Archives of Nethys

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Kaicharek

This grotesque, crimson wormlike creature has a circular mouth full of fangs. A pair of segmented tentacles sporting razor-edged ridges protrudes from the sides of its mouth.

Kaicharek CR 4

Source Pathfinder #139: The Dead Road pg. 84
XP 1,200
NE Medium magical beast (extraplanar)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +7

Defense

AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 42 (5d10+15)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +4

Offense

Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d6+2 plus grab), 2 tentacles +2 (1d4+1 plus 1d4 bleed)
Special Attacks blood drain (1 Constitution), impaling thrust, slashing talons
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +7)
3/day—hidden presence (DC 13)

Statistics

Str 14, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 13, Cha 14
Base Atk +5; CMB +7 (+11 grapple); CMD 19
Feats Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Stealth)
Skills Climb +15, Perception +7, Stealth +13
Languages Abyssal (can't speak)
SQ hidden feeding

Ecology

Environment any (Blood Vale)
Organization solitary, pair, or cluster (3-6)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Hidden Feeding (Ex) When a kaicharek hits with its bite attack against a target of its size or larger that is unaware of its presence, it latches onto its target and automatically grapples. The kaicharek loses its Dexterity bonus to AC (reducing its AC to 15), but it holds on with great tenacity and automatically inflicts its blood drain each round. A kaicharek has a +8 racial bonus to maintain its grapple on a foe once it is attached. An attached kaicharek can still be attacked. The grappled creature remains unaware of the kaicharek as if under the effects of the kaicharek's hidden presence spell-like ability, but it can attempt a DC 15 Will save to notice the signs of the kaicharek's feeding. The grappled creature gains a cumulative +1 bonus on its Will save for every round the kaicharek remains attached. Other creatures can notice the kaicharek by succeeding at a DC 15 Perception check. The DC is Constitution-based.

Impaling Thrust (Ex) A kaicharek can engage specific muscles in its body to violently thrust its bladed tentacles out at foes as a swift action. For the following round, the kaicharek increases the reach of its tentacle attacks to 10 feet. This act misaligns the musculature of its tentacles and the kaicharek thereafter loses the use of its tentacle attacks until it spends a move action to retract them.

Slashing Talons (Ex) The tips of a kaicharek's tentacles are covered in serrated bone blades, causing them to deal slashing damage and bleed damage instead of bludgeoning damage.

Description

With slashing tentacles and a blood-hungry maw, kaichareks lie in wait for the foolish entering Achaekek's realm, ambushing and exsanguinating the weak and grabbing a quick meal from the strong. This latter feature has earned kaichareks the name “parasites of Achaekek.” Though hardly the strongest creatures associated with the Mantis God, kaichareks are vicious yet cowardly creatures that seem to live for the anguish and bloodshed they unleash on the world around them.

A typical kaicharek is 5 feet long and weighs 270 pounds.

Ecology

Kaichareks seem to live only to hunt, digesting only some of the blood and gore they consume from prey and storing the rest in their thick bodies to be digested later during lean times. This seeming lack of reliance on consumption has led some planar scholars to theorize that kaichareks derive sustenance from some other source, possibly the psychic trauma their attacks cause.

When hunting, the kaicharek uses two different methods depending on the size of its prey. Against prey the same size as the kaicharek or smaller, the creature strikes from hiding or by using its magical ability to hide its presence from others. It lashes out with its razor-tipped tentacles and bites, attempting to grapple its prey. When it gets ahold of a victim, it devours it as messily as possible, thrashing about violently and reveling in its bloody meal.

The second method of hunting is reserved for much larger prey that a kaicharek believes is alone. The kaicharek still attacks from hiding, but instead of merely biting its prey, it activates a more focused version of its magical abilities, hiding itself from its prey's awareness and hanging on as a leech or other similar parasite. This feeding continues until its prey collapses, exsanguinated, or it discovers the kaicharek. The latter usually occurs when the parasite spills the excess blood onto the nearby ground, which not even the kaicharek's magical stealth can hide.

If either of these methods fail, or their prey proves more formidable than anticipated, the kaicharek immediately flees, burrowing underground if possible. The cowardly creature rarely stays away for long, however, seeking to finish off weakened prey or exact bloody revenge for its humiliation.

One of the more vicious abilities associated with these predators is their ability to overextend their tentacles to attack from a greater range—a feat accomplished by a combination of muscle spasms, fluidic action, and tearing of the internal ligaments holding the tentacle together. After overextending its tentacles, a kaicharek must spend a few seconds retracting the tentacles back and activating a focused, specialized healing ability to repair the internal damage. A kaicharek can even regrow a severed tentacle, although this process takes several hours.

Kaichareks are an autogamous species and self-fertilize, laying their eggs in pools of blood left behind by their own attacks or in bloody remnants left by larger predators. When blood is plentiful, a single kaicharek can produce dozens of offspring in a few months.

Habitat and Society

The parasites of Achaekek can be found anywhere in the Blood Vale, Achaekek's realm in the tunnels beneath Pharasma's Boneyard, and their preferred hunting grounds always have plenty of soft soil and hiding places in which to stalk and ambush prey. Kaichareks sometimes wander into the Boneyard, though these expeditions rarely last long, as patrols of vanth and esobok psychopomps slay kaichareks on sight. Other kaichareks make their way to the Material Plane, either through thinned planar boundaries or by way of mortal conjurers.

Normally solitary hunters, kaichareks only rarely associate with others of their own kind, often treating each other as prey. However, during lean times, the blood-hungry beasts band together, ambushing larger groups, overlapping their magical stealth to confuse prey, or even overwhelming a single massive target in hopes of bringing it down. Exactly how kaichareks communicate is difficult to determine, but they seem to use gestures and traced messages written in blood. Regardless, such alliances last only until food becomes more plentiful or the kaichareks become hungry enough to turn against one another.

Kaichareks do not realize it, but they are at the core of a split among Achaekek's worshippers. As kaichareks are known to infest Achaekek's realm, some worshippers of the Mantis God summon them in a misguided attempt to gain favor with the indifferent Achaekek. The cult of the Red Mantis, on the other hand, holds a particular disdain for kaichareks. They view the parasites as utterly lacking in strategy or resourcefulness, despite their intelligence. Worse, most kaichareks' tendencies to indiscriminately parasitize stronger creatures violates the cult's philosophy of holding leaders or rulers in high regard. The fact that kaichareks don't recognize this hierarchy marks them as worse than beasts in the cult's eyes.

The exact relationship between Achaekek and these parasites is unknown. It seems unlikely that the creatures are creations of the Mantis God, as creating entirely new races is uncharacteristic of the bloodthirsty deity. One theory holds that Achaekek discovered kaichareks on some Material Plane world, took a liking to them, and transported some of their race back to his domain. For their part, kaichareks look upon their deific patron with a mixture of fear and awe, viewing him as an apex predator that they know can snatch them up as morsels. Some kaichareks dare to feed upon Achaekek directly, and those that aren't immediately destroyed for this hubris gain quasi-divine powers, setting them above their brute kin.