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Ahu-nixta Cataphract

Large aberration, neutral evil

Armor Class 17 (clockwork armor)
Hit Points 135 (18d10 + 36)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover), swim 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 8 (–1) 14 (+2) 19 (+4) 13 (+1) 10 (+0)

Skills Perception +4
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Deep Speech, Void Speech
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Clockwork Encasement. The creature within the machine is a somewhat shapeless mass, both protected and given concrete manipulators by its armor. The clockwork armor has a variety of manipulators that the ahu-nixta can use to attack or to interact with objects outside of the armor. When the ahu-nixta is reduced to 0 hp, its clockwork armor breaks and the ahu-nixta exits it. Once out of its armor, the creature’s pulpy mass no longer receives the benefits of the listed Damage or Condition Immunities, except for psychic and prone. Without its clockwork armor, the ahu-nixta has the following statistics: AC 12, hp 37 (5d10 + 10), Strength 9 (-1), and all its modes of travel are reduced to 20 feet. In addition, it has no attack actions, though it can still cast its spells. The ahu-nixta’s body can form eyes, mouths, and grabbing appendages. Its grabbing appendages can pick up objects and manipulate them, but the appendages can’t be used for combat. The ahu-nixta’s extra appendages can open and close glass-covered viewing ports in the clockwork armor, requiring no action, so it can see and interact with objects outside the armor. The ahu-nixta can exit or enter its clockwork armor as a bonus action.
  • Immutable Form. The ahu-nixta’s clockwork armor is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form, as is the creature that controls it as long as the ahu-nixta remains within the armor.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The ahu-nixta’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). The ahu?nixta can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
    • At will: fear, firebolt (2d10), telekinesis

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The cataphract makes three melee attacks. It can cast one at will spell in place of two melee attacks. Alternatively, it can use its Arcane Cannon twice.
  • Whirring Blades. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (3d4 + 5) slashing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (2d4) slashing damage at the start of its next turn.
  • Pronged Scepter. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) piercing damage.
  • Bashing Rod. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
  • Arcane Cannon. Ranged Spell Attack: +7 to hit, range 100 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d8) force damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

ABOUT

At the core of its clockwork armor, the creature is a shapeless horror from beyond the stars.

Weak and easy prey in their natural state, the ahu-nixta long ago mastered the art of clockwork design, building armor that could carry them through the voids between stars and bolster their physical abilities. After mastering clockwork design, the ahu-nixta turned to enhancing themselves to better utilize greater and greater clockwork creations.

Evolved Terrors. As ahu-nixta age and prove themselves against their people’s enemies, they are forcibly evolved in eugenic chambers and given new armor. The ahu?nixta are comprised of drudges, rank-and-file ahu-nixta, and cataphracts. The drudges are the least evolved and lowest form of ahu?nixta, evolving into standard citizens after years of meeting rigorous physical and mental demands from their superiors.

Boundless Potential. The bodies of ahu-nixta are highly responsive to forced evolution, leaving the creatures with seemingly endless potential for advancement. Scholars speculate that undiscovered stages of ahu-nixta evolution exist, hidden by the leaders of the ahu-nixta until called upon to serve the wishes of their evil gods.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.