Small monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 11
Hit Points 22 (5d6+25)
Speed 10 ft., fly 30 ft.
|16 (+3)||12 (+1)||13 (+1)||2 (-4)||10 (+0)||5 (-3)|
Skills Stealth +3
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge ½ (100 XP)
Echolocation. The darkmantle can’t use its blindsight while deafened.
False Appearance. While the darkmantle remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a cave formation such as a stalactite or stalagmite.
Crush. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage, and the darkmantle attaches to the target. If the target is Medium or smaller and the darkmantle has advantage on the attack roll, it attaches by engulfing the target’s head, and the target is also blinded and unable to breathe while the darkmantle is attached in this way.
While attached to the target, the darkmantle can attack no other creature except the target but has advantage on its attack rolls. The darkmantle’s speed also becomes 0, it can’t benefit from any bonus to its speed, and it moves with the target.
A creature can detach the darkmantle by making a successful DC 13 Strength check as an action. On its turn, the darkmantle can detach itself from the target by using 5 feet of movement.
Darkness Aura (1/Day). A 15-foot radius of magical darkness extends out from the darkmantle, moves with it, and spreads around corners. The darkness lasts as long as the darkmantle maintains concentration, up to 10 minutes (as if concentrating on a spell). Darkvision can’t penetrate this darkness, and no natural light can illuminate it. If any of the darkness overlaps with an area of light created by a spell of 2nd level or lower, the spell creating the light is dispelled.
Source: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary.
A darkmantle’s tentacle-span measures just under 5 feet—when attached to a cave roof and disguised as a stalactite, its length varies from 2 to 3 feet. A typical darkmantle weighs 40 pounds. The creatures’ heads and bodies are usually the color of basalt or dark granite, but their webbed tentacles can change color to match their surroundings.
The darkmantle isn’t a particularly good climber, but it can cling to a cave roof like a bat, hanging by the hooks at the ends of its tentacles so that its dangling body looks nearly indistinguishable from a stalactite. In this hidden position, the darkmantle waits for prey to pass beneath, at which point it drops and swoops down to attack its victim, slamming its body against the foe and attempting to wrap its webbed tentacles around the target. If the darkmantle misses its prey, it swoops back up and drops again until its prey is vanquished or the darkmantle is grievously injured (in which case the creature flutters back up to the roof to hide and hope its “prey” leaves it alone). The darkmantle’s inborn ability to cloak the area around it in magical darkness gives it an additional advantage over foes that rely upon light to see.
Darkmantles prefer to dwell and hunt in the caves and passageways that are closest to the surface, as these tend to possess more traffic for the monsters to feed upon. Yet they do not confine themselves to these dark caverns, and can sometimes be found dwelling in ruined fortresses or even in the sewers of bustling cities. Anywhere food is plentiful and there’s a ceiling to cling to is a possible den for a darkmantle.
A darkmantle’s life cycle is swift—young grow to maturity in a matter of months, and most die of old age after only a few years. As a result, generations of darkmantles quickly accrue, and over the years the evolution of these creatures is similarly swift. In this manner, a cavern’s ecosystem can have a significant effect on a group of darkmantles’ appearance, abilities, and tactics. Aquatic caverns might develop darkmantles that can swim, while those beset with volcanism might generate darkmantles with a resistance to fire. Other darkmantle variants might develop much stonier hides, and instead of swooping down to crush prey might simply drop and pierce them through with their stalactite-like lengths. The deepest, darkest caverns are rumored to host darkmantles of incredible size, capable of smothering multiple human-sized foes at once in their leathery folds.