A bit after the PCs enter into the Tangleroot Forest, they garner the attention of a dangerous creature that’s wandered from the regular hunting grounds, drawn by the fresh willpower of new creatures in the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh.
This horrific abomination slithers unnaturally underneath the adventurers, playing on their sense of fear as it approaches. The carrion crawler [see tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday!]has an agent roving the Tangleroot Forests, a skum it turned mad a few decades ago. Nemormalen was with a scouting party that never made it out of the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh, falling prey to one of the freakish creatures. He alone survived, toyed with and manipulated by the necrotic monster into a subservient role as its bait.
When the carrion crawler senses new prey in the Tangleroot Forests, it sends Nemormalen to find it and harry them, alerting the monster to where exactly they are. Using a sonic breath weapon, it destroys the surrounding root structures—the ground the creatures walk upon—creating an island of sorts, trapping its quarry. At that point it reverts to its normal tactics [check out tomorrow’s post to see how!].
The whistling air displaced by an arrowhead is all the warning you get as a missile streaks towards you! Not a second later, there is a veritable boom towards the east as something explodes upward, flinging a shower of dirt, wood, and water against the ceiling of the huge chamber!
Nemormalen CR 9
Nemormalen CR 9 CE Male skum barbarian (invulnerable rager) 6/ranger 3 XP 600 LE Medium monstrous humanoid (aquatic) Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11 DEFENSE AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 natural) hp 127 (5d10+6d12+61) Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +5 DR 3/—; Resist cold 10; fire 1 OFFENSE Speed 30 ft., swim 40 ft. Melee +1 claws +17/+12/+7 (1d6+6), +1 bite+17 (1d6+6) Ranged mwk composite (+4) longbow +16/+11/+6 (1d8+4, Crit x3, Range 110 ft.) Special Attacks favored enemy (human +2), rend 1d6 TACTICS Before Combat Nemormalen prepares one arrow of shadow essence poison for each opponent and finds a good place to hide, somewhere he can rush away from to stay out of sight when the arrow hits. During Combat When he can no longer snipe, the insane skum makes a Spring Attack in between cover to go into hiding again, continuing to rain arrows on his enemies. After Nemormalen is brought below 30 hit points, he leaps into the nearest area of water to try hiding again before sneaking up behind the physically weakeast opponent and attempting to drag them into the murky water. Morale Nemormalen is utterly mad and beholden only to the carrion crawler that inspired his insanity; he fights as long as it lives. When freed of its insidious influence, he flees immediately, but otherwise harries its quarry until the hideous carrion crawler has cornered it. He is immune to its other mind-affecting abilities because of this bond. STATISTICS Str 20, Dex 18, Con 19, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 8 Base Atk +11; CMB +16; CMD 30 Feats Dodge, Mobility, Multiattack, Point Blank Shot, Shot on the Run, Spring Attack, Toughness; Endurance, Improved Natural Attack (claws) Skills Acrobatics +17, Climb +17, Intimidate +7, Perception +11, Stealth +23, Survival +6, Swim +18; Racial Modifiers+4 Perception and Stealth underwater Languages Aklo, Undercommon SQ amphibious, combat style (natural weapon), extreme endurance (fire), fast movement, favored terrain (swamp +2), invulnerability, rage 17 rounds/day, rage powers (lesser spirit totem, spirit totem, superstition +3), track, wild empathy Combat Gear +1 studded leather, amulet of mighty fists +1, cloak of elvenkind, masterwork composite (+4) longbow (50 arrows), eight doses of shadow essence poison (type injury; save Fort DC 17; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; initial effect; 1 Str drain; secondary effect 1d2 Str damage; cure1 save) RAGING STATISTICS AC 19, touch 13, flat-footed 14; hp +22 temporary hit points Fort +14, Will +7; +3 vs spells and spell-like abilities Defensive Abilities 20% miss chance for ranged attacks and melee attacks from enemies that are not adjacent Melee +1 claws+19/+14/+9 (1d6+8), +1 bite+19 (1d6+8), slam +10 (1d4-1) Str 24, Con 23; CMB +18; CMD 32 Skills Climb +19, Swim +20
The carrion crawler starts 100 ft. from the PCs, moving in a general oval (depending on the party’s movements) around them as Nemormalen keeps the adventurers occupied with poison arrows and dashing claw attacks. Anyone that investigates the explosions too closely may get caught in the blast (8d6 sonic, DC 22 Reflex for half). It destroys 40 ft. x 40 ft. squares that gradually pen the party in on an island that decreases in size to a 100-ft.-radius circle. Once they’re trapped, the carrion crawler reveals itself…in tomorrow’s Statblock Sunday!