No. Enc.: 1 (1)
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 11
Attacks: 2 (2 claws)
Damage: 1d6+3 / 1d6+3
Hoard Class: X, XVII
In cultures more ancient than those of The Ancients themselves, sinister sorcerers died by fire as punishment for their decadence, depravity, and diablerie...
...but the most powerful swore unholy vengeance, vowing to return centuries hence to slay the descendants of their accusers...
...AND RETURN THEY HAVE, AS CEREBRUM-SUCKING, HIRSUTE HORRORS FROM THE DARKEST DEPTHS OF SPACE!!!
In The Times Before, certain haughty humans possessed vast knowledge, svengali-esque personalities, and fantastic powers (mind control, matter transmutation, divination, oracular prophecy, conjuration, and more). They were systematically hunted, tried, and executed...but not before uttering death curses and transferring their essences to passing comets. And in the Mutant Future, those comets returned...and crashed to earth with payloads most unholy: the cruel, corrupted cranophages!
Cranophages are shaggy humanoids with pulsating faces, jutting fangs, forked tongues, and suckered pincers. They can shift between their monstrous forms and their original human visages at will. If a cranophage successfully strikes with both claws in the same round, the target is grappled...and the baleful being automatically plunges its tongue into the victim's neck for 3d8 damage. The prey must immediately make a Saving Throw Versus Death, with failure meaning its brain is sucked right out of the skull! Success means the victim breaks free, forcing the cranophage to attack again. The creatures leave empty-noggin'd corpses scattered throughout their territories, and often hoard brains to devour at leisure.
Possessing mighty wills (WIL 16+) and piercing gazes, cranophages dominate the minds of others, lulling them into hypnotic trances...or even compelling them to commit suicide! And their control over matter on an atomic level is unmatched. Cranophages can dematerialize to pass through barriers and/or avoid attacks, disrupt elemental bonds in objects, and transfer clothing and items from across great distances to appear on their persons. [Essentially, their "Molecular Manipulation" grants access to the Disintegration and Neural Telekinesis Mental Mutations, without any of the adverse side effects or limitations. Furthermore, it allows cranophages to phase through objects unimpeded, and ignore all incoming damage; they themselves can't attack in this state, however.]
Cranophages are obsessed with eradicating the bloodlines of those that wronged them in their former lives, and systematically slaughter each and every descendant, no matter how many centuries have passed. And they are masters of manipulation, assuming the roles of classy aristocrats or other personages of wealth, distinction, status, and power. Mutant Lords should use cranophages as long-term campaign villains, and/or in murder mystery scenarios.
Cranophages suffer +3 damage per die from flame-based attacks. And liquor is poisonous to them, acting as a Class 6 hazard.
Mutations: Combat Empathy, Empathy, Fragrance Development, Frailty (Alcohol, Fire) [D], Mental Barrier, Metamorph (Modified), Teleport, Unique Mutation ("Molecular Manipulation")