This creature is a sleek, pale-skinned humanoid with leathery white, semi-translucent flesh. It is a bit taller than an average human. Its features are delicate and precise. The creature’s arms and legs are spindly, and each ends in four digits. This creature is completely hairless and its eyes are small, with nictitating membranes.
|Encephalon Gorger||CR 8|
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +10 (1d6+1 plus grab)
Special Attacks mindfeed
Encephalon gorgers enter battle using their claws to slash and grapple their foes, going first for targets with the most delicious, intelligent brains. Once it grabs its prey it sinks its teeth into the foe’s head, draining it of cerebral fluid. However, an encephalon gorger will not put itself in danger by ignoring other threats around it, so generally it only drinks when all of its other foes are either dead or engaged with others of its kind. Encephalon gorgers often make use of slave creatures and dumb beasts to engage an enemy’s warriors while it sidles behind its chosen victim.
Often times, an encephalon gorger attempts to capture rather than kill its prey, especially in the case of intelligent humanoids. Captured prey is taken to one of their alien cities, where it is handed over to the Breeders who tend the slave pits.
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 21, Wis 15, Cha 15
Base Atk +7; CMB +8 (+12 grapple); CMD 22
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +15, Diplomacy +10, Escape Artist +11, Intimidate +15, Knowledge (local) +18, Knowledge (planes) +18, Knowledge (any one) +18, Perception +21, Sense Motive +15, Stealth +11, Survival +10; Racial Modifiers All Knowledge skills are class skills for encephalon gorgers
Languages Common, Encephalon Gorger, plus four additional languages
SQ adrenal surge
If an encephalon gorger begins its turn grappling an opponent, it can attempt to suck its brain fluid with a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains cerebral fluid, dealing 1d4 points of Intelligence drain each round the pin is maintained. On each successful mindfeed attack, the encephalon gorger gains 5 temporary hit points. This ability does not work against nonliving creatures or creatures without a central brain mass. The encephalon gorger must be able to reach the head or neck of the target creature to use this ability.
As a move action, an encephalon gorger can gauge the relative intelligence level of any creature within 60 feet as follows: unintelligent, animal (Int 1–2), low (3–8), average (8–12), high (13–16), genius (17–20), or supra-genius (21+).
The mind of an encephalon gorger is an alien and dangerous place. Should a creature attempt to scan the mind or read the thoughts of an encephalon gorger (with detect thoughts, telepathy, or the like), it must make a successful (DC 20) Will save or be driven permanently insane (as by an insanity spell, caster level 15th); if the save succeeds, the creature is instead confused (as the spell) for 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Intelligence-based.
Environment any land
Organization solitary, crowd (2–5), or array (4–7)
Encephalon gorgers (sometimes known as cranial vampires) are malevolent creatures from another dimension or plane of existence. They are greatly feared by intelligent creatures for they use such beings (their brain fluid to be exact) to power their great cities. Many of these creatures have constructed strongholds or outposts on the Material Plane, though it is unknown when they first appeared.
Encephalon gorgers dislike direct sunlight, though they are not harmed by it. When traveling above ground in daylight hours, they usually cloak themselves in robes of gray or black. The gorger’s leathery, whitish flesh is nearly translucent and in older encephalon gorgers one can faintly see veins and other organs pushing grayish-brown blood through its body. This creature is completely hairless and its eyes are small with nictitating membranes. Its mouth is lined with short, needle-like teeth, with the canines being most pronounced (perhaps the reason these monsters are sometimes called cranial vampires).
Encephalon gorgers advance by character level; many have levels in wizard or psionic-oriented classes. At least one such gorger capable of interplanar travel is always present in any Prime Material Plane outpost.
Encephalon gorgers refer to themselves as Silians and they make their homes deep beneath the surface world or hidden far away from prying eyes (cloaked by natural occurrences such as fog or mist or hidden by magic). Underground lairs resemble great domed cities, while those on the surface resemble iron fortresses of exquisite craftsmanship. Each lair, regardless of its location, has dozens of slave pits and breeding pens filled with captured, intelligent humanoids (or other creatures). The slaves are maintained by a specialized group of silians called the Breeders. It is their job to tend to food supply of the city at all times and to gauge the relative worth of each and every humanoid used by the gorgers for feeding.
Encephalon gorgers sometimes trade with other races, usually trading for slaves, which are taken to the Breeders. Other slaves are kept by particular encephalon gorgers and assigned menial tasks. Once such a slave has exhausted its usefulness, it is “recycled” in the food pens so long as it isn’t dead. Dead slaves are discarded, ground up into a bland paste that is fed to the other slaves.
Little is known of particulars regarding the gorger’s society; such as reproduction, lifespan, aging patterns and so on. A few things that are known come from a group of adventurers that saw one of the iron fortresses and lived to tell about it. They spoke of large vats filled with cranial fluid maintained by the Breeders and of young silian being grown in these vats. They also spoke of the horrid squalor of the breeding pits and the slaves kept in them.