in darkness, and are given the ability to detect tremors running along the ground to determine the locations of enemies.
ShiireikenB.jpg
Lifespan
Immortal
Conservation Status
Shiireiken are not common, but are not completely rare either - unfortunately, with war and death being a tad too commonplace in the modern era, there is little shortage of power-hungry warriors who end up becoming one after their death.
Average Height
Varies wildly depending on the race they were in life.
Average Weight
Varies wildly depending on the race they were in life, but is much lighter than they were when they were alive.
Average Physique
The average physique of a Shiireiken is one of a rotting corpse - that is to say, they have none, though they might resemble how they looked in life. Skulls prominently adorn their clothes and armor, however - most commonly, a large skull belt and one arm completely wreathed in skull and bone, flesh sheared off entirely.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
When they are freshly risen, Shiireiken have skin that is pale whitish-blue, bruised, and discolored - though if not cared for, their body will eventually rot away until only a skeleton remains.

Shiireiken

Medium undead, lawful evil
Armor Class: AC 26 touch 14, flat-footed 22 (+7 Armor, +4 Dex, +5 Shield) CMD 28
Hit Points: 114hp 12d8+60
Speed: 30ft

STR

20 +5

DEX

18 +4

CON

0 -5

INT

11 +0

WIS

14 +2

CHA

20 +5

Saving Throws: Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +10
Skills: +5 Climb, +17 Diplomacy, +5 Disguise, +4 Fly, +20 Intimidate, +17 Perception, +11 Sense Motive, +9 Spellcraft, +4 Stealth  

Feats

  Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack
Damage Resistances: DR 5/Magic and Slashing
Damage Immunities: Electricity, Undead Traits
Condition Immunities: Undead Traits
Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.; Tremorsense 60ft.; Perception +17   Initiative: 1d20+8
Languages: Common, Necril
Challenge Rating: 8

Collector of Souls(Su) Any creature killed by a Shiireiken must succeed at a will save (DC 10 + 1/2HD + CHAMOD) or have their soul permanently bound to a weapon on their person(Prioritizing Melee) - if they have no weapon, a simple katana or longsword is formed to hold it. This functions as Soul Bind(And makes a weapon suitably valuable and ornate the more HD the slain creature had), using the weapon instead of a gem. The Shiireiken may interrogate the soul and examine its memories at will with no save by holding the weapon and focusing on it for a minute. If the creature was slain by the Shiireiken's melee attack, the DC is increased by 5. If the creature willingly accepted a challenge made by the Shiireiken using its 'Revenant's Challenge' ability, it recieves no save.
 
Revenant's Challenge(Su) As a full-round action, a Shiireiken can issue a challenge to a target within their line of sight. When the challenge is issued, both the Shiireiken and the challenged target are affected by a supernatural effect similar to the Sanctuary Spell, which forces any creature attempting to intervene in the duel between the two in any way(GM Discretion), though unlike sanctuary both targets may attack each other without breaking the effect, and the protection extends to spells or effects intended to assist or aid the challenged target in any way(GM Discretion). This effect is treated as a 9th level spell(CL 20th) with the Shiireiken's CHA being the primary casting stat. The effect only expires when either the Shiireiken or the target dies, or when the target flees and combat ends. If the Shiireiken gains levels in a class that gives access to the challenge ability, this ability's effects are added on to the Challenge ability of that class.   If a target accepts the challenge of a Shiireiken willingly, the Shiireiken and the target may come to a binding agreement in exchange for a fight(To the death or near-death, at the discretion of those present) - whether it be the winner getting the loser's weapon, servitude for a certain period of time, or other, stranger deals - these agreements, once made and willingly agreed to by both parties, are enforced by a Geas as per the Geas/Quest spell(CL 20th).
 
Unholy Armory(Su) As avid collectors of weapons infused with the souls of their defeated victims, Shiireiken have a veritably enormous armory(Often a massive bundle of weapons stored on their backs) at their disposal with a size dependent on their strength and age. They may freely animate and control a number of melee weapons at a time equal to 1/2 their HD, who operate as if they had the Dancing Property with no duration, the ability to make Attacks of Opportunity with them, use the Shiireiken's ability scores for attacks and damage rolls, and the ability to move each weapon animated this way 20ft each round as a free action. These weapons have twice the normal hardness and HP as usual, but once broken are inert until reclaimed by the Shiireiken. A Shiireiken can also launch the blades stored in their armory as ranged attacks(Dealing the same damage as a melee strike, adding modifiers as well), which return to their armory at the start of their turn after being "fired"(These blades count as arrows if they are wielding and firing a bow, effectively making their ammunition infinite).   An Average Shiireiken should likely have 1 weapon of +3 Equivalent, 1d3+1 Weapons of +2 equivalent, 2d3+2 weapons of +1 Equivalent, and a large number of Masterwork weapons - a Shiireiken cares not for mundane, non-masterworked weaponry.   A more powerful Shiireiken that has defeated mightier foes, lived a notably long time, amassed a sizable fortune, or otherwise grown in strength might have +4 or even +5 weapons in their armory at the GM's discretion.
 
Weapon Saint(Ex) When wielding a two-handed weapon and no shield, a Shiireiken gains a shield bonus to their AC equal to their CHAMOD. A Shiireiken may demoralize a creature they successfully hit with a weapon attack as a swift action instead of a standard action.   Additionally, a Shiireiken may use the 'Opportune Parry and Riposte' Swashbuckler Deed without spending panache points, and may make a retaliatory attack after a successful parry as an immediate action against her attacker without spending a panache point. However, they can only use it on one attack per opponent per round, and can parry either ranged or melee attacks SO LONG as their currently wielded weapon matches that type(Parry arrows while wielding a bow, Melee strikes while wielding a melee weapon).   When an attack misses them(or they successfully use their Parry and Riposte), a Shiireiken may move 5ft for free without provoking Attacks of Opportunity - if the attack was a melee attack, they may instead move their attacker 5ft without provoke Attacks of Opportunity. If the attack missed by 10 or more, the distance doubles to 10ft.
 
Undying Retainers(Su) Any creature that the Shiireiken slays or that willingly kneels before them and swears fealty to them can be transformed into an undead or undead-infused(in the case of living creatures willingly swearing themselves to them) creature. Undead raised this way from slain foes regain the intelligence and class levels their had in life, but act as liches in the sense that their soul is bound to the blade created by the Shiireiken's 'Blade of Souls' ability. All of a Shiireiken's retainers are bound by a Geas as per the Geas/Quest spell(CL 20th) to follow and serve the Shiireiken until such a time as they are dismissed from service or the Shiireiken's death. The Shiireiken's Retainers, if slain, will return 1d10 days afterwards so long as the Shiireiken remains intact.   Any retainers that serve the Shiireiken increase in power alongside their lord - rapidly increasing in power until they exist at the Shiireiken's CR -2. Likewise, if the Shiireiken defeats an exceptionally strong opponent, they will rapidly scale in power to the CR of their defeated foe. The retainers of a Shiireiken only retain this increase in power if the Shiireiken allows them to once they leave their service.   Once per round, a Shiireiken may direct a single retainer within 30ft a single move or standard action they may take immediately - this movement does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity.
 

Variants

 
One-Armed Tyrant(CR+0): Born from mighty warriors who either lost limbs in life or died from a severed arm, or even a normal Shiireiken who was brought to near death or even killed after losing a limb in battle, these warriors lose the 'Unholy Armory' and 'Weapon Saint' abilities and gain the follow ability instead.  
One-Armed Terror(Su) A One-Armed Tyrant may treat any weapon they wield with one hand as if they were proficient with it, were wielding it with two hands, and may make ranged attacks with the same damage as their melee strikes up to 30ft away. These ranged attacks have the Push(20ft) and Pull(20ft) Universal Monster Rules, and the One-Armed Tyrant gains a +10 to these CMB checkks to do so. Push and Pull work on creatures up to two sizes bigger than the One-Armed Terror.   They gain Dimension Door as an At-Will SLA with a CL equal to their HD, and additionally, they recieve their CHAMOD to their AC as a shield bonus when wielding nothing but a one handed weapon and wearing no shield. They may make attacks with their weapon as if they were two-weapon fighting(With the TWF and Improved TWF feats), treating their weapon as light for such purposes.
  They exchange the Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, Dodge, and Mobility Feats for the Dimensional Agility, Dimensional Assault, Dimensional Dervish, and Dimensional Savant feats.

Gear

  The typical Shiireiken carries the following gear: +2 Keen Katana, +1 Impact Composite Longbow, +2 Light Fortification Do-Maru, Miscellaneous Treasure.   An Average Shiireiken should likely have 1 or 2 weapons of +3 Equivalent, 1d3+1 Weapons of +2 equivalent, 2d3+2 weapons of +1 Equivalent, and a large number of Masterwork weapons - a Shiireiken cares not for mundane, non-masterworked weaponry.

Actions

(Base Attack Bonus +9)   Melee +2 Keen Katana +16/+11/+6/+1 (1d8+9/15-20)   Ranged +1 Impact Composite(+5) Longbow +14/+9/+4 (2d6+6/18-20) or 3 Unholy Armory Projectile +13 (1d8+5/18-20)   Combat Maneuver Bonus(+14) 1d20+14   Special Attacks: Weapon Saint, Collector of Souls

Lair Description

  When they decide to make a Lair, Shiireiken oftentimes take over or construct elaborate Hilltop Castles from which to run their local Shogunate of cruelty - using their retainers which cannot truly ever die to assist them in both the construction of the lair and the suppression of the local populace. Their lairs are often an elaborate and deadly castle laden with countless traps and lethal hazards, and shrouded in misty darkness.

Regional Effects

A land ruled by a Shiireiken is oftentimes a cruel but incredibly lawful place - in especially chaotic areas the influence of a Shiireiken can actually improve the standard of living in an area thanks to the Shiireiken's strict adherence to law and order, though the persecution it might put the local populace through in order to find and foster those who could oppose it might prove a hinderence to seeing its reign as a 'good' one.

Description

  A vengeful spirit born from warriors, samurai, knights, and other combatants, the Shiireiken are a strange breed of undead that are beholden with a vast degree more intelligence and critical thinking than most other Undead - and unlike most undead, they do not yearn to destroy the living, but instead yearn for power, and ascension - they burn with the ambition to seek out worthy foes, crush them, and prove their true and utter dominance over the world of martial combat. They are never satisfied, no matter how strong they get - they are eternally cursed to seek more, and are thus often born from the souls of warriors who died abruptly during their lives before their goals or missions could be achieved, or from those who lived their entire lives seeking power, fame, status, and notoriety - and who followed their search so vehemently that even after death their obsession with martial perfection and personal power ensured they would rise as one of the Undead to see their rise to power completed, even if it takes centuries.   Another unique facet of the Shiireiken is their nature as power-hungry martial warriors - whenever they defeat a foe that is stronger than them, they will rapidly scale in power to match those they had defeated, absorbing bits of their knowledge and experience to reach the level of their defeated foe. Adding onto this is their ability to reap and steal the souls of their defeated foes and bind their souls into the weapons they wielded in life - and once done, they can raise their defeated foe as a retainer that serves their new master in undeath with all the intelligence and battle abilities they did before they untimely demise. However, they can also accept living, mortal retainers as well without needing to raise them from the dead - and since the retainers they keep are supernaturally infused with knowledge and experience to grow alongside their lord, it is not uncommon for mortal warriors who seek power to swear themselves into the service of a Shiireiken, binding themselves to its unholy power in the promise of dramatically growing in power alongside their lord - and since a Shiireiken is an unnaturally level-headed undead, such relationships can even be fruitful for both parties, if the mortal retainers takes care to not provoke their master or grow stronger than them, lest they be attacked and slain.   Finally, a Shiireiken is unusually coherent and tactical for an Undead - because they are dedicated martial warriors that seek martial power and worthy challenges, they will rarely engage weaker foes if they do not have to. Instead, if they cannot easily find worthy targets or run out of worthy foes in an area for one reason or another, they will sometimes resort to extended plans and schemes in the hopes of drawing out or fostering others with the strength to challenge them - to this end, they will frequently take over local holdings and overthrow local lords and daimyos, supplanting the leaders of villages and small fiefs and installing themselves as a ruthless Daimyo or Dictator - oftentimes enacting cold and cruel policies on the populace in a calculated act of brutality designed to draw out those with the desire to resist them, then slowly foster strength in such people until such a time that they can provide the Shiireiken a worthy challenge. In this way, they are considered odd creatures who are strangely likely to foster heroes for the sole reason of crushing them if a supply of worthy foes cannot be found.  

Tactics

  Before Combat: A Shiireiken will rarely engage in combat personally if there is not a potential opponent present that it considers to be "Worthy of its time"(An opponent equal to its CR or above it) - it will only fight when such a creature that promises a worthy fight is present, or when it is backed into a corner and/or forced into combat for the sake of its survival. It will largely ignore noncombatants and weaker foes unless it believes that using them somehow will attract or lead to an encounter with a stronger foe, or will encourage a stronger foe to fight them if they are hesitant to do so.   During Combat: During Combat, a Shiireiken will immediately use its 'Revenant's Challenge' ability to single out what it believes to be the strongest foe capable of facing it in martial combat(Either in melee or with range), using the Retainers it has with it to keep the rest of the present foes busy and stop them from interfering in its one on one duel. It will provide a verbal warning if others present begin trying to interfere in the duel - forgiving one transgression before it resorts to drastic measures(Either engaging the transgressor alongside the original duel target, or fleeing if an entire party begins interfering). It will use its 'Weapon Saint' ability to parry incoming attacks and move foes and itself around the battlefield to isolate themselves from other combatants - or to maneuver foes into dangerous obstacles or environmental conditions.   Morale: A Shiireiken will not retreat until the duel it engages in with the strongest martial character present has concluded, for better or worst - if the duel was to the death, it will not retreat once the duel has engaged unless the other foes present consistently prove capable and willing to interfere, at which point it will retreat with any retainers it has left so that it might return to fight another day. If the duel concludes and was not to the death, it will abide the agreed upon terms to a fault - though in poorly worded deals it will attempt to get a leg up on the other party and take advantage of poor wording. If it wins the duel and kills its foe, it will then retreat with its remaining retainers, its goal achieved unless it somehow concludes that there is a stronger creature present.

Suggested Environments

Environments and Locales

  A Shiireiken can be found most anywhere that warriors can be found. They are equally likely to crop up anywhere that warriors burn with ambition to become the mightiest warrior of all, but are obviously more prominent around civilized areas or areas with plenty of warriors and worthy foes, as they naturally gravitate towards places that can provide a steady stream of strong challengers.

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