Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links


by Jamie Baty

Large Vermin (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 5d8+10 (32 hp)
Initiative: +2 (+2 Dex)
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), swim 80 ft. (16 squares)
Armour Class: 16 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +5 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Bite +6 melee (2d4 +4)
Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (2d4 +4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Amphibious, Blindsight 60ft
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +2
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 0, Wis 12, Cha 5
Skills: Hide +2*, Listen +4, Move Silently +4*, Spot +4, Swim +16
Feats: Improved Critical (bite), Power Attack
Environment: Any aquatic
Organisation: Solitary, Pair, String (2-5), or Swarm (5-20)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Large); 11-15 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: -

These large, predatory sea worms live in the Western Sea and, at times, in the rivers of the Savage Coast lands.
A typical echyan is approximately 12 feet in length and 2 feet in diameter, tapering into a flat tail. A barely noticeable bulge around the head area houses what small brain it possesses. It has no discernible eyes, and its skin and flesh are translucent, making it all but invisible in the water until it strikes. The mouth of the creature forms a giant suction cup, lined with three rows of crystalline fangs that help it lock onto and swallow its prey.
Echyans are one of the more dangerous water predators along the Savage Coast because of their near-invisibility in water and powerful bite. Despite this, most humanoid victims are those unlucky enough to stumble across an echyan that has been stranded on shore during the daylight. Echyans are not particularly useful and so are left to their own devices by most races. However, the lupins do take an active interest in the worms and try to keep them from returning to Dream River every year.
Echyans breed in the main rivers along the Savage Coast, digging into the mud to lay eggs which hatch in the spring. Newborn, already four feet in length when they emerge from the mud, swim down to the Western Sea. They grow quickly, spending the summer months off the coast, following schools of migrating fish. When possible, they also go for larger prey such as walruses, manatees, and whales. In the winter they return to the rivers and spawn a new generation. Eyeweeds, juhrions, and many other large creatures sometimes enter the echyan mating grounds to feed on the exhausted worms.
Echyans have been encountered as far as the Jururú and Xingá Rivers in Jibarú, and the Dream River hosts thousands of spawning echyans every winter. They feed on batracines, jorries, tortle eggs, and other river creatures during their brief freshwater stay. Once in the sea, they feed mostly on fish, though the occasional worm will crawl up on the beach in search of tortle eggs, which they particularly like. An echyan caught on shore after dawn will burrow partially into the sand to protect itself from the burning rays of the sun.

Echyans will prey on almost anything. They attack from behind or underneath, detecting their victims by motion. If able, they lock onto their prey and suck both blood and flesh. The echyan will often swallow whole any creature that is man-sized or smaller.
Only one echyan will attack at a time. A worm that loses half of its hit points will disengage, and another will attempt to attack. This rotation occurs until all are damaged. At that point, those still able to swim away will attempt to do so.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the echyan must hit with its bite attack. If it gets a hold, it automatically deals bite damage and can attempt to swallow the foe.

Swallow Whole (Ex): An echyan can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of Medium or smaller size by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 1d8+6 points of crushing damage plus 2 points of acid damage per round. A swallowed creature can climb out of the digestive tract with a successful grapple check. This returns it to the worm's maw, where another successful grapple check is needed to get free. A swallowed creature can also cut its way out by using claws or a Small or Tiny slashing weapon to deal 10 points of damage (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.
The echyan's interior can hold one Medium, two Small, four Tiny, eight Diminutive, or sixteen Fine or smaller opponents.

Amphibious (Ex): An echyan can breathe while in air and while submerged in water.

Blindsight (Ex): Using nonvisual senses, such as sensitivity to vibrations, keen smell, acute hearing, or echolocation, an echyan manoeuvres and fights as well as a sighted creature. Invisibility, darkness, and most kinds of concealment are irrelevant, though the echyan must have line of effect to a creature or object to discern that creature or object. The echyan usually does not need to make Spot or Listen checks to notice creatures within 60ft.

Vermin Traits: Vermin are mindless - they have no intelligence score and are immune to all mind-affecting effects. They have no sense of morality and are always neutral. They have 60ft. darkvision (unless otherwise noted) and any treasure they possess (which is usually none) consists of the property of former victims.

Skills: An echyan has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line. *An echyan completely submerged in water has a +8 racial bonus to all Hide and Move Silently checks.

The Red Curse
Though not often, echyans have been known to acquire a Legacy. Completely immune to Affliction, however, they never require cinnabryl.