Thursday, December 29, 2011

Valja [Labyrinth Lord] (+Paper Mini)

Valja (Larvae)
No. Enc.: 1d4
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (omnidirectional levitation, Plane Shift, Passwall)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 (Bite or spells)
Damage:  1d4 or by spell
Save: M3
Morale: 6

Sly and manipulative schemers, the Valja simultaneously exist and operate on multiple planes, most often having some form of existence/influence upon one plane or adjacent world per hit die. Each Valja is able to shift their awareness back and forth between each of their various physical extensions across the planes/worlds that they are aware of at will.

In the event that a Valja sustains more than 70% damage on any one plane/world, it will withdraw its essence from the wounded form and reabsorb it into another of its selves on another plane/world, leaving behind a sooty, greasy stain and little else. Since they never forget anything, those Valja that have been driven forcibly off of a particular plane or world will sometimes become obsessively focused on monitoring those realms so that they can plot their revenge once they have gained in power and can once again extend their awareness and manifest a new form in those places, or they might wait patiently until they begin the transformation to their pupae or adult stage of growth and development and strike back at that time.

Valja, in their larval stage, lack eyes, but make up for this by a form of ESP that allows them to sympathetically resonate with nearly any other nervous system within 120' of any of their physical forms. This allows the Valja to see through others' eyes, hear through their ears, and likewise experience the perceptions and senses of those entities with whom they are currently sympathetically resonant. The Valja are limited to 1 such 'sympathizer' per hit die. A Valja in sympathetic Resonance with another entity can make free use of that creature's senses without any ill effect. This also opens up a form of communication that begins fairly crude and imprecise, mostly shapes, impressions and emotions, but can develop over time into a more coherent form of telepathic rapport--if the other creature(s) are open to the Valja's effort to establish such a connection.

Should a Valja so desire, they are also capable of Communing With Lower Entities -- in effect gaining the ability to ask three questions of any one entity with whom they are already also sympathetically resonant. This special sub-ability can only be used once per day. The Valja can opt to learn a skill, copy a spell*, or steal a secret in place of the 3 questions, but the target must fail their Save for this to take place, even if it is a willing exchange. In the event that the target makes their Save, the Valja ends up with nothing more than some vague impressions and must try again another day. When communicating with the Valja, it is important to remember that they cannot differentiate fiction from fact, nor can they appreciate sarcasm or puns. They tend to be a literal lot, very concrete in their thinking and not terribly imaginative...unless they become inspired through interaction with other creatures.

 Valja do not normally dream, or at least they had no recorded accounts of such things until only recently, as they have dealt with more and more humanoids who do dream. The Valja are changing. The Valja are developing emotions, creative impulses, child-like imaginations, and even ambitions. Some have learned how to tell jokes, to appreciate poetry or even to lie. There are rumors that they are even beginning to develop rudimentary communities deep within peripheral regions surrounding the more populous planes where the Valja are deliberately working to understand and to consciously adapt to the changes that they seem to be going through.

Valja progress as magic users and have full spell-casting capabilities of a level equal to their hit dice. Their limbs are weak and barely able to wield a basic wand or wear an enchanted ring, and they never wield weapons...unless they have developed a far more robust physicality than is their norm. They also quickly learn any spoken language they are exposed to for short periods of time, but cannot read, not even through other creature's sensory processes.

*Note: To the Valja a cast-able spell is a symbol, not a statement. They see spells as ideoglyphic images, but they cannot appreciate formulae or equations nor the sort of research and study that goes into creating spells. They do not create spells of their own, but rather copy them whenever they are able.

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