This creature has a split-jawed mouth, a hood-like growth on its head, and two hideously elongated fingers on each hand.
Caulborn CR 7
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +13 (2d6+3), 2 claws +12 (1d6+3)
Special Attacks consume thoughts
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +11)
Constant—detect magic, detect thoughts (DC 16), read magic
3/day—charm monster (DC 18), daze monster (DC 16), hold monster (DC 19), hypnotic pattern (DC 16), vampiric touch (DC 17)
1/week—plane shift (willing targets only)
Str 16, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 25, Wis 20, Cha 19
Base Atk +9; CMB +12; CMD 30
Feats Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +12, Appraise +12, Bluff +14, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (planes) +14, Knowledge (all others) +14, Perception +15, Sense Motive +15, Stealth +14, Use Magic Device +12
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Celestial, Common, Draconic, Giant, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ cooperative scrying, hive mind
A caulborn can consume the thoughts of a willing, helpless, or fascinated creature with a touch attack. If the target fails a DC 18 Will save, the caulborn can alter the victim’s memory as if using modify memory. This process deals 1d4 points of Intelligence and Wisdom damage to the target. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Three or more caulborn joining hands can scry on a place or creature as if using the scrying spell (DC 20), but with no limit to the spell’s duration so long as at least three of the caulborn involved continue to join hands and concentrate. This ability functions at CL 7th (or at the highest CL available to the most powerful caulborn in the group). The save DC is Charisma-based, adjusted by the modifier of the caulborn with the highest Charisma score.
As long as there are at least two caulborn within 300 feet of each other, if one caulborn in the group is aware of a particular danger, they all are. No caulborn in a group is considered flanked or flat-footed unless all of them are.
A caulborn notices and locates living, conscious creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability. Spells such as nondetection or mind blank make an affected creature undetectable by this sense.
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3-12)
Caulborn are a race of telepathic prophets and historians who subsist on the psychic energy of others. They wander the planes in search of new facts and concepts to add to the pulsating brain-sacks that serve as their collective memories. When a band of caulborn find a particularly interesting site, they settle down to dwell there for many years until they feel that they have learned all there is to know about the location.
A caulborn is literally a creature of the mind. Its body is self-sustaining, and it exists solely to record and catalogue new thoughts. While they are not evil, caulborn have little interest in alliances or friendship with other races.
A race of telepathic prophets and historians, the strange creatures known as the caulborn wander the planes in search of new ideas, memories, and concepts to add to the pulsating, bloated brain-sacks that serve as their collective memories.
Habitat and Society
While extremely rare, caulborn can be found all across the planes, towing their fleshy memory banks through the Astral and Ethereal realms or setting up colonies on inhabited worlds, studying the native inhabitants for millennia before moving on. This seeming lack of a native home has given rise to numerous theories about the creatures’ origin, from conjecture that they come from yet-uncharted worlds on the Material Plane to speculation that they’re actually angels from the far future, come back to survey and catalog the multiverse before its eventual destruction. If the caulborn themselves know their origin, they refuse to weigh in on the matter.
On the surface, caulborn society looks much like that of other humanoids, as individual members go about the daily tasks of building structures and providing for the colony. Yet in many senses, a group of caulborn is a single organism. Members’ telepathic communication and thought-sharing are so complete as to make them individual avatars of a hive mind—albeit ones who can leave and join a new hive if they need to. This ability to move between hives is crucial, as it allows the transfer of tremendous amounts of data. Any colony of substantial size contains one of the vaguely sentient brain-sacks that store the memories of individual caulborn and act as telepathic hubs for their colonies, and protecting this living library is colony members’ foremost priority. These brain-sacks, which are usually given names and treated with great respect, have a telepathic range of up to a mile, helping them to organize and unify their kindred.
Caulborn interactions with outsiders vary wildly. Though their alien thought processes and apparent transcension of morality make them unnerving and dangerous, their vast wealth of information and knack for prophecy position them as oracles of the highest order— provided the petitioners can offer something in return. Similarly, though the caulborn feed on sentient creatures, this feeding does not need to be harmful, and most caulborn prefer symbiotic relationships to predatory ones.
The caulborn are literally creatures of the mind: their bodies are self-sustaining, and they exist solely to record and catalog new thoughts, concepts, and experiences, no matter how trivial. Yet because of some evolutionary fluke, their own thoughts and experiences are unable to fill this need, as they lack the nourishing psychic energy possessed by other creatures.
To this end, the caulborn have grown into perfect parasites—master scholars with no work of their own, only the aggregated knowledge of a thousand sentient meals. A caulborn cannot even learn a new skill on its own, as its neural pathways are designed to receive information pre-digested by another mind. All caulborn have two mouths: a human-sized, mostly vestigial mouth for respiration and vocalizing, and a terrifying, fanged set of split jaws for fighting and feeding.
Neither is attached to a digestive system; rather, a caulborn’s fighting mouth and its over-long index and middle fingers are the areas through which thoughts are absorbed. All caulborn are blind; the shape of their heads suggests that the creatures possessed eyes earlier in their evolution, but such organs have since been rendered obsolete by the creatures’ psychic abilities, and they make no effort to remove the fleshy cowls that grow down over their faces. Reproduction for the caulborn is a hermaphroditic affair, with every colony member being fertilized by every other in a sacred, silent ritual to ensure genetic diversity. Their young are born inside large placental sacks, where they grow for months before emerging as adults.
When a colony finds reason to split, or a small group becomes large enough to warrant it, the caulborn construct a new brainsack and seed it with every fact and record the creatures have collected since the dawn of time, usually copying knowledge over from previously established brainsacks.
These protoplasmic data centers are made by dismantling the bodies of several caulborn and melding them together into a single blob of fluid and curd. This process robs the brain-sacks of any senses or traces of identity but vastly increases their capacity for storage and information processing. It’s through these strange god-minds, fed by regurgitated psychic energy and left with nothing but the ability to store and analyze information, that the caulborn are able to extrapolate from trends and make connections that result in the uncannily accurate predictions other races see as prophecy—a foresight challenging that of the gods themselves.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3, © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.