This bear-sized beast has a body like a squat simian, a dog’s face, and a long tail that ends in a clawed hand.
Ahuizotl CR 6
Str 20, Dex 17, Con 17, Int 9, Wis 14, Cha 16
Base Atk +8; CMB +14 (+18 grapple); CMD 27 (31 vs. trip)
Feats Blinding CriticalB, Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (claw)B, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth), Stand Still
Skills Bluff +9, Stealth +9, Swim +20; Racial Modifiers +6 Bluff
SQ amphibious, tenacious grapple, voice mimicry
An ahuizotl does not gain the grappled condition when it grapples a foe.
An ahuizotl can perfectly mimic the sound of humanoid sobbing and can even attempt to mimic voices it has heard. When mimicking a voice, an ahuizotl must make a Bluff check opposed by its listener’s Sense Motive check. If the listener has never heard the voice the ahuizotl is attempting to mimic, the listener takes a -8 penalty on the Sense Motive check.
Environment warm lakes, rivers, or swamps
A carnage-hungry denizen of swamps, the ahuizotl is a ferocious-looking predator, even before one takes into consideration its most distinctive feature—a long tail that ends in a clawed but all-too-humanoid hand. Whether from the entrance of its aquatic home (typically a sunken mass of trees or a flooded cavern) or the thick reeds and flora that grow at the water’s edge, an ahuizotl remains watchful for any intruder that might trespass into its territory. Upon sighting such prey, the beast uses its uncanny ability to mimic the sound of a humanoid in distress to lure victims near, so it can snatch them with its tail claw. Ahuizotls are particularly fond of feasting upon a victim’s eyes, and their tail claws are particularly adept at swiping away such organs for the beasts to feed upon. Teeth and fingernails are another of the creature’s favorite meals, and the appearance of mutilated bodies missing eyes, teeth, and nails along a river’s banks is sure evidence of an ahuizotl attack.
Despite its preference for cruelty, an ahuizotl might come to mutually advantageous arrangements with other pernicious denizens of the swamps. Will-o’-wisps and ahuizotls often find themselves in such cooperative relationships, with the will-o’-wisp coaxing creatures near the ahuizotl’s lair and then lingering to feed upon the victims’ fear as the ahuizotl drags them into the depths. Some wily humanoids who fall into an ahuizotl’s clutches—typically lizardfolk, boggards, or swamp-dwelling humans—have successfully managed to bargain away the lives of others in exchange for their own. Such arrangements always lead to a series of vicarious murders, as the aquatic predator’s proxy coaxes new victims into the swamp for its fearsome partner to dine upon.
Ahuizotls are exceptionally long-lived, and a single individual might live and feed in a particular area for several human generations. An ahuizotl is 9 feet long and weighs 1,200 pounds.
Carnage-hungry denizens of the swamp, at a glance ahuizotls look little different than overlarge otters or a variety of other water-dwelling mammals. Their hindquarters reveal them to be far stranger beasts, though, as each possesses a powerful tail ending in a fifth hand with deadly claws. From the depths of their aquatic homes, ahuizotls look skyward, watchful for any boat or intruder that might trespass into their territories. Upon sighting such prey, their tentacle-like tails burst from the murk, dragging their victims down to meet death amid their powerful jaws and the drowning mire. Yet for all their ferocity, ahuizotls are blasphemously wasteful, for all they desire from their meals are the crunch of dismembered teeth and nails and the cool slime of freshly extracted eyes. What remains they release forth to the waves, to other aquatic predators, and to their victims’ shocked mourners.
Ahuizotls measure roughly 8 feet long, with a powerful build causing their weights to average around 1,300 pounds.
An ahuizotl’s most distinctive feature is easily its tail. Measuring double the length of the creature’s body, this prehensile fifth appendage exhibits just as much strength, dexterity, and precision as any of the creature’s other limbs, with the added benefits of both extended range of motion and its own sharply clawed hand. The claw at the tail’s end is leaner and more nimble than an ahuizotl’s other simian hands, with long and bone-hard nails. This gives the creature the nimble adroitness it requires to gather its favorite and most revolting meal—humanoid eyes. In addition to its use as both a weapon and tool, this powerful limb also proves highly useful in locomotion, aiding ahuizotls in moving through the water at surprising speeds.
Aside from ahuizotls’ fearsome fifth limb, their voices also serve as exceptionally deadly weapons. Through practice and memories of past cruelties, ahuizotls exhibit a shocking capacity to mimic the sounds and voices of other creatures. While they find the sobs of the lost and imperiled the easiest to reproduce and the most useful in coaxing other creatures into aquatic ambushes, most also practice mimicry, granting them mastery over locally used languages and voices to impersonate and allowing them to create more subtle deceptions. To this end, an ahuizotl that manages to take a victim alive and that fears no threat of attack or of its prey’s escape might spend as much as an hour tormenting and mocking its captive. As it does so, it listens intently, usually shooting its victim’s words back in mockery until it feels it has adequately impersonated its victim’s speech. The end usually comes swiftly for those an ahuizotl feels it has nothing more to gain from. This method of trickery proves most dangerous for swamp-dwelling humanoids, as an ahuizotl might swim along below boats or beneath stilt homes and spend hours listening and practicing, eventually mastering enough voices to launch a campaign of deception and murder.
Ahuizotls prove exceptionally long-lived, with a single individual living and feeding in an area for several human generations. Generally solitary creatures, they have few opportunities to encounter others of their kind or breed, contributing to the creatures’ rarity in most regions.
Habitat & Society
Ahuizotls can move about on both land and in the water, yet they far prefer the freedom and safety of murky rivers and pools to crawling upon the earth. Leaving the depths only to when shifting to other waterways, when pursuing prey, or when something else on land captures its interest, an ahuizotl spend most of its life lurking just below the surface, watchful for any prey that ventures close enough to grab with its tail and drag down to a drowning death. While capable of surviving in seawater, few ahuizotls have ever been found along the coast; they seem to possess a kind of race-wide aquatic agoraphobia, shunning oceans and seas for more confined and predictable waterways. Occasionally ahuizotls might be found along the coasts of great freshwater lakes, but even then most keep to shallow bays or bayous.
Although ahuizotls might range through the waterways of a territory several miles in diameter, most have a favored pool, pond, or bog. Not only does the creature spend much of the day resting in a shelter—either natural or constructed—at the bottom of this body of water, but the area often takes on significance among cultures dwelling in the area as a place of ill omen or the home of a deadly drowning spirit. Aside from the stories that both draw and deter investigators to such sites, over time, the remains of dozens of victims accumulate amid the rock and mud of the pool’s floor. Depending on the age and deadliness of an ahuizotl, its home might become a waterlogged charnel treasure trove, scattered not only with heaps of bones, but also with the wealth and equipment of all who have fallen prey to the beast.
On rare occasions, ahuizotls might come to mutually advantageous arrangements with other pernicious denizens of the swamps. Will-o’-wisps and ahuizotls often find themselves in such cooperative relationships, with the will-o’-wisp coaxing creatures near the ahuizotl’s lair and then lingering to feed upon the victim’s fear as the ahuizotl drags it into the depths. Some wily humanoids who fall into an ahuizotl’s clutches—typically lizardfolk, goblins, or swamp-dwelling humans—have successfully managed to bargain away the lives of others in exchange for their own. Such might lead to a series of vicarious murders, as the aquatic predator’s proxy coaxes new victims into the swamp for its fearsome partner to dine upon.