Large beast, neutral evil

Armor Class 15 (natural)
Hit Points 165 (22d10+44)
Speed 10 ft. Swim 60 ft.

20 (+5) 13 (+1) 15 (+2) 4 (-3) 10 (+0) 3 (-4)

Skills Stealth +5
Senses tremorsense 30 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)


  • Regeneration. The palkworm regenerates 10 hit points at the start of its turn as long as it has at least 1 hit point.
  • Tentacles. The creature has 4 tentacles that it uses both to sense its environment and to attack its prey. Each tentacle has AC 15 and 20 hit points. Damage to the tentacles does not reduce the creature’s hit points. If a tentacle is killed, the palkworm loses that attack. If all four tentacles are killed, the palkworm loses its tremorsense. The palkworm can regrow its tentacles in 24 hours.


  • Multiattack. The palkworm makes 4 attacks with its tentacles and one bite attack. If the creature is holding its target in its mouth, its bite automatically must be applied against whatever it is holding.
  • Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) bludgeoning damage. If the palkworm does not have a creature in its mouth, then its tentacles will attempt to grapple each target. The target must make a Dexterity save (DC of 15) or be grappled by the tentacle. Any creature grappled by a tentacle at the beginning of the palkworm’s turn can be moved 10 feet towards the mouth.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d12+5) piercing damage and the target is grappled by the mouth. On its turn, the target can attempt to escape the grapple with a DC 15 escape attempt. If the target succeeds, they break the grapple but suffer 6 (1d12) slashing damage from tearing away from the creature’s teeth. If the creature has a target grappled in its first mouth at the beginning of its turn, then its second mouth will automatically bite the target, doing 18 (3d8+5) piercing damage and increasing the escape DC to 18. Further, if the creature does succeed in using an action to escape, it takes 11 (1d12+1d8) slashing damage. If the target is held by the second mouth at the beginning of the palkworm’s turn, then the third mouth automatically bites for 15 (3d6+5). After this, the palkworm will try to swallow the target. If a target is unconscious and medium-sized or smaller, it is swallowed and suffers an automatic failure on its death save each turn while swallowed. A conscious creature can avoid being swallowed. The palkworm will bite with its third mouth doing 15 (3d6+5) damage every turn once it’s holding the creature until it can finally swallow it.


The palkworm is a creature of the old world. When full-grown, the beast’s tubular body is easily 5 feet in diameter and 20 feet long, though larger specimens have been found. Its mouth is a simple affair, with rows of serrated fangs that bend in deadly curves into the creature’s maw, allowing few to escape once caught. It has no eyes, nor nose, but rather feels its way through four long, rope-like tentacles that spring from hardened coxa on its torso. These grow to 30 feet in length and serve as weapons, means of locomotion, and the creature’s eyes and ears to the world. Four squid-like arms, line with suckers, cap the palkworm’s tail end, giving it further means of movement as well as stabilizing the beast in the slippery environs that it calls home.

Bound to Water. The worm begins its life in any small body of stagnant water, usually a pond or pool. Where muck gathers, from animal droppings, dead foliage, or the carcass of some fallen creature the worm thrives, borne thereupon the foul wind of dark deeds. The microbe feeds upon the muck and grows until it’s the size of a tadpole, at which point it grows at tremendous speeds, devouring all that it comes into contact. Within a few months of being deposited the palkworm is full-grown. They are as common above ground as below but are bound to the pond that gave them birth for they cannot live without water.

Ambush Predators. They dwell deep in the muck, burrowing into the bottom of the pond, allowing only a tentacle to or two to linger above the water, sensing prey that comes along. It is voraciously hungry and attacks everything that comes within reach of its pond. They sense vibrations, and when anything approaches the edge of the pond, the creature uses its rear appendage to pull and launch itself from the water, and its tentacle-arms to reach for a grapple its foe. Once it has grabbed a foe it pulls the creature to its mouth where it bites it and then begins to slide back under the pond.

Sunburn. Long exposure to the sun dries their skin and eventually kills them. This usually takes several weeks if not a month. Those who are able, and have the time, fight the creature by draining its pond, but such things are deadly challenges. Occasionally their carcasses are found in dried-out ponds where drought did man’s work.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5th Edition Monsters & Treasure of Airhde, 1st Printing, Copyright 2021, Troll Lord Games; Author Stephen Chenault & Jason Vey

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page