Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble
Qalupaliks are what becomes of unattentive mothers who allowed their child to go out upon thin ice to fall through and drown. When the mother dies her spirit is reincarnated and comes back to life in a cursed seal form to forever prey upon other ice-walking children and the parents who come running too late to save them.
This is the best part about the monster. I love these old legends about what becomes of people who fail in some aspect of life. I've always been the most interested in trying to piece together exactly why
a certain legend exists as it does, and this one seems pretty self-explanatory, but the idea that a hideous monster hunts your children if you don't take care of them intrigues me. Do any of your Dying Ember PCs have kids? I think this monster works best if your PCs are attached to some weak little friend or child, and must protect their child from such predatory spirits.
Its ambush abilities and damage output are somewhat worrisome for a CR 4 monster- it seems the kind that could do significant damage, even to a 4th-level party, with little trouble. Like, kill a PC with its sneak attacks and aquatic abilities. In a straight fight, it's not a CR 4 by any stretch, but I would strongly doubt that a Qalupalik would ever consider a straight fight while it had some water to escape into. At least it doesn't have fast healing.