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Neh-Thalggu

This crab-like nightmare has a lamprey mouth, twitching eyes on its legs, and several blisters along its back that hold human brains.

Neh-Thalggu CR 8

XP 4,800

CE Large aberration

Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +17

Defense

AC 21, touch 19, flat-footed 18 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +7 insight, –1 size)

hp 105 (10d8+60)

Fort +9, Ref +6, Will +11

DR 10/magic; Immune confusion effects; SR 19

Offense

Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (perfect)

Melee bite +13 (1d8+7 plus poison), 2 claws +13 (1d6+7)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks rend (2 claws, 2d6+7)

Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 7th; concentration +17)

3rd (5/day)—lightning bolt (DC16), hold person (DC 16)

2nd (7/day)—acid arrow, alter self, invisibility

1st (7/day)—grease (DC 14), magic missile, ray of enfeeblement (DC 14), shield, unseen servant

0 (at will)—acid splash, dancing lights, detect magic, mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic

Statistics

Str 24, Dex 16, Con 23, Int 19, Wis 18, Cha 17

Base Atk +7; CMB +15; CMD 35 (cannot be tripped)

Feats Arcane Strike, Extend Spell, Combat Reflexes, Eschew MaterialsB, Improved Initiative, Power Attack

Skills Fly +15, Knowledge (arcana, dungeoneering, and planes) +23, Perception +17, Sense Motive +17, Spellcraft +17, Stealth +12, Use Magic Device +16

Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Protean, Undercommon; telepathy (100 feet)

SQ brain collection, strange knowledge

Ecology

Environment any

Organization solitary

Treasure double

Special Abilities

Brain Collection (Ex) A neh-thalggu can store up to seven humanoid brains and use them to enhance its knowledge and power. Each stored brain grants a neh-thalggu a cumulative +1 insight bonus to AC, concentration checks, and Knowledge checks. A neh-thalggu can extract a brain from a helpless opponent with a coup de grace attack, or as a standard action from a body that has been dead for no more than 1 minute. A neh-thalggu that has fewer than seven brains gains one negative level for each missing brain. These negative levels can never become permanent, but they can only be removed by replacing one of its collected brains. The stats presented here assume a monster with a full collection.

Poison (Ex) Bite—injury; save Fort DC 21; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Strength damage and staggered; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Spells A neh-thalggu casts spells as a 7th-level sorcerer. For each negative level it takes from missing brains, its caster level is reduced by 1. A neh-thalggu with no collected brains cannot cast any of its spells.

Strange Knowledge (Ex) All Knowledge skills are class skills for neh-thalggus.

Known also as brain collectors, the alien neh-thalggus hail from distant worlds, traveling the gulfs of space on immense living ships that swiftly decay when they land upon a new world, leaving behind a deadly cargo of hungry monsters. Neh-thalggus are carnivores, but they do not digest humanoid brains they eat—rather, these brains lodge in one of several bulbous blisters on the creature's back and help to increase its intellect.

Some speculate that neh-thalggus encountered in this reality may merely be juveniles of their kind, perhaps exiled from their home worlds by greater kin until they can prove their worth on other worlds. Their brain collections may be a morbid form of currency in their home realm, or the thoughts in these brains may merely be fuel for a dark apotheosis into an even more sinister mature form.