Gargantuan beast, unaligned

Armor Class 21 (natural armor)
Hit Points 261 (18d20 + 72)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 90 ft. (hover)

23 (+6) 20 (+5) 19 (+4) 1 (–5) 14 (+2) 18 (+4)

Damage Immunities cold, fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses blindsight 90 ft., passive Perception 12
Challenge 19 (22,000 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +6


  • Flyby. The dawnfly doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy’s reach.
  • Siege Monster. The dawnfly deals double damage to objects and structures.
  • Unsettling Drone. A creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of the dawnfly must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or become incapacitated until the start of its next turn. Deafened creatures have advantage on the saving throw. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the dawnfly’s Unsettling Drone for the next 24 hours.


  • Multiattack. The dawnfly makes one Bite attack and three Tail attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage.
  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.
  • Wing Slice (Recharge 4–6). The dawnfly flies up to 40 feet in a straight line and can move through the space of any Huge or smaller creature. The first time it enters a creature’s space during this move, that creature must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 54 (12d8) slashing damage and is stunned until the end of its next turn. If the dawnfly’s wings are ignited from Winged Inferno, the creature takes an extra 14 (4d6) fire damage. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t stunned.


  • Winged Inferno. The dawnfly rapidly beats its wings igniting them until the start of its next turn. Its wings shed bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light an additional 20 feet. A creature that touches the dawnfly or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 7 (2d6) fire damage. In addition, when a creature starts its turn within 5 feet of the dawnfly, that creature must succeed on a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw or take 7 (2d6) fire damage. This effect ends early if the dawnfly stops flying.


The dawnfly can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The dawnfly regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Dust Burst. The dawnfly’s wings shed blinding dust within 10 feet of it. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of its next turn.
  • Fiery Downburst (Costs 2 Actions). The dawnfly’s wings beat furiously, releasing a downdraft of heated air in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a DC 19 Strength saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 9 (2d8) bludgeoning damage and 7 (2d6) fire damage, is pushed up to 15 feet away from the dawnfly in a direction following the cone, and is knocked prone. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t pushed or knocked prone.
  • Snatch and Drop (Costs 3 Actions). The dawnfly flies up to half its flying speed, making one Tail attack at a creature within its reach along the way. If the attack hits, the creature is grappled and carried with the dawnfly, which immediately drops the creature at the end of the movement. The creature takes falling damage, as normal.


An enormous dragonfly blocks out the sun, except for the iridescent shadows filtered through its diaphanous wings. Its three tails gouge into the land like plows before it darts off in a random direction.

A full-grown dawnfly is an incredibly rare sight, a massive creature that emerges once every few years and lives for little more than a week. However, it can destroy a vast swathe of crops and homes in that brief period of time.

Larval Stage. A dawnfly starts life as a desolation nymph. Unlike their smaller cousins, which turn into dragonflies, the life cycle of the desolation nymph is complex. Only occasionally do the nymphs mature into giant dragonflies and even then, not until after several years or even decades, as a nymph. Some remain a nymph for the whole of their lives. A nymph that survives at least a decade may transform into the terrifying dawnfly in the final days of its life.

Predatory Larva. Desolation nymphs hide as best they can among mangrove roots or giant reeds; they prefer to hunt near water. When prey is close, the nymph rapidly extends its lower jaw, arrayed with hooks and spines, to capture and devour its prey.

Dire Omen. The reason for a dawnfly’s emergence is a mystery. Some view it as a harbinger of terrible times, or the avatar of any number of gods associated with death and destruction, or the herald of some demon lord or arch?devil associated with insects. All agree that, regardless of its origin, the dawnfly is a powerfully destructive force capable of eliminating entire civilizations.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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