New Monster: Watchtower
Not every standing stone on the rolling plains of Malyar Ogroa’s territory is a Watchtower, but enough of them are that interlopers must be very cautious. The Watchtowers or Seeing Stones are the sleepless sentries of the Pict king’s domain.
Armor Class: 17
Hit Points: 126 (11d12+55)
Speed: 15 feet
STR 25 (+7) – DEX 4 (-3) – CON 20 (+5) – INT 6 (-2) – WIS 6 (-2) – CHA 3 (-4)
Skills: Perception +4
Damage Resistances: slashing, piercing, cold
Damage Immunities: poison, fire
Senses: passive Perception 14
Challenge: 8 (3900 XP)
Actions: once per turn, a Watchtower can cast either of the following spells as a 3rd-level spellcaster. Both attack spells are ‘fired’ from the Watchtower’s eye, and can only be aimed at targets within the tower’s field of view.
- Scorching Ray, range 120 feet, 4 bolts at up to 4 targets, +4 to hit, 2d6 fire damage per bolt
- Lightning Arrow, range 30 feet, 1 target, +4 to hit, 4d8 lightning damage. Each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a DC 15 Dex saving throw, taking 2d8 lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful save.
Intruders must be very careful about engaging the Watchtowers in combat. The magical bolts fired by the towers are visible from long distances on the plains, especially at night, and patrols of gnolls or worg-mounted goblins will be quick to investigate.
When settled on the ground, Watchtowers stand 8-16 feet tall. With some effort, the towers can rise up to stand on stumpy stone legs. Although they are slow they will trudge tirelessly after intruders, only giving up the chase if they fall at least half a mile behind, or if they lose sight of their quarry for a full minute.
Although it is not clear how or if the Watchtowers communicate, they are known to come to each other’s aid. For each minute of combat, there is a 1 in 6 chance of another Watchtower approaching.
Unless it is blown to bits or knocked prone, upon dying a Watchtower will slowly settle to the ground, the light in its eye will go out, and henceforth it will resemble any other non-magical standing stone. For the first day after a Watchtower dies, its eye can be cut out – after that, the eye decays into non-magical stone and appears to have been carved into the surface of the tower in bas relief. A severed Watchtower eye is the size of a bowling ball and weighs 50 lbs.
Every watchtower has a unique, secret name inscribed on the back of its eye socket in a particularly meme-virulent dialect of Abyssal. Anyone who does not speak Abyssal who sees the glyphs in which the name is inscribed, or hears the name pronounced, must make a DC18 Wisdom save or go temporarily insane. Abyssal speakers must still make the Wisdom save but at DC12. Anyone who learns the secret name can command the Watchtower (assuming it is still alive), or use the severed eye to fire the spells described above. When used this way, the severed eye has 1d20 charges, each of which is good for one spell use. Once removed from the Watchtower, the eye does not recharge. When it runs out of charges, it turns into an inert sphere of non-magical rock and cannot be restored.
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Both the visual concept and the name come from Barlowe’s Inferno by Wayne Douglas Barlowe, all I did was add stats and behavior.