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Summary::Lesser variants of medusa, their gaze transforms their victims into stone slowly. They are believed to have been created through some curse or arcane experiment, but now breed true. They are entirely female, with their male counterparts being known as balareion, and for that reason there has been question on if gorgoneions have more in common with basilisks and cockatrice than the species medusa. Regardless, they are often mistaken as medusa, often to their detriment.
Gorgoneions are beings of passion and emotion, be it good or ill, and often seek to excel in whatever chosen activity they desire. It may be an attempt to draw attention to themselves and for simple pride to make up for the fact that their appearance often frightens others, or at least makes others unsettled. With the passionate emotions comes with it both the capacity of great loyalty and compassion, and the ability to hold grudges and wreck terrible revenge. It is a trait they share with the psionic race of maenads, yet unlike them, they do not hold back on their emotions.
In spite of their monstrous appearance, they are not inherently evil or especially violent, emotional spectrum notwithstanding. However they are often shunned as monsters and they tend to be self-serving rather than caring for others, and so they turn into loners seeking acceptance elsewhere or fiends holding a grudge against the world which rejects them.
A gorgoneion looks extremely similar, if not identical, to a medusa. They are humanoid females whose skin is scaled and rough and possessing hair made of snakes, which are dimly sentient and self aware, hissing and coiling on their own. Their eyes are large and both beautiful and terrible, for within their slitted snake eyes lies the power to turn others into stone. They often possess snake-like fangs, though they are too small for an effective bite attack. Due to their abilities, they may have the power to transform the lower half of their body into a serpent's tail, appearing much like a maralith or certain types of serpentine lamia. They are all female, as the male of their species is an entirely different morphology than them.
Their ability to turn other creatures into stone is a strange aspect, one which seems to serve a biological function. If a gorgoneion does not petrify at least the equal mass of 1 medium creature a week, they begin to experience symptoms as if they were petrifying themselves, eventually turning into naught more than a stone statue. Whatever supernatural mechanics operate their stone gaze must need release every so often lest it builds up as a toxin. Fortunately most any organic mass will do, allowing more ethically minded gorgoneions to petrify plants rather than people. A place where a gorgoneion has taken roost is often a garden (sometimes literally) of stone.
Due to their monstrous appearance, they often have poor relations with other races. If a gorgoneion does not give into malice and grudges, they can be quite pleasant to be around. They often have an obsession with one or more aspects of their lives, and consider themselves artists and masters of it, eager to take on challenges and just as eager to get back their title if the challenge is lost. They work best with chaotic races, finding accepting humans, artistic elves, clever gnomes, and exploratory halflings to be their most likely allies.
Oddly enough amongst themselves, they tend to be loners. Other gorgoneions tend to be competition rather than aid, and they often stray from staying in one place too long, not even keeping much company of balareions. They are best off in a mixed group where they can excel at their own pace.
Their emotional nature and carefree (or careless) views tends to chaotic alignments.
The gorgoneions are a species without a land to call their own, too few in number and too flighty to settle down in one spot. They wander the land, often in remote or rural areas where their appearance won't draw the attention of others seeking to "slay the medusa", or in the other extreme, cities so packed that a tarrasque could walk down the street and few would blink an eye. Many are adventurers for that purpose, as it keeps them moving and low-profile. Well, usually.
Without a land and a unified culture, the gorgoneions also lack a specific deity they worship, though many adopt the deity of the balareions, Colocolo. Otherwise, if they choose to worship, it is a god or goddess related to the region they commonly visit, preferring chaotic deities over lawful ones.
Gorgoneions speak Common.
Gorgoneion names tend to flowery "Greek" names and names with with strong consonant endings, such as Stheno, Euryale, Medusen, Versace, and Rondaninide.
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom: With serpentine grace and flexibility, gorgoneions are very nimble. However, perhaps due to the constant irritation of their living hair, they are not very perceptive of their surroundings.
- Humanoid (Subtype::Reptilian): While genetically more humanoid than their medusa relatives, they are still reptilian in nature. However they are still warm blooded in spite of appearances.
- Medium: As a medium race gorgoneions have no special penalties or bonuses.
- Gorgoneion base land speed is 30 feet.
- Gorgoneions have a +1 natural armor bonus.
- Gorgoneions have a secondary natural attack with their hair, dealing 1d3 + 1/2 their Strength modifier in damage. Even when it is the only attack made, it is always a secondary attack.
- Gorgeoneions are immune to petrification and poison.
- Stone Gaze (Su): With a cold stare, gorgoneions can slowly cause the bodies of their opponents to harden and turn to stone. As a standard action, a gorgoneion may glare at any target which can see her within 30 feet and cause their movement rate to be cut in half for 3 rounds if they fail a Will save, DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Charisma, save negates. At 4 HD, the gaze attack has additional effects, causing the victim to take 1d4 Dex penalty. At 8 HD, this becomes Dex damage. At 12 HD, the Dex damage rises to 1d6. At 16 HD, a gorgeoneion may duplicate the effects of flesh to stone up to their Charisma modifier per day (minimum 1). At 20 HD, the gorgoneion may employ her gaze as a swift action. If a creature is reduced to 0 Dexterity by the Dexterity damage, they are petrified.
- Bloodline: Whatever forces created the gorgoneions have left a varied bloodline with many mutations. A gorgoneion may possess one of the following traits.
- Deadly Hair (Ex): The snake hair is more dangerous, with stronger bites and a powerful poison. The damage dice of the snake hair rises to 1d6 points of damage, and it becomes a primary natural attack, allowing them to add their full Strength to damage. In addition they have a poison which deals 1d3 Str/1d3 Str damage, DC 10 + 1/2 HD + Constitution. At 8 HD, the poison becomes 1d4/1d6, and at 16 HD it becomes 1d6/2d6.
- Persistant Gaze (Su): The DC for the Stone Gaze ability rises by +1. At 8 HD, Stone Gaze applies to all targets in 30 feet, ally or enemy. At 16 HD she can exclude allies from her gaze attack and the DC rises by +1 again.
- Snakebond (Ex): She may speak with any serpentine animal or magical beast, creatures with the reptilian subtype, and with Yaun-Ti as if she spoke their language. At 4 HD, she gains a viper familiar as a wizard of her level -3. If she has a familiar from her class levels and she selects the viper or any serpentine familiar, she gains a +3 bonus to her effective level for determining the abilities of the familiar.
- Snake Tail (Ex): As a standard action, a gorgoneion may transform her legs into a snake's tail, granting her a +4 bonus on checks to remain stable as the dwarven racial ability, and a +8 bonus to climb checks, but taking -8 to jump checks. At 8 HD, she gains a climb speed equal to her land speed and may constrict grappled creatures for 1d6 + Strength and a half in damage. At 16 HD, constrict damage rises to 3d6 + twice your Strength modifier.
- Weaselphobic (Ex): For unknown reasons, weasels are immune to the stone gaze effect, and the gorgoneion takes a -1 morale penalty on all attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws against weasels.
- Automatic Languages: Common.
- Bonus Languages: Draconic, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, and Terran.
- Favored Class: Rogue
- Level Adjustment: +Level Adjustment::0
- Effective Character Level: Effective Character Level::1
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|40 years||60 years||80 years||+2d20 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Female||5' 0"||+2d8||120 lb.||× (1d6) lb.|