The World Of Khoras - Fauna and Flora - Fauna - Swamp

Krathclaw

Other Names Mud Claw, Swamp Terror
Climate/Terrain Temperate to subtropical wetlands
Frequency Very Rare
Organization Solitary
Activity Cycle

Any

Diet Carnivore

Physical Description

This monstrosity appears to be a relative of the crayfish or lobster, albeit of unusually large size. The krathclaw is a segmented crustacean that is larger than a wagon. A typical krathclaw weights 3 meters tall, 7 meters long and weights more than 2,000 kilograms. They have ten appendages - six legs for mobility and two sets of large claws that are used for attacking prey and manipulating the environment. Each of the four claws is about one meter in size and very strong. Tales of battles with this creature speak of swords snapped in two, shields reduced to splinters and men cut in half at the waist.

The krathclaw has four eyes and two long antennea sprouting forward from its face. Its segmented tail curves up over its back and ends in a large stinger, very much like a scorpion.

Combat

Krathclaws are very aggressive. They will mindlessly rush forward and attack anything they perceive as a threat or potential food source. They are not overly intelligent and do not use tactics. They simply charge in and attack, pincers snapping. Despite having a small brain and only animal intelligence, mind affecting magic (such as charm spells, sleep spells and so forth) do not affect krathclaws, although the reason for this is unknown.

Krathclaws are dangerous opponents. Their shells are very thick and difficult to puncture. Swords and other cutting weapons will often glance off. This armor makes them difficult to kill.

The antennae of the krathclaw are sensitive to magic. A krathclaw can detect magic items instinctively at range and will often seek to destroy enchanted items in a conflict as early as possible. Krathclaw have been seen attacking magic items on the ground even after all opponents are dead or fleeing. Some scholars believe that the presence of arcane items may irritate the creature or even cause it pain.

Finally, the krathclaw's scorpion like stinger has a powerful neurotoxin which will paralyze prey for several minutes.

Habitat

Krathclaws are found only in the wetlands Ithria - the Barakose Swamp, the Trackless Mire and the Stench Bog. Thankfully, these monsters are very rare. They are also solitary, always appearing alone. Krathclaws seem to be very territorial, never straying to far from a chosen hunting ground.

Very little is known of this creature's habits, lair preferences, reproduction methods and so forth. No scholarly studies have yet been attempted.

Ecology

This creature seems to be a cross between a crayfish and a scorpion. It is immuned to mind affecting magic and highly aggressive. It is sensitive to magic and targets magic items. For these reasons, there are several prominent arcane scholars who firmly believe that the krathclaw is the result of magical experimentation. Tales of the krathclaw go back hundreds of years, but it is not known whether or not this might be a product of the Great War. The origin of the name "krath" is also a mystery.

Several parts of the krathclaw body are highly valued. The neurotoxin can be extracted from the stinger of a dead krathclaw. It is a thick, slimy yellow green substance with a foul smell. Up to two liters can be obtained from a stinger. It remains potent for several weeks if kept in an air tight container. If applied to a blade or weapon, the poison will remain potent for up to 3 hours on the blade before it is neutralized by exposure to oxygen.

The antennae and blood of the creature are highly valued alchemical components, useful in the manufacture of several potions.

Finally, the chitinous shell of this creature is used by saurians, boglings and other swamp dwelling races to fashion a type of light weight, plate armor.

A dead krathclaw will yield some edible meat from certain parts, but less than would be expected from such a large creature. Most of the creature is inedible. The meat from the tail, which contains the glands that secrete the neurotoxin, is actually poisonous if eaten.

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