Footprints, the free electronic magazine put out by Dragonsfoot, introduces the Kzaddich and Tsalakian (creator John Turcotte) in Issue 13. The original work is copyright © 2008 John Turcotte, and I make no contest to this copyright. Moreover, I highly encourage you to check out Footprints and the other free resources available at Dragonsfoot, as well as dropping by their forums.
Mr. Turcotte says, in his Author’s Note, that these creatures came to him in a dream, wherein they were part of the Fiend Folio II, which he located in a game store in The Hague.
Kzaddich: Init +8; Atk by weapon +3 melee (by weapon) or by weapon +1 ranged (by weapon); AC 26; HD 1d8+1; MV 30’ or levitate 10’; Act 2d20; SP cannot be surprised, haste, psionic blast, time travel, telepathy, “death throes”, magic resistance, immune to charm and hold, self-healing, augury; SV Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +9; AL L.
A strange species from another time, or from outside time altogether, the Kzaddich may be from the distant past or future, or from some alternate temporal plane. They are the mortal enemies of the Tsalakians (see below), and are most often encountered working against Tsalakian interests.
The Kzaddich (singular and plural) appear as cloaked man-sized figures, their features completely hidden by their cowls. Their true form appears to be an amalgamation of shifting, softly glowing spheres in a rough approximation of a bipedal form, but this may be nothing more than what their multi-dimensional shapes appear like to our temporally limited eyes. Their voices sound like wind chimes, and they have a natural telepathic ability to a range of 120’. This same telepathy allows them to make a psionic blast attack at an enemy target within 90’, causing 2d6 damage (Will DC 15 for half).
The Kzaddich can slip in and out of the time-stream at will, resulting in their high initiative bonus, AC, and saving throw bonuses. As a result, they are exceedingly difficult to harm. Their magic resistance allows them to save against any spell, even if no save is normally allowed, saving at the spell check value if a lower DC is not listed in the spell description. If a spell normally allows a save, the Kzaddich take half damage if the save is failed, and are completely unaffected if they successfully save. They cannot be affected by anything, magical or otherwise, that affects time or causes aging.
The Kzaddich perceive the past, present, and potential futures, making them impossible to surprise, and making them able to make predictions with a 90% chance of success. A Kzaddich can stop time twice per day, for 2 rounds, bringing up to two touched beings with it into the stopped time.
Although the Kzaddich are predominantly pacifists, when attacked they can speed themselves up, gaining an additional Action Die and increasing their move to 45’ for 1d5 rounds. A wounded Kzaddich can use an Action Die to rapidly heal 1d3 damage. If reduced to 0 hp, or otherwise faced with certain capture or death, a Kzaddich simply slips into the far future or past to avoid the situation.
According to the sage Turcotte the Dreamer, “Almost nothing is known of the Kzaddich culture. They vie against the machinations of the Tsalakians on a scale that mortal creatures cannot comprehend and hint at a vast war between the two races. Kzaddich do not appear to have individual names, but often adopt pseudonyms when dealing with others (who they refer to, not unkindly, as ‘linears’).
Tsalakian: Init +5; Atk bite +3 melee (1d4); AC 20; HD 2d8+2; MV 20’ or infinite; Act 4d20; SP bend and fold space, teleport, empathic projection, immune to mind-affecting and paralysis, special senses, magic resistance, free action, death throes; SV Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +0; AL C.
The Tsalakians appear as tall men, completely enshrouded in cloaks, their faces concealed by heavy cowls. They can speak any language, using voices that seem to come from random, ever-changing, locations all around them. The Tsalakians come from outside normal space-time, and their true forms are difficult to comprehend. The sage Turcotte the Dreamer describes them, uncloaked, as “a blurry whirl of teeth forming a rough approximation of a man-like form.”
These creatures, said to be the servitors of some great malign power, have no individual will of their own. Their origin is unknown, but they seek always to cause great harm. They oppose, and are opposed by, the Kzaddich. Preferring to work through others, they perpetually strive to bend all other sentient beings to the will of their dread master. The sage Turcotte the Dreamer does not identify this being, but it is suspected by some that Pesh Joomang (http://ravencrowking.blogspot.ca/2014/06/pesh-joomang-gate-and-keeper.html), the Patron of Patrons, might be the Dread Master of the Tsalalkians, as He is the Dark Master of the Judges of Spellburn.
Tsalakians can bend and fold through space, and are able to attack from multiple locations at once. They can thus attack any opponent within 20’, and never offer a free attack when withdrawing. Although they shuffle along when pretending to be humanoid, in truth they can travel an infinite distance during any round, ignoring physical or magic obstacles in their path, using an inborn form of teleportation. When slain, a Tsalakian disappears in a howling void of folded space, getting ever smaller until it can no longer be seen. Still, its anguished cries remain dimly audible for 1d5 rounds.
Tsalakians can detect hidden spaces, being able to “see” around corners and through walls, floors, and ceilings. They are never surprised, except when magic is used, for they cannot perceive invisible, out of phase, ethereal or astral objects or creatures, although they can see anything hidden in shadows or otherwise concealed without magic. Although Tsalakians are generally immune to mind-affecting spells and effects, they can be fooled by illusions. They automatically detect alignment and magic through their weird senses.
Like the Kzaddich, Tsalakians have magic resistance which allows them to save against any spell, even if no save is normally allowed, saving at the spell check value if a lower DC is not listed in the spell description. If a spell normally allows a save, a Tsalakian takes half damage if the save is failed, and is completely unaffected if successful. In addition, they cannot be restrained by any impediment, paralysis, or magical hold.
Tsalakians detect the emotions of others, and can project emotions empathically, allowing them to cast cause fear at will, by using all of their Action Dice for that round. This works similarly to the ability to instill fear with a result of 20-23 when casting Ekim’s mystical mask, except that it affects all targets within 20’ or the Tsalakian and the save is only DC 15. They can project other emotions as well as fear, and the judge can use the spell result as a rough gauge of the effects of other emotions.
The sage also wrote, “Tsalakians, when encountered, are usually in the act of planning or carrying out some great ill, for they prefer to work through others, themselves remaining out of the fray if possible, revealing their fearsome abilities only if pressed. Their hatred of the Kzaddich knows no bounds and they can detect the presence of those creatures and will always attack them on sight.”
Both the Kzaddich and the Tsalakians are described by their author as having power psionic powers. Although it is beyond the scope of this blog post to create an entire system of psychic abilities, the judge is encouraged to consider the psionics systems presented in The Wizardarium of Calabraxis or Crawljammer#3, both of which are resources that any self-respecting judge should own in any event. Barring those resources, roll 1d7 and consult the table from the Githyanki/Githzerai posting on this blog.
The eternal war between the Kzaddich and the Tsalakians could easily appear in the background of many an adventure. Especially given the methodology of the Tsalakians, who prefer to act through others, they could easily be behind the events of even high-level adventures. The Kzaddich give aid, specifically in the form of information, but prefer to avoid direct confrontation as well.
Even so, the best use I can imagine for both creatures is in a 0-level funnel, where the PCs may not initially know that the Kzaddich are well-meaning. I think that would make a fun, and possibly very creepy, adventure.