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Leshy

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 176

Originally grown as servants for more powerful fey and intelligent plant life such as elder treants, leshys are sentient plants who look after their unintelligent brethren and serve as nature's verdant watchers. Several breeds of leshy exist, each being kindred to a broad group of plants or fungi. Among the best known are superstitious gourd leshys, wise seaweed leshys, strange fungus leshys, and wary leaf leshys, though others are rumored to exist, such as the surly cactus leshy, the sinister flytrap leshy, the garrulous snapdragon leshy, and the enigmatic lotus leshy.

Leshys begin their existence as sentient though bodiless spirits of nature of the sort contacted by spells such as commune with nature. These spirits normally have no way to directly manipulate the physical world, but a skilled spellcaster (typically a druid) can grow a special plant body for one of these spirits, giving the spirit a home to animate.

Once accepted into a body, a leshy's spirit remains within unless the body is destroyed. Leshys do not fear death as many other creatures do, knowing that should they fall, their spirits merely return to the natural world and can be called to inhabit a new leshy body at some point in the future. As a leshy's body dies, the magic animating it unravels in a burst of life energy that infuses its surrounding and quickens the growth of any plants in the vicinity. Some leshys even voluntarily discorporate to save the lives of ailing plants, knowing that their sacrifice may mean the continuation of countless otherwise helpless flora. Regardless of how a leshy dies, leaving the body traumatizes the spirit, and the leshy retains only faint memories of past corporeal existences. Leshy spirits need not return to the same form if bound again to a body. During the course of its existence a single spirit can inhabit any number of different types of leshys. A leshy without a body has no power to affect or contact the material world.

The rites and special materials required to create a leshy's physical form vary between individual leshys. Once the creator assembles the necessary materials, a leshy must typically be grown in an area of natural power, such as a treant's grove, a druidic circle, or a site of pristine natural wonder. A newly born leshy is a free-willed, neutral being, under no obligation to serve its creator.

As a group, leshys share certain common attributes. They resemble plants but with vaguely humanoid appearances, and are always Small. While leshys of the same species share the same general shape, leshys have all the diversity of the plant world in appearance. For example, one fungus leshy may have a classic red, white-dotted mushroom cap, while another might have the spongier and darker contours of a morel, while a third might have the coloration of a pale gray cave mushroom.

Growing a Leshy

The process of growing a leshy has some similarities to making a construct, but doesn't require the Craft Construct feat. Typically, the creator of a leshy must be a powerful druid, but anyone capable of making the required Knowledge checks and casting the required spells may attempt the process.

Growing a leshy body takes 2 weeks per Hit Die, during which the nascent form must be well fertilized, watered as needed, and kept safe from harm. During this period of growth, certain rare nutrients and fertilizer must be used to prime the leshy's transformation from a normal plant into a sentient one—the cost of these components varies according to the leshy, but is never less than 1,000 gp. The cultivator must make a successful Knowledge check at this time (usually a Knowledge [nature] check) in order for the plant body to be properly formed—the exact check as well as the required DC varies according to the leshy. If the check fails, the plant withers and dies and the cultivator must begin anew.

If, on the other hand, the skill check is successful, the cultivator must then step in and perform a 24-hour ritual within a day of the leshy's cultivation. During this ritual, the cultivator must cast a number of spells (see each individual leshy for a list). At the ritual's climax, there's a flat 50% chance that the attempt to create a leshy succeeds—if this final check fails, no appropriate spirit is close enough to answer the call. The plant body rots and the creator must begin anew with fresh materials if he wishes to try again. At the GM's discretion, this final chance for success might increase to 75% or even 100% for particularly magical areas where leshy spirits are much more common than normal. Discovering such a rare and magical site should be the focus of its own adventure.

If the ritual is successful, the leshy awakens fully formed and able to serve as a minion. A freshly created leshy is under no particular compulsion to obey its creator, but most regard their makers as friends and allies.

Plant creatures are particularly adept at growing leshys. Such creators gain a +5 racial bonus on their Knowledge checks, halve the time required to grow the leshy, and reduce the cost to create the creature by 25%. A plant creature is always successful in luring a spirit into the body, and need not make the final percentile roll for success.

Leshys with more Hit Dice than normal can be created. Each additional Hit Die adds 2,250 gp to the cost of creating the leshy (and thus 4,500 gp to the overall price), increases the DC of the Knowledge check by +2, and requires an additional 2 weeks of growth. Attempts to create leshys larger than Small always fail—the strange spiritual energies that animate these creatures are only capable of doing so to a body no larger than that of a human child.

Creatures in "Leshy" Category

NameCR
Cactus Leshy2
Fungus Leshy2
Gourd Leshy1
Leaf Leshy1/2
Lichen Leshy3
Seaweed Leshy3
Snapdragon Leshy4
Sunflower Leshy1

Leshy, Cactus Leshy

A prickly cactus’s arms are covered in vicious spines.

Cactus Leshy CR 2

Source Pathfinder #115: Trail of the Hunted pg. 86
XP 600
N Small plant (leshy)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +7

Defense

AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +3
Defensive Abilities needly skin; Immune electricity, plant traits, sonic

Offense

Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +4 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks launch needle
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6; concentration +6)
Constant—pass without trace

Statistics

Str 12, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 7, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Endurance, Nimble Moves
Skills Acrobatics +2, Perception +7, Stealth +10 (+14 in deserts), Survival +2 (+6 in deserts); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth and Survival in deserts
Languages Druidic, Sylvan; plantspeech (cacti)
SQ change shape (Small cactus; tree shape), grow fruit, verdant burst

Ecology

Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary or patch (2–12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Grow Fruit (Ex) A cactus leshy can drastically speed up its fruiting process, producing an edible fruit without spines over the course of 1 minute. This fruit functions as though affected by goodberry and also provides the benefits of endure elements. Producing a fruit with these abilities is draining for the leshy; as a result, it takes 1d4 points of Constitution damage.

Launch Needle (Ex) As a standard action, a cactus leshy can fire one of its spines at a target within 30 feet. If the attack hits, the target takes 1 point of piercing damage (this damage is not modified by Strength) and must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1d3 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Needly Skin (Ex) A cactus leshy is covered with needles and spines, and its slam attacks deal both bludgeoning and piercing damage. Any creature grappling a cactus leshy or attacking it with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 1d3 points of piercing damage. A creature grappling a cactus leshy takes this damage each round of the grapple.

Most cactus leshys prefer a quiet, slow-paced life under the hot desert sun, where they tend to other cacti and conserve their energy until the rains return. Their first response to visitors tromping around near them is often a terse warning, or even an insult. While they are initially surly and taciturn, cactus leshys may befriend travelers who show them respect and are willing to put up with their bitingly sarcastic sense of humor. These leshys are fiercely loyal allies, willing to drain away the vitality of their own bodies in order to protect and nourish allies who are less capable of surviving in the unforgiving desert.

When rainfall comes to the desert, cactus leshys become active and cheerful. On these rare occasions, they welcome visitors and help travelers find places where the water is likely to linger. That is not to say that these creatures would prefer to live in a wetter climate—after a few weeks away from the desert, cactus leshys complain vociferously about how hard it is to stave off rot in mushy soil.

A variant cactus leshy called a pesh leshy, or peshy, thrives in the deserts of Katapesh, where cacti that produce the drug pesh (Pathfinder RPG GameMastery Guide 237) are a prized crop. These leshys’ fruit provides the effects of a dose of the drug instead of a goodberry spell. Peshys are more social than typical cactus leshys, and they work in harmony with farmers who tend their own small farms. Large commercial farms are more divisive, with some peshys supporting the proliferation of their charges and others seeing the industry as a perversion of their gift.

The shapes of cactus leshys’ bodies are as varied as the shapes of cactus plants themselves, but they all have two or more branches that they can use to carry objects and to stab their enemies. A typical cactus leshy is between 2 and 3 feet tall and weighs up to 120 pounds when fully hydrated.

Growing a Cactus Leshy

Cactus leshys grow best in arid deserts, but can be cultivated in any climate as long as they are given sandy soil in which to take root and provided water only sparingly.

Cactus Leshy

CL 7th; Price 2,500 gp

Ritual

Requirements Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, goodberry, plant growth, summon nature’s ally II; Skill Knowledge (nature) DC 14; Cost 1,250 gp