Skelzi

Skelzi

This creature is but shorter and slighter than a human, and its face is birdlike with a long, sharp beak—but you only get a glimpse before it fades from view and blends into the background!


Skelzi

XP 200 ()

CE Medium

Initiative +2


DEFENSE

AC 14 (natural armor)

hp: 44 (8d8 + 8)


OFFENSE

Speed: 30 ft.

Multiattack: A skelzi attacks once with claws and once with its blood whip.

Melee Attack—Blood Whip: +4 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1d4 + 2 slashing damage and the target must make a successful DC 12 Con saving throw or take continuing damage from bleeding (see Blood Whip, below).

Melee Attack—Claws: +4 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1d8 + 2 slashing damage.


STATISTICS

Str 14 (+2), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1),

Int 10 (+0), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 10 (+0)

Languages: Common, Unique

Skills: Stealth +4


TRAITS

Blood Whip: A skelzi’s vicious blood whip causes wounds that bleed profusely. A creature must make a DC 12 Con saving throw every time it takes damage from a blood whip. If the saving throw fails, the wound is bleeding freely and the creature takes 1d4 + 2 damage at the start of each of its turns. Bleeding continues for 1d6 rounds unless it is ended early with magical healing. Bleeding is also stopped if the affected creature or another creature adjacent to it binds the wound by spending an action and making a successful DC 12 Wis (Medicine) check. Every bleeding wound causes additional damage and must be treated separately; a character that was struck three times by blood whips, for example, takes 3d4 + 6 damage at the start of its next turn if none of those wounds are treated before then. A blood whip behaves as a normal whip when wielded by anyone who is not a skelzi.

Chameleonic Hide: If they shed their garments, skelzis can hide when they are lightly obscured, their Stealth bonus increases to +6, and they have tactical advantage on Stealth checks and on initiative rolls.


ECOLOGY

Environment: land

Organization: Solitary, flight (10–13), or squadron (20–120)

Skelzis originate from beyond the Material plane. They have bodies with leathery skin, but their human appearance is rendered alien by the long, sharp beak that protrudes from the birdlike skelzi face. Moreover, a skelzi’s hide is chameleonic, changing to blend with its surroundings. The creatures usually travel robed and masked so that they are less alarming to other races and to conceal their chameleonic power until the need for it arises.

A typical skelzi stands 6 feet tall and weighs 160 pounds. They speak their own language (a strange patter of clicks and whispered crooning), the language of skulks, and the Common tongue.

They often employ skulks and doppelgangers as spies or even as trusted agents in skelzi plans. Every skelzi outpost, colony, and expedition is well- supplied with weredactyls.

Skelzis are aggressively expansionistic, so countless colonies and more than a few empires exist across the infinite planes of existence. Many of these domains are located in pocket dimensions and limited offshoots of the Material plane. Great skelzi empires tend to be decadent, corrupt, torpid, and slow to respond to threats—but when they do respond, it is likely to be with overwhelming force. Smaller and younger societies are more energetic. All skelzi societies are organized around a many-tiered caste system in which lower-ranking skelzis serve those above them. Promotion is possible and highly sought. The fact that skelzis are willing to serve other skelzis who outrank them should not be confused with an attitude of obedience or with any sense of loyalty. Death creates openings for advancement, whether it comes naturally or through an assassin’s poison. On the rare occasions when skelzis serve another race as mercenaries or spies, it is purely for monetary gain; they never swear allegiance to anyone who is not a skelzi.

Noble skelzis make it a point to wear extravagant headdresses and rich clothing, deliberately drawing attention to themselves and to their high positions (emphasizing the fact that many skelzis are below them and few are above them). Skelzis of lower rank prefer to avoid notice as much as possible.

Skelzi hide is surprisingly tough. It is possible, although somewhat gruesome, to fashion thin, flexible leather armor from skelzi skin so that it retains a vestige of the living skelzi’s chameleonic properties.