Azhag (Tomb Guardians, Demon Shadows)
The Azhag (‘ah-ZHAHG’; from Old West-Carmanian azadg, meaning watchman, sentry), called Tomb Guardians or Demon Shadows, are the terrible Undead guardians of the tombs of the Ancient Ones. They were originally bound to the various tombs and crypts they guarded by powerful oaths and spells. Some were bound with more than oaths- their souls were chained to the gateposts of the tomb. But as the ages passed, and the Ancient Ones disappeared, many devious and unfaithful Azhag abandoned the tombs which they watched and protected and wandered away to find blood to quench the burning flames of their eternal hunger. Others, freed of their oaths, remained faithful to former masters and stayed, or were held back by chained souls, and their hunger gradually made their souls feral and wild. Thus, though ancient Azhag can sometimes be found in the wilderness, hiding in dark places, others still can be found dwelling in the dusty porticoes of the tombs of an elder race.
The Azhag can take many forms- a tall, spare man outfitted as a watchman in ancient garb, a shaggy black hound, or a watching black owl. However, when they are enraged, or when they encounter a large threat to themself or their tomb, they reveal their true form: the Azhag have, in self-absorbed madness, not only forgotten their former lives, but all sense of what it is to be mortal. They appear as bone-thin, oily-black-skinned, rotting fanged men with a corpselike appearance. Their noses are sharply ridged. Their bellies are swollen with starvation, and instead of hair, they have thick, heavy tentacles, hanging down to the smalls of their backs. They wear no clothing in this state, and multiple unearthly sexual organs and protruding, purposeless bones emerge and recede constantly from their body as they move. Their eyes are milky green and leak a stream of gray bile, which run down trenches in their long faces. Azhag constantly hunger for blood, which is the only thing that can quench the fiery hunger of their starvation.
Azhag are supernaturally strong and fast, despite their crumbling appearance. They are dull-witted and easily tricked, but they are likewise prone to vile tricks and have a sort of animalistic cunning. In addition to their sharp, curved nails, they can use their tentacle-hair to slap and bite foes. Their tongues can elongate to the length of two feet, and have a pair of deadly poisonous spines at the tip.
Azhag are killed by the severing of their tentacle-hair and by the removal of their hearts. In addition, a mad Azhag confined to the tomb will crumble to dust given the news that it is freed of its oath. Azhag are burned by the touch of sunlight; it reduces the places it touches to ash.