Morkoth

Morkoth

morkoth(Art by Eli Arndt)

From the darkest depths of forgotten seas, an ancient evil has been pulled into the light.

The venerable sailing bark The Lusty Elf has made an unexpected catch while weighing anchor off a nameless isle. The four hale and hearty sailors who manned the anchor windlass, struggling mightily to reel in the heavy iron, found a gargantuan chambered nautilus attached. Having eaten naught but cod and moldy bread for many weeks, the crew was anxious to dine on this giant delicacy. But, lurking behind the monstrous mollusk waited a nasty surprise…

Once thought to be the forgotten children of the Kraken or older forgotten horrors, the morkoth has recently given up much of its secrets. Known to some as the “Morlock of the Deep” or the “Wraith of the Deep,” its habits and habitats have been shrouded in mystery.

Morkoth Lore

Arcana DC 25—A morkoth is an extremely intelligent and shy monster. It sings a hypnotic dirge to lure its prey deep into its lair. Once there, victims are charmed and eaten, or they serve as host for the creature’s eggs. It is said that the morkoth can reflect magic, but few who enter its lair live to tell the tale.

Nature DC 20—An adult morkoth is solitary and never caught unaware. It uses the architecture of its home to mesmerize and entrap victims. Juveniles have been known to inhabit the shells and even bodies of larger creatures. It uses its strong tentacles to pull its prey close to its razor sharp beak.

Morkoth (Level 13 Elite Lurker)

Medium shadow magical beast (aquatic); XP 1,600
Initiative +12; Senses Perception +12; darkvision
Brutal Charm aura 5; creatures within aura take a -3 penalty to saving throws against being dazed
hp 204; Bloodied 102
AC 29,  Fortitude 24, Reflex 24, Will 25
Saving Throws +2
Speed 5, swim 10
Action Points 1

[M] Tentacle (standard; at-will)
Reach 2; +13 vs. AC; 1d8+5 damage, and target is dazed (save ends)

[r] Dominate (standard; at-will) ◊ Charm
Ranged 10; targets a dazed humanoid; +14 vs. Will; target is dominated (save ends); a morkoth can dominate only one creature at a time

[a] Song of the Morkoth (standard; encounter)
Area burst 5 within 10; +14 vs. Will; target is dazed (save ends)

Spell Reflection
Any spell cast against a morkoth is reflected back toward the caster; if a dispel magic is cast simultaneously, it has a 50% of hitting the morkoth

Alignment chaotic evil; Language Deep Speech
Skills Arcana +16, Dungeoneering +17, Insight +17
Str 21 (+11)  Dex 14 (+8) Wis 23 (+12)
Con 18 (+10) Int 21 (+11) Cha 15 (+8)

Tactics

A morkoth lives and fights alone. It will daze and dominate one opponent at a time, starting with magic users when possible. Their lairs are small and can accommodate only one melee attacker at a time. When an attacker is charmed, the morkoth either eats it or plants its eggs in its abdomen. The actual implantation deals 1d10 damage. The new host cannot spend surges or heal themselves. The implantation can be reversed within 1 day, but the eggs burrow into the spine after this time and will eventually burst out, dealing 6d6 damage. The gestation period is believed to be approximately 20 days.

6 thoughts on “Morkoth”

  1. For a brief moment when I saw the picture I thought that you guys gave us Sharktopus! This is pretty good too though…

  2. It was fun drawing the morkoth. I’m no pro artist and the artwork was originally done in response to a bit of lampooning the beast received on a blog. I felt challenged to try to create a version of the creature that did it some justice.

    I tried to come up with a look that was loyal to the description in the original Monster Manual but that also paid homage to the original illustration in some way. I looked at how later artists had depicted the creature and found that more and more they moved away from the original version of the morkoth.

    This is actually one of several depiction and one of two that I sent to Tom.

  3. Great art, Eli! I think it really does the creature justice, and the pose reminds me a little of the super-nasty Neogi from Spelljammer.

    It’s just… Lurking. :)

  4. I’m not sold on this monster (except the artwork, wich is awesome). A couple points I would like to comment:

    – first, the role. I don’t see anything “lurkerish” in this monster. To me it feels more like a controller with those effect-inducing attacks.

    – The aura can turn an encounter into a slugfest. A penalty to save against one of the two action-denial effects isn’t good in my opinion. The huge range doesn’t help either.

    – Damage is too low for a level 13 elite monster, and defenses too balanced. Every monster has a weak defense characters can exploit.

    – Its action economy is pretty bad, it can only make one damaging attack at best and all its attacks are standard actions.

    – Spell reflection is too vague. You should describe what keywords are affected (arcane, primal, divine…). I think reflecting every spell back is too good. Maybe as an inmediate interrupt when hit by an attack it can redirect it to the caster by making an attack roll.

    This is just my opinion, I appreciate the work the author has put into this creation but I don’t think it works as intended.

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