Alke

Large monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d10 + 48)
Speed 50 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 15 (+2) 18 (+4) 4 (–3) 13 (+1) 12 (+1)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Cha +4
Skills Acrobatics +5, Perception +7, Stealth +5
Condition Immunities petrified
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Back Spikes. Any Small or larger creature riding the alke against its will must make DC 15 Dexterity saving throw at the start of its turn, taking 14 (4d6) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • Keen Sight. The alke has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
  • Pounce. If the alke moves at least 30 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a Claws attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the alke can make one Beak attack against it as a bonus action.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The alke makes one Beak attack and two Claws attacks.
  • Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) piercing damage.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Piercing Roll (Recharge 4–6). The alke tucks in its head and throws itself spikes first into nearby foes. The alke moves up to 25 feet in a straight line and can move through the space of any Medium or smaller creature. The first time it enters a creature’s space during this move, that creature must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 14 (4d6) bludgeoning and 14 (4d6) piercing damage and is knocked prone. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t knocked prone.

REACTIONS

  • Repelling Spikes. The alke adds 3 to its AC against one melee or ranged weapon attack that would hit it. To do so, the alke must see the attacker and not be prone.

ABOUT

This ferocious, wingless griffon sports hardened feather-spikes where its wings should be.

Alkes, also called an alce or a keythong, are cousins to griffons, but they grow spikes instead of wings along their backs. More ferocious in battle than typical griffons, alkes use their bulk and superior speed to topple prey, exposing it to their crushing beaks and rending claws. Alkes are solitary creatures, too proud and volatile to share territory with others of their kind. They always consider themselves at the top of the food chain, even if stronger beasts reside nearby. This sense of pride easily turns into dangerous arrogance, preventing them from backing down from an aggressor.

Contemptible Creatures. While alkes regard all beasts as prey, they bear an instinctual contempt for other monstrosities, including griffons and other alkes. This contempt comes not from a sense of jealousy but rather the alke’s pride in its own prowess. Any indication of another creature’s advantages, whether manufactured or natural, incites a primal need in the alke to prove itself superior. Alkes keep a special animosity for cockatrices, gorgons, and medusas. Immune to these creatures’ petrifying abilities, alkes toy with and torment these hated foes before moving in for a kill.

Potent Components. The alkes’ immunity to petrifying effects makes clear they are infused with magic. Herbalists prize their spikes as powerful spell components for healing and protective properties. Big game hunters, poachers, and would?be heroes have attempted to slay or capture alkes for glory and profit. Often, the alke winds up the hunter and its pursuers the prey.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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