5e SRD >Creatures >

Cerebral Stalker

Medium aberration, chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (10d8 + 40)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
16 (+3) 15 (+2) 19 (+4) 11 (+0) 15 (+2) 16 (+3)

Skills Perception +8
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages believed to understand Common and possibly others, but never speaks
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Consume Brain. Once it has its victim underground, the cerebral stalker begins gnawing on the victim’s head, rapidly chewing through bone and tissue, dealing 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage each round. When the victim dies, the cerebral stalker reaches the victim’s brain, which it promptly devours. A victim slain in this manner reanimates in 1d4 rounds as a zombie. Typically, the cerebral stalker “tosses” them back up to the surface of the ground so their traveling companions can witness the reanimation and deal with their newly undead friend. Zombies created in this manner are under no one’s control.
  • Earth Glide. A cerebral stalker can glide through any sort of natural earth or stone as easily as a fish swims through water. Its gliding leaves no sign of its passage or hint of its presence to creatures that don’t possess tremorsense. It can bring cocooned victims along with it, but they have no special capacity for breathing while underground. Getting into the ground, however, is not as easy for the cerebral stalker as moving underground. It must spend four moves on four rounds (no dashing) melding into the ground. On the first round, the creature sinks to its knees; on the second round, to its waist; on the third round, to its neck; and on the fourth round, the stalker and any creature it has cocooned disappear completely underground. Melding into the ground does not provoke an opportunity attack. If the cerebral stalker is grappled while sinking into the ground, it must win a Strength contest against its grapplers to sink farther that round. Dispel magic or a similar spell cast on a sinking cerebral stalker paralyzes it the same as a hold monster spell. The spot where the cerebral stalker sank radiates magic for one hour.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The cerebral stalker makes one Bite and two Claw attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage and the target is grappled and restrained (escape DC 14).
  • Cocoon (3/day). A cerebral stalker cocoons a grappled foe with sticky webbing. The webs completely encase the victim, excluding the top of the victim’s head, its eyes, and its nose. The cocooned victim is restrained and anchored by the webs to the cerebral stalker’s body. The cocooned creature can, as an action, attempt to break free with a successful DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check. The webbing can be cut open enough for a trapped character to escape with 8 slashing damage against Armor Class 10.
  • Gaze. One creature that can see the cerebral stalker must make a successful DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1d4 rounds.

ABOUT

A cerebral stalker is a carnivorous predator that lies in wait just below the surface of the ground for an unsuspecting victim to pass over or near it. When it detects prey with its tremorsense, the stalker bursts through the ground in a shower of rock and earth, seizes and cocoons its victim, and disappears into the ground to devour the victim’s brain at its leisure. Companions of the cerebral stalker’s intended victim are held at bay with its fear-inducing gaze — but the real terror is reserved for those the creature drags below ground, where they’re destined to have their skulls chewed open and their brains devoured.

The lair of a cerebral stalker is a large, hollow chamber underground, often littered with skull fragments, bits of webbing, and chunks of desiccated brain matter. A cerebral stalker has no use for or interest in treasure, but the belongings of its victims — especially weapons and magical implements they were clutching in their hands when the cerebral stalker grabbed them — sometimes fall loose.

Cerebral stalkers are solitary creatures; they despise others of their kind. They do not team up or hunt in concert, and they even attack others of their race if another invades their territory. The typical stalker’s hunting ground covers an area of five square miles, though an individual rarely journeys that far from its lair. The lifespan and reproduction method of these creatures is completely unknown.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Horrors 2020, (C) 2020, Necromancer Games