This thick mass of vegetation has several sturdy tendrils studded with long thorns and rippling with strength.
Carrion Creeper CR 10
Str 19, Dex 25, Con 18, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +10; CMB +18 (+26 grapple); CMD 32 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (vine), Skill Focus (Stealth), Toughness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (vine)
Skills Climb +16, Perception +9, Stealth +14
Languages Sylvan (can’t speak)
Brutal Pull (Ex)
When a carrion creeper successfully initiates a grapple and moves its target to an adjacent space, the target takes 2d8 points of bludgeoning damage for every 5 feet it moves.
Efficient Grappler (Ex)
A carrion creeper takes only a –10 penalty on its combat maneuver check to make and maintain a grapple on a foe when using only a vine rather than its whole body to grapple. It receives a +8 bonus on combat maneuver checks to maintain a grapple rather than the normal +4 bonus granted by the grab ability.
A carrion creeper’s thorny vines are primary natural weapons that deal piercing and bludgeoning damage and have a reach of 15 feet.
Whirlwind of Thorns (Ex)
Once every 1d4 rounds as a full-round action, a carrion creeper can shake its body to launch thorns in a 20-foot-radius burst centered on itself. All creatures within the burst except carrion creepers take 8d6 points of piercing damage (Reflex DC 21 half). As part of the full-round action, the carrion creeper can also attempt to maintain its hold on a creature it has grappled. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Environment temperate forests or plains
Organization solitary or tangle (2–4)
These carnivorous plants developed from ordinary creeping vines and can scuttle along the ground or up trees and walls. Carrion creepers grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 500 pounds.
Carrion creepers feed on decomposing carcasses, sinking their tendrils into corpses and leaching liquids and nutrients. When carrion is unavailable, they set ambushes for living animals and even intelligent creatures, seeing them as nothing more than sources of nutrition. Carrion creepers don’t maintain lairs; instead, these nomadic creatures find trees, walls, or wells to cling to while resting or patiently waiting in ambush. When on the ground, they move by rolling along like a tumbleweed, and, when resting, they resemble thorny shrubs rather than vines.
Carrion creepers are genderless, which means they don’t flower like many ordinary creeping vines do.
Instead, as a carrion creeper consumes carcasses, it continues to grow until it splits into two or more smaller carrion creepers, which usually hunt together until a shortage of food forces them to separate.
Carrion creepers use their ability to sense vibrations in the ground not only to detect prey but also as a form of communication. Thanks to their rudimentary intelligence, they are capable of using simple hunting tactics, such as surrounding their prey.
Carrion creepers have little in the way of culture, but they are sometimes inexplicably drawn to great stone monoliths, jealously guarding them as if in some crude form of religious veneration. Such carrion creepers occasionally scratch symbols into nearby dirt or even stone, forming basic Sylvan characters for “go away” or “protected place,” but they seem otherwise unfamiliar with the concept of writing.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #130: City in the Lion’s Eye © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Mikko Kallio, with Eleanor Ferron, Mike Headley, Joe Kondrak, Kalervo Oikarinen, and Liz Smith.