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Akyanzi (Dread Codex Monster)

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Akyanzi
Size/Type: Small Undead (Fire)
Hit Dice: 1d12 (6 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: Fly 30' (good)
Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +1 size, +2 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-4
Attack: Bite +4 melee* (1d4)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee* (1d4)
Space/Reach: 5'/5'
Special Attacks: Eat Enchantment, Profane Sunder
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., fire subtype, smell steel, undead traits
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +4
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 16, Con -, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +8, Knowledge (arcana) +3, Listen +5, Search +3, Sense Motive +5, Spot +5
Feats: Weapon Finesse, SunderB
Environment: Any land or underground
Organization: Solitary, cluster (2-5), or pack (5-20)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 2-3 HD (Small); 4-5 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: -


A disembodied humanoid head speeds through the air toward you. Its eyes and throat glow with a crimson radiance, highlighting its otherwise featureless coal-black skin. The head dives quickly, sharp teeth bared for combat.

Akyanzi are the heads of spellcasters who are slain by a fire-enchanted weapon. After being slain (and likely beheaded) by victorious warriors, negative energy wells from the caster’s anger at being defeated by a non-spellcaster and animates the head only. Oddly enough, it is not the death of the blade wielder that the akyanzi desires, it is the destruction of the weapon, and to a greater extent, all magic weapons. Without weapons, the undead believes, non-spellcasters cannot hope to achieve positions of power in the world. Obviously, the akyanzi have been less than successful in their quest to eliminate all magical weapons, but this does not dissuade them from trying.

Akyanzi lair close to crossroads or even on the tallest buildings of larger communities. They attack blacksmiths on sight and often do the same to sword-bearing caravan guards. They reserve a special enmity for those expert smiths of magical weapon-crafting — dwarves.

Combat Edit

Akyanzi ignore creatures themselves, going straight for their magical weapons. This often pits them against more powerful foes, since low-level characters do not likely carry such items. Undaunted, the akyanzi attacks until the weapon is disenchanted and then speeds back to its lair.

Eat Enchantment (Su): Akyanzi are inherently disruptive to a weapon’s magical enchantments. Any time a akyanzi comes into contact with an enchanted weapon, whether striking or being struck, that weapon’s special abilities are suppressed for 1d4 hours. This is an antimagic effect, rendering the weapon mundane in all ways (but it is still considered masterwork, since that is a nonmagical condition).

Profane Sunder (Ex): Akyanzi enjoy the benefits of the Sunder feat. A akyanzi’s bite does 1d6 points of damage and ignores hardness. They only attack weapons and shields. *Akyanzi have a +8 racial bonus to opposed attack rolls when striking weapons (not included in the stats above).

Smell Steel (Ex): Akyanzi automatically detect the presence of any steel objects within 100 feet. They are able to determine the general placement of steel objects, no matter how small, but gain no special means of precisely locating secret hiding places or seeing through disguises. This ability does not detect any other materials.

Treasure Edit

None -- As disembodied undead craniums, akyanzi have no need for, much less the ability to carry, treasure.

In Your Campaign Edit

Since the akyanzi don't deal any fire damage, the fire subtype is just window dressing for their origin story. In reality, you can keep the stats and either drop or change the subtype to better suit your needs as GM. Perhaps akyanzi in your game come from spellcasters slain by drow weapons, or slain by weapons forged in a specific geographic area.

To further feature this monster, there is a new minor artifact for this monster called the Seven-Headed Sword (see the New Magic Items section later in this book).



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