Creature Feature Friday: Dhalochar

Imagine a Transformer. Now imagine it’s been possessed, has laser eyes, and can vomit up a small army. That’s pretty much a dhalochar, a CR 19 outsider also known as an endbringer devil.

A dhalochar is a CR 19 foe, a league of power most players never reach. Offensively the endbringer devil has a Hellfire Gaze (Ex),  a powerful fire attack with a 120 foot range, the burn critical ability, and the unholy fusion. Defensively, Construct Form (Ex) demonstrates how it blurs the lines between outsider and construct. Its hybrid form grants it immunity to ability damage or drain, death effects, disease, energy drain, exhaustion, fatigue, negative levels, stunning, non-lethal damage, paralysis, sleep, and necromantic effects. For support it has Cargo Cavity (Ex), a large compartment within its body that can hold up to eight Large or smaller creatures or four Huge ones. Alternately, rules are provided to replace this compartment with a device that can generate portals to Hell. This acts as planar binding once per hour, up to a maximum of nine times per day. This ability works only on devils, functions as the sixth level f the spell, and does not trap the summoned fiends, though they are usually friendly to the dhalochar. They also have some spells though far less than one would expect from such a high-level foe. They can cast plane shift once a day and teleport at will, taking everything within their Cargo Cavity along for the ride. These give it plenty of options for mobility and escape, allowing it duck out of a dangerous battle to  wreak havoc on the other side of the planet. But this most important ability is one that doesn’t have any strictly defined stats: the ability to become a spaceship.

That’s right, for the low, low price of your immortal you, you to can acquire a transformer from Hell. In their starship form they are Tier 14 starships, armed with a forward mounter supergraser, a turret mounted plasma cannon, and a self destruct system. They are defended by heavy shields supplemented by mark 10 armor and mark 11 defenses. They maintain their Cargo Compartment (Ex) ability while in starship form, allowing them to carry shock troops or additional ordinance. If the dhacholar instead has the Hell portal ability, it can allow them to summon fiendish minions within itself to fend off boarders or inside of hostile starships. The starship’s nature as a devil is represented by Devil Starship (Ex), which allows it to function without a crew using its own bonuses for checks and taking multiple actions as if it were fully staffed. This also allows it to ignore any critical hit effect that targets the life support systems, while any critical damage effect that would affect the crew is instead shunted to a random creature or object within its Cargo Cavity, if any such target exists. Finally, the dhalochar starship has the Cataclysm (Ex) ability. A big devil needs a big entrance, and what bigger way to make an entrance to a planet than by reenacting the meteor strike that killed the dinosaurs? The starship can crash-land onto anything at least ten times its size, dealing 15d6+25 bludgeoning damage to anything in the 30×30 foot area where it lands without a save. Everything within 50 feet takes 6d12+28 bludgeoning damage, though a DC 24 Reflex save can halve this. On a planet with an atmosphere, 10d6 fire damage is added to both of these. This impact stuns the dhalochar for 1d4 rounds and transforms it back into its terrestrial form, after which it is free to begin destroying everything in sight.

The endbringer devil is rather appropriately named. At a CR 19, it’s the seconds strongest foe in the Alien Archive, and boy does it show. Multiple powerful attacks, a laundry list of immunities, and the ability to carry shock troops of lesser devils as reinforcements. Let’s take a look at its kangaroo pouch of Hell. The Cargo Compartment alone makes it a challenging foe just because of what it might have in there. Their entry notes that levalochs are their favored choice when selecting reinforcements, but all sorts of lesser devils, fiend-designed constructs, thrall warriors, or powerful monsters could be held within. But when considering what they carry with them, don’t forget to consider the inanimate. Eight Large creatures could easily be replaced with warheads of equal size, allowing it massive firepower and a means to breach defenses and topple buildings in seconds where an ordinary attack could take hours or days. Alternately, it could simply fill the entire compartment with densely compressed nerve gas and allow it to gradually leak out as it fights, shrouding it in a deadly fog that makes fighting it even more challenging that it already was. The dhalochar is your terrifying oyster, and the pearl within can be anything you want it to be.

A fleet of starships that are also devils is a terrifying prospect, but don’t forget to consider that despite their role as war machines, dhalochars are still cunning fiends. Striking bargains with one could net you a powerful flagship or a devastating war machine, but most importantly, a devious and merciless commander and strategist. Keep in mind though that devils love loopholes. Securing a dhalochar’s loyalty through a contract could immediately backfire when it releases the devils in its Cargo Compartment, fiends who have sworn no such bargain and are under no obey you. With its “master” then slain, the endbringer would then be free to raze the world just as it always intended. Whoops. You should be just as wary if the dhalocar is the one reaching out to make a deal, if not more so. Their starship form can’t take off from planets, a problem most get around by plane shifting back to Hell to be summoned again, but some may leave mortals alive in exchange for helping it get back into space and bypass the need to find another gullible summoner. Promises to be left alive mean nothing if it inflicts terrible fates without killing, and may actually be much worse. Here’s a few plot hooks to use dhalochars yourself.

  • The infamous space pirate Korrovix the Red Handed has eluded capture for decades even as he preyed upon trade vessels and military convoys alike. The raider’s success is due in large part to his flagship, the Skyreaver. A dhalochar slain by empyreals during a raid on Hell, its corpse drifted through the planes for years before Korrovix salvaged it. Building off of the base ship and gutting it to allow a crew to operate it, the devil ship now serves as a scourge of shipping lanes rather than of mortal souls.
  • The dhalochar Invrax made an error in selecting its landing spot. The island it crashed into was  a precariously formed crust of stone over molten rock, sending the devil crashing through into the lava below. By the time it recovered it had already become too deeply embedded to escape. Millenia later the endbringer devil has come to rest as the flow cooled and entrapped it in the caves deep within the island, far from the growing population centers it hopes to manipulate. In its attempts to lure other to free it, it has managed to build a small cult worshipping the dark and promising voice whispering from the deepest caves. 
  • Endbringer devils are harbingers of an apocalypse in some form or another, and nowhere is this more prevalent that when they are summoned in groups. An attempted rebellion on a major world has seen over a dozen of the vile fiends brought to the material realm. These beings serve as spearheads to armies or as assaults all on their own, carrying strike forces into the hearts of enemy territory or disgorging nuclear warheads to level entire cities. 

About nwright

A freelance writer for the Open Gaming website who looks forward to building plots out of monster entries for you to enjoy as a player or DM.

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