Dark Sun: The Scorched World of Athas
The magic-torn wastelands spawn monsters so terrible that not even the merciful can permit them to live. Gaj exemplify such horrors, combining a hideous aspect with a malign intelligence. They crave the flesh of sentient beings, both for sustenance and for the delicious taste of fear.
Gaj dwell in extensive burrows that interconnect to form a community but, aside from pain tyrants, they hunt alone or in mated pairs. Each gaj or pair has its own tunnels and rarely interacts with its neighbors. The community does band together to defend the colony, and to engage in group hunts led by pain tyrants. But when the larder runs low, gaj turn on one another – including their mates.
A gaj uses its feathery antennae to invade the mind of its prey, ripping at its victim’s thoughts and creating paralyzing terror. A gaj telepathically mocks enemies for their weakness and goads them to foolish action.
Gaj are prized in areans across the Tyr Region for their cunning and ferocity in battle. Thus they command a high price, and monster hunter take great risks to capture live specimens.
Bursting from beneath the sand, a mindhunter uses its chitinous claws to tear at flesh and thoughts, shredding memories and rending dreams. As insectoid mandibles clash, a pair of feathery antennae brush away what was once a mind.