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Phlogiston Bush

Medium plant, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 32 (5d8 + 10)
Speed 0 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
17 (+3) 13 (+1) 14 (+2) 2 (–4) 12 (+1) 2 (–4)

Damage Resistances fire
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Special Traits

  • Death Throes. If a phlogiston bush is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, it explodes in a concussive blast of fire in a 10-foot radius. All creatures within the area must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 17 (5d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Actions

  • Multiattack. The phlogiston bush makes two attacks with its tendrils.
  • Tendrils. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (4d6 + 3) slashing damage.
  • Fire Bolt. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 40 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (3d6) fire damage.

About

This creature resembles a bush with silvery-green leaves and dark, twisted branches. The sweet smell of cinnamon lingers in the air around it. Four tendrils writhe and slash from its central form.

The phlogiston bush (known as a fire shrub by some sages) is an immobile plant found only in temperate regions. Phlogiston bushes gain nourishment from the body fluids and organs of living creatures, particularly the bones and muscle tissue of such creatures. Being plants, they do gain sustenance from sunlight and the soil, so they can go long periods of time (reportedly up to two weeks or so) without eating, but given the chance, a phlogiston bush catches and kills any living creature that wanders too close to it. These plants generate a pleasing odor noticeable to a range of about 30 feet. It uses this odor to lure semi-intelligent creatures (such as ordinary animals) into range where it can use its tendrils and fire bolt attack.

These plants rely on living creatures to spread, so on occasion, when not looking for a meal, a phlogiston bush releases a small blast of seedlings in a 5-foot cone directly in front of it. A creature in the area that fails a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check fails to observe that tiny seeds of silvery-green hue are clinging to its body. After 1d4 hours, the seedlings drop off and take root in the immediate area, blooming into a new phlogiston bush in just under 2 months.

A phlogiston bush lies dormant until unsuspecting prey comes within range. It then slashes with its tendrils or releases a single fire bolt at its opponent. In combat, the phlogiston bush attempts to grab its prey with a tendril. Grabbed prey is held until it escapes, dies, or the plant is killed. Creatures slain by a phlogiston bush are entwined in its tendrils and slowly digested over the next 6 to 8 hours until there is nothing left. (Digestive acids secreted from the plant break down the bones of the victim.) Being mindless, a phlogiston bush fights until either it or its prey is slain.

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