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Ottunni

More than a cycle of seasons had passed and the ottunni was getting comfortable in their role as medicine woman (their impersonation of the deceased elder nearly perfect in every way) but the time was upon them once again. These people were growing more suspicious with every passing day, and if their centuries had taught the supernatural creature anything they knew well enough what would eventually happen when their secret was out. Those they had come to cherish would look upon them with revulsion and hate, brandishing weapons and fire. Those they disliked would lead the charge, urging the rest of the tribe to fall upon them. Even the children they’d saved from sickness would turn to violence against them, throwing pebble and stone with wanton aggression. Instead they pack some of their most cherished items and quickly brew a potent poison, dipping an obsidian blade in it to make a virulent edge, then leave their shack and head towards the dwelling of the villager they dislike the most—one last thing to fix before she bids this tribe farewell.

Peoples across the world have all kinds of myths and legends about dissonant spirits, strange entities that inhabit the corpses of the recently dead and reinvigorate them with life. When their presence is revealed to the ignorant they are seen as abominable monsters and usually destroyed with extreme malice or at least chased away by a mob, but to those that know of them, the ottunni are one of the most incredible creatures. Living from body to body and absorbing patchwork memories from countless lives give these ephemeral beings a truly unique perspective on the nature of life and survival, carrying with the wisdom of the ages with them to societies everywhere.

Psionic Parasites

Ottunni are creatures of pure mental energy and inhabit the flesh of the only hosts able to contain their psyche: humanoids.

The first ottunni—and many more since then—give credence to their reputations as monsters for it is only through the consumption of brain matter that they emerged as beings of thought and psionic power, consuming the remains of their own kinds until their original bodies ate themselves to a withering death by disease.

Though freed from the confines of corporeality these ravenous spirits are still tied to the Material Plane by their unending need to consume, driven to acts of cannibalism or hedonism in equal measure until they are forced to move on to a new host.

Witnesses to History

While it is true that they are spirits that feed off of the living, the unique nature of the ottunni make them stewards to the memories of entire tribes, societies, and even races that have gone extinct. This makes them valuable repositories of knowledge but they are not able to access all these memories as a librarian might the books in a catalog, forced instead to sift through those of their original life patchworked with the experiences of countless others. With their fractured mind an ottunni might perfectly recall the day they first tasted the flesh of their own kind but struggle to recall what their last proper meal was— though they never lose focus on what is important or the tools they need to survive.

Natural Shamans

Ottunni are naturally drawn to spread spiritual enlightenment, guiding lesser creatures still bound to the flesh as they whittle away at them like livestock. When they take a new host they use their powers to instill confidence and faith in others, subtly imbuing their chants with telepathic drones honed over the centuries to impart a true feeling of the supernatural. Shamans sometimes view the presence of an ottunni as the head of a tribe to be a good omen while others believe they are anathema, complete blasphemies that deserve nothing but savage annihilation.

Names

An ottunni never forgets their first, true name but readily adopts another in a long series of names whenever they’ve taken a new host as a necessity to remain unknown. Only those who have earned an ottuni’s loyalty know them by their true name, a privileged piece of information sometimes used as a code for allies to recognize each other.

Ottunni Traits

Your ottunni character has an assortment of inborn abilities, the psionic nature that they embody transforming whatever flesh they’ve taken to wear.

Host Body. Ottunni are monstrosities that do not have physical bodies. Instead, they possess the body of a recently killed humanoid. Unless noted otherwise, you do not gain any of the features of your host’s race. Any effects or spells targeting your host affect you as well. After you have possessed the same body for a number of months equal to 1d4 + your proficiency bonus, whenever you take damage you bleed an unnatural yellow-green ooze from your ears, eyes, and mouth. After a number of years equal to your proficiency bonus, runes and glyphs of power glow from just under your host’s skin.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1, and your Charisma score increases by 1. You do not gain any ability score increases from your host’s race.

Age. It is unknown when an ottunni might die from old age and they are thought to be immortal, able to live as long as they’re able to acquire a new host body before their essence runs out.

Alignment. Ottunni can be any alignment but their morality, motivations, and sense of justice are usually heavily influenced by the regions in which they’ve lived.

Size and Speed. Your size and speed are determined by your host’s race.

Darkvision. If your host race has darkvision, you gain darkvision.

Memories of Many. You have advantage on Intelligence (History) checks. If your host’s race grants any proficiencies as a racial feature, you gain those proficiencies.

Psionic Parasite. When you have 2 or more death saving throw failures, instead of rolling your next death save you can transform into a cloud of psionic energy. While in psionic cloud form, you can’t take any actions, speak through means other than telepathy, or manipulate objects. You are weightless, have a flying speed of 20 feet, can hover, and can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, you can do so without squeezing. You have advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and are immune to all nonmagical damage. While you have 0 hit points in psionic cloud form, within a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus you must locate and possess a suitable corpse to become your new host, reinvigorating it with your own lifeforce. You can only possess the corpse of a humanoid that has died within a number of hours equal to your level. Once you possess the corpse, you are paralyzed until you regain at least 1 hit point (after 1d4 hours or receiving magical healing).

After using this feature you take a cumulative –4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks. Every time you finish a long rest, the penalty is reduced by 1 until it disappears.

Telepathic. You can mentally communicate with any creature within 20 feet of you that is able to understand a language. If you gain telepathy from a class feature, magic item, or spell, its range increases by 20 feet.

Subrace

If your host has a subrace, you do not gain any of its features.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Vast Kaviya Campaign Setting © 2019 Mike Myler, published under license by Legendary Games; Authors Mike Myler, Andrew Engelbrite, Will Gawned, Alec Kaknes, Anthony Alipio, Sharene Gilchrist, Matteo Piovanelli, Jesse Jordan, GM Lent, Brian Istenes, and Jeremy Esch.