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Skreeling

Skreeling CR 3

XP 800
NE Small aberration
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +8

DEFENSE

HP 35
EAC 14; KAC 15
Fort +2; Ref +2; Will +8
DR 5/cold iron

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft. (Ex, average)
Melee bite +9 (1d4+4 P) or claw +9 (1d4+4 S)
Offensive Abilities cluster

STATISTICS

Str +1; Dex +4; Con +2; Int +1; Wis –1; Cha –1
Skills Acrobatics +8, Athletics +13, Intimidate +8, Stealth +13 (+18 in rocky terrain), Survival +13
Languages Aklo, Common (can’t speak any language)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Cluster (Ex)

Skreelings are born and grow to adulthood in small packs, and they are more comfortable fighting alongside other skreelings, including their siblings. When two or more skreelings flank a single creature, each skreeling attacking that creature receives an additional +1 circumstance bonus to attack rolls. In addition, when a skreeling hits a creature that two or more skreelings are flanking, that creature gains the bleeding condition for 1 damage, in addition to the skreeling’s normal damage. The damage from the bleeding condition increases by 1 for each individual skreeling that successfully hits the creature, but it does not increase if the same skreeling hits multiple times. (For example, a single creature hit by two flanking skreelings gains the bleeding condition for 2 damage, but the same creature hit multiple times by the same skreeling only gains the bleeding condition for 1 damage).

ECOLOGY

Environment any hills or mountains
Organization pair, trio, or host (4–8)

Skreesires are insidious horrors that lurk in the rocky reaches of the universe. These creatures resemble monstrous lizards with sharp-toothed maws, nonfunctional wings, and strong tentacles in place of legs, which they use to grab prey. They stand up to 10 feet tall and weigh up to 500 pounds.

Skreesires typically live solitary lives on rocky planetoids.

The beasts are fiercely protective of their territories, even from other skreesires. They view any intrusion from a sentient creature as a threat, and thus they often use their infamous mental abilities to twist intruders’ minds and cause those creatures to flee. If that fails, they descend on the trespasser with teeth and tentacles.

Skreesires are hermaphroditic and can self-fertilize, though they usually do so only after particularly large feasts, when they have the energy required to do so. They tend to lay their clutches of eggs in the corpses of the creatures they have just fed upon, but they use soft sand or tangles of vines if needed.

The brutal and shrewd skreelings are the immature offspring of skreesires that have not yet developed the full mental abilities of their progenitors. Skreeling siblings hunt in packs, combining their nascent fighting abilities to take down foes, and they are much stronger when they work together. Skreeling hosts, as xenobiologists call these packs, often live in rocky nooks and crannies or caves where they can better protect themselves from threats until they reach adulthood. Although they lack telepathy and the physical characteristics that would allow them to speak, skreelings can emit shrill, distinctive battle cries, often to distract prey or frighten predators away from their lairs.

Skreelings almost always lair within 100 yards or so of a parent skreesire’s territory. Skreelings are omnivorous and even ingest ash, metal shavings, or wood when regular food is scarce. Once the vicious creatures reach adulthood, their expanded intellects combined with their burgeoning appetites for territory often see siblings turn on each other until the host eventually disperses and the individual skreelings search for new lairs.

Skreelings typically are about 3 feet tall, weigh about 30 pounds, and have a wingspan of about 3-1/2 feet. As the creatures grow larger and mature into full-grown skreesires, they outgrow their wings—losing their ability to fly—and their lower legs atrophy and drop off, their tails developing into multiple ambulatory tentacles. This is a very gradual process that begins the moment they are born.

Occasionally, a skreeling becomes stunted in its development, growing too large to fly but not yet having a skreesire’s psychic faculties. These mutants—known as “skreemules”—are often killed by their siblings, but they sometimes escape to live solitary lives, crawling through the hills on their malformed tentacles and snapping at any potential prey.

Though uncommon, skreeling infestations near settlements are treated more like natural hazards to be avoided than pests to be eliminated. Some residents even derive a kind of pride from these annoyances, going so far as to name geological features of the area or local businesses after the creatures. These citizens make sure to warn travelers and newcomers about the skreeling lairs, as much to keep the flying aberrations safe as the people they caution. However, such settlements are quick to curtail the skreelings should they get violent, and they hold no such love for their far more dangerous adult forms.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Starfinder Alien Archive 3 © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Saif Ansari, Kate Baker, John Compton, Adam Daigle, Katina Davis, Eleanor Ferron, Crystal Frasier, Leo Glass, Sasha Lindley Hall, Amanda Hamon, Thurston Hillman, James Jacobs, Jenny Jarzabski, Virginia Jordan, Jason Keeley, Natalie Kertzner, Luis Loza, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Crystal Malarsky, Robert G. McCreary, Hilary Moon Murphy, Adrian Ng, Joe Pasini, Lacy Pellazar, Samantha Phelan, Jessica Redekop, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Owen K.C. Stephens, James L. Sutter, Jason Tondro, Diego Valdez, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.