Monster: Merghul

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This partly decayed corpse has a bluish tint to its pale skin, pointed fangs in its wide mouth, and flaps of leather extending from its clawed arms to the sides of its tors. Its legs are fused together forming a sort of tail, with the rotted remnants of its feet doubling as flippers.

CR 7; XP 3,200

NE Medium Undead
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60-ft., keen scent; Perception +17


AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 90 (12d8+36); aquatic healing
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +10
DR 5/silver; Immune cold, undead traits

Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee 2 claws +13 (1d6+4 plus sinking paralysis), bite +13 (1d6+4 plus sea longing fever), tail slap +13 (1d6+4 plus trip)
Special Attacks aquatic pounce

Str 18, Dex 14, Con —, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 17
Base Atk +9; CMB +13 (+17 trip); CMD 25 (can't be tripped)
Feats Athletic, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Improved Initiative, Nimble Moves 
Skills Acrobatics +2 (+14 jumping), Climb +14, Escape Artist +14, Intimidate +18, Perception +17, Stealth +17, Swim +14; Racial Modifiers +20 jumping
Language Aquatic, Common

Environment aquatic
Organization single, pack (2–10), school (11–40)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Aquatic Healing (Su) A merghul draws lifeforce from surrounding water, gaining fast healing 5 whenever it is immersed in salt water, fast healing 2 when immersed in fresh water, and fast healing 1 in brackish water.

Aquatic Pounce (Ex) A merghul can make a full attack when charging in or out of water. It can leap out of water during a move, double move, or charge actions, even when obstacles or difficult terrain would normally prevent declaring charge.

Sea Longing Fever (Su) Bite—injury; save Fortitude DC 16, onset 1 hour, frequency 1/day, effect 1d3 Cha damage, cure 3 consecutive saves. Sea longing is a magical disease that makes its victims obsess about open sea. After the Charisma damage exceeds half the subjects' Charisma score, the subjects becomes shaken as long as there is no sea or other large body of water within their line of sight. When the Charisma damage equals or exceeds the subjects' Charisma scores, they lose ability to breathe air and will seek to immerse themselves in water as quickly as possible. If a humanoid drowns in water while suffering from sea longing fever, it corpse will reanimate within 1d4 days as a merghul. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based.

Sinking Paralysis (Su) A living creature injured with a merghul's claw has to make a successful Fortitude saving throw (DC 16) or becomes paralyzed. It can attempt a new saving throw each round to end the paralysis. Elves are staggered instead of being paralyzed. A creature paralyzed in this way sinks unless it has external means of remaining buoyant, but it requires no oxygen during this time, not counting the rounds spend paralyzed against the maximum limit it can hold its breath.

Merghuls are strain of undead haunting the waters across the world. They can be easily mistaken for undead merfolk, though they usually spawn from humanoids infected by other merghuls. They can be also created with create undead spell cast on a surgically altered corpse anointed with potion of water breathing.

Merghuls are malicious, cunning, and aggressive, hunting humanoids and animals. They find great pleasure in feasting on carcasses of sea beasts, both mundane like whales or giant squids, and monstrous like krakens or sea dragons. They often attack boats and ships sailing through their territory. Many sailors from ships that manage to escape their attacks become infected and jump into the sea in a bout of fever spreading merghul presence further.

A merghul that sustains its existence for many years and succeeds to feast on many marine monsters, might grow to become merghul elder (CR 9), gaining advanced template, growing four tentacles that act as secondary natural weapons dealing 1d4 points of damage each, with grab special ability, and an array of spell-like abilities including call lightning stormcontrol weather, create undead, hydraulic push, putrefy food and water. They can create more merghuls with their create undead spell-like ability, though each subject requires preparations that take at least a month.

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