Slaugh

Another from Dragon Magazine #162, the slaugh (pronounced slooa).  Taken from Gaelic mythology, known as “the host of the unforgiven dead”, they are malevolent spirits of dead mortals.  Presented as undead in the article, I like them as an evil fey creature.  If you like them as undead, it’s easy enough to change them over.  Looking through folklore, it’s easy enough to see how you could make the argument either way.  Here’s a good write up on them.

Slaugh
Tiny fey, neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (leather armor)
Hit Points 2 (1d4)
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft.


STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
3 (-4)
18 (+4)
10 (+0)
14 (+2)
13 (+1)
11 (+0)

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +8
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Elvish, Sylvan
Challenge ¼ (50 XP)

Actions

Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: + 2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 1 slashing damage.

Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 40/160 ft., one target.
Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 minute.  It its saving throw results is 5 or lower, the poisoned target falls unconscious for the same duration, or until it takes damage or another creature takes an action to shake it awake.

Animate Dead.  The slaugh can touch a dead creature and animate it as either a zombie or a skeleton.  The slaugh can control up to 5 undead creatures.

Invisibility.  The slaugh magically turns invisible until it attacks or casts a spell, or until its concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell).  Any equipment the slaugh wears or carries is invisible with it.


The sluagh (pronounced slooa) are fey spirits who roam the night in packs, warring with each other and preying on the living. A member of the sluagh, or “the host”, looks much like a black sprite, with a dark shadowy body and gauzy iridescent wings.  Seen at a distance at twilight, a group of sluagh looks like a roiling thundercloud.

The sluagh exist in a state of barely controlled rage.  When not tormenting the living, they are likely to fight among themselves. Tales are told of great aerial battles fought between divisions of the sluagh host. Characters can often turn this animosity to their advantage, as large numbers of the sluagh are easily tricked into fighting each other
and leaving the characters alone.

Sluagh always travel in large war bands.  They appear only in the wilderness, never in dungeon settings. The sluagh never appear during the day and always flee sunlight. Their preferred habitat is any terrain similar to the Scottish Highlands.

The picture of the slaugh that emerges is certainly full of horror.  On a chill, frosty night, one might see the host advance in the bright moonlight. Like fast-moving, low-lying storm clouds, boiling with iridescent blues and greens and reds as if the aurora borealis was trapped within, the host would wash across the night sky.  Sometimes the rolling clouds would clash together and, when they did, bloody crimson rain would fall to stain the earth.
As the sluagh got closer, it could be seen that the clouds were actually masses of malignant bird-sized spirits. Each creature would look much like the negative photographic image of a sprite, with a dark shadowy body and iridescent wings. Each would be armed with a tiny bow with an equally tiny broad sword strapped to its waist. Trapped deep within the cloudlike host would be numerous zombies forced to obey every whim of the sluagh host.

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