It is known by many names. Black Unicorn. Death With One Horn. The She-bitch of Doresh. In Fantax’s Illluminated Register of Beasts, it is referred to simply as Necrocorn, a lich-like unicorn whose appearance heralds disease and pestilence.
What rite is so black as to pollute the unicorn’s font of life giving magic with undeath? When the wizards of the Magocracy of Bemmea and Allain cataloged the ritual, they employed seven acolytes from distant provinces. Each was allowed only to transcribe a portion of the vile text for fear of the ritual’s corrupting influence. Powerful protective wards were placed on the grimoire before it was sealed in their deepest vault.
Masters of necromancy recognize the true power of the beast. Releasing a necrocorn behind enemy lines could turn the tide of battle or even a war. But woe to those who lose control of their creation. Unbridled necrocorns have plunged entire kingdoms into disease and ruin.
Bringing a necrocorn into the world is a torturous ordeal. Over the course of weeks, the wellspring of a virginal mare’s fey magic is corrupted with putrescence and decay. A virulent hybrid strain of undeath is created, locked in eternal flux between rot and renewal as the fey and necrotic energies battle for dominance. The creature’s body is blighted by weeping sores and boils as its mind is ignited with madness and lust for slaughter. Flesh mortifies and falls from its fetid carcass only to grow back, restarting the cycle.
The plague horn is the true source of the necrocorn’s power. Epidemics and outbreaks of venereal disease flare wildly in regions touched by the hideous creature. The horn grants fearsome powers in battle as well. Victims impaled upon its loathsome spike are infected with the curse of the undying. The slain rise as thralls forever bound in service to the necrocorn, sustained by suckling plague milk from the festering teats of their one-horned mistress.
Necrocorn Level 20 Elite Controller (Leader)
Large fey magical beast (undead) XP 5,600
HP 364; Bloodied 182
AC 34, Fortitude 32 Reflex 31, Will 31
Immune disease, poison, Resist 10 necrotic; Vulnerable 10 radiant
Saving Throws +2; Action Points 1
[O] Putrid Miasma (necrotic) • Aura 5
Any enemy that enters the aura or starts its turn there takes 10 necrotic damage.
[O] Mother of Undeath • Aura 10
Undead allies in the aura gain a +2 power bonus to attacks.
[m] Gore • At-will
4d10 + 20
+25 vs AC; 4d10+20 necrotic damage, and the target can’t spend healing surges until the end of the necrocorn’s next turn.
Impaling Charge • Encounter (Recharges when bloodied)
Effect: The necrocorn moves up to its speed and can move through enemies’ spaces. The necrocorn can make two Gore attacks against different targets during the move.
[C] Plague Horn • At-Will
Effect: The necrocorn uses one of the following plague horn attacks.
1. Blight Wave (necrotic): Close burst 10: +23 vs. Fortitude: 4d6 + 17 necrotic damage and the target is knocked prone.
2. Command the Dead: Close burst 10 (one or two allies in the burst): Targets can shift one space and make a basic melee attack against an adjacent enemy.
3. Putrescent Burst (poison): Close Burst 1: +23 vs. Reflex: 4d10 + 20 poison damage and the target is pushed 1 space.
4. Terrifying Presence (fear): Close Burst 5: +24 vs. Will: The target moves 2 spaces away from the necrocorn by the safest route possible and is immobilized (save ends).
[M] Back Kick • At-Will
Trigger: An enemy hits the necrocorn while flanking it.
Attack (Free Action): Melee 1 (triggering enemy); +23 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 4d12 + 26 damage, the necrocorn pushes the target up to 5 spaces and the target falls prone.
Shadow Step (teleportation) • Encounter
The necrocorn can teleport 5 spaces and is invisible until the end of its next turn or it hits or misses with an attack.
Str 27(+18) Dex 23(+16) Wis 19(+14)
Con 21(+15) Int 10(+10) Cha 16(+13)
13 thoughts on “King of the Monsters 3 Finalist: Necrocorn”
First Post! Congrats, me.
Did I misread something? This appears to be a 4e only contest. I wish I was more versed in 4e high level mechanics but since I am not I will just say that I believe evil necromantic shadow jumbing plague unicorn=bada*$!
Uhmm, yes. I noticed the same thing, maybe we are doing a 4e contest and a pathfinder one?
Wow three comments and not a one about the monster itself? For shame!
I like what I see, but I feel like I need to see a little more. My guess is that you fell victim to the word count limit a little bit. An Elite, level 20 creature takes a lot of word to write up. Its a nasty stat block for sure, one that will give the players a good fight.
However, the first thing I think of when I see an evil unicorn, is one of my players will want to figure out how to mount it. There’s no mention of that here, which seems a lost opportunity. There’s also nothing about what the creature’s own motivations are. Certainly something intelligent with this much powers has some kind of agenda or motivations, even if it is summoned.
Yes, the monster requires some feedback (feels the shame)
I must say that initially I expected some kind of plant creature based upon the last four letters of its name.
My 4e is weak but it is comforting so see that this monster does not have a number of hitpoints that iruns in the thousands!
I do like that the plague horn gives it a lot of tactical depth
Some sample thralls or a reference to a suitable thrall would be helpful.
It’s not a 4E-only contest, though certainly we are seeing the judges chose from a fairly strong D&D field.
Contestants were also allowed to submit Pathfinder, AGE, and 3.5 D&D submissions. We’ll have two more this week.
Hey, I said I thought the necro-plauge-i-corn was cool…so I commented on the moster. I just don’t know enough 4e to talk mechanics.
Very nice. I like the horn effects quite a bit. I always like triggered actions on hits, powerful monsters should have reactions. I am a fan of this one.
An interesting necrotic twist to the unicorn. I’m not keen on the name, I also thought plant-based at first. (But why? Deadly corn-beasts?) Still, the name works…
I don’t particularly think this monster needs motivations – it’s not very bright and the writeup mentions a “mind ignited by madness and a lust for slaughter”. It’s high wisdom is odd, but perhaps that reflects innate mad battlefield intuitive tactical expression, or just a 4e save mechanic???
I like the gruesome and visceral writeup quite a lot.
Only in an FRPG setting could a sentence like “..suckling plague milk from the festering teats of their one-horned mistress” be taken seriously.
I quite like this beastie, and will tuck away the idea for future use in my game. Too bad there are no 3E/PF stats, but when the time comes I’ll just use the basic framework and attach stats that make sense within the context of my campaign.
By the way, I agree with previous posters: Necrocorn might be properly descriptive, but it just doesn’t carry the right first impression. My first thought was of vegetable side-dishes at a necromancer’s summer barbeque. How about calling it Death Horn? Same meaning, less confusion. Or if you want something more poetic, how about Death of Innocence or Virgin’s Nightmare?
Hmmm, after a few moments of reflection I realize the Death Horn isn’t such a great name either. Makes it sound like a magic item for bards.
Definitely a very nice creature concept. The execution is not bad. I’d love to see something like a regeneration aura for undead (to evoke that whole milk thing) and maybe a way for it to raise some undead (say if it kills you with the horn you rise as some sort of undead minion the next round or something). I think I’d have tossed some ‘psychic, necrotic’ damage on Terrifying Presence too, that option seems pretty weak except maybe as an escape mechanic. It is overall reasonably solid, though a bit on the “easy to lock down” side at 20th level. I think maybe a no-action “shed conditions on use of an AP” or maybe a recharge on bloodied “drop a condition when you attack” minor action or something.
Love the concept though. As for the name, can’t think of a better one really. Certainly doesn’t detract any from the concept.
“Necroticorn,” perhaps? The extra two letters really help, IMHO — fully spelling out “necrotic,” adding “i” to “corn” to get further away from the plant reference, and the fourth syllable and cadence when spoken has an echo of the famed “Necronomicon” (which I’m sure meets with “Abdul Alhazred’s” approval.