NPC: Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu, Conopena Exorcist
Updated: Nov 25, 2021
Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu is a Conopena, aka a Cynocephalus, aka a Dog-Headed Man. (For more on Conopenas, listen to our episode on the Wonders of the East, or read the post I wrote about the textual history of same.) His name is pronounced much like a dog's howl -- each acute accent represents pitching the howl one step higher, and it resets at the morpheme boundary. (It's taken from a Gnoll language I developed a while back.) Here's an IPA version if you're interested:
Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu dresses a bit more flashily than you'd expect from a man of faith. His robe is appropriately simple (though clearly well-made, and thus probably expensive), but he wears quite a lot of jewelry -- beads of polished stone on his wrists, and beads of exotic wood on his necklace along with a golden holy symbol. The scarlet cloth of his belt is fit for an aristocrat. His prized possession is a pointed cloth-of-gold hat encircled by a row of cowrie shells.
He is a wanderer and a freelancer -- he is constantly tracking down rumors of demonic possessions or manifestations anywhere in the world. (His definition of "exorcism" pretty much boils down to "getting demons out of any place they're not supposed to be", and "demon" covers any evil outsider as far as he's concerned.) Once he arrives on the scene, he will offer his expert services for a price. Though he haggles intensely, he will at no point walk away from the deal, and can be bargained down to an exceptionally low price. He needs to be present for the exorcism, regardless of how much he's being paid -- though if the compensation is particularly paltry, he may only offer his services in an advisory capacity, standing off to the side and issuing instructions while others handle the dangerous work, only stepping in himself if absolutely necessary.
Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu's work is motivated by a desire to track down a particular demon -- Kna-rhuzh, the Scornful Oubliette. He won't bring this up without prompting, and will only tell the story if pressed, because it's deeply petty. When Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu was an apprentice, he was present at a particularly long and difficult exorcism. Kna-rhuzh, the demon concerned, made Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu a target of particularly vicious mockery during the process -- as a young, foppish apprentice, he seemed like the weak link. As the cherry on top of the whole ordeal, just before Kna-rhuzh was banished, it stole Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu's hat. The hat, presumably, was dragged back to wherever Kna-rhuzh came from. Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu wants it back.
<Kna-rhuzh> is pronounced /kna.ʀuʒ/
If questioned further, it comes up that the hat in question looked just like the hat Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu is currently wearing. He got a replacement, naturally. It's not like he's going to go around without a nice hat just because a demon took his. Look, he doesn't need the hat, per se. The replacement he wears now is fine. That's not the point. It's a matter of principle. A demon took his hat, and he wants it back, just to make the point that he's not the kind of person that just puts up with that, dagnabbit! (Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu doesn't like to swear.)
The stats below are for Pathfinder 1e; I have confidence in your ability to adapt it to whatever system you prefer. Expect an update at some point once we've nailed down the rules for conopena character. (I might also give the updated version a level in Leech once I write that class.) In the meantime,I've decided to use the rules for gnolls -- and incidentally, here is Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu's name in the gnoll script I developed, since I'm basically just treating conopenas as gnolls until we decide otherwise.
Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu, Conopena Exorcist
Conopena Cleric 3 / Ranger 1; CR 5, XP 1600; N Medium Humanoid; Init +0; Darkvision 60 ft.; AC 11, touch 10, flat-footed 11 (+1 natural) hp 33; Saves: Fort +9, Ref +4, Will +8; Speed 30 ft. Melee Exorcist's Staff +5 (1d8+1/x2), against evil (non-outsider) creatures (1d8+2d6+1/x2), against evil outsiders +7 (1d8+4d6+1/x2), does bludgeoning or piercing damage at wielder's discretion; Str 11, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 14; Base Atk +4; CMB +4; CMD 14 Feats: Alignment Channel (evil), Iron Will; Skills: Appraise +2, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +5, Knowledge (planes) +4, Knowledge (religion) +4, Perception +8, Survival +5; Languages: Conopena, Common.
Notable Abilities: Channel Negative Energy 2d6, Favored Enemy (outsider [evil]), Track, Wild Empathy
Magic Items: Exorcist's Staff
This is a sturdy wooden staff, crowned with a metal ox-head. It functions as a heavy mace that can, if the wielder jabs with the horns, be used to do piercing damage (the horns are very pointy, and Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu keeps them sharpened just in case). It requires two hands to wield. Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu can also channel energy through it. It is a +1 holy, bane (any evil outsider) weapon. In addition, the ox-head turns gently in place so that it always faces the nearest evil outsider on the same plane of existence as its wielder. This staff is essential to Aúíahiuou-Éiiúuu's work, and was gifted to him by his temple when he left to become a wandering exorcist. If lost or destroyed, he will seek its return or replacement, then revenge on whoever he blames for its loss or destruction with the same single-minded pettiness as with his long-lost hat.