Monster Monday: Tekelnetiress, the Sultana’s Pin
Once one of the chosen few of Lashmaraq of Hariz, Tekelnetiress the chitin drake fell afoul of one of that queen’s many purges. A valued personal aide and bodyguard, as well as a “Hammer” of Hariz, Tekelnetiress was responsible for overseeing the training and equipping of forces ultimately destined for the failed conquest of Khandiria. Never one to accept failure from her underlings, Lashmaraq banished Tekelnetiress from the province, and the drake has since wandered Mharoti from province to province, lately finding succor at the court of the Sultana.
Being more pragmatic and forgiving than Lashmaraq, the Sultana has made great use of Tekelnetiress as an envoy between provinces and even beyond the realm of Mharoti. She relies on the experienced drake to ply courtiers with questions and find answers. Known among the minor noble timarli as the “Sultana’s Pin,” Tekelnetiress nonetheless enjoys the opportunity to leave Mharoti and its internecine rivalries and travel throughout the southern desert regions of Midgard, indulging in personal interests (where possible outside of her assigned duties) long suppressed under Lashmaraq. Tekelnetiress has a keen interest in geology and sand dune formations, and she can often be found gazing languidly at seemingly empty desert vistas.
Despite her eccentricities, Tekelnetiress is a keen combatant and an avid student of martial techniques. As a chitin drake, Tekelnetiress takes full advantage of her displacement ability and seeks to pin and rend weaker opponents as soon as possible, both to remove them from the field of battle, and to demoralize their allies. The impressive burrowing ability of the chitin drake allows Tekelnetiress to engage her opponents with added stealth, and she saves her breath weapon for the most advantageous alignment of foes.
Chitin Drake CR 9
N Large dragon (material)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent, tremorsense 30 ft.; Perception +12
AC 25, touch 12, flat-footed 22 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +13 natural, –1 size)
hp 91 (11d12+20)
Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9
DR 10/piercing; Immune magic paralysis and sleep, dragon traits
Weaknesses vulnerability to fire, take 150% damage
Speed 40 ft., burrow 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +15 (1d6+5), bite +15 (1d10+5), tail slap +6 (1d8+2), vestigial wing spikes +6 (1d6+2)(see below)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (and see below)
Special Attacks breath weapon (80 ft. line, 8d8 air, Reflex DC 20 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), pin, rend
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 11th; concentration +13)
Str 20, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 14, Cha 13
Base Atk +12; CMB +17; CMD 30 (34 vs. trip)
Feats Ability Focus (breath weapon), Alertness, Power Attack, Step Up
Skills Bluff +7, Diplomacy +9, Climb +4, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (nature) +5, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +6, Survival +7
Languages Common, Draconic
Organization Solitary, pair
Breath Weapon (Su) A chitin drake spouts an 80-ft. line of pressurized air that bowls over foes. In addition to the 8d8 damage, each opponent in the line must make a DC 20 Fortitude saving throw or be knocked prone. Regardless of a successful save, all in the path of the blast are staggered for 1 round.
Pin (Ex) A chitin drake’s vestigial wings appear as two stubby, folded-up appendages. These appendages are actually wicked bony spikes with a reach of 15 ft. Any foe struck by both of these spikes in one round is pinned and vulnerable to a chitin drake’s rend ability each round until freed.
Rend (Ex) If a chitin drake hits with both claw attacks in one round, or has successfully pinned a foe with both of its vestigial spikes, it deals an additional 1d6+12 damage as it latches onto its opponent and tears its flesh.
Ferocious, wise, and highly territorial, heavily armored chitin drakes can be found throughout Midgard as bodyguards and guardians, or they are predators of those deemed by these highly honorable creatures as being unworthy of trust or compact. A chitin drake holds its word in the highest regard, and it stops at nothing to defend its reputation or to uphold the tenets of any agreement it makes. Such inflexibility in word and deed may seem at odds with the openness of a neutral outlook, but chitin drakes hold only themselves to this bond, and they often see only duplicity and deceit in others. For this reason, chitin drakes are sought out by paladins and witches because both groups are interested in concepts of binding agreements.
Whereas their wingless state may bring a certain amount of ridicule from other, larger winged drakes, chitin drakes more than make up for their aerial shortcomings. Possessed of powerful limbs and broad, scooping talons, chitin drakes can move as fast beneath the ground as they can above, burrowing through the earth and utilizing their tremorsense and scent abilities to locate prey. Furthermore, the vestigial appendages on their shoulders in place of true wings are powerful weapons in their own right. With an extended reach and unerring accuracy, a chitin drake unfolds these wicked limbs to pin unsuspecting foes in place in order to bring its rend ability to bear. A chitin drake’s supercharged air blast breath weapon likewise incapacitates foes, placing them in further danger from its pin and rend abilities. Most useful of all, the chitin drake’s displacement ability helps it to avoid attacks, and its thick chitinous covering keeps all but the sharpest strikes from harming it. A secret known by few nonchitin drakes hides an important weakness: fire is a sovereign weapon against chitin drakes. The chitinous hide melts and warps, causing great pain to these noble creatures.
Looking like an insectoid cross between a triceratops and a lion, the chitin drake sports a broad fan about its vaguely feline-shaped head. A chitin drake’s pale yellow-white chitin hide is remarkably light, and though the creatures grow to between 15 and 20 ft. in length, they weigh a mere 1,200 pounds. Chitin drakes are material drakes.