Pustakam Rakshasa

Family: Rakshasa

Small fiend, lawful evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 91 (14d6 + 42)
Speed 25 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
12 (+1) 15 (+2) 16 (+3) 13 (+1) 16 (+3) 18 (+4)

Skills Deception +7, Insight +6, Stealth +5
Damage Vulnerabilities piercing from magic weapons wielded by good creatures
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Infernal, telepathy 60 ft.
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • False Appearance (Object Form Only). While the pustakam remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary object.
  • Limited Magic Immunity. The pustakam can’t be affected or detected by spells of 2nd level or lower unless it wishes to be. It has advantage on saving throws against all other spells and magical effects.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The pustakam makes two Claw attacks or uses False Promises twice. It can replace one use of False Promises with a use of Spellcasting.
  • Claw (Fiend Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 2) slashing damage plus 9 (2d8) psychic damage.
  • False Promises. The pustakam whispers promises of power and riches in the mind of one creature it can see within 60 feet of it. The target must make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 18 (4d8) psychic damage and is charmed for 1 minute. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t charmed. While charmed, a creature has disadvantage on saving throws against the pustakam’s enchantment spells. A charmed creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Spellcasting. The pustakam casts one of the following spells, requiring no material or somatic components and using Charisma as the spellcasting ability (spell save DC 15):

BONUS ACTIONS

  • Change Shape. The pustakam transforms into a Tiny object or back into its true form, which is a fiend. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

ABOUT

A trio of cat people stand beside a seated tiger man, dutifully poised to carry out his instructions.

In the rigid hierarchy of rakshasas, low-ranking rakshasas serve the more powerful to gather and increase their own power.

The Saahase. The fierce infantry class of the rakshasa, more commonly known as myrmidons, serves as the tiger’s claws. Myrmidons blend arcane might and martial warfare, and they guard the palaces and secret hideaways of their masters or serve as bodyguards for the masters themselves.

The Pustakam. When a rakshasa is killed on the Material Plane, its spirit is banished back to the Hells, where it is tormented by devils until it is reincarnated in a new body. Sometimes, when it committed a grave error that resulted in its death, the slain fiend returns in an inferior form, obliged to perform a series of evil deeds before regaining its former status. These rakshasas occupy a unique rank outside the standard hierarchy and are called pustakams. Separate from their brethren, pustakams reside almost entirely on the Material Plane, disguising themselves as books, paintings, or statuettes and insinuating themselves into mortal hands. Their natural form is that of a mauve-skinned fiend the size of a halfling with the tell-tale backward hands of a rakshasa.

To regain its former status as a full rakshasa, the pustakam must tempt mortals into committing evil acts, and the severity of its failure determines the depth of the acts or how many mortals it must manipulate before it regains its power, which only the pustakam itself knows. Pustakams typically coerce victims into performing minor acts first, then push them into progressively more evil and depraved actions until the pustakam earns its return to the Hells, where it is reincarnated as a true rakshasa.

The Chhota. The laborer class of the rakshasa, called servitors, serve as the lowest rung in rakshasa society. Minor functionaries, builders, and laborers, servitors possess a burning desire to advance. When a servitor proves itself worthy, elder rakshasas perform the “Unnati” ritual. In this ritual, the servitor literally earns its stripes, transforming from a leopard-like fiend into a more powerful, tiger-like rakshasa.

The Slayer. When a rakshasa or greater rakshasa needs an enemy spied upon or killed, it sends a slayer to carry out the mission. Slayers operate outside rakshasa society to better protect themselves and their employers. They can assume dozens of identities and humanoid forms, switching identities as needed.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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