Random Encounters
Monks of the Burning Tiger - Ravool, Fiendish Dire Tiger
By Eric Cagle

Ravool, Fiendish Dire Tiger

His eyes shielded from the heat and toxic vapors that rose from the steaming plain of lava, Magoun strode across the barren and hellish landscape. As he carefully made his way down a small blob of recently cooled rock, a strange noise caught his attention. It was a tiny mewling sound, warbling and distorted from the heat. His curiosity piqued, Magoun searched around the rocks to find where it was coming from. He soon found the source: a tiny tiger cub that appeared to have been abandoned by its mother. The monk bent down and picked it up. Inspecting it over, he was caught by surprise when the kitten took a nip at his hand, drawing blood. Magoun's first instinct was to hurl the creature to its death, until he noticed a strange and infernal blaze glowing in the kitten's eyes. He gasped in surprise; finally he had the omen that he had been looking for all these years . . .

Ravool is an abyssal dire tiger and the symbol for a group of evil monks that call themselves the Burning Tigers. To this day, Magoun, the head of the order that discovered the dire tiger, has no idea how the tiger had come to that spot, but sees is at as a sign of fate. Ravool has free reign over the Burning Tiger's monastery, which is located in the same area that he was discovered.

Smarter than a typical dire tiger, Ravool is sly, cruel, and manipulative. He enjoys tormenting prey and instilling fear in the monks that worship him. He is utterly dedicated to Magoun, however, and would never betray him.

Ravool: Male abyssal dire tiger; CR 10; Huge magical beast; HD 16d8+48; hp 120; Init +2; Spd 40 ft.; AC 10, touch 10, flat-footed 8; Atk +18 melee (2d4+8, 2 claws) and +13 melee (2d6+4, bite); Face/Reach 10 ft. by 30 ft./10 ft.; SA improved grab, pounce, rake 2d4+4, smite good; SQ cold resistance 20, darkvision 60 ft., DR 10/+3, fire resistance 20, low-light vision, scent, SR 25; AL NE; SV Fort +13, Ref +12, Will +11; Str 27, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Hide +0 (or +4 in areas of tall grass or undergrowth), Jump +11, Listen +3, Move Silently +9, Spot +3, Swim +11.

Improved Grab (Ex): If Ravool hits a Large or smaller opponent with a bite attack, he deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity grapple bonus +28). If he hits with his bite, he can also rake with his hind legs in the same round. Once he has a hold, Ravool has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use his jaws to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on the grapple check, but Ravool is not considered grappled) In either case, each successful grapple check he makes during successive rounds automatically deals bite damage.

Pounce (Ex): If Ravool leaps upon a foe during the first round of combat, he can make a full attack even though he has already moved.

Rake (Ex): Ravool can make two rake attacks (+18 melee) against a held creature with his hind legs for 2d4+4 points of damage each. If he pounces on an opponent, he can also rake.

Smite Good (Su): Once per day, Ravool can make a normal attack to deal +16 points of additional damage against a good foe.

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

Bringing the Parts Together

Ravool may not be feeling well, and Magoun seeks a healer. Should the PCs be in the area, they may encounter the monks who seek a good healer and discover themselves in the monastery before they realize what is happening. Another way to integrate Ravool into the campaign is to have him roam the area and seek the PCs out in a game of cat-and-mouse.

Coming in Part 4 of the Monks of the Burning Tiger
The rod of the burning tiger is more than a shaft of iron.

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