Dread lacedons are corpses animated by the restless spirits of those who drowned or were killed but not devoured by a dread lacedon. They swim through the ocean depths in deadly schools or stalk though swamps seeking other creatures to drown and devour.
With its bloated body discolored by rot, a dread lacedon is horrifying to look upon. Its thick limbs sport sharp claws almost hidden by folds of flesh, and its mouth is a gaping maw filled with shark-like teeth. Heedless of its body's condition, a dread lacedon takes no notice of the seaweed that tangles in its hair or the tiny sea creatures that take up residence in its body. Now and then, the inexorable killing bite of a dread lacedon is accompanied by a crustacean crawling from its mouth or eye socket, coming to partake of the meal before the dread lacedon consumes it all.
“Dread Lacedon” is an acquired template that can be added to any living creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A dread lacedon uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2.
Alignment: Any evil.
Armor Class: The dread lacedon's natural armor bonus improves by +3.
Hit Dice: Change all of the base creature's racial HD to d8s.
Speed: If the base creature has both a swim speed and a land speed, the lower of the two increases to match the higher. If it lacks one of those speeds, the dread lacedon gains the missing mode of movement at a speed equal to the other. If the base creature lacks both modes of movement, the dread lacedon gains both at a speed equal to one-half the base creature's highest speed.
If the base creature possesses at least one mouth but has no natural attack with it, the dread lacedon gains a bite attack with each mouth. The bite attack is primary if the base creature has no natural attacks; otherwise, it is secondary. If the base creature possesses at least one arm but has no natural attacks with it, the dread lacedon gains a secondary claw attack with each such limb.
The damage gained for the bite and/or claw attacks depends on the base creature's size. Damage from any claw attacks granted by this template is treated as if the base creature was one size category larger.
Special Attacks: The dread lacedon gains the following special attacks. Unless otherwise specified, the save DC is Charisma-based.
As a free action, a dread lacedon can automatically command all normal lacedons and ghouls within 30 feet (as the command undead spell). Normal lacedons and ghouls never attack a dread lacedon unless compelled.
In most cases, dread lacedons feast on the bodies of the fallen, or sea creatures such as sharks devour the remains. However, any creature killed by a dread lacedon that lies undisturbed until the next midnight rises as a dread lacedon at that time. The new dread lacedon is under the control of its creator (as though under the effect of a dominate monster spell) if the latter is within 30 feet of it at the time it rises. A protection from evil or gentle repose spell cast on the corpse prevents its conversion.
Special Qualities: A dread lacedon gains the following special quality.
A creature that damages a dread lacedon with a bite attack, or swallows one whole, or otherwise eats the dread lacedon's flesh must succeed on a DC 20 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 day. Success drops the duration of the nausea to 1d4 rounds. Nausea can be negated by a remove disease or purify food and drink.
Environment: Any aquatic or coastline.