This week’s Exotic Encounter is the chodhalla, a new race of monstrous humanoids with a very close relationship to their native environment. Will the chodhalla be an ally or an enemy to your PCs? The reclusive creatures can be fickle and territorial, but aren’t naturally evil, meaning that an encounter could easily go either way.
This gangly, skulking humanoid has an elongated, reptilian head with beady black eyes, but its skin is cracked and scarred, rather than scaly. Most of its body is covered in twisted brambles, which seem to be growing directly from the creature itself.
CHODHALLA CR 5
N Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., greensight 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +15
AC 21, touch 13, flat-footed 18 (+3 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 69 (6d10+36)
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +11
Defensive Abilities shrubbery; DR 5/slashing
Weaknesses vulnerability to fire
Speed 20 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee club +10/+5 (1d6+4)
Ranged mwk composite shortbow [+4 Str] +10/+5 (1d6+4/x3)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +12)
At Will—know direction, warp wood
3/day—entangle (DC 17), goodberry
Str 18, Dex 17, Con 22, Int 7, Wis 23, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +10 (+12 grapple); CMD 13 (15 vs. grapple)
Feats Improved Grapple, Intimidating Prowess, Power Attack
Skills Intimidate +3, Perception +15, Stealth +12 (+20 in forests and swamps), Survival +14; Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in forests and swamps, +8 Survival
SQ freeze, trackless step, woodland stride
Environment any forest or swamp
Organization solitary, pair, grove (3–6),
Shrubbery (Ex): A chodhalla’s entire body is covered with thick, thorny brambles which grow from her skin. Any creature that strikes a chodhalla with a natural attack or unarmed strike suffers 1d6 points of piercing damage, while any creature grappling or grappled by the chodhalla suffers 2d6 points of piercing damage per round. Finally, as a move action, a chodhalla can withdraw herself into heer own thorny carapace, gaining partial cover from all other creatures, but also granting them cover from the chodhalla. The chodhalla can reemerge with another move action.
Trackless Step (Ex): A chodhalla leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. She may choose to leave a trail if so desired.
Woodland Stride (Ex): A chodhalla may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect her.
A strange race of lizard-like creatures, many erroneously believe that chodhallas are actually part plant, biologically. In fact, the plants that grow from their bodies are actually planted there in a laborious process that occurs throughout the chodhalla’s adolescence. Each week, a small cut is made somewhere in the chodhalla’s skin, and a small seed placed within the cut. The seeds are naturally watered and nourished by the chodhalla’s excursions through swampy water, as they bathe almost daily in the stuff. Over time, they sprout and grow from beneath the skin, winding together into a latticework of brambles that covers the entire body. A chodhalla’s plant growths are considered a mark of adulthood, and it is considered a great shame for a chodhalla to lose them, whether by fire, or having them cut off (a fate usually reserved for exiles from chodhalla society—the exile lasts for as long as it takes for the plants to grow back).