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Derro, Speaker to the Darkness

Family: Derro

Guano stains the bat fur robe and flayed-skin cloak of this creature. Its mustache is braided with beads of carved bone and its balding head is circled in straw-like white hair. The speaker to the darkness wears a mask and a cloak of flayed skin over a robe of bat fur. Its bare feet are caked with dried guano, while its clothing is spattered with fresher samples.

Small humanoid (derro), chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (scale mail)
Hit Points 135 (18d6 + 72)
Speed 25 ft.

11 (+0) 16 (+3) 18 (+4) 10 (+0) 9 (-1) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Dexterity +6, Charisma +7
Skills Perception +2
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Condition Immunities frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Abyssal, Deep Speech, Undercommon
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Special Traits

If using the official setting published by Open Design LLC, add the following trait and the ebon shards, gifts from the demon lord of bats, to the speaker to the darkness: Bearer of the Ebon Shard. The speaker to the darkness is attuned to the ebon shards and has advantage on saving throws to resist the shards’ negative effects. Its spell save DC is 15 and it has a +7 to hit with spell attacks.


  • Multiattack. The speaker to the darkness makes two quarterstaff attacks or two sling attacks.
  • Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage, or 4 (1d8) bludgeoning damage if used with two hands, plus 9 (2d8) necrotic damage.
  • Sling. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
  • Drawn from Beyond (Recharge 5-6). The speaker conjures up to 3 ghasts. The ghasts appear in unoccupied spaces within 30 feet of the speaker that the speaker can see. The ghasts follow the speaker’s commands, and it is immune to their Stench. It can’t have more than 3 ghasts conjured at one time.
  • Extinguish Light (1/rest). The speaker creates a 15-foot-radius sphere of magical darkness on a point it can see within 60 feet. This darkness works like the darkness spell, except creatures inside it have disadvantage on saving throws and the speaker and its conjured ghasts are unaffected by the darkness.


Priest of the Demon Lord of Bats. The speaker to the darkness oversees the religious aspects of the derro bat cult, leading rituals and sacrifices, consulting with Lord the demon lord of bats, and organizing expeditions to the surface for prisoners. It often squabbles with other derro priests and leaders over how to divide such prisoners between them. The howling winds of the outer dark soothe its troubled mind, reminding it of the great destiny before it and its ultimate gift to its Lord the demon lord of bats: eternal darkness.

Ebon Shards

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement by a spellcaster of evil alignment)

These obsidian shards are engraved with words in Deep Speech, and their presence disquiets non-evil, intelligent creatures. The writing on the shards is obscure, esoteric, and possibly incomplete.

The shards give you access to a powerful array of void magic spells. You can cast the following spells without material components and using Charisma as your spellcasting ability.

  • At will: crushing curse
  • 3/day each: maddening whispers, void strike
  • 1/day each: living shadows Each time you use the ebon shards to cast a spell, you must succeed on a DC 12 Charisma saving throw or take 7 (2d6) psychic damage.
  • Boon of the Bat. A creature struck by one of the speaker to the darkness’ attacks must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened until the start of the speaker’s next turn.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.

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