Climate/Terrain:Gehenna / Lower Planes
Frequency:Extremely rare
Activity Cycle:Night/Darkness
Diet:See below
Intelligence:Genius (17-18)
Alignment:Neutral Evil
No. Appearing:3
Armour Class:-3/-6 (light/dark)
Hit Dice:12
THAC0:9 (5 from behind)
No. of Attacks:2
Special Attacks:Acid sweat, shock, surprise
Special Defences:Immune to electricity, +2 or better weapon to hit
Magic Resistance:70%
Size:M (5′ tall)
Morale:See below
XP Value:15,000
2e AD&D stats for the Xiaochan

Xiaochan were designed and created by the Yugoloths for one express purpose: to assassinate high-up fiends. The General of Gehenna, together with the power Sung Chiang, struggled for centuries to construct these beings using a foul blend of alchemy and necromancy. The xiaochan were gifted by Sung Chiang with the stealth and cunning necessary to get near the fiends, and by the General with the ability to finish the job. Standing a mere 5′ tall, xiaochan are wiry, bipedal humanoids with dark blue skin and coal black eyes. Their almost featureless, oblong heads hold a superior intelligence and craftiness utterly devoted to their missions as assassins. See, the Yugoloths don’t just count on their Blood War contracts and mercenary crews to sway the tides of the Blood War: sometimes ornery fiends make it necessary to do things the old fashioned way – by putting the sods in the dead-book!

Combat: The xiaochan perform their missions in trios. Their main strategy is to surround their victim and always have one member of the threesome attacking from the rear. With enormous patience, and the stealth of the most adept footpad, they isolate their targets in dark corners where the xiaochan are particularly difficult to detect and hit (-6 AC).

Thief Abilities: Move Silently 95%, Hide in Shadows 95%, Climb Walls 95% Backstab x4 damage, +4 to hit

Because of their unique ability to regulate their body temperature on the outer layer of their skin, infravision is of no help in detecting these bashers. Creatures not normally surprised still need to make a surprise roll (1-2 d10), and those not especially aware are surprised 50% of the time. Even when detected, only the first two members are typically spotted leaving the third to attack unseen (from a nice backstab position).

Once melee had begun, xiaochan basic strategy is to latch themselves on to an opponent using razor sharp talons which penetrate the toughest fiend skin, and smear their acidic secretions (3d6 hps/round) all over the victim. Additionally, especially when cornering baatezu, they shock the victim with a naturally generated electrical charge (not magical; 1d8+8 hps damage; 4/day). Of course, as a consequence of this ability, xiaochan are also immune to any form of electrical attack.

After lashing on to the victim, the pain of the attack prevents the opponent from casting spells, opening gates to draw reinforcements, or even teleporting (bend bars/lift gates roll to remove them). While the fiend is distracted by one, the rest will also attempt to latch on as well, causing further damage.

A successful attack with their razor sharp talons (3d6 hps/hand), that penetrate like green steel daggers, does 3d4+3 hps per claw. Xiaochan are also blessed with standard yugoloth-like magical abilities and defences (see PS Monstrous Compendium 1), including the ability to teleport which has not been lost as with many tanar’ri or baatezu.

Xiaochan use the following spell-like powers at the 10th-level of spell use: advanced illusion (once per day), continual darknesscharm monsterdetect magic/trapsdispel magic (twice per day), ESPhold monster (once per day), and polymorph self. The trios of xiaochan are in constant telepathic contact during a battle, and if the xiaochan are unsuccessful in their assassination attempts, or are unable to isolate the fiend of interest, they will typically teleport away back to some predetermined location. There is always another day, and they avoid being taken alive at all costs (even killing themselves to prevent this occurrence – usually by force of will!). They also teleport away immediately after completing their mission, usually with the lost fiend’s body in tow. When killed, their bodies crumble instantly to dust.

Habitat/Society: Xiaochan have no society, existing only to serve their masters, the General of Gehenna and Sung Chiang. The Power Sung Chiang, as part of his bargain with the great Ultroloth, controls a small number of these creatures for his own purposes (9 sets of 3) which he keeps in his palace on Gehenna. Otherwise, the xiaochan lie in torpor in the darkest tunnels of Krangath (the third layer of Gehenna) until called upon for service. Chant has is that the General used to send individual xiaochan on special, dark missions to assassinate troublesome, low-level sods, but after the disappearance of one of his favourites Marchosias Chou, xiaochan never go solo.

Ecology: Xiaochan obey, absolutely, the orders of their masters, and use their considerable intelligence to complete their missions without distraction. They are completely dependent on the General (and Sung Chiang) for the life energy sustenance that keeps them alive. Marchocias Chou has apparently found a means to overcome this dependency and live free from the General’s clutches, but this is a rare occurrence indeed. In their home plane of Gehenna, deep in the bowels of Krangath, xiaochan sit dormant in small alcoves, watched over by arcanoloth servants until called upon for service.

Source: Scott Kelley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *