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by Jamie Baty

Large Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 7d10+7 (45 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), swim 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armour Class: 21 (-1 size, +12 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+18
Attack: Bite +13 melee (2d12 +7)
Full Attack: Bite +13 melee (2d12 +7) and claw +8 melee (2d4 +3)
Space/Reach: 10 ft. /5 ft.
Special Attacks: -
Special Qualities: Amphibious, darkvision 90ft., low-light vision, shell defence
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +7
Abilities: Str 24, Dex 11, Con 13, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 15
Skills: Diplomacy +6, Knowledge (local) +8, Knowledge (nature) +8, Listen +12, Search +5, Spot +12, Survival +7, Swim +18
Feats: Alertness, Combat Expertise, Endurance
Environment: Temperate aquatic
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Double Standard
Alignment: Always neutral good
Advancement: 8-14 HD (Large); 15-21 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: -

This highly intelligent turtle is primarily a sea creature, occasionally seen wandering the shores of the tortle people. Its behaviour is very similar in manner to that of a good dragon
solitary in nature, though sometimes preventing catastrophes about to befall tortles. For this reason, the kla'a-tah is referred to as the Tortle Guardian.
The kla'a-tah boasts a huge, colourful upper shell, often studded with uncut gems. The undershell is pink and extremely hard. The legs and head of the kla'a-tah are a dark red, and the skin looks plated. Its rear feet taper back into two giant flippers, and the front feet have very sharp-edged toenails. The creature's head resembles that of a turtle
with large, deep set eyes and a sharp, powerful horned beak. When out of the water for more than a few minutes, the kla'a-tah coughs with a deep, booming bark. They are about 12ft long.
No more than one kla'a-tah is ever seen at one time, so not much is known about their society. Different kla'a-tah have been seen helping the same tortle community, though, so they must move around. Kla'a-tah are thought to live in deep trenches along the ocean floor. They have been seen sunning themselves on the surface while eating seaweed or the carcass of a freshly-killed sea glutton.
It is known that kla'a-tah have a language of their own. They have been observed conversing with tortle shamans, but whether they will talk to others is unknown. Certainly they have never spoken to anyone but the tortles, and the shamans keep most others away from the large creatures. The tortle people do collect cinnabryl for the kla'a-tah, which the shamans deliver, but they do this out of gratitude rather than payment.
Kla'a-tah work to keep the sea gluttons from achieving a dominant position in the Western Sea. They can survive on seaweed alone, but they would consider it wasteful not to eat a creature they have taken the effort to kill. Kla'a-tah never overhunt an area. Their population is actually quite small, making them a valuable part of the ecosystem with no need for a larger predator to keep them in check.
Tortle legends have a lot to say about the kla'a-tah, much of it contradictory. One legend claims that the kla'a-tah are indeed Tortle Guardians, set in place by the Immortals to watch over the simple tortle race. Another claims that tortles who master the Red Curse are made into kla'a-tah by the Immortals, to watch over others and lead them down the same path. However, this last one poses a few questions, since kla'a-tah still have Legacies and require cinnabryl.
Other legends about the kla'a-tah relate to the Monoliths of Zul, ancient ruins that the tortles claim were built by their ancestors (much debated by sages). According to these legends, certain tortles achieved enlightenment and grew into the guardians of the rest of the tortle race, helped by the behind-the-scenes work of certain Immortals.
The kla'a-tah speak their own language and that of the tortles.

Only the ignorant, evil or foolish attack a kla'a-tah. Generally benevolent and non-aggressive, they will act to defend themselves and tortles. A kla'a-tah attacks with front claws and a powerful bite. Because of its girth, it can only bring one claw to bear at any particular target in a given round. However, the attack is powerful enough that even the powerful sea glutton fears this creature. With the protection its shell offers, a kla'a-tah rarely retreats from combat. If necessary, this giant turtle can pull in its legs and head, partially retreating into its lower shell. This seals off the leg openings and protects (but does not seal off) the head.
The kla'a-tah can make extremely quick snapping attacks for a creature its size, extending its neck to get a decent range of motion around the front of its shell. It does not worry too much about rear attacks, as its thick shell is nearly impervious.

Amphibious (Ex): A kla'a-tah can breathe while in air and while submerged in water.

Shell Defence (Ex): A kla'a-tah has a protective shell that gives it may benefits. They have a +2 bonus to all saving throws (included above), which increases to +4 if they retreat into their shell.
When retreated in their shell, they receive an additional +2 bonus to their natural armour class, are immune to sneak attacks, and have the equivalent of moderate fortification.

Skills: A kla'a-tah 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.

The Red Curse
A kla'a-tah gains at least one Legacy; many of them (25%) gain two or more. These Legacies vary from one creature to another, but some
Blend, Phase, Sight, Stone Shape, and Cure
show up often enough to be considered regular. Kla'a-tah do require cinnabryl to ward off Affliction. Tortles provide most of this magical metal for them, but where they get the rest is unknown. No one has ever reported an Afflicted kla'a-tah, however.