Descenders

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Is it just me, or did you notice our Brother of the Word acting strange today during his sermon? Roar's Rememberance is a week away, but we prayed for light’s guidance with such enthusiasm. Has the church upset Rezmir?
— Farmer leaving Sulnarya worship
 
Descenders are horrific aberrations formed when Ma, Parasite of Prayer has feasted upon an area for an extended period of time. Descenders take the form of priests, or religious sects to goad commonfolk in the area into blind worship. At times, Descenders may reveal their true appearance to frighten commoners, before reverting and sowing doubt. This tactic tricks the blind into praying for aid at a frenzied rate, increasing Ma's strangle of the area.   Once the corruption has caused Descenders Priests to form, the only known tactic to cleanse the Parasite of Prayer is complete eradiction. Everything must be purged, without the aid of deities or prayer.

Basic Information

Biological Traits

A twisted being of nightmares, descenders slightly resemble humanoids with leathery skin and webbed tentacles that grow and twist in every direction. No two descender look alike as the chaos of their creation is visible in a nauseous way.

Growth Rate & Stages

Once Ma has begun to siphon from an area Descender Spawn begin to form, using their Shapechanger ability to hide amongst the populace sowing doubt. Descender Spawn lay the foundation for more powerful void aberrations, like the Chosen Descender, to materialize.   After Ma has feasted long enough to materialize Chosen Descenders, her stranglehold is extensive. Commoners know something is not right but do not understand why their luck has changed, and their deity has ceased to listen. They begin to see what they believe are hallucinations, tactics by the Descenders to push commoners into a more frenzied state of manipulation.   The long term effect of Ma consuming an area is known when she has enough sway to materialize a Descender Priest. These dominant aberrations are masters of populace manipulation. They skillfully tear down the fabric of society while secluding community leadership, allowing Ma to devour all hymns, prayers, and chants calling for aid. Once a Descender Priest is born, Ma is in full control, spreading like a parasite across Erenel.
Scientific Name
Aberration
Origin/Ancestry
Willed into existence by the Parasite of Prayer after feasting.
Ma, Parasite of Prayer
Character | Apr 12, 2022

The Parasite of Prayer

by Dean Spencer

Descender Statblocks

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Descender Spawn

Descender Spawn

Medium aberration, neutral evil
Armor Class: 13
Hit Points: 45 (7d8+14)
Speed: 40ft

STR

15 +2

DEX

11 +0

CON

14 +2

INT

10 +0

WIS

12 +1

CHA

8 -1

Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, frightened
Senses: blindsight 60ft, passive Perception 11
Languages: Common, Deep Speech, Undercommon
Challenge Rating: 3

Shapechanger
The Descender Spawn can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid, or back into its true form. Other than its size and speed, its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Actions

Multiattack
The Descender Spawn makes two melee attacks.  
Parasite Glaive
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit 7 (1d10+2) piercing damage.  
Consume (1/day)
The Descender Spawn targets another Descender Spawn within 20 feet of it that has half of its hit points remaining or less. The target spawn is destroyed and the Descender Spawn gains temporary hit points equal to the targets remaining hit points. Until the Descender Spawn loses these temporary hit points, the first Parasite Glaive attack it makes each round is made at advantage.


Chosen Descender

Chosen Descender

Medium aberration, neutral evil
Armor Class: 15
Hit Points: 102 (12d8+48)
Speed: 30ft

STR

17 +3

DEX

15 +2

CON

18 +4

INT

10 +0

WIS

13 +1

CHA

8 -1

Saving Throws: Dex +5, Wis +4, Cha +2
Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, frightened
Senses: blindsight 60ft, passive Perception 14
Languages: Common, Deep Speech, Undercommon
Challenge Rating: 6

Shapechanger
The Chosen Descender can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid, or back into its true form. Other than its size and speed, its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.  
Ma's Whisper
The Chosen Descender constantly whispers to itself while in its true form. Creatures that start its turn within 20 feet of the Chosen Descender must succeed on a DC14 Wisdom saving throw. On failure, the creatures movement speed is halved until the start of its next turn.  

Variant Insanity rule.

If you're using Erenel's Insanity rules for 5E, make the following addition to the Chosen Descender. Ma's Whisper. When a creature fails the Wisdom saving throw they also gain 1 level of Insanity. Creatures affected in this way can only gain 1 level of Insanity from an individual Chosen Descender every 24 hours.

Actions

Multiattack
The Chosen Descender makes three attacks: two parasite blade and one tentacle.  
Parasite Blade
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 8 (1d10+3) piercing damage plus 3(1d6) psychic damage.  
Tentacle
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit 14 (2d10+3) bludgeoning damage.


Descender Priest

Descender Priest

Medium aberration, neutral evil
Armor Class: 17
Hit Points: 153 (18d8 + 72)
Speed: 30ft

STR

16 +3

DEX

16 +3

CON

18 +4

INT

19 +4

WIS

15 +2

CHA

18 +4

Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities: psychic
Condition Immunities: blinded, charmed, frightened
Senses: blindsight 120ft, passive Perception 17
Languages: Common, Deep Speech, Telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge Rating: 14

Innate Spellcasting
The Descender Priest's innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC17). The Descender Priest can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

1/day: confusion, eyebite

3/day: charm person, detect magic, detect thoughts, suggestion


Legendary Resistance (3/day)
If the Descender Priest fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.  
Shapechanger
The Descender Priest can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid, or back into its true form. Other than its size and speed, its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn't transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Actions

Multiattack
The Descender Priest makes three tendril attacks. The first of these attacks that hit each round deals an extra 26 (4d12) psychic damage to the target. Included in the attack below.  
Tendril
Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 20 ft., one target. Hit 11 (2d8 + 2) bludgeoning damage, and the target must make a DC17 Wisdom saving throw, taking 26 (4d12) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.  
Summon Descender Spawn (Recharge 6)
The Descender Priest summons a Descender Spawn which materializes within 30 feet of it in an unoccupied space it can see. The Descender Span vanishes when it drops to 0 hit points or when its summoner dies.

Legendary Actions

The Descender Priest 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. The Descender Priest regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.  

Move
The Descender Priest moves up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks.  
Tendril
The Descender Priest uses its Tendril attack.  
Wailing Insanity (Costs 3 Actions)
The Descender Priest lets out an otherworldly wail. Any non-aberration within 120 feet of the Descender Priest that can hear the wail must succeed on a DC17 Wisdom saving throw or gain 1 level of Insanity. Creatures affected in this way can only gain 3 levels of Insanity from an indvidiaul Descender Priest every 24 hours.


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