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Shadow Blight

The stump of a blackened, frostbitten conifer stands upright on six leg-like roots and scuttles sideways like an arboreal hermit crab. Inky shadows fill a hollow near the base of the stump.

Small plant, neutral evil

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 65 (10d6 + 30)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
13 (+1) 15 (+2) 16 (+3) 5 (–3) 16 (+3) 3 (–4)

Skills Stealth +4
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances cold, necrotic
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Special Traits

  • False Appearance. While the shadow blight remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from the stump of a dead tree.

Actions

  • Frozen Shadow Tendril. Melee Spell Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) cold damage plus 3 (1d6) necrotic damage.
  • Animate Plants (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). The shadow blight magically animates 1d4 plants within 60 feet of it, turning them into awakened shrubs under its control. These plants’ attacks deal an additional 3 (1d6) necrotic damage. If the shrubs are not destroyed before 1 hour passes, they become new shadow blights.

About

Born of Vampires. When a vampire becomes a crimson mist, the terrified, bestial essence of the vampire initially flees and hides as it attempts to regain its senses. The mist lurks in the shadow of a tall tree in the icy northern lowlands and devours tree-dwelling insects and small animals until it is strong enough to once again hunt. The tree, weakened by the necrotic energy coming off the strengthening crimson mist, often succumbs to frostbite, animating the next sunset as a shadow blight.

Spreading Parasite. The shadow blight longs to spread the shadow that animates it to other dead trees. It also tries to find a door to the Plane of Shadows, allowing it to exist in secluded darkness forever. It is willing to slaughter anyone who prevents it from satisfying its desires.

Red Flowering. Shadow blights are sometimes cultivated by vampires, liches, or necromancers as particularly loathsome guardians. When they kill a living creature, they briefly flower. These blossoms resemble a pinkish dogwood or, in some climates, a flowering plum tree.

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.