Welcome to the very first Monday edition of Exotic Encounters! Today we’re kicking off Magic Item Week, in celebration of the return of one of our favorite older articles, Magic Market. You might think that coming up with a monster that related to magic items was pretty hard, but as soon as I knew the theme of the week, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with it. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the grajik.
This creature’s long, low body is lean and slender, like that of a greyhound or a hunting cat, but it has six legs, rather than four, and its body is covered in mottled green-and-black scales. Its head is vaguely feline in shape, except that its mouth opens sideways, and it has three eyes, positioned to form the points of a triangle. From its back extend a pair of four-foot-long whip-like tendrils, each of which ends in a luminous blue-green orb of flesh, which crackle and hum with a faint energy.
GRAJIK CR 7
N Medium magical beast
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, magic scent; Perception +14
AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 94 (9d10+45)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +7
Speed 30 ft.; climb 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d6+3), 2 tentacles +12 (1d4+3 plus 1d4 electricity)
Special Attacks siphon magic
Str 17, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 3, Wis 15, Cha 10
Base Atk +9; CMB +12 CMD 24 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Perception +14
SQ arcane absorption
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–9)
Arcane Absorption (Su): A grajik’s body can temporarily absorb the magical qualities of magic arms and armor. Whenever a grajik hits a creature with one of its tentacle attacks, if that creature is wearing armor with an enhancement bonus or which has a special ability whose cost is expressed as an enhancement bonus equivalent, the grajik gains an enhancement bonus to its armor class equal to that enhancement bonus, and gains all special abilities of that armor for 1 minute. During this time, the suit of armor worn by the creature hit by the grajik loses its enhancement bonus and magical abilities, and is treated as a mundane suit of armor of its sort.
Similarly, whenever a grajik is hit by a weapon with an enhancement bonus or which has a special ability whose cost is expressed as an enhancement bonus equivalent, both of the grajik’s tentacle attacks gain that weapon’s enhancement bonus and special abilities for 1 minute, and the weapon that was used to hit the grajik loses them for that time.
In either case, enhancement bonuses do not stack, and the highest enhancement bonus is applied. Similarly, multiple identical abilities do not stack (although the grajik can have any number of different enhancement bonus equivalent abilities in this way).
Magic Scent (Ex): A grajik can smell magical auras. This functions as the scent special quality, except that the grajik can only use this ability to notice and locate things which could be detected with a detect magic spell.
Siphon Magic (Su): As a standard action, a grajik can attack a magic item. The magic item must be accessible (a worn or held magic item could be attacked in this way, as could an unattended one, but one stored in a backpack or other container could not be, unless it was first removed). If the magic item is attended, this provokes an attack of opportunity from the item’s wearer or wielder. If the grajik successfully hits the magic item, it does not damage it, but instead steals some of its magical power. If the item uses charges, it loses 2d4 of those charges, and for each charge lost in this way, the grajik heals 5 hit points. If the item does not use charges, its magical abilities are suppressed for 1 minute, and the grajik heals a number of hit points equal to the item’s caster level, instead. This ability cannot be used on a magic item whose abilities are currently suppressed, nor can it be used on a magic item that uses charges but currently has none.
Curious beasts that traditionally lived only in deep subterranean caves, grajik literally means “devourer of treasures” in Undercommon. While these creatures sustain themselves primarily on meat, and are carnivorous in nature and habit, they are intensely attracted to magic, and seem to be able to devour the stuff in a truly unique fashion, using the stored power of magic items to heal their wounds, or simply repurposing the abilities of magic weapons and armor. Some studies of the creatures have reported that they can survive for weeks at a time on nothing but magical energy alone, though eventually they must eat.
While they were once confined to the depths of the earth, grajiks have become a much more common sight—too common, in the eyes of many—on the surface. This is due to their popularity amongst the derro, who have begun “taming” (to use the word generously) the creatures. The derro use these beasts to strip unwary adventurers—and anyone else relying on magic items—of their potent offensive and defensive powers, making them soft targets for the derro. Little by little, this domestication has caused more and more grajiks to be brought to the surface, whether because the derro themselves have moved there (or near enough for the grajik to wander off), or because they were lost or even captured during a derro raid on the surface, or because they were recovered by curious adventurers raiding a derro encampment. However they wind up on the surface, most grajiks that become loose there quickly learn to thrive.
Although they typically hunt and live individually, in some cases grajiks have been known to form packs, much like those that wild dogs and wolves form. This tendency has grown as more and more grajiks have adjusted to life on the surface, where pack tactics are generally more favorable than they are in the long, narrow, twisting tunnels often found deep beneath the surface of the earth. Grajik packs are most likely to form when prey is particularly scarce, or when there are other, more powerful predators about that the grajiks must defend themselves—and their kills—from.