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The imposing shantaks are far more intelligent than their bestial appearance would suggest. They can speak, though their voices sound like glass grinding on stone, and they can't converse in any language besides Aklo.

Shantaks' ability to travel through the gulfs of outer space at supernatural speed allows them to nest on numerous worlds, yet despite this mobility, most shantaks are reluctant to seek out new homes unless faced with no other option. Instead, they roost in discarded ruins or asteroids adrift in space, only emerging and landing upon planets in their chosen stellar system when the urge to feed compels them.

Despite not being native to the Dimension of Dreams, they're commonly found in that realm. Their ability to fly through space affords them swift travel between Leng and more hospitable reaches of the Dreamlands, making them particularly sought after as mounts for those who have business in the far reaches of the dreaming plane.

Convincing a shantak to become a mount is notoriously difficult. They refuse any sort of training, and even if one is convinced to ferry a humanoid on their back, they can be obstinate and fickle. Anyone relying on a shantak mount should have a backup plan ready in case the shantak strands their passenger on an asteroid or strange planet after some disagreement.

Although a shantak is nearly the size of an elephant, many possess irrational fears of certain creatures. In particular, nightgaunts terrify them, but other shantaks have been observed fleeing from harpies and gargoyles. Though these ancestries all share the same trait, shantaks don't fear every type of winged humanoid, which makes the origin of their phobia all the more mysterious. Shantaks on Golarion typically hide themselves away in remote places since several of the creatures they fear appear on the planet in abundance.

Recall Knowledge - Beast (Arcana, Nature): DC 26

Elite | Normal | Weak

ShantakCreature 8

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 231
Perception +18; darkvision
Languages Aklo
Skills Acrobatics +17, Athletics +18
Str +6, Dex +3, Con +4, Int -1, Wis +4, Cha +0
AC 27; Fort +18, Ref +13, Will +16
HP 115; Immunities disease; Resistances cold 10
No Breath The shantak doesn't breathe and is immune to effects that require breathing (such as an inhaled poison).
Slippery The shantak's scales are covered in slippery slime, so the shantak gains a +3 circumstance bonus to Escape. A creature mounted on a shantak takes double the normal circumstance penalty to Reflex saves (–4 instead of –2 in most cases) while mounted.
Speed 20 feet, fly 60 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action jaws +20 [+15/+10], Damage 2d12+9 piercingMelee Single ActionSingle Action claw +20 [+16/+12] (agile), Damage 2d8+9 slashingFlying Strafe Two ActionsTwo Actions The shantak Flies up to their fly speed and makes two claw Strikes at any point during that movement. Each Strike must target a different creature. The attacks take the normal multiple attack penalty.Share Defenses Free ActionFree Action (abjuration, occult) Requirements A creature is riding the shantak; Effect The shantak extends their no breath ability and cold resistance to a single creature riding them. They can withdraw this protection as a free action.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Riding Shantaks

Those who seek to travel to other worlds might consider using a shantak as a mount for their speed and Share Defense ability, yet riding them is a risky endeavor. Far more intelligent than animals, shantak have strong, mercurial personalities and often require bribes from their riders. Even when they receive a gift they particularly enjoy, a shantak could still decide to drop off their passenger at an amusing (to them) remote location.