Lycanthrope, Werealligator

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Climate/Terrain:Subtropical to tropical swamps, lakes, and rivers
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:Average (8-10)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1 or 2-6
Armor Class:4
Movement:12 (6), Sw 12
Hit Dice:6+3
No. of Attacks:1 or 2
Damage/Attack:By Weapon or 3d4/1d8
Special Attacks:Bellow
Special Defenses:+1 or quartz to hit
Magic Resistance:Nil
Morale:Champion (15)
XP Value:1,400

In their human aspect, weregators typically resemble humans of short stature and exotic stock. Their skin is earth-colored, and they have straight, jet-black hair. Individuals from other racial stocks exist as well, however. The only feature which distinguishes their nature in this aspect is an extremely toothy smile. The beast aspect appears as an unusually large alligator, some individuals approaching lengths of fifteen feet or more. The weregator's hybrid aspect is a true horror. Its flesh becomes thick and reptilian, and the spine sprouts an alligator's tail. Its stubby fingers and toes are tipped with blunt nails. The head transforms into that of a leering alligator, its mouth full of yellow teeth. The weregator's eyes have burning red irises that eerily reflect light sources at night.

Weregators speak the local tongue of the region they inhabit. They are suspected to have their own language, though this is unconfirmed.

Combat: In human form, the weregator will only rarely enter combat. It recognizes the relative power of the beast within. If confronted with a situation where it cannot transfigure, the weregator will fight with weapons until it can flee. These will be intimidating weapons that inflict grisly wounds but do not neccessarily cause a great deal of damage - razor knives, clubs studded with spikes or barbs, scourges, etc.

In hybrid aspect, the creature may attack with its crushing jaws for 3d4 damage and lash with its tail for 1d8 damage. Weregators are excellent swimmers in both hybrid and beast aspect and will use this to their advantage. If they can strike from the water or force their opponents into their aquatic environment, so much the better. Three times per day, when in animal or hybrid form, the weregator may release an unearthly bellow that chills its prey's blood on the spot. During the same round that it bellows, the weregator may not attack, but all who hear it are affected as if by a fear spell. The wounds inflicted by a weregator have a 2% chance per hp of damage of infecting the victim with lycanthropy. Some weregators are rumored to be animistic shamans of terrible power.

Weregators may only be harmed by +1 magical weapons or weapons fashioned or even edged with quartz. In addition, cold-based spells cause double damage to them.

Habitat/Society: Weregators lead solitary lives on the fringes of human settlements in wetland or aquatic areas. There they subsist remarkably well on their own devices, taking what they require from the environment or through theft. For a majority of their existence, weregators are stangely unobtrusive beasts; hunting and sleeping are their main activities.

Eventually, however, the twisted human side of weregator's psyche emerges. Occassionally, the creature will leave its marshy home and turn its attention towards a local village. It then engages in a reign of terror to horrify all but the most hardened of souls. Murderous flames are stoked to raging in the weregator's heart, and it responds lustily. Choosing the most innocent of individuals, the weregator kidnaps, tortures, kills, mutilates, and finally devours its victims. The culprit of the gruesome crimes is rarely discovered, as the weregator exercises great cunning. These grisly campaigns have led many sages to suggest that all weregators might be in some way deranged.

The wilderness lairs of weregators are caves with submerged entrances, and are remarkably free of creature comforts. Although solitary by nature, weregators will often group together by default during the lazy midday heat. They never forget that they are in deadly competition with one another, however, especially for mates, and their addled, psychotic personalities do not contribute to a peaceful scene. Courtship and mating, though impersonal, are central to weregator life. Females protect their egg clutches fiercely, attacking at +2 when defending them. Although the hatchlings - which resemble scaly toddlers - are immediately left on their own upon hatching, they are more than capable of defending themselves.

Weregators are still extremely rare in the Demiplane of Dread. Evil swamp races, such as eblis, moor men and greenhags, despise weregators, but keep their distance out of fear. Other lycanthropes that interact weregators, including werecoons and wererats, consider them dangerously crazy, to be avoided at all costs.

Ecology: For the most part, weregators fit naturally into their swampy ecosystem. They are strict carnivores, always at the top of the food chain in a given area. Their desire for sentient flesh does not cause a great concern, since those who venture into the Ravenloft's swamps are often thought to deserve their fate. However, when the creature's psychotic urges stir, it can leave a madman's legacy in a humble village.

The Lonesome Road