Arcane Anomaly, Inkfester

Family: Arcane Anomaly

Large construct (shapechanger), unaligned

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 60 (8d10 + 16)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

11 (+0) 15 (+2) 14 (+2) 5 (–3) 10 (+0) 12 (+1)

Skills Stealth +4
Damage Immunities poison
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Death Burst. When an inkfester dies, it explodes in a burst of ink. Any creature within 5 feet of the inkfester must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of its next turn.
  • Shapechanger. The inkfester’s normal form is a twodimensional pattern of runes on a flat surface. Until it takes an action or moves, the inkfester is indistinguishable from ink on that surface. As part of its action to attack, the inkfester can change form.
  • Spider Climb. The inkfester can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
  • Water Weakness. If the inkfester is doused in water or ends its turn submerged in water, the inkfester takes 3 (1d6) acid damage. Maximize this damage if the water is soapy.


  • Fearful Glyphs. The inkfester chooses up to two creatures within 30 ft. of and able to see it. Each target must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or take 8 (2d6 + 1) psychic damage from disturbing symbolism and imagery.
  • Consuming Mist. The inkfester takes on the form of a cloud of dark ink. In this form the inkfester has a fly speed of 20 feet and can hover, and it can occupy a hostile creature’s space. In this form, the inkfester has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and it’s immune to nonmagical damage other than from acid or water. Each creature that starts its turn in the inkfester’s space must make a DC 12 Strength or Dexterity saving throw (target’s choice). On a failure, a target takes 9 (2d6 + 2) acid damage. A Large or smaller creature is also grappled (escape DC 12). On a successful save, the target takes half the damage and isn’t grappled. Any creature that remains in the inkfester’s space can’t breathe. A creature within 5 feet of the inkfester can pull a creature or object out of it by taking an action and succeeding on a DC 12 Strength (Athletics) check. However, the rescuer takes 3 (1d6) acid damage.


Careless Magic. The Arcanist Inquisition contends that all magic is dangerous, not just that wielded by demons and nefarious sorcerers. Their blanket denunciation of all mages might be harsh, but their zealous belief in the perils of magic isn’t unfounded. Even a well-meaning mage can invite catastrophe with a slip of the tongue, a misaligned gesture, or momentary lapse in concentration.

Arcane anomalies, as some mages euphemistically call them, are one such product of careless magic. Ritual objects used in particularly powerful spells, when not disposed of properly, can gain a malevolent sentience.

Many an apprentice has learned the hard way that “Go wash up!” is not only a chore, but an essential safety practice. As one might imagine, water is a particular weakness of all arcane anomalies.

Tallow Toad. Candles for ritual purposes are often made of strange waxes mixed with rare oils and herbs.

Once a ritual is complete, unless ground up or melted down, these candles can transform into toad-like lumps of wax that wield tongues of flame and have an unquenchable desire to burn.

Chalk Chatterling. Chalk pentagrams and runes must be scrubbed after use, for even faint traces can birth a chalk chatterling, a tiny whirlwind of colored chalk dust that incessantly squeals the sounds its original markings were meant to signify.

Inkfester. Woe to any wizard who fails to pay attention to the expiration of their magical inks. If left untreated, old ink coalesces into bizarre two-dimensional creatures that masquerade as graffiti and psychically hurt victims through disturbing glyphs and imagery. These creatures can detach from walls, transforming into clouds of liquid ink to dissolve and drown unwary victims.

  • DC 10 Intelligence (Arcana): Arcane anomalies are constructs immune to poison and being charmed.
  • DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana): The tallow toad can spit hot wax that must be removed, or it continues to blister skin. Coming too close to a chalk chatterling can make spellcasting difficult. An inkfester can psychically assault the mind in one form or, in another, surround and consume victims. All these anomalies explode when destroyed.
  • DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana): Immersing any arcane anomaly in water hurts it. Wizards frequently scrub their laboratories clean to prevent these beings from emerging.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Grim Hollow: The Monster Grimoire © 2021, Ghostfire Gaming Pty Ltd. Author: Shawn Merwin

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