Astral Capreae

Astral Capreae

Le mannequinSomeone was whistling, and it was a tune Scarred Marshant knew well, but it was no shanty. It was a haunted bit of a tune—the sort of thing you hear in the lower churches what teach the worship of demons. He’d never heard the tune, strict to truth. He only half-remembered it, the song that sounded like his own thoughts, like the inside of his skull was singing.

The whistling lad was a boy of maybe sixteen, swabbing the aft deck lackadaisically, gazing out over the astral mists. “Where you hear that song, son?” Marshant asked. “You pick that up in the hub?”

“Nah, it’s somewhat I’m putting together for my jenny back home, yeah?” The boy was staring out to starboard, barely paying Marshant any mind. He set the mop down in its bucket, not noticing when both clattered across the deck spilling water out into the fog of the Astral. The boy started walking, stumbling like he was half-sleeping toward the starboard rail…

Marshant stopped him, despite the boy’s weak protests. “You listen to me, son,” he said. “You’re going to go find the boatswain, and you’re going to tell him there’s somewhat out there, yeah? Somewhat that’s dangerous and is probably going to kill you when you get to her.”

The boy looked at him then, panic filling his eyes. “What is she?” the boy asked. Marshant started his way down to his cabin for his sword and his prayer book.

“She’s a killer,” he said over his shoulder. “And she’s killed better men than you.”

The astral caprieae is a mouthless humanoid psychic parasite native to barren islands in the Astral. They can wait for years between meals but never pass up the opportunity to feed.

Astral Caprieae (Level 12 Elite Controller)

Medium fey humanoid (psychic); XP 1,400
Initiative +9; Perception +16, darkvision

HP 240; Bloodied 120
AC 23, Fortitude 24, Reflex 27, Will 30
Speed 6, fly 4 hover
Resist 10 psychic, charm, and illusion; Vulnerability 10 thunder
Saving Throws +2; Action Points 1

TRAITS
Aura of Weakened Resolve • Aura 2
A creature that starts its turn in the aura is weakened and takes a −2 penalty to its Will defense.

STANDARD ACTIONS
[M] Slam • At-Will
Attack: +15 vs. AC.
Hit: 2d4 + 6 damage.

[r] Caprieae’s Call (charm, psychic) • At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +18 vs. Will.
Hit: 2d10 + 7 psychic damage, and the target is pulled 2 squares.

[m] Mouthless Kiss (healing, psychic) • Recharge 5, 6
Requirements: The target must be weakened.
Attack: Melee (one creature); +18 vs. Will.
Hit: 3d10 + 9 psychic damage, and the target is dominated (save ends) and takes a −2 penalty to saves until the end of the caprieae’s next turn.

A Wordless Scream (psychic, thunder) • Encounter
Attack: Area burst 2 within 10 (creatures in burst); +18 vs. Will.
Hit: 5d8 + 6 psychic and thunder damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the Caprieae’s next turn.

MINOR ACTIONS
[r] Mind Bolt (force, psychic) • At-Will
Effect: One creature within 20 squares takes 12 psychic and force damage.

TRIGGERED ACTIONS
[c] Desperate Summons • Encounter
Trigger: The astral caprieae is bloodied.
Attack (Immediate Interrupt): Close burst 5 (all enemies in burst); +17 vs. Reflex.
Hit: 2d10 + 10 psychic damage. The target is pulled 5 and falls prone. If the target is weakened or dominated, it takes 10 ongoing psychic damage.

Str 13 (+7)           Dex 19 (+10)       Wis 16 (+9)
Con 13 (+7)         Int 22 (+12)         Cha 18 (+10)
Alignment unaligned; Languages

Tactics

Astral caprieae can sense prey from hundreds of feet away, flitting across the thoughts of intelligent creatures like a child licking ice cream. While they can do no lasting damage from so far away, they can learn a lot from the surface thoughts of the creatures they sense and plan accordingly.

They are incapable of working with other creatures and would eat any “allies” they made.

Lore

Religion (DC 18): Astral caprieae are horrifying creatures that lure nearby sailors to shipwreck. They use haunting songs and beautiful voices to enchant the weak-willed.

Religion (DC 26): Astral caprieae have no mouths. They are marble-skinned and perfectly proportioned (some theologians believe that they are shape-shifters, becoming whatever physical ideal their victim desires). They eat memories, thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

Religion (DC 32): When an astral caprieae eats, it eats memories, thoughts, philosophical reflections, and personality. Even after it’s defeated, an astral caprieae leaves scars on victims’ minds. There will always be a few things half-remembered or lost. Is that just growing older, or is that something the caprieae took away forever?

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