The most common of creatures having already been catalogued and described in detail in previous volumes of this journal require that our work here expand beyond the realms of the mundane and expand our search into the realms of rumour and mythos. Years of effort have gone into extensive research on the most elusive of beasts - many of which are only remembered by story and fae-tale. More often than not such pursuits returned empty-handed, but there are grains of truth to be found at the core of any tale. Every beast described herein are such grains of truth, and none have been added unless sufficient physical evidence could be uncovered as to the nature of its existence.
Fae-tales are stories often told to children to teach them, giving them lessons on morals, proper behaviour, and dangers to be avoided. They are the ways in which our ancestors passed down knowledge through the generations in a time when many commonfolk could neither read nor write. Among the many clusters of civilized folk, the followers of the Shepherd possess a particular fondness for the darker type of tale, ones that are often frightening, disturbing, and sometimes gruesome. Among a plethora of such tales, the subject of the darkest and most horrific of these speak of a monster that is one with the darkness save for a pair of glowing red eyes. Sharp of tooth and claw as such beasts are typically described what sets these stories apart from other similar tales are the descriptions of mutilation of both its victim’s body and eternal spirit. Whether it has another name we have not been able to determine, but the tales refer to it only as the Soul-snatcher.
Medium fiend (demon), chaotic evil
Armor Class: 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 106 (12d8 + 48)
Speed: 60 ft. (fly)
STR 16 (+3), DEX 17 (+3), CON 18 (+4), INT 8 (+1), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 14 (+2)
Saving Throws: Str +6, Con +7, Wis +5, Cha +5
Damage Resistance: cold, fire, lightning, nonmagic weapons
Damage Immunity: poison
Condition Immunity: poisoned, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained
Senses: truesight 60ft, passive Perception 12
Languages: Abyssal (does not speak)
Fear Aura. Any creature that starts its turn within 20 feet of the soul snatcher must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw, unless the soul snatcher is incapacitated. 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 the soul snatcher’s Fear Aura for the next 24 hours.
Regeneration. The soul snatcher regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the soul snatcher takes radiant damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the soul snatcher’s next turn. The soul snatcher’s body is destroyed only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate. The soul snatcher does not regenerate if it begins its turn on the ethereal plane.
Ethereal step. As part of its movement, the soul snatcher steps into the ethereal plane where it can then move normally and reappear in the material plane at the end of its movement. Alternately the soul snatcher may choose to remain in the ethereal plane for up to 1 minute, returning at a time of its choosing. The ethereal step does not provoke an opportunity attack for leaving a threatened area and allows the soul snatcher to move through solid objects and creatures, appearing only as a wisp of smoke and two glowing eyes floating through the air which disappear completely if the soul snatcher does not return to the material plane at the end of its movement.
Gorge. When the soul snatcher reduces an enemy to 0 HP, they must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 14). If they fail, the soul snatcher enters their body, and rips free both their heart and soul and killing them instantly. The soul snatcher takes 3 rounds to consume the heart and soul, healing a quarter (26) of its maximum hit points at the end of each turn. During this time the demon can only make single physical claw attacks while it is overcome with hunger. The round after completion, the soul snatcher is satiated and the spirit echo of the soul snatcher lets out a Psychic Shriek (if available) and the soul snatcher uses its ethereal step to escape.
Multiattack: The soul snatcher makes three attacks: two with its physical claws, and one with its spiritual claw.
Spirit Claw (melee attack) +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6+3 psychic damage.
Physical Claw (melee attack) +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6+3 slashing damage.
Psychic Shriek (Recharge 5-6). Instead of using its Spirit Claw, the soul snatcher’s echo lets out a piercing, wordless shriek of rage that shreds the minds and spirits of all nearby creatures. This shriek has no effect on constructs and undead. All other creatures within 30 feet must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature is Stunned for 1 minute and may repeat the saving throw at the end of their turn. On a success or when a creature becomes no longer stunned, the creature takes 10 (3d6) psychic damage.
The Soul Snatcher is a demonic creature that feasts on both the flesh and souls of the creatures it slays. It exists in a tenuous and transitory relationship between planes, it's own spirit essence is loosely anchored to a physical form and it can move freely between the material and spirit planes of existence. When the creature manifests on the material plane, its form seems not entirely solid. The air around it seems hazy and wavers in and out of focus. Within this haze can be seen an insubstantial copy or echo - an apparition - of the monster floating slightly outside its body. This echo of the monster is connected to it, but also acts independently of the material body.
The soul snatcher exudes an aura of fear, and its echo is capable of releasing a hideous wail that can stun and even kill anyone nearby. The demon's hands end in long sharp claws and it attacks by making 2 attacks with its physical form - rending flesh; and 1 attack with it's echo - which uses its spiritual claws to rend the mind and soul. The creature also has the sharp teeth of a carnivore - although it does not use them to attack, it does use them to eat the heart of its victims.
Non-magical physical restraints cannot hold the demon - they sink its its flesh, sliding through as its flesh parts and reforms around them before they drop limply to the ground. The demon can pass through solid objects by fading into the ether and becoming mistlike until only its glowing red eyes remain as it passes through before reforming on the other side.