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Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:High-Genius (13-18)
Alignment:Neutral evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:4
Movement:14, Fl 24 (C)
Hit Dice:8
No. of Attacks:2 + special
Damage/Attack:1d8+7/1d8+7 or by weapon +7
Special Attacks:Spit acid, Suffocate, Assume shape
Special Defenses:Struck only by magic weapons
Magic Resistance:10%
Size:L (10' tall, 30' wingspan)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:7,000

Azouls are shape-stealing monsters that seek to gain the love and loyalty of large groups of people. Their greatest joy comes from betraying those who trust them and leading their followers to ruin.

Azouls are vaguely humanoid, hairless creatures with dark brown skin. Their flesh is deeply wrinkled and folded over their entire bodies but when they move their powerful muscles can be seen sliding beneath. They have no arms and instead have strong wings. Like a bat, the azoul has an arm-like bone that supports the structure of each wing, but there the similarity ends. The azoul has four more joints in its wing bone allowing it to curl the wing in many directions. The flesh of an azoul's wing is a muscle which allows them to squeeze or grab large objects. An azoul has no nose and two mandible-like jaws. An azoul has no teeth as it does not chew or swallow food but instead absorbs what it need through pores in its wings. Perhaps the most fearsome aspect of an azoul is its eyes. Each eye has seven irises layered one upon on another around a glowing green pupil.

Azouls can speak the language of any creature whose form they have stolen.

Combat: In humanoid or animal form azouls strike with a +7 to damage because of their great strength. Their Armor Class, THAC0, hit points, and number of attacks do not change.

In their natural form azouls buffet opponents with their wings. They can also attempt to suffocate an opponent in the folds of their wings. Creatures as large as ogres can be held in the wing. Azouls can still buffet opponents with a wing that holds a creature. Creatures held in the wing are unable to move and can survive only as long as they can hold their breath. They can be freed by someone killing the azoul or causing 10 points of damage with a slashing weapon.

Once every three rounds an azoul can spit acid up to 10 feet away. This jet of acid causes 4d10 points of damage. The azoul must roll to hit and the target can save vs. poison for half damage.

An azoul can also assume the shape of another creature. If it grasps the same target with both wings in the same round it can automatically hit with its acid attack and the target gets no save for half damage. The azoul then spits acid on the target until it is dead. It absorbs the flesh of the creature through its wings and can thereafter take that creature's form. Ichor-covered bones are all that remain. Azouls can only take the form of the last five creatures killed by this attack. Azouls can take the shape of any Small, Man-sized, or Large animal. Transformation from one form to another is instantaneous.

An azoul has seven kinds of sight. Only one kind of sight can be used at a time. An azoul has normal human vision, 30' infravision, sight that works like detect magic, sight that works like detect invisibility, sight that works like know alignment, sight that works like detect undead, and a sight that is immune to illusions.

Habitat/Society: Sages are unsure of the azouls' origins but most agree that they must have been created magically like dopplegangers. Azouls have no society of their own and a meeting between two azouls usually results in conflict.

An azoul's physical impersonation is flawless, but they have no ability to read minds and are bad actors. When they take a person's shape they usually travel far away in the hopes that no one will recognize it. If they do try to impersonate someone they will usually first take the shape of that person's pet or mount in order to learn more about them.

The azouls' favorite strategy to lead people to their doom is to take the role of a heroic stranger. They gain a person's trust by saving the person from a prearranged danger, then offering friendship. The azoul will press to meet their dupe's friends and family in order to gain their trust. Slowly the azoul's circle of friends becomes wider. At this point the azoul searches for some cause to champion which it can use to lead its new allies to ruin. Slaying great evils, overthrowing unjust governments, and fighting wars are favorite causes. The azoul then leads its allies into the most hopeless situation and abandons them.

An azoul's eyesight is very useful to it but only the infravision and normal human vision irises can mimic the look of another creature's eyes. If they change vision, the different irises can be seen changing focus. This looks very unnatural and ruins their disguise. Azouls take pains to make sure no one sees them switching forms of sight, but if they are blinded or surprised they may switch sights by reflex.

Ecology: Azouls eat any animal. They must eat at least one Man-sized creature every week. This means that an azoul can not keep a shape in its repertoire for more than a month.

Azouls live wherever lots of people can be found.

By Matthew Sernett