This small, gaunt humanoid has flesh tight around its oversized skull. Sharp spurs of bone protrude from its hands and arms.
Jitterbone Mortic CR 4
AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+2 armor, +4 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 39 (6d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +4; +4 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities death gasp, negative energy affinity; DR 5/piercing or slashing
Weaknesses vulnerable to consecration
Str 14, Dex 19, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 13
Base Atk +4; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Improved Initiative, Step Up, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +7, Escape Artist +15, Perception +11, Stealth +17; Racial Modifiers +8 Escape Artist
Languages Common, Halfling
SQ loose bones, unliving nature
Bone Spikes (Su)
A jitterbone can elongate or retract its bones through the skin of its arms and hands as a standard action. Doing so doesn’t harm the jitterbone. Elongated bones are treated as masterwork armor spikes that deal damage as a weapon two size categories larger than the jitterbone. The jitterbone is considered proficient with these bone spikes and can make a bone spike attack with each hand.
Loose Bones (Ex)
A jitterbone can wriggle its own loose skeleton into a tight, sinuous frame as a full-round action. It loses its damage reduction but gains the compression universal monster ability, allowing it to squeeze through smaller spaces. It can reverse this change as a swift action.
Skeleton Scraper (Ex)
A jitterbone’s spikes can scar a target’s skeleton. A creature damaged by a jitterbone’s bone spike attack must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or take 1 point of Strength or Dexterity damage (the jitterbone’s choice). On a critical hit, this damage is instead 1d4 points of Strength or Dexterity damage. This ability damage has no effect against a creature without a skeleton. Bone scars from this ability cannot cause more than 4 points of ability damage in total to a single creature. The save DC is Strength-based.
Jitterbone mortics are halfling-like creatures with abnormally loose skeletons. With sufficient exertion of muscle control, jitterbones can control their skeletal structure, allowing them to shrug off crushing blows and slip through narrow spaces. They enjoy the taste of marrow— humanoid marrow in particular— and are adept at cracking and pulling their victim’s bones.
Jitterbones can be identified by their abnormally large heads. Their distinctive appearance and unusual appetites make jitterbones unwelcome in most halfling communities, so they form societies of their own in remote fields or forests. Among these communities of jitterbones, the most respected members are those that can contort themselves into the smallest or most awkward shapes; competitions to display this prowess and move up or down in the community’s hierarchy are common. A traveler coming across one of these “bone churning contests” is likely to be plagued for years to come by the gruesome images of halflings twisting themselves into knots or shoving themselves through small pipes.
Jitterbones in human communities live as many halflings do: they carefully keep themselves out of the public eye but try to make themselves valuable to larger races.
Unlike halflings, jitterbones don’t have a particularly strong work ethic, and they therefore tend to fall into roles that require little effort, such as vagrants or ragpickers.
A typical jitterbone is 3 feet tall and weighs 35 pounds.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #139: The Dead Roads © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Ron Lundeen, with Crystal Frasier, Kyle T. Raes, Matt Morris, Mikhail Rekun, and Mike Welham.