False Hydra (Adult, 6 heads) (3.5e Creature)
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False Hydra (Adult, 6 heads)
|Usually CE Gargantuan aberration|
|Init/Senses||+0/blindsight 120 ft (from each head), darkvision 240 ft, low-light vision; Listen +20 (racial), Spot +20 (racial)|
|AC||15, touch 6, flat-footed 15|
|hp||375 (25d8 HD)|
|Speed||0 ft, burrow (heads only) 20 ft|
|Melee||6 bites +27 (4d6+13)|
|Space/Reach||5 ft./1,920 ft (neck)|
|Abilities||Str 36, Dex 10, Con 24, Int 20, Wis 16, Cha 30|
|SQ||Damage Reduction 5/-, False Hydra's Song, Growth, Superior Multiattack, Supreme Meat Grinder|
|Skills||Listen (+20 racial), Spot (+20 racial)|
|Advancement||by character class (Bard)|
|Possessions||Double Goods and Items (non-edibles only)|
|False Hydra's Song||(no save; caster level check to overcome spell resistance [1/per round while singing]: HD+1d20) ( A nat 1 isn't considered an automatic failure for this roll, so if the False Hydra's HD alone is equal to or higher than the target's SR+1, then treat it as an automatic success.) (Cancels anti-charm magic after 1 round.) See Lore|
|Growth||When a gargantuan false hydra has eaten 6 gargantuan, 12 huge, 24 large, 48 medium, 96 small, 192 tiny, 384 diminutive, 768 fine, or a combination of the above that adds up to 6 gargantuan creatures the false hydra grows it's 7th and final head.|
|Superior Multiattack||A false hydra can attack with each of it's heads every round at no penalty.|
|Supreme Meat Grinder||Upon finally becoming an adult the false hydra's body has maximized it's absorption of food to prepare for growth, and has grown massive enough to gain max hp for each die.|
Strategies and Tactics
The false hydra always sings to try and put it's enemies under it's spell, so even in combat it will only attack with 5 heads until it is absolutely certain that it's song won't work.
Typical Physical Characteristics:
The false hydra's song hides the memories of the devoured victims in the same way that it hides the false hydra, but this is not a perfect system.
Wives will wonder why there are men's clothes in her closet. People will notice that no one has lit the street lanterns these last few nights. Churches suddenly find themselves without a bell ringer.
By and large, these gaps close themselves up. The wife will forget about the clothes as soon as she stops looking at them. Or she will conveniently remember how her brother left them there the last time he visited. Or she will, on some level, recognize the wrongness implicit in the clothes, and throw them away one moonless night. She will confabulate, powerfully and constantly.
But part of her mind is cognizant of the disturbance. That part of her mind is distrusted, and sealed away. But that primordial cluster of neurons still fires. A syphilitic madman who has been locked in the attic by his family, but whose mutters can sometimes be heard during the lulls in the dinner party downstairs.
This creates pressure. In the early stages, this feels like paranoia, especially the sense that someone is watching you (and the hydra is watching you, pressing its moony face up against the window and fogging up the glass). More severe symptoms develop. Reminiscing becomes a stressful and uneasy experience, and so is avoided. Distortions of memory. The confabulations pile up, identities become muddled. Friend's faces seems subtly deformed.
Human brains were not meant to bear this weight (but things like aberrations, dragons, and outsiders are much more suited, and thus any cases of split-brain are somewhat calmer in effect). Mundane insanities sprout like mushrooms. Nervous disorders. Psychotic breaks.
In severe cases, split-brain occurs, when one part of the brain strives to communicate with the other. One of the PC's limbs might suddenly become its own entity, one that crudely and violently struggles to convey the danger to the PC.
A PC might wake up and discover that someone has scratched "IT'S WATCHING YOU RIGHT NOW. THE WINDOW." into their chest (or a dragon might scratch it in a wood floor or bedside table rather than harm itself), and there is skin beneath the fingernails of their left arm, great. If they receive a distressed letter from their mother, wanting to know why the last letter the PC sent contained the sentence "it ate him ate him in front of me but i did not see it ate him" inserted in the middle, great. If they decide that their hand is possessed by demons and cut it off, best of all (a mindflayer [assuming it's immense spell resistance was completely overcome] would likely be keeping a detailed journal that it doesn't remember writing and think it was simply writing it as it IS an interesting study, but then decide that since this isn't something it will ever get to see and study that it might as well throw the book away or sell it [maybe that's even how the part finds some information on the creature]).
This could also be the hook for the PCs: an acquaintance sends them an innocuous letter that somehow contains the phrase "help me for the love of god help me help". When they get there, the acquaintance has no memory of writing it, but looks nervous (and a little bit insane) while claiming that it's probably just some wizard's prank.
"And where is your wife?"
"Why, I've never married. Why would you joke about this?"
And the next day, tell the players that their PCs have forgotten about the wife as well. You can't get rid of the metagame knowledge in their heads, but allow them to act on their metagame knowledge whenever they can roleplay an intense feeling of paranoia or distress.
Their dreams are filled with dirges, spilling from the mouths of faceless people. And somewhere, a pale face, whose eyes are nothing but wet, black holes.