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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Faerie Bestiary: Cheshire Cat

by Adam Frank and Tim Wallace

Cheshire Cat
A large smile filled with pointed teeth hovers in front of you. Two disembodied eyes slowly open revealing large purple irises slit with a cat's pupils. A body fades in filling in the gaps in the face you see in front of you and a melodic voice issues forth from the creature. “Mad?” it cackles, a laugh of genuine mirth with something darker lurking underneath, “We're all mad here.”


CHESHIRE CAT      CR 8
XP 4,800
CN Small magical beast
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11
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DEFENSE
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AC 22, touch 21, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +6 luck, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 95 (10d10+40); fast healing 2
Fort +11, Ref +11, Will +1
Defensive Abilities unearthly luck; Immune mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms), paralysis, poison, polymorph, sleep, and stun; SR 19
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OFFENSE
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Speed 20 ft., fly 20 ft. (clumsy)
Melee 2 claws +15 (1d4-3 plus poison), bite +15 (1d3-3)
Special Attacks insanity poison, maddening gaze, sneak attack +3d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +16)
   At will—dimension door, ethereal jaunt, greater teleport
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TACTICS
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Before Combat The Cheshire Cat abhors combat and will do all it can to avoid it by either using its ethereal jaunt ability or simply teleporting away from any threat it perceives. If forced into a fight it can hold its own.
During Combat It will use its abilities to vanish and reappear around the battlefield seemingly at random and do everything in its power to confuse its foes. The first thing the Cheshire Cat will do is find the biggest threat, often the smallest target or any magic user, and drive it to distraction with its gaze attack. It will then attack the remaining enemies focusing on none and spreading its chaos throughout the field of battle poisoning its foes until it can escape.
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STATISTICS
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Str 4, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 15, Wis 6, Cha 23
Base Atk +10; CMB +6; CMD 26 (30 vs. trip)
Feats Dimensional Agility, Dimensional Assault, Dimensional Dervish, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +4 (+0 to jump), Bluff +16, Fly -2, Perception +11, Sense Motive +8, Stealth +21
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan
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SPECIAL ABILITIES
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Insanity Poison (Ex) Claw—injury; save Fort DC 19; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Wisdom damage; cure 1 save. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Maddening Gaze (Su) Cause a single creature within range to become confused (as confusion) for 10 rounds, range 30 feet, Will DC 21 negates. The save is Charisma-based.
Unearthly Luck (Su) The Cheshire Cat adds his Charisma bonus as a luck bonus to its Armor Class.
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ECOLOGY
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Environment Wonderland (Faerie)
Organization solitary
Treasure standard

Slightly larger than a typical housecat, the Cheshire Cat is striped in bright colors often lavender and royal purple. It rarely shows it's whole body at once, preferring to keep parts of it on the ethereal plane at all times. It is very talkative and will commonly enter into conversations with wanderers it comes upon.
While the Cheshire cat is a being of chaos and madness, it often tries to act as a self imposed guide across Wonderland pointing out places to go and paths to take. It will inevitably lead those who follow it to the Queen of Hearts' castle though it never leads it's followers down the quickest or straightest path. It enjoys confusion and chaos feeding on the emotions that it causes.
There are rumors that the Cheshire cat works for the Queen of Hearts, though no one is entirely certain of this. The two beings may have similar goals, or instead, the Cheshire cat may just enjoy watching the chaos the Queen imposes on those she encounters.
There are those who choose to work with the feline and if it deems them useful it is more likely to work with them again. If the chaotic being is entertained so much the better for it.
Despite its tendency to lead its followers to doom it will, on occasion, be kind and lead them through some of Wonderlands less horrific sites and denizens. At its very core the of the Cheshire Cat is fickle. You can only ever trust it to be chaotic.