Shantak

A shantak is an elephant-sized, bird-like creature with red, leathery, slime-encrusted wings and a vaguely equine head. It has the ability to survive and fly in the void between planets.[1]
Ecology

Although capable of spaceflight and protecting their riders from the vacuum, shantaks are intelligent enough to be untrainable as mounts. Someone who wants to ride one must convince or magically coerce it, but the shantak has a tendency to strand riders in dangerous places or withdraw its protection. Despite this ability, shantaks rarely actually seek out new worlds for fear of being lost in space.[1]

Shantaks are irrationally afraid of certain creatures, like nightgaunts, harpies, and gargoyles. They speak with a shrill voice like glass grinding against stone.[1]
On Golarion

Shantaks have been spotted in the mountains of Golarion's colder climes but, because of their ability for interplanetary flight, they can also be found on the other planets of the solar system.[1][2]

Winged and whirring, those forms grew larger each moment, and the traveller knew his stumbling was at an end. They were not any birds or bats known elsewhere on earth or in dreamland, for they were larger than elephants and had heads like a horse's. Carter knew that they must be the Shantak-birds of ill rumour, and wondered no more what evil guardians and nameless sentinels made men avoid the boreal rock desert.
"It was hard work ascending, for the Shantak-bird has scales instead of feathers, and those scales are very slippery."

Shantaks are a species of flying bird-like creatures. They are larger than elephants in size, and are said to have heads resembling those of horses and lay eggs of colossal size and rich flavor. Very few humans are known to have seen them in person.

Enormous birds larger than any elephant, Shantaks have a slimy, reptilian skin, a pair of membranous, bat-like wings and a head which is said to resemble that of a horse. They are known to inhabit the Cold Wastes region of Earth's Dreamlands, where they are sometimes used as mounts by the denizens of that strange land, although they are deeply fearful of the Nightgaunts which also live there.

Many Shantaks are known to serve the Outer God Nyarlathotep, and many more can be found in the service of the Great Old One Ithaqua, but the Shantaks of the Dreamlands (amongst other creatures) are frequently ridden down and killed for sport by the Elder God Nodens, possibly explaining their fear of Nightgaunts; in the Dreamlands, Nightgaunts serve as the hunting-dogs of Nodens.

A shantak is a fictional creature in the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. It is also part of the Cthulhu Mythos. The creature first appeared in Lovecraft's novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926). They were not any birds or bats known elsewhere on earth or in dreamland, for they were larger than elephants and had heads like a horse's. Carter knew that they must be the shantak-birds of ill rumour, and wondered no more what evil guardians and nameless sentinels made men avoid the boreal rock

Also known as shantak-birds, shantaks are intelligent and innately malign. They can be easily persuaded to cooperate with a competent master, and have proven highly useful for transport due to their incredible speed.

A shantak is large—as big as an elephant and weighing 2–4 tons—and though it is often considered to be a bird, it has scales rather than feathers. It has an elongated snout, making its head slightly resemble that of a horse or, more closely, an iguanodon. It has four limbs—two legs and two wings—giving it a body arrangement rather like that of a wyvern. Shantaks lay eggs in excavated hollow places in mountain peaks and elsewhere to tend their young.

Shantaks secrete a thin coating of slime as an insulator and protective coating, making their scales very slippery. They have the ability to fly into and through space and other dimensions. Their slime protects against almost all environmental effects and is effective in mitigating many attacks.

Even the bravest person typically has some slight degree of trepidation while facing a shantak, which boosts the shantak’s effectiveness. This often terrifies the shantak’s opponents, creating a feedback loop that empowers the birdlike monstrosity. There are two situations in which the shantak’s empathic fear power does not work. First, if the target is so powerful that it doesn’t fear the shantak in the first place, then there is no “foothold” for the empathic loop to get started. Secondly, if the prey creature is something that is incapable of fear but is able to cause fear, this sets up a negative feedback loop that weakens the shantak. As a result, they avoid entities such as nightgaunts or undead.

Shantaks are omnivorous but need protein to breed, so they tend to prefer hunting prey. Naturally empathic, their neural structure is focused on their prey’s emotions. If their target feels fear, this stimulates and boosts the shantak’s abilities. Naturally, they like to chase their prey down to induce the maximum amount of fear or panic before feeding.

Shantaks, as semi-intelligent creatures, cannot truly be domesticated, but they can be induced to work for a strong and evil master in return for the obvious considerations (such as terrified prey to toy with and then devour).

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