Veenlijk

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 112 (15d8 + 45)
Speed 25 ft., swim 25 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 13 (+1) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 14 (+2)

Skills Religion +5, Perception +6, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances cold; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities exhaustion, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages any languages it knew in life
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Breathsense. The veenlijk can magically pinpoint the locations of breathing creatures within 30 feet of it.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The veenlijk’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 14). The veenlijk can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
  • Peat-Fire Immolation. The veenlijk’s body is highly flammable, and when ignited it becomes a smoky conflagration. When the veenlijk takes fire or radiant damage, it catches fire unless it is already on fire. While on fire, it takes 9 (2d8) fire damage at the start of each of its turns. When it takes this damage, each creature within 5 feet of it takes the same amount of fire damage. Additionally, the area within 10 feet of the veenlijk is heavily obscured. A creature can use an action to extinguish the fire. The fire is also extinguished if the veenlijk is submerged in liquid.
  • Swamp Dweller. The veenlijk ignores difficult terrain caused by swamp features. Additionally, the veenlijk has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks while in swamps.
  • Undead Nature. The veenlijk doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The veenlijk makes two seize attacks. The veenlijk can replace one of those attacks with Out of the Mists.
  • Seize. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the target can’t breathe or speak, and the veenlijk can’t seize a different creature.
  • Out of the Mists. If the veenlijk is in an area obscured by mist or smoke, it moves up to its speed and makes a seize attack with advantage.

ABOUT

Certain bog-dwelling druids reverentially tell stories of primordial veenlijken, whom they regard as supernatural manifestations of the cycle of life and death in a swamp.

The most ardent devotees of such radical beliefs dwell on the outskirts of veenlijken hunting grounds, luring travelers and adventurers into the swamp and personally abetting the primordial veenlijk’s wicked ceremonies.

A veenlijk comes into being when a humanoid is strangled to death and its corpse is disposed of in a swamp. The victim’s spirit, which is too anguished to move on, and its body, preserved by the swamp’s acids, harden into an undead creature whose sole motive is to haunt its sodden domain.

Some veenlijken are the result of murder or foul play, while others rise in the wake of sacrificial rites to swamp-dwelling gods and other occult powers. When the veenlijk rises, it may at first seek to avenge its death, hunting down anyone it deems complicit in its terrible fate. Dim-witted by death, however, most veenlijken end up indiscriminately targeting anyone who happens to cross their path. Particularly old or cunning veenlijken purposefully set up environmental traps, using magic to conceal quicksand and other hazards that might aid in their ambushes.

The most sinister veenlijken truly embrace their undeath, believing themselves destined to be the unholy protectors of their boggy demesnes. Such a veenlijk might lead its own elaborate rituals centered on human sacrifice-unholy rites modeled after its own undead genesis.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlezoo Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Authors: William Fischer, Stephen Glicker, Paul Hughes, Patrick Renie, Sen.H.H.S., and Mark Seifter.

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