Cu Sidhe, Unseelie

A great black hound the size of a horse crouches before you, its teeth flashing blue-white and its breath rimed with ice. Pale green light flickers in its eyes.

Large Outsider (Cold, Spirit)
Hit Dice: 4d10+16 (38 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares), fly 50 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 14 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+13
Attack: Bite +8 melee (2d6+7 plus 1d6 cold)
Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (2d6+7 plus 1d6 cold)
Space/Reach: 10 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Chilling bite, trip
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/cold iron, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to cold, low-light vision, scent, weaknesses
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +4
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 13, Con 19, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 6
Skills: Climb +5, Hide +5, Jump +11, Listen +8, Move Silently +6, Spot +8, Survival +8*
Feats: Improved Initiative, Run, TrackB
Environment: Spirit World
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (5-12)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 5-8 HD (Large); 9-16 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: —

The unseelie cu sidhe, popularly known as a darkhound, is specially bred by the cruel fey of the Unseelie Court to aid them in the hunt. They are the subject of fearful legends in which hapless mortals are chased through chill, moonlit winter nights for the amusement of the lords and ladies of the Unseelie fey before becoming a meal for the cu sidhe. They are fabled for their endurance, fleetness of foot, and persistence; the legends say that at a darkhound never gives up its quarry while the night lasts unless the luckless creature which it chases can cross running water, and that it can follow the scent of its prey for miles.

The darkhound is no dumb brute. Although they are not as intelligent as humans or even orcs, they possess cunning beyond the reach of any mundane animal. Their cruelty matches their intelligence; a typical darkhound enjoys stretching out the chase, wearing down its prey so that it knows exhaustion and despair before it turns at bay to face its ultimate death at the cu sidhe’s fangs and the huntsmen’s spears. The distinctive belling of this otherworldly canine serves to warn the quarry of its approach and induce it to run, and is a deliberate tactic on the creature’s part. When it so desires, the cu sidhe can move as silently as a ghost in spite of its size.

The cu sidhe has a black coat, and its eyes glow with a cold green or blue light that resembles marsh gas or the glow of a will-o-wisp. It is a creature of winter, like many of the Unseelie Court, and its bite is imbued with the deathly chill of a midwinter night in the Spirit World, freezing the lifeblood of the prey even as it rends its flesh.

A darkhound stands four feet tall at the shoulder, and is roughly seven feet long. It weighs 700 pounds.

An unseelie cu sidhe understands Sylvan, although it does not speak.

Alone, an unseelie cu sidhe attempts to catch its prey unawares, knock its feet from under it, and go for its throat. In packs or with a hunter, they work together with hit-and-run to exhaust the prey before closing in for the kill, dragging down the victim to tear at it with their icy fangs.

Chilling Bite (Su): A cu sidhe deals 1d6 points of cold damage every time it bites an opponent, as if its bite were a frost weapon.

Trip (Ex): A cu sidhe that hits with a bite attack can attempt to trip the opponent (+9 modifier) as a free action without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot attempt to trip the cu sidhe.

Skills: Cu sidhe have a +1 racial bonus to Listen, Move Silently, and Spot checks.

Cu sidhe have a +2 racial bonus on Hide checks.

A cu sidhe has a +4 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

Weaknesses: The cu sidhe is unwilling to cross running water, the threshold of a dwelling, or other natural or man-made barriers. They can be induced to overcome their instinctive dislike of doing so, but this requires an Intimidate check on the part of their master or handler, following the rules for the use of Intimidate to change a person’s behavior found on page 76-77 of the Player’s Handbook v.3.5.