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Tauslek

Small aberration, neutral

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 45 (10d6+10)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 11 (+0) 12 (+1) 3 (-4) 12 (+1) 15 (+2)

Skills Deception +4, Perception +3, Stealth +2
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Deep Speech
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Mimicry. The tauslek can mimic any sound it has heard, including voices. If the tauslek’s Charisma (Deception) check exceeds a listener’s passive Insight, the listener believes the sound is genuine.
  • Steal Memories. The tauslek can extract the memories and Intelligence of the victims of its bite. It temporarily gains an Intelligence score equal to its victim, all languages the victim spoke, and proficiency in all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma skills with which the victim has proficiency. If the victim’s proficiency bonus is greater than the tauslek’s use the victim’s bonus. Tausleks are strictly limited in their capacity to utilize certain skills due to their physical form. The tauslek also gains familiarity with the victim’s past, relationships with other creatures, and a sense of their personality. This awareness does not govern their actions but may be used to trick their intended prey. Tausleks never gain spells, or other special or class abilities the victim possessed. The temporary Intelligence and skill bonuses last 24 + 2d12 hours, after which they fade entirely. If a tauslek slays additional creatures, it continues to acquire more memories, but only maintains the single highest Intelligence score and multiple instances of proficiency in any given skill do not stack. Furthermore, devouring another victim with an Intelligence score of 6 or higher resets the duration on all of the personalities it has subsumed. When the tauslek reverts to normal, it loses it all stolen personalities and proficiencies at once. This ability does not affect spells which restore the victim to life, as the tauslek only acquires a copy of the stolen memories.

ACTIONS

  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or takes 5 (2d4) poison damage and gain the poisoned condition for 1 hour. On a success the target takes half damage and isn’t poisoned. A creature killed by tauslek’s bite is subject to its Steal Memories trait.

ABOUT

The tauslek was first discovered by jagladine explorers on a forgotten world many centuries ago. Since then, they’ve been subjected to repeated research and experimentation with the tauslek’s unusual ability to acquire memories and intellects spawning a number of bio-engineered technologies pertaining to memory extraction and manipulation. Young tausleks are roughly the size of a small dog, while the more advanced matriarchs rival a large horse. They most closely resemble centipedes with four scintillating eyes and a fierce set of mandibles capable of piercing armor. The plates of their carapace are green and outlined in black towards the end of their length. Although tausleks may appear as vermin, an adult matriarch proves far more cunning than any low-order animal, one of the many advantages it uses to hunt sentient prey. In rural areas, tausleks have enough presence of mind to attack less dangerous children, while avoiding guard animals and more mindful adults.

Memory Scavengers. Communities of tauslek prefer remote nesting sites, located within a short distance of well-travelled highways or small outpost colonies. Intellect absorbed by slain prey imparts the tauslek with enough insight to seek shelter back at their nest. By the time their boosted mental capacity wears off, the now animalistic urges drive it to seek further sustenance, thus repeating the cycle. Complications often arise during these hit-and-run tactics when it slays adventurers and community guardians attempting to exterminate them. More often than not, the tauslek use the newly acquired memories from such encounters to take advantage of what their would-be killers know to inflict further harm on the communities which sent them.

Matriarchal Nightmares. A tauslek matriarch is a nightmare to behold, a ravenous beast eager to carry off prey and devour its mind one memory at a time. Weighing nearly 500 pounds, it manages to permanently retain some of its stolen intellects, able to call on specific memories from its subconscious when necessary. A matriarch lives well beyond the hunting instincts of an animal, because it doesn’t merely hunt to survive, lusting instead for power, the savored intellects to improve itself, and the shared insights to terrorize others. As such, they prefer to grab lone opponents and retreat with them into cover where they can consume the memories of a held foe. Once it slays this initial target, the matriarch then uses the stolen memories to coax the creature’s remaining allies into an ambush, where it repeats the process. Enhancing its own frightening reputation, tauslek matriarchs create a temporary bond with those infected by the poison of its kind, able to perform subtle sinuous motions to captivate those succumbing to the poison’s effects.

Manipulated Spread. Members of the Bellanic Accord blame the appearance of tauslek matriarchs on their Hegemony enemies, claiming such creatures never existed on other worlds before the meddling of jagladine scientists spread their threat across the multiverse. These ‘slanderous rumors’ as decreed by the Hegemony are in fact true—the deadly nature of the tauslek matriarch is directly tied to genetic modifications performed by the jagladine intent on weaponizing the tauslek for the Hegemony. Indeed, the inevitable result of these experiments created the matriarch—now considered a blight throughout worlds of both the Bellianic Accord and Ultari Hegemony, each blaming the other for smuggling these enhanced tauslek past their respective borders.

Even among Hegemony worlds, tausleks are well known and feared. Their appearance often signals extreme torture and interrogation by jagladine inquisitors intent on breaking the will and minds of their captives. The jagladine maintain that tauslek research has led to significant breakthroughs in intelligence gathering, the psychoanalysis of new alien species, and psionic enhancement. But cultivating and taming a tauslek nest has proven a daunting task even for their fearless klaven jailors in service to the jagladine. As a result, most Hegemony worlds have strict regulations concerning the importation and trade of tauslek.

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Legendary Planet Adventure Path (5E) © 2020, Legendary Games; Authors: Matt Goodall, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Tim Hitchcock, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Mike D. Welham