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The Desiccated One

Medium fey, chaotic neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (10d8 + 40)
Speed 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 14 (+2) 18 (+4) 17 (+3) 13 (+1) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Dex +5, Wis +4, Cha +7
Skills Deception +7, Insight +4, Perception +4
Damage Resistances acid, necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with cold iron weapons
Damage Immunities fire
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Trade Tongue, Elvish, Infernal, Umbral
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the Desiccated one fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.
  • Rejuvenation. If killed in a desert, the Desiccated one’s body reforms from the desert sands in 24 hours, regaining all his hit points and becoming active again. His new body appears anywhere within the desert confines of his realm. Only the complete removal of his body from the desert prevents this trait from functioning.
  • Sand Stride. The Desiccated one can burrow through nonmagical sand at his walking speed. While doing so, he doesn’t disturb the material he moves through. In addition, difficult terrain composed of sand doesn’t cost him extra movement.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The Desiccated one makes two attacks.
  • Desiccating Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage plus 10 (3d6) fire damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become cursed with the Desiccated one’s desiccation. While cursed, the target can’t regain hit points, and its hp maximum decreases by 10 (3d6) for every 24 hours that elapse. If the curse reduces the target’s hp maximum to 0, the target dies, and it rises 10 minutes later as an apaxrusl under the Desiccated one’s control. The curse lasts until removed by the remove curse spell or similar magic.
  • Searing Sand Bolt. Ranged Spell Attack: +7 to hit, range 120 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (4d6) fire damage.
  • Engulfing Sand Wave (Recharge 5–6). The Desiccated one releases a wave of rippling sand. Each creature within 20 feet of the Desiccated one must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage and is forced prone and buried. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t forced prone or buried. The buried target is restrained and unable to breathe or stand up. A creature, including the target, can take an action to make a DC 15 Strength check, ending the buried state on a success. The area becomes difficult terrain.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The Desiccated one can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Desiccated one regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Move. The Desiccated one moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Desiccating Touch (Costs 2 Actions). The Desiccated one uses his Desiccating Touch.
  • Blinding Sandstorm (Costs 3 Actions). The Desiccated one creates a whirling sandstorm in a 10-foot-radius, 40-foot-high cylinder centered on a point he can see within 60 feet of him. When a creature enters the area for the first time on a turn or starts its turn there, it must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute. Flying creatures have disadvantage on the saving throw. A blinded creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. The sandstorm lasts for 1 minute, until the Desiccated one uses this legendary action again, or until the Desiccated one dies.

REGIONAL EFFECTS

The desert creeps along with the Desiccated one wherever he goes, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • Sandstorms are common within 6 miles of the Desiccated one
  • If the Desiccated one spends 24 hours within 1 mile of a plant that is not acclimated to surviving in the desert, the plant wilts and dies at the end of the 24 hours
  • If the Desiccated one spends 1 week within 1 mile of an oasis pond or small lake, the body of water dries up at the end of the week
  • If the Desiccated one spends 1 month within 1 mile of a non-desert biome, the biome becomes a desert at the end of the month.

If the Desiccated one dies, plants that died don’t return to life, but the other effects fade over the course of 1d10 days.

ABOUT

Once a powerful and well-to-do fey lord, the Desiccated one had aspirations that were too high for his abilities. When his coup against a fey lady failed, the Desiccated one was stripped of his power and banished into the desert, where the lady believed he would perish. Weakened and dying, the Desiccated one reached deep within the wastelands around him, tying the power of the ley lines he found there to the very fiber of his being. While the effort twisted and marred his once-beautiful form, he found not only a fountain of life but new power at his fingertips. The sands now answer the call of the Desiccated One.

The Desiccated one controls an ever-growing army of apaxrusl (see page 268), which he can communicate with telepathically at any distance as long as they are within his desert. Able to speak through any of his minions’ mouths, the Desiccated one can also experience their senses. He also shares this connection with his zalikum (see page 278), named Hevn.

The desert has given him new power and granted him life, but the Desiccated one is trapped within its confines. He cannot leave the desert by any means, mundane or magical. With his powers, he is slowly pushing that barrier outward, covering the surrounding lands in sand. He strives for a future when he has regained his former power and can smother the fey courts in his sandy retribution.

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Southlands. © 2021 Open Design LLC. Authors: Richard Green with Wolfgang Baur, Basheer Ghouse, and Kelly Pawlik.