This creature is a hairless, pale-skinned humanoid with leathery white, semitranslucent flesh. It is a bit taller than an average human, with features that are delicate and precise. The creature’s arms and legs are spindly, and each ends in just four digits. It has an alarmingly long tongue and small eyes, with nictitating membranes.
Medium aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 65 (10d8 + 20)
Speed 30 ft.
|12 (+1)||16 (+3)||14 (+2)||21 (+5)||15 (+2)||15 (+2)|
- Adrenal Surge (2/day): Twice per day as a bonus action, an encephalon gorger can accelerate itself so that it gains speed 60 ft. and AC 15, it gets advantage on Dex saving throws, and it can take one additional action on its turns. This effect lasts 1d4 rounds.
- Combat Mobility: Opportunity attacks against a moving encephalon gorger always have disadvantage.
- Mind Screen: The mind of an encephalon gorger is an alien and dangerous place. Should a creature attempt to scan the mind or read the thoughts of an encephalon gorger with magic or psionics (not just gauging intent with Insight skill), the creature making the attempt must make a successful DC 16 Int saving throw or be driven insane (Intelligence and Wisdom both reduced to 3). Even on a successful save, the creature suffers the effects of a confusion spell for 1d4 rounds.
- Mindsense: An encephalon gorger instinctively senses the Intelligence of any creature within 60 feet.
- Regeneration: At the start of its turn, an encephalon recovers 5 lost hit points. This ability fails to function if the creature took psychic damage since its previous turn.
- Multiattack: An encephalon gorger attacks twice with claws or once with mindfeed. A claw used to maintain a grapple can’t attack.
- Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 11 (2d8 + 3) slashing damage and the target is grappled.
- Mindfeed: Melee Weapon Attack: Automatic hit (one creature already grappled by the encephalon at the start of its turn). Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) Psychic damage and the encephalon gains 5 temporary hit points. The target must also make a successful DC 15 Int saving throw or lose 1 point of Intelligence. All drained Intelligence is recovered if greater restoration or comparable magic is used on the victim within 24 hours of the loss. After 24 hours, each casting of greater restoration restores just one point of Intelligence.
Encephalon gorgers (sometimes known as cranial vampires or psilians) are malevolent creatures from another dimension. They are greatly feared by intelligent creatures, because they use brain fluid to power the bizarre, alien technology of their great cities. Encephalons are known to have constructed strongholds and outposts on the Material Plane for the purpose of collecting brain fluid. It is unknown when they first came to the Material Plane or where their true home lies.
Encephalon gorgers dislike direct sunlight, though they aren’t harmed by it. When traveling in daylight, they usually cloak themselves in robes of gray or black. The gorger’s leathery, whitish flesh is nearly translucent, and in older encephalon gorgers one can faintly see veins and other organs pushing grayish-brown blood through the body. They are completely hairless, and their eyes are small with nictitating membranes instead of eyelids. A psilian’s mouth is lined with short, needlelike teeth, with pronounced canines (perhaps the reason these monsters are sometimes called cranial vampires).
In combat, encephalon gorgers focus on targets with the most potent brains (i.e., those with the highest Intelligence) in an effort to sink their teeth into the brain and suck out the precious cranial fluid. They do not drink this cranial fluid but rather store it in organs similar to a snake’s poison glands. Back at their base, the cranial fluid is expelled into the weird, arcane machinery that is so vital to the life-pulse of an encephalon city.
Self-preservation is high on the encephalons’ list of virtues, so they take few risks in combat. When encountering groups of adventurers, they’ve been known to make use of enslaved humanoids and trained beasts of many types to keep enemy warriors occupied while the encephalons deal with the most prized targets. If an encephalon can capture a highly intelligent foe and spirit it away from its allies without risking an all-out battle, it will do so. Captured prey is taken to one of the encephalons’ bewildering cities, where it is handed over to other encephalons who tend the slave pits.
Although spellcasting encephalon gorgers are rare, they have been encountered.
Encephalon gorgers refer to themselves as psilians. Outposts in the Material Plane tend to be constructed beneath the surface world or hidden far from prying eyes (cloaked by dense forest, frequent fog, or hidden by magic). Underground lairs resemble domed cities, while those on the surface resemble iron fortresses of exquisite craftsmanship. Each lair, regardless of its location, has dozens of slave pits and breeding pens filled with captured, intelligent creatures. Slaves are maintained by a specialized group of psilians called breeders. It is their job to gauge the relative worth of captives and manage them to ensure that as much precious cranial fluid as possible is harvested from each before its inevitable death.
Encephalon gorgers sometimes trade with other races, usually for slaves. While most slaves are handed over to the breeders for harvesting, less intelligent ones (Intelligence 7 or lower) are conditioned for menial work or as bodyguards and footsoldiers. Once any slave exhausts its usefulness, it is recycled as food for both the encephalons and other slaves.
Little is known regarding the gorger’s society, reproduction, life cycle, lifespan, and so on. Most of what little is known comes from hardened adventurers who were captured and enslaved but managed to escape before too much damage was done to their minds.
Fifth Edition Foes, Copyright 2014, Frog God Games, LLC.