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Forest Ray

by Jamie Baty

Huge Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 8d10+16 (60 hp)
Initiative: -1 (-1 Dex)
Speed: fly 50 ft. (clumsy)
Armour Class: 15 (-2 size, -1 Dex, +8 natural), touch 7, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+24
Attack: Bite +14 melee (3d4 +8)
Full Attack: Bite +14 melee (3d4 +8) and tail +9 melee (2d10 +4 plus poison)
Space/Reach: 15 ft. /10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, poison, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 9, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +4*, Listen +7, Spot +7
Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Power Attack
Environment: Any forests
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 9-16 HD (Huge); 17-24 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment: -

The forest ray, also known as the "forest devil," is a dark green creature that looks like a flying manta-ray. They live in forests, jungles, or other areas of heavy undergrowth, such as the forested areas of the Orc's Head Peninsula and Herath. These clumsy fliers can fly no higher than the treetops, but they can turn sideways to fly between the trees.
Forest rays are solitary predators and gather only to mate.
A forest ray typically ranges over an area of several square miles. It is an opportunistic feeder, so it seldom actively hunts. A forest ray needs surprisingly little food. It has a slow metabolism and goes into a state of hibernation when it has buried itself to wait for prey.
Unlike its cousin the manta ray, the forest devil has sharp, pointed teeth suitable to a carnivore. The forest ray is a fearsome predator. Even jaguars and other large predators avoid it.
A forest ray can weigh as much as 3,000 pounds. Its eyes are on the upper surface of its body. The underbelly has a mouth and a second set of eyes. The upper surface is dark and mottled to match the forest floor, but its underbelly is coloured to match the sky and the treetops. The forest ray can change its colour to provide better camouflage, but this change takes several days to complete. Their pectoral fins are huge, which gives them a bat-like appearance, and they use their short tails as a rudder.
The skin of a forest ray can be cured into a very fine and supple leather. This leather is useful in the manufacture of various magical cloaks and can also be used to make superior book covers. Treasure of prior victims can often be found in its stomach.

Forest rays usually set up ambushes to catch prey. They will try to quickly engulf their prey and swallow them whole. It uses its tail to stun as many foes as possible and then devour them in succession. They will flee is severely injured.

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

Poison (Ex): Any creature hit by the tail attack of the forest ray must make a Fortitude save vs DC 16 (Con based) or be stunned for 2d4 rounds. A minute later, they must make a second fortitude save or suffer 1d4 Str and Dex damage as a secondary damage.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A forest ray can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of large or smaller size by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 2d8+12 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 ray'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 20 points of damage (AC 14). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.
The forest ray's interior can hold one Large, two Medium, four Small, eight Tiny, or sixteen Diminutive or smaller opponents.

Skills: A forest ray has a +8 racial bonus to all Hide skill checks. *This bonus increases to +16 if the forest ray is motionless on the ground in the forest undergrowth.

The Red Curse
A forest ray has a 25% chance of having a Legacy. They typically have Legacies that are common to Region 4, such as Duplicate or Regenerate. They will sometimes (10% chance) have Region 3 Legacies. Forest rays do not require cinnabryl.