Friday, April 13, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Crow Wraith

It's Friday, so it's time for another monster! Today's offering is a fey creature who crosses the gap between life and death. It also deals death (not so much with the life), but only for those it is contracted to kill. Most PCs, being quite unassuming, should never cross a crow wraith's path. Or maybe I've got that wrong...

I hope you enjoy the crow wraith. Thanks for reading!

This biped has a skeletal face and skin color in stark contrast between bone-white and a shadowy black. Immaterial crows peel away from the creature’s midsection, revealing its spine.
Crow Wraith      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Medium fey
Init +7; Senses low-light vision; Perception +27
AC 28, touch 18, flat-footed 20 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural)
hp 199 (21d6+126)
Fort +13, Ref +19, Will +15
Defensive Abilities evasion, improved uncanny dodge; DR 10/silver; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects
Speed 40 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee unarmed strike +22/+17/+12 (2d6+6)
Special Attacks death attack (DC 22), sneak attack +8d6, stunning fist (5/day, DC 23)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +25)
   1/day—summon swarm (corvid swarm only; use stats for bat swarm)
Str 22, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB +21; CMD 39
Feats Canny Tumble[ACG], Combat Expertise, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Feint, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +31 (+35 to jump), Bluff +29, Climb +18, Escape Artist +31, Fly +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +27, Sleight of Hand +31, Stealth +31, Swim +18
Languages Aklo, Common, Sylvan; speak with animals (corvids only)
SQ corvid empathy +25, hide in plain sight, murder form
Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
Corvid Empathy (Ex) This ability functions as a druid’s wild empathy, except it only works on corvids. A crow wraith is treated as a 20th-level druid for this ability.
Death Attack (Ex) A crow wraith can perform a death attack as a 10th-level assassin.
Hide in Plain Sight (Su) A crow wraith can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. As long as it is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, it can hide itself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind. The crow wraith cannot hide in its own shadow.
Murder Form (Su) Once per day, as a standard action, a crow wraith can transform itself into a swarm of incorporeal crows. Its updated stats are included below. The crow wraith can remain in this form for up to 1 minute (returning to its normal form requires a standard action), but the transformation takes a toll on it, causing it to become fatigued for 1 hour afterwards.
Summon Swarm (Sp) When a crow wraith summons a corvid swarm with its spell-like ability, the swarm gains the wraith’s damage reduction (for cases where weapon damage may apply) and immunity to cold.

Crow Wraith (murder form)      CR 14
XP 38,400
N Medium fey (incorporeal, swarm)
AC 23, touch 23, flat-footed 15 (+5 deflection, +7 Dex, +1 dodge)
Defensive Abilities evasion, incorporeal, swarm traits; DR 10/silver; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee swarm (5d6 plus 1d4 Cha drain and distraction)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 26)
Str —, Dex 25, Con 23, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB —; CMD

Crow wraiths are unusual fey who are harbingers and bringers of death. They are created from the corpses of fey nobles fed to crows or other corvids. This bridge between life and death gives them a strangely balanced morality and allows them to usher fey, regardless of their affiliation, to their ultimate reward. They also serve as assassins for the fey courts, usually targeting mortals who have grievously offended fey nobles or represent a persistent obstacle to fey noble schemes. In rare cases, crow wraiths assassinate other fey, but this only occurs for grave breaches of contract.

Crow wraiths possess incredible physicality as well as the ability to dissolve into a swarm of ghostly corvids—crows, primarily, but ravens are a popular choice, while more flamboyant crow wraiths choose blue or green jays. They prefer to retain their corporeal, humanoid forms when carrying out assassinations, mostly because they enjoy the satisfaction of a well-placed nerve strike that incapacitates or outright kills their targets. Additionally, when they kill quarry in their murder form, the corpses are disfigured in an unnatural way, prompting more scrutiny by investigators looking into deaths wrought by crow wraiths. All the same, crow wraiths leave tokens of their claims of accountability for their murders, usually in the form of large white feathers held by their victims.

The wraiths fundamental ties to corvids grants them a rapport with the birds, and they often use corvids to scout targets or sites where they plan to carry out their deeds. Crow wraiths sometimes take favorite crows as companions. When engaged in pitched combat, they send the crows away to protect the birds. They have an innate ability to summon a swarm of corvids, but they only do so to create distractions when they face certain defeat against resolute foes.

A typical crow wraith stands just over 6 feet tall and weighs 150 pounds.

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