Shax, Sea Sister

Another giant among the vestiges, Shax gives her summoners the ability to swim like fi sh, to laugh off lightning, to wriggle free of any bonds, and to strike foes like a thunderbolt.

Legend: Shax once ruled over storm giants as a goddess of the sea. She was born to Annam, the greatest of all giant gods, without his knowledge. Because he was prone to blind spots in his omniscience, Annam could not hear the giants’ prayers when they mentioned Shax, nor could he see her many cruelties to them. He realized that some problem might exist only when the storm giants started battling the other giant kinds, claiming their caves, clouds, hills, frosty mountains, and volcanic peaks as storm giant territory. When Annam asked them why they had attacked their fellow giants, the storm giants pointed to the sea. Annam’s blind spot still prevented him from perceiving Shax, so he sent his son Thrym to take care of the problem.

Thrym, god of the frost giants, was eager to stop storm giant incursions into his followers’ lands, so he picked up his axe and leapt into the sea. There he met his sister Shax for the first time. Thrym found her both beautiful and terrible. He offered to wed her if she would call the storm giants to return to the sea. Shax would have none of it, though, so the two fought. In the end Thrym won, beheading Shax with a clean blow of his axe, but not before she had scratched off some pieces of his flesh with her nails. The strength of Shax’s spirit gave her the power to resist the pull of the Astral Plane, that graveyard of the gods, so she became a vestige. As for Thrym, he yet lives, but the pieces of his cold body that his sister removed have become icebergs that float in the sea as constant reminders of the storm giants’ debt to him.

Special Requirement: You must draw Shax’s seal within sight of a pond, stream, or larger body of water.

Manifestation: Shax first appears as a semitransparent female storm giant standing 20 feet tall. Her drenched, violet-skinned body is clad in a gold breastplate and black tunic, both of which drip seawater on the ground. After she manifests, Shax smiles, and her head inclines as though acknowledging her summoner, but it continues to dip until it tumbles off her neck. The body vanishes even as the falling head becomes more solid. It strikes the ground upside down with a wet thump, its face turned away from her summoner. For a moment the head just sits there, but then the wet black hair coalesces into thick cords hat press against the earth, lifting it up. Walking on her hair tentacles in a spiderlike manner, Shax turns around to face Her summoner, glaring balefully with her yellow eyes. In a shrill voice, Shax demands to know who has summoned her.

Sign: A scar appears around the circumference of your neck, as though your head had been lopped off and then returned to your body to heal.

Influence: While under Shax’s influence, you become possessive and stingy, particularly about territory—be it actual land or simply a room in an inn. In addition, her influence requires you to demand compensation for any service rendered and to tax any use of your territory. However, you can accept nearly any item of value—be it material goods or a service—as payment.

Granted Abilities: Shax grants you the swimming skill of a fish and the ability to strike foes with sonic force and electricity. She also gives you immunity to electricity and allows you to move freely despite restraints.

Freedom of Movement: As a swift action, you can give yourself the ability to ignore restraints. This effect functions like the freedom of movement spell, except that it lasts only 1 round. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

Immunity to Electricity: You gain immunity to electricity damage.

Storm Strike: As a swift action, you can charge a melee attack or melee touch attack with electricity and sonic power. Your next melee attack deals an extra 1d6 points of electricity damage and 1d6 points of sonic damage. If the attack misses, that use of storm strike is wasted.

Swim Speed: You gain a swim speed equal to your land speed. You can move through water at your swim speed without making Swim checks, and you gain a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check made to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. You can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. You can also use the run action while swimming, provided you swim in a straight line.