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A writhing forest of tendrils extends from one end of this chitincovered creature’s body, while from the other lashes a pincer-tipped tail. Six transparent blisters adorn its back, each containing a brain floating in thick green fluid.

Yah-Thelgaad CR 14

Source Pathfinder #88: Valley of the Brain Collectors pg. 90
XP 38,400
CE Large aberration
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., diagnose diseaseUM, true seeing; Perception +26


AC 30, touch 25, flat-footed 26 (+4 Dex, +12 insight, +5 natural, –1 size)
hp 200 (16d8+128)
Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +17
Defensive Abilities carapace; DR 10/magic and adamantine; Immune disease, mind-affecting effects; Resist cold 10, fire 10; SR 25


Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft. (perfect)
Melee claw +22 (3d6+11 plus poison), 2 tentacles +22 (1d8+11 plus grab)
Space 10 ft., Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks command disease, mind storm, powerful tentacles, spellstrike
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +20)
Constant—diagnose diseaseUM, true seeing
Sorcerer Spells Known (CL 12th; concentration +32)
6th (4/day)—disintegrate (DC 21)
5th (6/day)—sending, suffocationAPG (DC 22)
4th (8/day)—confusion (DC 19), contagion (DC 21), dimension door
3rd (8/day)—clairaudience/clairvoyance, dispel magic, slow (DC 18), vampiric touch
2nd (8/day)—detect thoughts (DC 17), ghoul touch (DC 19), mirror image, scorching ray, spectral hand
1st (8/day)—chill touch (DC 18), magic missile, ray of enfeeblement (DC 18), shocking grasp, unseen servant
0 (at will)—acid splash, detect magic, flare (DC 15), ghost sound (DC 15), mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic, touch of fatigue (DC 17)


Str 32, Dex 18, Con 26, Int 23, Wis 25, Cha 21
Base Atk +12; CMB +24; CMD 50 (62 vs. trip)
Feats Arcane Strike, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Eschew MaterialsB, Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Spell Focus (necromancy), Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +21, Diplomacy +13, Fly +21, Intimidate +24, Knowledge (arcana) +37, Knowledge (engineering) +37, Knowledge (geography) +37, Knowledge (planes) +37, Perception +26, Spellcraft +25, Use Magic Device +21
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Infernal, Protean, Undercommon; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ brain collection, strange knowledge


Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure double

Special Abilities

Brain Collection (Ex) A yah-thelgaad can store up to six brains of Small or Medium creatures and use them to enhance its knowledge and power. Each stored brain grants a yah-thelgaad a cumulative +2 insight bonus to AC, concentration checks, and Knowledge checks. A yah-thelgaad can extract a brain from a helpless opponent with a coup de grace attack, or as a standard action from a body that has been dead for no more than 1 minute. A yah-thelgaad that has fewer than six collected brains gains two negative levels for each missing brain. These negative levels never become permanent, and can only be removed by replacing one of the yah-thelgaad’s collected brains. The statistics presented here assume a yah-thelgaad with a full collection.

Carapace (Ex) The spikes on a yah-thelgaad’s carapace make melee attacks against it hazardous. Any opponent attempting to attack a yah-thelgaad with a light weapon, unarmed strike, touch attack, or natural attack must succeed at a DC 22 Reflex save or take 1d6 points of bleed damage from these bristling barbs. Bleed damage from multiple failed Reflex saves does not stack. The save DC is Dexterity-based.

Command Disease (Su) As a swift action, a yah-thelgaad can cause a disease or infection currently afflicting a creature within 30 feet to quicken and activate, forcing the afflicted creature to immediately attempt a saving throw against the disease’s effects. Those who fail immediately suffer the disease’s effects. These additional saving throws count against those one must succeed at to recover from a disease, so it’s possible for a victim to be cured by succeeding at enough saving throws. Any creature that has been affected by a yah-thelgaad’s command disease ability (whether or not the creature succeeded at the saving throw this ability triggered) takes a –2 penalty against any mind-affecting spell or effect generated by the yah-thelgaad in the next minute.

Mind Storm (Su) As a standard action once every 1d4 rounds, a yah-thelgaad can employ its own brain as well as any brains kept in its blisters to create a powerful psychic vortex. When the creature activates this ability, all creatures within a 40-foot radius must succeed at DC 23 Will save or become confused for 1d4 rounds. When a yah-thelgaad activates this ability, it can choose to absorb one of its brains as a swift action to cause one creature within the area of effect that has succumbed to the confusion effect to instead become stunned for 1d4 rounds. A creature stunned in this manner is confused for 1d4 rounds after the stun effect ends. A yah-thelgaad generally saves this tactic for when it’s faced with a particularly dangerous foe, since the stun effect forces the yah-thelgaad to lose one of its stored brains and gain 2 negative levels. This is a mind-affecting confusion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Poison (Ex) Claw—injury; save Fort DC 26; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d4 Strength damage and nauseated for 1 round; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Powerful Tentacles (Ex) A yah-thelgaad’s tentacles are primary attacks.

Spells (Su) A yah-thelgaad casts spells as a 12th-level sorcerer. Its caster level is reduced by 2 for each negative level it gains from missing brains. A yah-thelgaad with no collected brains can’t cast any of its spells.

Spellstrike (Su) Whenever a yah-thelgaad casts a spell with a range of “touch,” it can deliver the spell through its claw attack as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, the yahthelgaad can make one free melee attack with its claw as part of casting the spell. If successful, this claw attack deals its normal damage (including poison) as well as the effects of the spell.

Strange Knowledge (Ex) All knowledge skills are class skills for yah-thelgaads.


When a neh-thalggu has absorbed a critical mass of thoughts and memories from an unknown number of humanoid brains, its body undergoes a horrific transformation. The creature enters a state of torpor, its body curling into a tight ball as it consumes the oldest of its seven stored brains to trigger the metamorphosis. Over the course of several days of selfconsumption, the neh-thalggu bursts from the shell of its old body into its new incarnation as a yah-thelgaad.

While the yah-thelgaad shares many of the features of its less powerful progenitor, it is in every way a more powerful creature than it was before. While the capacity to store one fewer brain than a neh-thalggu presents some disadvantage, the yah-thelgaad gains twice as much power from a collected brain as its lesser kin does. In addition, these creatures need not limit their harvest to the brains of humanoids—any Small or Medium creature’s brain will do.

Yah-thelgaads are zealously devoted to the inscrutable causes of the Dominion of the Black, but they are also notoriously devout believers in that alliance’s weird theology, worshiping a concept they refer to as the “Ineffable Void,” among other cryptic mysteries. It is not uncommon for yahthelgaads of high rank to also possess inquisitor or oracle levels, lording their authority and fanatical faith over those in their charge—the most powerful yah-thelgaads often take levels in mystic theurge to combine their class-based mastery of the divine with their stolen brains’ arcane lore.

Yah-thelgaads often supervise the Dominion of the Black’s surgical and genetic engineers on major projects, pushing those agents to attempt greater and more horrific procedures. For all their legendary cruelty, however, yah-thelgaads don’t appear to gain pleasure from such experiments. Indeed, they don’t seem to feel any emotions at all on their own, but rather experience such sensations vicariously through the memories of the brains they’ve collected. In this way, the creatures know lust, fear, hatred, and pride without exposing their own minds to the disadvantages of being susceptible to mind-affecting effects.