Welcome back to another edition of Frightful Fridays! I'd also like to extend a happy welcome to Theodric, and I imagine you will see more regular posts from him. I've been trying to keep the seat warm, as it were.
I apologize for last week's absence, but I plan to make that up to you with two monsters this week. The first monster is the bewildebeest, for which I've used an illustration that appeared once before in this feature. This particular monster had been brewing in the back of my head for a year and a half, and I finally got to a design that I liked. This is another monster that has a fey origin (maybe) and ties to the fey (its Starlight Summons feat makes it fairly dangerous to fey, at least). I seem to be on a bit of a fey kick of late, and I hope you don't mind. The monster making its appearance later today will definitely not be a fey creature, though.
I'll be back in a little bit with the second of today's monsters. Thanks for reading!
This creature is a bizarre collection of different insects and animals.
Bewildebeest CR 9
CN Large fey
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +25
AC 23, touch 13, flat-footed 19 (+4 Dex, +10 natural, –1 size)
hp 127 (15d6+75)
Fort +10, Ref +13, Will +12
DR 10/cold iron; Resist cold 10, electricity 10; SR 20
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (average), swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +11 (1d6+5 plus contagion or poison), 2 claws +11 (1d4+5), gore +11 (2d4+5), 2 hooves +6 (1d4+2), 2 talons +11 (1d3+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks subsume animal or vermin
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +15, +19 when casting defensively)
At will—summon nature's ally III (animals and vermin only)
3/day—quickened contagion (DC 13), quickened poison (DC 13), summon nature's ally VI (animals and vermin only)
1/day—creeping doom (DC 18)
Str 20, Dex 18, Con 21, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 11
Base Atk +7; CMB +13; CMD 28 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Acrobatic, Alertness, Augment Summoning, Combat Casting, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (contagion), Quicken Spell-Like Ability (poison), Spell Focus (conjuration), Starlight Summons
Skills Acrobatics +26 (+30 when jumping), Fly +19, Knowledge (nature) +19, Perception +25, Sense Motive +20, Stealth +18, Survival +18, Swim +26
Languages Common, Sylvan; speak with animals
SQ ablative summons
Environment temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, or collective (3–8)
Ablative Summons (Su) When a bewildebeest uses one of its summon spell-like abilities or creeping doom, it loses a number of hit points equal to the spell's level.
Subsume Animal or Vermin (Su) A bewildebeest that makes a successful touch attack against an animal or vermin pulls that creature into its collective form, unless the victim succeeds at a DC 17 Will save. If the victim fails, the bewildebeest heals a number of hit points equal to the victim's HD. Animals and vermin absorbed in this fashion are released if the bewildebeest is slain within 1 hour of absorbing them. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Not even the fey know the bewildebeests' origins, rumors of which range from an enemy to the fey creating them, to a fey lord creating them as a weapon against other fey lords, through to the implausible notion they hail from a land existing prior to the primal lands the fey call home. Whatever the circumstances of the bewildebeests' creation, they pose a menace to fey and non-fey alike.
Bewildebeests are solitary creatures that search unspoiled forests for creatures to add to their collective form, either for the creatures' ability to defend itself or for the bewildebeests' strange sense of aesthetics. When bewildebeests absorb animals or vermin, they must wait to fully assimilate the absorbed creatures, which drives the bewildebeests to hunt in secluded areas. They usually stay far away from humanoid settlements, but the occasional bewildebeest becomes intrigued by the idea of including a trained animal in its aggregate and succumbs to the temptation of absorbing such an animal. When two or more bewildebeests meet, they either engage in an amiable swap of their component creatures, or attack each other to take what they want by force. A baffling scene comprised of mismatched animal and insect limbs strewn about a clearing may be evidence of a bewildebeest battle for supremacy.
Additional rumors speak of ancient bewildebeests that exist as pure consciousness. These creatures do not truly die when their amalgamated shell perishes. As long as some component animal or insect can sneak away, the consciousness lives on to build a new shell around the core of the escaping creature.