Sluagh Undead

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Celtic Border


Originally Posted by

Shade of the En World forums.

On this Thread

Tiny undead (Incorporeal, Swarm)
Hit Dice 8d12 (52 hp)
Initiative +4
Speed Fly 60 ft. (good)(12 squares)
Armor Class 20 (+2 size, +4 Dexterity, +2 deflection, +2 ghost touch heavy wooden shield), touch 18, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple +4/-
Attack Swarm (3d6 piercing)
Full Attack Swarm (3d6 piercing)
Space/Reach 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks Arrow storm, create spawn, distraction, envenom arrows, ghost strikes
Special Qualities Bestow flight, Darkvision 60 ft., half damage from slashing and piercing weapons, immunity to cold, incorporeal traits, Low-Light Vision, swarm traits, +2 turn resistance, undead traits
Saves Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +7
Abilities Strength —, Dexterity 18, Constitution —, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 13, Charisma 14
Skills Intimidate +14, Listen +13, Search +12, Spot +13, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks)
Feats Ability Focus (arrow storm), Ability Focus (sluagh arrow poison), Great Fortitude
Environment Temperate and cold hills and mountains
Organization Solitary, host (1 plus 3-24 Zombies), or warband (2-6 swarms, 6-48 Zombies, 1-6 wraiths, shadows, or spectres, plus 1 dread wraith leader)
Challenge Rating 8
Treasure None
Alignment Usually chaotic evil
Level Adjustment

A fast-moving, low-lying storm cloud approaches, boiling with iridescent blues and greens and reds. As it grows near, it becomes apparent that it is actually a swarm of dark, shadowy sprites flying on gauzy, iridescent wings. They bear tiny bows and arrows, blades, and shields.

The sluagh ("slooa") are swarms of tiny undead fey who conduct nocturnal aerial battles on cold nights. Also known as "the host", or "host of the unforgiven dead", these vicious unliving sprites harrass the living with their tiny implements of war, leaving Zombies in their wake.

The sluagh exist in a state of barely controlled rage. When they run out of living targets, they turn on one another. Tales tell of the sky raining blood and splinters after two thunderclouds crashed together, undoubtedly the aftermath of a sluagh battle.

Large warbands are often accompanied by other flying undead (such as wraiths, shadows, and spectres) and led by a more powerful undead creature, such as a dread wraith, vampire, or lich.

An individual sluagh stands 2 feet tall.

Sluagh speak Elven and Sylvan.


Sluagh unleash arrow storms as they close with their enemies, then simply swarm over them, attacking with their numerous tiny swords.

Arrow Storm (Ex): A sluagh can release a volley of tiny arrows as an area attack. The sluagh may choose to release either a 30-foot burst to a maximum range of 1,000 feet, or a 100-foot cone. Regardless of the shape, the arrow storm deals 3d6 points of piercing damage (Reflex DC 20 half). The save DC is Dexterity-based.

Bestow Flight (Sp): This functions exactly as the overland flight spell, except the target is one creature per Hit Die of the sluagh. Caster level equals sluagh's Hit Dice. This is the equivalent of a 6th-level spell.

Create Spawn (Su): Any fey creature slain by a sluagh's envenomed arrow becomes part of the sluagh swarm. For each fey creature slain, the sluagh swarm gains one negative level.

A sluagh swarm with a negative level gains a +1 competence bonus on all skill checks and ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws, and gains one effective level or Hit Die (whenever level is used in a die roll or calculation) for each negative level. These gains persist until the negative level goes away (is removed by the gain of a positive level). A negative level that is not removed by a positive level for 3 weeks becomes permanent, resulting in advancement by 1 HD.

Should a fey creature slain by the sluagh swarm later be restored to life, the swarm gains one positive level. undead react to positive levels the way nonundead react to negative levels. A sluagh swarm with positive levels at least equal to its current Hit Dice is instantly destroyed. After 24 hours, the swarm must make a DC 18 Will save. If the saving throw succeeds, the positive level goes away with no harm to the swarm. The sluagh swarm makes a separate saving throw for each positive level it has gained. If the save fails, the positive level goes away, but the sluagh swarm's Hit Dice are also reduced by one.

Any other living corporeal creature slain by a sluagh, including fey creatures a sluagh slays by means other than an envenomed arrow, becomes a zombie in 1d4 rounds. These Zombies are under the command of the sluagh that created them and remain enslaved until its death. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a sluagh swarm's damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a DC 16 Fortitude save negates the effect. Even after a successful save, spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills requiring patience and Concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Envenom Arrows (Su): Three times per day, a sluagh may choose to envenom its arrow storm. Any creature damaged by the arrow storm is exposed to the sluagh's poison.

Sluagh Arrow Poison: Injury, Fortitude DC 20, initial damage 1d10 Constitution, secondary damage curse. The curse functions similiar to the bestow curse spell (sluagh's choice of curse). The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Ghost Strikes (Su): A sluagh's swarm attack and arrow storm count as either corporeal or incorporeal at any given time, whichever is more beneficial to the sluagh.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #162 (1990).

Celtic Border

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