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Star Vampire

An unnatural tittering issues forth from the fanged maw of this floating mass of talon-tipped tentacles, all as red as freshly spilled blood.

Star Vampire CR 6

Source Pathfinder #110: The Thrushmoor Terror pg. 90
XP 2,400
CE Large aberration
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent blood; Perception +18

Defense

AC 19, touch 8, flat-footed 19 (–1 Dex, +11 natural, –1 size)
hp 67 (9d8+27)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +11
Defensive Abilities amorphous, blood healing, partial invisibility; DR 5/slashing
Weaknesses bleed effects

Offense

Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee 3 talons +9 (1d4+4 plus bleed), bite +9 (1d6+4 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks blood drain (1d2 Constitution), loathsome embrace

Statistics

Str 19, Dex 8, Con 16, Int 9, Wis 16, Cha 15
Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 20
Feats Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Fly +17, Perception +18, Stealth +7
Languages Aklo
SQ compression, flight, no breath

Ecology

Environment any air
Organization solitary, pair, or clot (3–8)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities

Blood Healing (Ex) Whenever a star vampire starts its turn within 10 feet of a creature suffering a bleed effect (other than itself or another star vampire), it heals 5 points of damage as minuscule tendrils slither out from its body to leech away the dripping blood with disgusting efficiency.

Flight (Su) A star vampire’s ability to fly is supernatural and doesn’t function in areas where magic doesn’t work. Furthermore, when engorged with blood and thus visible, it takes a –10 penalty on Fly checks.

Loathsome Embrace (Ex) The slithering wet tentacles and suckered tendrils a star vampire uses to feed with and clutch its prey are particularly disgusting to experience. Any creature that is grappled by or that grapples a star vampire must attempt a DC 16 Will save to avoid being nauseated for 1 round. A new Will save is required each round the grapple is maintained, but once a creature succeeds at its saving throw against a star vampire’s loathsome embrace, it becomes immune to the loathsome embrace of all star vampires for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Partial Invisibility (Su) A star vampire is invisible in its natural state, although the eerie tittering it constantly emits makes locating it easier than normal—treat a star vampire as if it were in combat or speaking for the purposes of Perception checks against it. When a star vampire feeds on blood (either as a result of a successful blood drain attack or by gaining the benefit of its blood healing), it becomes visible, its nauseating appearance laid bare by the blood that infuses its entire being. A star vampire that becomes visible in this manner remains visible until it takes 2 consecutive rounds of bleed damage or 10 minutes pass after it last drained blood or gained the benefit of blood healing.

Scent Blood (Ex) A star vampire has the scent ability against all living creatures that have blood, and it gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Perception checks against creatures currently taking bleed damage.

Weakness to Bleed Effects (Ex) When subjected to a bleed effect, a star vampire suffers wracking pain that leaves it sickened as long as the bleed effect persists. Consumed blood drains rapidly from a star vampire’s body when it is affected by a bleed effect, and after 2 consecutive rounds of bleed damage, a star vampire that had become visible after drinking blood becomes invisible once again.

Star vampires descend upon worlds to feed upon the blood of the living. Naturally invisible, star vampires expose their offensive shapes when they feed, for the blood they gorge upon infuses their bodies with a glistening crimson hue. Tangled masses of writhing feelers surrounding toothy maws, star vampires can extend three long tentacles tipped with talons to lacerate foes, allowing the aberrations to drink the blood from the air with thousands of tiny feeding tendrils.

A star vampire is approximately 10 feet in diameter, yet weighs a mere 300 pounds.

Ecology

Star vampires are effectively immortal and can live forever if not slain through violence, accident, or disease. The bulk of these creatures drift through the vastness of the Dark Tapestry, but without the starflight ability (like that of byakhees; see page 82), thousands or even millions of years can pass before one manages to find a planet where it can descend to feed. Once a star vampire arrives on a planet, it adopts the new world as its personal feeding ground and very rarely, if ever, returns to space.

It is far more common for a star vampire to show up on a world after being conjured from the depths of space via certain rare spells or rituals. Many of these rites are deliberately ambiguous promises of the aid of a powerful spirit from the depths of space—designed to serve up the unsuspecting occultist as a hungry star vampire’s inaugural meal on the new world. The source of these dangerous rituals is unclear, for it is unlike the alien mind of a star vampire to conceive of such tactics. Likely, these treacherous spells were inflicted upon the world by a misanthropic lunatic eager to bring pain and doom upon those foolish enough to attempt to contact alien beings.

Star vampires either have no need or have lost the ability to reproduce, and thus their numbers in the universe are limited, dwindling as individuals perish. Yet, the sheer number of star vampires that drift through space, while spread thin, is vast enough that the vampiric race is in no danger of going extinct any time soon.

The strange noises issued by a star vampire seem to serve no purpose, although they tend to sound like mocking laughter at times. These creatures can speak if they wish (although few know any language other than Aklo), but their voices are wet and slobbery and do not prevent the tittering sounds they emit from continuing—only when feeding do these monsters fall relatively silent.

Habitat and Society

Ancient beyond most worlds, whatever realm first spawned these interstellar predators is long gone, vanished even from the memories of the star vampires themselves, along with any culture or name for themselves they may have once had. Yet, the star vampires do not mourn this loss. They have no need for companionship, no desire to leave a legacy, and no drive to colonize new worlds, for their minds and motivations are as alien as their strange shapes to most planet-bound societies.

Some star vampires grow mightier than the typical specimen presented here, gaining size and Hit Dice with no apparent limit—although when they grow particularly large, they are invariably hunted down and destroyed by great heroes on the worlds they infest. Other star vampires gain class levels to become more powerful, preferring to focus on classes such as oracle, psychic, and rogue, eschewing classes that place too much emphasis on the use of gear or the acquisition of companions. Star vampires with class levels tend to pose more of a threat than those that merely grow in size, for the former often develop all-too-human goals and desires beyond simply feeding. These creatures are fond of forming cults and playing the role of gods to primitive societies or fanatics who are incapable of discerning the monster from a divine sending. It is rare for a star vampire to worship a deity, but those that do tend to venerate Nyarlathotep, Shub- Niggurath, or Yog-Sothoth.

Origins

The creatures known now as “star vampires” were named such by Sandy Petersen in Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game, and they’ve gone on to drink the blood of countless inquisitive investigators and hapless heroes. The first star vampire noted in print lacked its name, appearing in Robert Bloch’s short story, “The Shambler from the Stars,” which the author dedicated to H. P. Lovecraft—after receiving written permission to put Lovecraft into the story and have a monster eat him. Lovecraft returned the favor by having an equally grisly fate await a Bloch-inspired character in the short story, “The Haunter of the Dark.”