The Dragonlance Nexus

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Mariner's Death (Nu-Aear Gurth)

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Valharic

Huge Aberration (Aquatic)
Hit Dice:
4d8+12 (29 HP each tentacle x4), 5d8+15 (37 HP for body)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft. (see below)
Armor Class: 20 (-2 size, +12 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+16
Attack: 2 tentacles +12 (1d4+6 plus poison)
Full Attack: 2 tentacles +13 (1d4+6 plus poison), 2 tentacles +8 (1d4+6 plus poison) or bite +7 (2d6+6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole, tentacle poison
Special Qualities: Animate dead, body always flat-footed AC, blindsight, regeneration
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +8
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 11, Con 17, Int 11, Wis 8, Cha 5
Skills: Move Silently +8, Profession (sailor) +4, Spot +4, Survival +4, Swim +11, Tumble +5
Feats: Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Environment: Temperate aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Neutral evil

Nu-Aear Gurth are devious, evil creatures that hunt their prey for pleasure and survival. They tend to be patient and sneaky initially, and bring chaos and confusion with a full bore attack of tentacles and skeletons. The body is a huge pod covered in chitinous plates and a tooth filled gaping maw at the top, while the 4 tentacles tend to be covered in barnacles and grow anywhere from 30-50 feet and extend from the base of the body. They will lie in wait and attack ships unsuspecting.

Scholars have debated the origins of the Nu-Aear Gurth, or Mariner's Death as it's also known by sailors. Devoted followers of Zeboim claim it was a creation of the goddess to remind sailors and other travelers that the sea is her domain. Others believe it's the creation of a dark sea elf wizard to protect his domain. Many believe this theory since it's name is ancient elven for "Death from Below the Sea".

Nu-Aear Gurth tend to inhabit tropical coral reef areas. Although some have been known to inhabit less tropical areas, or older ones tend to go to deeper waters. Nu-Aear Gurth are asexual creatures, meaning they reproduce without mating with others of their like. Eggs laid are about the size of a human fist and tend to take approximately 3-4 years to reach full maturity. Some people harvest the eggs and grow them then release them in surrounding waters as guardians of their domain.

Nu-Aear Gurth will eat anything with meat on the bones. After ingesting their meal, the food slowly sits in its body being digested and eventually expelling the bones. The strange thing about it is that these bones become an animated skeleton controlled by the Nu-Aear Gurth.

Those brave enough or lucky enough to survive and see the water below have noted the amount of sunken ships below that have potential for treasure.


Nu-Aear Gurth are devious and sly creatures that posses an intellect that they use to their fullest. They will initially use the skeletons (see Monster Manual) to board a ship. If the ship is not within range of the Nu-Aear Gurth, it will command the skeletons to steer the ship in its direction. It will typically wait until evening to do so. If or when the ship is within reach of it's tentacles, it will use it's skeletons to attack first then surprise it's victims by using tentacles to grapple and poison, and then drag it's victims down to it's main body to ingest in it's large gaping maw. If the fight is not going well for it, it will withdraw from the fight and begin to attack the ship from the underside in hopes to sink it.

Improved Grab (Ex): Using their long tentacles, Nu-Aear Gurth attacks their victims by trying to grapple them. It can attempt a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the attempt, it establishes a hold and can attempt to bring a character to it's maw the next round and attempt to swallow it the 2nd round following.

Poison Attack (Ex): Upon a successful grapple or melee attack by a tentacle, the Nu-Aear Gurth employs a poison attack the opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 23) or temporarily lose 2d6 Strength points. The effects will last 4 hours.

Swallow Whole (Ex): If the Nu-Aear Gurth has successfully grappled a victim in a tentacle and brought them to his maw, a bite attack is made and another grapple attempt can be made. If successful the character has been swallowed whole. The victim is considered grappled after that, and can either attempt to break free of the grapple or attack the inside of the Nu-Aear Gurth (AC 14). Every round it is in the Nu-Aear Gurth mouth it continues automatically take 2d6 damage, no strength bonus included.

Animate Dead (Su): Nu-Aear Gurth have the ability to create undead skeletons similar to the spell animate dead. They do so by ingesting their prey and when the remains are expelled from the body, a skeleton is created. They can control up to 10 HD of skeletons, but usually only have 4-5 HD worth. Each skeleton is no more than a 1/3 CR.

Blindsight (Ex): Nu-Aear Gurth have extremely sensitive tentacles that act as a type of sonar and give it full ability to attack without the ability to see.

Regeneration (Ex): This creature has the ability to regenerate severed tentacles, though at a very slow rate. It takes approximately 1d4+1 weeks to grow a single tentacle back.

Speed (Ex): Nu-Aear Gurth moves extremely slow at the rate of 60 feet per hour and anchors itself down once it has found a suitable spot. Because of this limited movement, the main body of a Nu-Aear Gurth is always considered flat-footed when attacked. When attacking, the tentacles can move at a rate of 30 feet a round.

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