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Template Grafts | Universal Monster Rules


Source Alien Archive 2 pg. 128
Sometimes called “kytons” by mortals, velstracs are cruel fiends who dwell on the Shadow Plane. Each velstrac seeks to unlock its highest potential by following a path of methodical, self-inflicted pain while also psychically feeding on the fear and anguish of mortal creatures. Velstracs care only for this path of pain and its mystical destination; they see “lesser” beings as nothing more than stepping-stones for their own ascension.

Transformation requires a velstrac to excise pieces of itself, spiritually and physically. Dross is cut away and replaced with grafts—artificial or natural, flesh or spirit, magical or technological. Each graft brings the velstrac closer to its ideal state and increases its power. In this practice, velstracs are more fanatical than even the Augmented are about cybernetic augmentations. The emotions and pain experienced during each step, they believe, cause spiritual evolution.

Legend holds that the first velstracs emerged when mortals conceived of cruelty as an acceptable means of personal advancement. The goodly gods, astonished and dismayed, chained the velstracs in Hell. However, instead of struggling against their bonds, the velstracs subsumed their chains and eventually escaped into the Shadow Plane.

Velstracs leave the Shadow Plane to prey on sentient creatures. They maintain installations and portals in dark locales, launching forays into the Material Plane from such places. Most mortals who fall into velstrac clutches are doomed to live out the remainder of their days—or minutes—in agony. However, such mortals can sometimes become velstracs themselves. The supposed methods of this shift differ wildly, but all involve terrible suffering that only escalates after the transformation is complete. These newest velstracs often become anchorites, fiendish ascetics devoted to the torment of themselves as much as of others. An anchorite’s first act must be to willingly mutilate its flesh, showing its dedication to the velstrac way.

Anchorites are among the lowest-ranking fiends in the velstrac hierarchy. Often working in pairs or squads, they are crafters, gophers, and soldiers. Anchorite labor produces the majority of velstrac equipment, from their starships to their hide armors with inward-pointing studs and spikes. Anchorites take pains to make their creations macabre and ornate. These velstracs also make up the rank and file of velstrac exploration teams and starship crews.

In battle, anchorites aim to inflict maximum amounts of delicious agony upon themselves and their foes. Sharing pain is an ecstasy to anchorites as they guide each other along the path of evolution. Few velstracs of any sort refuse to telepathically pair with an anchorite and at least taste its pain, and it’s a rare and disgraceful act for an anchorite to refuse to share with another. A stronger velstrac who takes advantage of an anchorite to survive an otherwise deadly conflict is not considered to be acting dishonorably because in velstrac doctrine, the weak exist to serve the needs of the mighty. All velstracs answer to the demands of their strongest, the velstrac demagogues.

Velstrac Starships

A clear hierarchy commands all velstrac groupings, including the fiends’ starfaring forces. The velstracs’ fast and sleek corvettes serve as heavy scouts and raiders, cutting into enemy territory and fleets like serrated blades. In starship combat, corvette crews fight as they would in personal combat, with the aim to deal maximum damage as brutally as possible. After strafing disabled ships with chain cannons, corvettes usually make boarding maneuvers to take prisoners. Corvette anchorite crews have even been known to use their escape pods as ballistic weapons against ships with weakened defenses, hoping to overcome those defenses and, perhaps, to improvise boarding at the same time.

Velstrac Flensers

Velstracs wield flensers—blades designed to slice skin from muscle and muscle from bone—sometimes mounting these knives on rifles as bayonets. Flensers are honed to supernatural sharpness and powered to vibrate with the rhythms of the wielder’s body. Velstracs have mastered the art of using these advanced melee weapons to inflict wounds while keeping targets alive. The table above shows an array of flensers, which can be purchased only in the darkest corners of the galaxy.

Aliens in the "Velstrac" Family


Velstrac, Prior

Source Starfinder #48: Masters of Time and Space pg. 61

Prior CR 8

XP 4,800
LE Medium outsider (evil, extraplanar, lawful, velstrac)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness; Perception +21
Aura agonizing alacrity (60 ft., DC 18)


HP 115
EAC 20; KAC 21
Fort +9; Ref +7; Will +11
Defensive Abilities regeneration 5 (good or silver); Immunities cold; SR 19
Weaknesses rigid agenda


Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee slam +16 (1d12+9 B)
Ranged optical laser +18 (1d10+8 F; critical burn 1d6)
Offensive Abilities create darkness, unnerving gaze (30 ft., DC 18)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th)
3/day—slow (DC 18)


STR +1; DEX +2; CON +2; INT +4; WIS +6; CHA +2
Skills Bluff +11, Computers +16, Culture +11, Diplomacy +16, Engineering +16, Intimidate +21, Mysticism +16, Sense Motive +21, Stealth +21
Languages Common, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.


Environment any (Shadow Plane)
Organization solitary

Special Abilities

Agonizing Alacrity (Su) A prior’s presence drives others’ physical bodies to the breaking point. All non-velstracs within 60 feet of the prior gain the benefits of haste but take 1d4+4 slashing damage at the end of each round as they internally hemorrhage. A successful DC 18 Fortitude save negates both effects. The haste effect cancels out the penalties imposed from the slow spell, but an affected creature in the aura still takes the damage.
Optical Laser (Ex) A prior can fire a powerful laser from an optical augmentation as a ranged attack with a range increment of 60 feet. This weapon can’t be disarmed.
Rigid Agenda (Ex) Any disruptions to a prior’s view of how events should proceed cause the prior dismay. Whenever a creature within 30 feet that’s visible to the prior changes its position in the initiative order (such as by delaying or performing a readied action), the prior’s regeneration and aura cease functioning for 1 round.
Unnerving Gaze (Su) Those who meet a prior’s gaze are overcome by the horror of the passage of time. A creature who fails a DC 18 Will saving throw gains the off-target condition, can’t ready actions, can’t delay, and can’t take actions it has already readied. These effects last for 2d4 rounds. This is a mind-affecting fear effect. Whether a creature succeeds at the save or not, it can’t be affected again by a prior’s unnerving gaze for 24 hours.


Priors are velstracs—cruel fiends from the Shadow Plane—who have synthesized technology and magic to gain a measure of control over time itself. They manipulate mortal dread derived from the unceasing passage of time to torment their victims, usually chosen from those who feel the need to rush from activity to activity or the need to accomplish a major goal before reaching a certain age. Like many velstracs, priors have several cybernetic augmentations installed in their pale, humanoid forms, including an optical laser replacing one of their eyes. Many of these enhancements include gears that interlock with their skin and muscles, resulting in a repulsive clockwork-like appearance. Survivors of attacks from priors describe a relentless ticking emanating from these gears that’s reminiscent of the sound of an analog clock.

Some velstracs—and priors are no exception—offer their services to more unscrupulous mortals, usually after being purposefully or accidentally summoned to the Material Plane. These deals seem beneficial to the mortal at first, with velstracs granting extraordinary powers through grotesque augmentations or rites of pain, but soon, the unsuspecting victim finds themself craving the velstrac’s presence more and more. Eventually, the desperate mortal agrees to be taken to the Shadow Plane, where horrific procedures are performed upon them. Priors in particular offer potential victims ways to “beat the clock” through fractional methods of temporal manipulation, though these methods leave most mortals exhausted.

Extra Content

The following extra content was found for this creature:
- Velstrac (Creature Subtype) Graft Template