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Gargoyle, Scrimshaw

The eerie humanoid-shaped creature is perched precariously on the edge of the building. The light from the full moon glints off its alabaster-colored body, revealing intricate etchings along the surface. As it surveys the land, the creature throws back its head and emits a piercing howl into the night.

Chaotic evil Medium construct

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 58 (9d8 + 18)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
12 (+1)16 (+3)14 (+2)6 (-2)11 (+0)7 (-2)

Damage Resistances nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities sonic
Condition Immunities paralysis, petrifaction, poison
Languages Common, Terran
Skills Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft.
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Actions

  • Multiattack. The scrimshaw gargoyle bites once and attacks once with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1d4 + 2 piercing damage.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 2d6 + 2 slashing damage.
  • Shrieking Howl. Area Attack: By tilting its head up and forcing air through its weathered bones, a scrimshaw gargoyle emits a high-pitched shriek. Creatures within 150 feet who hear the shriek must make a successful DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1d4 rounds.

Special Traits

  • Stony Appearance. The gargoyle is indistinguishable from a statue and can’t be detected as alive by any means while it remains motionless.

About

Environment Urban
Organization solitary, pair, or wing (3–12)

The origin of these strangely carven sculptures is shrouded in the mystery of the past, but their existence is now well known through its entirety. Originally created as mere constructs lacking the status of truly living creatures, their exposure to eddies and currents of malevolent energy among the city’s high places, over the years somehow granted the missing spark of life.

A scrimshaw gargoyle is meticulously crafted from painstakingly carved whale bones joined together at the joint articulations. However, these craftings were all completed centuries ago, and no new ones have been constructed in the long years since. The existing scrimshaw gargoyles are, therefore, all old, their whale bones weathered and discolored by time and climate. Though it is thought that thousands of these creatures existed upon the city’s rooftops in the distant past, it has been estimated that fewer than 50 of them are now in existence, each of them recognizably distinct with their individual unique markings.

However, the thinking on this is beginning to change as in recent months several new specimens have been spotted upon the rooftops. These new gargoyles are clearly composed of parts cannibalized from previously destroyed gargoyles. Most believe the scrimshaw gargoyles, taken as a whole, are too dimwitted to produce new members of the species. Some contemplate a secret cabal of magical practitioners as responsible for this change; others theorize that certain scrimshaw gargoyles have advanced much farther in their power and understanding of magic and are somehow responsible. Whatever the cause, it appears that the scrimshaw gargoyle population is on the rise for the first time in living memory.

It is thought that the scrimshaw gargoyles’ original progenitors built the creatures to serve as guardians. To this end, the horrific shriek the gargoyle emits probably originally served as an alarm. The gargoyle generates the sound through careful fluting of the bones around its mouth, and a supernatural means of passing air — even on still nights — through the narrow structure. As the gargoyle evolved from a simple guardian to a menace, however, its shriek also evolved. No longer a loud noise to alert those nearby, now the shrieking howl is capable of striking fear into the heart of the bravest man.

A scrimshaw gargoyle stands just over 5 feet tall and weighs a mere 80 pounds.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Tome of Blighted Horrors, © 2016, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors John Ling, Authors Richard Pett, Pete Pollard, Alistair Rigg, Jeffrey Swank, and Greg A. Vaughan.

Additional Credit Author John Ling, based on material by Richard Pett.