This half-bodied monstrosity with an overly wide mouth and stringy hair hops about on a single leg, balancing in defiance of its awkward physical form. A single arm—centered on the creature’s torso and formed of tightly corded muscle—and single eye round out the being’s features.
Fachen CR 5
Speed 30 ft.
Melee battleaxe +10 (1d8+5/×3), bite +5 (1d6+2)
Str 20, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 24 (28 vs. trip)
Feats Acrobatic, Cleave, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Acrobatics +13, Perception +9, Stealth +6
SQ incredible balance
Each creature within a 30-foot radius that sees a fachen must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or be paralyzed by fear for 1d4 rounds. A creature that successfully saves is not subject to the same fachen’s fear aura for 24 hours. This is a paralysis effect and a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Environment temperate hills and plains
The fearsome fachen’s terrifying visage stops the hearts of all but the most intrepid. Reports disagree on just what it is about the fachen that turns one’s blood to ice—the single leg and foot that somehow don’t affect the being’s balance or speed, the seemingly too-strong arm jutting out from the center of the creature’s torso, or the lone bulbous eye leering maliciously at its would- be prey.
Though the fachen’s grotesque approximation of a humanoid form could be enough to scare a traveler witless on its own, no single part of the abomination’s appearance induces fear like that of its mouth, which spans the creature’s face and is filled with a full row of long, sharp teeth.
A typical fachen stands just short of 6 feet tall, and despite appearing to be half a person, weighs around 150 pounds because of its muscle mass. While it is not a very large creature, its fearsome composition increases its perceived presence.
It is unknown how the first (or subsequent) fachens were produced. The studies performed on the few viable specimens successfully collected showed no anatomical means of reproduction, leading to a theory of otherworldly intervention.
Fachens are carnivorous beings, and greatly prefer fresh humanoid meat over other, often more readily available fauna. Fachens will pass by a family of deer or a pasture full of cattle to sniff out and hunt a single humanoid. Fachens are not content with simply killing and eating their meal; they like to mutilate their prey as they ingest it, particularly if their food still holds on to the final traces of life and consciousness as the fachens’ teeth pierce its flesh. Fachens’ tendency to mutilate their victims and feed off the creatures’ fear help to sate the rage simmering just beneath their surfaces—but only temporarily. Food alone will never sate this hatred. The source of the fachens’ anger and hatred is unknown, perhaps even to them. Whether their eating habits actually alleviate the seething rage or merely cover it up, the fachens care not.
Though not very intelligent, a fachen is relatively skilled when it comes to tracking prey, especially if it failed to catch a meal using ambush and scare tactics. Rage and hunger focus a fachen so intensely that it relentlessly tracks down any being that manages to get past it.
Despite a physiology that should lead to problems balancing and getting around, fachens are accustomed to their weight distribution and single-appendage movement. They also have an instinctual ability to defend themselves by dodging. A fachen springs off with its single leg and foot at a high enough speed to keep pace with most bipedal creatures, and has an uncanny ability to jump. Fachens’ movements add to the overall fear the creature exudes. Their strange but dexterous locomotion and the single-armed striking of their attacks frighten and bewilder those who engage the creatures.
A fachen is not particularly careful or perceptive in the midst of a meal. Unless battling multiple targets from the outset, once a fachen takes down its prey, it focuses solely on that meal until it’s had its fill of food and fun. A fachen takes its meal right where its prey drops, be it along some goat trail through the hills or in the middle of a high-traffic road. It takes no pains to hide the corpse of its kill after feeding, nor does it strip the body of valuables. It’s content to leave the body in its final resting place and go off in search of water, more food, or a place to rest until its hunger and anger stir again.
Fachens are solitary by nature; they hold no fraternal love for their ilk, and are just as likely to view them as prey as they would any other creature. They possess no special defense against the fearsome appearance of others of their kind, and this knowledge keeps them apart as well. Unfortunately, only a few warning signs alert one fachen that another is in close proximity. A mutilated corpse on or near a path serves as a warning between the monstrous beings, which are able to identify another fachen’s handiwork with just a glance. A felled orchard can also signify a fachen’s presence, if the remaining boles show signs of damage from the axes fachens prefer to wield.
Fachens are most often found in areas of temperate climate, typically in hills or plains. They have no particular love or hatred for hot or cold climes, but find prey is easier to come by in areas with more moderate temperatures. A few may be found in truly harsh climates, but usually end up there after chasing prey for an extended time.
Fachens are more likely to drift than to settle in any permanent home or lair. They track food as necessary and find new places to rest in close proximity to their latest kills. They tend to make camp near natural trails or roadways frequented by travelers to ensure a steady supply of meals. However, if a fachen finds a location that ends up being particularly rich in prey, it might attempt to locate a small cave, rocky overhang, or copse of trees to set up as a more permanent residence. However, any would-be treasure hunter who locates the lair of a fachen finds only squalor—any trinkets or treasures carried by a fachen’s meal remain with the corpse.
Rumors and myths about fachens are less prevalent in major cities than in small towns, villages, and farmlands. They know that the larger the population, the greater the chance of being put down by local authorities. Like with many other mythical monsters and beasts, tales of prowess and heroics in the face of fachens are often shared over pints of ale and around campfires, and tales of sightings—though hardly believed—are often good for a few free rounds at the local pub. Parents use fachen stories to scare unruly children into behaving or completing their chores.
Despite the levity with which they tell tales or make warnings about fachens, residents of these outlying areas still make sure they aren’t alone when traveling outside the known safe zones, especially if the trip requires passing through areas where there have been fachen sightings or activity. When the presence of a fachen is confirmed outside a town or village, the bravest members of that society often band together to kill it or drive it off, knowing the danger of the beast. Yet even so, fachen trophies are rare—even dead, the creatures are frightening to look upon.
Statistics from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Savannah Broadway, Ross Byers, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, James Jacobs, Matt James, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Tork Shaw, and Russ Taylor.
Ecology from Pathfinder Adventure Path #63: The Asylum Stone © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: James L. Sutter.