Istaak CR 7
This humpbacked creature appears to be made of obsidian with a multifaceted gemstone for a face, creeping forward on four long stilt-like legs as ash and lava spurt from cracks in its shell.
CN Large outsider (fire)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., blindsense (heat) 5 ft.; Perception +14
Aura burning (30 ft, DC 15)
DEFENSE HP 105
EAC 19; KAC 21
Fort +9; Ref +9; Will +8
Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +15 (2d6+8 B&F, critical burn 1d6)
Ranged heat beam +18 (2d6+12 B&F, critical burn 1d6, range 100 ft.)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Offensive Abilities molten strikes
Str +1; Dex +5; Con +2; Int -1; Wis +4; Cha +0
Skills Intimidate +19, Acrobatics +14, Mysticism +14
Burning Aura (Su)
An istaak’s body radiates intense heat. Any creature that gets within 30 ft. of it takes 1d10 fire damage on the start of each round, with a DC 15 Fortitude save to have this damage. This aura automatically begins to melt or burn any unattended inanimate object. The istaak can weaken this aura to deal only 1 point of damage on each round, with a successful Fortitude save negating it entirely, but cannot suppress it completely.
Molten Strikes (Su)
An istaak’s attacks mix kinetic impact with thermal energy. It can choose whether to target EAC or KAC with any of its attacks and its attacks count as both bludgeoning and fire damage. Resistances cannot reduce the damage of such an attack below half of the damage dealt unless the target is resistant to both and these attacks still deal half damage to creatures with immunity to one of those damage types.
Environment any (Plane of Fire), volcanoes, heated caves
Organization single, cinder (2-6)
The elemental planes are places of extremes, sheer expanses of the elemental material they’re named for. The creatures that live there are just as bizarre, even more so when they live in the hybrid areas at the metaphysical borders between two planes. The istaak is such a creature, adapted to live in the lava fields and magma caverns at the border between the planes of Fire and Earth.
Istaaks are strange creatures that bear only passing resemblance to anything living or inanimate. In terms of shape, they are closest to some sort of insect, with hunched bulbous bodies atop long multi-jointed legs. But rather than flesh and bone, istaaks are composed primarily of obsidian and other igneous materials. Their inner bodies have pockets and channels of magma that serve as both blood and vital organs. Vents along their backs serve as outlets when their internal pressure grows too great, primarily when stressed or angry, sending out jets of lava, sparks, and ash in an intimidating display.
Istaaks prefer to dwell in lava fields and other areas where their long legs allow them to wade through super-heated material that potential enemies would find impassable. This not only prevents foes from getting into melee range, where istaaks are weaker in terms of combat ability but allows the istaak to bombard them with blasts of lava from a distance. However, though their behavior is influenced by predators and enemies, it has no consideration for prey. Istaaks have no need to eat, sustaining themselves entirely on the thermal energy leeched from their environment. This mindset also influences their behaviors outside of simple survival. Those they consider to be weaker than themselves they ignore completely, while those they consider to be equal or greater than themselves are treated with suspicion and hostility.
The origins of istaaks are a mystery to all but the most dedicated of scholars. The most reliable source on the matter is a record from an old feud between the elemental lord, with Fire and Earth warring against Water and Air. It speaks of creatures that stalked through the battlefields, with stony bodies that resisted blasts or air and superheated blasts to turn water into steam. Whether they were hidden away in some remote location before being located and entreated for support or created as weapons of war by the elemental lords, they’ve become a common sight in the regions between the two planes. What is known is that they have a deep connection to the core of the Plane of Fire. Those who have spoken to istaaks will see them hold a one-sided conversation with a nearby source of heat, such as a fire or pool of lava. They seem to switch back and forth between talking to the people in front of them and speaking to a voice only they can hear. Despite this, the stony bodies of istaaks make it impossible to travel to the core of the plane they treasure so dearly, as a location of pure heat lacks any physical passageways for them to traverse. Istaaks with the resources or connections will seek out magic items or allies who can help them travel there. Such a trip is usually enough to sate their love for the plane for a few years, but inevitable the desire builds up again and they begin seeking out meant to make another trip. Offering potential resources for this quest to an istaak, such as magic items or promises of aid, will almost certainly win them over if they’re not already hostile.
This supposed connection to the Plane of Fire could easily be passed off as fanaticism or widespread delusion, but for a single piece of physical evidence: their heat beams. These beams are not the products of the istaaks themselves, but rather a manifestation of the plane’s energy. By channeling their power through the gems that make up their heads, istaaks open small portals to the heart of the Plane of Fire for just a split second. Such a portal is no larger, more powerful, or longer lasting than any of the uncounted planar anomalies that fluctuate into being all over the multiverse, but their connection to the plane allows them to aim it with incredible precision. Though only open for an instant before collapsing, it serves as a window for the plane’s pure fiery energies to pour forth into a beam so potent it strikes with physical force even as it melts through armor and flesh.