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Shimmerfishby Jamie Baty
Medium Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 2d10+4 (15 hp)
Initiative: +3 (+3 Dex)
Speed: swim 80 ft. (16 squares)
Armour Class: 15 (+3 Dex, +2 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+5
Attack: Bite +5 melee (2d4 +3)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (2d4 +3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Boat ram, lure
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., hold breath, low-light vision, sprint, tremorsense
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +3
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 17, Con 15, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 17
Skills: Jump +11, Listen +9, Spot +9, Swim +14
Feats: Alertness, Improved Overrun (B)
Environment: Any aquatic
Organisation: Solitary, Gang (2-5), or Pack (5-20)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: See Below
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 3-4 HD (Medium); 5-6 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: -
Shimmerfish are deadly, evil relatives of the friendly dolphins. These sleek and powerful swimmers are found in warm seas. Shimmerfish, unlike dolphins, are never found in fresh water. Both dolphins and shimmerfish often appear in open waters, making their characteristic arched bounds, frequently before the bow waves of ships.
Shimmerfish follow schools of fish in groups of varying size. Most groups contain only a few members, although occasionally larger groups will form temporarily. In one day, a shimmerfish eats nearly one-third of its weight, mostly in fish and squid.
Shimmerfish reach maturity at about six years old, at which time their previously dull skin becomes shimmery. They mate in the spring and have a gestation period of eleven or twelve months. Calves swim and breathe minutes after birth.
Shimmerfish have a language composed primarily of clicking sounds and whistles. These also act as part of an echolocation system, similar to that of a bat, enabling the shimmerfish to navigate and detect prey.
Shimmerfish have a gland in the head that holds a small quantity of valuable oil, which is used to lubricate delicate mechanisms. Each shimmerfish gland holds about one ounce of oil, which sells for between one and five gold pieces. Also, raw, uncured hide sells for about two gold pieces, and a cured shimmerfish hide is a beautiful thing worth at least 10 gold pieces.
Shimmerfish can form rough, shimmering images underwater with their glowing bodies, sometimes appearing like golden, sunken treasure or even luminescent humanoid forms. A group of four or more shimmerfish acts as a magical lure. This is their preferred method of attack. Once the victim(s) is in the water, the shimmerfish will close in for the kill, biting with their hundreds of razor-sharp teeth.
If it becomes clear that their attempts at luring are ineffective, shimmerfish will ram small boats. Shimmerfish will also leap up in the air to knock victims into the water.
Shimmerfish love to prolong a victim's death, teasing, drawing out the terror. Shimmerfish sometimes "rescue" victims of a shipwreck, carry them heartbreakingly close to shore, and then attack, just to watch the victims' rising hopes come crashing down in a rising tide of desperation.
Boat Ram (Ex): A shimmerfish may ram a wooden boat as part of a charge. This ram attack does 1d6+4 damage to the vessel (or section thereof) and ignores any hardness.
Lure (Su): A group of four or more shimmerfish may create an illusion of treasure or other appealing image. Any creature viewing this image must make a Will save vs DC 14 (Cha based) or immediately move at full speed towards the image (victims above the water will jump in unless restrained). The lure is dispelled when the victim reaches the image or the shimmerfish attack.
Fisherfolk, sailors, and others who spend most of their lives at sea are resistant to the lure of the shimmerfish (+4 bonus on saving throws).
Hold Breath (Ex): A shimmerfish can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 10x its Constitution score before it risks drowning. For a typical shimmerfish, this equals 150 rounds, or 15 minutes.
Sprint (Ex): Once every hour, a shimmerfish can move ten times its normal speed (800 feet) when it makes a charge.
Tremorsense (Ex): A shimmerfish is sensitive to vibrations in the water and can automatically pinpoint the location of anything that is in the water within 360ft of its body.
Skills: A shimmerfish has a +4 racial bonus to all Jump checks. A shimmerfish gains a +8 racial bonus to any swim check. It may always 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
Shimmerfish never acquire Legacies or require cinnabryl.