A Thanksgiving Horror: The Turkolich

As the holiday season roars down upon us, your thoughts may turn to family, friends, merriment, and feasts. In other words, you foolishly believe you are safe. For as you place the Thanksgiving roast upon the table, basking in the sounds of admiration and growling stomachs, an ancient evil arises. It opens its own chest to send forth its legions of bready minions while your attacks strike harmlessly against its wrinkled bones. Then as you gaze past the petrified wattle into glowing red eyes, it opens its beak and spews forth magma-like gravy to spell your doom.

Beware that which gobbles in the night.

Beware the turkolich!

TURKOLICH

Scorched and roasted with burnt feathers, the fowl waddles toward you, its eyes glowing red and its chest a gaping wound spilling spoiled breadcrumbs onto the ground.

Ancient Revenge. The turkolich was created by an exiled member of a prominent wizarding family who was eager to disrupt a treasured holiday gathering. Though the first turkolich was defeated and the creator punished, the turkolich returns every year to plague family feasts.

Phylactery Pan. The turkolich’s cursed spirit will manifest each year in a roasting pan containing some sort of fowl. The exact type of bird does not matter as the turkolich’s reanimated spirit transforms whatever is in the pan into its own foul form. According to culinary sorcerers, gastromages, and kitchen warlocks, a bless spell cast upon the roasting pan will cause the turkolich to seek a different site. Naturally, this has given rise to a cottage-industry in epicurean clerics offering pre-feast spellcasting for exorbitant fees.

Variants So Horrible. The circles of culinary arcana report other evil varieties of the turkolich. The turpiximpilich, for example, is a pixie ghoul stuffed inside a zombie imp further stuffed inside a turkolich. The creator of these undead creatures remains unclear, but sightings of even stranger types grow more common. Fortunately, there appears to be only a single specimen of the turkmimiclich, a diabolical mimic disguised as a turkolich.

Turkolich

Small undead, lawful evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 93 (17d6 + 34)
Speed 30ft, fly 20 ft.

StrDexConIntWisCha
16 (+3)15 (+2)15 (+2)6 (−2)15 (+2)16 (+3)

Saving Throws Con +5, Wis +5
Skills Perception +5
Damage Resistance fire, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses truesight 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Void Speech
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Chest of Minions. As a bonus action, the turkolich opens its chest cavity and disgorges 1d10 stuffinglings (use statistics for a homunculus). These Tiny humanoid minions, made of evil stuffing, obey the turkolich’s mental commands. The turkolich can produce up to 40 stuffinglings per day.

Innate Spellcasting. The turkolich’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

  • At will: control flames, prestidigitation, toll the dead
  • 3/day each: grease, heat metal, unseen servant
  • 1/day: far step

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the turkolich fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Rejuvenation. A destroyed turkolich gains a new body in 360 days, regaining all its hp and becoming active again just in time for the next feast of Thanksgiving. The new body appears within 5 feet of the vessel.

Turn Resistance The turkolich has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The turkolich can use its Dread Gobble. It then makes one unclean beak attack and one tryptophan talon attack, or it makes two eldritch spit attacks.

Unclean Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) poison damage. 

Tryptophan Talon. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) slashing damage. If the target is a creature other than an undead, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or go into a temporary food coma and be incapacitated by the tryptophan for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Eldritch Spit. Ranged Spell Attack: +6 to hit, range 300 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d6) force damage. On a successful hit, the turkolich can push the target up to 10 feet away from it in a straight line.

Dread Gobble. One creature of the turkolich’s choice that is within 120 feet of the turkolich and can hear it must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the turkolich’s Dread Gobble for the next 24 hours.

Spew Boiling Gravy (Recharge 5–6). A turkolich breathes hot gravy in a 60-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage on a failed save or half as much damage on a successful one.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

The turkolich can take three legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The turkolich regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn:

  • Cantrip. The tukolich casts a cantrip.
  • Eldritch Spit. The turkolich uses its eldritch spit.
  • Turkey Flight (Costs 2 Actions). The turkolich can fly up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Chest of Minions (Costs 3 Actions, 1/day). The turkolich regains all expended stuffinglings.

2 thoughts on “A Thanksgiving Horror: The Turkolich”

  1. Avatar
    Robert Fairbanks

    Love it, glad it’s “official” now ;-)

    Your traits and actions here are stellar Brian, and their titles are nicely, visually, evocative. This was a surprisingly good little read and painted a pretty cool mental picture(s) across the board.
    Well met yet again Mr. Suskind.

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