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Animal Lord, Brother Ox

Clad in a simple, plain robe, this creature has the head of a massive ox with wide, sweeping horns and short, dark fur covering its powerfully-muscled body. It stands as still as a statue on one of its feet with the other braced against its opposite knee. The only sound it makes is the deep, rhythmic rush of its breath.

Huge fey (shapechanger), lawful neutral

Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 187 (15d12 + 90)
Speed 60 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
21 (+5) 18 (+4) 22 (+6) 17 (+3) 24 (+7) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Strength +10, Dexterity +9, Wisdom +12, Charisma +9
Skills Acrobatics +9, Athletics +10, History +8, Insight +12, Perception +12
Damage Resistances cold; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, incapacitated, poisoned, stunned
Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Bovine Passivism. No bovine creatures or wereboars can willingly attack Brother Ox. They can be forced to do so through magical means.
  • Charge. If Brother Ox moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a gore attack, the target takes an extra 11 (2d10) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • Legendary Resistance (2/day). If Brother Ox fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance. Brother Ox has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Magic Weapons. Brother Ox’s weapon attacks are magical.
  • Rejuvenation. If he dies, Brother Ox’s soul reforms on the Astral Plane. In 1d6 days, it inhabits the body of another bovine on the Material Plane which becomes Brother Ox with all of the hp and abilities thereof. Only killing every bovine on the Material Plane will prevent this trait from functioning.
  • Shapechanger. Brother Ox can use his action to polymorph into a Huge ox, a Medium bald human with a short, dark beard, or back into his true Huge ox-headed humanoid form. His statistics, other than his size, are the same in each form. Any equipment he is wearing or carrying transforms with him.
  • Speak with Bovines. Brother Ox can communicate with any bovine creature as if they shared a language.

Actions

  • Multiattack. In ox or human form, Brother Ox makes three melee attacks. In his true form, he makes three attacks: one with his gore and two with his unarmed strike.
  • Gore (Ox or True Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) piercing damage.
  • Unarmed Strike (Humanoid or True Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
  • Ki Disruption (Recharge 6). Brother Ox makes one unarmed strike against a creature to create an instability within the target’s essence that lasts 2d8 days. This instability is harmless unless Brother Ox uses his action to end it early. To do so, Brother Ox and the target must be on the same plane of existence. Brother Ox can use this action again to force the target to make a DC 19 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target is reduced to 0 hp. On a success, it takes 55 (10d10) necrotic damage.

Reactions

  • Deflect Missiles (Humanoid or True Form Only). When Brother Ox is hit by a ranged weapon attack, he can reduce the damage he takes by 25 (1d10 + 20). If this reduces the damage to 0, Brother Ox can catch the missile if it fits in one hand and he has one hand free. If Brother Ox catches a missile in this way, he can throw the missile as a ranged weapon attack as part of the same reaction. The missile has +10 to hit, with a short range of 30 feet and a long range of 60 feet. On a hit, it deals 18 (3d8 + 5) damage of a type appropriate to the missile.

Legendary Actions

Brother Ox can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Brother Ox regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Move. Brother Ox moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Wholeness. Brother Ox regains 10 hp, is cured of all diseases, and ends one effect lowering his ability scores or hp maximum. Brother Ox can’t use this legendary action again until the end of his next turn.
  • Stunning Strike (Costs 2 Actions). Brother Ox makes one unarmed strike. If it hits a creature, the target must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of its next turn.

Brother Ox’s Lair

Brother Ox’s lair is a sprawling, stone monastery atop one of the tallest mountains in the world. The temple’s interior is simply appointed and comfortable even for creatures not acclimated to life at extreme altitude. It contains a rock garden, martial arts practice areas, meditation chambers, a library of scrolls, sparse sleeping quarters with simple food and water, and a shrine dedicated to no particular gods.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Brother Ox takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; he can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • Brother Ox can alter the structure of the lair. A stone door, wall, or column appears or vanishes as Brother Ox desires. The alteration is permanent until Brother Ox uses this lair action again to revert it. Stone structures are composed of 5-foot-by-5-foot sections, have AC 17, 30 hp per 5-foot section, and are immune to poison and psychic damage. If a structure appears in a creature’s space, the creature takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage and is pushed to the nearest unoccupied space of its choice. Brother Ox can create any combination of structures totaling no more than three 5-foot-by-5-foot sections with each use of this lair action.
  • Brother Ox chooses one creature he can see within 100 feet. Brother Ox is invisible to the target creature until initiative count 20 on the following round.
  • Brother Ox strikes a great, spectral bell that appears for a brief moment. Each creature in a 30-foot cone extending from Brother Ox must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 14 (4d6) thunder damage and is pushed 15 feet away from Brother Ox. On a success, the creature takes half the damage but isn’t pushed.

Regional Effects

The region containing Brother Ox’s lair is warped by his presence, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • The area within 5 miles of the lair becomes prone to blizzards that obscure sight, and the terrain seems to shift and change as one travels. Ability checks made to avoid becoming lost are made with disadvantage, and magic that would point the way to a destination within 5 miles of the lair fails. Brother Ox can choose to render any number of creatures immune to this effect or to rescind that immunity at any time.
  • Creatures within 5 miles of the lair become more healthy and resilient to sickness.
  • Within the lair, circumstances are always perfect for meditation and reflection. A creature who meditates during a short rest regains the maximum number of hp when it spends hit dice and has advantage on its next Intelligence or Wisdom check made before finishing a long rest. If Brother Ox dies, these effects fade over the course of 1d10 days.

About

Of all the animal lords, Brother Ox is the most contemplative, and the least likely to act despite his great power. He stands over fifteen feet tall, is strong enough to crush boulders, and moves like grass in the wind. He smells faintly of musk and incense and wears simple, homespun clothing without embellishments or adornments. His only possession is a string of wooden prayer beads. If he ever had a name other than Brother Ox, no one living remembers it and Brother Ox himself isn’t telling.

Endless Contemplation. Brother Ox lives atop the tallest mountain where the air is thin and bitter cold, filling his days with training, study, and contemplation to hone his physical and spiritual being. Despite the simple collection of books and scrolls he keeps, Brother Ox has gathered more knowledge than mortal scholars could dream. Chances are good that if a supplicant can reach Brother Ox, and convince him to help, there is almost no secret he can’t uncover.

Enigmatic Guide. Despite his vast, potentially endless, well of knowledge, Brother Ox isn’t motivated to hand these pearls of wisdom out to anyone who asks. However, he has accepted the presence of the occasional pilgrim, and rarely, takes a yakirian or other supplicant as a long-term student. Brother Ox is difficult to read and hasn’t lost his composure in centuries. If a would-be knowledge-seeker can survive the mountain journey and successfully locate the monastery, it might have to wait weeks or even years for Brother Ox to acknowledge its presence. Then he moves only to set the supplicant on a series of strange, menial, dangerous, or perplexing tasks before granting a request.

Timeless Nature. Brother Ox doesn’t require food, drink, or sleep.

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.