Spawned from the corrupion caused by Defiling, these creatures are dark parodies of life. They are formed entirely of a powdery white ash, though this has been compressed into a solid form. As they move, bits of ash dislodge from their form, floating to the ground. They seek only to consume life and burn the world so that Light shines fiercly in all places.
"Ashling" is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). An ashling uses all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here:.
Size and Type: The creature's type is changed to undead. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.
Hit Dice: Change all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.
Armor Class: An ashling gains a natural armor bonus of 5. If the base creature already has a natural armor bonus, use the better of the two.
Attack: An ashling retains all the attaks of the base creature and gains a touch attack is it didn't already have one. If the base creature can use weapons, the ashling retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. An ashling fighting without weapons uses either its touch attack or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). An ashling armed with a weapon uses either its touch or a weapon, as it desires.
Full Attack: An ashling fighting without weapons uses either its touch attack (see above) or its natural weapons (if it has any). If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack along with a touch or other natural weapon as a secondary attack.
Special Attacks: The ashling reatins all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the ashling's HD + ashling's Cha modifier unless noted otherwise.
Fear Aura (Su): Ashlings are surrounded by an aura of death, defilement, decay, and evil. Creatures with 5HD or less in a 60-foot radius that look at the ashling must succeed on a Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell as cast by a sorcerer of the ashling's level. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected by the same ashling's aura for 24 hours.
Energy Drain (Su): Living creatures hit by an ashling's touch attack gain a negative level. For each negative level bestowed, the ashling gains 5 temporary hit points and 1 corruption point (see below). Temporary hit points gained from this ability expire at a rate of 1 hit point per hour. An ashling may only use his energy drain once per round.
Spells: An ashling may cast any spells or use any spell-like abilities it could use before the ashling template was applied. If the ashling has the Defiler Magic feat, he does not gain corruption points from casting with defiling nor does he suffer any of the penalties normally associated with having corruption points. In order to gain the benefits of the feat, he must expend a number of corruption points (gained through the energy drain special attack) equal to the number of corruption points he would normally gain from the benefit.
For example, an ashling who has bestowed 6 negative levels has gained 6 corruption points. He could spend 4 of those to to maximize a spell and still have 2 corruption points remaining.
An ashling does not need to spend corruption points to gain the benefits or penalties to spells based on terrain features. When casting a spell, the vegetation in his defiling radius is burned to ash as if the ashling were defiling in the normal manner.
If the ashling has any temporary hit points from his energy drain special attack, he loses 5 of those temporary hit points for each corruption point expended.
Create Spawn (Su): A creature slain by an ashling's energy drain is reduced to ash and rises as an ashling 1d4 days after death. The new ashling is not under the control of the ashling who spawned it, and it is more than likely hostile towards its creature for killing it.
Special Qualities: An ashling retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the following abilities.
Turn Resistance (Ex): An ashling has +4 turn resistance.
Damage Reduction (Su): Ashlings have damage reduction 10/bludgeoning and magic. An ashlings own natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
- Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects).
- Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, and death effects.
- Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution), as well as to fatigue and exhaustion effects.
- Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
- Uses its Charisma modifier for Concentration checks.
- Not at risk of death from massive damage, but when reduced to 0 hit points or less, it is immediately destroyed.
- Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead. Some ashlings are created from nothing as ashlings. These creatures are not affected by resurrection or true resurrection.
- Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep.
Abilities: Adjust the base creatures abilities as follows: Int +4, Cha +4. As an undead, an ashling has no Constitution score.
Skills: Ashlings have a +8 racial bonus on Intimidate, Listen, and Move Silently check. Otherwise same as base creature.
Environment: The Dust Storm on Hope which surrounds Testament.
Organization: Solitary, pair, or band (3-5).
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: Always evil.
Advancement: By character class.
Level Adjustment: Same as base creature +4.
Ashlings generally prefer to avoid direct combat. If they are forced into a fight, they will generally use their magics to try to incapacitate their opponents without killing them. Once rendered helpless, they will energy drain their opponents to gain as many corruption points as possible. The more dangerous opponents will be drained to death; however, ones that can be easily contained will be kept alive as long as possible. It is not uncommon for a powerful ashling to have several weak monsters or adventurers imprisoned within its home for use as corruption batteries to power their spells.