Wrikreechees (+2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex, 4 HP)
Size and Type
Wrikreechees are Medium Monstrous Humanoids with the aquatic subtype.
Wrikreechees are able to breathe both water and air normally.
Wrikreechees spend much of their lives in close contact with one another, learning to predict their neighbors’ reactions and coordinate their actions. A wrikreechee gains a +2 bonus to skill checks for the aid another action and to attack rolls to provide harrying fire. A creature using the aid another action to assist a wrikreechee’s skill check gains a +2 bonus to her check.
Wrikreechees have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.
A wrikreechee instinctively knows how to exploit sources of cover. When a wrikreechee is benefiting from partial cover, cover, or improved cover, the granted bonus to its AC and Reflex saves increases by 1.
Thanks to the feathery material lining its forelimbs, a wrikreechee is adept at grabbing small prey. A wrikreechee gains a +4 bonus to attack rolls when attempting to grapple a creature smaller than itself. As a full action, a wrikreechee can make two attempts to grapple a creature with a –4 penalty to the attack rolls.
A wrikreechee has a base speed of 20 feet and a swim speed of 30 feet.
Spindly and deliberate, wrikreechees are chitinous filter feeders who bear as much a resemblance to mollusks as they do to air-breathing humanoids. Their two lower limbs are robust, capable of clinging to jagged surfaces for extended periods, while their forelimbs bear dozens of long, fibrous whiskers that fan out like baleen to catch passing food particles. These forelimbs each also bear a set of three grasping claws, with which a wrikreechee can manipulate objects, tools, and weapons.
Wrikreechees are natives of a lonely, watery planet with a fairly eccentric orbit around an orange main-sequence star. Over much of its existence, their home world was covered in ice miles thick, melting only partly every 3 years when the planet drew closer to the sun. Fairly simple life developed in its concealed oceans, feeding upon nutrients surging from deep-sea vents. Only a modest range of more complex life-forms evolved in the lightless depths, and among these were the wrikreechees: soft-bodied organisms who developed rigid exoskeletons that allowed them to wander and feed during the warming cycle. During the cooling cycle, they molted their shells and retreated into coral-like constructions to conserve energy and socialize with their wintering colony. As best as modern scholars can tell, their kind evolved self-awareness and higher thought processes as a direct extension of this communal living. Though the species developed only rudimentary technologies in the absence of fire and metallurgy, their cultural love of history, mathematics, and philosophy made them a highly educated people.
For the past 100,000 years, their home world’s sun has grown hotter, melting more and more of the planet’s icy shell. Several centuries ago it thawed enough to expose its immense ocean, revealing the cosmos to the wrikreechees for the first time. They had already developed complex astronomic theories by the time explorers arrived 50 years ago, and although the wrikreechees still had only simple tools, they had the academic aptitude to quickly understand and adopt the visitors’ technologies. While still fairly uncommon beyond their home world, traveling wrikreechee scholars and engineers are renowned for creating wonders of architecture and adapting old technologies in innovative ways.
Among the wrikreechees’ most important developments are a swath of pharmaceuticals and inexpensive biotech solutions that have helped them adapt to life in dry environments. Most importantly, these include a series of hormonal enhancements that allow a wrikreechee to maintain its shell year round and a biotech vocal enhancer that helps the creature project its voice and enunciate at near-human levels—without which a wrikreechee’s simple jaw and throat mangle a range of consonants and can barely project above a whisper in air. Much of the Wrikreechee language is conveyed through arm movements and chirps, with entire syntactic structures expressed solely through vibrations felt only over short distances in the water. These grammatical constructions are reserved primarily for terms of endearment, trust, and understanding. As a result, wrikreechees emit a nearly inaudible buzz around dear friends, and they find communication over comm units distressingly sterile.
Temperature fluctuations remain the bane of most wrikreechees; because of their adaptation to seasonal stimuli, they become noticeably torpid in cold weather, and heat can spur practically manic bouts of energy. Those who can afford to do so wear suits with environmental controls to maintain their body temperatures—and prevent any mood swings that would otherwise result. Most wrikreechee travelers delight in clothing and crowded rooms, finding both to be suitable replacements for the colonies they left behind.