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Ice Flenser

Creature Type: Outsider (Evil)
Environment: Any
Attack: Claw, cold damage, chilling attack
Special Qualities: Damage reduction, spell resistance, acid resistance, cold and poison immunity, fire vulnerability
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-5)

From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard

27 Nymm, 998:

A caravan was destroyed yesterday on its way to Stormreach from one of the outlying expedition sites. The wagons were overturned, broken crates littering the valley, torn apart by at least one creature of great strength that was clearly searching for something. There were no survivors - even the pack animals had been slaughtered. A path of dead vegetation led to a nearby cave so, grimly, we investigated.

Water dripped from the walls of the cave and the air was cool - an abrupt change from the jungle heat outside, and the temperature steadily dropped as we pushed onward into the cavern. A chill fog obscured our vision, and soon ice and frost made progress treacherous.

Blasts of frigid breath struck us as a pack of ice mephits hiding amongst the rocks ambushed us. These elemental vermin were easily dispatched through the combination of force of arms and a Scorching Ray, but their very existence here was troubling. Mephits are not natural to this plane - their presence suggested either a summoner dwelt deeper in the cave or a planar conduit existed to Risia, since it is unlikely that they would have survived since the last time the plane was coterminous. The bitter cold led me to believe that this was a portal.

The Plain of Ice is a hostile place, and the creatures that hail from the infinite glaciers of Risia are hardened by the dangers of their home. Some fear the flames of Fernia, but the uncaring chill of Risia is no less lethal. A ten-foot-tall creature emerged from the swirling mists, attacking Senna with terrible claws. Clawed legs of a predator led up to a nearly skeletal body, powerful arms, and a skull-like head. Senna literally froze in place as frost covered her entire body, encasing her in solid ice as the demon danced about the party.

My Scorching Ray was deflected by the creature’s spell resistance, and the beast’s profane nature was reducing my companions’ weapon blows. The demon lifted one clawed hand into the air with a roar and slammed it into the ground, and icy shards erupted from the ground beneath us and exploded, sending us sliding uncontrollably about the room. Khovis staggered to his feet and lifted his holy symbol in a last ditch attempt to Dismiss the demon before it could finish Senna off, and the creature faded away in a column of holy energy and purple light.

The ice trapping Senna shattered as she broke her way free, and we retreated to heal our wounds. I do not know what this creature we fought was, but I intend to learn more about them before I face another.

Should you encounter an ice flenser in the midst of your explorations into the dungeons of Xen'drik, flee. Flee immediately before your feet are encased in ice, and do not cease running until you are well away from the creature - or at least have a few companions trailing behind between you and it. So, heedless of these warnings, you've heard of an ice flenser and are going to do your best to destroy it? Once your accounts are settled and your will is written, the best advice is to rely on a small array of attacks that prove successful at penetrating the creature’s defenses. Protect yourself from the elements as best you can, for the cold that issues from the demon could freeze the marrow of even the most seasoned adventurer.

Quite seriously, the ice flenser represents a threat that many adventurers have no ability to deal with. It is supremely difficult to kill, like all of its powerful demonic kin, and simultaneously demonstrates potent and destructive attacks that lead to a quick end. Should you face the creature in combat, you must overcome its damage reduction as well as its resistance to many forms of energy attack. Then you must deal with its punishing reign of claws encased in chilling ice, which are backed by strength greater than that of a hill giant.

Forego weapons of ordinary make and seek out those of power, such as blessed weapons of cold iron. Don’t be put off by the term “cold iron,” for it has precious little to do with actual ice and will allow you to cut the ice flenser in a way mere steel cannot. If you don't have access to weapons the creature is vulnerable to, then attempt to distract the creature while others pound it with fire spell after fire spell. If the situation grows desperate, you can attempt a banishment or dismissal, though the creature's resistance to magic (spell resistance and the excellent saving throws of an outsider) make it deeply unlikely to succeed. But then again, your chances were never that good anyway.

Pay particular attention to your feet in combat – if they’re free of encasement, they may yet slide on a patch of frost the demon manifests, and your limbs could be slashed by not only claws, but also the exploding shards of ice crystals that erupt from the ground wherever the creature passes near. Worse yet, rumors abound that the ice flenser is not above summoning help of its own when it is threatened. Defeating one ice flenser is only the beginning of your problems should the demon have others of its kind near by.

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