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Against the Shadow  |  Creatures  |  Mountain Hound, Harrier, Hardukan, Darkin, Nightling and Grak
Mountain Hound, Harrier, Hardukan, Darkin, Nightling and Grak

Mountain Hound

Medium-sized Animal

Hit Dice: 3d8+9 (22 hp)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+4
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trip
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +2
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 13, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +5, Spot +5, Swim +4, Survival +4*
Feats: Track, Weapon Focus (Bite)

Environment: Any land
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 1
Advancement: --

These large dogs stand up to four feet tall and have shaggy coats, long torsos, and powerful builds. They are intelligent and easily trainable, making them perfect companions for their legate masters even when not inhabited by an astirax.

Combat
These dogs are vicious hunters and can use their trip attacks to bring down enemies of the legates.

Trip (Ex): A mountain hound that hits with its bite attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+2 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the mountain hound.

Skills: *Mountain hounds receive a +4 bonus to Survival checks when tracking by scent.

Harrier

Medium-sized Animal

Hit Dice: 3d8+6 (19 hp)
Initiative: +3 (Dex)
Speed: 10ft. (2 squares), fly 80 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+2
Attack: Claws +5 melee (1d4)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +5 melee (1d4), Bite +0 melee (1d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: --
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +8, Spot +11*
Feats: Alertness, Weapon Finesse.

Environment: Any forest, hills, mountains and plains
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Advancement: 4-5 HD (medium-sized)

The harrier is a large hawk up to 6 feet in length that is distinguished by its long tail and long, narrow wings. It is often seen gliding low over the ground, and its sharp eyes are good for hunting enemies as well as food.

Combat
Harriers prefer to soar away from combat unless they are hunting for food, but if forced to fight they can cause vicious wounds with their beak and claws.

Skills: *Harriers receive a +8 racial bonus to Spot checks during daylight.

Hardukan

Large Animal

Hit Dice: 5d8+15 (37 hp)
Initiative: +1 (Dex)
Speed: 60ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+12
Attack: Hoof +8 melee (1d6+5)
Full Attack: 2 hooves +8 melee (1d6+5), bite +3 melee (1d4+2)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: --
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +2
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 12, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 7
Skills: Listen +6, Spot +8
Feats: Endurance, Run

Environment: Any land.
Organization: Domesticated
Challenge Rating: 2
Advancement: --

Hardukan are a particularly stout breed of heavy warhorse that is trained to bear a legate and fight on his behalf. They are completely loyal to their legate masters, and will fight to the death to protect them.

Carrying Capacity: A light load for a hardukan is up to 325 pounds; a medium load, 326–650 pounds; a heavy load, 651–975 pounds. A hardukan can drag 4,875 pounds.

Darkin


Large Animal

Hit Dice: 6d8+12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +2 (Dex)
Speed: 40ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+10
Attack: Bite +5 melee (d10+3)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (d10+3)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Rage, Trip
Special Qualities: Scent
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 11
Skills: Hide +4, Listen +6, Move Silently +4, Spot +6, Wilderness Lore +7*
Feats: Alertness, Improved Natural Weapon (Bite), Track

Environment: Any land and underground.
Organization: Solitary or pack (4-12)
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Challenge Rating: 4
Advancement: 7-12 (large)

Darkins have been bred over the centuries by the orcs who fight for the dark lord. Originally dire wolves, these creatures have been instilled with an evil intelligence and a great hatred of humans, elves, and other non-orc feykind. They are trained as mounts and companions, and are said to be able to track creatures over great distances even without their masters to guide them. The sound of a darkin’s howl sends shudders through those who hear it, for it usually means orcs are on the horizon and preparing for battle.

When found in the wild, darkins will either be found alone or with a pack. Wild darkins are quite common in the north, where individuals have escaped and formed packs, or where their orcish masters were killed, leaving them to fend for themselves.

Combat
Darkins are vicious in combat, using their bite attacks to rip their enemies apart. They have been bred to fly into a rage when outnumbered or injured, which increases their power and durability and allows them to overcome otherwise greater foes.

Rage (Ex): A darkin that takes damage in combat flies into a berserk rage the following round, clawing and biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. An enraged darkin gains +4 Strength, +4 Constitution, and -2 AC. The creature cannot end its rage voluntarily, but a trained handler or rider can calm the creature down with a successful Handle Animal check (DC 15).

Trip (Ex): A darkin that hits with a bite attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+2 check modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the darkin.

Skills: *Darkins receive a +4 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks when tracking by scent.

Nightling

Small Monsterous Humanoid

Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +5 (+1 Dex, +4 feat)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 60 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 14 (+1 Dex, +1 size, +2 leather armor)
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: Spear +0 melee (1d3-1 + poison)
Full Attack: Spear +0 melee (1d3-1 + poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Nightling net
Special Qualities: Fast Healing 5
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +0
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 12, Con 11, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 11
Skills: Hide +5, Jump +3, Listen +4, Move Silently +5, Spot +4
Feats: Improved Initiative

Environment: Temperate and warm forest
Organization: Group (5-8 ) or tribe (15-30)
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Advancement: By character class

Nightlings are vicious, vile little creatures that stalk the forests of Eredane for food, treasure, and the sheer pleasure of causing pain to others. They hunt in groups for animals they can eat and traveling humanoids that they can plunder. They love the taste of elf flesh, and are considered a scourge by the elves of Erethor. Nightling blood is poisonous to most creatures, and they use it to coat their weapons to help debilitate their enemies. Their regenerative abilities help to keep them alive even when facing much larger and better armed foes.

Nightling tribes live in the treetops, taking shelter in beehive-like structures made of clothing, animal skin, and other materials they scavenge from their prey. They are known to be cannibalistic in times of depravation, and have no problem killing each other indiscriminately. Tribes generally have no leader, and seem to exist only to provide more bodies with which to hunt and kill.

Most nightlings are warriors; the information in the statistics block is for one of 1st level.

Combat
Nightlings hunt in darkness and attempt to sneak up on their enemies so they can trap them in a net before attacking. Otherwise they use their spears to weaken their enemies, focusing on bringing down a single enemy at a time.

Poison (Ex): The blood of a nightling is poisonous when introduced into the bloodstream of another creature. The nightlings know this and coat their spears with their own blood before they hunt. The poison remains active for up to eight hours when used in this manner, or until the nightling successfully strikes a creature in combat. A creature struck by such a weapon must make a Fortitude save (DC 11) or suffer 1d2 points of temporary Constitution damage. Another save is required after one minute to avoid an additional 1d2 points of temporary Constitution damage. Nightlings are, of course, immune to their own toxins.

Nightling Net: When hunting, a group of nightlings carries a large net that requires at least four of the creatures to use properly. When unfurled and dropped (usually from the cover of trees above the targets) it covers a 15 ft. by 15 ft. area, automatically hitting the targeted area. All creatures within the net suffer a –2 penalty on attack rolls and a –4 penalty on effective Dexterity. The entangled creature can only move at half speed and cannot charge or run. Entangled creatures must succeed at a Concentration check (DC 15) in order to successfully cast a spell.

Entangled creatures can escape with an Escape Artist check (DC 20) that is a full round action. Each 5 ft. section of the net has 5 hit points and can be burst with a Strength check (DC 25), also a full round action.

The net can be used to entangle any creatures of Small to Huge size that fit within its area. Once it has been dropped, it requires a full minute and four nightlings to fold it again for storage and reuse.

Grak

Medium-sized Humanoid

Hit Dice: 1d8+1 (5 hp)
Initiative: +6 (+2 Dex, +4 feat)
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 leather armor)
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Short sword +2 melee (d6+1), shortbow +3 ranged (d6)
Full Attack: Short sword +2 melee (d6+1), shortbow +3 ranged (d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Spider climb
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +0
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 9
Skills: Hide +4, Listen +2, Move Silently +3, Spot +1
Feats: Improved Initiative

Environment: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary, gang (4–8 ), or squad (11–20 plus two 3rd-level leaders and a 6th-level leader)
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Advancement: By character class

Graks are a type of orc bred by the dark lord Izrador to be spies who could move through the shadows quickly and quietly, gathering information for his armies. They are faster and quicker than orcs, and their greater intelligence allows them to discern key information in their role as scouts. They are particularly useful underground, where their natural ability to climb gives them an advantage over most humanoids.

Graks are smaller than typical orcs but share similar features to their more brutish cousins. They are usually separated into their own units, and if encountered on the battlefield graks use their bows at maximum range until an enemy closes, at which time they usually look to the orcs and orogs to enter melee. A favorite tactic underground is to cling to the ceiling of a cavern and pelt their foes with arrows from a safe distance.

The majority of graks encountered away from their burrows are warriors. The statistics block reflects a 1st level warrior.

Combat
Graks are not as well suited to melee combat as their cousins the orcs and orogs. Still, they can make a formidable addition to an orc army due to their skill with the bow, and if encountered underground the combination of stealthy movement and ranged combat can be particularly devastating.

Spider Climb (Ex): Graks can climb walls as if under the effects of a permanent spider climb spell. Note that this is an extraordinary ability and cannot be dispelled or affected by anti-magic zones.


Graks as Races

    Graks are a type of orc bred by the dark lord Izrador to be spies who could move through the shadows quickly and quietly, gathering information for his armies. They are faster and quicker than orcs, and their greater intelligence allows them to discern key information in their role as scouts. They are particularly useful underground, where their natural ability to climb gives them an advantage over most humanoids.

    In the burrows of the north, graks must find use as messengers and couriers for their tribes, or else get out of the way. Orcs often have a great deal of contempt for their nimble kin, considering them weak and useless in a fight. A wise commander, though, never risk alienating the grak under his rule.
    Graks are smaller than typical orcs but share similar features to their more brutish cousins. They tend to have less promenant manes, and are much sparer of limb and body. They are usually separated into their own units, and if encountered on the battlefield graks use their bows at maximum range until an enemy closes, at which time they usually look to the orcs and orogs to enter melee. A favorite tactic underground is to cling to the ceiling of a cavern and pelt their foes with arrows from a safe distance.

  • +2 Dexterity, -2 Charisma: Graks are smaller and quicker than their purestrain orcish brethren, but retain the same vile personalities and mob mentality.
  • Medium: As medium-sized creatures, graks have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base speed 40ft: Grak are naturally fast.
  • Darkvision: Graks can see in the dark up to 60'.
  • Spider Climb: Graks can climb walls as if under the effects of a permanent spider climb spell. A grak must have its hands free to climb in this manner. It has a climb speed of 20 feet; furthermore, it need not make Climb checks to traverse a vertical or horizontal surface (even upside down). A grak retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.
         Note that this is an extraordinary ability and cannot be dispelled or affected by anti-magic zones.
  • Light sensitivity: Graks suffer a -1 penalty to attacks in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
  • Night fighting: Graks gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls when there is no light at all. Graks are affected as other creatures are by conditions of magic darkness.
  • Weapon Familiarity (kagdatch and warbow): Graks can gain proficiency with orc exotic weapons as if they were martial weapons, for both ranged and melee uses.
  • Cold resistance 5: Graks are as hardened against the cold as their larger kin.
  • Trail Hiding: Graks are naturally good at evading pursuit instinctivly, they walk in each other's footprints, and clear away scraps of food, clothing and armour that they let slip. No matter how many graks there are in a particular group, the DC to track them is not decreased. The number of other creatures in the group may still affect the DC, however. Example: Seven graks and five orcs are walking through a forest. The Survival DC to track them is 14 (firm ground 15, -1 for more than 3 but less than 6 orcs).
  • +2 racial bonus to saves against spells and spell-like effects.
  • +1 racial bonus on damage rolls against dwarves.
  • Shadow's Spies: Graks have many kinds of intelligence-gathering skills bred into them. They gain a +2 racial bonus to Gather Information, Listen, Search and Spot checks.
  • Graks gain Knowledge: Northern Marches and Knowledge: Underground as class skills.
  • Automatic Languages: Black Tongue, Old Dwarven pidgen, High Elven pidgen, Orcish. Bonus languages: any, except secret languages and Courtier.
  • Favoured Class: Wildlander (or Scout, if you are using that variant class).
  • Graks use Sarcosan height, Erenlander weight, and live as long as orcs.

 

Author: Wil Upchurch & Dirigible

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