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Dragon, Soulhoarder

Gargantuan dragon, neutral evil

Armor Class 23 (natural armor)
Hit Points 647 (35d20+280)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
28 (+9) 14 (+2) 26 (+8) 22 (+6) 15 (+2) 20 (+5)

Skills Arcana +14, Deception +13, Insight +10, History +14, Perception +18, Stealth +10
Damage Resistances cold, radiant
Damage Immunities fire, necrotic, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Senses darkvision 120 ft., truesight 60 ft., passive Perception 28
Languages Common, Draconic, any 8 languages
Challenge 27 (105,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Consume Soul. The dragon can use a bonus action to drain the essence from one of the souls within it. Draining the soul in this way destroys it utterly, after which only a carefully worded wish or the direct intervention of a deity can restore it. Using the energy gained in this way, the dragon either immediately regains 70 hit points and ends any blindness, deafness, and any diseases affecting it, it restores a spell slot of up to 5th level, or it automatically recharges its soulfire breath.
  • Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance. The dragon has advantage on saving throws against magical effects and spells.
  • Spellcasting. The dragon is a 17th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 22, +14 to hit with spell attacks). The dragon has the following spells prepared:
  • Soul Reservoir. The dragon has transformed itself into a receptacle of necromantic and spiritual energy, able to trap and hold the souls of mortal beings. It can hold up to 5 souls. While holding a soul in, the dragon can access the soul’s knowledge and experience its memories. A trapped soul is aware of itself and fellow captives, and it can communicate with the dragon and other trapped souls. The dragon can also grant a trapped soul awareness beyond the netherrealm within and the ability to communicate with beings outside, causing its likeness to appear within 60 feet.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The dragon can use Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d10+9) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage and 14 (4d6) necrotic damage.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d6+9) slashing damage plus 3 (1d6) necrotic damage.
  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +17 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d8+9) bludgeoning damage plus 3 (1d6) necrotic damage.
  • Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon’s choice that is within 120 feet and aware of it must succeed on a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
  • Soulfire Breath (Recharge 5–6). The dragon exhales soulfire in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 24 Dexterity saving throw, taking 91 (26d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

REACTIONS

  • Swallow Soul. When a creature is reduced to 0 hit points within 60 feet of the dragon, it can use its reaction to swallow the departing soul. The creature is instantly slain and its soul is drawn into the dragon’s Soul Reservoir where it remains until the dragon chooses to release it or place it into a specially prepared soul gem. The dragon is not limited to absorbing the recently deceased and can also use this trait to swallow other unbound souls within 60 feet. This allows the dragon to draw souls from nearby receptacles (of which it has 4–6), or at the GM’s discretion any other soul bereft of a body.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

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

  • Consume Soul. The dragon uses Consume Soul.
  • Tail Sweep. The dragon makes a tail attack.
  • Cast Spell (Costs 1 to 3 Actions). The dragon casts a spell of up to 3rd level. Each spell level costs 1 legendary action.

LAIR ACTIONS

On initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties), the dragon can use one of its lair action options. It can’t do so while incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, the dragon can’t use one until after its first turn in the combat.

  • The dragon wills ambient necromantic energies to spawn 4 skeletons or 1 shadow under its control. These undead act immediately and then again on the dragon’s initiative. Creatures spawned this way last until destroyed.
  • A miasma of necromantic energy flows out of the ground, forming a 20-foot-radius cloud from a point that the dragon can see or sense. A creature beginning its turn in the cloud must succeed on a DC 21 Constitution save or take 18 (5d6) necrotic damage and gain one level of exhaustion. The miasma remains until dissipated.
  • The dragon draws forth a soul from a specially prepared receptacle and swallows it, increasing the dragon’s Soul Reservoir by one.

ABOUT

Soulhoarder dragons are creatures of malevolence and undeath, not natural creations borne in the same manner as other winged wyrms. In order to create one of these wicked creatures a dragon egg needs to be steeped in evil energies and infused with the souls of the dead, an act that only the foulest chromatic dragons would ever willingly allow to be done to their offspring or even the children of their scaled enemies. When the shell cracks, what emerges is fully-formed and filled with a need to take the life essence of others.

That hunger for the essence of others is without limit, and not long after crawling from their shell a soulhoarder dragon begins a feast that can only end with its destruction. When they have gone too long without consuming the soul of a living creature these blasphemies do not die—they hibernate, slumbering endlessly with just enough energy in their reserves to take the life of anything foolish enough to awaken them.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.