| || That's not the Archer of Azzure!
The term "Paff's creature" has not been confirmed by official sources and is merely conjecture.
"The shapeless black mass of its body rippled like water, and from it writhed hundreds of long, razor-edged stingers that whistled like whips as they slashed at their prey."
Paff was given the power to summon the creature after being gifted magic from the Shadow Lord, though it is unknown if this was done before or after the destruction of the Sister of the East. She was able to summon the beast by going into a trance.
The Sister of the South Edit
Upon Sharn's return to the city of Del, Paff poisoned her in the attempt to spread rumours of a plague an turn the citizens of Del against their sister city of Tora. At night she would send out her monster to kill citizens and palace guards to further the illusion of the plague.
Paff sent the beast to attack Lief, Barda, and Jasmine when they returned to Del to search for the Sister of the South. It attacked Barda and Jasmine first, but its attention was drawn to Lief when he arrived. The beast attempted to smother Lief and suffocate him, but the last Topaz dragon, Fidelis, came to the young king's aid and drove the beast back.
When Lief correctly guessed that the Toran Plague was poison, Paff continued to send her beast to kill members of the palace in order to cast doubt at Lief. The beast killed four guards stationed outside the palace aviary so Paff could poison the messenger birds and prevent Lief from contacting the Dread Gnomes for help. However, Lief was able to save a handful of birds with the Emerald, and Kree volunteered to fly the message to Dread Mountain.
Paff summoned the beast again after Lief, Barda, and Jasmine discovered the location of the Sister of the South. It attacked Gla-Thon and Jasmine, who had come to warn Lief about the citizens of Del battling with the Topaz dragon, before attacking Lief as well. To draw the beast away from its captives, Lief jumped into the pit where the Sister was located, forcing the beast to come to him. Due to the timbers that supported the palace foundation creating a faux-ceiling in the pit, the beast could not reach Lief before the Topaz dragon finished digging into the pit and burned the beast with his fire.
However, the dragon was injured while battling with the people of Del, and the power of the Sister both sapped its strength and made the beast stronger. The beast was able to recover quickly from its injuries and attack the dragon. Though Lief tried to fight it back, the beast was able to get a hold of the dragon's throat.
Before it could kill the dragon, Nevets and Steven jumped into the pit and drew the beast's attention. At first it seemed to be evenly matched with the two brothers, but then the Shadow Lord withdrew Paff's powers. This crippled the beast and removed its ability to heal. In desperation, the beast attacked Steven and tore a deep wound into his sword arm. This act enraged Nevets, who reached out and decapitated the beast with his bare hands before stomping its head into jelly beneath his foot.
The creature's body was an oily black substance that was able to take on various forms. Normally it appeared as a formless liquid, but when in battle it took the shape of a writhing mass of black tendrils tipped with stingers. Its head had two faces: from the front it had the face of a snarling hound, while from the back it had the face of a large bird with a hooked beak. Both of these heads were smooth and glistening.
The beast was controlled and summoned by Paff, and thus existed only to do her bidding. Normally it would kill in secrecy by either smothering its victims or clogging their throats with its oily mass. However, it was violent and rabid when battling against those who could fight back.
Though the beast was a magical construct, it did seem to be intelligent enough to recognise Lief and the Belt of Deltora, and focused its efforts solely on killing him. It also showed signs of self-preservation, as it retreated from Lief when Fidelis arrived, and its battle against Steven and Nevets became more desperate once the Shadow Lord stripped it of its power.
The beast's shape shifting abilities allowed it to slip in-between the cracks and mortar of the palace and into people's homes and rooms where it could kill without restraint. Its most powerful ability was its self-regeneration. Every time a piece of its body was removed, it would turn back into liquid and rejoin with the beast. This power was so strong that it was able to endure direct contact with the Belt of Deltora long enough to suffocate Lief. This in and of itself is an impressive power, as its own creator, Paff, was killed just from coming into contact with the Belt. The closer the beast was to the Sister of the South, the stronger its abilities became.
Despite this, the beast's regeneration did have some limitations. On its own, it was not strong enough to battle a dragon, and dragon fire caused its body to sizzle and burn. When its healing powers were stripped away, the beast's body became much more frail, and Nevets was able to effortlessly rip its head off with only his hands.