The Perishing Species in Braythe: Shattered Realities | World Anvil

The Perishing

Medium aberration, any evil alignment


  The Perishing. The nightmare creatures of Braythe.   Noone, not even the champions, knows what they truly are. Only one thing is certain: They seek the complete and utter destruction of all world-islands in Braythe, and all life upon them.   But they are by far no mindless killing machines. The Perishing are ancient, possibly immortal creatures with both high intelligence and millennia of experience. They are as much embodiments of death and destruction as they are schemers and manipulators, even gaining a small group of Braythian champions as allies. On the worlds of these paragons, the Perishing are glorified, sometimes even worshipped.   They are also clearly individuals, wearing different clothes or armour (although they seem to have a very distinct racial style) and equipment. They cannot speak, but the Perishing can communicate telepathically - if they touch the creature first. The problem is that any touched limb or other body part quickly whithers and rots, leaving the victim crippled. Usually, though, they do not care enough to talk.   In the rare case that a Perishing dies, its body and its entire equipment bursts into a cloud of purple and crimson that quickly dissolves into nothingness. The death of one of their own seems to deeply affect the Perishing. The emotions they showed, if briefly, ranged from shock and pain to raging hatred - the latter, of course, being only a more intense version of what they show all the time. Still, they don't let such an event distract them from their goals.  


  The Perishing commonly wear magical armour and clothing, as well as 1d4+1 magic items that are at least very rare. These items seem to be created by the Perishing themselves, and no other race can use these objects. If a Perishing dies, its equipment dissolves with it, even if the item is not close to the creature anymore.   If a Perishing takes an item that is not crafted by their own race, they prefer not to use it. Usually, they give such items to their servants and allies, or simply destroy them - unless they are of specific importance to them.   Remember to adjust the Challenge Rating of a Perishing according to the equipment they carry with them.

Basic Information


The Perishing are slender, but muscular humanoids, a bit larger than a regular human. Their movement is slow, almost gentle.   The body of a Perishing is split in half: The left side (from the viewer’s perspective) dull grey, the gruesome face showing a white eye that seems to stare at anyone looking at the creature. The thin lips form a meaningless, dreadful smile. The lips are grown together, strings of flesh and skin connecting the upper and lower side.   The other side of the body looks like burnt coal and searing flesh, traces of blistering ash constantly blown off the dark skin, even when there’s no wind. There is a gaping hole where the eye should be, with nothing but a scorching ember inside an infinite darkness. Their white teeth, which they do not seem to use in battle, are sharp like fangs on this part. Their burnt lips are constantly moving - on this side of the face only - as if reciting something, but no words can be heard. Some witnesses believe they noticed a subtle, but constant expression of pain on this half.   The Perishing are completely hairless, their skin so thick it is hard to pierce through or cut it. Their hands end in dangerous claws.

Genetics and Reproduction

It is completely unknown if and how the Perishing reproduce. Sages assume there is a fixed number of Perishing, and no new members of the race are ever created, but that might just be wishful thinking.

Ecology and Habitats

The Perishing can exist in the Braythian Void unhindered. With their ability to hover, they can move through the purple clouds as if it was air. They are immune to the life-draining effect of the Void, and their equipment is unaffected as well.   It is unknown where the Perishing come from, or if they have some kind of home world. They are usually seen invading a world-island, or on a mission to advance one of their schemes.

Dietary Needs and Habits

No one has ever seen the Perishing consume anything - unless their Rotting Touch somehow nourishes them. Most sages believe they do not need any kind of sustenance.

Additional Information

Social Structure

While the Perishing are sometimes seen solitary, they prefer to travel (or fight) in groups of up to six. Most of the time, they appear as pairs of two.   They take great interest in what their companions do, but there seems to be no hierarchy. The Perishing never intervene in the actions of one another. They have been seen to act dissatisfied with each other, though, especially if a Perishing couldn't (or decided not to) kill a victim.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Although they have normal eyesight, they do not seem to rely on it. Rather, they have a supernatural ability to sense their surroundings, noticing even what happens behind them.   When fighting with allies, they have been witnessed to react when spoken to, so they seem to be able to hear, although no ears are visible.
The Perishing by Rebecca Lavoie
The Perishing - Token by blackbluewoof
Possibly immortal
Average Height
7-9 feet (2,10 m-2,75m)
Average Weight
265 lbs (120 kg)

Cover image: by Rebecca Lavoie

B:SR Core Setting

The Perishing CR: 15

Medium aberration, any evil
Armor Class: 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 130hp (20d8+40) [20d8+40]
Speed: 30 ft , can hover


16 +3


16 +3


14 +2


20 +5


14 +2


20 +5

Skills: Arcana +10, Insight +12, Perception +7, Intimidation +15
Damage Resistances: necrotic; poison; acid; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities: fire; cold; force; psychic
Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, unconscious
Senses: Environment Sense. In addition to the regular five senses, the Perishing can sense their entire environment in a 60 ft. radius. This grants them advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks within that radius.   Passive Perception: 17
Languages: Telepathy
Challenge Rating: 15
The Perishing by Rebecca Lavoie

Innate Spellcasting. The Perishing's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 18). It can innately cast spells requiring no components.

At will: Detect Magic, Detect Thoughts, Dimension Door, Dispel Magic, See Invisibility, True Strike

1/day: Power Word Stun

3/day: Teleport, Lightning Bolt

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If a Perishing fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.   Immediate Regeneration. The Perishing regains up to 3d4 hit points immediately after every successful attack against it, but no more than the damage of the attack.   Slow Regeneration. The Perishing regains 1 hit point at the beginning of its turn.   Magic Resistance. The Perishing have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.   Fear Aura. Any creature that starts its turn within 30 feet of a Perishing must make a DC 18 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened until the start of its next turn. If a creature's saving throw is successful, the creature is immune to this particular Perishing's Fear Aura for the next 24 hours. The Perishing can choose not to affect specific creatures or groups of creatures.   Alert. A Perishing cannot be surprised by anything within the radius of its Environment Sense (60 ft.).   Hovering. The Perishing can move through air by willpower alone. This ability works even in antimagic areas. They can also hover through the Braythian Void unharmed.   Individual abilities. Perishing are highly individualistic, and some of them have learned things that none of the other Perishing know. In case you choose to give additional abilities to a Perishing, adjust the Challenge Rating accordingly.


Multiattack. A Perishing makes two attacks, one with each claw. It can choose which type of attack it delivers with each strike. All attacks made by a Perishing are considered magical.   Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d8+3) 3d8+3 slashing damage.   Rotting Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. On a hit, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw or be reduced to 0 hit points. A creature affected by a Rotting Touch has to make a death saving throw immediately. On a failure, the creature's body rots away into a pile of dust and goo within seconds. Armor or clothes do not protect from the effects of the Rotting Touch. Braythian Champions are immune to this effect.   Rotten Communication. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. On a hit, the target must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw, or the touched limb (or other body part) instantly whithers and dies, effectively crippling the target. Nothing short of a wish spell can cure this condition. No matter the result of the saving throw, the Perishing can telepathically communicate with a target it succeeded to touch. Their "voice" sounds like rolling thunder mixed with dark, guttural sounds and thousands of far-away whispers that somehow make sense in the target's mind. Usually, the Perishing sends a single message or asks a single question. But in theory, the creature could lead a complete conversation once the telepathic contact is established and the touch is not interrupted. Braythian Champions are immune to the effects, but the telepathic communication can still be established that way.

Legendary Actions

A Perishing can take 3 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. A Perishing regains spent legendary actions at the start of their turn.  

  • Deadly aura. The Perishing emits a strange vibration. Three short, rapid pulses surge over a sphere with a radius of 60 ft. Every creature within this area - dead, undead and even constructs - feel like they have been touched by something wrong and tainted. All affected creatures must make a Constitution saving throw against DC 18, or suffer 2d4 points of necrotic damage (rolled once for all affected creatures). The Perishing can choose to exempt specific creatures or groups of creatures from this effect.
  • Gaze of Pain. Staring at a single target creature within 60 ft., the Perishing can summon horrifying pain in the target's body. The victim has to succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against DC 18, or suffer from horrifying agony. The target is stunned until the end of their next turn, and makes all following checks at disadvantage for 2d4+1 rounds.
  • Paralyzing Gaze. Similar to the Gaze of Pain, the paralyzing gaze affects one creature within 60 ft. The target has to succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for one minute. The effect feels like every single muscle and sinew in the body is strained to its limit. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a success, the paralyzing effect ends.

Regional Effects

The ground touched by a Perishing instantly turns dark, often pitch black, in a 5ft. radius, and all plants, fungi etc. die. As the creature travels, it leaves a trail of death and darkness behind. The effect does not discern between the type of ground - soil, rock and even water is affected the same. Water (or any other liquids) tainted like that become sluggish and thick, and only slowly mix with surrounding liquids.   Tainted ground is incapable of hosting any kind of life. For nature to reclaim such areas, healing or curing spells of at least second level are needed. Casting spells like Lesser Restoration or Mass Healing Word regenerate a five-foot cubic area. Spells of 5th level and higher add another five feet for every level above four. The caster has to succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against DC 15, or the spell is wasted without any effect. Casting a holy aura using the Hallow spell works similar, but the caster has advantage on the Wisdom saving throw.   An area that is not restored slowly taints its surroundings. Thirty days after the Perishing touched the ground, the flora in a ten foot area around the tainted ground turns dark, twisted and highly poisonous. Every thirty days after, the area gradually grows by ten feet. After fifty to hundred feet (150-300 days), the growth stops. From one day to the next, the entire flora in the affected zone dies. Living or undead creatures within the area suffer one point of damage every turn.   These secondary taintings can be undone the same way a directly affected area can be regenerated.   Variations of this effect have been observed, where a Perishing created a corrupted area instead of a dead one.


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