Monster Monday: Margreve Backpack Gecko
The malicious fey creatures colloquially referred to as Margreve backpack geckos (a reference to their small stature and tendency to turn up in travelers’ gear) are a tremendous danger to adventurers in Midgard. The combination of paralytic poison and craving for fresh meat makes these creatures a hazard worthy of note.
Margreve Backpack Gecko CR 3
NE Tiny Fey
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +10
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 27 (5d6+10); fast healing 2
Fort +2, Ref +7, Will +4
DR 5/cold iron; Resist cold, electricity, fire 10, SR 13
Speed 20 ft., Climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d3–1 plus poison)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks poison
Str 9, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +2; CMB +3; CMD 12 (16 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +11, Climb +15, Escape Artist +11, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +19
Languages Sylvan (cannot speak)
SQ preternatural drag
Environment Warm forests or plains
Organization solitary, pair, or omen (3–6)
Poison (Ex) Bite-injury; save Fortitude DC 13, frequency 1/minute for 2 minutes, effect paralysis for 1 minute, cure 1 successful save. A Margreve backpack gecko can also use this poison as a contact poison 3/day by licking a surface. This contact version of the poison remains potent for 24 hours.
Preternatural Drag (Su) A Margreve backpack gecko is capable of surprising feats of strength while dragging an object. It can drag a total weight of 500 lbs. This does not affect other carrying capacities.
Despite its harmless appearance, the Margreve backpack gecko is a cunning and deadly foe. Their paralytic poison and voracious appetite would make them dangerous enough, but these creatures are not merely mindless animals.
Older than the mortal races of the earth, these creatures possess a highly developed intelligence and cruelty, far beyond the capacity of mere humanoids. They enjoy tormenting their victims, stalking them carefully before paralyzing them and dragging them off. They then devour the victim alive over a span of days, their paralytic poison leaving the prey conscious and aware of everything that is happening but unable to escape or fight back. An adult Margreve backpack gecko can consume nearly 75 pounds of meat per day, though it can subsist on considerably less by slowing its metabolism and remaining dormant for periods of up to one month.
Though they usually congregate only for mating, Margreve backpack geckos remain together through the egg laying, fertilization, and hatching stages, banding together into a dangerous group known as an omen, but even a small number of these creatures can be a threat to any group of travelers. The newly born young tend to be particularly ravenous, quickly devouring hundreds of pounds of fresh meat within hours.
Margreve backpack geckos are patient predators, often stalking a victim (or group of victims) for days before finding the opportunity to strike. They hide in backpacks, pouches, boots, and other containers. They wait until the host is asleep then infiltrate campsites, strategically licking commonly used items before ambushing a segregated victim and dragging him or her off to devour the poor soul alive at the creature’s pleasure.
Since a Margreve backpack gecko’s poison remains potent for awhile, it can spread the poison across the gear of several adventurers—the fighter’s sword, the wizard’s staff, the inside of the cleric’s boot—leaving an entire group helpless as the gecko drags off its chosen prey.