Aurum Wyrm CR 16
The great beast’s fourfold mouth splits open in a mighty roar as the gold around it melts and shifts.
CN Huge dragon
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, gold detection (300 ft.); Perception +28
Aura gilding aura (60 ft, DC 22)
DEFENSE HP 300 RP X
EAC 30; KAC 32
Fort +20; Ref +20; Will +14
Immunities sleep, paralysis
Defensive Abilities golden armor
Speed 60 ft.
Melee bite +30 (6d10+24 P & F)
Multiattack 4 claws +27 (3d10+16 Sl)
Ranged molten spew (7d6+16, Reflex DC 22, 60 ft. cone, Bl & F)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Offensive Abilities chrysokinesis
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th)
3/day—dominate person (DC 16)
Str +8; Dex +0; Con +5; Int +7; Wis +12; Cha +1
Skills Culture +28, Mysticism +28, Sense Motive +33
Languages Draconic, Terran
An aurum wyrm has great control over gold, capable of reshaping and manipulating it at a whim. By taking an hour an aurum wyrm can reshape up to one ton of gold into any shape it so desires. This can be as simple as adding elaborate engravings to a golden ring or as complex as melting down gold coins to remake as a statue. An aurum wyrm can also cast telekinesis at will, but may only affect golden objects with it.
Gilding Aura (Su)
An aurum wyrm has an unusual aura that transmutes surrounding material into gold. A creature that fails against this aura the first time has all its movement reduced by half and takes -5 on all Dexterity-based checks and spellcasting that requires a somatic component. Failing the save a second time petrifies the creature. All of these repercussions can be removed through the casting of mystic cure at 6th level. An aurum wyrm cannot technically disable this aura, but it can dilute it as a free action. The diluted aura has a range of 300 feet but only affects inanimate, nonsentient objects, taking effect every hour instead of every round. While diluted, the aurum wyrm can choose any number of items to be unaffected by it, though it may revoke this protection at any time. Condensing this aura again takes a reaction.
Golden Armor (Su)
Aurum wyrm can draw gold to themselves and resolidify it as armor. If there is at least one ton of gold within 50 feet of an aurum wyrm, it may use its move action to liquify a ton of gold and draw it instantly to itself. This armor grants the aurum drake DR 10/- and energy resistance 10 to all types of energy except fire and electricity, but reduces its speed by 15 feet and gives it vulnerability to electricity. An aurum wyrm has no innate way to dissolve this armor and must break it apart or use its chrysokinesis to take it off.
Environment any subterranean or remote
Organization single, pair
In the transition to interstellar civilizations, most dragons adjusted well. While raw physical power and magical might became less important in the face of mass-produced technology, their incredibly long life spans, keen intellects, and cunning social graces allowed them to adjust well to a society that valued words rather than violence. However, not all dragons were able to transition so smoothly. Of the various species of dragon, it was the aurum wyrms who had the greatest trouble adjusting.
An aurum wyrm begins life as a limbless serpentine creature about the length of a human arm. They gorge themselves on any food they can find, growing rapidly to a length of five to eight feet and developing their limbs over the course of four years. It is at this stage of their life that their peculiar powers begin to manifest. The hunger of their youth does not dissipate, but their gilding aura makes it impossible to forage carrion and will rapidly transform any prey they kill, forcing them to eat their prey alive. What begins as a necessary behavior becomes a habit or even preference as they grow to adulthood, and many aurum wyrms keep up the behavior even once they’ve mastered their aura and no longer need it. Due to the inconvenience of needing to eat live prey, it usually takes about a decade for an aurum wyrm to eat enough to achieve their final stage of growth. A fully grown aurum wyrm appears as a limbed serpentine creature up to fifteen feet long with six eyes and a muzzle that opens into four jaws.
Aurum wyrms are possessed of a strange, self-fulfilling lust for gold. They have a need to obtain the precious metal, even as they transform worthless dirt and wood into gold. However, unlike most dragons, they do not value monetary value but simply the gold itself. This is the core of their problem with integrating into society, as they see no point in giving up some of their gold to get more gold later when they can just make more on their own. Aurum wyrms have an incredible memory for their gold, and coupled with their ability to sense it at a significant distance, any theft of their gold doesn’t go unnoticed for long.
The lair of an aurum wyrm is a spectacular place. Entire cave systems or castles are transmuted into solid gold, which the aurum wyrm will then decorate with elaborate carvings, friezes, and sculptures using their chrysokinesis. Should an appropriate lair not present itself, aurum wyrms have no trouble simply making one of their own. They simply select an area and linger long enough to turn it into gold, then use their chrysokinesis to reshape it as they please. Golden trees are melded together and the ground is pulled away to make tunnels, allowing the aurum wyrm to move into areas still unaffected and begin the process again.
Perhaps it is fortunate that aurum wyrms are so antisocial. If their gold was easily obtained, they could easily destroy most economies. However, an aurum wyrm would sooner die than part with even a handful of its gold, though they prefer to magically compel thieves to helplessly submit to its vengeance. This proves no dissuasion to treasure hunters though, as many will attempt to slay the dragon so they may claim its vast treasure. In combat, an aurum drake begins by drawing on the gold of its lair to armor itself. Once it has done this, or if it is confronted in an area it hasn’t converted, it condenses its gilding aura and blasts foes with a spew of molten metal. In gold-heavy areas, it will use its chrysokinesis to hurl large chunks of gold to separate and trap foes, and most aurum drakes keep large free-standing golden pieces in their lairs for just this reason. Particularly intelligent aurum drakes will prepare for such conflicts and seek the resources needed to create gold golems, the only minions that could safely remain in their vicinity.