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Climate/Terrain:All wetlands
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:High (13-14)
Treasure:Nil (B)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:3
Hit Dice:9
No. of Attacks:5 or 2 per opponent (36 total)
Damage/Attack:1-6 (constrict), 1-2 (slap), or by weapon
Special Attacks:Charm spell
Special Defenses:Hold and sphere of force spells
Magic Resistance:60%
Size:L to H (7-15'+)
Morale:Elite (13)
XP Value:14,000

A darktentacles is a many-tentacled, solitary amphibious predator. Darktentacles are intelligent and use treasure to lure prey within their reach. They never seem to slumber, nor forget those who escape them.

A darktentacles has a black, glistening body which it must keep moist or suffer a loss of 1 HD per day. This leathery, amorphous bulk is usually about the size of a cow at adult stage, but the darktentacles can flatten out its mass to cover a much larger area; a darktentacles can usually cover a 10'×10' area easily, and many are capable of much larger area coverage.

Tentacles of up to 20' in length grow all over a darktentacles. A darktentacles may have up to 50 tentacles at one time, but usually only 36 are full-grown. These may slap opponents, grasp and constrict them, or wield weapons.

Each tentacle is studded with many small, shielded eyes which see as humans do, but also have 140' infravision which operates underwater at a range of 70'. A darktentacles also senses vibrations, “smells” substances in water, and discerns color and light differences through nodes all over its body.

Combat: A darktentacles can simultaneously battle as many opponents as it can reach. A maximum of five tentacles can reach a single opponent in a round; only two tentacles can wield weapons against one opponent without hampering or damaging other tentacles.

Weapons used by a darktentacles do normal damage. A single tentacle may wield a two-handed weapon without initiative or attack penalty. Tentacles can also slap or grip a foe; slapping tentacles cause 1d2 points of damage per attack.

To grip, a tentacle requires a successful attack roll. It does no damage when striking in this way, but causes the victim to attack at -1 thereafter, as it holds on. In subsequent rounds, a grasping tentacle constricts for 1-6 damage each round.

Two tentacles grasping a victim cause the victim to attack at -2, suffer a one point armor class penalty, and move at half speed.

Three tentacles cause the victim's attacks to be at -3, the victim suffers an armor class penalty of -3, and the victim cannot move more than three feet from his or her current position.

Four tentacles holding a victim can prevent any movement away from the darktentacles, cause the victim to suffer an armor class penalty of -6 and an attack penalty of -4. The amphiboid creature can then attempt its charm-like spell; the effects of this power are identical to a charm monster spell. It raises a tentacle out of the water before the entrapped victim's eyes and charms the creature with its eye-covered tentacle. A charmed creature does all that it can to help the darktentacles, from luring food to it to protecting it from dangerous foes. The darktentacles communicates mentally with its charmed slaves. A save versus spell negates the charm effects. This is the only way the darktentacles can bring creatures under its sway, and it can attempt this only three times per day. The same action also is used when the darktentacles wishes to use its hold monster ability. The process above doesn't change, but the victim must save versus spells at a -3 or be paralyzed for eight rounds. This hold monster ability can be used five times a day; the darktentacles uses it to trap a number of victims, drowning them before they can regain mobility. Five tentacles holding a victim prevent all movement except twisting and writhing, cause attacks to be made at -5, and they lower armor class to ten, regardless of armor or magical defenses.

Allow a grasped victim a Strength Check to see if an in tended movement or action other than an attack can be carried out against the force of the darktentacles; attacks against the darktentacles are adjusted above. A darktentacles will often lurk in water and try to drown prey in it. A passive character can remain under the water for 1 round per point of Strength before drowning. An active, fighting character can stay under for half that time. In any round in which a character makes no attacks, he or she can try to reach the surface to breathe, unless the darktentacles stops him or her. If held by one or more tentacles, reaching the surface requires two successful Strength Checks - one check to get to the surface, and one check to get nose and mouth free of the water or a tentacle to breathe. If both fail, two Checks are required in the following round-one to stay at the surface against the tug and wrench of the tentacle( s), and the other to get clear access to the air again. Any single attack dealing a tentacle seven or more hit points of damage in a round, or a cumulative damage total of 14 or more points, causes a tentacle to let go of whatever it holds and writhe about harmlessly for the next round before attacking again. Attacks totalling 20 hit points of damage sever a tentacle.

A darktentacles can use all of its tentacles in a single round without penalty, provided it can reach that many opponents. It can wield all magical weapons and items not restricted to a certain class that do not require speech or delicate manipulations, such as pressing buttons. Darktentacles eat meat, but only that of recently-dead prey that they have drowned or slain. The three beak-like mouths of a darktentacles are not actively used in combat, but a creature suffers 3-12 points of damage if driven into one. There is a 10% chance that a character may accidentally step into one of the darktentacles, mouths, causing the identical damage as above.

A darktentacles can create a sphere of force once per week. A darktentacles' sphere of force is akin to the fifth level wizard spell wall of force, save that it is always spherical in shape, can be cast at a distance of 90 yards, and will successfully form even if trees, ground, water, and other solid things break its intended boundaries (i.e. it can be cast partly underwater, or through solid ground to trap creatures on the surface and in a tunnel or cavern below). The sphere has whatever radius the darktentacles desires, up to a maximum of 60'. It lasts only as long as the darktentacles concentrates on it. A darktentacles typically uses this to isolate dangerous foes so that it can escape, deal with them later, or trap intended prey in an enclosed area with it, so that they cannot escape!

Habitat/Society: Originally found in jungle areas, where they are worshipped by primitive creatures of several races, these solitary, roaming carnivores are also infesting swamplands in Calimshan and Cormyr. The Harpers report at least three darktentacles within the Mere of Dead Men and are looking for adventurers to exterminate the monsters before they multiply. Their migration north is inexplicable, but their presence cannot be ignored. They prefer still, relatively warm water to colder and faster depths, but suffer no harm from the latter.

Ecology: Darktentacles serve as wetland predators, eating the numerous birds and fish common to such areas. They also hunt on shallow marine banks and reefs where fish shoal. They reproduce by budding once every two years. The darktentacles tend to travel constantly for two weeks before budding, moving far away from their lairs and releasing a two hit dice darktentacle in a random wilderness area. During this trek, the darktentacles has a movement rate of 16, using its tentacles as legs to speed its movement away from a rival darktentacles. They will never be found within five miles of one another due to large territorial claims and potential problems with interfering with each other's hunting.

When slain, darktentacles' flesh, eyes, or ichor are excellent for use as spell ingredients and material components for wall of force spells and similar magic items which use that spell.

The darktentacles is an incredibly rare monster in the Realms, and many adventurers are thankful of that fact. Only in the records of the Guild of Naturalists is there any mention of the darktentacles; they postulate that the darktentacles is a cross-breed of a roper and a trapper. The report suggests a much weaker strain of the darktentacles than that catalogued above.

Sages currently theorize that the darktentacles are now at a heightened level of power as a result of the Time of Troubles. Whether this monster will remain at its current level of power is dependent on its breeding true and maintaining its magical benefits. Since the Time of the Avatars, the Harpers report a larger number of darktentacles sightings in the North; one specimen, found in a magic-dead zone, is reputedly close to the recorded version published by the Guild of Naturalists.