This tiny, skittering creature looks like an insect made of fish bones, with a head full of glowing red eyes.
Ostovite CR 1
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d2 plus 1d6 acid)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks bone chariot
An ostovite presented with a corpse that in life had 2 Hit Dice or fewer (not counting Hit Dice from class levels) and that contains a skeletal structure can spend 1 hour extracting the bones and then softening and reweaving them around itself, creating a deformed and skeletal version of the original creature. This “bone chariot” functions as if the corpse had reanimated and gained the skeleton template, but gains the construct type instead of the undead type and has no will of its own—it moves and attacks at the direction of the ostovite, which rides in its center.
An ostovite cannot use its own attacks while ensconced in its bone chariot, and damage done to a bone chariot does not harm the ostovite until the bone chariot has been reduced to 0 hit points, at which point the skeleton crumbles and the ostovite can attack and be attacked as normal.
Multiple ostovites can combine their abilities to animate the skeletons of larger creatures, so long as they all ride within the same bone chariot—each additional ostovite increases the maximum Hit Dice of the corpse that can be animated by this ability by 2.
Environment any (Abyss)
Organization solitary, pair, or nest (3–6)
Tiny Abyssal scavengers, ostovites skitter across demonic battlefields, amid charnel pits, and through that plane’s festering sewers looking for corpses on which to feed. When they find these morsels, they use their acidic saliva to digest the flesh, taking what they need for sustenance. Yet what ostovites truly desire is not food, but self-improvement.
Though only barely intelligent, ostovites have a deepseated jealousy of larger races, as well as an instinctive shame regarding their own forms, which resemble silverfish made out of thin, compressed bones. When an ostovite locates the corpse of a larger creature— particularly that of a humanoid or other intelligent being—it doesn’t stop at feeding. Instead, as soon as it has sated its hunger, it begins using its acid to soften the creature’s bones, drawing them out and reconstructing them into a twisted parody of their original configuration, with the ostovite resting in a nest-like structure in the sculpture’s center. Once it’s finished, the ostovite magically animates its creation, controlling it like a puppet and at last experiencing the thrill of being larger and—to the ostovite’s mind—more important. These ghastly creations are generally more disturbing than normal undead, as ostovites’ understanding of biomechanics is often crude, potentially resulting in humanoid skeletons that move around on all fours or drag themselves along like landbound octopuses. Like hermit crabs changing shells, ostovites regularly replace their chariots in order to increase their social status and impress potential mates.
Though they often squabble over smaller skeletons, when a particularly prime corpse is located, an entire nest of ostovites may band together to create a single bone chariot of epic proportions.
Adult ostovites are 2 feet long and weigh 3 pounds. Natural cowards except when enshrined in their chariots—at which point most believe themselves invincible— ostovites have a species-wide hatred of the more powerful vermlek demons, with whom they often compete for quality corpses.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 5 © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, John Bennett, Logan Bonner, Creighton Broadhurst, Robert Brookes, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Thurston Hillman, Eric Hindley, Joe Homes, James Jacobs, Amanda Hamon Kunz, Ben McFarland, Jason Nelson, Thom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Alistair Rigg, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Wes Schneider, David Schwartz, Mark Seifter, Mike Shel, James L. Sutter, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.