Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Monster: The Khoulak


The khoulak are a race of winged, carnivorous humanoids who live in rocky aeries. They are near-silent in flight and prey on all living things (not the undead). All creatures that walk Benu fear them.


Little is known of khoulaki society except that they are nocturnal and seem to be of a hive mind, often acting in unison. They live in caves in the highlands or atop cliff sides, keeping them as cavernesque aeries.

They attack in feasting parties, preferring to eat what they can on the site of the attack. They will, however, take prisoners to hold captive and eat later. They have at least primitive tools for fashioning prey cages and setting up basic campsites.

They employ no familiars or other beasts, surely they eat anything in their domain.


No one has ever seen a khoulak's (obscured) mouth and lived. They envelop their prey in batlike wings attached to their arms and--presumably by the sound--vomit corrosive acid to digest their prey. The only facial features apparent are a pair of large, pupil-less, lidless eyes. They have no discernible ears or noses, though they seem to still possess those senses.

Khoulak have large eyes which give them infravision, allowing them to see in darkness, but are exceptionally nearsighted. This ability makes them less effective in broad daylight. They also possess a keen sonar sense which allows them to zero in on their prey with extreme accuracy in total darkness.

Smothering Grapple
They are powerful adversaries--for most victims they are nearly impossible to escape from, once enveloped in their terrible, suffocating wings. Anyone caught in their grasp will find it nigh impossible to escape. Their wings are attached along their arms down to their wrists.

Methods of Attack

Their idea of combat is to eat their enemies.


Khoulak are thought to be demons from the Plane of Death. They sound a "devouring scream" as they feast on their prey, which causes a paralyzing fear in any future victims in the vicinity.

Their presence is felt before they are seen--usually a feeling of terrible dread or foreboding.

It's said that the khoulak were summoned by accident through the incompetence of a boastful wizard, who was immediately punished for waking them from their astral slumber.

Gullible travelers believe the khoulak to be worshipers of the moon goddess Zeth. These fools wear her sigil (three cobalt-colored eyes in various states of opening) on a pendant or charm as a desperate hope for safety.

If encountered as a monster:

NO. APPEARING: Packs of 8 or more
MOVE: 5 on ground, 20 in flight
HIT DICE: 2d8+2
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Acid vomit 2d12; Bite 1d8+2; Paralyzing scream - stunned for 1d4 rounds
SPECIAL ABILITIES/SKILLS: Sonar - Emit a clicking noise that helps them detect moment and objects up to 100 meters (in air); Coordinated attack - can intimidate prey through practiced attack patterns. Infravision, but limited by nearsightedness (range of 5 meters).
MAGIC RESISTANCE: They cannot be harmed by diseases or acid
ALIGNMENT: Neutral evil
PSIONIC ABILITY: It's believed that the khoulak possess some form of telepathy to communicate with one another, since they are a mostly silent species. It's not know if this ability extends to other races.

If played as a PC:

Prime Requisite Requirements: PHY 13, AGL 15
Hit Dice: Add +2 for being a scary-ass bastard
Max Level: 10
Alignment: Play as True Neutral

Dungeon: "The Unquenchable" Maw

In the highlands that border the wastes lies a massive cave maw, blasted and scorched and choked with carbon stench, called "The Unquenchable". It is the gateway to an ancient dungeon, made up of natural caves, abandoned beetlemen catacombs, and tunnels from a razed super fortress.

Many millennia ago, the area was home to an ancient evil that launched wave after wave of slaughter on the shining fortress of ancient wonders (the name of which has long since been forgotten). Legend has it that one of the Ancient Kings sent his armies into the maw to route the devil, but none returned. More soldiers were conscripted as the centuries passed, but they all perished--it's thirst for blood never seeming to be quaffed--hence the name.

The Ancient King finally passed to the afterlife and without their beloved leader they could not repel the demon's might. The fortress fell in a fortnight, those that didn't fight, fled and a great diaspora began. Many technologies and magics (massive heat rays, psionic generators, astral keys, and more) went missing in the confusion and panic, but a few eventually made their way to the Cryptotherium. The remaining treasures, it's rumored, were claimed by the beast.

Centuries passed, and the maw called once again to adventurers looking to reclaim ancient treasures lost and buried. The maw was rediscoverd, mapped as the entrance--the only one--into the deep chaos below. No adventure party has ever returned.