So, once again, blogging is getting away from me. As much as I want to keep things up here on Intelligence Check, I keep failing my saving throw vs. managing real life.
As such, simply to get something out there, allow me to present: Arthraktus!
Arthraktus is the name I’ve given to my attempts to stat the creature in the above picture, which is the basis for the current What Is it? Contest by Spes Magna Games (who now appear on my blogroll). I have no idea where this picture originally came from or who drew it, but they’re a monster artist without peer whoever they are. That thing is the stuff that even the most fiendish of monsters would be scared of.
Having said that, I’ll be doing my best to get this blog back on track with regular updates very soon. In the meantime, unleash this monster on your overconfident high-level party and teach them some humility!
Coughing and choking on the deadly mist, you manage to open watery eyes enough to glimpse something massive striding through it…and a moment later wish you hadn’t. Larger than a mountain, the thing is something from your worst nightmares. Its six-legged body is covered in spiders, scorpions, and other vermin, all as large as a house, hiding the colossal body beneath. Only its head is uncovered, showing a maw bristling with pincers and randomly-placed eyes darting to and fro independently…until one locks squarely onto you.
Arthraktus CR 25
CE Colossal aberration
Init +6; Senses darkvision 120 ft., tremorsense 200 ft.; Perception +38
Aura deadly fog (200 ft., DC 33)
AC 45, touch 25, flat-footed 42 (+15 natural, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, -8 size, +25 circumstance)
hp 984 (48d8+768); regeneration 30 (fire or lawful)
Fort +42, Ref +30, Will +19
Defensive Abilities vermin armor; DR 20/epic and lawful; Immune mind-affecting effects; SR 35
Speed 60 ft., climb 60 ft., burrow 60 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +43 (6d6+15 plus poison/19-20) and 6 slams +43 (4d6+15/19-20)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Atks earthquaker, trample (4d6+22, DC 49)
Str 41, Dex 14, Con 43, Int –, Wis 16, Cha 9
Base Atk +36; CMB +59; CMD 71 (79 vs. overrun and trip)
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Diehard, Dodge, Endurance, Greater Sunder, Greater Vital Strike, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Critical (slam), Improved Initiative, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Improved Natural Attack (slam), Improved Sunder, Improved Vital Strike, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Staggering Critical, Stand Still, Stunning Critical, Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +37, Climb +58, Intimidate +34, Perception +38, Survival +38, Swim +58
SQ biologically adept, extremophile, fog walker, substantial form
Organization solitary (plus spawn)
Biologically Adept (Ex) Despite having no mentality as it is commonly understood, Arthraktus is a canny being, able to respond to tactics with astonishing strategy. Despite having no Intelligence score, Arthraktus has feats and skills (skill points are determined as though it had an Intelligence of 10).
Deadly Fog (Su) Arthraktus’s foul body constantly excretes a foul musk, surrounding it out to 200 feet in all directions. This functions like the spell cloudkill (DC 33), save that it does not harm nor hinder Arthraktus or its spawn (see below) in any way. While the thick nature of this fog requires a windstorm (51+ mph) to disperse, it does not sink to the lowest level of the land. This fog penetrates underwater, forming a cloudy murk. Dispersed fog re-emerges at a rate of 20 feet per round. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Earthquaker (Ex) As a standard action, Arthraktus may rear up and slam itself against the ground, causing a massive shockwave. This is treated as the spell earthquake, save that it is centered on Arthraktus and has a 400 ft. radius spread.
Fog Walker (Su) Arthraktus is able to walk upon the deadly fog it exudes. It is treated as though constantly under the effect of an air walk spell. Should its deadly fog be removed, it falls until it is able to re-excrete the deadly fog around it.
Extremophile (Ex) Arthraktus is able to survive, and thrive, no matter how harsh the environment. It never takes damage or penalties from environmental conditions, including planar traits. It is not impeded by water or rough terrain. Arthraktus does not need to eat, breathe, or sleep.
Poison (Ex) Bite – injury; save Fort DC 50; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 2d6 Strength damage; cure 2 saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Substantial Form (Ex) Unlike most aberrations, Arthraktus has good Fort and Reflex saves, and poor Will saves.
Vermin Armor (Ex) Arthraktus is constantly spawning huge vermin from its body, which crawl upon it and act as a living barrier between it and harm. At any time, it has 25 huge vermin (treat as deadfall scorpions and ogre spiders) crawling on its body; each vermin grants Arthraktus a +1 circumstance bonus to its Armor Class.
When hit by an attack or single-target spell or effect, as an immediate action, Arthraktus may have the attack strike one of its vermin instead of it. This causes the vermin to drop from Arthraktus’s body (taking no damage from the drop, but suffering the full effects of the attack or spell normally) in an adjacent square. It may then act on Arthraktus’s initiative normally. For each vermin that drops off in this way, Arthraktus’s circumstance bonus to AC is reduced by 1.
Alternately, as a swift action, Arthraktus may fling one of its vermin up to 60 ft. away from it. This causes no damage to the vermin, which may then act on Arthraktus’s initiative normally. This reduces the circumstance bonus to Arthraktus’s AC as described above.
Arthraktus spawns a new vermin every hour. Excess vermin spawned in this way automatically drop into an adjacent square as a free action, with no affect on Arthraktus. Arthraktus’s vermin spawn are not harmed nor hindered by Arthraktus’s deadly fog (see above).
An abomination in the truest sense of the word, Arthraktus is anathema all life and civilization. Its appearance is marked by apocalyptic destruction, as the creature ranges far and wide, killing and destroying all that it comes across. Though it has no sentience that has ever been demonstrated, it seems drawn to where it can do the most damage. Similarly, when facing creatures that can present a legitimate threat to it, it has displayed a cunning far beyond that of a mindless creature.
The origins of Arthraktus are unknown, though most presume it to be the misbegotten spawn, or even an avatar, of the God of Destruction. Some have theorized that it originated on a distant world or plane of existence, though there is no proof to support any theory. Indeed, even the gods seem reluctant to speak about Arthraktus, with divinations about it providing strong warnings to avoid the creature.
Arthraktus’s lair, if it has one, remains a mystery, simply because the monster’s wrath is so great that it slays anyone close enough to witness its emergence or retreat. Indeed, it may not lair at all, but simply burrows to distant lands to continue its carnage there, simply relocating its never-ending frenzy of death and destruction