The Last Eight Days of a Hundred-Day Survey of Bestiaries

The staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House had a good time assembling collection of bestiaries for each day of the month of June, July and August. Those three months resulted in an investigation of 92 bestiaries. Here we take the first eight days of September to round that number up to an even one hundred.

These bestiaries fill the shelves that line the halls of the Poison Pie Publishing House. Again, members of the staff, bibliophiles one and all, have selected a different bestiary for each day of the month. In the gallery below, we present the cover of the book, and portions of a sample entry, including an illustration of the creature as well as an excerpt of the accompanying description. We hope you enjoy perusing this fourth and final survey of bestiaries as much as we enjoyed compiling it.

In the bestiaries selected for this month, we include several tomes that compile catalogs of characters, some of whom may even be human. Of course, it is silly (not to mention anthropocentric) to suggest that Homo sapiens should be entirely excluded from bestiaries. We also note that we complete the survey with an entirely female cast for the month of September.

 

September 01, 2016
Uncaged: Faces of Sigil
designer: R.V. Vallese
interior artist: Tony DiTerlizzi
cover artist: Robh Ruppel
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1996
cover: softcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-0786903856
description: This tome describes 41 residents of Sigil, the City of Doors, the center of the multiverse in Planescape, the multiplanar campaign setting from Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 2nd edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the aasimar, Qaida.

"Although you currently possess me, I am owned by the aasimar named Qaida. Her smooth, hairless head and radiant emerald skin are evidence of her celestial father, a planetar wh was seduced--some say willingly--by an evil human wizardess. The child of their union was not welcome on Mount Celestia, least of all by her father."

"Thus, Qaida's mother left her in the care of tieflings on the Lower Planes. They found the child quite a prize, a chance to avenge the proud arrogance of their hated cousins, the aasimar. The tieflings raised Qaida to be evil, but the mere fact that she is an aasimar--looking quite like a serenely beautiful human--leads many to trust her implicity. To further maintain the illusion, Qaida masks her true aura with magic such as undetectable alignment and undetectable lie."

"Qaida spent much of her life in Cauldron, an island town in Arawn's realm on the Gray Waste. She studied under the clergy of Arawn, becoming first a priestess and eventually a proxy of the Celtic death god. Her present task is to turn the hearts and minds of the Dustmen away from their general worship of Death and toward a more specific worship of Arawn."

"To that end, she has come to Sigil through a portal in the catacombs of the Mortuary. My owner has joined the Dustmen, hoping to change them from within..."

September 02, 2016
NPC Codex
authors: Jason Bulmahn et al.
interior artists: various
cover artist: Wayne Reynolds
publisher: Paizo Publishing
publication date: November, 2012
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1601254672
description: This book contains hundreds of Non-Player Characters (NPCs). This book is part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting series.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the cutthroat lawyer.

A cutthroat lawyer is a master of loopholes, doublespeak, intimidation and litigation. She prides herself on doing whatever it takes--within the law--to win her case. Though this means she won't use illusions to falsify evidence or enchantments to alter witnesses's memories or coerce a judge or juror to change a vote, it leaves her many opportunities to enhance her own ability to persuade and invetigate. Given enough gold and access to the right potions, she destroys the oppositions's arguments, eradicates the witnesses' credibility, discovers conflicts of interest in judges and jurors, digs up obscure laws taht invalidate the charges of which her client is accused, suggests plausible conspiracies or mistaken identities, points fingers at other possible suspects, bogs down trial proceedings, and offers plea bargains to a trivially smaller sentence in order to get trials over with.

She loves the intellectual and magical challenge of defeating her opponent within the bounds of the law, much as a paladin enjoys a victory without resorting to dishonorable tactics. She thrives on the attention and her ability to manipulate others to see things as she wants them to. If she worked as a prosecutor, her conviction record would be nearly perfect, but because she loves a good profit, she prefers aggressive litigation and defending the accused.

September 03, 2016
Inner Sea NPC Codex
authors: John Compton et al.
interior artists: various
cover artist: Jason Engle
publisher: Paizo Publishing
publication date: December, 2013
cover: softcover
number of pages: 64
ISBN: 978-1601255945
description: This tome provides a catalog of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) found in the Inner Sea Region of Golarion, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the red mantis assassin, a guild of professional killers who garb themselves in the guise of the mantis.

The assassins in the mysterious order known as the Red Mantis stand at the pinnacle of their craft. Dedicated to the god Achaekek, Red Mantis assassins conduct their business with the fervor and zealotry of religious fanatics. Though their organization is headquartered on Mediogalti Island, Red Mantis assassins are feared throughout the Inner Sea Region. Once the order has accepted a contract on a target, the assassins relent only once the victim is dead--in a most permanent fashion.

September 04, 2016
NPC Guide
authors: Hal Maclean, Jeff Quick, John Wick et al.
interior artists: various
cover artist: Dave Rapoza
publisher: Paizo Publishing
publication date: March, 2010
cover: softcover
number of pages: 64
ISBN: 978-1601252197
description: This tome provides a catalog of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) found in the Inner Sea Region of Golarion, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is Cordeliza Parasca, a Varisian fortune teller.

Cordeliza never expected to be a fortuneteller. Her grandmother, a very wise woman gifted with sight into the spirit world, was the third child in her family. Coreliza's mother, also a gifted fortuneteller, was a third child as well. When Cordeliza's parents died in a fire, everyone thought that Cordeliza's younger sister would take up the mantle of fortuneteller, but it was Cordeliza her grandmother chose to train.

Cordeliza acts as the caravan's wise woman now. She reads messages in the wind, directs the caravan on its travels, and warns her family of impending dangers. On occasion, she follows her dream-messages into cities of along unfamiliar routes, certain that her destiny lies along this path.

September 05, 2016
Rival Guide
authors: Brandon Hodge, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson et al.
interior artists: various
cover artist: Alex Aparin
publisher: Paizo Publishing
publication date: May, 2011
cover: softcover
number of pages: 64
ISBN: 978-1601253026
description: This tome provides a catalog of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) found in the Inner Sea Region of Golarion, the Pathfinder Campaign Setting.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is Belia of Zadoth, a haunted oracle who travels with the Hellblood Corsairs.

The Sisters of Zadoth were never much more than a minor cult hidden in the southern mountains of Rahadoum until Belia was born. Belia was the product of a virgin birth that caused her mother's death, so the cult knew she was special from the start. As she grew, a strange voice in her head claiming to be none other than Zadoth, the cult's mysterious patron, guided Belia into the role of a powerful oracle.

As the years passed, Belia demanded greater and grislier sacrifices for Zadoth, forcing her cult to seek further afield for victims. Eventually, the authorities tracked the cult down and launched an attack on the shrine. Enraged, Belia slaughtered soldiers and cultists alike, then abandoned her blood-soaked home forever. Since that day, Belia has followed Zadoth's whispers exclusively, even though she knows little of what Zadoth might actually be.

September 06, 2016
Exemplars of Evil
author: Robert J. Schwalb
interior artists: James Zhang et al.
cover artist: Ron Spears
publisher: Wizards of the Coast
publication date: September, 2007
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 160
ISBN: 978-0786943616
description: This bestiary describes eight arch-villians, the supporting cast of each and the locales in which they can be found. It was issued as part of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 3.5th edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is Emmara Ishandrenn, a human fighter, transmuter and blackguard.

Emmara Ishandrenn was once a potent force for good in the world until she was captured, tortured, and cursed by a lich known as Restarann. His curse stripped away her goodness, cloaking her soul in deep, festering shadow. Now driven half mad by terrifying dreams, Emmara believes that she must perpetrate acts of unspeakable evil to survive. From her lair in the Soth Tarnel, a faded tomb in a lonely, crumbling sea stack, she plots her revenge against all who abandoned her.

Emmara's descent into evil has not been without great personal cost. The frightening dreams that started on the night of her conversion have grown in intensity ever since. In these nightmares, she hurtles through the pitch black toward a bright light. All around her loom images of herself committing acts of depravity and violence. She recognizes some of the crimes as actions she took while in Restarann's service, but others are unknown to her. The comforting darkness begins to fade, replaced by a painful, burning sensation. As she draws closer to the light, it intensifies and expands, engulfing her. Agony wracks her body as her very soul is peeled away. At that point, she awakens, terrified.

Emmara has developed a deranged belief that the nightmares show the passage of her remaining life and that the bright light represents death. Because the dreams presumably show actions that she has yet to take, Emmara has come to believe that the more wanton cruelty she commits, the longer she will live.

September 7, 2016
Munchkin Monster Manual 2.5
author: John W. Mangrum
interior artist: John Kovalic
cover artist: John Kovalic
publisher: Steve Jackson Games
publication date: January, 2004
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 48
ISBN: 978-1556347221
description: This bestiary takes a light-hearted look at the 3.5th edition Monster Manual from the Munchkin universe.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the harpy.

The fearsome harpy is a hideous bird-woman that lures its victims to their deaths with its captivtating song. Like we said, that's the fearsome harpy--the one in other companies' books. Sadly, not everyone can be pretty and talented, and when we're talking about members of the harpy community, that's saying something. These untalented harpies spend years of their lives watching their sisters lure in all the cute victims, growing steadily more bitter all the while. Many try to hide their lack of vocal talent by strumming along listlessly on harps, which works about as well as one might expect. Many more develop drinking problems, drowning so many purloined potions that they develop spell resistance. In the end, these irate harpies fall back on the one trait in which they do excel: pure, unbridled spite.

Shrill Rebuke: The most insidious ability of the harpy is its ability to ridicule and demean its oppoents through a steady stream of insults.

September 8, 2016
Scrambled Eggs Super!
author: Dr. Seuss
interior artist: Dr. Seuss
cover artist: Dr. Seuss
publisher: Random House
publication date: 1953
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 64
ISBN: 978-0394800851
description: This all ages bestiary consists of birds who produce eggs of great culinary delicacy.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the long-legger kwong.

Then I went for the eggs of a Long-Legger Kwong.
Now this Kwong...well, she's built just a little bit wrong,
For her legs are so terribly, terribly long
That she has to lay eggs twenty feet in the air
And they drop, with a plop, to the ground from up there!
So unless you can catch'em before the eggs crash
You haven't got eggs. You've got Long-Legger hash.

Continue to late addition entries.