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Wraithwing

This desiccated strix has glowing, green eyes and long, jagged claws. A pair of burning, ghostly wings sprouts from its hunched back.

Wraithwing CR 4

Source Pathfinder #101: The Kintargo Contract pg. 88
XP 1,200
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11
DEFENSE
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11

Defense

AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 39 (6d8+12)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +7
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, cursed land, rejuvenation; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 5, fire 5
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness

Offense

Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d4+3), 2 wraithfire wings +5 (1d4 cold plus staggered)
Special Attacks unholy blast, wraithfire wings
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +8)
At will—feather fall

Statistics

Str 16, Dex 17, Con —, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 15
Base Atk +4; CMB +7; CMD 20
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Multiattack
Skills Climb +20, Intimidate +11, Perception +11, Stealth +12, Survival +8
Languages Strix
SQ hatred

Ecology

Environment temperate mountains
Organization solitary, pair, or warband (3–12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Cursed Land (Su) The area within a 3-mile radius from where a wraithwing was animated becomes cursed. Wraithwings can’t leave this area on their own, and those that pass beyond its invisible borders take 1d4 points of damage for each hour they remain outside the cursed area.

Hatred (Ex) A strix’s natural hatred toward humans is intensified when a wraithwing is created. A wraithwing receives a +2 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the human subtype.

Rejuvenation (Su) The undead existence of a wraithwing is bound to a cursed area of land that reanimates it after its destruction. If the wraithwing is destroyed and its body remains within the cursed area, it reanimates the following night. A wraithwing can be permanently destroyed if its body is brought beyond this area or if its body is anointed with a vial of holy water and left in the sun for 8 hours.

Unholy Blast (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds, a wraithwing can beat its wings to send out blasts of unholy energy. Creatures in a 30-foot cone take 5d4 points of negative energy damage. A successful DC 15 Will save halves this damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Wraithfire Wings (Su) A wraithwing’s ghostly wings burn with a freezing green flame. A creature hit by one of these wings takes 1d4 points of cold damage. In addition, the creature is staggered for 1 round if it fails a DC 15 Fortitude save. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Wraithwings are strix that were captured and killed by their Chelish enemies, and then rose again fueled by their lingering hatred. A terrible curse has brought them back from the dead to drive away invaders from their tribal land know as the Devil’s Perch. Wraithwings roam the night, hunting down any non-strix within the cursed land, innocent and guilty alike.

The Chelish forces that seek to occupy Devil’s Perch have taken to making examples of any strix rebels they capture. After being interrogated, the captives are strung up on poles. While the strix hang there bleeding to death, their wings are broken to prevent any escape. Often, the soldiers who captured the strix warband lie in wait for anyone foolish enough to come to their rescue. This indignity kindles a burning anger within the strix that clings to their very souls. Once they have died, the bodies of the strix are dumped unceremoniously in remote locations as bait to lure strix hoping to retrieve their fallen comrades into an ambush. Dead strix tortured in this way can rise as wraithwings, but these foul creatures can be purposefully created as well.

The mercilessly tightening grip of the Chelish Empire and the ever-rising number of dead friends and family push some strix spellcasters (typically oracles, shamans, and some witches) to turn to dark powers that whisper in the dead of night. Instead of giving a proper burial to the reclaimed bodies, the spellcaster takes them up a rugged crag and into a cavern where she prepares them for an unholy ritual. The spellcaster removes the broken wings from the bodies, and she places the bodies around a totem made of earth, wood, and bone. She then sews the wings into the totem and splashes them with blood drawn from her enemies. Upon the ritual’s completion, the strix rise as wraithwings the following night. In addition to this ritual, a spellcaster of at least 11th level can create a wraithwing from the body of a dead strix using create undead.

Wraithwings stand just over 6 feet tall, but their rotting bodies are lighter than those of living strix, weighing barely over 100 pounds.

Ecology

Wraithwings resemble their living strix counterparts in most ways, except for their wings. In place of their missing appendages, ghostly wings burn with a green fire. Additionally, a wraithwing’s form is more bestial than a strix’s, possessing long, sharp claws that can tear a victim in half. The seething rage that wraithwings feel toward their oppressors manifests in their narrow, glowing eyes. Lacking the ability to fly, wraithwings run on all fours to chase down their prey. They often hunt by ambushing their victims, climbing the rocky spires of Devil’s Perch and leaping down to shred their enemies with their strong claws. Their changed physiques allow these creatures to deftly traverse even the steepest of cliffs. Wraithwings retain many of their old memories, but their overwhelming rage keeps their minds mostly clouded and focused on killing.

Under the cover of night, wraithwings hunt within the areas affected by the rituals that raised them. Left to their own devices, they work their way outward from where they were created, first picking off people inhabiting lone farms and those who dare traverse the wilds after dark. Wraithwings prefer to stalk their prey, using their extensive knowledge of the area in order to drive targets into natural dead ends. During the day, wraithwings return to a hidden cave to draw strange symbols on the walls with the blood they have spilled during the previous night.

On the rare occasions when Chelish soldiers manage to slay a wraithwing, few know that they must haul the battered body beyond the reach of the curse in order to prevent the fallen wraithwing from rejuvenating the following night. Most slain wraithwings thus rise again to continue their depredations.

Even though these creatures are undead and no longer require food, wraithwings are consumed with a hunger for bones, specifically the bones of humans. As a result of their reanimation, this everlasting rage and hunger drive wraithwings to constantly hunt. When wraithwings track down and kill a human, they savagely strip the flesh from the body with their elongated claws. When only a skeleton remains, they crack the bones open in their mouths and suck out the marrow, leaving their victim’s remains scattered in a bloody mess.

Habitat and Society

Wraithwings exist exclusively within or near the province of Devil’s Perch in Cheliax. Wraithwings aren’t mindless, but their thoughts are consumed with taking revenge on the invaders who have settled within strix territory, leaving little interest for socializing. Someone close to a dead strix might be able to momentarily cut through the fog of rage that twists its mind, allowing the former friend to learn what has brought his comrade back in such a dreadful form. If a strix persists in trying to prevent a wraithwing from hunting, it eventually considers the interfering strix a traitor and attack him as well.

Wraithwings are often created from a strix warband that was captured during battle. The strix that was in charge of the warband when they were alive often holds onto this status even in undeath and continues to command the other wraithwings as they hunt the wilds of Devil’s Perch. If a group of wraithwings is torn between different ways to go about a hunt, the leader among them bends the others to its will. Alternatively, the spellcaster that initially raised them can exert some influence over the wraithwings with verbal commands if she still retains control.

Good and neutral strix avoid these undead creatures, and consider them the worst of all undead. Many strix don’t admit to their existence, claiming that wraithwings are simply spooky stories told by strix parents to keep their children in line. Some strix go so far as to organize warbands to hunt down wraithwings that hunt near where they live, fearing these vicious creatures will climb up the rocky spires in which they live and slaughter them. These fearful strix communities cover the lower reaches of their roosts with downward pointing spikes to deter any creatures from climbing them. They sometimes incorporate nets or other traps to capture these creatures so that they can properly dispose of the bodies without the wraithwings rejuvenating. Thankfully for these strix communities, wraithwings are nocturnal as well, and they suffer worse in the sunlight than living strix.