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Skerrai, Mature

Medium monstrosity, neutral evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 71 (13d8 + 13)
Speed 30 ft.

Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
16 (+3) 14 (+2) 12 (+1) 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 16 (+3)

Saving Throws Wis +4, Cha +5
Skills Insight +4, Intimidation +5, Perception +4
Damage Resistances cold, psychic
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Abyssal, Draconic, Primordial, Titan Speech; telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Special Traits

  • Implantation. On a successful sting attack against a creature, the skerrai may implant the target with a larval skerrai, which burrows itself into the creature’s body, eating the host alive. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw to overcome the larval infestation. On a failure, the target suffers 1d4 Constitution loss after one minute, repeating that loss every minute thereafter until the host dies. A lesser restoration spell or similar magic can end the infestation, though the caster must succeed on a DC 14 caster ability check (made at disadvantage due to the larva’s magic resistance) to do so. Spells and magical effects that restore hit points to the victim also require a DC 14 caster ability check to function while the larva is still infesting the target. If the victim is reduced to 0 Constitution while infected, the larval skerrai bursts from its body and scurries to safety. They become fully grown within a year. An average skerrai has 2d6 larva ready to inject, and their body replenishes this larval stock in just over a week.
  • Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The skerrai’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell attack +5, spell save DC 13). They can cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • Magic Resistance. The skerrai has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the skerrai has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The skerrai makes one spear attack and one sting attack.
  • Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage, or 7 (1d8 + 3) if used with two hands.
  • Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage.
  • Mind Blast (Recharge 6). The skerrai discharges a wave of psionic energy in a 60-foot cone. Each creature within the area must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom save or be stunned for 2d4 rounds.

About

A humanoid torso, arms, and head, covered in chitinous plating, jut up from a scorpion-like body. Multifaceted eyes glare out above its crimson mandibles while the creature’s stinger flits about, constantly seeking a target. The skerrai’s malevolence seethes from it like a palpable cloud.

Skerrai are asexual creatures that reproduce by injecting larvae into living hosts who they rapidly devour from the inside. Indeed, this accelerated birthing process reflects the brisk pace of skerrai life. Cities beneath the surface teem with hundreds of bustling skerrai. Those who have witnessed it liken a skerrai hold to a kicked anthill — if each ant was determined to overpower anything that it encountered, including the other ants. Vying for more power is key in skerrai society. In the near-constant struggle for dominance, losing can mean death or exile — even for tribal leaders and communities. And though skerrai detest losing to one another, it is inexcusable for a skerrai to fall to one of the lesser races that they overpower and enslave. It is a twist of irony that such foes (lesser beings who have slain skerrai) are sought out fervently to become host to skerrai larvae.

Skerrai society consists of a convoluted caste system, though a role does not always elevate one skerrai over others.

Scholars have argued endlessly over the logic of the system, though many agree that perhaps it is more survival of the fittest than an ordered system. Those who have defeated the most enemies, or defeated the most rivals within their society, seem to hold more power. No visible markings or identifiers have been found to prove this, though the skerrai seem to instinctively sense who leads and who follows. Roles that stand out are bonebreakers (who watch over slaves and punish their mistake, and are especially ferocious and deadly combatants) and the mindsingers (whose psionic abilities make them a boon for other skerrai during combat, as well as horrid foes themselves).

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Frostlands of Fenrilik © 2020 Travis Legge