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.
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
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.
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 11, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 8
When a tavi hits with a bite attack, it automatically grapples its foe, inflicting automatic bite damage (1d4) each round.
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).
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:
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).
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.
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.
Environment urban, warm plains and forests
Organization solitary, mated pair, or pack (4-12)
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.
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.