Water wraiths are not wraiths at all (which might make them a delightful surprise if you find a way to tease the name before unleashing them on the party cleric). Instead they are color-changing, eight-legged lizards with a taste for blood. In the wild they are expert ambushers, but PCs also might run into them if they run afoul of frontier justice…
A water wraith stalks the rice paddies of Tur Lao. The peasants are desperate for help, as they are unarmed—their lord confiscates all weapons from the lower classes. Observant adventurers might discover that ducks flee from the giant lizard. They could also ally with the shikigami that guard the upper terraces. The small spirits are happy to serve as lookouts for offerings of rice wine or water lilies blessed by a nixie.
A colonial judge revives the old custom of trial by water wraith. Doing so repairs relations with the local elders, who are pleased to see their traditions respected. But the judge is actually a secret worshipper of Sanguine Slumber, a daemonic patron of bloodletters, leeches, and suicides. He keeps the town’s water wraiths underfed so that they will be ravenous on court dates, condemning many innocents to needless deaths.
The drow of the forest moon of Twill have a fondness for reptilian pets. Water wraiths are favored minions, used in moats to keep non-elven servants in line. (Troublesome elves, drow or otherwise, have the honor of being hunted down by megaraptor-mounted hunters.)
—Inner Sea Bestiary 59
A water wraith appeared in Elaine Cunningham’s “Raising the Green Flag” in Pathfinder #21: The Jackal’s Price. Jim Groves statted it up for the Inner Sea Bestiary.
The Daily Bestiary is back from its unexpected hiatus! The short version is that for over a month now artisticlicensetokill has been battling a major health issue, side effects from which landed her in the hospital, and I’ve been very focused on helping her with that. She’s doing well and getting some answers, so hopefully this hospital time is a step in the right direction. In the meantime, if you want to show your support, rather than notes of sympathy she asks for—in honor of her currently wired-up status—pictures of sexy robots. Forward them to my Gmail account (dailybestiary@ etc.), leave links in the comments, or otherwise send them my way and I will pass them along.
Meanwhile, please bear with me as I try to catch to keep us on schedule and catch up on backlogged posts as we hurtle toward Z.