The h'rak'va, or "astral vampire", is a rare creature native to the Astral Plane known to lurk about astral conduits to feed on the spirits traveling within. Their origins are entirely unknown, but they're believed to be a relatively recent addition to the plane, not recorded outside the last five hundred years or so.
H'rak'va are an utterly solitary creature, with no gatherings of multiple h'rak'va ever having been recorded; thanks to their choice of plane, they have no need to gather, but this does make their origins even more mysterious, as such behavior would be an utterly strange development on a plane where processes of life still function as normal.
Even amongst others, they're known to be excessively shy, fleeing at the first approach of any others, and fighting only when cornered; a rare occurence on the Astral, so little is known about their fighting capabilities, but they have never been recorded as any appreciable threat to either natives or outsiders.
Given its status as an Astral native, h'rak'va don't have much in the way of ecology, neither aging nor reproducing. They do feed, however, drinking from active conduits much as a hummingbird from flowers. Finding a specific conduit, they latch on and form a small nest/burrow in the side. When the conduit grows active, the h'rak'va stabs its proboscis into it, feeding on the spiritual energy of the passersby traveling its length. Travelers rarely pass through slow enough for a h'rak'va to cause serious harm — unlike the spellwork the githyanki have developed inspired by it — but mortal travelers are known to feel some minor fatigue after emerging from a conduit claimed by a h'rak'va. The exact impact this has on the souls of the dead traveling through the conduit is unknown, but it doesn't seem to have had enough effect to note.
The h'rak'va is a strange creature, its body vaguely reminiscent of a featherless bird, with pale blue, scaled skin reminiscent of the Astral itself. They aren't especially large, rarely more than three feet in lenght, with limbs that look too long and too thin for its frame, but are surprisingly strong, ending in grasping appendages with thin claws well-suited for clinging to the flailing conduits of the Astral. From its skull stretches a proboscis made of horn, long and needle-sharp for penetrating the surface of a conduit and feeding on the contents.
- A Guide to the Astral Plane, pg.29