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Drakauthix

The drakauthix is a massive fungus that floats through the heights of the largest Darklands caverns, propelled by bladders that spray air and spores. A voracious but slow-moving hunter, the drakauthix prefers to ambush meaty creatures from above, using its hooked appendages to pull its victims upward to feed. The drakauthix’s digestive process is entirely external—it clings to victims, and its spore-laden surface slowly feeds on and grows through the flesh before the spore-infested carcass is discarded. As the infested body strikes the ground below, it bursts and releases a cloud of spores, unleashing a host of young called sporelings that immediately scuttle up the cavern walls to cling to its ceiling and grow.

The drakauthix behaves no more intelligently than most predatory animals, and often uses a sort of symbiotic scavenger method to secure prey by capitalizing on the hunting methods of oozes and vermin found in the large cave systems it frequents. When a relatively mindless creature kills a victim, the drakauthix drifts down, hooks the freshly slain carcass with its tendrils, and reels in its meal. The mindless ooze or other creature that just had its food stolen rarely holds a grudge and simply slithers off to find a new quarry, letting the drakauthix digest the corpse in peace. Of course, the drakauthix isn’t above feasting on more active prey as well, and might attack an adventurer who neglects to look upward for danger when exploring a network of mysterious caves.

Some Darklands-dwelling creatures, such as duergars, hunt drakauthixes for their flesh, which has a unique flavor with a peppery aftertaste. Subterranean races also make ink from drakauthixes by burning their carcasses, then grinding and pressing the ashes for a long time until a silvery substance congeals.

Recall Knowledge (Nature): DC 26

DrakauthixCreature 9

NHugeFungus
Source Bestiary pg. 129
Perception +17; darkvision, sporesight (imprecise) 60 feet
Skills Acrobatics +15, Athletics +20, Stealth +17
Str +7, Dex +2, Con +6, Int -4, Wis +2, Cha +0
Sporesight The drakauthix exudes a cloud of spores that it uses to see. This is an imprecise sense that functions only in areas without strong wind currents. Sporesight does not function underwater.
AC 25, Fort +21, Ref +13, Will +15
HP 190; Weaknesses fire 10, slashing 10
Obscuring Spores Whenever the drakauthix takes at least 10 slashing damage, it releases a cloud of brown spores that has the effect of obscuring mist for 1 minute, centered around the drakauthix. This cloud of spores does not move with the drakauthix, nor is it displaced by its movement.
Speed fly 20 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action Tentacle +20 (reach 30 feet), Damage 3d8+9 piercing plus Improved GrabReel In Single ActionSingle Action The drakauthix pulls all creatures it has grabbed 15 feet closer to itself.Spore Tendrils Single ActionSingle Action The tendrils that cover the drakauthix’s body reach out and infest adjacent creatures, dealing 4d6 poison damage and 1d6 persistent poison damage. A creature can attempt a basic DC 27 Reflex save to reduce this damage, but one grabbed by the drakauthix takes a –4 circumstance penalty to this save.Whirlwind of Hooks Two ActionsTwo Actions The drakauthix whirls, whipping creatures around it. The drakauthix makes a tentacle Strike against every creature within its reach.

Drakauthix Sporelings

When a new drakauthix bursts forth from a spore-infested corpse, it has no true way of defending itself. However, a sporeling does not need to hunt until it grows much larger. Each sporeling harvests enough material from the body it emerged from to grow to its full size over a few short days. After it has done so, the drakauthix detaches from the cave ceiling and, starving, immediately seeks out its first meal in the cavern below.