|No. of Attacks:
||M (6' long)
Of all the creatures that inhabit the deep, only the kraken exceeds the
morkoth in malice and cruelty. Also known as the "wraith of the deep", the morkoth
lurks in tunnels hoping to lure its victims into a trap from which they cannot
The descriptions given by those who have encountered morkoths contain
considerable variation, so no one is certain what they really look like. They are
usually said to resemble an intelligent fish with an octopus's beak. They are most
frequently described as being between 5 to 6 feet long, inky black in color,
with faint luminescent silver patches. They may have fins for arms and legs that
vaguely resemble those of humans, and a number of fins for navigation and
propulsion in the depths. Morkoths have infravision with a 90-foot range. They speak
their own language.
A morkoth attacks by snapping with its squid-like beak, which inflicts 1d10
points of damage. A morkoth lives at the center of six spiraling tunnels, each of
which leads to a central chamber. These tunnels are narrow (only one size M
creature may enter at a time, and no size L). As a victim passes over a tunnel,
he is drawn in by a hypnotic pattern, which leads him toward the central
chamber. As the victim is drawn into the central chamber, he approaches the morkoth
without realizing it and must roll a successful saving throw vs. spell with a -4
penalty or be charmed. A charmed victim is devoured at the morkoth's leisure.
If the morkoth doesn't charm the victim before he comes within 60 feet, the
hypnotic effect of the tunnels is broken.
A morkoth is highly resistant to magic. It reflects any spell that is cast at
it back to the caster, including spells with an area of effect. If a dispel magic
is simultaneously cast with a spell, there is a 50% chance the morkoth will
be unable to reflect it, though it is entitled to a saving throw vs. the dispel.
Morkoths are normally solitary creatures. They sometimes make alliances with
kraken, offering their help in exchange for an occasional slave. If approached
by evil sea humanoids for assistance, morkoths may strike a bargain but often
betray their "allies" at the most opportune moment.
Morkoths rarely leave their tunnels. The tunnels are originally natural, but
are slowly carved over the course of centuries by the morkoths so that the
central chamber grows larger. Morkoths sometimes build their tunnels near hot air
vents, so the water in morkoth lairs may be warmer than normal.
Morkoths realize that other intelligent creatures like treasure, so they
collect belongings from the creatures they kill to use in bargaining with other
creatures. They place no value on gold or gems or even magical items. Morkoths
enjoy deception above all else. They do not enslave their victims, if only because
their appetites are so fierce that slaves would not survive long.
According to the most popular theories, morkoths are a species of fish with
human and squid influences. Sages are unsure if this species occurred by chance
or design. Morkoths are carnivorous and will eat nearly any sea creature. Their
usual diet is deep-water creatures such as sharks, octopi, kuo-toans, and
sahuagin. The life spans of male morkoths are about 80 to 100 years, while females
die after egg-laying.
Once every ten years, a morkoth leaves its tunnels and wanders the seas
searching for a mate, leaving a distinctive odor trail that is easy for morkoths to
identify and follow. After mating, the male morkoth returns to its tunnels and
the female lays a clutch of about 25 eggs, which she buries in the ocean floor.
She then dies. The eggs hatch in two months, and the immature morkoths struggle
to survive, instinctively searching for vacant tunnels. Most hatchlings die on
After six months, a young morkoth is mature enough to survive (it now has 2
hp/HD, for 14 hit points). It grows into a full-sized, exceptionally intelligent
morkoth adult by its fifth year.
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