Huge fiend (styxite), chaotic evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit points 168 (16d12 + 64)
Speed 50 ft., swim 60 ft.

22 (+6) 14 (+2) 18 (+4) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 10 (+0)

Skills Intimidation +11, Perception +9
Saving Throws Str +11, Con +9
Damage Immunities cold, fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Infernal
Proficiency Bonus +5
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)


  • Amphibious. The nuckelavee can breathe air and water.
  • Fresh Water Susceptibility. For every 5 feet the nuckelavee moves in fresh water, or for every gallon of fresh water splashed on it, it takes 10 acid damage.
  • Horrific Appearance. Any humanoid that starts its turn within 30 feet of the nuckelavee and can see it must make a DC 10 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the nuckelavee is within line of sight, 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 nuckelavee’s Horrific Appearance for the next 24 hours. Unless the target is surprised, the target can avert its eyes and avoid making the initial saving throw. Until the start of its next turn, a creature that averts its eyes has disadvantage on attack rolls against the nuckelavee.
  • Magic Resistance. The nuckelavee has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Regeneration. The nuckelavee regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the nuckelavee takes radiant damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the nuckelavee’s next turn. The nuckelavee dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.
  • Two Heads. The nuckelavee has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and on saving throws against being blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, and knocked unconscious.


  • Multiattack. The nuckelavee makes two Grasping Claw attacks and one Bite attack.
  • Grasping Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 6) slashing damage or 26 (3d10 + 10) slashing damage when raging plus 11 (2d10) necrotic damage. If the target is a creature, the nuckelavee can pull the target up to 10 feet toward itself, and the target is grappled (escape DC 19). The nuckelavee has two claws. While a claw grapples a target, the claw can attack only that target.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (4d8 + 6) piercing damage or 28 (4d8 + 10) piercing damage when raging.
  • Stomp. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one prone creature. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage or 32 (4d10 + 10) bludgeoning damage when raging.
  • Fire Ray. The nuckelavee shoots a ray of flame at a target it can see within 60 feet of it. The target must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
  • Plague Breath (Recharge 5-6). The nuckelavee spews a disease-ridden wind from its maw in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 14 (4d6) poison damage and is poisoned. Plant creatures or magical plants make the saving throw with disadvantage, and take maximum damage. Nonmagical plants don’t make a saving throw; they simply wither and die. Constructs and Undead are immune to this effect. On a successful save, the creature is immune to the nuckelavee’s Plague Breath for the next 24 hours. The poisoned creature can’t regain hit points. After every 24 hours that elapse, the poisoned creature can repeat the saving throw. On a failed save, the creature’s hit point maximum is reduced by 5 (1d10). This reduction lasts until the poison ends, and the target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. The poison ends after the creature successfully saves against it three times.


  • Trampling Charge. If the nuckelavee moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a Grasping Claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 19 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the nuckelavee can make one Stomp attack against it as a bonus action.
  • Rage (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). The nuckelavee enters a rage. The rage lasts for 1 minute or until the nuckelavee is incapacitated. While raging, the nuckelavee gains the following benefits: The nuckelavee has advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws; When it makes a melee weapon attack, the nuckelavee gains a +4 bonus to the damage roll; the nuckelavee has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.


The fiendish nuckelavee’s huge form is a grotesque fusion of monstrous elements: a twisted equine body with fin-like appendages on the legs, a malevolent human torso with muscular arms that reach the ground, and an enlarged, burning red eye. A fanged maw adorns the front of the horse’s chest, resembling that of a killer whale.

The fiendish nuckelavee (NUK-el-AH-vee) dwells in the darkest corners of Infernus, emerging from subarctic coastal waters and ruins to sow chaos and destruction. Its malevolent presence taints the environment around it, leaving a trail of plague and fear in its wake.

The nuckelavee in its fiendish form relishes in its destructive tendencies. It uses its Horrific Appearance to terrify its opponents and then employs its Plague Breath to poison and weaken them. When in a rage, it becomes a relentless force of destruction, charging into groups of enemies to knock them down and then tearing into them with its claws and fanged bite.

It’s theorized nuckelavees are actually two punished demons bound into one. That would explain their skinless appearance and bonded nature. Whatever the case, nuckelavees bring all the anger of the Sixth Circle of Infernus with them, where they can be found in great numbers at the behest of Dagon.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Celtic Bestiary. Copyright 2023, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.

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