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Nuckalavee

Large aberration, chaotic evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 84 (8d10 + 40)
Speed 50 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 15 (+2) 20 (+5) 8 (–1) 15 (+2) 14 (+2)

Skills Perception +5, Stealth +5, Survival +5
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Sylvan
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Special Traits

  • Charge. If the nuckalavee moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a greataxe attack, that target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the nuckalavee can make one attack with its hooves against it as a bonus action.
  • Horrific Appearance. Any creature that starts its turn within 20 feet of the nuckalavee must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened until the start of its next turn. If a creature’s saving throw is successful, the creature is immune to the nuckalavee’s horrific appearance for the next 24 hours.
  • Magic Resistance. The nuckalavee has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magic effects.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The nuckalavee makes four attacks: two with its greataxe, one bite attack, and one attack with its hooves.
  • Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage.
  • Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4 + 5) piercing damage.
  • Poisonous Breath (Recharge 5–6). The nuckalavee exhales a cloud of caustic gas in a 20-foot cone. Creatures in this area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

About

A large skinless warhorse ridden by a similarly skinless rider approaches. As it nears, one can clearly see the rider growing straight out of the creature’s back. The monster’s internal organs, veins that carry its blackened blood, and corded muscles are all easily seen by one viewing the creature. A thin layer of reddish mucus covering its body gives off a putrid odor. Its eyes are stark white, while those of the rider are a hellish red. Its body is hairless save for its bushy, matted, and bloodstained horse-like tail.

An evil woodland creature that hates most other life is a good description of the nuckalavee. An evil woodland creature that kills all that cross its path, eats their flesh, and drinks their liquefied organs is an even better description of the nuckalavee. Nuckalavee are fearsome, aggressive combatants that relish the savagery and butchery of melee combat.

The true origin of the nuckalavee is shrouded in mystery and has been lost over time. Some believe it to be the offspring of a demon or devil and a female centaur. Others say the nuckalavee is the result of a curse placed upon a tribe of centaurs centuries ago by a mad and evil sorcerer.

Whatever their origin, the nuckalavee is a deadly opponent, capable of felling even the mightiest of warriors.

Nuckalavee sustain themselves on a diet of flesh, blood, and liquefied organs. They digest no other foods or liquids (at least from what is known about these creatures). Prey is often captured or killed and dragged back to its lair where it is devoured. The typical nuckalavee lair is a crude structure formed of dirt, mud, and foliage. Contents range from bones, to rotting organs and flesh, to the treasure of those it has dragged back to its lair to feed upon. Often a lair contains a female and 1d2 young. Young nuckalavee resemble adults in all aspects, save they are smaller in size.

Nuckalavee relish the adrenaline of combat. They love the taste, sight, and smell of blood and seek to bleed their opponents as often and as much as they can. The “rider” always employs a bladed weapon (most often a longsword or greataxe) to deal damage, while the equine part of the nuckalavee slashes with its sharpened hoofs and bites with its razor-sharp teeth.

The nuckalavee opens combat with its poisonous breath, seeking to liquefy the organs of its foes before it moves to strike with hooves, bite, and weapon. They rarely attack from ambush, relishing in the fear their appearance strikes in the heart of opponents.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Horrors © 2018, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors: Kevin Baase, Erica Balsley, John “Pexx” Barnhouse, Christopher Bishop, Casey Christofferson, Jim Collura, Andrea Costantini, Jayson ‘Rocky’ Gardner, Zach Glazar, Meghan Greene, Scott Greene, Lance Hawvermale, Travis Hawvermale, Ian S. Johnston, Bill Kenower, Patrick Lawinger, Rhiannon Louve, Ian McGarty, Edwin Nagy, James Patterson, Nathan Paul, Patrick N. Pilgrim, Clark Peterson, Anthony Pryor, Greg Ragland, Robert Schwalb, G. Scott Swift, Greg A. Vaughan, and Bill Webb