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Kushtaka

Kushtaka are found in the stories of the Tlingit Indians of Southeastern Alaska, kushtaka means, “land otter man”.

This seems like a normal guy in a rowboat. Then, just as you least expect anything weird to happen, he turns into a furry, white animal the size and general shape of an otter or seal. An instant latter, it grows into a bloated, marine horror with the lower half of a cetacean and a shaggy, bearlike torso rising at the front like that of a deformed centaur. This last form has long white hair, boar like tusks, and a pair of beefy, flipper like arms with gnarly claws, and is the size of a warhorse. The boat sinks.

In the wild, forested coastlands, drowning and being stranded are common hazards. Much worse, however, are the nature spirits that embody the lulling doom of being consumed by the woods. Kushtakas are dark fey spirits of the lost… and the found. In its natural form, a kushtaka resembles an albino land otter. However, when a group of humans comes through their territory, they change forms quickly. Taking on the shapes of family and friends (often long lost ones), the monsters attempt to lure their victims away from their parties, so that they may be ambushed and dragged into the sea. They use their powers to prevent easy escape, often creating fog banks to cause shipwrecks so as to strand sailors in places where they are easy to snatch. If continually frustrated or attacked, the kushtakas assume monstrous shapes and rend the poor mortals limb from limb. Kushtakas are organized into small clans, each of which inhabits a lonesome, forested island or a system of hidden grottos. Here they keep their not-yet transformed captives, as well as any treasure they may have gathered. Kushtaka Shamans (see next entry) often collect magic items.

Kushtaka are shape-shifters capable of assuming either human form or an otter. They are cruel creatures who take delight in tricking poor sailors to their deaths. they confuse lost individuals by distracting them with illusions of their family and friends as they transform their subject into a kushtaka. Kushtaka will imitate the cries of a baby or the screams of a woman to lure victims to the river. Once there, the kushtaka either kills the person and tears them to shreds or will turn them into another kushtaka.

Originally Posted by Return of the Flumph of the Wizards Community forums.

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Kushtaka
Medium fey
Hit Dice6d6+18 (39 hp)
Initiative+3
Speed30/Climb 20/Swim 50
Armor Class17 (10+3 Dexterity+4 nat), touch 13, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple+3/+4
Attackbite +6 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksAlternate Form, obscuring mistAiry Water, Transformation, Hold Breath
Special QualitiesDR 5/cold iron, SR 17
SavesFort +5, Ref +7, Will +6
AbilitiesStrength 12, Dexterity 16, Constitution 16, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 14, Charisma 14
FeatsPower AttackDodgeWeapon Focus (bite)
Challenge Rating6
TreasureStandard
AlignmentUsually lawful evil
Advancement7-24 (medium)

Combat

If it looks like there will be trouble, the kushtakas will dive into the nearest body of water and one will cast obscuring mist (they can see perfectly in heavy mist). When all is obscured, the monsters will emerge, in horror form, and begin lurching around, surrounding and pursuing their foes until none remain. Any enemies taken alive are dragged to the lair for transformation.

Alternate Form (Su): As a standard action, a kushtaka can assume the physical shape of any humanoid from small to large size, like a polymorph effect. They use this to impersonate a person’s relatives (how they know what these look like is unknown).

If threatened or angry, a kushtaka will grow into a giant seal monster bear thing. In this form, they grow to large size, gain +14 to strength, +4 to Constitution, +2 to natural armor, and their base bite damage increases to 2d4. Finally, they also gain two claw attacks as secondary attacks, each of which deals 2d6 base damage. They lose their Climb speed in this form, but can move on land by pulling their bloated bodies along with their arms.

obscuring mist (Sp): A kushtaka can cast obscuring mist at will as a sixth level druid.

Airy Water (Su): A kushtaka radiates an Airy Water effect within a five foot radius of itself. It can suppress or resume this ability as a free action.

Transformation (Su): Any mortal humanoid that is bound in a kushtaka lair and fed the right magic herbs begins an eerie transformation. The victim spends 1d4 days in a psychedelia trance, reliving its memories of time spent with its loved ones. As this occurs, the memories themselves erode. Dispel Evil and remove curse can save one from this. Once the memories are all gone, the amnesic creature starts physically mutated into an albino land otter, which takes an additional week. At this point, only wish or miracle can help. A fully transformed character is beyond redemption; even killing and raising him will only bring him back as a kushtaka.

Hold Breath (Nat): A kushtaka can hold its breath for one minute for every two Constitution points it possesses before the drowning rule applies.

Kushtaka Shaman
Large fey
Hit Dice18d6+108 (171 hp)
Initiative+1
Speed20/Swim 40
Armor Class22 (10-1size+1 Dexterity+8 nat+4 deflection), touch 14, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple+10/+19
Attackslam +13 melee (1d8+5)
Space/Reach10 ft./10 ft.
Special AttacksAlternate Form, Omniscience, Bleed, Transformation, Spell-Like Abilities, Spells
Special QualitiesDR 20/cold iron, SR 25, durability, regeneration 10 (energy or good)
SavesFort +10, Ref +13, Will +19
AbilitiesStrength 20, Dexterity 12, Constitution 22, Intelligence 18, Wisdom 24, Charisma 18
FeatsCombat Casting, Expand Spell, Empower SpellSpell Penetration, Maximize SpellDodge, Alertness
Challenge Rating14
TreasureTriple Standard
AlignmentAlways lawful evil
Advancement19-36 (large)

Rising from the swamp, at least ten feet tall, this amphibious humanoid regards you with cold and hungry evil. It wears a shaman’s headdress on its froglike head, and a bearskin cloak hangs around its body. All around it, ghostly white otters emerge from the mist.

If kushtakas are only made by the transformation of a humanoid by another kushtaka, it stands to wonder how the cycle begin. The answer lies in these cruel fairies. Kushtaka shamans are collectors of forlorn and desperate souls, nature’s bitter appeasement to those who the seas and woodlands consume.

Kushtaka shamans sleep most of their lives. After creating a few minor kushtakas, they sit back in their ponds and use their omniscience to observe the deeds of their children in their dreams. When the kushtakas are in real trouble, big daddy awakens.

The kushtaka shaman lives in a hidden, sacred place with many kushtaka clans nearby. Lesser kushtakas regard these creatures as divine.

Combat

Unlike their spawn, kushtaka shamans are not melee bruisers. They prefer to stay out of sight and use their omniscience to pinpoint the enemy for a long ranged spell barrage.

Alternate Form (Su): As a standard action, a kushtaka shaman can become any creature within one size category of itself with which the beast is familiar, including that of a lesser kushtaka (in any form). It often becomes an animal local to the area to walk unseen or escape, while it becomes a monstrous kushtaka to fight in melee (though it tries to avoid this).

Omniscience (Nat): A kushtaka shaman constantly sees through the eyes of all kushtakas within ten miles of itself.

Bleed (Su): At will, a kushtaka shaman can cause one creature within thirty feet to bleed to death from the inside out. The creature is entitled to a fortitude save to resist (DC 23). On a failure, the victim takes one point of damage per round until death. Nothing short of heal can undo this damage or end the condition.

Transformation (Su): Any mortal humanoid that is bound in a kushtaka lair and fed the right magic herbs begins an eerie transformation. The victim spends 1d4 days in a psychodellic trance, reliving its memories of time spent with its loved ones. As this occurs, the memories themselves erode. Dispel Evil and remove curse can save one from this. Once the memories are all gone, the amnesic creature starts physically mutated into an albino land otter, which takes an additional week. At this point, only wish or miracle can help. A fully transformed character is beyond redemption; even killing and raising him will only bring him back as a kushtaka.

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): At will-obscuring mist, alter memory, Airy Water, suggestion.

All as cast by a tenth level caster.

Spells (Sp): A kushtaka shaman casts spells as a fourteenth level druid.

Durability (Nat): A kushtaka shaman never suffers from environmental effects or drowning.

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