The black horse strides out of the shadows with its nostrils huffing steam. Its rider, swathed in black leather, raises his arm to reveal not a lantern but its own severed, grinning head.
Though it appears to be a headless rider astride a black horse, the dullahan is a single creature. The fey spirit takes the shape of the rider holding its own head aloft like a lantern, or (more rarely) the form of an ogre cradling its head in one arm.
Harbingers of Death. Hailing from the darkest of fey courts, the dullahan are macabre creatures that walk hand in hand with death. They sometimes serve powerful fey lords and ladies, riding far and wide in the capacity of a herald, bard, or ambassador. More often than not they carry doom to a wretch who roused their lord’s ire.
Relentless Nature. The dullahan doesn’t require food, drink, or sleep.
Large fey, lawful evil
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 178 (17d10 + 85)
Speed 60 ft.
|19 (+4)||18 (+4)||20 (+5)||13 (+1)||15 (+2)||17 (+3)|
Skills Intimidation +7, Perception +6, Persuasion +7, Survival +6
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities necrotic
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, exhaustion
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
Baleful Glare. When a creature that can see the eyes of the dullahan’s severed head starts its turn within 30 feet of the dullahan, the dullahan can force it to make a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw if the dullahan isn’t incapacitated and can see the creature. On a failed save, the creature is Frightened until the start of its next turn. While frightened in this way the creature must move away from the dullahan, and can only use its action to Dash. If the creature is affected by the dullahan’s Deathly Doom trait, it is Restrained while frightened instead.
Unless surprised, a creature can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If the creature does so, it can’t see the dullahan until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If the creature looks at the dullahan in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.
Deathly Doom (1/Day). As a bonus action, the dullahan magically dooms a creature. The dullahan knows the direction to the doomed creature as long as it is on the same plane.
Innate Spellcasting. The dullahan’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). The dullahan can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material or somatic components:
Relentless Advance. The dullahan is unaffected by difficult terrain, and can ride over water and other liquid surfaces.
Multiattack. The dullahan makes two attacks with its spine whip.
Spine Whip. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) slashing damage plus 10 (3d10) necrotic damage. If the target is a creature it must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be wracked with pain and fall Prone.
Seal the Doom. The dullahan points at a creature marked by Deathly Doom within 40 feet than it can see. The creature must succeed at a DC 15 Constitution saving throw against this magic or immediately drop to 0 hit points. A creature that successfully saves is immune to this effect for 24 hours.
Interposing Glare. When the dullahan is hit by a melee attack it can move its severed head in front of the attacker’s face. The attacker is affected by the dullahan’s Baleful Glare immediately. If the creature is averting its eyes this turn, it must still make the save, but does so with advantage.