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Dullahan

The dullahan are fey creatures that some find frightening, referring to them as ‘headless horsemen.’ They appear to be decapitated, yet still living, human beings who carry their own heads under their arms.

What’s more, these heads are still animated, though they appear decayed, with an unnaturally large, toothy grin. Their detached heads can still see, hear, and speak, and even eat and drink, the sustenance somehow passing into the dullahan despite the disconnection. Despite their monstrous appearance, these creatures are not always evil, though these gentler individuals nevertheless have trouble finding anyone who does not flee from them in fear.

Ancestral Traits

Your dullahan character has several unique and unusual traits gained from your fey ancestry.

Age. The dullahan are ageless, coming into being fully formed from the twisted magic of the plane of Faerie.

Size. The dullahan human in size and weight. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base speed is 30 feet.

Senses. Darkvision. The fey ancestry and supernatural nature of their heads likely explain the dullahan’s superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Fearsome Mien. The headless form and rotting head strikes fear into the hearts of many who see the dullahan. As an action, you can menace one creature who can see you within 30 feet. They must make a Wisdom saving through with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency score + your Charisma modifier. On a failure, the creature is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

Fey Creature. The dullahan are fey beings. Your creature type is Fey.

Headless Enchantment. Because of the dullahan’s unusual physiology, they cannot be beheaded or choked. What’s more, if they so choose, they can leave their heads in a location and see, hear, and smell what occurs there, while the rest of their body remains insensate, apart from touch. The dullahan always know the locations of their heads, as long as they are on the same plane of existence.

Cultural Traits

The dullahan are rare indeed, so the opportunity for them to form communities rarely arises. Indeed, for the most part, they are shunned by other communities and, so, adopt the life of a hermit or wanderer. Occasionally, a few dullahan form groups with each other and other accepting souls. When they do, they tend to exhibit the following traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2 and your Charisma by 1.

Alignment. Despite what people think, the dullahan are not inherently evil. Rather, a life of being shunned and feared sometimes pushes some individuals to embrace the perception. More generally, because they so often are forced into lives of solitude, or perhaps in part because of their unseelie fey origins, many dullahan tend toward chaos.

Expert Horsework. Because the dullahan must always carry their heads, they have developed expertise in riding with one or no hands. You have proficiency in the Animal Handling skill and can ride as easily without hands as most people can with one or even two.

The Way is Open. Folklore says that no lock can stop the dullahan. Perhaps because of this, many dullahan teach other how to make it appear true. You have proficiency with Thieves’ Tools.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Sylvan, and Abyssal.

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