This monster resembles a gigantic, writhing grub, its translucent flesh rippling disgustingly. It has four elongated tentacles and a toothy maw.
Speed 30 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Str 18, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 14
Any creature that dies from the disease a telgrodradt transmits rises in 24 hours as if it were raised by animate dead (CL 9th). This ability can create only exoskeletons, skeletons, or zombies. This is determined by the amount of flesh left on the corpse and the corpse’s creature type. While a telgrodradt has no natural ability to control these mindless undead, the undead created in this manner don’t attack or otherwise intentionally harm the telgrodradt.
A telgrodradt can fire a sickly purple beam of negative energy from its eyes at a single target within 60 feet. If the telgrodradt successfully hits, the target takes 3d6 points of negative energy damage.
These strange creatures savor the flesh of the undead, while at the same time being one step in the grave themselves. Mistaken for undead by those who encounter them and inscrutable to most living things, telgrodradts straddle a strange line between worlds.
These strange abominations look like a nightmarish fusion of insect, humanoid, and corpse. Telgrodradts have six multi-jointed appendages that they use to skitter about and burrow, as well as four hooked, probing tentacles that act as antennae. A typical telgrodradt stretches 14 feet from head to tail and weighs upward of 2,500 pounds, though larger and smaller specimens do exist.
Thanks to their pallid flesh and stench of decay, telgrodradts are often confused for undead abominations. These strange creatures take damage from the same effects that harm undead, yet as living creatures they need to feed. Telgrodradts can’t derive nutrition from the flesh of living creatures, and especially abhor the metallic tang of blood. Instead they consume the rotting meat of the undead to survive. They can eat old corpses, but the creatures gain very little sustenance from bodies not suffused with negative energy. To reliably feed, telgrodradts kill their prey and then raise them as zombies. Most maintain lairs filled with dozens of zombies staggering around in corrals like gruesome livestock. A telgrodradt that eats living flesh every day for more than a week begins taking 1 point of Constitution damage each day that it doesn’t consume undead flesh.
Telgrodradts aren’t particularly dangerous on their own, but their need to create undead has the potential to threaten the surrounding countryside. They may inadvertently wreak more havoc over long periods of time as they loose track of some of their undead creations or their corrals fail and zombies come streaming forth to the surface, terrorizing nearby settlements.
Despite their grub-like and apparently mindless appearance, telgrodradts are relatively intelligent. They respond well to diplomacy and engage in conversation with those that come across them, but telgrodradts are steadfast in their determination to kill, animate, and feed. They taunt their enemies in combat, explaining in precise detail what they plan to do with their corpses once they are killed.
Telgrodradts are typically solitary creatures, preferring to keep a herd of zombie thralls as an ever-present food source, but otherwise living alone in dark, remote corners. However, sometimes these creatures group together to create small civilizations below-ground.
Instead of a community full of trade and entertainment, telgrodradt cities deep beneath the earth are horror-filled places that resemble massive feedlots, with hundreds of undead creatures corralled in pens awaiting their ultimate fates as meals for their masters.
Each aberration marks or brands its “herd,” and uses its limited ability to control the undead it personally animates to dig, build, repair, and otherwise handle the drudgery of civilized life. In these groupings, a telgrodradt can also find a ready source of healing, since they can’t heal themselves with their own negative energy rays.
Telgrodradts engage in strange poetry that they write out in the viscera of their victims in meandering, spiraling strings of words chosen seemingly for their tone rather than meaning. This rambling, nihilistic poetry is only semipermanent, vanishing as the gore dries and flakes away, but some telgrodradts memorize their art and recite it to one another when they meet.
Some telgrodradts shout their doom-filled stanzas at their victims while in combat hoping to intimidate their prey.
Telgrodradts have learned that necromancers find the aberrations‘ peculiar nature intriguing. When telgrodradts find themselves in the company of creatures of that discipline, they spin stories and obfuscate their natural abilities, secretly enjoying the act of exploiting their companions’ ignorance, all the while looking down on the pitiful humanoids who must study or pray to gods to master the power of undeath.
Their taste for flesh and their effortless command of zombies drive away many other races, however. Ghouls in particular fear telgrodradts—who stalk the undead in their tunnels as delectable treats when the flavor of zombie flesh grows too monotonous—and attempt to drive off the aberrations whenever they encounter them.
Few, if any, scholarly texts make mention of these creatures.
Both the telgrodradt and the dark folk lived in a series of caverns. It is unclear whether the attack was the agenda of the dark folk or this strange aberration, but zombies ran rampant by the time a group of adventurers happened upon the village.
They delved into the darkened, twisting tunnels to stop the threat, but only one member of that exploratory party ever emerged. Wracked with a strange illness, she only lived long enough to report her description of the telgrodradt to the few remaining villagers, and rose a day after her passing as a ravenous undead.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #100: A Song of Silver © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: James Jacobs, with Adam Daigle, Crystal Frasier, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Nicolas Logue, Stephanie Lorée, Rob McCreary, Erik Mona, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, and Greg A. Vaughan.