Emperor’s Hyena

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 91 (14d8 + 28)
Speed 50 ft.

16 (+3) 14 (+2) 15 (+2) 6 (-2) 10 (+0) 8 (-1)

Saving Throws Dexterity +4
Skills Perception +2
Damage Resistances cold, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages understands Common but can’t speak
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Pack Tactics. The emperor’s hyena has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the hyena’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
  • Undead Nature. Emperor’s hyenas don’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
  • Stench. Any creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of the emperor’s hyena must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the emperor’s hyena’s Stench for 24 hours.
  • Turning Resistance. The emperor’s hyena has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.


  • Multiattack. The emperor’s hyena makes two bite attacks.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage and 10 (3d6) necrotic damage.
  • Black Breath (Recharge 5-6). The emperor’s hyena breathes a 15-foot cone of noxious black vapor. Each creature in the area that isn’t an undead or a construct must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature gains 1 level of exhaustion. This exhaustion lasts until the creature finishes a short or long rest.


As their name implies, emperor’s hyenas are undead hyenas that have been magically enhanced and tied to the emperor of the ghouls. With rotting, matted fur, missing teeth, and baleful yellow eyes, they are easily mistaken for simple undead beasts. Their appearance belies a relentless cunning.

Gifts from the God of Death. The method of creation of Emperor’s hyenas was a gift given directly to the Ghoul Emperor and has been entrusted to only a few necrophages. Emperor’s hyenas can be created only from hyenas that were anointed protectors of the god’s holy places when they were alive. Their scarcity means they are primarily used as messengers and guardians for the emperor. The emperor rarely sends them to attack enemies unless the enemy has truly angered him. The emperor of the ghouls is seldom seen without a pair of emperor’s hyenas by his side. When he moves publicly, every available emperor’s hyena is deployed to ensure his safety.

Voice of the Emperor. Emperor’s hyenas act as messengers throughout the empire when the emperor needs to send a messenger hardier than a ghoul bat. Though the hyenas are incapable of speaking on their own, the emperor can whisper a message into the ear of an emperor’s hyena, and the hyena can speak the message in the emperor’s own voice.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Empire of the Ghouls © 2020 Open Design LLC; Wolfgang Baur, Richard Green, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Kelly Pawlik, Mike Welham.

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