Lurking rays are a whole family of creatures that infest the dark corners of the world, feeding on the weak and unwary. The infant form, known as the executioner’s hood, is an unnerving but relatively mild threat for experienced adventurers, while its parents, the male lurker above and female trapper, are far more dangerous. All three types of lurking rays are ambush hunters with similar tactics, wrapping themselves thoroughly around their victims and choking the life from their prey before feeding.
Though somewhat similar in appearance to stingrays or manta rays, lurking rays in fact represent their own unique branch of subterranean evolution—or arcane experimentation. Executioner’s hoods are roughly a foot long and weigh 5 pounds, whereas adult lurkers above and trappers can grow to be 15 feet wide, with males weighing 500 pounds and females up to four times that.
Lurking Ray (Trapper)
N Huge aberration
Init +5; Senses blindsense 10 ft., darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +25
AC 21, touch 9, flat-footed 20 (+1 Dex, +12 natural, –2 size)
hp 123 (13d8+65)
Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +11
Defensive Abilities amorphous; DR 10/piercing or slashing; Resist cold 10, fire 10
Weaknesses light sensitivity
Speed 10 ft., climb 5 ft.
Melee slam 15 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (3d6+15), smother (see lurker above)
Str 30, Dex 12, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 17, Cha 13
Base Atk 25 grapple); CMD 32 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Perception), Skill Focus (Stealth), Toughness
Skills Climb 27 in rocky areas), Survival 12 in rocky areas)
Languages Aklo, Tradespeak, Undercommon
Environment any underground
Organization solitary or batch (1 plus 20–30 executioner’s hoods)
Female lurking rays, known as trappers, are the masterminds of their race. Too large to fly (and often gravid with wriggling young), the intelligent trappers scrape themselves out depressions in the floor of regularly traveled chambers and then lie in them, changing their coloration and texture perfectly to blend with the rest of the floor, and sometimes even creating protrusions in the shape of items they know to be valuable to their prey creatures. When a lulled individual steps onto the trapper’s surface, the ray twists itself up around it, smothering and beating its victim senseless before drawing it into its maw for slow digestion.
Though quite intelligent even by human standards, trappers devote almost all of their mental faculties to perfectly remembering every sensory detail about their surroundings in order to make their chameleon-like disguises all the more cunning and difficult for their prey to resist.
Trappers can grow to be 15 feet from tip to tip, and weigh nearly 2,000 pounds when fully fed.