Glovis Veriqentz extended his sighthelper IV and surveyed the large cavern from the relative safety of the third balcony. The glow of fire beetle glands illuminated much of the cavern, making it easy to inspect the room. There was really only one word that could adequately describe the scene below: carnage. Glovis's brethren covered the floor of the cavern. Miners and guards alike lay everywhere. The burrower Rockeater I lay in a demolished heap near the center of the cavern. The pride of the Gnome Confederacy had been destroyed by Garl-knows-what, and Glovis had been selected to investigate the incident.
The only gnome who had escaped the carnage was of little help. A miner by the name of Crindekalis Delvedeeper had ridden the updown all the way to the surface in a panicked haze. The only thing that he could tell Glovis was that everything had gone dark and then the "screaming and squishing" had started. Crindekalis had been the updown operator at the time, and had barely shut the doors and flipped the "Up" switch in time. Saving some of his compatriots had just not occurred to him at in the terror of the moment.
Glovis sighed, pocketed the sighthelper IV and cast arcane eye, invisibility, true seeing, stoneskin, and fly. Glovis was always prepared. It was time to start checking out what had caused all this destruction and killed all of the gnomes. Glovis took off from the balcony and circled around the cavern in a shallow decline. The guards who had been waiting patiently behind Glovis made their way to the floor via the updown.
The scene that greeted him was gruesome to say the least. Bodies of gnomes lay everywhere; many had been torn in two by some powerful force or thrown violently against the walls of the cavern. Rockeater I had been battered and hammered with large rocks. Its expensive Dimo-glass shielding had been smashed in, and no operators were in sight. Glovis came to rest on the floor of the cavern. He directed the guards to touch nothing as they exited the updown. As he looked around with his improved senses, he realized that all the gnomes still had valuables on them -- rings and necklaces as well as weapons.
Well, that ruled out the xorn,which had been his first guess upon hearing Crindekalis's account. Glovis let out a deep sigh for the second time that day. He had led a team at the GIS (Gnome Investigative Service) for many years, and his forensic knowledge and attention to detail were unparalleled in the field. He had even cracked the famous "Some Stinkin' Elf Stole My Fabulous Jewel" case for the dwarves a few years ago (although the dwarf king had merely forgotten where he hid the "jewel" in question). But this incident looked like it was going to challenge even his expertise. He pulled out his Measuromatic XXVI and bent down to measure what appeared to be a rather large claw wound in an expired gnome. That's when everything went dark.
. . . Or, at least, everything would have gone dark if Glovis had not been using true seeing. Actually, Glovis would have preferred if it had gone dark -- even though the fact that it had not gone dark had probably saved his life. But he did not have the time to reflect on this rationally. Rushing toward him was a large dark creature barely humanoid in shape. He could feel the malevolence it exuded like a physical blow.
Glovis did what any well-trained GIS field agent would do. He panicked. He flew up as fast as he could. The creature stopped chasing him as soon as he left the ground and instead moved toward the guards. It used its large tri-clawed arms to grab at the gnomes. The guards' weapons had little effect on the creature.
As soon as Glovis recovered his wits, he cast force cage on the creature. Then he teleported home to make his report.
|Large Fey (Earth)
||19d6+76 (142 hp)
||40 ft. (8 squares), burrow 20 ft.
| Armor Class:
|| 25 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +13 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 22
|| Claw +16 melee (1d8+7)
||2 claws +16 melee (1d8+7)
||10 ft./10 ft.
|| Improved grab, frightful presence, rend 2d8+10
|| Damage reduction 10/cold iron, darkvision 120 ft., earth glide, low-light vision, immunities (cold, fire poison), tremorsense 60 ft.
|| Fort +10, Ref +14, Will +13
||Str 25, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 12
||Hide +21, Jump +11, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +23, Listen +22, Move Silently +25, Search +23, Spot +22, Survival +22 (+24 underground and following tracks)
||Awesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Iron Will, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (claw)
||Solitary or hunting party (4-10)
||Always lawful evil
|| 20-36 (Huge)
The hulking creature looks like a roughly humanoid, black-skinned biped with powerful long arms that end in a three-fingered prehensile claw. Its body is thin but muscular with thick legs. Its head is long and thin with large white eyes.
A malgoren is an ebony fey creature of the deep earth. Unlike most other fey, a malgoren is a powerful and cunning fighter. Each malgoren dwells in a crystal-lined cavern that it jealously defends against trespassers. A malgoren is not only fiercely territorial, but hates all living things and destroys any who are unfortunate enough to venture into its realm.
Despite their bloodthirsty ways, malgorens don't feed off flesh, but derive their sustenance from crystals. They never feed in their home caverns but venture forth to devour crystals elsewhere. Malgorens constantly hunt for crystal deposits, veins, or caverns to feed upon. Once they have exhausted the supply of crystal they move on, leaving large caverns in their wake. They are extremely xenophobic and have no dealings with other creatures. In fact, a malgoren will attack any creature that comes too close to its crystal cavern. While traveling, malgorens avoid all interaction or contact with other creatures, through occasionally several malgorens join forces to destroy any nonmalgorens they can find or to defend particularly rich veins of crystal.
A typical malgoren stands 10 feet tall and weighs 600 pounds. A malgoren's skin is ink black and extremely tough. It always appears as if it has an oily sheen to it. Malgorens have long, thin heads that slope forward, ending in a small oval mouth that has no teeth. Their eyes are large white ovals. Their long arms are very muscular and end in three six-inch claws.
In combat, a malgoren is a cunning adversary, moving silently through stone until it can set up an ambush on the creatures that have invaded its space. It casts darkness as it exits the stone and rushes to grapple or rend the creatures with its two powerful arms.
A malgoren speaks Terran and Sylvan.
Frightful Presence (Ex): 30 ft. radius, HD 18 or less, Will save DC 20 negates.A malgoren can unsettle foeswith its mere presence.The ability takes place automatically whenever a malgoren attacks or charges. (providing the being attacked can see the malgoren) Creatures within a 30-foot radius of the malgoren are subject to the effect if they have fewer HD then the malgoren. A potentially affected creature that succeeds in a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the malgoren's HD + the malgoren's Cha modifier) remains immune to that malgoren's frightful presence for 24 hours. On a failure, creatures with 10 or less Hit Dice become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 11 or more Hit Dice become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Malgoren ignore the frightful presence of other malgoren.
Improved Grab (Ex): A malgoren that hits with a claw attack may start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it succeeds in its grapple a malgoren can rend an opponent on its next turn with a successful grapple check.
Rend (Ex): If a malgoren hits with both claw attacks, it can latch onto its opponent's body and tear the flesh. This attack automatically deals an extra 2d8+10 points of damage. It also can rend with a successful grapple check once it has established a grappling hold.
Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- darkness. Caster level 9th
Earth Glide (Ex): A malgoren can glide through stone as easily as a fish swims through water. It leaves behind no tunnel, nor does it leave behind any evidence of its presence. A move earth spell cast on a space containing a malgoren flings the malgoren back 20 feet, stunning it for 1 round unless it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save.