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AaWBlog Adventure Path: Tribal Troubles, Destiny Derailed

aaw-website - gyeongsa warp storm - gary dupoisPrecisely where I got the idea to make the AaWBlog a months-long, continuing plot is unknown to me. Fortunately it seems to be going well, and for that, a tip of the hat needs to be given to the most frequent of the AaWBlog crew: Brian Wiborg Monster, Justin Andrew Mason, Tim Snow, and Rory Toma!

This wild ambition began with Tribal Troubles. A mysterious creature appears and sweeps the PCs off to the Disputed Territories of Aventyr where they interact with three tribes of natives before breaching an ancient temple. Within they awaken a dangerous, timeless creature, along with a powerful sword that can sweep them away to Pradja, following a curious photograph that talks of the party’s death!

Definitely take a look at the summaries here and here!

AaW_Blog_SteamTown_Map_post-size

The AaWBlog adventure path continues in the tundra of northern Aventyr, along the railways of gnomish engineers and laymen laborers. Our adventurers travel to Steamtown, embroiling themselves in a proletarian conflict centered around a strange, prophetic news sheet! Alligotonium, a mineral integral to the adventures to come, makes its appearance in these series of articles.

Destiny Derailed can be perused now here and here!

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Statblock Sunday (Destiny Derailed): The Archivist

Nehru_barrister

This humanoid figure is tall and abnormally thin, with long fingers and nails. Its skin is pale and its bright blue eyes study you contemptuously.

The Archivist     CR 9
XP 6,400
CE Medium outsider (demon, evil, extraplanar, chaotic)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft, see in darkness, lifesense 100 ft, Perception +18

DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+4 armor, +4 Dex)
hp 76 (10d10+21)
Fort +5; Ref +11; Will +11
DR 10/good; Immune poison, mind-affecting effects; SR 22
Special Defenses permanent mage armor

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +6 (1d3)
Special Attacks harvest memory, possession
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +19)
constant—mage armor
at will—command (DC 18), suggestion (DC 20), detect magic, read magic
3/day—dominate person (DC 22), mind fog (DC 22), greater command (DC 22)

TACTICS
When engaged in combat, the Archivist  casts greater command, telling everyone to stand still. It then uses the harvest memory ability to remove a powerful spell from a spellcaster to use against its foes.

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 18
Base Atk +6; CMB +6; CMD +20
Feats Improved Initiative, Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Item, Spell Focus (enchantment); Greater Spell Focus (enchantment)
Skills Appraise +7, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (planes) +15, Knowledge (religion) +15, Perception +18, Sense Motive +15, Spellcraft +15
Languages Infernal, Common, Draconic, Abyssal, Goblin

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Possession (Su) As a standard action, the Archivist may possess any object or creature that has an Intelligence score (negated by a DC 20 Will save). This save is Wisdom based. A possessed creature still maintains control, but the Archivist may assert control and direct its actions (a DC 24 Will save is required to resist being compelled). The Archivist may leave at any time, or automatically leaves if the creature is killed or the object is destroyed.
Harvest Memory (Su) As a standard action, the Archivist may attempt to harvest a memory from any creature within 60 ft. (negated by a DC 22 Will save). If successful, the Archivist may steal and use a spell that the target can cast or steal a memory. This spell is removed from the target’s known spells as if the target cast it, and the Archivist uses its hit dice to determine the spell’s caster level. If a memory is stolen the target gains a negative level, and the Archivist gains a cumulative +2 luck bonus to all save and attack rolls.

 

Archivists live to collect information—they travel the planes, stealing new spells and memories from those they encounter to return them to the great libraries in the Abyss. They often possess natives of a plane or objects so that they can operate uninterrupted for great lengths of time. Sometimes they even possess those in leadership positions, and conduct social experiments with the power of the possessed.

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Sidequest Saturday (Destiny Derailed): God Press

1134-Ancient-Printing-office-q75-1453x1020-300x210

While Steamtown is being packed up, ready to move down the rails for its new site, Borys approaches the PCs for a final mission. After the recent hellion attack, several items have been possessed. One of these items, however, poses a major problem and has just come to light.

A printing press, worshipped by the goblins as a god, has been discovered hidden in an abandoned shed-turned-temple about 2 miles to the north of Steamtown. To further complicate matters, the goblin workers believe the press to be truly divine—and that it can foretell the future. In fact, the press has turned out to be the source of the prognosticating articles that have been circulated in the Steamtown Herald for the past few months.

The press has stopped working, and the goblins now think that their god press is dead, killed by the demons unleashed from the blast site—they aren’t going to go to work again anytime soon. In order to get them back to it, the laborers need to be convinced that their god still lives, or that the press was never a god entity. Borys offers a 10,000 gp reward to the PCs to handle this as they see fit; any outcome that gets the goblins working again is acceptable.

The shed is well-hidden at the end of a small box canyon and it takes about one and a half hours on foot to reach the shed due to the rough terrain. When the party arrives they are met with a curious sight—a dozen goblins are prostrating themselves before the tin-roofed wooden shed. The structure has a single, wood-slatted door that is half open, and the entire shabby building has been decorated with what appear to be allogotonium items, painted runes, and the occasional newspaper. The goblins are wailing—a DC 18 Spellcraft or Knowledge (religion) check reveals why: they are communally casting a spell to prevent possession in the area. This negates the inanimate possession power of the hellion revenants within 100 ft. of the chanting goblins, although it does not expel a revenant from a currently possessed item.

439px-Hornbook-RabanThe goblins, occupied with their ritual, do not hinder the party’s progress into the shed. It has a simple metal table that holds a printing press and makeshift wooden altars surround it—some have lit candles while others have small baubles and tributes, and a few even have some unrecognizable food items. Shortly after the party enters the shed, a single news sheet prints out. In bold letters, it says, “Help me! Destroy the sheets as they leave and let me retake control.”
A few rounds later sheets begin to print (four per round for five rounds). The sheets can be easily destroyed—anything that would destroy a normal sheet of paper destroys one of these. Each time a sheet is destroyed, 1d4+1 hellion revenants appear. At the end of 5 rounds,  it prints out one more sheet: a DC 20 Perception check reveals that this missive is different than the others. It simply says, “I’m free; prepare yourselves!”

One round after the last sheet emerges, the press starts shaking and smoking. A stream of ink shoots out of one end and begins to sculpt a 3-dimensional object that materializes as the Archivist. [In tomorrow’s stat block Sunday! -RT] The Archivist immediately attacks the nearest arcane spellcaster in the hopes that he can steal a spell to escape.

Once the Archivist is defeated or escapes (XP is awarded either way) the goblins stop their chanting and enter the shed to attend to the press. They thank the PCs for returning their god to them, and promise that they will go back to work. The press prints out a final page: “I will return and tend to my flock. The dangers that lie ahead can be managed by them, but if you see your name in print again, know that I am calling, and that I need you.” The press continues to steer the goblins in a manner that avoids waking demons.

IGoblin 12f the Archivist defeats the party, the doppix is ejected from the press as the Archivist takes back control. The goblins continue to worship the press as a god, but now the press directly manipulates the goblins into freeing more of his brethren (creating problems for PNE down the road).

If the PCs try to destroy the press, the 12 goblins defend it with their lives. The leader of the goblins begins the action by breaking a small metal item that unleashes 1d10 hellion revenants that  attempt to possess items that the adventurers carry, as the protective aura provided by the goblins is no longer in effect.
No matter what happens, the goblins return to work and the party receives their reward.

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Foul Machinations: Destiny Derailed (Part 2)

demon on the rails
Throughout Destiny Derailed, the fortunetelling press has spit out news of future events; after Borys enlists the PC’s help to avert a strike, the party discovers that all is not as it seems. What does the doppix have to do with devices that collect and convert blood, and is this connected to the wereguten curse?

The adventurers, fighting demons and hazards on the tundra, need a place to rest and recuperate. Fortunately, they can do so in a nicely appointed boxcar located in Railcar City, home of the upper echelon of the on-site PNE employees. This rest is short-lived, however, as a cloud of sharp alligotonium ore descends upon Steamtown, unearthed by the demolition crew blasting a route through the mountains. Worried that the explosion killed the workers and stirred up demons, Borys sends the party with the work crew in a repaired train engine—which stops as an ireful hellion walks the tracks towards them, the operators fleeing for their lives.

After the demons are dispatched, they return to a a wrecked town full of ore and cursed items possessed by hellion revenants! To make matters worse, the goblins have stopped working, as they believe their god is dead—Borys again asks for help.

[And while all of this went down, the AaWBlog won an ENnie! -RT]

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Meta Thursday (Destiny Derailed): Possessed Possessions

lesser ring of shining stars

Pradjna is rich in alligotonium, and many think that their centers of knowledge and magic owe much of their existence to the early ease of access to this wondrous material. Many magic items have been crafted from the demon ore—everything from mighty swords and wands to lowly frying pans and kitchen knives.

Items made from this ore also have another unique ability; they attract hellion revenants. A hellion revenant attempting to possess an item that is within 10 ft. of an item made from alligotonium must make a DC (15 + CL of item) Will save or the alligotonium item is possessed instead. As such, “worthless” magic items made of the ore are often carried or stored near more powerful magic items, hoping that the possessed possessions are these minor items, not the more powerful one. Once a revenant possesses an alligotonium item, it cannot willingly leave. Only a remove curse or the destruction of the item causes it to leave.

 

Any number of hellion revenants can reside in a single alligotonium item—while this sounds like a bad thing, it is actually helpful. When a revenant possesses an item, it can cause it to malfunction in random ways. The chance to malfunction is based on the CL of the item and the number of revenants inhabiting the it. Minor possessed magical items are somewhat highly prized by the upper class in Pradjna; they often give them as prank gifts for fun. A CL 3rd or below possessed alligotonium item often fetches between three and five times its normal asking price.

Misfortune Table: The percentage chance for misfortune from an item is (50/CL) / (# of revenants in item), rounded down. For example, a CL 3rd item with one revenant has a 16% chance of a misfortune, while the same item possessed by 2 revenants only has an 8% chance of misfortune with each use. The strength of the misfortune is also based on the caster level of the base item. Roll on one of the percentile charts below to determine the misfortune effect.
When an item injures someone or otherwise acts strangely, make sure to play it up! A frying pan spits its hot contents back into the face of the user, or a blacksmith’s hammer bounces off the anvil and hits its wielder in the face! Much fun can be had—especially if the PCs unwittingly use some of these items in the course of performing otherwise mundane acts in and around Steamtown.

 

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Weird Wednesday (Destiny Derailed): Curse of the Revenants

The army of hellion revenants that were released as a result of the blast at Demon Pass have made their way to Steamtown. Using their inanimate possession special ability the vile wraiths begin to possess and curse random items throughout the city.

133-Chained-library-at-Wimborne-Minster-1709x1021Once per day a hellion revenant can possess an inanimate object within 10 feet as a full-round action. Once an item is possessed it becomes a cursed item and radiates a 10-wide unnatural aura. To determine the effects of the curse bestowed upon an item due to possession by a hellion revenant see the Revenant Curse Chart below.

An item remains cursed until the revenant chooses to leave it (requiring a full-round action), the item is completely destroyed, or the effect is removed with remove curse (DC 15). When the curse effect is removed, the hellion revenant reassumes its incorporeal form, is stunned for 1d4 rounds, and then attempts to flee until it can find another item to possess.

Revenant Curse Chart
1d100   Curse Results
1-5         Functions normally; 10% chance of breaking each time used
6-10       Functions normally; 25% chance of breaking each time used
11-15       Functions normally; 50% chance of breaking each time used
16-20      Functions normally; 75% chance of breaking each time used
21-25      10% chance it inexplicably bursts into flames (1d6 fire; item unharmed)
26-30      25% chance it inexplicably bursts into flames (1d6 fire; item unharmed)
31-35      50% chance it inexplicably bursts into flames (1d6 fire; item unharmed)
36-40     Malfunctions 10% of the time (malfunction dependent upon item type)
41-45      Malfunctions 25% of the time (malfunction dependent upon item type)
46-50     Malfunctions 50% of the time (malfunction dependent upon item type)
51-55      Malfunctions 75% of the time (malfunction dependent upon item type)
56-60     Malfunctions 90% of the time (malfunction dependent upon item type)
61-65      Catastrophic malfunction upon next use. 25% chance of it breaking
66-70     Catastrophic Malfunction upon next use. 50% chance of it breaking
71-75      Catastrophic Malfunction upon next use. 75% chance of it breaking
76-80     Catastrophic Malfunction upon next use. 90% chance of it breaking
81-85      25% chance of it exploding upon next use (1d4 force; item destroyed)
86-90     50% chance of it exploding upon next use (1d4 force; item destroyed)
91-95      75% chance of it exploding upon next use (1d4 force; item destroyed)
96-100    Item explodes upon next use (3d4 force; item destroyed)

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Trap Tuesday (Destiny Derailed): Rain of Ore

Rain of Ore      CR 5
Type natural (the natural effects of alligotonium); Perception DC 10 (automatic); Disable Device
Trigger already triggered once noticed (explosion at Demon Pass); Reset none

The rain of ore appears as a cloud of swirling and floating metallic debris that sparkles as bits of alligotonium ore reflect any available light source.

rain of ore trapThe material freely floats, directed by natural wind currents until the weightlessness effect of the agitated alligotonium ends.
The source of the rain of ore is the blasting site at Demon Pass; the workers unintentionally exploded a massive vein of alligotonium, agitating the magic material causing it to become lighter than air. Driven by prevailing winds, the ore cloud drifts over Steamtown.

Effect The weightless effect of the floating cloud of alligotonium disperses when it reaches the area above Steamtown. The chunks of heavy, jagged metal rain down upon the area, including the helpless tent city.  Those caught without ample protection suffer bludgeoning damage (DC 20 Reflex for half damage).

The extent of damage a creature suffers as a result of the rain of ore depends on the size of chunks that fall upon them. Use the following chart to determine the proper level of damage caused by the trap.

1d100            Results
1-25             Several Small-sized bits (3d4 damage)
26-50           Several Medium-sized pieces (6d4 damage)
51-75           A few Large-sized chunks (6d6 damage)
76-99           Several Large-size pieces (6d10 damage)
100              An enormous Huge-sized chunk (10d10 damage)

Any substantial, solid structure negate damage done by the falling ore, but there is a chance that the damage done irrevocably damages any built structures it falls upon. Use the damage determination chart above to discern how much damage is done to any particular structure. If the damage results in more than ¾ of the structures durability, it collapses upon those inside causing damage to creatures equal to ¼ of the damage done to the structure itself.

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Magic Item Monday (Destiny Derailed): Alligotonium

alligotoniumAlligotonium (metal of binding; demon ore; the floating metal)
Availability exceptionally rare

This dense carmine-swirled black metal is nearly three times the weight of solid iron and just as strong, but becomes lighter when agitated—if exposed to a violent enough transfer of energy, the metal becomes lighter than air for a time. This loss of mass persists for 1-minute per halved weight factor, after which the substance quickly reverts to its base weight.

Alligotonium is magical in nature and when in its natural (heavy) state radiates a field similar to a dimensional anchor with a particularly devastating binding effect on creatures of the demon subtype. However, while “lighter weight” after being agitated the effect inverts, and the field radiating from the metal acts to negate any arcane or natural binding effect. The strength of this field in both instances is entirely dependent on the amount of alligotonium present.

For every 1/10th of a pound of alligotonium (about the size of a large marble weighed in its natural state) that exists within the range of the same field, the effect extends an additional 1-foot in a spherical radius.

Large natural deposits of alligotonium ore can negate planar travel and associated effects for an entire region, as well as naturally bind demons to the area, preventing their escape. For this reason, some refer to alligotonium as the “demon ore”, as its deposits are usually accompanied by many angry (trapped) demons.

Due to its reaction to agitation, alligotonium is very nearly impossible to forge. Attempts usually resulting in bits of the metal floating off on the wind only to crash down in scattered piles minutes later. However, a relevant DC 40 Profession check allows the material to be forged when alloyed with cold iron. When this is accomplished, there are unique natural abilities attributed to the item crafted.

The deposit of exceptionally rare material found at Demon Pass, though less than quarter of a ton, is the largest concentration of the ore ever discovered—the amount of the metal found in the vein there is a more abundant lode than any other find of the alligotonium ever discovered!

 

Items forged from alligotonium automatically acquire the following abilities:

  • 15-foot radius sphere of dimensional anchor. This effect remains constantly active until the item is agitated (such as alligotonium armor being struck by a weapon), at which point it becomes inactive for 1d4 rounds.
  • Weapons crafted of alligotonium gain demonbane (+2 on attacks against devils, demons and evil outsiders; never stacks with bane).
  • Armor forged of alligotonium gains DR 2/bludgeoning or concussion. When the character wearing the alligotonium armor is successfully dealt bludgeoning or concussion damage, the armor weights 1/10th its normal weight for 1d4 rounds, negating all limits on maximum Dexterity modifiers for the armor type for the period of this effect.
  • Wands or rods crafted of alligotonium are automatically treated as if the effect or spells is being cast with the extend metamagic feat.

Magic items can be crafted of alligotonium, but any extraplanar, extradiminsional, or teleportation effects do not function. The ability can be bestowed upon the alligotonium item, but the metal’s natural dimensional anchor prevents the effect from working.

Items crafted of alligotonium weigh 50% more than the standard weight of an iron equivalent.

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Statblock Sunday (Destiny Derailed): Ireful Hellions & Hellion Revenants

irefull hellionThis large humanoid figure has enormous hulking muscles, its skin dark, cracked, and stone-like. Several large crystalline shards extend outward from various parts of its form, seeming to have naturally formed upon the looming creature. Its gnarled and twisted face stares outward with fiery eyes in an expression of contempt and hatred.
Ireful Hellion     CR 9
XP 6,400
CE Large outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, chaotic)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness, telepathy 100 ft., Perception +18

DEFENSE
AC 23, touch 13, flat-footed 19 (+4 Dex, +10 natural, -1 size)
hp 85 (10d10+30)
Fort +6; Ref +11; Will +10
DR 10/good; Immune poison; Resist fire 10; SR 20

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee+2 jagged crystal fang +14/+9 (1d8+4) and +2 jagged crystal fang +14/+9 (1d8+4)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks aura of wrath
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +15)
At willcharm person, command, polymorph (self only)
1/daygreater invisibility, nightmare (DC 22)

TACTICS
When engaged in combat the ireful hellion breaks off two razor sharp, jagged crystal fangs that juts out from its large body and wields them as melee weapons (that deal slashing damage).

STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +10; CMB +14; CMD 28
Feats Double Slice, Improved Critical (jagged crystal fang), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (jagged crystal fang)
Skills Acrobatics +15, Climb +15, Escape Artist +15, Knowledge (planes) +15, Perception +18, Sense Motive +15, Stealth +10
Languages Infernal, Common (understands, but does not speak; will utilize in telepathy)
Gear+2 jagged crystal fang (x2)

ECOLOGY
Environment any; small locale, magically bound to the prime material plane
Organization solitary with 6d12 hellion revenants
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Aura of Wrath (Su) As a full round action, the ireful hellion can radiate an aura of wrath in a 50 ft. radius. All creatures within the area of effect must succeed on a DC 10 Will save or become enraged for 1d4 rounds. Creatures enraged by this effect lose all sense of themselves and become overwhelmed with rage and violence. The affected creature gains a +3 to all melee attacks and the effects of haste, but cannot tell friend from foe and will expend actions attacking any target within their reach (randomly determined at the beginning of that creature’s turn). A creature who is already enraged in this manner and is again affected by the aura of wrath extends the enraged effect for another 1d4 rounds.

 

It is unknown what stature an ireful hellion may have once held in the infernal hierarchy, but eons of being bound and trapped on this plane have caused it to evolve into what is surely a viler abomination than its original form. The reason for its dimensional anchor to this plane has been long forgotten and lost to history, and an ireful hellion’s lair (where it is bound) is often ancient, ruined, and with geological traces which hint that the devil has been trapped there for many millennia.

A sentience whittled down by time to an unadulterated anger and vengeful wrath, an ireful hellion’s only purpose is to break its bonds and destroy anyone and anything that it happens to cross paths with. It has no allies and serves no master.

An ireful hellion has a supernatural ability to attract any recently departed soul unlucky enough to wander near its layer, luring them to their bound home. The hellion consumes and subsists off any remaining energies of these souls (increasing its own power) leaving behind only mindless wraiths called hellion revenants that join their master in a rage-filled existence.

Throughout countless centuries, an ireful hellion may have trapped and consumed dozens (or even hundreds) of damned souls effectively building a small army of ethereal undead, which if ever released, would wreak havoc upon the world.

hellion revenantThis featureless humanoid form stands about five feet in height, its form wreathed in ethereally translucent shadowlike veils. When it moves, though the apparition’s legs seem to be walking, its feet never touch the ground beneath it and it progresses with movements that could almost be described as graceful.
Hellion Revenant     CR 2
XP 600
CE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., greater lifesense; Perception +10
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)

DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex)
hp 18 (4d8)
Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +4
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch (1d4 negative energy plus 1 point of Con drain [DC 15])
Special Attack inanimate possession

TACTICS
When released from the ireful hellion’s lair where it was imprisoned, the hellion revenant immediately attempts to flee to the largest concentration of nearby living creatures [in this instance, Steamtown] by utilizing its greater lifesense ability. To cause the most havoc among the living it encounters, the hellion revenant will attempt to possess frequently used everyday objects using its inanimate possession special ability.

STATISTICS
Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 18
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Blind Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Fly +5, Perception +5, Sense Motive +8, Stealth +10
Languages Common, Infernal

ECOLOGY
Environment lair of an ireful hellion
Organization pack 6-72
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Constitution Drain (Su) Creatures hit by a hellion revenant’s touch attack must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Constitution drain. For each successful attack the hellion revenant gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Inanimate Possession (Su) Once per day a hellion revenant can possess an inanimate object within 10 ft. as a full-round action. Once an item is possessed it becomes a cursed item and radiates a 10 ft.-wide unnatural aura. To determine the effects of the curse bestowed upon an item due to possession by a hellion revenant see the Curse Chart [by Rory Toma and available later this week on the AaWBlog -JAM]. An item remains cursed until the revenant chooses to leave it (requiring a full-round action), the item is completely destroyed, or the effect is removed with remove curse (DC 15). When the curse effect is removed, the hellion revenant assumes its incorporeal form, stunned for 1d4 rounds before trying to flee until it can find another item to possess.
Lifesense, Greater (Su) A hellion revenant notices and locates living creatures within a 5-mile radius, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability.