Thursday, November 20, 2014

First Black Bestiary Image from Anthony Cournoyer

Remember a couple of posts ago, when I mentioned that Anthony Cournoyer would be doing some new artwork for Black Tokyo's  Black Bestiary monster book?

Well, yesterday I received the first of many images for the project. The first thing he chose to illustrate is the fearsome Bake-Kujira. I love it- I wasn't able to afford artwork for this monster in the first edition of Black Tokyo, and it's such an iconic, threatening creature, I regretted that. Being able to field a spectacular image of a high level monster feels good. And this monster is one that I've always wanted Anthony to illustrate- it's such a specific critter that it's difficult to find appropriate stock art, and the force of the image- this thing breaching and flipping backwards over a whaling vessel, was something I felt suited to Anthony's very cartoony style. I was right. Look at that pretty fucking thing.

Anyway, here are the Bake-Kujira's stats, if that image inspires you to put him into your campaign.
Blessed Be,

Bake-Kujira (CR 18)
Gargantuan CE Undead (water)
XP 156,300
Init +1 Senses Darkvision 120 ft, Perception +2
Languages None
Aura Renderflame (50% concealment within 10 ft radius; creatures within 30 ft are nauseated; FORT DC 21 reduces this to the sickened condition)

AC 32 Touch 7 Flatfooted 31 (-4 size, +1 DEX, + 25 natural)
HP 28d8+28 hp (154 HP)
FORT +11 REF +12 WILL +20
Immune undead traits
Channel Resistance 20

Fly 80 ft (good) Swim 40 ft
Melee +29/+24/+19/+14 slam (10d10+12 bludgeoning plus 3d6 fire plus staggered (FORT DC 22 negates)
Attack Options Tail Sweep (automatic slam attack against all targets within a 60 ft cone; REF DC 18 for half damage)
Special Actions Swallow Whole (5d10+12 bludgeoning plus 6d6 fire, AC 23, HP 15)
Sonardirge (60 ft radius, paralyzed for 2d6 rounds, WILL DC 22 (DC 28 submerged) reduces the effect to a -2 morale penalty on attack rolls, skill checks and saving throws for 1 round)

Str 35 Dex 13 Con – Int 2 Wis 15 Cha 7
Base Atk +21 CMB +38 CMD 49 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Critical Focus, Exhausting Critical, Great Fortitude, Greater Overrun, Iron Will, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Intimidating Prowess, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Tiring Critical, Toughness
Skills Fly +28, Intimidate +27, Swim +40 (+8 racial bonus on Fly and Swim checks) 

Environment any water or coastal
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities
Renderflame (SU)
While above the waterline, the ghostly whale is wreathed in a constant cloud of flickering black flames, which burn like burning oil and stink of whale lanterns. The additional fire damage added by the Renderflame aura does not apply to attacks made while the Bake-kujira is submerged.

The Bake-kujira’s Renderflame aura fills a 10 ft radius around the creature with cloying black smoke that grants all creatures within the aura 50% concealment, including the Bake-kujira itself. Creatures coming within 30 ft of the Bake-kujira must succeed at a DC 21 FORT Save or become nauseated; success indicates the creature is merely sickened. This effect persists as long as a creature remains in the Renderflame aura and for 1d4 rounds after it leaves the area.

Sonardirge (SU)
The Bake-kujira’s cry is the final plaintive wail of all dying cetaceans. As a full round action, the ghostly whale can emit a mournful cry. All living creatures within 60 ft of the ghost whale, who can clearly hear its cry must succeed at a DC 22 WILL Save or become paralyzed with guilt, terror and grief for 2d6 rounds. Those who sucessfully resist the effect suffer a –2 morale penalty on attack rolls, skill checks and saving throws for one round.

            The undead whale’s cry is even more debilitating when both the creature and its victim are fully submerged; unholy subsonics sap the victim’s mind and crush their will. If both the undead whale and its victim are fully submerged when the Bake-kujira uses this ability the WILL Save DC increases to DC 28. This is a mind-influencing, fear effect.

            Swallow Whole (EX)
            The Bake-kujira does not have a traditional bite attack. Instead, the skeletal whale can activate its Swallow Whole special ability after any successful melee slam attack made during a charge.

            Tail Sweep (EX)
            As a full round action, the Bake-kujira can sweep its mighty, skeletal tail. Doing so allows it to automatically hit with its slam attack against all creatures within a 60 ft cone. Creatures within the area may attempt a DC 18 REF save for half damage.

            Japan is one of the few nations still allowed to hunt whales. The ancient trade dies a little bit more each day, with each captain who goes bankrupt, with each fisherman who retires, with each boat that is dry-docked. The killings do not stop though: despite legal restrictions, UN mandated whaling grounds, despite Greenpeace protests. During the whaling season, great beasts die drowning in air and pierced with explosive harpoons. Once rendered, and processed the ruined bones sink to the deep. Forgotten.

            The Bake-kujira are a dark legend which date back to the feudal era; they are blamed for lost ships and drowned crew. The ghostly whales glide soundlessly through the ocean deeps, breeching only rarely for a chance at revenge. They move through the sky, hidden behind clouds, dark and rotting shapes against the silver moon. Bake-kujira pods drift through the Black Else’s seas, guarding submerged toriii between the realm. They are common to seas throughout the Tatakama, appearing most often on nights when the Great Tree is obscured by cold fog.
            Bake-kujira resemble the decaying hulks of long dead Wright, sperm and baleen whales. Their rancid, blubbery flesh hangs off their bones in ragged sheets, and their skulls are clearly visible through the rotting tissue of their faces. They stink of oil, fouling the air like a rendering plant. When especially enraged, the dim-witted monstrosities burn with a flickering grey/black flame, which belches stinking smoke into the night sky.

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