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Ursikka

This insectlike creature is covered in downy white fur. A pair of eyes gleams above a three-part mouth that drips viscous fluid.

Ursikka CR 10

XP 9,600
N Huge magical beast
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +15

DEFENSE

AC 24, touch 8, flat-footed 24 (+16 natural, –2 size)
hp 138 (12d10+72)
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +5; +4 vs. mind-affecting effects
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Resist cold 20

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft.
Melee bite +21 (2d6+11 plus freezing saliva), 2 claws +21 (1d8+11)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks coat claws, spit

STATISTICS

Str 32, Dex 11, Con 22, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 5
Base Atk +12; CMB +25 (+27 bull rush); CMD 35 (37 vs. bull rush, 39 vs. trip)
Feats Awesome Blow, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Snatch
Skills Climb +15, Perception +15
SQ hibernation

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Coat Claws (Ex)

As a standard action, an ursikka can coat its pincerlike claws with freezing, viscous saliva. This coating lasts for 1 minute. Any creature hit by an ursikka’s coated claws or grappled by an ursikka using the Snatch feat takes an additional 2d6 points of cold damage (Reflex DC 22 half).

Freezing Saliva (Ex)

The saliva that drips from an ursikka’s mouth is sticky as well as cold, causing creatures to become entangled for 1d4 rounds (Reflex DC 22 negates). While entangled, creatures take 2d6 points of cold damage each round. An entangled creature can break free before the end of this duration by succeeding at a DC 19 Strength check or by dealing 15 points of damage to the encasing saliva with either a slashing weapon or fire damage. Using fire to remove the saliva damages the entangled creature as well. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Hibernation (Ex)

An ursikka can enter a prolonged state of hibernation by surrounding itself with its spittle, which hardens into a cocoon.

While hibernating, an ursikka doesn’t need to drink or eat. The cocoon has hardness 10 and 60 hit points, and is immune to fire damage. As long as the cocoon remains intact, the ursikka remains unharmed in its hibernation. An ursikka must use its attacks to break free from its cocoon.

Spit (Ex)

As a standard action, an ursikka can spit a 60-foot line of its saliva. Creatures in the area take 8d6 points of cold damage and become entangled. A successful DC 22 Reflex save halves the damage and negates the entangled condition. The save DC is Constitution-based.

ECOLOGY

Environment any cold land
Organization solitary, pair, or hive (3–10)
Treasure none

Ursikkas’ white, shaggy fur covers the majority of their bodies, and their three-part maws can open wide enough to swallow a human whole. The freezing, sticky fluid that drips from their gnashing jaws aids this activity even further.

Ecology

During summers, ursikkas live inside cocoons constructed from their own saliva. In the weeks before the change of seasons, ursikkas choose an inconspicuous locale—such as inside cave complexes or even holes of their own construction—in which to spend the long summer.

The creatures then tirelessly weave their spittle around their bodies until they’re fully covered. In 24 hours, the chemicals in the spittle harden it into an impenetrable sheath that protects ursikkas from brutal summer heat. Shortly after their spittle-cocoons harden, the beasts go dormant and do not awake until the temperature returns to a more tolerable level.

Although ursikkas are known for aggressiveness during the entirety of winter, they are at their most volatile right before and right after dormancy. An ursikka that is interrupted while weaving its cocoon immediately attempts to kill the intruders. An ursikka whose cocoon is broken during the summer emerges similarly enraged; ursikkas that defeat the creatures responsible for waking them attempt to reconstruct their cocoons, but as spittle production ceases during hibernation, those efforts often fail. Some natives actively seek out the cocoons of slumbering ursikkas, knowing they can defeat the exposed beasts relatively easily.

Habitat & Society

With their ruthless predatory skills and voracious appetites, ursikkas typically live solitary existences. However, in places where prey is abundant, ursikkas sometimes live in pairs or, rarely, in small hives of three to 10. In such cases, ursikkas still hunt alone. Scholars note that the creatures don’t hesitate to kill each other should one steal another’s meal.

In accordance with their long life cycles, ursikkas mate infrequently.

Once or twice each winter, the larger females of the species typically seek out mates as determinedly as they hunt prey. Afterward, each female lays one enormous, fertilized egg made of a secretion similar to the creatures’ hardened saliva. After a 5-year gestation period, the egg hatches. If ursikka parents are even aware of their offspring, though, their behavior does not indicate it.

According to scholars, young ursikkas grow to maturity in fewer than 10 years. One disturbing speculation indicates that adult ursikkas sometimes enjoy the flesh of their younger counterparts—and may actually hunt juvenile members of their own species if prey becomes scarce. Whether this behavior is simply a way for adult ursikkas to survive or a warped way for them to retain their territorial dominance is unknown.

Although they are very long-lived, ursikkas rarely live through more than two winters. In the planet’s most isolated territories, where few predators or stalwart hunters threaten them, ursikkas typically die of old age during their dormant period; ursikka carcasses swathed in shimmering, deteriorating cocoons are not uncommon in these frontiers. In more populated areas, ursikkas’ lifespans are shorter, especially given the hardy, cold-forged winter cultures that hunt the creatures for protection, thrills, and sometimes meat. Indeed, the warriors of the most populous nations consider a slain ursikkas’ claws, mandibles, and bulbous eyes the ultimate hunting trophies. Some even make furred armor from ursikkas’ durable exoskeletons.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

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.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #70: The Frozen Stars © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Matthew Goodall.