Welcome to the Gaol supplement to the Book of Beasts, a bestiary of creatures for use in role- playing games. The written material in this work isOpen Game Content, and is licensed for public useunder the terms of the Open Game License v1.0a.See the copyright at the end of this book for moreinformation.I hope you enjoy the setting and creaturesdescribed herein and find a use for them in your own campaign. While the creatures are covered bythe OGL, if you do decide to use any of thesecreatures in another publication then some form of notification would be greatly appreciated.Bob Hall,September 5, 2008
The Realm of Gaol
For untold ages the realm of Gaol has served as a prison for creatures that are considered far toodangerous or destabilizing to be allowed to liveamong mundane life forms. Gaol has become hometo multitudes of potent predators, hideous monsters,dangerous tyrants, evil constructions, rogue powers,and very xenophobic species. Many are condemnedto live here by their opponents as punishment for ahorrific crime. Others are sent here by divine powers to keep them safely caged.It was not always thus. In the very distant pastGaol was a haven for disaffected deities who hadlost their flock of worshippers because they were nolonger willing perform their sacred duties. It was anapathetic place that over the course of timedescended into abject misery and corruption. Theseearly gods of Gaol cared not at all about the affairsof mortals, and dwelled in a perpetual, numbingdream state.Creatures that journeyed to this tedious placequickly found they were held within this realm, andsoon succumbed to apathy and laziness. When thiswas discovered by outsiders, Gaol became afavored place to dispatch dastardly criminals andthe spawn of evil, as their dark natures would besuppressed by the numbing placidity of thisenvironment. However this steady influx of villainygradually corrupted the plane, and in time it becamea dark and nefarious realm.
This gloomy dimension is seemingly finite in size,forming a hollow sphere with a habitable inner surface. It is a strange merging of the material andthe shadow, and nothing seems convincingly real.The inner surface of Gaol is a solid surface thatcan be traversed normally, with the force of gravityalways pointing outward from the center toward theground. The air is breathable but quite dry, and afaint sooty haze perpetually hanging in the air. Thehaze limits visibility to only a few miles, making itdifficult to sight distant landmarks.On the occasions that rain falls in Gaol, the hazewill briefly diminish, only to return to normalwithin a few hours. The rain falls as shadowydroplets, collecting in dark rivulets across theground, then forming into rivers of inky blacknessuntil finally flowing into seas of utter darkness.While this shadow liquid can be consumed much asnormal water, it is oddly unsatisfying and larger quantities must be consumed to quench a thirst.Much of the land of Gaol is a barren wasteland,with occasional rugged plateaus, hills, canyons, andescarpments. There are two small black seas, and anumber of equally dark lakes. Normal plant life israre here, but there are varieties of crystalline-based plants with reddish leaves and rough, flinty bark that grow in profusion near the shadow water bodies. Hardier strains can be found in the barrenareas, forming scrub brushes that can inflict cutsand scrapes to unprotected flesh. Careful culling of these plants allow nutrients to be extracted fromtheir hollow interiors, although this materialrequires careful preparation to neutralize toxicsubstances. The fibers can also be extracted to produce coarse threads for weaving into fabric. Near the hollow center of Gaol is an immense, burning reddish orb known as the Watcher. TheWatcher provides weak but steady illuminationequivalent to dusk lighting, and it will never harmor hinder creatures normally affected by daylight. Itwanders along an elegant path across the sky,sometimes appearing nearly overhead and at other times approaching half way to the horizon.
The plane of Gaol can only be accessed from asingle, remote location in an elemental plane of molten rock. Here stands a dimensional portalwhich leads to the massively fortified Bridge of Golden Radiance. This brilliantly-illuminated spanarches across a perpetual river of molten metal,reaching the entrance gate of Gaol.Access to Gaol is controlled by a powerful divineguardian named Iersheen the Watcher, who is3