The original cut content used phase spiders which I didn’t really feel was very “Oriental Adventures”. Swapped them with these guys. Had my PCs head scratching but otherwise a fairly straightforward encounter.
Lurking in the upper arms of a 100’ high keteleeria is a particularly dense web which shrouds the whole canopy of the tree, which chokes within yet still manages to grow thanks to the abundant nature of the garden. Six gakimushi occupy the tree, the kumo have formed a strange relationship with these spider-like creatures and use them to watch the garden from this high point.
During Combat The gakimushi do not attack openly, preferring instead to hunt as a pack by using invisibility in and out of combat after stealthy approaching. Usually a pair of gakimushi will get ahead of their victims and lurk invisibly, waiting to pounce and make a full round of actions before turning invisible and moving away. In the meantime two further gakimushi move into the flanks of their opponents, attack and then similarly invisibly move away.
Morale The gakimushi hunt as a pack, and whilst at least half their number remain they keep up their assault, once only two remain the survivors flee back to their nest to lick their wounds. These gakimushi have long memories however, and if the PCs return through the garden again a day after an assault they attack again, using the lurking tactics above. This second assault lasts until both spiders are slain.
Note, the gakimushi create webs but these are used purely as a home – they do not use these non-sticky webbing to trap creatures or as part of their attacks.
The husks of several hobgoblins hang within the web in the tree (a DC 10 climb check), these include a pair of cure serious wound potions held in gourds, a masterwork nunchaku, and the desiccated remnants of an Okami warrior maiden – one of the lesser children of Munasukaru – (for more information on these offspring see Munasukaru’s Penance).
Large undead (yokai), chaotic evil
Armor Class 11 (natural armour)
Hit Points 123 (13d10 + 52)
Speed 40 ft.
|25 (+7)||6 (-2)||19 (+4)||4 (-4)||3 (-4)||5 (-3)|
Skills Perception +2, Stealth +4, Survival +2
Damage Resistance bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks that are not crystal
Damage Immunities Necrotic, Poison
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 6
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The gaki’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 8). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- At will: invisibility (self only), polymorph self (normal insects only)
- 3/day: passwall
Hungry Ghost. When a target is grappled by a gakimushi it automatically takes necrotic damage at the start of the gakimushi’s turn equal to the related attacks normal damage amount as it tears at the creature to enjoy its pain and suffering. It heals for half the necrotic damage it inflicts.
Immortality. A gaki that is slain returns to Gaki-do for a random amount of time (defined in the gaki’s description), only by sating its infernal hunger for an indefinite amount of time can a gaki find true peace.
Yokai. As a spirit, gaki has advantage on saving throws against all enchantment effects except those of other spirits. Gaki can sense any passages to Gaki-do within one mile.
Multiattack. The gakimushi makes three attacks: one with its claw, one with its bite and one with its sting.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 12). The gakimushi has two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 33 (4d12 + 7) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained and the gakimushi can’t bite another target.
Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8 + 7) piercing damage and the target is poisoned for 1 minute on a failed DC 17 Constitution saving throw. While poisoned the target is paralysed (save ends).
The Gakimushi is one of the most feared of hungry ghosts. Only those whose lives were consumed with mindless, violent evil become gakimushi. These creatures are created close to Jigoku’s dark reaches, and thus can draw upon the power of the Shadowlands. They resemble enormous ant lions with curved scorpion tails and dark black armour.
Gakimushi feed upon pain; they delight in paralyzin the living, then slowly torturing them to death. Unlike other ghosts, they have no use for subtlety, killing and destroying everything in their path. If killed, a gakimushi is banished from the mortal world for twenty years.