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Achaierai

This bird-like beast is mostly head, lunging forward on four scaly legs. Wisps of noxious black vapor trail from its hooked beak.

Achaierai CR 5

XP 1,600

LE Large outsider (evil, extraplanar, lawful)

Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12

Defense

AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 18 (+1 Dex, +1 dodge, +9 natural, –1 size)

hp 52 (7d10+14)

Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +4

SR 20

Offense

Speed 50 ft.

Melee bite +10 (2d6+4), 2 claws +10 (1d6+4)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. with claw

Special Attacks black cloud

Statistics

Str 19, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 16

Base Atk +7; CMB +12; CMD 24 (28 vs. trip)

Feats Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack

Skills Acrobatics +11 (+19 jump), Climb +14, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +7, Swim +14

Language Infernal

Ecology

Environment any land (Hell)

Organization solitary or flock (5–8)

Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Black Cloud (Su) An achaierai can exhale a cloud of choking, toxic smoke three times per day. All creatures within 10 feet of the achaierai immediately take 2d6 points of damage as their flesh melts and rots away. The cloud erodes sanity as well as flesh, and anyone who takes damage from the black cloud must also make a DC 15 Fortitude save or become confused. Every round, the victim may attempt another DC 15 Fortitude save to recover from the confusion; otherwise it persists, lasting indefinitely until the condition is removed or the victim eventually makes her saving throw. The confusion element of a black cloud is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Constitution-based. This is a poison effect. Achaierais are immune to this ability.

An achaierai is a predator and scavenger of the lower planes that looks like a 15-foot-tall flightless bird, though its head and body are fused into one large unit, with four legs and atrophied wings. The thick, oily plumage covering its body all but conceals these tiny wings. An adult achaierai weighs roughly 750 pounds.

Though not devils themselves, achaierais live and hunt on the scorched and blasted plains of Hell, where they make excellent use of their long, stilt-like legs in running down any lost souls or lesser devils who stumble into their feeding grounds. Once it has closed with its target, an achaierai attacks with its two front legs, punching or slashing, as well as biting with its powerful beak. Far smarter than their animalistic form might suggest, achaierais prefer to hunt in shrieking packs and use their prey's confusion and their own reach to their advantage, circling their quarry and darting in to attack as soon as the victim becomes distracted, then retreating again before the prey has a chance to retaliate. They have been known to wander through battlefields in the lower planes, picking over dying and regenerating creatures and souls, which has earned them the nickname “Hell's vultures.” As achaierais are immune to the toxic clouds of others of their kind, they often work in conjunction to use these clouds to herd or scatter enemies, form long lines of black clouds to protect their retreat, or merely panic opponents in large melees. Achaierais are fond of disemboweling their targets and feasting on the hot entrails while their mortally wounded prey screams itself to death. Of course, as outsiders, achaierais have no need to eat, and their elaborate hunting routines are simply the bird-beasts' sick form of entertainment.