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Aurumvorax

Powerful muscles ripple beneath the golden fur of this small yet fearsome eight-legged beast.

Aurumvorax CR 9

XP 6,400

N Small magical beast

Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +13

Defense

AC 23, touch 15, flat-footed 19 (+4 Dex, +8 natural, +1 size)

hp 114 (12d10+48)

Fort +14, Ref +12, Will +7

Defensive Abilities ferocity; DR 10/piercing or slashing; Immune poison; Resist fire 10

Offense

Speed 30 ft., burrow 10 ft.

Melee bite +18 (1d6+5 plus grab), 4 claws +18 (1d4+5 plus grab)

Special Attacks rake (4 claws +18, 1d4+5)

Statistics

Str 21, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 11

Base Atk +12; CMB +16 (+24 grapple); CMD 30 (42 vs. trip)

Feats Bleeding Critical, Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Perception)

Skills Perception +13, Stealth +17

Ecology

Environment temperate plains, hills, or forests

Organization solitary or pair

Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Grab (Ex) An aurumvorax can grab a foe of up to one size category larger than itself (Medium size for most aurumvoraxes). It gains a +8 racial bonus on grapple attempts rather than the normal +4 racial bonus afforded by the grab ability.

Aurumvoraxes are very aggressive creatures, and lead solitary lives except when they mate. Adults typically claim the hunting area within a mile of their warrens, ruthlessly driving away other predators. In addition to fresh meat, aurumvoraxes are fond of gnawing on metals (particularly gold and copper), though whether they do this to sharpen their teeth or because of some nutritional need is unknown. Aurumvorax warrens can stretch for thousands of feet, often winding deep into the earth. The avaricious appetite of aurumvoraxes has earned them the appellation "golden gorger" among dwarves, who have lost more than a few miners to the dangerous beasts.

In battle, an aurumvorax latches onto its victim with its jaws and gouges savage wounds with its claws. It rarely looses its grip before it or its foe is dead. It typically attacks the nearest living creature regardless of size, and ignores any wounds it suffers at the hands of others until its prey is dead.

A typical aurumvorax is only 3 feet long but weighs more than 200 pounds, for it is densely packed with muscle and thick, sturdy bones. Its fur is golden, while its claws are black and sharp. Its weight relative to its body size makes it a poor swimmer, and most dislike crossing water, though they can trundle along the bottom of still or slow water if necessary.

Adult aurumvoraxes are impossible to train, but their offspring are valued for training as guard beasts. A healthy aurumvorax kit can be sold for 5,000 gp or more to a discerning buyer. Female aurumvoraxes rarely give birth to more than one offspring at a time, and are ferociously protective of their young.

An aurumvorax drags its prey back to its lair to consume at its leisure, and its bone-midden often contains valuable belongings from past kills. Uneaten precious metals, discarded gems, and well-chewed metal items can also be found in its warrens. Despite its metallic coloration, an aurumvorax is not vulnerable to attacks that target metal, such as heat metal or the touch of a rust monster—in fact, aurumvoraxes easily kill and eat rust monsters, and some dwarf clans use aurumvorax pets to protect their storehouses against them.