Cauchemange, Corporeal

Family: Cauchemange

Medium aberration, neutral evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 44 (8d8 + 8)
Speed 30 ft.

10 (+0) 15 (+2) 12 (+1) 11 (+0) 15 (+2) 16 (+3)

Skills Intimidation +5, Perception +4
Condition Immunities frightened
Senses darkvision 120 ft, passive Perception 14
Languages the languages of its host, telepathy 30 ft.
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Grappler. The cauchemange has advantage on attack rolls against any creature grappled by it.
  • Hallucinatory Hold. The corporeal cauchemange needs only to touch a creature to deal damage, grappling a creature by force of presence rather than physical strength. A creature grappled by the cauchemange can also use Wisdom (Insight) to escape. The creature believes the damage the cauchemange deals to be of a type appropriate to the nightmare form the cauchemange takes.
  • Happiness Susceptibility. If a creature within 30 ft. the corporeal cauchemange uses an action to make a DC 13 Charisma (Performance) check and succeeds, creating a presentation that inspires happiness or hope, the cauchemange has disadvantage on attack rolls until the end of the performing creature’s next turn.
  • Nightmare Aura. Each creature of the corporeal cauchemange’s choice that starts its turn within 30 ft. of the cauchemange must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or sense the cauchemange as something to be feared, becoming frightened until the start of the creature’s next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the Nightmare Aura of all cauchemanges for 1 hour.
  • Psychic Teleport (Recharge 5–6). As its movement, the cauchemange can teleport to an unoccupied space within 30 ft. of it, provided that the space is within 10 ft. of a creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher. The cauchemange doesn’t need to see the destination.


  • Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. one creature. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) psychic damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 13).
  • Drain. The cauchemange uses its touch attack on a creature grappled by it. On a hit, in addition to the damage, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Charisma saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. If this effect kills a humanoid, a cauchemange larva emerges from the corpse 8 hours later.
  • Glamor. The corporeal cauchemange targets one humanoid it can see within 30 ft. of it. If the target can see the cauchemange, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be charmed, seeing the cauchemange as something or someone desirable. The charmed target regards the cauchemange as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. The target isn’t under the cauchemange’s control, but it takes the cauchemange’s requests and actions in the most favorable light, it is a willing target for the cauchemange’s touch, and it becomes a willing host for a cauchemange larva, which the target also sees as something desirable. Each time the cauchemange or the cauchemange’s allies do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours, or until the cauchemange is destroyed, is on a different plane of existence than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect.


Failed Experiment. Folktales say an Arch Daemon created the cauchemange as another tool to torment mortals. Those who’ve studied know that these aberrations are a result of a failed experiment by a long-dead wizard. Her intent was to create a creature that allows command over armies of mind-controlled servants. Instead, the experiment created a creature that feeds on and manipulates people’s nightmares.

Hungry Larvae. A larval cauchemange resembles a monstrous maggot the size of a human forearm. Hardy, magically resistant creatures, these larvae seek host bodies to burrow into and continue their life cycle. Cauchemange larvae prefer sleeping victims, an insidious trait, because the entry wound heals rapidly, and a victim recognizes few signs of an invading parasite.

Nightmare Pupation. Once a cauchemange larva burrows into a creature, the larva’s body dissolves into tiny particles that distribute themselves into the host’s nervous system. As the cauchemange pupates, it induces nightmares, hallucinations, and terrifying thoughts, which it feeds upon to mature. While an infected adult is likely to have an extremely uncomfortable few days, many such victims are thought to suffer from lesser maladies.

Dream Incarnate. Once a cauchemange absorbs enough negative memories, thoughts, and dreams, it bursts out of the host’s body, taking the form of the host’s worst nightmare. This corporeal cauchemange is a nightmare made flesh. It can take a variety of forms, depending on the host’s fears or lusts. From a potent host or after developing for years, an adult cauchemange can become a ghostly creature that shifts among nightmare forms.

  • DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine): The larval form of a cauchemange can burrow into you and pupate within your body, bursting out after a few days as an adult that resembles your worst nightmare. This infection can be treated much like a disease.
  • DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana): An adult cauchemange can cause magical fear, and a corporeal cauchemange can appear as someone or something you desire. They have a peculiar weakness to expressions of happiness. Singing songs or reciting stories of hope can debilitate the creatures.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

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

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page