Dark Young Of Shub-Niggurath (CR 12)

Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath
The lumbering bulk of a treelike monster lurches out of the mist, its branches tentacles, its roots ending in hooves, and its trunk decorated with drooling maws.

Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath (CR 12)
Huge aberration
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 30 ft.; Notice 31
Aura frightful presence (30 ft., W-DC 24)
Defense
AC 27, flat-footed 24
(+3 Dex, +16 natural, –2 size)
HP 161 (14d8+98)
Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +13
DR 15/slashing; Immune acid, electricity, fire, poison
Offense
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +19 (1d8+10/19–20 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+10), sucking maws, trample (1d8+15, R-DC 27)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; caster check +17)
Constant—freedom of movement
At will—air walk, tree shape
3/day—entangle (R-DC 16), command plants (W-DC 19)
1/day—insanity (W-DC 22), tree stride
Statistics
Str 30, Dex 17, Con 24, Int 16, Wis 19, Cha*8 21
Base Atk** +10; CMB +22 (+26 grapple); CMD 35 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (tentacles), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (tentacles)
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +17, Knowledge (nature) +20, Knowledge (religion) +17, Perception +21, Sense Motive +18, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +12 (+20 in forests); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in forests
Languages Aklo
Ecology
Environment forest, marsh
Organization solitary, pair, or grove (3–6)
Treasure standard
Special Abilities
Sucking Maws (Su, Con, mind) A dark young of Shub-Niggurath that successfully pins a creature it is grappling automatically inflicts 1d4 points of Strength drain on that creature. A DC 24 Fortitude save reduces this effect to 1 point of Strength drain. A creature drained to 0 Strength does not die, but must make a DC 24 Will save at that point to resist being driven mad by the experience, as the foul green waste exuded from the same sucking mouths that drink life implant in the emptied shells strange visions and horrifying certainties. This madness manifests as schizophrenia, but with a save DC equal to the dark young’s Strength drain save DC listed above (DC 24 for most dark young). One common result of this unfortunate madness is a strange desire to return to the site of their original encounter in hopes of being consumed entirely by the creature that only drank a part of their body and mind—many of those who survive this horrific ordeal go on to found dark young cults of their own.

The Elder God known in whispered circles as Shub-Niggurath is reputed to have a thousand young, when in fact her spawn are myriad. Yet some of her children are more fecund and successful than others, and the monstrosities known as her dark young are perhaps the best known of this legion of monstrosities.

In combat, a dark young usually starts by using entangle and command plants to seize control of the surrounding terrain—its ability to constantly use freedom of movement affords it mobility through such regions, allowing it to move through the areas and select its prey with ease. Intelligent and canny, dark young know that spellcasters are more difficult to affect with insanity, and save that spell-like ability for use against rogues, fighters, and similar foes. Flight offers no guarantee of safety from the dark young, for they can pursue their foes through the air as surely as across land.

A dark young superficially resembles a tree, and while it possesses magic that allows it some ability to appear as a tree or to control the plants of the trackless forests it favors, upon close inspection a dark young is manifestly something far more than a mere tree. Even the smallest of these creatures stand taller than a house, while the largest of them shake the very earth with their cloven hooves and crush cities and forests alike with their passage.

A typical dark young of Shub-Niggurath stands nearly 30 feet tall and weighs 12,000 pounds, but many are much larger. While most are encountered in temperate regions, they can also be found in subarctic or tropical forests. These dark young appear no different than their temperate dwelling kin, but when they use their tree shape ability, they assume the forms of plants native to the region.

OPEN GAME LICENSE Version 1.0a - All text is Open Game Content.