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Auratus

by Jamie Baty

M4 39
Colossal Animal (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 100d8+1000 (1450 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: fly 120 ft. (average)
Armour Class: 10 (-8 size, +8 natural), touch 2, flat-footed 10
Base Attack/Grapple: +49/+80
Attack: Nil
Full Attack: Nil
Space/Reach: 100 ft.+/20 ft.+
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Fire resistance 10, Low-light vision, massive transport, passivity, volatility
Saves: Fort +69, Ref +59, Will +32
Abilities: Str 40, Dex 11, Con 30, Int 1, Wis 4, Cha 4
Skills: Balance +21, Concentration +32, Hide -16, Listen +19, Spot +19, Survival +13
Feats: Endurance, Great Fortitude, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Run
Environment: Eloysia
Organisation: Solitary, Family (2-5), or Pack (5-20)
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 101-600 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment: -

This gigantic animal, among the largest mortal creatures known, is found only in the Plane of Eloysia. It resembles a Chinese goldfish with protruding black eyes; scales of white, black and orange; and flowing, transparent fins. Males have a spiny, brightly coloured upper fin that the females lack.
Adult specimens are typically 600ft long, with some males growing up to 800ft long. At their widest portions, they are usually between 100 and 150 ft wide. They are not quite as intelligent as horses, but will form strong attachments and loyalties to particular handlers.
These creatures are usually docile, completely harmless and are used as transport animals in Eloysia. Only during their mating rituals, which occur every five years or so, do males display an aggressive nature. Though fairly long-lived (usually over a century), aurati reproduce slowly, and are thus highly prized.
During the mating ritual, all aurati of breeding age migrate to the centre of the Eloysian system, to within a few miles of the sun's surface. There, they pair off, mate over the next three weeks and the males return to their normal life. The females swim slowly out to the plenum boundary of the system. By the time their pilgrimage is over (months later), they are ready to give birth to their young, which are always born singly. The new parents and their offspring then swim back near the system's centre, after which the young are weaned and ready to live on their own.
The aurati have no natural enemies. They feed at irregular intervals (every month or so) on vast quantities of porous rock found throughout the inner shell. This rock, when combined with the water of Eloysia's perpetual rainstorms, generates hydrogen gas (which the fish store in their abdomens) and nitrogen. Aurati propel themselves through the air by expelling the nitrogen through gill-like vents behind the abdominal storage areas.
Because they gain their buoyancy from hydrogen, aurati can be somewhat explosive by nature. The creatures instinctively fear flame, except during the mating rituals above the sun's surface. Their hides are extremely fireproof, though, and their human owners also take precautions to prevent fiery mishaps.

Combat
An auratus never fights- to kill it is as simple hacking away at it for hours until it is dead.

Massive Transport (Ex): Aurati can be controlled as a living transport by finding a sensitive patch on their backs. To find the patch, a character must either be instructed by someone who knows the location or succeed on a DC 25 Handle Animal check. A character can control the Auratus like a mount by succeeding on a DC 20 Handle Animal check.

Passivity (Ex): An Auratus simply is not bothered by anything smaller than it. It will never attack or fight, even in self defence. It will not take attacks of opportunity.

Volatility (Ex): Any attack on an Auratus that deals fire or electrical damage has a 10% chance of causing the auratus to explode. An exploding auratus has the following effects:
The auratus is instantly killed
Everything within 100 ft of the auratus suffers 100d6 fire damage and 20d6 bludgeoning damage (No Save)
Everything within 500ft suffers 50d6 fire damage (Fortitude save vs DC25 for half damage)
Everything within 1000ft suffers 20d6 fire damage (Reflex save vs DC 15 for half damage)