Posts Tagged With: Underdark

Eyeball Beholderkin

Eyeball Beholderkin

Eyeballs are the lowest of all beholderkind, with dim intellect and personality. It is said that in some stable portions of the Far Realm, beholderkin spawn from the chaotic essence producing all manner of monsters. The bubbles of flesh which drift off and land within the prime material become these creatures, beings of chaos and a ever-present madness.

Eyeballs are little more than that, a floating eyeball with a lip of rough mottled skin as an eyelid. Small dots cover its skin, eyespots that in a greater beholderkin would be the source for eyestalks. The eyeball however has non, largely round and devoid of even things such as a mouth or any place to hold a brain or other organs. In spite of its impossible biology, it seems to perform well enough, slowly sipping ambient magical energy from the air to power it.

Eyeballs have little personality, but in the wild they are as mad as their higher kin. They seem to have a hate for non-round objects, blasting them until they have been eroded into an ideal shape or destroyed. Ironically their love of things round means they are capable of tolerating the presence of other beholderkin, and are sometimes used by true beholders as minions and scouts.

Eyeballs do not speak, and are lighter than air. They do not need to eat or breath, but they must still sleep.

Eyeballs can be bound as familiars, in which case it has the alignment of its owner, and a significantly improved self-control not to blast everything into a round shape (though it might still try).

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Morlock

Morlock

Degenerate humans long lost from the world of light, morlocks have regressed through years of subterranean dwelling into ravenous, barely thinking beasts of the endless night. They no longer remember the civilized lives their ancestors led, although many morlock tribes still dwell in the shattered ruins of their ancient homes. Ironically, in many cases morlocks worship the statues left behind by these ancestors as their gods. Morlock priests of such ancestor worship have access to the domains of Darkness, Earth, Madness, and Strength. A typical morlock stands just over 5 feet tall and weighs roughly 150 pounds.

Morlocks move about on two legs at times, but often drop down to a creepy four-limbed shuffle when speed or stealth is necessary. Their wiry, often emaciated frames mask the strength of their limbs and their swift reactions.

Morlocks typically give birth to broods of three to four babies at a time, ravenous creatures born with a full set of teeth and a cannibalistic predisposition. The first few weeks of a brood’s life must be carefully mothered to prevent attrition—it usually takes that long for the morlock young to overcome their natural inclination to feed on whatever is closest. Morlocks mature quickly, achieving adulthood after only 5 years of life. A typical morlock can live to a ripe old age of 60—although the majority of their kind die far sooner than that due to violence.

Morlocks worship Tharizdun the god of madness.

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Sabosan

Sabosan

The sabosan are a race of humanoid bat-folk who live in the Underdark and southern jungles of Esperia. They are nocturnal carnivores, and are often mistaken for vampires by the region’s other races. Hated and feared, they have been hunted nearly to extinction.

Sabosan are vicious predators, combining human intelligence with a bat’s natural adaptations for hunting. They favor warm climates, preferring to make their lairs in places that are inaccessible to most intruders, such as mountaintop crags, abandoned ruins, subterranean caverns near hidden hot springs, and dense canopies of jungle trees. With wingspans almost three times their height, sabosan are agile and graceful fliers, capable of traveling miles on a single current of air in their dauntless search for prey.

Although they can see as well as any human in daylight, sabosan hunt at twilight or after dark when their echolocation-based blindsense ability gives them a great advantage. Sabosan can also use their voices offensively, funneling their screeches into blasts of high- pitched sound capable of deafening other creatures. When hunting en masse or attacking foes, a sabosan employs its fell shriek on adversaries while other sabosan use their massive wings to churn up great clouds of dust and debris, rendering foes deaf and blind.

A sabosan’s emaciated frame belies its strength and agility, which are not apparent from its gaunt appearance. Its giant, leathery wings can reach a span of almost 20 feet. Both males and females have red or dark brown fur on their heads, necks, chests, and backs. Sabosan stand just under 6 feet tall and weigh only 150 pounds.

Sabosan’s worship Shar as they love the dark and love sorrow.

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Basidirond

Basidirond

This strange plant consists of four spidery stalks, long green tendrils, and an inverted bell-shaped cap filled with spores. The strange fungal basidirond is a deadly plant monster that feeds on mineral-rich moisture, be it runoff from cave walls or fresh blood. By ensuring a constant flow of nutritious moisture, canny cave dwellers can use basidironds as guardians for their lairs, although they must take care to avoid the plant’s hunting routes lest they become its latest victims.

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Decapus

Decapus

This swollen cephalopod has ten writhing tentacles and a hideously monstrous face with pale, milky eyes on its bulbous body.

Named for its resemblance to a 10-armed octopus, the strange decapus is one of many bizarre creatures that hail from the deepest caverns of the world. When they are encountered aboveground, their affinity for forests (they particularly enjoy clambering around in tangled canopies) suggests that their original source might be some strange, deep underground cavern wherein magical jungles grow.

The decapus is a fairly intelligent creature—an ambush predator that makes excellent use of its ability to weave magical visual illusions and to imitate the voices of other creatures it has heard speaking. Typical decapuses know only the Aklo tongue, but when they use their sound mimicry ability to imitate creatures speaking in other languages, they can typically form short (up to three words long) sentences even when imitating a language they don’t actually know.

The decapus’s physical structure most resembles that of a bloated octopus with 10 tentacles. It lacks bones and takes its shape from its rubbery, muscular flesh. Most have sickly, olive skin patched with scraggly tangles of hair, with darker blue or purple coloration around their faces and crimson or orange tips to their tentacles. These tentacles are covered with tiny suction cups and hooks, affording them great skill at climbing or clutching prey. On the ground, though, they are slow, plodding creatures that flop and wriggle relatively inefficiently. As a result, they prefer regions like forest canopies, narrow fissures, stalactite forests, or other regions where they can use their climb speed.

The decapus favors humanoid flesh over all other food; most are quite fond of gnome flesh in particular. This creature has an enormous appetite that often drives it to consume whatever food is available—the decapus is not above cannibalism when other food sources are scarce. For this reason, these monsters are largely solitary creatures, except when the urge to mate overwhelms their urge to feed. Females give birth to small litters of 2–4 live offspring. The females often need to defend them from the males, which, if left unsupervised, typically eat the newborn decapuses. The young mature rapidly, growing to full size after a mere 7 to 11 months, after which they depart to claim their own territories. Once a decapus reaches maturity, it can live to 100 years old—although their violent natures usually result in much shorter lifespans.

 

 

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Phantom Fungus

Phantom Fungus

This creature looks like a brown and greenish-brown mass with a cluster of nodules atop the main mass, though it is visible only when dead. A cluster of nodules atop the main mass serve as sensory organs. The creature feeds and attacks with a gaping maw lined with rows of teeth. Four stumpy legs support the creature and allow it to move about. This ambulatory fungus is naturally invisible, making it a feared predator among subterranean inhabitants.

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Fungal Guardian

Fungal Guardian

A fungal creature is an animate plant with the appearance of a living creature. It grows from spores implanted in the dead body of a host creature, and takes on the host creature’s basic form and many of that creature’s abilities. It retains none of the memories of the creature it grew from, yet it instinctively knows how to use the abilities it inherited from its host. How exactly this is possible is a question that continues to befuddle scholars. The leading theory is that the spores’ precise modeling of their host succeeds in capturing some of the creature’s physiology—essentially copying its mind—but that for some reason the departure of the creature’s spirit or soul upon death prevents the spores from copying the memories as well. Fungal creatures breathe, but they do not eat or sleep in the typical manner.

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Geist

Geist

This is a disembodied phantom who wears black robes that swirl around a maw of sharp teeth.

Geists have the ability to take control of haunts and have a powerful laugh that can cause fear.

They can be found on the Negative Plane or in the Underdark.

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Gloomwing

Gloomwing

 

A gloomwing is a large black moth creature, an aerial carnivore with great speed and agility. They have silver swirls along the wings that can cause massive confusion. A gloomwing can lay eggs inside a small or larger helpless or dead creature.

Gloomwings are strange, moth-like natives of the Plane of Shadow. Despite their appearance, they are not vermin and possess a crude but serviceable intelligence. While gloomwings can be conjured via spells like lesser planar ally or lesser planar binding to serve as guardians or even mounts, occasionally a gloomwing will slip through a tear in the fabric of the planes and make the journey to the Material Plane on its own. A gloomwing loose on the Material Plane is active for 2 to 3 hours at dawn and again for 2 to 3 hours at dusk, preferring to spend the remaining hours of the day hiding in abandoned buildings, caves, or deep canyons or foliage where the shadows are thickest. During its periods of activity, it flies through the sky on the hunt for creatures to attack and implant its eggs in—the gloomwing does not need to eat, leaving this urge to propagate its species as its primary drive.

For all the dangers a gloomwing presents, it is the creature’s young that pose the gravest threat. These creatures are known as tenebrous worms, and despite being the larval form of the adult gloomwing, are much more dangerous creatures. The fact that a gloomwing can lay several eggs a day if presented with enough living hosts makes them dangerous not for what they can inflict themselves, but for what they can spawn.

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Cave Giant

Cave Giant

Bestial tusks jut from the jaw of this hunched-over giant. It is clad in armor patched together from the bones of past victims.

Cave giants would measure close to a dozen feet tall if they ever rose from their perpetual stoops. Their skin tones range from slate gray to a dark mossy green.

Cave giants have manes of bristly black or gray hair that run from their heads down their backs. Their faces resemble those of orcs taken to monstrous extremes and framed with elephantine tusks. Cave giants clothe themselves in hides decorated with bones.

As their name suggests, cave giants live in rocky underground tunnels and caverns, rarely approaching the surface during the day. They keep giant lizards as smaller humanoids keep dogs, but they are cruel and neglectful masters.

Cave giants survive as hunter-gatherers, subsisting on subterranean animals and plants, yet they’re intensely envious of the innovations and yields other races produce.

Lacking both talent and patience necessary for creation or cultivation, they take what they desire by raiding other races or by enslaving them. Cave giants especially prize metal weapons, as they’re always at war, either with their own kind or with other races.

Though not particularly religious, cave giants pay homage to the god of earthquakes and eruptions, so the god is Talos. . Their priests are mostly barbarians and rangers, though a few divine spellcasters exist. The latter are often devoted to grand but futile schemes, such as freeing the Rough Beast or blotting out the hated sun.

All cave giants are proficient with handaxes, battleaxes, and greataxes.

Combining the features of ogres and feral orcs, cave giants are the embodiment of primitive brutality.

Stooped over in a perpetual crouch, cave giants move as if they had never mastered walking erect. Their faces mix the worst features of ogres and feral orc. The largest would measure 10 feet in height if they ever stood straight. The typical cave giant weighs 1,000 pounds. Though few survive past 60 years, cave giants can live as long as 150 years.

While they prove remarkably adept with axes of all varieties, cave giants lack the patience to work metal. What metal a cave giant possesses was likely stolen from other giants or worked by enslaved subterranean smiths.

Slaves such as dwarves, orcs, and troglodytes do most of the labor in cave giant settlements. Poor treatment and the need for meat keep slave populations small and ever-rotating. New slaves are brought in whenever raiding parties remember to reign in their blood lust. Any prisoners who fail to submit to their new masters find themselves served on the dinner table or tossed screaming into the giant’s cave lizard pens. Giant lizards of all types serve as both guard beasts and sport for the cave giants. Giant frilled lizards are rarely pets, as most cave giants opt to keep less dangerous monitor lizards instead. Kept in check only by fear and brutal beatings, such pets turn on their handlers at the first sign of weakness. At feeding time, live captives are tossed into the pens, a festive event filled with boisterous cheers and spirited betting.

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