An Epic

The Lord of Sloth, Orax

Ooze, Elder Black Pudding: CR 12; ECL 20; Size G; HD 20d10+160; hp 267; Init -5; Spd 20 ft, climb 20 ft.; AC 5, touch 1, FF 5; BAB +15/+10/+5; Grapple +35; Atk: +20 melee (3d6 + 12 plus 2d6 acid, Slam); SA Acid, constrict 2d6+4 plus 2d6 acid, improved grab; SQ Blindsight 60 ft., split, ooze traits; AL NE; SV Fort +14, Ref +1, Will +8; Str 27, Dex 1, Con 27, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Diplomacy +4, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (Arcana) +1, Knowledge (Planes) +1, Listen +4, Sense Motive +5, Spot +3; Blind-Fight, Iron Will, Negotiator, Weapon Focus.

Special Abilities: Blindsight; Area of Apathy; change form.

Area of Exhaustion (Su): The Lord of Sloth projects a magical effect similar to being hit by a ray of exhaustion. This affects all within 30 feet of the Ooze and is a permanent effect. The radius of effect extends an additional 5 feet in all directions for each round that Sloth does not move, up to a maximum range of 100 feet. If the Ooze moves, the area of effect resets to 30 feet. Once a character has saved versus the effect, he need not save again for one day, even if he leaves and re-enters the area. A creature that remains in the area will remain either exhausted or fatigued for 24 hours, depending on the result of the save. Once the creature leaves the area, the duration is calculated as the spell. The residue of this effect can be felt up to a mile around Sloth, and although it has no game effects, it will tend to produce lethargy in those within the radius. It is as if cast by a 15th-level Sorcerer (Save DC 17).

Change Form (Su): The Dweller has granted Orax the ability to change into the form of a morbidly obese human. Changing forms is a standard action. While in human form, his area of apthy ability is inoperable and he has the following statistics:

CR 12; ECL 20; Size M; HD 20d10+160; hp 267; Init -2; Spd 20 ft (base 30 ft); AC 16, touch 8, FF 16; BAB +15/+10/+5; Grapple +35; Atk: +14/+9/+4 melee (2d6 + 9/crit 19-20, Greatsword +1); AL NE; SV Fort +14, Ref +4, Will +8; Str 27, Dex 6, Con 27, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10. Skills and Feats: Diplomacy +4, Intimidate +1, Knowledge (Arcana) +1, Knowledge (Planes) +1, Listen +4, Sense Motive +5, Spot +3; Blind-Fight, Iron Will, Negotiator, Weapon Focus. Special Abilities: Blindsight, change form. Possessions: Greatsword +1, Half-plate +1.

More than four hundred years ago, Kiborus the Cold Lord, vampiric "mayor" of the Nameless City, conducted several magical experiments in the sewers deep beneath the city. It was Kiborus' desire to create a life form, to shape the bodies of the dead into a sentient, controllable creature. His efforts were a mixed success-- Kiborus was the first known individual to create a flesh golem--but he was unable to instill sentience into the creature. He tried more than five times to give awareness to the creature, but each time he failed-- until the last time, when his experiment succeeded and he created a powerful servant for himself.

There was, however, a side-effect to his experiment: he had poured the life force of a multitude of tortured souls, many of his own enemies, into his inert vessel of flesh. This sentience was unable to take hold in the automaton and instead flowed out of the creature and into the sewers. There the excess energy found one of the most menial beings of the sewer-- a lowly creature of slime, a mindless black pudding.

Upon encountering this ooze, something strange and unique occurred. The sentience took control of the pudding, giving it intelligence where it had none, giving it a direction, a purpose. It only desired to slay Kiborus, its unholy father and the being that had caused it to understand its tortured existence. And thus was borne Orax, Black Pudding of the Nameless City.

For years Orax schemed, determined to undermine Kiborus. His new-found sentience allowed him to unlock inherent powers he possessed, powers that allowed him to sap the strength of others to make them easier to hunt. The minions of Kiborus quickly became his prey, and the ooze's ultimate goal was to destroy Kiborus himself.

It was two years after the experiment that Kiborus learned of the creature he had created, learned of the power it possessed, and learned of its hatred of him. He knew that he must stop this being, for it had caused the death of many of his henchmen, and the Dweller did not forgive weakness. His position in the Nameless City was slipping, and he had to remedy that.

Gathering up a group of his most powerful and loyal henchmen, the Cold Lord once again planned to venture into the sewers to destroy this irritating creature. But it was the gathering of this group that brought the existence of Orax to the attention of another, the Dweller herself. The Dweller had been involved in a subtle scheme to end all schemes, a plan to expand her power by creating mighty Lords of Sin to serve the will of her dark master Vornoth. She struggled bitterly, though, to find a suitable candidate for one of the most unusual of the sins, Sloth. Orax, however, seemed to be the perfect candidate. And so when Kiborus and his minions located Orax in the deep sewers, they were surprised to find that the ooze had company. The white-robed Dweller herself was there, speaking with the creature. The Lord of the Wintervale dismissed the vampire and his forces with a slight wave of her hand, and they slunk away. The Dweller then promised to fulfill Orax's greatest desire -- she would kill Kiborus painfully, for a cost. This price was an eternity of servitude to The Dweller and Vornoth himself. Orax only too readily agreed.

The ooze and the enigmatic Dweller then retired into the depths of the Frostspire, where, using the Book of Seven, the Dweller strengthened the power of the ooze to exhaust those who came close to it. In addition, the Book gave the creature the power to assume human form, for the Dweller knew that Orax would need to control a kingdom. She also imbued the pudding with the Dark Will so that it could command armies. And thus Orax, the Lord of Sloth, was born. Yet the Dweller betrayed the ooze, for she still considered Kiborus to be too useful a steward to sacrifice, and she knew that the will of the ooze was forever bound to hers by the Book of Seven. Thus when she sent the creature from the Wintervale to conquer Zeland at the head of a dark army, it had no choice but to do her will. Still, in its deepest core, a great resentment of the Dweller was growing...