Afneith

Large monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 15
Hit Points 136 (16d10 + 48)
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
17 (+3) 20 (+5) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 14 (+2) 17 (+3)

Skills Intimidation +6, Stealth +8
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages understands Common but can’t speak
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Belladonna Distraction. If a creature within 5 feet of the afneith uses an action to offer it a dose of belladonna, the afneith must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the afneith must use its reaction to snatch and immediately eat the belladonna. If it does, the afneith is stunned until the end of its next turn, poisoned for 1 minute, and can’t be distracted by belladonna again for 1 hour.
  • Keen Smell. The afneith has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Lithe. The afneith can move through any opening large enough for a Small creature without squeezing.
  • Surprise Pounce. If the afneith started its turn hidden from a creature, its attacks deal an extra 7 (2d6) damage against that creature.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The afneith makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claw.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 5) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 15).
  • Four-Clawed Maul. The afneith makes four claw attacks against a creature it is grappling.

ABOUT

Afneiths are nocturnal eight-legged felines native to arid southern deserts. Their large bodies strike a distinctive silhouette on moonlit nights: serrated claws, wide jaws, and oversized ears combine to form the image of a natural-born killer. Though these powerful predators were not born-they were made.

The first afneith was created by a cabal of desert-dwelling druids who served a cat-adoring pharoah. When the pharoah died, her will stipulated that her tomb not be guarded by constructs or soldiers but by a feline beast of her own peculiar specifications. The druids worked tirelessly to create such a beast, enlisting royal clerics and wizards to aid their quest. In the end, they created a beast so fearsome that they were only too glad to lock it away in their pharaoh’s tomb.

As a safeguard in case the beast should escape, the spellcasters ensured that the afneith had an easily exploitable weakness to the belladonna herb-a weakness that they tried to keep secret but which has inevitably become common knowledge to sarcophagus-robbing treasure hunters.

Afneiths physically differ from their typical cat relatives in several ways. Their massive pointed ears act like funnels for sound, allowing them to pinpoint even the stealthiest tomb robbers. With their flexible skeletal structure and slack flesh, afneiths have little trouble slinking through tight corridors and alcoves to reposition and get the edge in an encounter. Finally, they possess an advanced intellect that allows them to override some of their feline instincts and invent complex strategies.

Afneiths have long spread beyond the Pharaonic mausoleums in which they were initially confined. Desert travelers who overcome their initial fright might hope to befriend the wandering beast; afneiths are supposedly loyal friends once their trust is earned with food and affection. Skeptics claim that afneiths nearly always appear aloof to others’ needs and seem primarily motivated by food and play. Conversely, afneith supporters point out that many humanoids are motivated by these same things.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlezoo Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Authors: William Fischer, Stephen Glicker, Paul Hughes, Patrick Renie, Sen.H.H.S., and Mark Seifter.

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