Random Encounters10/28/2002


The Twisted Wood - Film of Night



Film of Night

Since he couldn't be everywhere at once, and his hollow dogs proved to be too fragile to take on more powerful intruders, Szorlog wanted watchful creatures that would be up to the task of destroying determined intruders. Once all his trees come of age and can defend themselves, he will have no need for watchers. Until then, chief among his silent sentinels are films of night.

A film of night is darkness given life. It is not a shadow creature, but darkness manifest, similar in substance to wraiths. Films of night have cleared the forest of any living animal matter, leaving only plants, undead, and the occasional outsider who can fend off their tendrils.

Being alive in Szorlog's forest at night is a beacon to these terrors. Without adequate defense against their predations, those in the wood find that films of night keep coming until they destroy trespassers in the wood. Magical light sometimes seems to be an adequate defense. But just barely.

During the day, these oozes retreat to the thick canopy and the most isolated parts of the wood where light barely penetrates. Traveling in the wood is safer during the day, except for these concentrated areas, where it is possibly more dangerous to go during the day than at night.

Film of Night
Huge Ooze (Incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 5d10+25 (72 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: Fly 30 ft.
AC: 9 (-2 size, +1 deflection), touch 9, flat-footed 9
Attacks: Incorporeal touch +1 melee
Damage: Incorporeal touch ability drain
Face/Reach: 10 ft. by 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Ability drain
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., dark camouflage, incorporeal subtype, magical light vulnerability, ooze traits
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +1, Will -4
Abilities: Str -- , Dex 10, Con 21, Int -- , Wis 1, Cha 1
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pod (3-5)
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement Range: 6-10 HD (Huge); 11-15 HD (Gargantuan)

This creature is a field of pure darkness given awareness and hunger. It waits in lightless places to feed off the energy of nonplant living creatures.

Films of night appear only at night. During the day, they hide in the comforting darkness of underground. When they emerge, they float as a group in a circle at the periphery of each other's sensory range. When prey enters one ooze's range, that film of night moves toward it. The absence of a film of night alerts the others to move toward its last location.

Films of night are amorphous and can change their shape at will, but they usually travel in roughly cube-shaped blocks 10 feet on a side. Unlike most oozes, films of night travel in pairs, and sometimes in larger groups.

Combat:

Films of night employ no strategy. They simply float down from the trees toward any potential food and attempt to destroy it.

Blindsight (Ex): A film of night is blind, but its entire body is a primitive sensory organ that can ascertain prey by scent and vibration within 60 feet.

Ability Drain (Su): A film of night's incorporeal touch attack drains 1d6 points of Constitution and 1d6 points of Dexterity from its target.

Dark Camouflage (Ex): Because of a film of night's unique body type, it has full concealment in darkness. Any illumination reduces the concealment to three-quarters.

Incorporeal Subtype: A film of night can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, spells, spell-like abilities, or supernatural abilities. It is immune to all nonmagical attack forms and has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source (except for force effects, such as magic missiles, and attacks made with ghost touch weapons). A film of night can pass through solid objects (but not force effects) at will, and its attacks ignore natural armor, armor, and shields (though deflection bonuses and force effects work normally). A film of night always moves silently (cannot be heard with Listen checks unless desired).

Light Weakness (Su): Magical light sources deal 1d6 points of damage per 10 feet of illumination to a film of night.

Ooze Traits: A film of night is immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, polymorphing, and mind-influencing effects. It is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Bringing the Parts Together

Should the PCs begin to venture into the wood to discover where the hollow dogs came from, they may find more than they bargained for! Or, perhaps, the PCs angered the wood's guardian by destroying the hollow dogs and they find themselves the target of several of these terrible creatures if they linger too long.

Coming in Part 4 of the Twisted Wood

Those who seek to enter the wood have one more barrier: the edge maze.

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