Hurok CR 8
This hunched figure walks on its knuckles, the orifices on its back hissing as they disgorge clouds of yellow mist.
DEFENSE HP 125
EAC 20; KAC 22
Fort +12; Ref +12; Will +7
Speed 30 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee claw +19 (4d4+14 Sl)
Multiattack 3 claws +16 (1d10+14 Sl)
Ranged spore spit +20 (3d6+8 Bl, 60 ft., spore detonation)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Miasma Aura (Ex)
A hurok can vent the spore of its symbiotic fungus in a cloud around it. This aura persists in any area it’s present for 1d4 rounds, with this duration refreshing every round if it’s still within 30 feet of a hurok while its miasma aura is active. Any non-hurok creature that needs to breathe and lacks protective gear must make a DC 18 Fortitude save whenever they enter the area or end their turn there. On a failure, they take 1d6 acid damage and become nauseated for 1 round, on a success they take no damage and become sickened for one round. This is a breathe-dependent effect that the Hurok is immune to.
Spore Detonation (Ex)
The huroks symbiotic fungus grows specialized pods in the creature’s throat that it can spit as projectiles. When a hurok’s spore spit strikes a target, every creature within a 5-foot radius of it, including the creature itself, must make a DC 18 Reflex save or become entangled for 1d4 rounds. Hurok’s themselves are not immune to this ability and must make the save themselves if they are within the range of the detonation.
Environment forests, jungles
Organization single, troop (5-6)
In a universe of extradimensional demons, world ending abominations, and omnicidal war machines, there’s still a place for simple creatures. The hurok is an animal from the forests of Hallon VII, where it fills the ecological at the top of the food chain. A hurok walks on its knuckles like an ape, with long curved claws tipping its fingers and toes. On average a Hurok stands around nine feet tall at the shoulder, getting up to fifteen feet tall on the rare occasions where a hurok rears up on its hind legs, weighing in at around 1,500 pounds. Their hide is covered mainly in dark shaggy hair, though the strands are noticeably thicker and coarser than the hair f most organisms found outside arctic regions. Their backs are hairless, covered instead in a thick layer of keratinous material that has several large vent-like orifices arranged in rows along their spine. This layer begins lightly colored and thin at birth but grows darker, thicker, and more rugged as the Hurok ages. It can actually cause problems for huroks in captivity, This shell-like structure is an excellent surface for the growth of certain molds and mosses, granting huroks a degree of camouflage in their home environment.
Huroks are a curious case of symbiotic development between two organisms. The larger part of the collective organism is what is commonly identified as the hurok, a mammalian creature with a vague resemblance to an ape. The secondary, though no less vital organism, is a species of fungus uniquely adapted to function with the hurok’s biology. Certain organs of the Hurok are in turn devoted to supporting this fungus, bereft of purpose without it. The primary mass of this fungus is found in lung-like organs just below the hurok’s keratinous shell. Special blood vessels cover the surfaces of these organs, designed to bring the fungus the nutrients it needs to survive. The fungus returns the favor by manufacturing vast quantities of their toxic reproductive spores, which the hurok can vent through pores in its shell by contracting these false lungs. This smokescreen of spores causes the fungus to quickly grow on anything they land on, eating through organic material and causing creatures to become violently sick as it grows in their lungs and on their eyes. Huroks have by necessity become immune to this, with specialized chemical barriers in their mucous membranes to kill the spores and toxins in their skin to counter the acidic growth. This doesn’t entirely stop the fungus from growing on their skin, but it does prevent it from growing deep and thus causes it to die off within a few hours. Older huroks use this to their advantage, using their miasma aura when they wake to cover themselves in a thin layer of fungus for additional camouflage. The most successful hurok hunters are thus those who have done so before, fashioning their hides into protective cloaks and deriving protective salves from their salvia.
Hurok hunting methods depend heavily on using their symbiotic fungus to weaken prey for the killing blow. Their throats contain specialized pouches that hold additional colonies of fungus that grow spore pods, an evolutionary throwback to an earlier stage in the fungus’s development that has nevertheless remained due to how it aids their symbiotic host. Huroks initially attack by firing these spore pods from their mouths like crude organic cannonballs, bludgeoning prey from afar and impairing their attempts to escape as a short-lived derivative of their symbiotic mold grows rapidly across their bodies, tangling limbs and ensnaring joints. With prey thus entangled a hurok charges to attack while they can’t properly defend themselves, using their thick, curved climbing claws as slashing implements. Huroks will not attack prey in melee unless it has been successfully entangled or they have a strong numerical advantage, preferring to bombard them from a distance and retreating if the target attempts to counterattack. Their miasma aura is reserved as a defensive weapon, forcing rival predators to back off or providing them a smokescreen to hide their escape.
Huroks usually live alone, but gather together in troops for a few weeks every year to breed. Huroks grow quickly and are born within a month, but are small and vulnerable, no larger than a finger. To protect them they crawl up their mother and into the vents in her shell, nesting in the fungal lungs for several months as they grow. For this period they subsist off the fungal growths while the fungus, in turn, takes root in the newborn’s fungal organs, remaining dormant until it has grown enough to sustain it. Once the hurok has grown sufficiently it crawls back out and follows the mother for about a year, after which it has grown enough to strike out on its own.