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Demon, Neophron

This creature has the sallow skin and sharp features of a ghoul, but its mouth unhinges impossibly wide, the lower jaw reaching almost to its waist. It has a ruff of reddish feathers around its neck and black, hook-like claws on its fingers and toes.

Medium fiend (demon, shapechanger), chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d8 + 60)
Speed 40 ft. (10 ft., fly 90 ft. in giant vulture form)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 16 (+3) 20 (+5) 8 (–1) 16 (+3) 14 (+2)

Saving Throws Dexterity +6, Constitution +8, Wisdom +6
Skills Survival +6
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Abyssal, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Special Traits

  • Shapechanger. The neophron can use its action to polymorph into a Large giant vulture, or back into its true form. Its statistics, other than its size and speed, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
  • Keen Sight and Smell. The neophron has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight or smell.
  • Magic Resistance. The neophron has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The neophron makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or be swallowed. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the neophron, and it takes 14 (4d6) acid damage at the start of each of the neophron’s turns. The neophron can only swallow one creature at a time. If a humanoid dies while swallowed, it transforms into a ghast. At the start of its next turn, the neophron regurgitates the ghast into an unoccupied space within 10 feet. The ghast is under the neophron’s control and acts immediately after the neophron in the initiative count. If the neophron takes 20 or more damage in a single turn from a creature inside it, the neophron must succeed on a DC 20 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 neophron. If the neophron dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape the corpse by using 5 feet of movement, exiting prone.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage. The target must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of its next turn. As their vulture-like appearance suggests, neophron demons are found devouring carrion and blood sacrifices in hideous dark rites in deserts and across plains. Their ability to create undead makes them especially popular with vampires, ghouls, and other intelligent undead, and their flight and shapeshifting make them common scouts for evil armies. The following examples are drawn from the official campaign setting by Open Design LLC (though applicable elsewhere).

About

Neophron are shapechanging, ghoulish demons that favor deserts and other areas where giant vultures are common, so they draw less attention when they change their shape. With a little care and a lot of luck, a neophron in its true form can pass as a ghoul, at a distance.

Impossible Hunger. Neophron ravenously devour any flesh they find, living and dead alike. No matter how much they eat, hunger gnaws at them, driving them to find new victims. Neophron can unhinge their maws to an impossible gape, and their guts defy all understanding of space, allowing them to swallow creatures their size.

Fonts of Undeath. Humanoids who die in the gullet of a neophron are doomed to serve dark gods of hunger without end. The demon vomits a newly-created undead to spread hunger across the world.

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.