DIET:See below
INTELLIGENCE:Exceptional (15-16)
ALIGNMENT:Neutral evil
HIT DICE:6 + 20
DAMAGE/ATTACK:1-8 (claws)
SIZE:L (9’+ long)
MORALE:Champion (16)
XP VALUE:4,000
AD&D 2e statistics

For ages, the nature of the Valkarthi was nothing but speculation and wild conjecture. Some said they were distant kin of the astral dreadnoughts, those gargantuan terrors of the Astral Plane. It’s easy to see why, with their imposing size and fearsome appearance. But as any cutter worth their salt knows, looks can be deceiving, and the truth is often far stranger than fiction.

Enter Jarvest, a young wizard with more guts than sense, or so they say. Determined to unravel the mystery of the Valkarthi, he plunged into the Plane of Dust, that barren wasteland where secrets are as plentiful as the sands. What he found there was beyond anyone’s wildest imaginings.

The creature he dragged back from the brink of death was a Valkarthi, no doubt about it. Nine feet of pure nightmare, from its head to its tail. The head? Think of the most twisted, disfigured Abyssal lobster you can imagine, and you’re halfway there. Its body was a mass of muscle and sinew, with two arms ending in claws so massive they could crush a man’s skull like an eggshell.

But the real kicker was the head. No mouth, no eyes, nothing that even hinted at the usual faculties. Instead, it was a mass of writhing tentacles, each one a story in itself, each one a mystery. How did it eat? How did it see? These were questions that even Jarvest, with all his arcane knowledge, couldn’t answer.

But the creature was dying, and the young wizard had brought it to the burg to find out about it’s origins. So soon after he got a psionicist to tap into the creature’s mind to discover the monster’s secrets.

Fearsome creatures of unspeakable horrors. They swimming through the plane of Dust, searching for their lost mother.

— Extract from the journal of Stromwing

COMBAT: The Valkarthi are vicious hunters. They have acquired much knowledge in the ways of hunting and killing. A notable form of attack is by using a single valkarthi as bait, leading a careless victim into the pack’s ambush range. Another form of attack is by superior numbers; this is a rare occasion, as valkarthi don’t always work together well. But a valkarthi is just as deadly on its own. It attacks its prey by use of its sharp claws which do 1d8 damage each.

As the valkarthi have lived in the dust for many centuries, they have adapted ways to use it to their advantage. A valkarthi can charge at its victim for 3d10 points of damage. The valkarthi has to be at least 60 feet from its victim to charge.

One of the deadliest attacks of this creature though, is through the tentacles on its head. On a successful attack with both its claws, a valkarthi can hold its victim and make an attack with its tentacles. If successful, it can drain 1d6 hit points from its victim and add it to its own. These affects are temporary. For the victim to be able to pry himself free, he has to make a successful bend bars/lift gate roll.

Although they have no visible organs (apart from a hidden set of eyes), a valkarthi is still very hard to surprise. They therefore receive a +3 to surprise rolls. Usually it is the valkarthi that surprises its victim.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: Although valkarthi in large groups tend to be hostile to each other, they still do follow the orders of a supreme being.

A much larger being is believe to have spawned or created these monsters. And about a decade ago, she had disappeared from her lair in the dust. That is why valkarthi have became more frequent, they are searching for their lost leader.

Valkarthi usually hunt in packs of 1-4, but they can also roam in larger parties of 1-10. There are also the occasional ones that move around on their own, these are supposedly loners who have decided to not to search for their queen. The valkarthi that was captured by Jarvest was also by itself, yet the psionicist was unable to find about more about it before it died.

ECOLOGY: Planewalkers are still searching the dust for more information on these creatures, yet all attempt have ended in failure. Jarvest was never able to lay eyes upon another valkarthi, let alone capture. Just recently, rumours have aroused that Jarvest has actually been killed on the plane of Dust. Whether or not this is true, planewalkers still hunt the Dust for the hunter.

Source: Chris Tan

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