Acronical: Init +4; Atk serrated hooks +3 melee (2d4+2 plus DC 10 Fort save or lose one point from random attribute until slain); AC 17; HD 5d10; MV 150’; Act 2d20; SV Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +1; AL N.
|Artwork by Stan Morrison|
The acronical is a large insectile predator that strides on six armored legs. Eight feet tall at the shoulder, it has a dark maroon exoskeleton and serrated black hooks at the end of both arms. It reeks of vomit.
Created by anhedonic priests many centuries ago, this nocturnal creature stalks and kills adulterers. It hunts married people who stray from the beds of their spouses, and it hunts those who fornicate with married people.
Acronicals are drawn to the scent of such persons, and can detect it from miles away. Hunting in small packs, the beasts crawl across walls and ceilings, silent and careful, closing in on their victims. They stalk everyone who was peripherally involved in the duplicity -- neighbors who turn a blind eye, innkeepers who knew exactly what was going on, and so forth. Those involved are tracked down, attacked while alone, hamstrung, and devoured by the acronicals while still alive.
Then the creatures will hunt the adulterers themselves. They will be captured, brought together, and given a chance to survive: a fight to the death, with the victor set free.
However, the creatures have no intention of living up to their end of the deal. After one has killed the other, the monster will amputate the victor's arms and legs, then sing songs of love while the fornicator bleeds to death.
Adventurers may encounter the acronical in the wild. It tends to favor caves or dungeons, where it can stage the fatal battle between lovers.
The creature leaves behind a watery orange stool, and when it is agitated, its chitin flakes off in small amounts. Heroes tracking the beast will find this evidence in its wake.
In combat, the acronical attacks with its scythe-like claws, which inflict 4-10 points of damage. Each time the monster hits, the target must make a saving throw against poison or lose a point from a random attribute (roll 1d6 to determine which attribute is affected). This loss can only be remedied when the acronical in question has been slain, at which point the attribute(s) will be restored.
All material from Teratic Tome used with permission.