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What is a Cauthooj in Pathfinder 2e?
These large, flightless birds are deceptively agile, considering their long bodies and awkward, hopping gait. Solitary predators, they use their hypnotic warbling song to drive prey into a wild frenzy, manipulating them into attacking one another so that the cauthooj can then feast on the remains.
Known to some scholars as the puppet master bird, and to others as the shrill shrike, cauthoojs are widely reviled by most intelligent humanoids, in part because the birds seem to prefer humanoids to other prey. Cauthooj sightings typically lead to the creation of hunting parties to track the creature down before it can kill again, with would-be hunters typically stuffing their ears full of wax in an effort to avoid being affected by its cry. Those who have survived the creature’s song report that the experience is uniquely unnerving, and almost all accounts agree that there is no other sound as terrible.
While one might assume the cauthooj is a dumb animal, these creatures are in fact quite a bit smarter than they look. Cauthoojs stalk the perimeter of remote settlements in hopes of finding a lone traveler they can feast upon. These patient creatures will wait in ambush as long as they must to sate their hunger. They can even understand a few rudimentary words in Sylvan, although they are incapable of clearly speaking themselves. This doesn’t stop the cauthooj from attempting to mimic the sounds it hears, but when it does so, its eerie primal nature enhances the attempt, leading to the bird’s signature ability to manipulate minds and encourage conflict, a trait the cauthooj is just barely smart enough to understand—and enjoy.
Table of Contents
The Silent Village
The party arrives at a village where no one speaks. A Cauthooj has taken residence nearby, and its song has rendered the villagers mute. The party must find a way to communicate with the villagers, locate the creature, and break its hold over the village.
The Whispering Caverns
Deep within a network of caverns, miners have gone missing. The echoing chambers carry the haunting song of a Cauthooj, which has made the tunnels its lair. The party must navigate the labyrinthine caves, rescue the miners, and confront the creature.
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The Bard’s Dilemma
A renowned bard seeks the party’s help. He wishes to study the song of the Cauthooj for his next masterpiece. However, capturing the creature’s song without falling under its spell proves a challenging task. The party must devise a plan to safely record the creature’s melody.
The Festival of Shadows
During a citywide festival celebrating the moon, a Cauthooj sees an opportunity to feast. Using the shadows cast by the moonlight, it moves stealthily, causing chaos. The party, amidst the festivities, must identify and stop the creature before the night ends in tragedy.
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Echoes of the Shrike
Travelers have been disappearing on a particular forest path. Rumors speak of a haunting song that echoes between the trees. The party must investigate and confront the Cauthooj responsible, discovering in the process a hoard of treasures from its past victims.
The party stumbles upon a village where residents are mysteriously attacking each other. The cause? The hypnotic song of a nearby Cauthooj. The party must track down the creature and put an end to its malevolent melodies.
The Sylvan Deception
In a remote settlement, the party encounters a Cauthooj mimicking Sylvan words. It’s using its limited understanding of the language to lure elves into traps. The party must decipher the creature’s intentions and protect the elven community.
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About the Author:
Dwight Scull has been playing tabletop role-playing games (starting with Dungeons and Dragons 3.5) back in 2001. He started being a dungeon master around 2005.
He loves to play many different types of TTRPGs, including Pathfinder, GURPS, Shadowrun, Vampire: The Masquerade, Mage: The Ascension (and other White Wolf Games), Nights Black Agents, and others.
Fan of mysteries, light horror, co-op board games, true crime, sci-fi, and fantasy.