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Flit Cumbercrickle, “Female” Ashmalkin Wing Jockey 5/Warrior 1 CR 5; Diminutive fey (extraplanar); HD 6d8+6; hp 36; Init +7; Spd 10 ft.; AC 21, touch 21, flat-footed 14; Base Atk +4; Grp –11; Atk/Full Atk +15 melee (1d4 electrical nonlethal + 1 bludgeoning, shocklash) or +15 ranged (1d6 fire + 1 piercing, flamedart); SA alchemical weapons; SQ ashmalkin traits, empathic bonding, feather fall, low-light vision, mount affinity, mounted defense I, mounted defense II, mounted evasion, riding style, riding style mastery; AL CN; SV Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +0; Str 4, Dex 24, Con 12, Int 13, Wis 8, Cha 14.
Skills Craft (alchemy) +6, Handle Animal +11 (+15 for stirges and stirge swarms), Jump +1, Knowledge (geography) +6, Listen +4, Profession (stirge rancher) +4, Ride +16 (+20 for stirges and stirge swarms), Spot +4.
Feats Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Mounted Combat, Weapon Finesse.
Ashmalkin Traits (Ex) Flit has an innate kinship with stirges. She gains a +2 racial bonus to Handle Animal and Ride checks related to stirges. Flit may treat shocklashes as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.
Empathic Bonding (Ex) Flit can establish an empathic link with a stirge or stirge swarm if the creature has fewer than 5 Hit Dice and if it has an attitude of friendly towards her. She may use her empathic abilities to improve the creature’s attitude, just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Flit rolls 1d20 + 7 to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic creature has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild creatures are usually unfriendly.
To use her empathic abilities, Flit must be riding the creature. Generally, influencing a creature in this way requires riding it for 1 full minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. If Flit is unseated by the creature, it will usually take 1d6 minutes and a successful Handle Animal check (DC 15) before she can attempt to mount it again and use her empathic abilities.
Once the empathic bond is established, Flit and her mount can communicate general emotional content. The establishment of an empathic bond is a prerequisite for using many of Flit’s class features.
Feather Fall (Su) As a free action, Flit can use a feather fall spell as per the spell cast by a 5th level wizard.
Mount Affinity (Ex) Flit has chosen to develop a special affinity for stirges and stirge swarms. She gains a +2 bonus on all Handle Animal checks and Ride checks related to these creatures. Her class features as a wing jockey apply only to creatures of this type.
Mounted Defense I and II (Ex) When Flit is riding a mount with which she has established an empathic link, they are able to watch out for one another and coordinate their defenses. Both Flit and her mount gain a +2 insight bonus to their ACs. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks; the bonuses are lost when either the rider or her mount is flat-footed, immobilized or helpless.
Mounted Evasion (Ex): When Flit is riding a mount with which she has established an empathic link, they are able to act as one to avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. When an attack would normally deal damage to both Flit and her mount, they may make a single Reflex saving throw that applies for both of them. Use either Flit’s Reflex save bonus or the mount’s, whichever is better. If this Reflex saving throw is successful against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, both Flit and her mount instead take no damage. If either Flit or her mount is helpless, neither of them can gain the benefit of mounted evasion.
Riding Style (Ex): Flit has developed a unique riding style which takes advantage of her empathic bond with stirges and stirge swarms. She is treated as having the Mounted Archery feat, and her mount is treated as having the Wingover feat, even if it does not have the normal prerequisites for that feat. The benefits of Flit’s riding style apply only when she is riding a stirge or stirge swarm with which she has established an empathic link. Both she and her mount lose all benefits of the riding style when Flit is not riding the mount or if an empathic bond is not present.
Riding Style Mastery (Ex) Flit has perfected her unique riding style. Using her empathic bond with her mount, she is able to perform remarkable acts of aerial combat and maneuvering. She is treated as having the Ride-By Attack feat, and her mount is treated as having the Hover feat. The benefits of Flit’s Riding Style Mastery apply only when she is riding a mount with which she has established an empathic link. Both she and her mount lose all benefits of the riding style when Flit is not riding the mount or if an empathic bond is not present.
Possessions Cure serious wounds potion × 2, elixir of fire breath. [Note: Flit’s possessions are all Diminutive in size; none are usable by a creature of a size larger than Tiny.]
Direcloud, stirge swarm CR 3; Tiny magical beast (swarm); HD 4d10; hp 22; Init +8; Spd 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average); AC 16 (18 when ridden by Flit), touch 16 (18 when ridden by Flit), flatfooted 12; Base Atk +4; Grp +0; Atk/Full Atk swarm (1d6 plus blood drain); SA blood drain, distraction; SQ Half damage from weapons, darkvision 60 ft., empathic bonding, lowlight vision, swarm traits; SV Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +2; AL N; Str 3, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 6.
Skills Listen +7, Spot +6.
Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative, Hover (when ridden by Flit), Wingover (when ridden by Flit).
Swarm Traits (Ex) For game purposes Direcloud is defined as a single creature with a space of 10 feet— gigantic blights are actually composed of many swarms in close proximity. Unlike other creatures with a 10-foot space, Direcloud is shapeable. It can occupy any four contiguous squares, and it can squeeze through any space large enough to contain a single stirge. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it lands all over its prey, but it remains a creature with a 10-foot space.
Direcloud never makes attacks of opportunity, but it can provoke attacks of opportunity. Because Direcloud as a whole lacks a discrete anatomy, it is immune to critical hits.
A lit torch can be used as an improvised weapon against Direcloud, dealing 1d3 points of fire damage per hit. A lit lantern can be used as a thrown weapon, dealing 1d4 points of fire damage if if it breaks in a square that Direcloud occupies, plus 1 point for each adjacent square that is also occupied by the swarm. A weapon with a special ability that adds energy damage, such as flaming or frost, deals its maximum energy damage each time it hits Direcloud.
Blood Drain (Ex) Multiple stirges drain the blood of any creature in a square occupied by Direcloud, automatically dealing 1d4+2 points of Constitution damage.
Distraction (Ex) Any living creature that is vulnerable to its damage and begins its turn with Direcloud in its square must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Empathic Bonding (Ex) When Direcloud is ridden by Flit Cumbercrickle and an empathic bond is established between them, Direcloud gains a +2 insight bonus to AC and is treated as having the Wingover and Hover feats, as indicated in parentheses in the entry above.