Inspiration’s thin on the ground these days, but when Liana Kerzner went on a D&D parody tear on Twitter about her demonic alter-ego Beelzeboob, I got a wild hair up my arse to write up ‘Literally the devil’ for 5e.
Glazarn are small, clammy, humanoid creatures that live in total darkness, deep underground. They are as translucent as glass and barely visible under any normal circumstances. They live in the icy waters of underground pools and lakes, feeding on the blind, white cave creatures that live in similar places. They have no culture, no language and operate on pure instinct despite their humanoid appearance and attack as a pack, their prey seeming to be suddenly assaulted by dozens of bites out of nowhere.
Other underground dwellers loathe these creatures and exterminate them on ‘sight’, but their spores seep through the rock strata and find icy black pools wherever they can, spawning new ‘tribes’ of Glazarn wherever they can take root.
They are always hungry and will eat anything they can find, silent apart from the tearing of flesh and the crack of bone.
Small Humanoid (glazarn), neutral evil.
Armour Class: 11
Hit Points: 9 (2d8)
Speed: 15 ft., swim 50 ft.
Str: 10 (+0) Dex: 14 (+2) Con: 11 (+0) Int: 5 (-3) Wis: 16 (+3) Cha: 5 (-3)
Skills: Stealth +4
Senses: Passive Perception 13, tremorsense 60 ft, Blindsight 60 ft.
Challenge: 1/4 (50 xp)
Amphibious: The glazarn can hold its breath – essentially indefinitely – underwater.
Glass Skin: The glazarn are virtually invisible without needing the assistance of magic. Their skin and organs are virtually see-thru. Rather than the invisibility bonus it gains +2 to AC and to attack against enemies that can’t detect it, as well as ignoring any bonus they get to their AC from their Dexterity. Painting or otherwise marking a glazarn negates this ability.
Low Level Telepathy: Glazarn can communicate telepathically and can sense intent, they cannot be surprised or ambushed and always know when enemies are around – even if they can’t necessarily see them or target them.
Unique Ability: Glazarn packs exist in closed off caves and are usually only encountered when those caves are newly discovered or excavated into. Their spore can travel through cracks in the rock to find new pools, but different packs evolve along different lines with unique abilities such as venomous bites and so on. The Gamesmaster is encouraged to be creative and to steal an ability from another creature in the Monster Manual.
Vulnerability: Radiant, Fire.
Bite: Melee Weapon Attack +2 to hit, reach 5ft, one target, hit 3 (1d6) slashing damage.
Suggested Unique Abilities
Ambusher: (See Kenku)
Claws (additional attack, indentical to bite).
Constrict: (See Constrictor Snake)
Fetid Cloud: (See Dretch)
Natural Armour: +2 AC.
Nimble Escape: (See Goblin)
Pack Tactics: (See Kobold)
Slippery: (See Kuo-Toa)
Venom: DC11, choose a poison effect you like – paralysis is a good fit.
The ancient Magus Wars – though they go by many other names – have left many scars on the landscape. From enchanted ruins to luminous swamps, from gibbering aberrations to floating islands. During the wars the squabbling wizards created many servants, from the Brass Soldiers of Ludum Quat to the Invisible Hornets of Chung the Impeccable. Not every servant was built for war though and servants were made as cooks, handymen, workers, even curators.
The Encyclopedes were born in the laboratories of Dakram Findspell, more librarian and alchemist than true wizard. Obsessed by the gathering and collation – rather than the use – of knowledge he created the Encyclopedes to maintain and order his vast library.
After his death the Encyclopedes took on a life of their own and continue to gather information – especially spells – wherever they can. They create caches of knowledge and magic and devote their entire existence to it, to the point where they will happily suck the knowledge from a man’s skull to add to their own.
Encyclopedes knows almost everything and deep in their holdings they maintain a magical book of stupendous size. Each colony has one and – magically – it shares knowledge with all the other books and Encylcopedes throughout the world and the other planes of existence.
Encyclopedes gain an almost sexual degree of pleasure from correcting someone of their false information. They are insufferably smug, gigantic – the size of three people – and painfully arrogant.
It is said you can read their tome, after a fashion, their language is not discernible to any other being, but in the act of trying to read it you can gain the truthful answer to any single, answerable question. Reason enough for people to seek to Encyclopede’s out for trade – or theft.
Armour Class: 16
Hit Dice: 6d8 (Hp 27)
Movement: 180′, Encyclopedes can move at this speed on walls and ceilings as well as floors.
Attacks: 1 (+6 attack, 1d4 damage + Poison)
Damage: 1d4 + Poison that causes 1 permanent points of Intelligence loss.
Can climb walls and ceilings automatically with no loss of speed.
Bite requires a Save Vs Poison or the victim loses 1 point of Intelligence permanently.
Encyclopedes can cast Bookspeak, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic, Identify, Mending and Read Magic at will, as though a 6th level Magic User.
Encyclopedes can use scrolls.
Legend: The witches was meetin’ up on the moor. The priest got the menfolk together to follow ’em and see to ’em. We ‘ad our pitchforks and a few swords an’ followed up up to the moor an’ they upped an’ vanished into a tor. There were a crack in the earth, goin’ down, and the priest whipped us up into a frenzy to follow ’em.
That we did, down into the crack an’ it went deeper and deeper and deeper. Then we found ’em, in a grotto under there. Lit up all blue by the ‘shrooms an stuff all over the walls and they was chantin’ an’ cavortin’ in some wicked ritual.
We set to ’em an’ then the walls came alive, crawlin’ wi’ black-and-white bugs an’ a hummin’ that sets yer teeth on edge an’ they stung like old scratch hisself. We ‘ad to run. Can’t fight a swarm wi’ a sword after all. Lost the priest, lost a few other good ‘uns. Never saw the witches again though.
Description: Cave bees are about the size of a human thumb and live in great swarms underground. Rather than flowers, they harvest fungi and turn the spores into a bittersweet honey that glows with a blueish light. A single cave can play host to many swarms, all of which cooperate and live alongside each other. The bees are incredibly defensive and have pink eyes and black and white banding. Their sting is vicious, though fatal to the bee itself.
Their nests are built primarily into the cracks and crannies in the rocks but rounded masses of honeycomb protrude here and there, faintly lit up with the same phosphorescence found in the honey.
- Armour Class: 16 (landing an effective hit on a swarm is difficult)
- Hit Dice: 4d8 per Swarm (18hp) multiple swarms combine into a single swarm and there may be as many as six swarms in a single chamber.
- Movement: 180′
- Number of Attacks: A single attack is made every turn upon everyone within the area of the swarm.
- Damage per Attack: 1
- Morale: 12
- Special Abilities: Most physical attacks only do one damage, a burning torch can do 1d4. Spells with areas of effect do full damage.
- Special: Cave Bee honey can be collected to be used as a flameless lantern, though the light is about half as strong as a torch. When consumed it causes mutual hallucinations between nearby participants and can, with extended use, make them a ‘part’ of the hive, after a fashion.
Art by Dave Allsop Ironhead Arts
The old woman cackles and runs her hands across the dangling herbs, chicken feet, onions and other tat that dangles from the ceiling of her stinking shack.
“Oh, you want to know about those two do you? I suppose you’ll be venturing out into the woods after them will you? You’ll fail, just like the rest of them. All of them. You’ll find their bones out amongst the trees before you join them. That pair though? Well…”
She picks up a stone from her table and peers at it as though it holds the secrets of the universe, before turning her yellowy eye back to you.
“Back before the new god came to these shores the tribes followed the old gods but they knew some sins were beyond the pale, even then. There was a king in these lands then, a chieftain. He had a son and daughter with skin like milk and hair like midnight. They were the most beautiful youths in the whole of the land, as far as men knew it in those days, unsurpassed by any other. When they came of age their father sought to marry them off to the sons and daughters of other tribes to bring peace and alliance to the warring clans. They did not want to marry for political reasons, which is not unusual, but the reason was that they were already lovers.
She cackles lasciviously and leans in closer to you as she gives that salacious detail.
“The pair ran away rather than be parted and with nowhere else to go, they went to the Queen under the Hill, a powerful faerie, to seek safety and boon. The fey folk care not for our human morality and brother and sister as lovers meant nothing to them. Nor did they care about the lovers either, they just saw a chance to be cruel, as they so love to be, making the lovers safe but making them… different. They’re together now, forever, but not what they were, now they’re a tool of the queen and the mother… father… whatever of so many of her children.”
Nemon and Bracon are the two immortal beings twisted and corrupted by their unnatural love and the boon that the Quene under the Hill – a powerful fae – has given them. Thin and pale, elfin looking, their skin is like alabaster and their hair like obsidian. They wear ancient armour of blackened bronze ‘leaves’ and carry enchanted blades, gifted to them by the Queen.
They are neither male nor female any more, they are blended together and betwixt their legs lurks nothing that a man or woman should have, but a spike of bone and chitin that brings with it their most terrible legacy and their service to the Queen.
AC: 15 (Bronze leaf armour)
Hit Dice: 10d8 (45 hp)
Number of Attacks: 2
Damage: 1d6 (bronze swords).
Special Abilities: Nemon and Bracon are immune to poisons and diseases. Their swords have a chance to cause paralysis on a successful strike that causes damage, and sting like a wasp, bee or hornet sting. The paralysis lasts for an hour. When their prey is paralysed Nemon and Brecon mate with each other and implant their victims with eggs that gestate into vicious sprites over the next month, devouring their way out from inside before crawling off to pupate. (One hit point lost, permanently, per day they host the egg until they die, the ‘maggot’ remains in the husk for four weeks (28 days, 28 hit points). A character with enough hit pointscan survive the emergence of the grub, but it’s a painful and horrifing experience that leaves them permanently crippled. The grub can be cut out, each attempt causing 2d6 hp of damage and requiring a successful Save Vs Poison. A Save Vs Poison at the time of implantation prevents it from taking hold and growing.
Skills: Nemon and Bracon are considered to have the following skills – Bushcraft 4, Climb 5, Search 3, Stealth 4
A whirling mass of shards, sharp fragments of stone, obsidian or glass, motes of sand, howling from no mouth in anguish and pain. The only way it can ease its suffering is to inflict it upon others, in a thousand cuts
Flenser Swarm CR3
N Diminutive Outsider (Earth, Elemental, Swarm, Extraplanar)
Init +1, Senses Darkvision 60 ft, Perception +2
AC 19, Touch 14, Flat Footed 19 (+1 Size, +5 natural)
HP 46 (7d10+7)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +3
Defensive Abilities: swarm traits, immune – weapon damage, elemental traits.
Weakness: swarm traits
Speed 5 ft. Fly 40 ft. Good.
Melee Swarm 2d6
Space: 10 ft, Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, bleeding attack.
Str 1, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 9
Base Atk +5 CMB -, CMD –
Skills: Fly +11, Perception +2.
SQ: Swarm traits, elemental traits.
Bleeding Attack: Operates as though the target had been struck by a ‘Bleeding critical’ as per the Feat of the same name.
When an earth elemental is destroyed in the material realm its energy does not always return to the realm from which it came. The destroyed shards of the dead elemental can then, at some future time, re-animate with what remains of the elemental’s energy, confused and broken, lashing out at anything vulnerable with the glass-sharp edges of its broken form.
This creature might be suitable for use in Obsidian Twilight, or any game that takes place in terrain dominated by the element of earth.