Proteans are serpentine outsiders of pure chaos.
Proteans have the following traits:
- Blindsense (distance varies by protean type).
- Immunity to acid.
- Resistance to electricity 10 and sonic 10.
- Constrict and grab as special attacks.
- Supernatural flight.
- Freedom of Movement (Su): A protean has continuous freedom of movement, as per the spell.
- Amorphous Anatomy (Ex): A protean’s vital organs shift and change shape and position constantly. This grants it a 50% chance to ignore additional damage caused by critical hits and sneak attacks, and grants it immunity to polymorph effects (unless the protean is a willing target). A protean automatically recovers from physical blindness or deafness after 1 round by growing new sensory organs to replace those that were compromised.
- Change Shape (Su): A protean’s form is not fixed. Once per day as a standard action, a protean may change shape into any Small, Medium, or Large animal, elemental, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, plant, or vermin. A protean can resume its true form as a free action, and when it does so, it gains the effects of a heal spell (CL equal to the protean’s HD).
Source: Ultimate Magic (see Binding Outsiders for further details.)
Slithering creatures of pure chaos, proteans claim they were the masters of the multiverse before the first gods created the other planes from the pure chaos of the primeval beginnings. They seek to tear down the multiverse and restore it to its original chaotic form. Bound proteans seek to find a way to achieve this goal even when bargaining with those who dare summon and bind them. Proteans are immune to acid and have resistance to electricity 10 and sonic 10. Their amorphous anatomy grants them immunity to polymorph effects and resistance to critical hits and sneak attack damage. They are protected by a continuous freedom of movement, as per the spell.
Imentesh (SR 21): These heralds of chaos often heed the call of binders who wish to utilize the power of proteans. In conversation they are often talkative, seemingly helpful, and polite, but they are always plotting their escape in order to unleash as much chaos as possible.
Keketar (SR 28): The most zealous of all the proteans, keketars see it as their sacred duty to return all existence to its true chaotic state. These creatures are extremely arrogant, and often seek to manipulate those foolish enough to bind them toward their own entropic purposes.
Naunet (SR 18): These bestial proteans are hard to control. Those who bind these dangerous bundles of rage and destruction are lucky if they can wield the naunets’ destructive power for their own purposes—at least for a short while.
Voidworm: To most other proteans, these tiny creatures aren’t true proteans at all, just pale reflections of protean powers manifesting in the twisting currents of Limbo. Mortal spellcasters sometimes call these creatures to serve as familiars.
Beings of pure chaos, the serpentine proteans slither through the anarchic improbabilities of Limbo, remaking reality according to their whims. According to their own history, they were already here when the first gods pulled forth the other planes from raw chaos—and they have been battling against the indignity ever since. Hereditary and ideological enemies of Axis, Heaven, and Hell, and especially of the residents of those planes, all proteans see it as their sacred duty to return the bland, static expanses of mundane reality to the beautiful incongruities of Limbo, for the planes’ own good and for the greater glory of their mysterious god, a dualistic deity which may be a living aspect of Limbo itself. They are Limbo’s living, breathing immune system, rooting out infections of mundanity and replacing them with beautiful entropy. Primeval in shape and philosophy, proteans are the race that most perfectly embodies the twin aspects of creation and destruction (although certain aeons might contest this claim). Even their language is mutable, evolving so quickly that few outsiders can understand it without magical aid. Ecological study is nearly impossible, as reproduction can take a wide variety of forms, from sexual union to fission to spontaneous generation. Despite their deceptively similar natural appearances, the two things that truly unify the protean race are slavish devotion to their strange god and a fervent desire for the dissolution of reality as we know it.
Proteans are organized into several sub-races or castes, each with its own individual abilities and roles. Other proteans than the four presented here doubtless exist, but they do not interact with other races nearly to the extent that these four types do.
Voidworms: Disowned by greater proteans, who find these tiny beings shameful, voidworms nevertheless retain all the characteristics of true proteans, and are frequently found swimming through Limbo in vast schools or serving as spellcasters’ familiars.
Naunets: Possessing little in the way of culture, the powerful naunets are the most bestial of the true proteans, representing the lowest recognized caste. Naunets are the shock troops of the protean race, and patrol the borderlands between Limbo and other planes, seeking out lawful incursions and making daring, savage raids into the realms of their enemies.
Imenteshes: These cunning proteans seek to subvert the forces of order from within their own systems, whispering information and insinuations where they can do the most damage. Endlessly creative, they adore reforming the landscapes of Limbo to suit their fancies, but enjoy warping the vistas and creatures of other planes even more.
Keketars: Priest-kings and voices of Limbo itself, keketars rule their fellows in the name of their bizarre god. Though their forms are extremely mutable, keketars can always be recognized thanks to eyes that glow amber or violet and floating crowns of swirling and changing symbols that often appear above their heads. Organized into cabals called choruses, keketars seek only to understand and follow the will of entropy.
While the keketars are the highest caste of the protean race, there exist a few scattered individuals who put even the mightiest chorus to shame. Equal in power to demon lords or empyreal lords, the beings known as protean lords are an enigma, far older than other proteans and perhaps spawned in a previous iteration of the multiverse or somewhere beyond the depths of Limbo. Disdaining direct leadership, protean lords act according to their own desires, occasionally appearing to advise their lesser kin or keep an inscrutable eye on entities whose powers rival their own.
Many proteans, particularly the imenteshes, have the ability to create and manipulate ripples in reality known as warpwaves. Yet even a protean can’t predict what effects a warpwave might have. When a creature is affected by a warpwave, roll 1d20 and consult the table below to see what effect the entropic energies have.
|1||Target takes 2 Strength damage.|
|2||Target takes 2 Dexterity damage.|
|3||Target takes 2 Constitution damage.|
|4||Target takes 2 Intelligence damage.|
|5||Target takes 2 Wisdom damage.|
|6||Target takes 2 Charisma damage.|
|7||Target gains 1 negative level.|
|8||Target is blinded or deafened for 1d4 rounds.|
|9||Target is confused for 1d4 rounds.|
|10||Target is entangled by filaments of energy for 1d4 rounds.|
|11||Target becomes fatigued (or exhausted if already fatigued).|
|12||Target becomes nauseated for 1d4 rounds.|
|13||Target is stunned for 1d4 rounds.|
|14||Target is sickened for 1d4 rounds.|
|15||Target is staggered for 1d4 rounds.|
|16||Target gains 4d6 temporary hit points.|
|17||Target is affected by a heal spell (CL = protean’s CR).|
|18||Target is turned to stone.|
|19||Target is affected by baleful polymorph (CL = protean’s CR).|
|20||Portions of target’s body burst with energy of a random type (choose between acid, cold, electricity, or fire), dealing 4d6 points of damage of the appropriate type to the target.|