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Ziphius

Commonly called a whale demon by sailors, the mane of bristles around the ziphius’ face gives it an almost owl-like appearance as it cuts through the water with frightening speed.

Gargantuan aberration, neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 135 (10d20 + 30)
Speed 10 ft., swim 60 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 13 (+1) 16 (+3) 9 (-1) 13 (+1) 4 (-3)

Saving Throws Strength +7
Skills Perception +4
Damage Resistances cold; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities prone
Senses blindsight 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Aquan, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Special Traits

  • Charge. If the ziphius moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a dorsal fin attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 27 (5d10) slashing damage.
  • Siege Monster. The ziphius deals double damage to objects and structures.
  • Telepathic Foresight. As a bonus action at the start of its turn, the ziphius can choose one creature within 120 feet that it can see. The ziphius’ eyes glow, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or the ziphius creates a temporary mental bond with the target until the start of the ziphius’ next turn. While bonded, the ziphius reads the creature’s surface thoughts, choosing to either gain advantage on attacks against that target or cause the target to have disadvantage on attacks against the ziphius.
  • Water Breathing. The ziphius can breathe only underwater.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The ziphius makes one beak attack and one claw attack.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be swallowed by the ziphius. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the ziphius, and it takes 14 (4d6) acid damage at the start of each of the ziphius’ turns. The ziphius can have only one target swallowed at a time. If the ziphius takes 20 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the ziphius must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate the swallowed creature, which falls prone in a space within 10 feet of the ziphius. If the ziphius dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse by using 20 feet of movement, exiting prone.
  • Dorsal Fin. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d10 + 4) slashing damage.

About

Easily Bribed. Living prey in the water quickly attracts a ziphius’ attention. Many ships on routes where a ziphius is known to hunt keep a goat, sheep, or pig aboard to throw overboard as an offering if the ziphius’ distinctive dorsal fin is spotted. In cases of desperation, a captive or galley slave may be substituted.

Huge and Extra-Huge. The largest reported ziphius encountered was larger than the frigate it attacked and sank. However, even the smaller ones vary between enormous and impossibly large. Most ziphius encountered are at least 75 feet long.

Deep Dwellers. The ziphius are said to have a dwelling in the deepest oceans, a place where the sahuagin, deep ones, and a few archmages are their only visitors. It is called Cruugin, a monumental stone city set with glowing jewels, in reports from the few who claim to have visited.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.