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Centianima

This bony horror has two skulls on either end of its long, fleshless body. Dozens of twitching, claw-tipped legs carry its centipede-like form.

Centianima CR 4

Source Pathfinder #103: The Hellfire Compact pg. 84
XP 1,200
NE Large undead
Init +6; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9

Defense

AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, –1 size)
hp 32 (5d8+10)
Fort +5, Ref +3, Will +5
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead traits

Offense

Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 bites +7 (1d8+5)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks burst of bone

Statistics

Str 21, Dex 15, Con —, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +9; CMD 21 (+24 vs trip)
Feats Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Step Up
Skills Intimidate +10, Perception +9, Stealth +6
Languages Common (can’t speak)
SQ compression, dual threat

Ecology

Environment any ruins
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Burst of Bone (Ex) Three times per day, a centianima can shake its body as a full-round action to shoot deadly bone shards at all creatures within a 15-foot radius. These bone shards deal 2d6 points of piercing damage (Reflex DC 14 half). The save DC is Dexterity-based.

Dual Threat (Ex) A centianima has a head at each end of its long body, and each head has a bite attack. Each head can make only one bite attack per round. A centianima still counts as a single creature for effects that would target it.

Horrifying amalgams driven by an insatiable desire to kill living things and collect their bones, centianimas exemplify the ravenous, ugly evil of the undead. These animalistic collections of bones typically form from the remains of numerous animals that died in terrible agony. The dark forces and suffering that animates these remains typically cause these horrors to form in ominous, multilimbed shapes vaguely reminiscent of macabre centipedes. Although they look merely like heaps of bones when at rest, they can hardly be mistaken as such when on the move. Centianimas are possessed of a dark, predatory cunning that makes them particularly efficient hunters.

A centianima measures 12 feet long and weighs approximately 400 pounds.

Ecology

The flexible body of a centianima consists of 15 or more leg-bearing segments made from fused-together bones. Centianimas require no sustenance, but they sometimes carry their dead or unconscious victims back to their lairs in their hollow interiors. Their pointy-tipped legs are exceptionally flexible, allowing them to rapidly change the direction of their movement or even skitter sideways in an undulating motion. Each of a centianima’s two heads consists of one or more animal skulls fused together and sports a pair of long, jointed antennae. Their eye sockets each bear a dark violet necromantic membrane that functions much like the eyes of a spider.

Centianimas sometimes form spontaneously in places where animals have died in great numbers and no one has buried, burned, or eaten the bones, such as abandoned slaughterhouses and the charnel pits of greater monsters. When a centianima’s body starts forming, it first develops a skeletal segment and grows a pair of twitching legs. This process repeats until the body has at least 15 segments. The final stage of this horrible genesis involves forming a head segment on each end. The heads do not form simultaneously, however, and for a brief period, the centianima has only one head.

As undead creatures, centianimas do not need rest and thus remain active day and night. However, their behavior changes markedly with the time of the day. At night, they hunt vertebrates of all sizes, from mice to horses. During the day, they skitter over the bodies they have captured, skinning them and stripping them of flesh. A centianimas’s daytime activities also include patrolling its lair and environs, organizing its bone collection, and moving loose rocks to places where they might hinder intruders but not the centianima itself. Centianimas that live underground exhibit similar behaviors, though they adapt their daily cycles to hunt when prey is most vulnerable, regardless of the time of the day.

Habitat and Society

Centianimas usually inhabit ruined buildings where there are many places to hide. They are excellent climbers and, thanks to their flexible exoskeletons, they can crawl through very narrow spaces. They use these abilities to great effect against invaders, ambushing unwelcome visitors in places where less agile beings are at a disadvantage.

The lair of a centianima usually contains one or more piles of bones collected from its victims. The bones may be meticulously organized according to animal or bone type, or they may be a disorganized mess. Somewhere in the lair, usually a good distance from the bone piles, there is also a rotting mound of discarded flesh, skin, tendon, and other soft tissue.

Centianimas are solitary and territorial, and when one encounters boneless creatures, other undead monsters, or anything that looks too dangerous to attack, it emits an unpleasant chitter that sounds like grinding teeth. If the sound is not enough to warn the intruders away, the centianima attacks or retreats depending on the size and number of the intruders.

The rotting mounds of flesh usually present in a centianima’s lair attract all kinds of vermin, and it is not uncommon for swarms of cockroaches, spiders, centipedes, or flesh-eating worms to share a centianima’s lair. The undead creature largely ignores these vermin because they neither have bones nor pose a threat.

Creating a Centianima

Centianimas are often created by wicked spellcasters who either seek a free-roaming guardian to defend an area or have a grudge against nature. A centianima can be produced through the use of the spell create undead by any caster of 13th-level or higher. However, rather than casting the spell on one corpse, the creator must cast it on a heap of bones comprising the skeletons of no fewer than three Medium or Large animals. Smaller skeletons can be used, but at least double the number is required.

Upon being created, an uncontrolled centianima searches the surrounding area for a lair. After finding a suitable dark, preferably claustrophobic space, the creature begins hunting in a territory within a 1 mile radius of its lair. In a region with an average amount of wildlife, it takes little more than 2 weeks for a centianima to fill its lair with a dense carpet of bones.

Centianima Variants

The circumstances under which a centianima forms greatly affect its abilities. The following are the most common variants.

Aquatic (CR +0): These centianimas arise from the bones of aquatic animals. They usually inhabit sunken ships and ruins claimed by the sea. Aquatic centianimas gain the aquatic subtype and a swim speed of 40 feet.
Burrowing (CR +0): This underground variant usually arises from the dry bones of many burrowing creatures. Burrowing centianimas gain a burrow speed of 20 feet.
Chittering (CR +1): This variant centianima can emit a bone-rattling chitter as a standard action. Any creature within 30 feet must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be shaken for 1d4+1 rounds. Any creature that makes a successful save against the effect is immune to that centianima’s chitter for 24 hours. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Jumping (CR +0): This desert-dwelling variant gains a +12 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks to jump and it treats any Acrobatics skill check to jump, as if it had a running start. It doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity while jumping. A jumping centianima uses this ability to position itself amid its enemies so it can better attack with both of its heads.
One-Headed (CR –1): This rare variant occurs when the formation of a centianima is interrupted before the second head has formed. One-headed centianimas have only 3 Hit Dice, and they don’t gain all-around vision or the dual threat special ability.
Paralytic (CR +1): These centianimas arise from the bones of venomous animals. Any creature that takes damage from the centianima’s bite attack must succeed at a DC 15 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Symbiotic (CR +1): These centianimas have formed a close symbiotic relationship with the vermin that feed on the rotting flesh in their lairs. Three times per day, the centianima can vomit up a spider swarm (Pathfinder RPG Bestiary 258) as a standard action. This swarm attacks the nearest living creature, but is otherwise not controlled by the centianima.