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Cave Shrike

Huge ooze, unaligned

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
21 (+5) 5 (-3) 18 (+4) 2 (-4) 2 (-4) 2 (-4)

Armor Class 7
Hit Points 105 (10d12 + 40)
Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft.
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, prone
Senses blindsight 120 ft., passive Perception 6
Languages
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Special Traits

  • Sticky Tentacles. Any weapon used to attack the cave shrike’s tentacles, including natural weapons, has a chance of becoming stuck to the tentacle. The wielder must succeed at a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or their weapon becomes glued to the tentacle. The cave shrike can selectively dissolve its natural adhesive at will, and the adhesive on the tentacles degrades 10 minutes after the creature dies.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The cave shrike makes four tentacle attacks.
  • Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 100 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage. Creatures struck by the tentacle are grappled and restrained (escape DC 15). At the start of the cave shrike’s turn it lifts all creatures held in its tentacles 30 feet. Tentacles can be targeted individually at disadvantage and one must suffer 12 points of slashing damage to be severed.

Tactics

The cave shrike’s method of attack is simple — pick up a victim and drop it from a great height, usually 80 to 100 feet. Each tentacle is easily strong enough to lift 200 pounds, and they can combine to lift heavier prey. It will try to disarm any warriors and then attack them directly.

Description

The disgusting creature has a quivering, protoplasmic central body ringed with a number of slimy elastic tentacles.

Hunting tentacles. The cave shrike is a horrific denizen of the deepest subterranean caverns. Its tentacles can reach victims up to 100 feet away. It has three large eyes spaced equidistantly around the central body that swivel around in the darkness constantly searching for prey. Cavern explorers who were attacked by one of these things and misinterpreted its attempts to feed as the attacks of cave-dwelling birds named them cave shrikes.

Hidden hunters. Cave shrikes are rare and hideous creatures that ooze their way onto high ceilings of caverns, hiding in the primeval darkness where no torchlight can reach and waiting patiently for animals, vermin, and other cave dwellers to pass below. The creature then grabs its intended prey swiftly in one or more ropey tentacles and pulls it high into the air before dropping it on the many stalagmites that rise sharply from the cavern floor. Once the impaled victim expires, the cave shrike picks the rotting corpse apart, absorbing bits of the victim through the jelly-like membrane of its central body.

Worshiped as gods. Stories persist of tribes of goblins or kobolds that worship cave shrikes as gods, creating their homes under the monster’s shadow and providing it with sacrifices form the outside world. Of course, the veracity of such tales is to be questioned, given the mindless nature of such a creature — why would it not devour the goblins as it would any other creature?

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