Hearth Hound

Medium undead, unaligned

Armor Class 14
Hit Points 58 (13d8)
Speed 0 ft., fly 35 ft. (hover)

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
7 (-2) 18 (+4) 10 (+0) 5 (-3) 15 (+2) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Con +2, Wis +4
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +6
Damage Resistances acid, cold, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities fire, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Final Howl. When the hound dies, it uses Sorrow’s Howl. This howl originates from the hound’s hearth.
  • Hearth Bound. The hound cannot leave the premises of the home in which it spent its life.
  • Incorporeal Movement. The hound can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
  • Keen Smell. The hound has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Rejuvenation. If destroyed, the hearth hound magically re-forms fully healed inside its hearth after 5 (2d4) days. The hearth hound can be permanently destroyed only if the hearth is completely destroyed or the family it is guarding leaves their home for 1 year.
  • Undead Nature. The hearth hound doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

ACTIONS

  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 4) necrotic damage plus 9 (2d8) fire damage.
  • Sorrow’s Howl. The hound howls mournfully. Creatures within 100 feet that can hear the howl must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature is frightened for 1 minute. A target 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 Sorrow’s Howl for the next 24 hours.
  • Ash Breath (Recharge 5-6). The hound exhales ash and flames in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The area is heavily obscured by a cloud of smoke until the end of the hound’s next turn.

ABOUT

Few can wish for a more peaceful death than in one’s sleep before the warmth of the family fireplace. When a cherished canine companion so peacefully passes away after spending its entire life with one family in one home, the spirit of the hound might linger within the embers and ashes of the hearth. Here the spirit remains, guarding its former home and family even after death, sometimes lingering in the home for a century or more in order to watch over its original family’s children and grandchildren.

In its dormant form, this spirit is detectable as little more the feeling of warmth, contentment, and peace that radiates from the hearth; thus, a family might remain unaware of a hearth hound’s existence for years or even decades.

However, once the hearth hound senses a threat against its wards, such as a violent burglar, an arsonist, or even simply an exploitative tax collector, the beast instantly manifests from the flames of the family hearth to defend its loved ones.

It is impossible to intentionally create or summon a hearth hound, and those who actively seek protection from one rarely receive it. Only by cherishing and caring for a dog throughout its entire life can a family hope to be blessed by this guardian spirit.

In its manifested form, a hearth hound resembles a plume of living ash in the shape of a giant dog, casting light from the glowing embers of its eyes and emitting a deep rumbling growl that shakes the foundations of the house. A hearth hound bravely protects its family from attackers and chases away threats, loyal to the very end.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlezoo Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Authors: William Fischer, Stephen Glicker, Paul Hughes, Patrick Renie, Sen.H.H.S., and Mark Seifter.

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