The pallid flesh of this ferocious, orc-like creature is covered in scars and burns. Its muscles are thick and corded, and its hatefilled eyes seem to reflect death wherever they stare.
Lifeleecher Mortic CR 8
AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 20 (+6 armor, +2 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 90 (12d8+36)
Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +6; +4 vs. mind–affecting effects
Defensive Abilities death gasp, mortic ferocity, negative energy affinity
Weaknesses light sensitivity, vulnerable to consecration, vulnerable to resurrection
Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +14 (1d6+5), 2 claws +14 (1d8+5) or mwk falchion +16/+11 (2d4+5/18–20)
Ranged javelin +11/+6 (1d6+5)
Special Attacks leech life (1 level, DC 17)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +9)
Str 20, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 13
Base Atk +9; CMB +14; CMD 26
Feats Combat Reflexes, Grudge Fighter, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lunge, Weapon Focus (falchion)
Skills Intimidate +13, Perception +13, Stealth +11, Survival +9
Languages Common, Orc
SQ create spawn, unliving nature
Create Spawn (Su)
Wights spawned by a lifeleecher mortic have penalties like true wight spawn, and they are under the command of the mortic who created them for a period of 24 hours, after which they collapse to the ground, devoid of any animating power, and become mundane corpses. These spawn do not have any of the abilities they had in life.
Leech Life (Su)
Three times per day as an immediate action after a successful bite attack, a lifeleecher mortic can siphon a portion of its target’s life energy into itself. This functions as the energy drain universal monster rule.
If the mortic drains a level in this way, the mortic gains the benefits of a haste spell (CL 8th).
Mortic Ferocity (Su)
A lifeleecher mortic has ferocity, as the universal monster rule. However, when the lifeleecher mortic falls below 0 hit points, it does not lose any hit points per round and it is not staggered. A lifeleecher mortic still dies when it reaches a negative number of hit points equal to its Constitution score. Lifeleecher mortics fighting in this state are driven by instinct and default to attacking with their natural weapons, bolstered by their leech life and death knell abilities. Using manufactured weapons or using any other tactics or abilities requires the lifeleecher mortic to succeed at a DC 17 Will saving throw to suppress its instincts.
Resurrection Vulnerability (Su)
A raise dead or similar spell cast on a lifeleecher mortic staggers it for 1d4 rounds unless the mortic succeeds at a Will save against the caster’s saving throw DC for that spell. Using the spell in this way does not require a material component. When staggered due to such an effect, a lifeleecher mortic cannot use its leech life special ability and its mortic ferocity ability is suppressed. If the lifeleecher mortic is reduced to fewer than 0 hit points while affected by a raise dead effect, it immediately gains the staggered condition and loses 1 hit point per round.
Environment temperate hills, mountains, or underground
Organization solitary or gang (2–4)
Treasure standard (breastplate, javelins , mwk falchion, other treasure)
Much like some of their orc kin, lifeleecher mortics often cover themselves in ritual scarring, brands, and auspicious tattoos. However, a lifeleecher mortic’s skin is an ashen gray color, signaling their flirtation with death. Of all their markings, lifeleecher mortics most celebrate their death scar: the site of a mortal wound that would have felled creatures far more resilient than an orc, yet that failed to slay the lifeleecher mortic, instead unleashing their mortic heritage.
Lifeleecher mortics are roughly 6 feet tall and weigh about 230 pounds.
A lifeleecher mortic’s elongated nails resemble a raptor’s talons, with razor tusks jutting upward from their lower lip, ending just below their lifeless eyes. Lifeleecher mortics are not born with their mortic abilities; rather, these powers manifest upon a mortic’s initial brush with death. As the lifeleecher mortic receives what should be a fatal blow, their orc ferocity triggers something deep within that releases their mortic powers.
Upon receiving any killing blow, the lifeleecher’s mortic ferocity activates. The mortic enters a feral, furious state that drives them on, allowing them to continue fighting where other humanoids, even orcs, would fall. As they enters this trance, they forgo weapons and other tools, instead ravaging their opponents with natural attacks, especially their savage, life-leeching maw. The fact that lifeleechers consume their foes’ life energy with their maws leads many of them to gravitate toward cannibalism in general, and even those who do not partake of cannibalism tend to prefer their meat fresh and raw.
Habitat and Society
Lifeleecher mortics enjoy an almost celebrity status in orc settlements, both feared and revered for their strange ability to shrug off death blows. In a society where might makes right, death-defying lifeleecher mortics quickly climb their tribal hierarchies as their ability to defeat their orc cousins proves their strength and worthiness to rule. In other cases, powerful mortics find themselves quickly sold off to large gladiatorial stables in Belkzen and the Lands of the Linnorm Kings or the savage, tusk-lined fighting pits within the Realm of the Mammoth Lords. Many managers enjoy having a lifeleecher mortic champion in these blood-soaked arenas, as the mortics’ prolonged fights and supernatural displays both wow and terrify crowds in a gruesome spectacle often talked about for several seasons after the bout itself.
Unfortunately, lifeleechers’ penchant for animating those they defeat into wights, even temporarily, stirs many orc superstitions regarding death and magic. Tribes whisper insults depicting the lifeleechers as undead creatures themselves or suggest that they are possessed by fiends. Of course, most orcs would never say such things to a lifeleecher mortic’s face; they are far more likely to grovel at the lifeleecher’s feet to garner favor from their much stronger kin.
Many soothsayers, shamans, oracles, and witches believe lifeleecher mortics hold the spirits of fallen orc heroes killed before they fulfilled their destiny, and it is this power that drives these nigh-indestructible warriors. When a lifeleecher mortic takes a mate, it prefers others of its kind; however, due to their orc heritage, these mortics can also breed with orcs and humans, and their often-high status gives them plenty of opportunity to do so. A mortic’s offspring, whether orc or half-orc, all have potential to manifest as lifeleecher mortics when their racial ferocity triggers. Unfortunately, tribes all too often attempt to hasten this phenomenon, risking the lives of young orcs to spark this heritage, and it is more likely for a young orc with a lifeleecher mortic parent to die than for the child’s mortic abilities to be unleashed.
Lifeleecher mortics who live apart from orc settlements fare far worse than their half-orc cousins in similar communities. Something about their mannerisms, especially their dead eyes, is off-putting to non-orcs. Add to that their proclivity for cannibalism, and lifeleecher mortics find they do not assimilate well outside of gladiatorial pens or spectacle sideshows, and the public quickly drives them out into the wild when they discover the lifeleecher mortic’s questionable heritage and unsavory diet. This suits most lifeleecher mortics just fine, as outside of orc lands they gravitate towards loner lifestyles as explorers, big-game hunters, and practitioners of guerrilla warfare.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #141: Last Watch © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Larry Wilhelm, with Alexander Augunas, Mike Headley, Isabelle Lee, Meagan Maricle, Patchen Mortimer, Kendra Leigh Speedling, and Greg A. Vaughan.