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Vorvorak

A crocodilian head surmounts this creature’s draconic body. Thick scales cover its mottled brown and green hide, and a muscular tail sways menacingly behind it.

Vorvorak CR 10

Source Pathfinder #129: The Twilight Child pg. 90
XP 9,600
N Huge magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +13

Defense

AC 24, touch 10, flat-footed 22 (+2 Dex, +14 natural, –2 size)
hp 123 (13d10+52)
Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +9; +4 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities confident; Immune poison; SR 21

Offense

Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft. swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +18 (2d6+7), 2 claws +18 (1d8+7), tail slap +16 (2d6+3)
Space 15 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks poison spit (60-ft. line, 8d8 plus poison, DC 20), sweeping tail
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th; concentration +17)
At will—decrepit disguise (DC 15), major image (DC 17), quintessence (DC 15)
3/day—control water, fog cloud, shadow conjuration (DC 18)
1/day—mirage arcana (DC 19), shadow evocation (DC 19)

Statistics

Str 25, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 18
Base Atk +13; CMB +22; CMD 34 (38 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Casting, Flanking Foil, Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Multiattack
Skills Climb +25, Intimidate +16, Perception +13, Stealth +10 (+18 in mud or water), Swim +25; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in mud or water
Languages Common (can't speak)
SQ canal walker, hold breath

Ecology

Environment temperate plains or marshes
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Canal Walker (Ex) A vorvorak ignores difficult terrain caused by deep or shallow bogs, and the DCs of its Acrobatics and Stealth checks are not increased for being in a bog.

Confident (Ex) A vorvorak is self-assured in its ability to take on any foe. It gains a +4 bonus on saving throws against fear effects.

Poison (Ex) Poisonous Bile: Spit—contact; save Fort DC 20; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Str damage and 1d4 Dex damage; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Poison Spit (Ex) As a standard action usable every 1d4 rounds, a vorvorak can expel a stream of poisonous water in a 60-foot line, dealing 8d8 points of bludgeoning damage (Reflex DC 20 half) to creatures in the area and exposing them to the vorvorak’s poison. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Sweeping Tail (Ex) A vorvorak’s tail seems to have a mind of its own. If a vorvorak does not take a full-round action on its turn, it can make a tail slap attack as a swift action. In addition, the vorvorak can make one extra attack of opportunity each round, but this extra attack must be its tail slap. It can make this additional attack of opportunity (but not its normal attack of opportunity) even when flat-footed.

Description

Vorvoraks are large, intelligent crocodilians with shadowy magical powers. These reclusive creatures most often make their lairs in the abandoned canals that crisscross the Taldan plains. More commonly known as “canal dragons” or “brown dragons,” vorvoraks are unrelated to true dragons and lack the many abilities and resistances of those more famous creatures. Even so, vorvoraks present a danger to those who intrude upon their claimed territories.

A vorvorak’s body is roughly the shape of a dragon, while its head is that of a crocodile. What can appear at first to be wings on its back are in fact a pair of hard fins. A vorvorak’s scales are usually muddy brown in color, occasionally accented with moss-green spots or stripes.

An average vorvorak is 24 feet long from nose to tail and weighs around 3,000 pounds.

Ecology

The systematic extermination of nearly all of Taldor’s drakes and dragons following the years of brutal draconic attacks known as the Dragon Plague left a gap in the region’s ecosystem; in the roughly thousand years since, vorvoraks have evolved to fill that niche. Though vorvoraks descended from crocodiles native to the region, magical contamination has both accelerated the species’ development and granted its members uncanny abilities. At the height of the Taldan Empire, magic was used both to beautify canals and to control and protect the water within them. Sages speculate that when remote canals were later abandoned, decaying magic leached into the water, where it was absorbed by the vorvoraks’ predecessors. After many generations of exposure, the theory goes, vorvoraks developed magical powers—and the intelligence to control them.

A vorvorak has many superficial features of a crocodile, but also has a thick serpentine neck and elongated limbs that end in prehensile claws. Two fins extend from its back; though easily mistaken for wings at a distance, these are in fact enlarged scutes (akin to the bony upper scales of crocodiles). The purpose of these fins is unclear, but they may have evolved as armor or to regulate heat. The vorvorak’s dull brown coloring allows the creature to better hide in its preferred habitat and ambush prey. Patches of green sometimes add to its disguise. Each vorvorak’s unique pattern helps differentiate individuals.

Vorvoraks exert power over the water around them, allowing them to raise or lower its level, produce mist, and, most impressively, eject large quantities of water mixed with their own poisonous bile. Vorvoraks also seem to demonstrate mastery of multiple manifestations of magic—such as altering matter, summoning creatures, and creating explosions of energy—but these abilities are mere illusions, containing the barest shadow of reality. Vorvoraks use their magic to attract prey, conceal their lairs, and deter trespassers in their territory. Though these shadowy illusions have a chance of damaging opponents in combat, they more often serve as distractions that allow vorvoraks to position themselves for full attacks.

Habitat and Society

Vorvoraks are solitary hunters, most active at dawn and dusk. Though generally associated with Taldor’s disused canal system, a few make their lairs in natural gullies. A natural or burrowed niche provides the beasts a place to sleep and store treasure. Often the entrances to vorvoraks’ lairs are partially submerged; otherwise, a vorvorak hides the entrance with an illusion when it leaves to hunt. Vorvoraks feed mostly on creatures that live in or near canals, as well as the occasional domestic animal that wanders into their range. Its few sentient victims tend to be unlucky lost travelers who attempt to follow the old canals back to civilization.

Like dragons, vorvoraks line their lairs with treasures. In addition to coins and jewels taken from humanoid victims, vorvorak hoards are likely to contain common artifacts of imperial Taldor. These treasures may come from nearby ruins of abandoned estates, but just as often the beasts find them buried in the sediment at the bottom of a canal. Vorvoraks keep even broken or tarnished treasures, using illusions to make these items appear new.

When vorvoraks meet, it’s usually to fight over territory. The only time the creatures seek each other out is when driven to mate, which occurs only once or twice per decade, usually after a particularly heavy rain. The pair stays together only long enough to conceive, after which the female lays her eggs in the deepest water in her territory. Young vorvoraks that survive their first 2 or 3 years are “encouraged” to find their own territory as soon as their mother’s hunger or jealousy overcomes her maternal instincts.

Though they avoid active waterways, vorvoraks occasionally clash with humanoids. This usually occurs when a young vorvorak seeking territory moves too close to a civilized area or when enterprising Taldans attempt to reclaim lands around abandoned canals. In the centuries since the Dragon Plague, few Taldans have seen a true dragon, and they could easily mistake a vorvorak for one. Would-be dragon slayers, seeking to emulate the heroes of old, hunt vorvoraks for glory and treasure. A common (and likely apocryphal) story tells of simple villagers who mistook a vorvorak for a spawn of the Tarrasque—until a traveling priest subdued the monster and led it into the town square. Ashamed of their terrible judgment and cowardice, the villagers soon converted to the priest’s religion (which varies according to the story’s teller).