5e SRD >Creatures >

Hortator

Large fiend, chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 136 (16d10 + 48)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
21 (+5) 13 (+1) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 18 (+4)

Skills History +5, Intimidation +8
Damage Resistances fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities thunder, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Abyssal, Common, Infernal; telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Fiendflesh Drum. As long as the hortator is not incapacitated, its incessant drumming grants all other fiends within 1 mile that can hear it advantage on all attack rolls and an additional 1d6 thunder damage with weapons.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The hortator’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks), and its caster level is 16. The hortator can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
    • At will: thunderwave, vicious mockery
    • 3/day each: fear, shatter
    • 1/day each: compulsion, confusion, dominate person, eyebite
  • Magic Resistance. The hortator has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The horator makes four attacks: two with each of its skelemallets
  • Skelemallet. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage and 7 (2d6) thunder damage. The skelemallet scores a critical hit on the roll of 18-20.

ABOUT

This enormous, loping canine has barbed bones protruding from its flesh. Bursts of hellish fire surround its feet and flare behind the gibbering humanoid skulls that serve as its eyes. It never quite touches the ground.

Hortators are infernal drummers that inspire groups of lesser fiends to ruin and fight with all their might. The quick drumbeat resonates and quickens the pulse of all fiends while stilling the blood of mortals. These natural leaders are never found alone. Indeed, when they can manage it, they prefer to march at the head of a legion of lesser fiends.

Strategic Leaders. A hortator leads from the front only until the enemy is near, at which point it strategically holds back as its inspired minions rush forward to sate their bloodlust. Each of these rare fiendish leaders knows that the most effective tactic is to let its lackeys shield it from enemy’s attacks.

Jealous Generals. When not leading a major invasion force, a hortator usually seeks to entertain Archlords and other powerful patrons with songs of the Underhell’s most horrific wars and ego-stoking celebrations of the patron’s own achievements. By currying favor with an Archlord, each hortator hopes to become a colonel or general or trusted adviser. The more influence the hortator can get, the more glory it can earn on the battlefield and the more power it can glean over its master’s shoulder. In their ploys for power, no hortator can abide another near its position, as it fears its skills will no longer be vaunted as unique.

Legions. A hortator typically leads Dis, Gehenna, Hades, and Lethe invasions.

Hortators make their fellow fiends dramatically more dangerous, even at a great distance. In an encounter in which a hortator’s Fiendflesh Drum can be heard, each other fiend has its challenge rating increased by 1.

This large, goat-legged monster has a face that is a caricature of madness, its features warped like a tusked mask. In each hand, it holds a spinal column capped with a cluster of skulls: instruments to beat its terrible, flesh-wrapped drum. The more you look, the more terrible the drum becomes, its skin that of a distorted face, stretched flat from the abdomen of the frenzied drummer itself.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Planet Apocalypse, © 2021, Petersen Games.

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