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Deep Carnifexby Geoff Gander
2 claws/1 bite or 1 weapon
2 claws/1 bite or 1 weapon
2 claws/1 bite or 1 weapon or 1 spell
2 claws/1 bite or 1 weapon or special
1d4/1d4/2d4 or by weapon
1d6/1d6/2d6 or by weapon +1
1d4/1d4/2d4 or by weapon or by spell
1d6/1d6/2d6 or by weapon
Description: Deep Carnifex are the most prolific, the youngest, and the least powerful of the Carnifex subspecies. As a group, they have been in existence for only 9,000 years at most - extremely recent by Carnifex standards. They are known to inhabit the vast caverns that lie beneath the Adakkian Mounts of northwestern Davania, though they could very well live in other underground places as well.
Deep Carnifex stand roughly five feet tall, and are rather slight of build. Their bodies are covered with white or pale grey scales, and their tiny red eyes, almost vestigial, sit low on their heads, adjacent their large mouths. Indeed, their heads are dominated by two things, their large nostrils and their mouths. Equipped with two rows of tiny, razor-sharp teeth, the Deep Carnifex are carnivores, feeding off of their livestock, and those they capture in their frequent underground battles. Likewise, living in the stygian darkness under the mountains, the Deep Carnifex rely not on sight, but on smell and sound. Their sense of smell is so strong that they can distinguish individual scents from distances of up to 100 feet, and their hearing is so sharp that they can hear a person's heartbeat from distances of up to 20 feet, if they concentrate. Because of their reliance on sounds and smells, Deep Carnifex are almost blind, their infravision allowing them to see things only 10 feet away.
Socially, the Deep Carnifex are hive-like, with each city dominated by a queen, who rules through hereditary power. Her will is enforced by a cadre of clerics, who, through Immortal guidance, interpret her wishes to the populace. The actual balance of power varies among the cities, with some having the queen as a figurehead, while in others the clerics are subservient to the queen. Most inhabitants of a Deep Carnifex city belong to the commoner caste - mushroom farmers, giant insect herders, and builders. There is no social mobility in this society; the Deep Carnifex are taught from infancy to obey superiors without question, and any divergence of opinion is ruthlessly crushed.
So rigid is the Deep Carnifex caste system that, over the past millennia, each social class has almost become a sub-race in its own right. Warriors, for example, tend to be larger than commoners - as well as stronger. Clerics, though more powerful than commoners, are not as tough as the average warrior. Instead, they have developed their clerical prowess, to the extent that Deep Carnifex clerics can cast first- and second-level clerical spells. Of all the Deep Carnifex, however, it is the queen who is often the most powerful, being able to exert control over her underlings on a psychic level. In combat, she may use this ability against an opponent; if a save vs. Spells at -2 is failed, the victim falls under the Deep Carnifex queen's control, as per the charm spell, but with a more insidious aspect. Unlike the spell, the queen can order anyone under her control to harm him- or herself, but the control is broken if the damage inflicted in one round is equal to or greater than 20 hit points. The queen may control only one victim per round.
The caverns ruled by the Deep Carnifex are filled with cities, each one a city-state unto itself, and all of them consider their neighbours to be potential enemies. Alliances between cities to destroy a common foe last as long as necessary, but no longer. Reasons to go to war range from acquiring more land, capturing more slaves, overpopulation, or simply acting out a disagreement. Deep Carnifex wars are exceedingly brutal, with no quarter asked or given, and unspeakable tortures inflicted upon captured enemies, commoner and elite alike. As a result, the Deep Carnifex civilization has been unable to expand greatly since its establishment so long ago, riven as it is with divisions and internal strife.
Notes: Due to their subterranean nature, Deep Carnifex are sensitive to light. The presence of any light stronger than natural phosphorescence repels them, and even moonlight would blind them. If a Deep Carnifex is forced to function under lighted conditions, they will do so, though attacks are penalized at -4, and morale is reduced to 5. Because their senses of smell and hearing are so sensitive, a sensory "overload" would harm a Deep Carnifex considerably. When actively listening for something, any sudden noise louder than a normal voice will temporarily deafen a Deep Carnifex for 1d6 turns, and they must save vs. Spells or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. Likewise, strong smells (like garlic) will numb their sense of smell for 1d4 turns. It is the DM's discretion as to what constitutes a strong smell.