Monster Mayhem
Ululatrix
By Skip Williams

The hunter came in the night on silent wings -- eyes, ears, and nose tuned to the slightest hint of prey. A night breeze brought the scents of a shepherd and his flock to the hunter's nose, and soon it could see and hear the human and his dogs keeping their vigil. With practiced ease, the hunter lighted, silent as an autumn leaf, downwind of its prey. It settled down to wait, veiled in dark night, patient as a cat at a mouse hole. It knew the ways of shepherds and their dogs.

Presently, a few restless sheep began to stray from the flock. The dogs sprang into action even before the watchful shepherd could issue a command. Circling the flock in opposite directions, the dogs urged the strays back into the fold. Still unseen and unscented in the darkness, the hunter breathed deep, then began a soft, trilling song. The approaching dogs halted and pricked their ears. Both found the hunter's song strangely compelling. With a yawn, one dog settled down for a nap, first turning itself around three times in the fashion of dogs. The second dog, confused, barked once, then sank to its belly. The warning sent the flock speeding away, with the shepherd calling to his dogs and running desperately to keep up.

Almost lazily, the hunter sprang into the air and dropped onto the hapless dog. Long, curving talons sank into the animal like spears. The dog had time for one frightened yelp before it was lifted into the air and tossed aside like a discarded doll. It pitched back to earth, hit with a sickening thud, and lay still. Meanwhile, its companion slept on.

The shepherd spun on his heel the moment he heard the dog's yelp. With a throaty cry he charged into the darkness, brandishing his staff.

The hunter regarded the desperate human for a heartbeat, then took to the air, an unseen shadow against the stars. By the time the shepherd found the dog's broken body, the hunter was flying calmly away, bearing a choice, fat lamb in its talons.

Ululatrix
Huge Dragon
Hit Dice: 15d12+45 (142 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft., fly 80 ft. (average), swim 60 ft.
AC: 23 (-2 size, +3 Dex, +12 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 20
Attacks: Bite +18 melee and 2 claws +13 melee and tail slap +13 melee, or talons +18 melee
Damage: Bite 2d8+5, claw 1d6+2, tail slap 1d8+7, talons 4d6+7
Face/Reach: 10 ft. by 20 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Mimicry, sonics
Special Qualities: DR 5/+1, dragon traits, immunities, scent
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +12, Will +10
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 11
Skills: Hide +18, Listen +18, Move Silently +18, Spot +18, Swim +13
Feats: Alertness, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Snatch (B), Wingover
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, or flight (3-6)
Challenge Rating: 11
Treasure: Double Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 16-30 HD (Huge), 31-45 HD (Colossal)

The ululatrix, sometimes known as the screeching dragon, is a crafty brute, well capable of concealing its presence until it strikes.

The creature clearly shows its draconic heritage. It has vast, leathery wings, and its long, scaly body ends in a thin, whiplike tail with a clump of wicked-looking spines at the tip. Its neck is long and thick. Its head has a toothy maw with fleshy barbels hanging loosely from the jaws and chin. Spiny frills, starting just behind the eyes and jaws, ring the top of its head continue down the upper third of the neck. The spines supporting the frills command a wide range of motion, allowing the creature to make its frills stand straight out, lay flat against its body, or even curve forward slightly. The creature has four legs, the front pair much smaller than the hind legs. It usually walks on its hind feet, though it can move on all fours. In the latter position, an ululatrix has a hunched and awkward appearance.

The ululatrix's natural coloration is an overall pale green or blue. Dagger-shaped dark turquoise stripes run from the spine down along the creature's flanks, tapering to jagged points near the belly. The head and frills are dark green or black. The ululatrix can alter its own color, and often turns red or black when angry or excited.

The ululatrix lives primarily by hunting, but it isn't above scavenging or stealing food from weaker predators when the opportunity arises. It often hunts far from its lair, where it can seize prey and fly off before anyone is aware of its presence. The ululatrix can speak Draconic but seldom bothers to do so. It also can reproduce most sounds it hears.

Some scholars, citing the creature's blue coloration and ability to mimic sounds, believe that the ululatrix is a relative of the blue dragon. Others, pointing out the shape of creature's body and its physical capabilities, contend that the ululatrix is related to the wyvern. It is likely that both assertions are true, at least in part. Scholars also hotly debate the creature's origin. Is the ululatrix the recent product of draconic crossbreeding? Or is it a more ancient creature, heretofore unnoticed thanks to its stealthy ways and its similarities to wyverns and true dragons? No one knows for sure.

Combat

The ululatrix prefers hit and run tactics, usually striking from ambush or from the air (often a combination of both). It is fond of luring travelers to their doom by mimicking the voices of their companions. An ululatrix typically starts a battle with some kind of sonic attack and thereafter fights with its claws and teeth. It can slash with its talons only when making a flyby attack.

Mimicry (Ex): An ululatrix can mimic any voice or sound it has heard, anytime it likes. Listeners must succeed at a Will save (DC 17) to detect the ruse. The save is Charisma-based.

Sonics (Su): An ululatrix can produce several powerful sonic effects. When it uses a sonic attack, it must wait 1d4 rounds before using another one. All the effects listed below are sonic effects except for the trill, which is a sonic, mind-affecting effect.

Shriek: Every creature (except other ululatrixes) within a 60-foot cone must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 20) or take 3d6 points of sonic damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Screech: Every creature (except other ululatrixes) within a 60-foot spread must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 20) or become deafened and paralyzed. An affected creatures is deafened for 1d4+1 rounds, and also paralyzed for the first round of the effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Sonic Lance: The ululatrix focuses sonic energy in a ray up to 60 feet long. This is a ranged touch attack that deals 6d6 points of damage to a single target. The ululatrix's ranged attack bonus is +16.

Trill: The ululatrix produces a strangely soothing sound in a 60-foot spread. Every creature (except other ululatrixes) within a 60-foot spread must make a successful Will save (DC 17) or become completely calm. A creature with 4 or fewer Hit Dice falls asleep for 2d4 rounds. A creature with 5 or more Hit Dice is dazed for the same period. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Dragon Traits: An ululatrix is immune to sleep and paralysis effects. It has darkvision (60-foot range) and low-light vision (sees four times as well as a human in low-light conditions and twice as well in normal conditions).

Immunities (Ex): An ululatrix's sense of hearing, and indeed is entire body, is protected from sonic shocks of all kinds. Also, its own mastery of sound mimicry makes its sensitive to false or misleading sounds. These qualities make an ululatrix immune to any sonic effect.

Scent (Ex): An ululatrix can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.

Skills: An ululatrix receives a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks, thanks to its variable coloration.

Feats: If an ululatrix gets a hold on a creature two or more sizes smaller than itself using the Snatch feat (grapple bonus +28), it can pick up the creature and fly away with it. A creature that is flung by an ululatrix after being snatched travels 30 feet and takes 3d6 points of damage. If the ululatrix is flying, the creature takes this damage or the appropriate falling damage, whichever is greater. (See below for details of the Snatch feat.)

From Monster Manual II:

Snatch [General]

The creature can grapple more easily with its claws or bite.

Prerequisite: Claws or bite as a natural attack.

Benefit: A creature with this feat that hits with a claw or bite attack attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it gets a hold with a claw on a creature four or more size categories smaller than itself, it squeezes each round for automatic claw damage. If it gets a hold with its bite on a creature three or more size categories smaller than itself, it automatically deals bite damage each round, or if it does not move and takes no other action in combat, it deals double bite damage. The snatched creature gets no saving throw against the creature's breath weapon, if any.

The creature can drop a foe is has snatched as a free action or use a standard action to fling it aside. The feet traveled and the damage taken by a flung foe are specified in the creature's descriptive text. If the foe is flub while the creature is flying, the foe takes the specified amount of damage or falling damage, whichever is greater.

Normal: Without this feat, the creature must conduct grapple attempts according to Chapter 8 of the Player's Handbook.


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