A long, spiny fin runs down the length of the dolphinlike body of this eel-headed predator.
Lukwata CR 11
Speed swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +22 (4d10+15/19-20 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks capsize (DC 25), digest magic, dispelling bite
Str 30, Dex 19, Con 20, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 11
Base Atk +14; CMB +26 (+30 grapple); CMD 40
Feats Awesome Blow, Bleeding Critical, Critical Focus, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (bite), Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Perception +9, Stealth +0, Swim +30
When a lukwata scores a critical hit with its bite, the victim is affected as if targeted by a greater dispel magic spell. The caster level for this effect is equal to the lukwata’s Hit Dice (CL 14th for most lukwatas).
Crystalline growths along the lukwata’s digestive tract contain large deposits of magical energy. These nodes are responsible for the magical feedback that surrounds each lukwata, granting it its spell resistance, damage reduction, dispelling bite, and digest magic abilities. Dispel magic cast on a lukwata can negate these powers for 1 minute—the CL of the effect is treated as the lukwata’s Hit Dice (CL 11th for most lukwatas).
Environment warm rivers, lakes, and swamps
Organization solitary, pair, or school (3-8)
Lukwatas slip through dark tropical waters, preying upon all who dare enter their deep jungle rivers and pools, including beasts typically considered apex predators. While scholars say the beasts favor the dark, light doesn’t deter them in their relentless pursuit of prey. Their long, flat bodies are reminiscent of those of dolphins or large fish, but lukwatas’ heads are distinctively eel-like. A lukwata’s unusual ability to disrupt magical effects rises from the strange crystalline growths that line its throat and stomach—crystals that allow the lukwata to gain nutrients from magical items as efficiently as from flesh and blood. These same growths give the lukwata an unusually strong resistance to all manner of magic attacks.
Lukwatas hate crocodiles, their chief predatory rivals, and attack them on sight, even if the lukwata has recently fed. Most crocodilians are not large enough to pose a significant threat; however, some accounts exist of lukwatas and dire crocodiles crossing paths. These fights are renowned for inflicting great destruction, with the embattled creatures smashing to bits piers, flotillas, and even dams in their fury.
A lukwata is 20 feet long and weighs 4,000 pounds.
Long regarded as creatures out of legend, lukwatas slip through the dark waters preying upon all who dare enter their deep jungle rivers and pools, including beasts typically considered apex predators. Lukwatas are enormous, insatiably carnivorous creatures that hunt the oldest rivers and lakes of the most eldritch jungles. Some say they favor the dark, owing to their genesis amid vast seas, but even if this is true, light doesn’t deter them in their relentless pursuit of prey. Their long flat bodies are reminiscent of those of dolphins or large fish, but their heads are distinctively eel-like, and their prominent teeth quickly identify them as dangerous predators. A lukwata’s hide is thick and mottled, ranging from muddy brown to a tarnished copper color. Females are known to have dark blue spots along either side of the dorsal ridge, below the fin. Lukwatas grow to over 20 feet in length, and their dense bodies can weigh over 4,000 pounds.
Lukwatas prowl the rivers and lakes of jungles and tropical swamps. They primarily feed on fish and waterbirds, but lukwatas’ low, flat bodies allow them to prey on land dwelling creatures that approach the water’s edge to drink or cross to the opposite shore. When making such attacks, a lukwata uses its over-sized jaws to grab its victim and then fling it into the water, making it easier prey. Capable of snapping ship timbers and cutting through the muscle, sinew, and bone of giraffes and even hippos in a single bite, lukwatas’ jaws can grapple or toss creatures of almost unthinkable size into the water to be eaten. Because of their size and strength, lukwatas are also particularly dangerous to vessels and can capsize them with unsettling ease. Fortunately, they do not often mistake watercraft for prey, but swimming creatures and violent motion on the water (such as fast paddling or combat) can easily draw their attention.
Lukwatas hate crocodiles, their chief predatory rivals, and attack them on sight, even if the lukwata has recently fed. Most crocodilians are not large enough to pose a significant threat; however, some accounts do exist of lukwatas and dire crocodiles crossing paths. These fights are renowned for their destructiveness, with the embattled creatures destroying piers, flotillas, and even dams in their fury.
An unknown substance in the lukwata’s bloodstream attracts magical energy from the surrounding area. This energy mixes with the silt and sand passing normally through the creature’s system to create small, crystalline nodes along the lukwata’s digestive track. Functioning as gallstone-like encrustations aiding in the digestion of food, these nodules also infuse a lukwata’s body with an aura that disrupts magic brought into contact with the creature. As a result, spells often bounce harmlessly off the monster’s hide, and victims of the lukwata’s bite can have even the most potent magical wards dispelled.
Lukwatas form mated pairs annually and for a brief period only. During the mating season, females produce large quantities of eggs along river bottoms and lakebeds. The males follow afterward and fertilize the eggs, which then float to the surface and hatch. The survival rate for these eggs is extremely low, as they are considered a delicacy by local fishermen and are a source of food for other predators. A female lukwata produces over 1 million eggs in a lifetime in an effort to combat this harsh reality.
The lukwata is said to inhabit Lake Victoria and other large Ugandan lakes. Accounts of the creature differ, with some witnesses claiming that it can grow to a length of 100 feet or more. Although some accounts describe the creature as having a long, plesiosaurus-like neck, most locals describe it as a dolphin-like creature with a square head and jaw. Locals also believe that battles between the lukwata and crocodiles, said to be natural enemies, cause the lukwata to lose fragments of bone. If recovered, these shards are believed to have magic powers. Although a handful of sightings have been reported, Lake Victoria’s relatively young geological age rules out the likelihood that the lukwata is a prehistoric creature that has survived to the present day. Some locals of Lake Victoria and scientists have theorized that the lukwata is an extremely large variety of catfish or eel, noting that the extreme depth and abundance of food in the large lakes of East Africa could easily support such creatures.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #41: The Thousand Fangs Below. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Graeme Davis and Rob McCreary.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3, © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.