This continues the Dark Sun Bestiary series. This time, I’m taking on the ugly monsters at the end of the Wanderer’s Journal from the Second Edition Dark Sun Campaign Setting Boxed Set.
At first sight, the belgoi appear human—and then you notice the long claws on the end of their fingers, their puckered, toothless mouths, and their webbed, three-toed feet. They are a race of ignorant demihumans who dwell in the most forlorn wastes of Athas. They have a taste for the flesh of intelligent races and no ruler will tolerate them within five day’s travel of his city.
Belgoi usually attack by sneaking up on their victim’s camp and selecting a juicy looking target. Each belgoi rings a small bell that allows it to make contact with its victim, then attempts to use domination to take over the victim’s body and have him leave camp, or attraction to lure the victim into the darkness. If the belgoi’s contact is successful, only the victim can hear the bell, but if it fails, then the entire party hears it.
When a battle starts to go against the belgoi, they will flee and fetch replacements for any of their fallen comrades, then return a short time later to attack again. Therefore, battles with belgoi often turn into long, running fights that last for many days. The only way to prevent the belgoi from returning time after time is to kill them all before they have a chance to escape.
Basically, the belgoi form huge raiding tribes and behave as such. They tend to make their homes in forlorn parts of the desert, but journey forth in great numbers to harass the trading routes, settled villages, and anywhere else they can find a plentiful
supply of poorly defended people.
Belgoi hosts tend to move in small parties of 1-10 individuals. When they encounter likely-looking prey, the scouting party usually attacks, looking to its own dinner first. If they have stumbled across a large group, however, they will fetch other members of their tribe and return to attack with greater numbers.
Belgoi often leave the land barren and desolate behind them, stripped of all animal and vegetable life. They are second only to the foulest of defilers in the destruction they cause to the world about them.
Medium humanoid (belgoi), lawful evil
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 37 (5d8 + 15)
Speed 30 ft.
Abilities Str 18 (+4), Dex 16 (+3), Con 16 (+3), Int 8 (-1), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 7 (-2)
Skills Athletics +6, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Damage Immunities psychic
Condition Immunities charmed
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Mental Defenses. The belgoi is immune to any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, including divination spells. Even wish spells and spells or effects of similar power cannot affect the belgoi’s mind or gain information about it.
Multiattack. The belgoi makes two claw attacks.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4 + 4) slashing damage plus 4 (1d6 + 1) psychic damage, and the creature’s hit points are reduced by an amount equal to the psychic damage taken.
Mindblast (Recharge 5-6). The belgoi magically emits psychic energy in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 13 Intelligence saving throw or take 10 (2d8 + 1) psychic damage and be stunned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Psychic Bell. The belgoi rings its bell, targeting one creature within 120 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed while the belgoi rings its bell. The belgoi must use a bonus action on its subsequent turns to continue ringing its bell. The ringing stops if the belgoi is incapacitated or disarmed of its bell.
While charmed by the belgoi, a target is incapacitated and deafened; it can only hear the belgoi’s bell. If the charmed target is more than 5 feet away from the belgoi, the target must move on its turn toward the belgoi by the most direct route, trying to get within 5 feet. It doesn’t avoid opportunity attacks, but before moving into damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit, and whenever it takes damage from a source other than the belgoi, the target can repeat the saving throw. A charmed target can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If the saving throw is successful, the effect ends for it.
If a target succeeds on its initial saving throw, every creature within 60 feet of the belgoi can hear its bell and the belgoi loses this ability for the next 24 hours.
It is difficult to tell whether the braxat are of mammalian or reptilian stock. Their backs are covered with thick, articulated shells, their heads have a squarish lizard-like shape giving them a reptilian appearance, and the crowns of their heads are defended by three to five horny protrusions. At the same time, they walk upright on two feet, can speak with a human-like voice, have a fully opposable thumb, and are warm-blooded.
Braxat are hunters by nature, and their fighting tactics reflect this. They will often use psionic attacks in an attempt to disable their opponents and reduce the risk to themselves.
After attacking psionically, the braxat wade into hand-to-hand combat, usually carrying a massive spiked club. They use their breath weapon only as a last resort, for it tends to render the prey unsuitable for consumption.
Braxat suffer damage only when hit by steel weapons or those with a magical enchantment upon them. All other weapons glance off of them harmlessly, although they may be knocked prone or otherwise affected by them.
Braxats are found throughout Athas, wandering the forlorn wastes in search of prey. They are usually solitary creatures, but may rarely be found in mated pairs (in this case, the young are usually safely hidden away in a remote cavern).
Braxat are true terrors of the desert, usually attacking at night in search of fresh meat. Although they will eat caravan mounts on occasion (with the exception of kanks), they prefer intelligent races.
Braxat shells make excellent shields and armor plates. Because of this, they are sometimes hunted by other creatures living near them. Because of the power of the braxat, however, would-be hunters often find the tables turned upon them and end up the targets of a deadly ambush.
Huge monstrosity, neutral evil
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 162 (12d12 + 84)
Speed 40 ft
Abilities Str 25 (+7), Dex 13 (+1), Con 24 (+7), Int 13 (+1), Wis 18 (+4), Cha 15 (+2)
Saving Throws Int +5, Wis +8, Cha +6
Damage Resistances fire
Damage Immunities acid; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagic attacks not made with steel weapons
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)
Aggressive. As a bonus action, the braxat can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The braxat’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 16). The braxat can cast the following spells without requiring material components.
- At will: mage hand (the hand is invisible), hypnotic pattern, message, shield
- 1/day: Bigby’s hand (the hand is invisible), mislead, power word stun
Mental Defenses. The braxat is immune to any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, including divination spells. Even wish spells and spells or effects of similar power cannot affect the braxat’s mind or gain information about it.
Multiattack. The braxat makes two melee attacks.
Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage.
Acid Breath (Recharge 6). The braxat emits a 15-foot cone of acid. Each creature in the area must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) acid damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Dragon of Tyr
Fortunately, there is only one dragon in the Tyr Region, and perhaps in the entire world of Athas. It is tall and thin, with a gnarled bone structure and swollen, bulbous joints. Its appearance is reptilian in many ways: it has a long, snake-like neck, whip-like tail, and scaly hide. Yet it walks on two legs, its hands have long, well-developed fingers and thumbs, its bone structure seems faintly humanoid, and its head is long and narrow, with a distinctly mammalian appearance.
The dragon wanders over all parts of Athas, usually alone. Occasionally, it visits a sorcerer-king, leaving disaster and chaos in its wake.
Dragon of Tyr
Gargantuan dragon, lawful evil
Armor Class 22 (natural armor)
Hit Points 499 (27d20 + 216)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., fly 90 ft.
Abilities Str 27 (+8), Dex 12 (+1), Con 26 (+8), Int 20 (+5), Wis 19 (+4), Cha 27 (+8)
Skills Arcana +13, Perception +20, Stealth +9
Saving Throws Dex +9, Con +16, Int +13, Wis +12, Cha +16
Damage Immunities acid, fire, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 30
Languages Common, Draconic, Primordial, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 28 (120,000 XP)
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The Dragon of Tyr’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 24, +16 to hit with spell attack). The dragon can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- At will: Bigby’s hand (the hand is invisible), clairvoyance, gaseous form, gust of wind, shield, telekinesis, vampiric touch
- 3/day: power word stun, scrying
- 1/day: antilife shell, foresight, forcecage, time stop
Spellcasting. The dragon is a 20th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 24, +16 to hit with spell attacks). It has the following sorcerer spells prepared:
- Cantrips (at will): acid splash, blade ward, firebolt, minor illusion, prestidigitation, true strike
- 1st Level (4 slots): charm person, sleep
- 2nd Level (3 slots): hold person, ray of enfeeblement
- 3rd Level (3 slots): fear, hypnotic pattern
- 4th Level (3 slots): confusion, dimension door
- 5th Level (3 slots): hold monster, wall of stone
- 6th Level (2 slots): mass suggestion
- 7th Level (2 slots): finger of death, teleport
- 8th Level (1 slot): dominate monster
- 9th Level (1 slot): power word kill
Sorcery Points. The dragon has 20 sorcery points. It regains all its spent sorcery points when it finishes a long rest. It can use its sorcery points on the following options:
- Distant Spell. When the dragon casts a spell that has a range of 5 feet or greater, it can spend 1 sorcery point to double the range of the spell. If the dragon casts a spell that has a range of touch, it can spend 1 sorcery point to make the range of the spell 30 feet.
- Extended Spell. When the dragon casts a spell that has a duration of 1 minute or longer, it can spend 1 sorcery point to double its duration, to a maximum duration of 24 hours.
- Quickened Spell. When the dragon casts a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, it can spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting.
- Twinned Spell. When the dragon casts a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, it can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip). To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level.
Defilement. When the dragon casts a sorcery spell, all nonmagical plantlife within the area of defilement instantly wilt, die and turn to ash. The area of the defilement is a sphere centered on the dragon, with a radius equal to 10 feet per level of the spell cast. For example, if the dragon casts reverse gravity, all nonmagical plant life within a 70-foot radius sphere centered on the dragon die. The dragon’s cantrips and psionic powers do not cause defilement.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Limited Magic Immunity. The dragon can’t be affected or detected by spells of 5th level or lower unless it wishes to be. It has advantage on saving throws against all other spells and magical effects.
Mental Defenses. The dragon is immune to any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, including divination spells. Even wish spells and spells or effects of similar power cannot affect the dragon’s mind or gain information about it.
Multiattack. The dragon makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (2d10 + 8) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 22 (4d6 + 8) slashing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +16 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage.
Scorching Sand Breath (Recharge 6). The dragon exhales scorching hot sand in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 24 Dexterity saving throw, taking 78 (12d12) fire damage plus 78 (12d12) bludgeoning damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much damage on a successful one.
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
At-Will Spell. The dragon casts one of its at-will spells.
Detect. The dragon makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Psionic Attack. The dragon uses one of its at-will psionic powers.
Tail Attack. The dragon makes a tail attack.
Dune Freak (Anakore)
The anakore are a race of dimwitted humanoids with bony, wedgelike heads, small ears dressed close to the sides of their heads and sunken, beady eyes covered by clear membranes to prevent sand from scratching these delicate tissues.
The bright light of Athas’ sun blinds the anakore during the day, but at night they can see as clearly as most beings do during the day. The anakore do not have infravision, however; they do not see body heat. In complete darkness, they are as blind as any human. But if there is even the tiniest amount of light, such as from a star, they see very well.
The anakore have an unusual dorsal ridge running along their spine. This fin is actually a sensitive organ which picks up minute vibrations traveling through the sand. With it, they can locate a solitary creature walking on the sand from as far away as five miles.
The anakore live within any sandy heap, such as sand dunes or the alluvial fans at the mouths of the canyons. Normally, they travel and hunt in small packs of two to twelve individuals, with the largest, most aggressive acting as leader. They are rarely found outside of sandy areas, but they can walk upright across various kinds of terrain—though they are unusually vulnerable in this state and will avoid fighting at all costs.
The anakore are nomadic burrowers who are constantly moving through the sandy wastes of Athas. It is often possible to identify an area through which anakores have passed by the dead plants found there—the anakores chew the roots away, leaving the
upper stalks exposed. In addition to their diet of plant roots, the anakores also eat meat—mekillot, inix, erdlu, elf, dwarf, halfling, and nearly anything except kank.
Dune Freak (Anakore)
Medium humanoid, neutral evil
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 19 (3d8 + 6)
Speed 25 ft., burrow 40 ft.
Abilities Str 13 (+1), Dex 9 (-1), Con 14 (+2), Int 5 (-3), Wis 11 (+0), Cha 7 (-2)
Skills Athletics +3
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the dune freak has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Multiattack. The dune freak makes one claw attack and one bite attack.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature the dune freak is grappling. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become paralyzed until the end of its next turn.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) slashing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 13).
The gaj is a psionic horror. Physically, it appears as a large reptile resembling a beetle in appearance. Its body is covered by a scaly, rust-orange shell about six feet in diameter. From beneath this shell protrude six four-jointed legs which end in webbed feet with long, sharp claws.
Its head is a spongy white globe about two feet in diameter. Spaced at even intervals around the head are six compound eyes. A pair of barbed mandibles as long as a man’s arms flank six fingerlike appendages that hang over its mouth, and three feathery stalks
rise from the top of the head.
The gaj are solitary hunters that prey on other intelligent life forms. They prefer to live in rocky areas where their shells serve as camouflage, or in sandy areas where they can hide from predators in a shallow burrow. Most often, they are found alone, but occasionally mated pairs are encountered.
Like all carnivores, the gaj eat flesh to provide their bodies with physical energy. Unlike most other animals, however, the gaj derive their mental energy from the thoughts of other beings—through the effects of their probe powers. No matter where they live, the gaj are constantly using their feathery antennas to search the horizon with their psionic life detection powers for signs of their favorite prey—other intelligent races.
Large monstrosity, neutral evil
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 52 (7d10 + 14)
Speed 30 ft.
Abilities Str 15 (+2), Dex 13 (+1), Con 14 (+2), Int 11 (+0), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 13 (+1)
Skills Perception +8, Stealth +4
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagic attacks not made with metallic weapons
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Gaj, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The gaj’s spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 12). The gaj can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- At will: detect thoughts, sending, witch bolt
- 1/day: dominate person
Detect Intelligent Life. The gaj can sense the presence of creatures with Intelligence scores of 7 or higher up to 5 miles away that aren’t undead or constructs. It knows the direction they’re in but not their exact location.
Mental Defenses. The gaj is immune to any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, including divination spells. Even wish spells and spells or effects of similar power cannot affect the gaj’s mind or gain information about it.
Shell Retreat. As a bonus action, the gaj can pull its head and legs into its shell leaving only its mandibles exposed. While in its shell, it gains a +2 bonus to its AC and it is immune to critical hits, it can’t move, and it can’t use its innate spellcasting trait, antennae attack, or Modify Tactics action. On a subsequent turn, the gaj can use another bonus action to reemerge from its shell.
Stone Camouflage. The gaj has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in rocky terrain.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) slashing damage plus the target is grappled (escape DC 12). While the target is grappled, it is restrained, and the gaj can’t target another creature with its bite.
Antennae. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature the gaj is grappling. Hit: The gaj magically reads the target’s thoughts and the target’s Intelligence score is reduced by 1d4. The target becomes a mindless husk and is permanently incapacitated if this reduces its Intelligence to 0. When this happens, only a greater restoration spell or similar magic can restore its Intelligence. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest.
Modify Tactics (Psionics). The gaj takes the Dodge action. While dodging, the gaj studies a single target it can see within 60 feet of it. If the target attacks the gaj while it is studying the target, the gaj modifies its tactics to match the target’s fighting abilities. The gaj gains advantage on attack rolls and ability checks directed at the target, and the target’s attack rolls against the gaj are made with disadvantage. The effects last for one hour or until the gaj uses this ability to study another target.
Next: Athasian Giants, Athasian Gith, Jozhal, Silk Wyrms, and Tembos
Art by Wizards of the Coast