This week we return to Lovecraftian Mythos to round out the last of the ancient alien empires. Having already covered the Elder Things and their servitors the Shoggoth, we now turn to the awkwardly named Flying Polyps.
Originally introduced in the novella Shadow Out of Time, the Polyps are the foes of the ancient scholar Yithians, forcing that species to engage in the desperate time spanning mind swaps that saved their cultural at the cost of another’s. Little is recorded about the Polyps themselves though, as what culture they have seems entirely focused on empire building and destruction. This much is known – they have a strong connection to the Plane of Air that is the source of much of their power, they are truly aberrant in both thought and biology such that they are inexplicable to known science, and they are capable of interplanetary and interstellar travel aided by their elemental powers and virtually endless lifespans. They do build structures, crafting cities of massive, windowless towers that serve their unique needs, but leave behind few clues to language or culture in the ruins (though there are indications they may revere Hastur). Finally, at some point millions of years before AG 322 they had an empire that spanned multiple star systems and came into conflict with both the Elder Things and the Mi-go.
In the current era of Starfinder there is little remnants of the Flying Polyps, at least that have been discovered. Their titanic black towers are likely still standing on some worlds in the Vast (and, indeed, some Polyps were trapped in the Darklands on old Golarion) but compared to the Yithians or Mi-go they are all but forgotten. Functionally immortal, outside of violence or misadventure, and able to wait impossible lengths of time, it is within the realm of possibility there is still some crypt or vault out in space where an army of Polyps waits, biding their time to burst forth onto the galaxy once more.
Flying Polyps were fully stated up for Pathfinder 1st edition, so I’ve updated the stat block for Starfinder here. Unlike the Elder Thing, I generally would not apply class grafts to the Polyps. They are the epitome of aberrations, with thoughts and goals so alien as to be incomprehensible to the majority of sentient species. If you do need an elite Polyp to serve as commander or similar, applying a Mystic graft to represent clergy of Hastur would be thematic.
CE Huge aberration (air)
Init +3; Senses blindsight (electricity) 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +30
Aura frightful presence (90 ft., DC 22)
EAC 28; KAC 29
Fort +12; Ref +12; Will +19
Defensive abilities amorphous, partial invisibility; DR 10/magic and slashing; Immunities acid, cold, sonic; SR 22; Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (Su, perfect)
Melee tentacle slam +25 (6d6+22 B; staggered)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Offensive Abilities sucking wind, wind blast
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th)
4th (1/day)—control winds (DC 21, as 4th level spell)
3rd (3/day)—control winds (DC 20, as 3rd level spell)
2nd (at will)—control winds (DC 19, as 2nd level spell)
Str +8; Dex +3; Con +8; Int +3; Wis +3; Cha +4
Skills Acrobatics +30; Engineering +30; Life Science +25, Physical Science +25, Mysticism +30
Other Abilities endless breath
Endless Breath (Su) A flying polyp’s connection to the Plane of Air constantly cycles gases within its lungs, negating its need to breathe.
Partial Invisibility (Su): A flying polyp’s body constantly flickers and shifts, passing from visibility to invisibility in a seemingly random pattern and often not wholly at once, leaving the creature’s body in what appear to be multiple sections. This ability, combined with the flying polyp’s amorphous, elastic form, makes it difficult to target the creature, granting it a 20% miss chance against all attacks. By concentrating as a reaction, a flying polyp can become fully invisible, as per the spell invisibility.
Sucking Wind (Su) This attack allows the flying polyp to send an eerie wind out to slow and eventually stop a creature’s escape. The wind itself isn’t particularly strong, but it creates a peculiar sucking sensation as if it were attempting to pull creatures back toward the flying polyp. Activating this ability is a full-round action, and it must concentrate each round to maintain the effect. The sucking wind manifests as a 100-foot-radius spread, with the flying polyp at the center. Each round the polyp maintains concentration, the sucking wind’s radius increases by 100 feet, to a maximum radius of a mile. A flying polyp can detect creatures within this area via tremorsense. As a free action, it can increase the effects of the sucking wind on up to five different creatures within the area at one time. Each targeted creature must succeed at a DC 22 Fortitude save each round it remains in the area of the sucking wind or it is slowed (as per slow) until it leaves the area. A creature already under the effects of any slowing effect (such as from this sucking wind or a slow spell) that fails this save is held in place for 1 round—it is not helpless, but cannot move via any means. Freedom of movement protects against the effects of the sucking wind, and control winds negates its effects in the area of effect of the control winds spell. Natural windstorms or other powerful winds have no effect on a sucking wind. A flying polyp can activate a sucking wind once per day, and can maintain concentration on the effect for up to an hour.
Wind Blast (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a flying polyp can create a powerful blast of wind at a range of up to 120 feet. This blast of wind creates a sudden explosion of flesh-scouring wind in a 30-foot radius burst. All creatures within this area take 4d8+14 points of bludgeoning damage, with a successful DC 22 Reflex save halving the damage. In addition, these winds can check or blow away creatures as if they were tornado-strength winds.
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