Alpha Node

Gargantuan aberration, neutral evil

Armor Class 20 (clockwork armor)
Hit Points 310 (20d20 + 100)
Speed 0, fly 10 ft. (hover)

10 (+0) 16 (+3) 20 (+5) 21 (+5) 13 (+1) 15 (+2)

Saving Throws Con +12, Int +12, Cha +9
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, exhaustion, frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses true sight 120 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Deep Speech, void Speech, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 21 (33,000 XP)


  • Clockwork Encasement. The clockwork encasement of the alpha node is the collective encasement of dozens of ahu-nixta in various stages of development and stasis. When the alpha node is reduced to 0 hit points, its clockwork encasement breaks apart, flinging dozens of somewhat shapeless masses, both half-developed larval ahu-nixta and mature cephaloids, into the surrounding Void. The node’s Void Current trait inverts, and the surrounding space fills with hundreds of chunks of broken clockwork and 1d10 + 20 ahu-nixta larva and cephaloids (see ahu-nixta cephaloid above). Once outside of their armor, the creatures?f pulpy mass no longer receives the benefits of the listed Damage or Condition Immunities, except for psychic and prone. An ahu-nixta can exit or enter the clockwork collective as a bonus action.
  • Collective Assimilation. Any ahu-nixta can merge with the alpha node. Whenever an ahu-nixta chooses to assimilate, it merely needs to come into contact with the alpha node, and as a reaction, the alpha node absorbs the creature into its body. The alpha node gains a number of hit points equal to half of the absorbed creature’s maximum hit points.
  • Immutable Form. The clockwork armor of the alpha node is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form, as are the creatures that control it as long as the ahu-nixta remain within their respective encasements.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The alpha node’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 20, +12 to hit with spell attacks). The alpha node can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • Magic Resistance. The alpha node has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Void Current. The alpha node channels the Void. As dark energies siphon through the node to other dimensions, it creates a current that draws creatures toward itself. Creatures within 240 feet of the alpha node are slowly pulled toward its center at a speed of 5 feet per round. As the individual moves nearer, the force increases: +5 feet for every 40 feet of distance closer to the node, to a maximum of 30 feet per round within 40 feet of the alpha node. Within 40 feet, the current travels counterclockwise around the alpha node, causing objects trapped in the current to orbit the alpha node. Creatures entering into the Void Current can attempt a Strength (Athletics) check to resist the pull (DC 8 + current’s speed). If they succeed, they can move half their movement speed away from the node.


  • Multiattack. The alpha node makes three Clockwork Gear Launcher attacks. It can instead use Forced Assimilation or cast one spell in place of two of those attacks.
  • Clockwork Gear Launcher. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 120/300 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage and 11 (2d10) necrotic damage. A creature must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, or the launched gear begins bonding to its flesh and hardening, encasing it like an ahunixta’s encasement and mentally connecting the individual to the node. If the creature fails its save, its AC increases by +1, and the alien interface fills its thoughts with the chattering voices of thousands of ahu-nixta. The target can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn and must roll a d8 to determine what it does during that turn: on a 1.4, the creature does nothing; on a 5.6, the creature takes no action but uses all its movement to move in a random direction; on a 7.8, the creature makes one melee attack against a random creature or does nothing if no creature is within reach. The target can make a new save each round to attempt to suppress the voices for that round, but they return each round thereafter until the link is broken by a remove curse spell or similarly powerful magic. On a successful save, there is no effect.
  • Forced Assimilation (Recharge 5-6). The alpha node can attempt to forcefully assimilate any creature with whom it maintains a mental connection. All affected creatures must succeed a DC 20 Charisma saving throw or be compelled to move toward the alpha node at full speed on their next turn and on subsequent rounds, continuing to move toward the node until they either touch it or the mental connection is broken. If the target touches the alpha node, they become grappled by the clockwork encasement, which attempts to engulf them. Each round, allies (or the target itself if it breaks the mental connection) can break the grapple by making a Strength (Athletics) check contested by the Strength check of the alpha node; on the second and third rounds, the alpha node has advantage on this Strength check. After 3 rounds of contact, the target is fully engulfed (grappled and restrained) and will remain inside the node’s mass until the node is destroyed.


The alpha node can take three legendary actions, choosing from the options below. It can take only one legendary action at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The alpha node regains spent legendary actions at the start of its next turn.

  • Cast a spell (Costs 3 Actions). The alpha node casts a spell using its Innate Spellcasting
  • Chatter of the Cogs (Costs 3 Actions). The alpha node can command one individual, with whom it has a mental connection, as if it were under the effect of a dominate monster spell. The domination only lasts until the end of the creature’s next turn
  • Reverse the Void Current (Costs 1 Action). The node can cause the void current to flow in reverse until the start of its next turn
  • Spawn Ahu-Nixta (Costs 2 Actions). Ahu-nixta emerge from the clockwork conglomeration (alpha node’s choice): 2d4 ahu-nixta, 1d4 ahunixta cataphracts, or an ahu-nixta harpooner (see below). Any spawned ahu-nixta appears in an unoccupied space on the node’s surface and acts as its ally. It is reabsorbed into the node after 1 minute unless either it or the node dies or the node reabsorbs it as an action before that.

A Range of Cephaloids

The cephaloid listed is the base size and power for a mature ahu-nixta cephaloid. Because of their rapidly evolving forms though, the details may vary from one specimen to another. See each ahu-nixta’s Clockwork Encasement trait for details on how to use each cephaloid when free of its encasement. sentience to fulfill the commands of the hive mind directing it.

The massive sphere just floats in the distance.

Its mass, with a roughly 30-foot diameter, appears to be a conglomeration of debris-a floating junkyard of clockwork components all mashed together. Sluglike creatures can occasionally be seen moving on its surface before disappearing again within its mysteries, and bits of free-floating material slowly drift toward it, swirling in strange eddies.

Alpha nodes are massive conglomerations of ahu-nixta, comprising dozens of strange clockwork devices and slowly drifting through the Void. Those who have encountered them claim that strange currents engulf these colossal structures, drawing objects to it, and that as one draws closer the sound of maddening gibberish grows louder and louder.

The alpha node is a collective, a sort of hive mind that gathers to spawn individual ahu-nixta. Despite the node’s appearance, it is a living creature and possesses a fierce though utterly alien intelligence.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Warlock Grimoire 4. ©2023 Open Design LLC. Authors: Lou Anders, Wolfgang Baur, HH Carlan, Robert Fairbanks, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Tim Hitchcock, Jeremy Hochhalter, Victoria Jaczko, Rajan Khanna, Sarah Madsen, Ben McFarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Adam W. Roy, Paul Scofield, Amber Stewart, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.

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