This human-sized woman is dressed in simple peasant clothing. From her shoulders sprouts a grotesquely long neck that coils about like a snake, and razor-sharp teeth fill her gaping maw.
Speed 30 ft.
6th (3)—permanent image (DC 21)
Str 18, Dex 23, Con 22, Int 15, Wis 12, Cha 21
A rokurokubi can stretch her neck from a normal human length up to 20 feet, giving her reach with her bite attack and threatening all squares within that range.
A rokurokubi can create an aura of darkness and silence (CL 12th) with a radius of 15 feet. The rokurokubi is immune to the effects of her aura, and can activate or suppress this ability as a free action. These aura effects can be dispelled as if they were spells.
A rokurokubi does not need to sleep and is immune to all sleep effects.
A rokurokubi casts spells as a 12th-level sorcerer.
Environment any ruins
Organization solitary, pair, or harem (3–6)
Rokurokubis are evil, sorcerous humanoids with malevolent origins and even viler intentions. Always taking the form of women, rokurokubis seek to spread as much mayhem and despair as possible, using their wicked magic to ruin lives, tear families apart, and at worst, maim and murder innocents. Such monsters make their homes within civilized societies and disguise themselves as simple commoners, but they take the form of monstrous hags with serpentine throats during the night (and even in the shadow of daylight should the mood strike them), and delight in the taste and feeling of warm blood running down their gullets.
At first glance, a rokurokubi looks much like any ordinary human woman. Upon closer inspection, however, her frail appearance and sickly hued skin begin to hint at the being’s true nature. When a rokurokubi reveals her monstrous ability to stretch her neck to inhuman lengths or begins to weave her arcane sorcery, there can be no doubt as to her sheer otherworldliness. When she wills it, a rokurokubi may snake her long, rubbery neck up to 20 feet from her body. Down the length of this otherwise smooth, fleshy appendage, evenly spaced vertebrae show as sickening knobbles, lending further grotesqueness to the creature’s already disturbing appearance.
While most prefer to utilize their dark magic to devastate enemies from the shadows, rokurokubis are far from helpless when forced to face foes head-on, and can be exceptionally canny combatants if cornered, using their long necks to deliver devastating bites to shortlimbed foes at a distance. The aura of darkness and silence that surrounds a rokurokubi makes combating the fiend difficult for creatures that rely on melee attacks to damage or disable their foes but lack the ability to see in the dark.
When her neck is not distended from her body, a rokurokubi is 5-1/2 feet tall and weighs 150 pounds.
Rokurokubis’ wan skin ranges in hue from pale blue to muted green, and thus most cover up their flesh with makeup or wear concealing robes and gowns to disguise their identities. Their gnarly hands and fingers are perhaps the most difficult traits to hide, and thus many rokurokubis take to wearing loose-fitting gloves or clothes with oversized sleeves to mask their hands while in public.
They use their bites in combat to gruesome effect, and their jagged teeth are like the creatures’ necks in that they can be shortened and lengthened at will.
Rokurokubis are born and raised by their mothers.
In order to reproduce, a rokurokubi must seek an unsuspecting humanoid male as her partner, though she may also occasionally copulate with more monstrous creatures—race matters not to a rokurokubi, whose savage and rapacious nature knows no bounds. Regardless of her partner’s race, the offspring of a rokurokubi is always a rokurokubi, and rarely do such monstrous children bear any resemblance to the father, instead acquiring almost all their features from the mother who bore them, though they undoubtedly carry a spark of the father’s nature within them as well, usually manifesting as odd quirks or obsessions with particular hobbies or activities. A rokurokubi’s sire rarely has the chance to see his child come into being anyway, however, as the man is usually slain immediately after he has fulfilled his purpose and his vile partner has tired of his presence.
A rokurokubi’s bizarre anatomy allows her to carry a child without her belly broadening noticeably, and she can even host multiple children of different fathers simultaneously, though with a third or fourth simultaneous pregnancy she does begin to show signs of fatigue as well as a widening girth, her already fragile body pushed to its absolute limits.
Unlike most other monstrous humanoids, rokurokubis have no need for sleep, and are thus immune to magical effects that would cause them to do such. Nonetheless, they understand that other creatures require such rest and utilize this weakness, shaping their magic to render victims unconscious, at which point they cause their targets further harm in the form of relentless nightmares.
As most other creatures sleep at night, rokurokubis prey upon unsuspecting victims during this time more than any other.
Rokurokubis tend to make their homes in dark, dank, secret places, far from settlements and the activities of what they deem to be lesser races. Caves, longforgotten burial mounds, and deserted or crumbling homesteads are all likely hideouts for these dangerous creatures. Solitary creatures by nature, rokurokubis leave their mothers shortly after they are old enough to survive on their own. When they do congregate, they usually do so only to execute complex, sinister plans that would be impossible to enact by themselves.
Rokurokubis’ affinity with the night and their unusual physiology make them natural rogues and hunters, apt as they are at peering around corners and through windows as well as trapping victims in clouds of inky blackness and silence. While some rokurokubis seek no allegiances and only wish to kill for the sheer sport of it, others see the advantages in forming tentative alliances and making themselves available as assassins and spies, and thus sell their services to those foolish or desperate enough to seek them out. The cost of such a monstrous mercenary is usually exorbitant; rokurokubis have been known to strike deals with those customers who can’t afford to pay them but who still entice them with a particularly interesting or challenging job. Such bargains are usually for something even more valuable to the asker than money, often something tangible such as a first-born son or daughter (to later be stripped of flesh and eaten), ashes of a loved one, or even one or more of the hirer’s limbs. Those who refuse such offers are met with either amused indifference or unforgiving hatred, the latter almost inevitably resulting in the offender’s immediate death.
Statistics from Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 4 © 2013, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Savannah Broadway, Ross Byers, Adam Daigle, Tim Hitchcock, Tracy Hurley, James Jacobs, Matt James, Rob McCreary, Jason Nelson, Tom Phillips, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Sean K Reynolds, F. Wesley Schneider, Tork Shaw, and Russ Taylor.
Ecology from Pathfinder Adventure Path #54: The Empty Throne © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Neil Spicer.