Gargantuan giant, chaotic neutral

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 262 (15d20+105)
Speed 50 ft.

28 (+9) 13 (+1) 24 (+7) 15 (+2) 12 (+1) 19 (+4)

Skills Arcana +7, Athletics +14, Intimidation +9
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 200 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages Giant
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)


  • Burning Gaze (Recharge 5–6). If Balor isn’t incapacitated and can see, he can use a bonus action to open his eye and wreak havoc in a 100 foot-cone. Each creature in the area makes a DC 18 Constitution saving throw. If the saving throw fails, a creature takes 7 (2d6) fire damage. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature instead takes 14 (4d6) fire damage. Flammable objects in the area that aren’t being worn or carried are ignited.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/day). If Balor fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance. Balor has advantage on saving throws made against spells and other magical effects.
  • Monocular Perception. When attacking a target more than 30 feet away, Balor has disadvantage on his attack roll.
  • Petrifying Gaze. When a creature that can see the Balor’s eye starts its turn within 30 feet of him, Balor can force it to make a DC 18 Constitution saving throw if he isn’t incapacitated and can see the creature. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is instantly petrified. Otherwise, a creature that fails the save begins to turn to stone and is restrained. The restrained creature must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn, becoming petrified on a failure or ending the effect on a success. The petrification lasts until the creature is freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic. Unless surprised, a creature can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If the creature does so, it can’t see Balor until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at him in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.


  • Multiattack. Balor attacks three times with his slam or he throws two rocks.
  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d8+9) bludgeoning damage.
  • Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 35 (4d12+9) bludgeoning damage.


This entry takes us into the mythological wars of Ireland’s supernatural legends with the Fomorian champion Balor, the smiter, he of the evil eye! In the mythology of Ireland Balor was a giant with one incredibly destructive eye; he had petrifying and poisonous powers imbued when he was exposed to fumes from a potion being crafted by druids. Balor led the Fomorians, a magical race born from the earth and sea. Being a monocular titan, Balor is often compared to the Greek cyclops. The Balor is best known from the Battle of Mag Tuired and for being murdered by his grandson, Lugh. When Lugh fired a sling-stone through his eye, it opened up the backside of his skull and harmed the Fomorian soldiers behind him, 27 of whom were crushed by his corpse. In other tales, he may have survived this eye shot and fled to Mizen Head where he was beheaded on a large rock that shattered from the act.

Balor knew his fate in advance and tried to prevent his murderer from ever being born, locking away his daughter Eithne in a keep.

This might have worked—but he stole Glas Gaibhnenn, the magical cow of abundance, and a hero named Cian mac Cáinte quested to get it back. He snuck inside Eithne’s tower and they conceived not one but three sons. Of course Balor drowned them, though unbeknownst to him one managed to survive—and years later brought about his death. This is a theme that we’ll see repeated later in this book when we visit with the greek hero Perseus!

There is some dispute about Balor’s magical eye. One story describes seven coverings over the eye: removing the first caused the bracken to wither, with the next grass became copper-colored, the third heated the forest, the fourth made the trees smoke, the fifth spawned red glow, the sixth brought sparks, and the last finally set everything ablaze. Modern scholars think that the Balor is one of many stories and harvest myths about cyclical rebirth: the woman (fertile earth) is imprisoned by an elder (winter and the past year) then impregnated by youth (the new year and spring).

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters Copyright 2020 EN Publishing. Authors Mike Myler, Russ Morrissey.

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