Ki-rin

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Ki-rin
Species beast
No. Appearing 1
Behaviour solitary
Range alpine (high), woodland
Size 8 ft. at the shoulder
Weight 4,100 lbs.
Intelligence 19
Armour Class -5
Hit Dice 12
Action Points 6
Max. Stride
THAC0 14
Hp/Die d6+d8
Attack Forms hoof/hoof & horns
Damage 3–12/3–12 & 3–30/3-30
Special Attacks call lightning, control weather, create food &
objects, flight, gaseous form, +3 with horns,
magic resistance, phantasmal feature,
wind walk

Ki-rin are extraordinarily powerful hooved beasts that dwell in northern Asiatic forests and atop high mountains, most importantly the Himalaya and Hindu Kush ranges. The momentary appearance of a ki-rin before large numbers of witnesses is believed to give a sign or warning of the imminent arrival, or passing of a sage or great leader.

Ki-rin.jpg

The beasts are enormous, with the center of their back some 12 feet above the ground; their head, when lifted, reaches fully 18 feet in height. The ki-rin has a lush mane, prodigious antlers hard as stone, tessellated fur covering its upper body and scales upon its legs and mid-tail (which ends in a large, lush festoon of soft fur). Tufts of hair appear over the upper body. The eyes are glistening and extraordinarily piercing. Magic emanating from the beast creates flashes, causing some to believe that they are covered with jewels. Their voice is deep and has been described to sound like a gentle ocean's roar.

They are herbivores who do not eat meat, and are extraordinarily gentle, especially with children. Though fearsome when angered, ki-rin have malice only towards the wicked, particularly if a scholar or bard is threatened. Ki-rin can be deeply affected in the presence of great art. They prefer to punish rather than harm, seeking to imprison rather than kill. They are adverse to hurting even the weakest of creatures, and will usually employ their magic to maintain an inch of air between themselves and the earth, to keep from crushing insects or grass. Ki-rin are considered a symbol of luck, good omens, protection, prosperity and longevity, and are often equated with the arrival of a baby to a family.

Advantages

Ki-rin perform their natural abilities as a 12th level spellcaster. When needing to call lightning, the beast will typically control the weather to produce threatening clouds. They like to keep the area of change quite small, only a mile across, to forego upsetting too many innocent creature. Likewise, it prefers to use its ability to create a phantasmal feature appearing like a stone wall, to hem in and trap its enemies.

It maintains its wind walk ability almost continuously, preferring to alight fully upon the ground only when standing upon rock or snow. If seriously threatened, it will take to flight, lifting itself to where it will be invulnerable to spells and missiles; it has a vast knowledge of spells and will know what a safe distance would be. From there, it will observe the threat and decide how best to contain it. If this defense is not sufficient, it will assume gaseous form, and attempt to parley with the enemy. It is further protected by 90% magic resistance, so it has little to fear from most spellcasting.

In combat, the ki-rin is +3 to hit with either of its two horns. However, it does not like to engage in direct attacks, and will do so only in the immediate moment when protecting a weaker creature. A ki-rin will always interpose itself between an attacker and an innocent; even if room to do so is lacking, the ki-rin will bend its head to interpose one of its horns, in order to draw the attacker's attention.

When parleying, it will offer to create food for its guests, which will appear in a variety of bowls, tureens set upon a table with chairs. The ki-rin is able to create various household objects for the comfort of its guests, but disdains to make shelters as well. These objects are permanent and will not dematerialize. In addition, the ki-rin is able to create any sort of magic item it wishes, though it will only do this under special circumstances, and will never create an item that might cause a creature to become preoccupied with the power offered.

Relationships

Many seek out the ki-rin to ask for aid or a boon, most commonly a magic item, but the creature disdains to even appear for most such self-involved persons. If the cause is truly just, and promises to improve the welfare of hundreds or thousands, the ki-rin will usually grant questors who have travelled a great distance, and endured hardships, an audience with which to make their case. There are only a dozen of these creatures in the world and they are always hard to reach. If they are successfully convinced, they may contribute an item of power, or they may personally intercede, if the enemy is of such terrible power that it is plain the party is insufficient to succeed without aid.

Ki-rin will always counsel restraint and justice, but it will not insist upon it. The creature will not punish the emotional response that humanoids have when facing evil, understanding that for many, restraint is impossible.


See Also,
Beast
Bestiary