LankhmarCampaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain: Any
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Clan
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Omnivore
Intelligence: High
Treasure: K,Q
Alignment: Lawful evil
No. Appearing: 2-8
Armor Class: 1
Movement: 15
Hit Dice: 8
THAC0: 13
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 1-10/1-10
Special Attacks: Nil
Special Defenses: Nil
Magic Resistance: 50%
Size: L (9' tall)
Morale: Elite (13)
XP Value: 1400

Askhalites are a race alien to Lankhmar, and may have come from the same general locale as the Devourers. As members of a malign race that seeks to spread its influence over other worlds, the Askhalites take over the bodies of other beings, making them little more than empty vehicles for Askhalite will. Under certain conditions an Askhalite will assume its true form, physically transforming the host body as it does so. An Askalite, in its true form, is taller, broader, and more muscular than a man. Their skin is ebony and their brows are heavy and knotted. Their fingers end in slashing claws instead of nails. Askhalites speak their own language, as well as any language known by the host creature.

Combat: Each Askhalite is bound to an object, often a medallion. The object must be given (usually by another Askhalite), to a intelligent creature, who must accept it willingly. The victim must then save vs. spell or be taken over by the Askhalite bound to the object. The Askhalite then controls the victim, and can use any of its mental abilities through him.

The Askhalite will keep its object on its person (that is, the person of its host) at all times. If the object is removed, the Askhalite will change into its own true form, and fight to get the object back. When the creature takes on its true form, the host undergoes an immediate physical change; its effective level, hit dice, and attack forms become identical to those of the Ashkalite (the net effect of this is similar to a polymorph other or shapechange spell controlled by the Askhalite).

The transformation from host to Askhalite frees the host body from mind control effects such as charm and beguiling. (Note that since Askhalites are not persons by the definition of the hold person spell, a host bound by this spell would be freed by the transformation). The Askhalite form can perform prodigious feats of strength (comparable with ogre strength), and can take advantage of any magical augmentation beyond that possessed by the host.

The Askhalite has the ability to teleport or plane shift the host body to the location of its object at will. It also has the ability to leave the host, to the point of having the host give its object to another intelligent being (who is presumably more powerful or useful).

If the Askhalite is killed, the object becomes inert and safe to handle. Slaying the physical form of the Askalite is fatal to the host, who reverts to normal form. What happens to the Askhalite if its medallion is destroyed while it inhabits a host is unknown. This event is, however, fatal to the host.

An intelligent being that has been taken over by an Askhalite can be freed of its influence by a dispel evil spell cast upon the victim specifically for that purpose. The Askhalite's magic resistance must be overcome and the Askhalite receives a saving throw vs. spell to avoid being displaced. If displaced, the creature is forced back into its object.

The Ashkalites will abandon their invasion plans and withdraw without further harm to the hosts if their threat is discovered by the general population.

Habitat/Society: The Askhalites are followers of a mysterious god-ruler known as Askhal, and seek to subjugate other worlds in his (or its) name. Their society is a theocracy, with those Askhalites who have achieved the most in the name of the godruler considered closest to the deity, and most capable of rulership.

The existance of more powerful Askhalites, with spell capabilities and additional innate powers is suspected but unproved.

The Askhalite Medlaion

It has been theorized that the Askhalites are of extradimensional origin, and that their object is required to effect or maintain their existance on this plane. The object seems keyed to the individual Askhalite; at least there is no record of a second Askhalite being bound to or responding to a captured medallion after the original one has been slain.

While the Askhalite lives (including the time before its object is accepted by an intelligent creature) the object has extraordinary resistance to being broken or destroyed. After the Askhalite has been killed, the object loses all special properties.

At least four different patterns of Askhalite medallions are known to the wisest sages, although whether these correspond to ranks within the Askhalite hierarchy, or to factions within the Askhalite society is unknown. It is possible that the form of the bound item, whether ring, circlet, phylactery, gemstone pendant, etc., has a specific meaning for the Askhalites.