Mordant snares were created by war mages of ancient times. Each resembles an immense, dark gray, 11-armed starfish weighing eight tons, and yet a mordant snare is never obvious. Instead, it controls a few humanoids shuffling about aimlessly, their skin glistening with moisture, occasionally forming loose groups near the snare. These puppets pay little attention to their surroundings.
Starfish Puppet Masters. Snares bury themselves under loose soil to attack creatures walking above them. They attack by extruding filaments that inject acid into victims; this liquefies organs and muscle while leaving the skeleton, tendons, and skin intact. With the body thus hollowed out and refilled with acid and filaments, the mordant snare can control it from below like a puppet, creating a group of awkward, disoriented people. New victims fall prey to mordant snares when they approach to investigate.
Brains Preferred. The mordant snare prefers intelligent food. With its tremorsense, it can easily distinguish between prey; it prefers Small and Medium bipeds. A mordant snare hunts an area until it is empty, so a village can suffer tremendous losses or even be wiped out before discovering what’s happening. However, a mordant snare is intelligent enough to know that escaped victims may come back with friends, shovels, and weapons, ready for battle. When this occurs, the snare abandons its puppets, burrows deeper underground, and seeks a new home.
Cooperative Killers. Mordant snares are few in number and cannot reproduce. Since the secret of their creation was lost long ago, eventually they will disappear forever—until then, they cooperate well with each other, using puppets to lure victims to one another. A team is much more dangerous than a lone snare, and when three or more link up, they are especially deadly.
Gargantuan aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 264 (16d20 + 96)
Speed 10 ft., burrow 20 ft.
|23 (+6)||16 (+3)||22 (+6)||15 (+2)||14 (+2)||6 (-2)|
Skills Deception +8
Damage Resistances bludgeoning from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities acid
Condition Immunities prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Primordial
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)
Magic Resistance. The mordant snare has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Absorb Channeled Energy. If a mordant snare is in the area of effect of a turn undead attempt, it gains temporary hit points. For each mordant puppet that would have been affected by the turning if it were a zombie, the mordant snare gains 10 temporary hit points, to a maximum of 60.
Buried. Until it does something to reveal its presence, a buried mordant snare is treated as if it’s Invisible.
Mordant Puppets. A mordant snare can control up to four bodies per tentacle. These “puppets” look and move like zombies. Treat each one as a Zombie, but limited in movement to the 30-foot-by-30-foot area above the buried snare. Unlike normal zombies, any creature within 5 feet of a mordant puppet when the puppet takes piercing or slashing damage takes 3 (1d6) acid damage (spray from the wound). All puppets attached to a particular tentacle are destroyed if the mordant snare attacks with that tentacle; this does 9 (2d8) acid damage per puppet to all creatures within 5 feet of any of those puppets, or half damage with a successful DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. Damage done to puppet zombies doesn’t affect the mordant snare. If the snare is killed, all of its puppets die immediately without causing any acid damage.
Multiattack. The mordant snare makes four melee attacks, using any combination of tentacle attacks, spike attacks, and filament attacks. No creature can be targeted by more than one filament attack per turn.
Spike. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) piercing damage plus 3 (1d6) acid damage.
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage.