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Tavi (Mongoose Folk)

This mongoose-like creature is about the size of a halfling. It is covered in grayish-brown fur, with a pointed snout, rounded ears, and a long tail. Its black eyes gleam with intelligence, and its front paws are equally good for running and for handling objects. Despite its short legs, it looks like it can move very quickly when it has to.

Tavi (Mongoose Folk) CR 1

XP 400
N Small magical beast
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, serpent sense; Perception +5

DEFENSE

AC 17, touch 16, flat-footed 12 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 11 (2d10)
Fort +3 (+7 vs. reptilian poisons), Ref +9, Will +1 (+3 vs. reptilian)

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d4)
Ranged sling stone +5 (1)
Special Attacks attach

TACTICS

Tavi are not very strong, but they are incredibly fast. When a threat appears, a tavi will be at the throat of the enemy before he has time to blink. Tavi are aggressive hunters, but they are clever and make strong use of pack tactics. They have an excellent instinctive ability to coordinate attacks. Against powerful foes, tavi will attempt to flank, feint, and use aid another to ensure that the pack is able to bring down the foe. When fighting groups, tavi tend to single out one foe at a time, but they may suddenly switch targets at any moment using speed to keep their enemies off-guard.

Tavi rarely use any sorts of weapons or armor. Tavi who acquire character class levels are remarkable individuals, and will generally become one of the alphas of the group. These prodigies usually acquire rogue, barbarian, or ranger levels. To date, no tavi has ever displayed an aptitude for arcane or divine magic.

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 8
Base Atk +2; CMB +1 (+9 grapple); CMD 15
Feats Combat Reflexes, DodgeB, Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, Weapon FinesseB
Skills Acrobatics +12, Bluff +3 (+7 feint), Climb +12, Diplomacy -1 (-6 vs. serpents), Escape Artist +12, Perception +5, Stealth +8, Survival +1; Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +4 Bluff (to checks made to feint in combat), +8 Climb, -5 Diplomacy (vs. serpents), +8 Escape Artist, +4 Stealth.
Languages Tavi
SQ group hunter, ophidian malice
Gear sling, 20 sling stones

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Attach (Ex)

When a tavi hits with a bite attack, it automatically grapples its foe, inflicting automatic bite damage (1d4) each round.

Group Hunter (Ex)

Tavi work together incredibly well when hunting. Communicating silently using subtle body language, they are extremely effective at tracking and uncovering their prey. A tavi gains a +1 circumstance bonus to Perception and Survival checks for each other tavi within 30 ft. of itself (maximum +5).

Ophidian Malice (Ex)

Tavi have been mystically bred to hunt and destroy serpents and serpent people. These deep-rooted instincts provide a tavi with the following advantages and disadvantages whenever they are dealing with creatures with the reptilian subtype:

  • +2 racial bonus to Perception and Survival checks, attack and damage rolls, and Will saves vs. effects generated by such creatures
  • +4 racial bonus to saving throws against the natural poisons of such creatures, and to Bluff checks made to feint in combat; -5 penalty to any other Bluff check against such creatures
  • -5 racial penalty on Diplomacy checks against such creatures

Serpent Sense (Su)

Serpent people are renowned for their shapeshifting powers, and the wizards who bred the tavi gave their hunters a mystical sense to compensate for this. A tavi automatically attempts a DC 10 Perception check whenever it comes within 30 ft. of any creature with the reptilian subtype (even if the creature is using a physical or magical disguise including invisibility).

  • If the check fails, the tavi detects nothing out of the ordinary.
  • If the check is successful, the tavi detects the presence of a serpent within 30 ft. but is unable to pinpoint its location.
  • If the result of the Perception check is greater than 15, the tavi immediately detects the creature and pinpoints its location.

Any creature the tavi cannot see (does not have line of sight to) still has total concealment against the tavi and the tavi suffers normal miss chances when attacking such foes.

Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local or arcana) may know more about tavi.

When a character makes a successful check, the following information is known, including the information gained from lower DCs.

Knowledge (local or arcana)

DC Result
11 This creature is a magical beast known as a tavi. It is a bipedal creature similar to a mongoose or ferret. If it bites an opponent it has a tendency to hold on firmly and is then very difficult to remove.
16 While tavi are Small creatures they move about as fast as humans and elves, though they have exceptional reflexes. They tend to travel in packs and work very well with others of their kind. They have an intense hatred for serpents of all forms.
21 Tavi produce a pungent musk from a gland beneath their tail which many serpents fear.
26 The musk can be extracted from a dead tavi with a successful DC 21 Survival check. On average, one or two uses can be extracted in this way.

ECOLOGY

Environment urban, warm plains and forests
Organization solitary, mated pair, or pack (4-12)
Treasure standard

Tavi are the result of a magical experiment to create a larger, more intelligent mongoose for dealing with larger snakes and snake-like races like the serpent folk. They can stand upright and use their front paws to manipulate objects, but drop onto all fours for running.

Tavi (singular and plural) have been introduced to various parts of the world where snakes and serpent races are a common problem. While many remain in captivity, over the years several have escaped and set up flourishing groups known as packs. They live in family groups of 4-12, led by a breeding alpha pair and with lesser members (usually the adult offspring of the alphas) helping to gather food, keep watch, and look after the young. Some groups dig burrows connected to a city’s sewer system, hunting there for serpents.

The tavi language is very primitive, with differently-pitched squeaks and whistles denoting basic concepts such as snake, big, small, danger, food, and so on. Individuals that have been raised in captivity can understand some words in Common or other tongues, as well as a limited vocabulary of other words.

Most serpentine creatures can instinctively sense the malice of the tavi; as a result, the attitude of a serpentine creature towards a tavi is typically reduced by one category.

Tavi Musk

The secretions of tavi musk glands produce an instinctive fear reaction in snakes or creatures with the reptilian subtype. If an ounce of tavi musk is used as an additional material component with any fear spell, the save DC is increased by 3 against any sort of serpent or snake. In addition, if an ounce of tavi musk is applied to a slashing or piercing weapon, any serpent hit by the weapon must make a successful Will save (DC 13) or suffer the effects of fear for 6 rounds. Each application is good for 1d3 hits.

Section 15: Copyright Notice – Creatures of Freeport
Creatures of Freeport, Copyright 2004, Green Ronin Publishing; Authors Keith Baker and Graeme Davis.