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Spawning Canker

Pale and bloodless, a brutally decapitated corpse lurches forth. Where a head should be instead lashes a forest of horrific, unnatural tentacles, whipping as though trying to simultaneously burrow deeper into and escape from its fleshy husk.

Spawning Canker CR 9

XP 6,400
CE Medium aberration
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15

DEFENSE

AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 16 (+6 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural)
hp 115 (10d8+70)
Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +9
Immune mind-affecting effects

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.
Melee 2 slams +15 (1d6+8), tentacle +10 (1d8+4 plus grab)
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+4), feeding

STATISTICS

Str 26, Dex 23, Con 24, Int 7, Wis 14, Cha 17
Base Atk +7; CMB +15; CMD 32
Feats Dodge, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Power Attack
Skills Perception +15, Stealth +19
Languages Aklo

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Feeding (Ex)

Whenever a spawning canker deals damage to a sentient living creature with its constrict attack, it also deals 1d3 points of Charisma damage as it feeds off the victim’s vital essence. If a spawning canker drains 10 points of Charisma in 1 hour, the canker immediately spawns (see below).

Spawn (Ex)

When a spawning canker has drained enough life force, it bursts apart into 2d4+2 slugspawn. These worm-like terrors crawl into nearby shadows and lurk in wait for any potential hosts to come nearby. The spawning canker is destroyed when this occurs. There is a 1% chance that instead of turning into slugspawn, a spawning canker transforms into a dark young of Shub-Niggurath.

ECOLOGY

Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

A spawning canker is a terrible dual creature, an unnatural parasite and the decapitated humanoid body its tentacles writhe from like a knot of lashing, aberrant heads. Few ever see a spawning canker without its humanoid armor, but within the chest cavity of these hollowed-out hosts squirms a heartlike body contorting with a misassembled mass of fetal features and trailing a thicket of spiny tendrils. These tendrils lash from the stump of the host body’s exploded head, but also riddle the body, taking control of muscles and organs like the strings of some abominable puppet master. The body of a former host is pumped full of strange excretions and reinforced with the tendrils riddling its form, giving what appears to be a crippled frame an unnatural strength and speed. Those tentacles that extend forth serve as both the thing’s sensory organs and its feeding tubes, through which a canker drains the essence of other thinking creatures. Once it has gorged itself, a spawning canker erupts in a burst of obscene generation, its body withering with terrible speed, splitting both its own and its stolen essence into tentacles. These limbs split and tear from the remains of the canker’s body as writhing, dumb slugspawn, parasitic terrors with no desire but to infest other living creatures and, through their deaths, spread ever more of their terrible kind. A typical spawning canker stands as tall as the humanoid body it infests, plus 2 to 3 feet of added height from its dozen or so wild tendrils.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #46: Wake of the Watcher. © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Greg A. Vaughan.