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Genghryl

A mix of burly and slender tentacles extend from the body of this large, wormlike creature. Rows of frightful fangs line the maw beneath its sharp beak.

Genghryl CR 11

Source Pathfinder #117: Assault on Longshadow pg. 86
XP 12,800
N Large magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +16

Defense

AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 21 (+2 Dex, +12 natural, –1 size)
hp 152 (16d10+64)
Fort +14, Ref +12, Will +9
DR 5/piercing or slashing; Resist acid 10, cold 10

Offense

Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Melee bite +20 (2d8+5), 4 tentacles +19 (1d8+2 plus grab or pull)
Space 10 ft., Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+2), disturbing vocalizations, pull (tentacle, 5 ft.), sinkhole

Statistics

Str 20, Dex 15, Con 19, Int 6, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +16; CMB +22 (+26 grapple); CMD 34 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Disguise, Perception), Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Disguise +9 (+17 as burrowing animals), Perception +16, Stealth +5 (+10 underground); Racial Modifiers +8 Disguise as burrowing animals, +5 Stealth underground
Languages Terran (can’t speak)
SQ compression, lure tentacles

Ecology

Environment any plains
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Disturbing Vocalizations (Su) A genghryl can emit different sounds from its lure tentacles, allowing it to mimic the barks, howls, shrieks, yips, and other noises common among burrowing mammals. Additionally, once per round as a free action, it can also use one of its tentacles to target a creature with one of two sounds, imposing either the frightened or stunned condition for 1d6 rounds unless the target succeeds at a DC 20 Will save. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected by the same genghryl’s disturbing vocalizations for 24 hours. This is a sonic mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lure Tentacles (Ex) A genghryl has a number of specialized tentacles equal to half its Hit Dice. It uses these tentacles to animate and manipulate the corpses of Small or smaller creatures and to emit its disturbing vocalizations. A genghryl typically uses these tentacles to maintain the illusion that a colony of burrowing animals is alive and well, drawing in larger, predatory animals. When it uses animals’ corpses in this way, it gains a +8 bonus on Disguise checks (in addition to its normal racial bonus). Although the genghryl can animate Small humanoids in this manner, it does not gain the additional bonus on Disguise checks when doing so. Severing a lure tentacle requires a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting the tentacle. A lure tentacle is considered a separate weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the genghryl’s Hit Dice (typically 16 hp). To sever a tentacle, an opponent must deal enough damage to reduce the tentacle’s hit points to 0 or fewer. Severing a tentacle deals an amount of damage to the genghryl’s body equal to its Hit Dice. A genghryl with no remaining lure tentacles can’t use its disturbing vocalizations.

Sinkhole (Ex) A genghryl can cause an adjacent area of the ground above it (up to a 10-foot-by-10-foot square) to collapse, dropping any creatures in the affected squares into a 10-foot-deep hole unless they succeed at a DC 23 Reflex save, as though they had been subjected to the effects of a pit trap. The genghryl waits adjacent to the bottom of the pit and can immediately make a single melee attack against the flat-footed AC of one creature that fell in. A creature that fails the Reflex save by 5 or more also falls prone. The save DC is Strength-based.

Genghryls are subterranean, wormlike creatures that use specialized tentacles to lure and weaken their prey. Genghryls are to verdant lands what seaweed sirens are to shipping lanes or wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing are to plentiful woodlands—a menace.

A genghryl’s mottled, pinkish-brown body is about 3 feet wide at the front and tapers down to its tail, resembling a hideous segmented worm. Its head consists of a tooth-lined opening behind a sharp beak, which is surrounded by four powerful tentacles and three black eyes spaced evenly around it. A number of longer, thinner tentacles sprout from the segment just behind the genghryl’s head. The older and larger the genghryl, the more tentacles it has.

An adult genghryl weighs approximately 300 pounds.

Ecology

Genghryls live below ground and, although they prefer temperate or warm climates, can survive nearly anywhere that isn’t flooded, frozen, or scalding. Their adaptations make them suited to regions where they can take over colonies of small, burrowing mammals like groundhogs, meerkats, prairie dogs, and similar prey animals.

When a genghryl moves into an area, it uses its tentacles to subdue and then strangle a colony of mammals. Instead of eating these creatures, the genghryl inserts each of its lure tentacles into one of the corpses and animates it. The genghryl manipulates these corpses so it appears the mound is inhabited by active but careless creatures. It then hollows out the ground beneath the burrow, weakening key points, and waits for a predatory animal—like a badger, fox, or something larger—to notice the potential prey.

When its prey gets close enough to the burrow, either to capture an easy meal or to investigate the animals’ strange behavior, the genghryl collapses the ground beneath its victim. The victim falls into the pit, where the genghryl waits to grab it. If an approaching creature is too strong or dangerous, the genghryl can emit shrieking noises from its lure tentacles to either weaken or frighten away the threat.

A genghryl’s lure tentacles don’t keep the dead animals from decaying, so it must eventually abandon a depleted den and seek out fresh lures. The number of animals a genghryl can manipulate is limited to the number of lure tentacles it has. Although genghryls typically use Tiny animals, they can manipulate creatures as large as humanoids. The genghryl’s primitive intelligence might even allow it to approximate some basic humanoid behaviors. A massive genghryl living beneath a lonely village could pose a horrifying threat to weary travelers.

Genghryls require large hunting areas and are fiercely territorial. They are hermaphroditic, like earthworms, and mating is the only reason two genghryls will tolerate one other’s presence. After mating, each genghryl lays a clutch of slime-covered eggs beneath a small, active burrow on the edge of its territory. The first genghryl to hatch eats the other eggs, feeding on its siblings to gain strength, then attacks the nearby burrow and begins its own predation.

Habitat and Society

The earliest records of creatures like genghryls come from stories of the Warabutu tribe of Rechiend’s Plains, between the Mwangi Jungle and the Kaava Lands (Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Heart of the Jungle 28). The tales speak of a “tunneling horror” that snatches hunting dogs, cattle, and even people. The Warabutu claim that the colonies of giant ants found on the plains feed on the tunneling horrors, keeping their numbers in check.

Within the past several years, genghryls have begun appearing in the Plains of Molthune. The name genghryl is a composite word that borrows from Hallit and refers loosely to a tunneling horror. The creatures have multiplied at an alarming rate, and the locals’ lack of experience with them puts people at great risk. This danger only compounds the problems posed by the labor shortage in Molthune’s breadbasket.

The local lords believe that someone—probably one among them—accidentally brought genghryl eggs from the Mwangi Expanse, perhaps mixed in with seeds or some other product intended to boost production on their lands. Without any giant ants to serve as natural predators, the creatures hatched and began preying on the prairie dogs and other regional creatures, including people. Word of this threat has reached the imperial governor in Canorate, who is offering a substantial reward to anyone who can exterminate the genghryls without introducing aggressive giant ants to Molthune. The imperial governor is also offering a slightly smaller reward to whoever identifies the fool who brought the genghryls to Molthune in the first place.