As Zubana trekked across the desert, a great sandstorm came upon her suddenly, forcing her to take shelter in a dry wadi. When she emerged, she was a greeted by an ornate tent, which had not been there before. She saw nomads going about their daily business and heard the bleat of fat-tailed sheep grazing nearby.
Zubana had heard often the tales of Salim Ar-Ra’i – how the Shepherd’s encampment appeared after a sandstorm, like a ruin uncovered by the winds; how his generosity toward lost travelers rivaled the largesse of kings. Before she could take it all in, the legend himself appeared from the tent and welcomed his guest.
The tales did not do justice to the hospitality Zubana received. Under the shelter of the tent, Salim provided her fresh water. He gave her new garments to replace her soiled traveling clothes, and gifts to aid her journey. Salim’s wives and children prepared a marvelous feast, including a roast sheep.
Through the night, Zubana and Salim swapped tales of their adventures. Several times Zubana asked, “How do you travel so quickly across the desert?” Each time the Shepherd replied, “That is a secret between myself and my flock.”
The Secret of the Tent
As the campfire turned to embers, Salim began to nod off in his seat. Zubana quietly slipped into the tent and searched for the Shepherd’s secret. She discovered many artifacts – each with their own story to tell – but not that for which she searched.
Perhaps the tent itself is magical, Zubana thought to herself. She ran her hand along one of the ropes, but as she did so, the rope curled around her wrist. Then a woolen tent flap grabbed her other arm. The whole tent rose upon its poles and walked toward Salim. He awoke as the tent dumped the rogue unceremoniously before him.
“Since you know my secret,” Salim said with a hint of regret, “you must be one of my flock.” With sorcery, he turned Zubana into a fat-tailed sheep. He directed his family and flock – including the newest ewe – into the tent. At Salim’s command, the tent walked away from the wadi.
Of course, this wasn’t the end of Zubana’s adventures, but that is a tale for another time.
Walking Tent CR 11
Always N Colossal construct
Init –3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen –5, Spot –5
AC 11, touch –1, flat-footed 11
(–3 Dex, +12 natural, –8 size)
hp 256 (32d10+80)
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +5
Hardness 5; Immune construct traits
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 4 slams +25 (2d6+9); see text
Space 30 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks improved grapple, reflexive strike, trample
Before Combat If its opponent is unaware of the tent’s nature, it is effectively hidden when it first attacks.
During Combat A walking tent employs few tactics, attempting to grab and crush intruders, unless directed by its master.
Morale A walking tent does not flee unless ordered by its master.
Str 28, Dex 4, Con –, Int –, Wis 1, Cha 1
Base Atk +24; Grp +31 (+11 partial)
SQ interior space, perimeter
Organization solitary or encampment (2-6)
Improved Grab (Ex) A walking tent can initiate a grapple as a free action when it makes a successful slam attack. A walking tent always uses only part of its body to grapple, suffering a –20 penalty to the grapple check, but continuing to threaten with its other attacks.
With a successful grapple check, a walking tent can pull opponents inside itself or push them outside.
Interior Space (Ex) As with any Colossal creature, characters of up to Large size can move through squares occupied by the walking tent, but to do so, they must enter the tent. When a walking tent moves, characters and objects inside move with it, and remain in the same relative position within. However, whenever the walking tent moves more than 5 feet, all characters inside must make a DC 23 Reflex save or fall prone. The save is Dexterity-based.
Perimeter (Ex) A walking tent can make up to four slam attacks each round. Measure the range of each attack from a single wall or corner. No more than one attack can originate from each wall or corner in a round (though the tent can attack a single character from multiple directions). The walking tent can divide its attacks between opponents inside and outside itself.
Reflexive Strike (Ex) A walking tent can make four attacks of opportunity each round. Each attack of opportunity it makes must originate from a different wall or corner (though not necessarily the same walls or corners it used to make its standard attacks).
Trample (Ex) A walking tent can trample creatures up to Large size. This attack deals 2d6+13 points of damage. Alternatively, if there is sufficient space within the walking tent, it can choose to pull the opponent into itself instead of dealing damage. Opponents who do not make attacks of opportunity against the walking tent can attempt DC 35 Reflex saves to halve the damage or avoid being pulled inside.
A walking tent is to all appearances a standard beit al-sha’ir, a nomad tent. The name means “house of hair”, and indeed the floor, ceiling, and walls consist of long sheets of woven goat and sheep’s wool. Wooden poles and hemp ropes hold the structure erect when the tent is stationary. A typical walking tent is a 30-foot square with several openings for egress or ventilation. Hanging walls divide the interior into two or three rooms. When walking, the tent scuttles like a beetle on many tent pole legs. If necessary, it can strike out with poles, ropes, and walls to defend its occupants.
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