Monster Monday: Forked Cat
Many animals, whether through a racial link to the First World or another mystical snafu, have dormant supernatural abilities. Cats are such animals, and as they age and grow, some gain intelligence, malevolence, and necromantic powers. The main distinction between them and an ordinary cat is their twin tails.
FORKED CAT CR 9
CE Small magical beast (shapechanger)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10
AC 23 touch 15 flat-footed 19 (+8 natural armor, +4 Dex, +1 size)
hp 102 (12d10+36)
Fort +8 Ref +12 Will +8
Immunities disease, poison; SR 24
Weakness forked tail
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +17 (1d3–1), bite +17 (1d4–1 plus grab)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks swallow whole (3d6 acid damage, AC 14, hp 10)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th, concentration +18)
At will—alter winds, command undead (DC 19), cause fear (DC 17), dancing lights, ghost sound (DC 16), mage hand, minor image (DC 18), obscuring mist,
3/day—charm person (DC 17), chill touch (DC 17), darkness (DC 21), dream (DC 21), fireball (DC 19), gaseous form, ghoul touch (DC 18), gust of wind (DC 18), nightmare (DC 21)
1/day—bestow curse (DC 19), call lightning (DC 19), contagion (DC 20), create greater undead (shadow, spectre or wraith only), raise dead
Str 8, Dex 18, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 22
Base Atk +12; CMB +10 (+16 grapple); CMD 24 (26 vs. grapple)
Feats Deceitful, Improved Grapple, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +12, Bluff +20, Climb +10, Disguise +20, Knowledge (arcana) +5, Knowledge (religion) +5, Perception +10, Sense Motive +5, Stealth +16; Racial +4 Climb, +4 Stealth
Languages Common, Aklo
SQ change shape (any humanoid as alter self, cat only as beast shape III), raise dead, speak with cats
Organization solitary, solitary plus horde (1 forked cat plus 2d8 zombies)
Change Shape (Su) A forked cat can turn into any humanoid creature as alter self or into a domestic cat (sizes Tiny to Huge) as per beast shape III. In its cat forms, it always has two tails.
While in a humanoid shape, the forked cat can’t use any of its natural weapons or gain the benefit of its grab ability. It may still attempt to use swallow whole. Mirrors reveal its true self and its tails are invisible.
Forked Tail (Su) A forked cat’s tails are the source of its powers. Severing one tail makes the forked cat lose its spell-like abilities (except at-will) and it may use its change shape only to appear as a humanoid or a Tiny cat. Severing them both makes it lose all its abilities, becoming a Small cat. Its type changes to animal (augmented) and its mental stats become Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8.
Each tail is considered to have 10 hp and a hardness of 5. To sever a tail, a sunder attempt must be made against it, and the tail must be reduced to 0 hp in one blow. It regrows after one month. If it loses both tails, it can’t regrow them.
Raise Undead (Su) A forked cat create a zombie by jumping over a fresh corpse. Once per day it can use this ability to create a ghast or ghoul. It can control up to 44 HD of undead this way.
Speak with Cats (Ex) A forked cat can speak with all feline creatures.
Swallow Whole (Su) A forked cat can eat unusually large things. It can use this ability on a creature up to one size category larger than itself.
Forked cats are vicious, but physically weak. If they know their target, they’ll torment the target with illusions and weaken them with nightmares and diseases before attacking them with their undead minions and damaging spells.
ECOLOGY AND HABITS
Although forked cats can be found in any environment, they’re most common in urban areas or places where they have a reliable supply of fresh corpses. They usually live in the houses of their owners, after eating their owners and taking their place. Their homes lack mirrors so that they can avoid ruining their disguises.
It’s rare for a cat to reach the age where it begins to transform into a forked cat (from fifty years to a century). When they do, they gain power over death, disease, dreams, and the weather. Their transformation relies on a good life and diet, so the members of the upper class run the greatest risk of having a vicious creature curled up on their lap. Forked cats retain much of their original aloofness, pride, and mercurial personality.
Rare is the person who has witnessed the phenomenon of the forked cat. Despite this rarity, some villages are superstitious enough to cut the tails off cats when they’re born, preventing them from ever transforming into such a dangerous creature.