by Lawrence Augustine R. Mingoa
Some say tianacs are the spawn of witches who turned themselves into living vampires using vile rituals, while others claim that they’re the bodies of unborn or uncleansed infants that are corrupted by undeath. But regardless of how they came to be, tianacs are so small that they could only take the form of a humanoid baby, wailing in the night; it’s said that those foolish enough to try and look for this child come back as bones, with their hearts ripped out (or eaten out), or not at all…
True Form of Tianacs
There are conflicting reports on how their true form looks like; some say that they resemble rotting fetuses or babies, while others claim that they resemble little brown creatures (almost like gnomes). The only consistent feature in the stories is that they have rows of sharp teeth and a withered leg.
Tianacs in the Dragon Empire
Some say that Bitter Wood got its name because it’s a dumping ground for those in the Empire with unwanted children (including some of the Emperor’s bastard children, a snarky few add), and it’s rumored to be haunted by tianacs. That being said, these creatures appear in just about any place where the bodies of babies (born and unborn) are laid to rest, but whose rituals to keep them at rest have been disturbed or were never done.
Tianacs and the Icons
Most Icons want tianacs utterly destroyed. Some however, feel differently.
The Diabolist: Aren’t they cute, in a certain light, maybe if you add a hint of demon taint to them?
Lich King: Just like any vampire, tianacs who refuse to bow down to the Lich King take great offense to his symbol. For those that do serve him, they serve as his spies, thanks to their shape-changing ability.
The Priestess: The Priestess has always been greatly saddened by the existence of tianacs, as no child should ever be desecrated in such a way.
|Normal6th LevelMookUndead||Initiative: +12Vulnerability: holyM: Grasping Claws +11 vs. AC (one enemy; see below)—8 damage, and the target is grabbed and takes 4 ongoing damage until the grab ends.Natural 16+: The target is also hampered until the grab ends.Limited Use: The tianac can only use grasping claws in its true form.C: Cry of the Innocent +11 vs. MD (one nearby or far away enemy; see below) —the target must spend their move action during their turn to engage with the tianac, attempting to disengage from creatures it’s engaged with if necessary.
Limited Use: The tianac can only use cry of the innocent in its disguised form.
Steal Shape: The tianac can take the form of the last infant humanoid that it consumed as a quick action . While disguised, creatures must make a hard save (natural 16+) to see through the disguise. Reverting to their true form is a free action.
Withered Leg: The tianac crawls instead of walks or runs, requiring a 16+ to disengage from enemies instead of 11+, and may require normal (natural 11+) saves to travel distances that are nearby to other creatures; failing the save causes them to lose their move action.
Levitation or One Really Good Leg: While in its true form, the tianac can now levitate or leap several feet as part of their move action, but must end that movement on solid ground; this negates all the penalties of the withered leg.
Tianacs in a Fight
Tianacs are sometimes found by themselves, using cry of the innocent to isolate creatures and consume them. More often they’re joined by other undead (usually ghouls and zombies), who serve as scapegoats that explain why there are so many who perish in the area. Usually they try to compel their targets to save them above all else, even if it means leaving themselves open to opportunity attacks.
Once they’ve been found out, or when the adventurer is engaged with them, tianacs waste no time in reverting to their true form in order to latch on to the victim, often seeking to consume the heart as soon as possible. As tianacs are usually small (or smaller if they ate a gnome baby), even halflings and gnomes don’t have too much trouble moving around while they try to shake off the abomination.
While uncommon, swarms of tianacs do exist, and these groups tend to focus their attacks on one creature at a time, stripping them to the bone before moving on to their next victim.