5E Epic Monsters: Cù-Sìth

Humanity so often today personifies death as the Grim Reaper but not always! Today’s Epic Monsters subject brings our species’ best friend into the mix to take on the job with the cù-sìth!


cu sith BANNER 5e.jpg


Cù-sìth are said to be as big a bull with paws the size of a human hand, shaggy dark green (sometimes white) fur, and a long or otherwise strange tail. As mentioned above they’re harbingers of death and show themselves to people who are about to enter the afterlife (not unlike a banshee). The cù-sìth can stalk as well as any hunter but are known to let out three terrifying barks (not one, not five, but three) able to be heard from miles away. Hearing one of these barks strikes terror and those who perceive it flee for safety—for any who hear the third bark die from fright. It apparently liked to abduct nursing women as well, taking them back to fairy mounds to feed daoine-sith (nature spirit folk like faeries or elves).

Bonus Tie-In! This is not our first deathly doggo from the British Isles!

Design Notes: I have to admit I am a bit of a dog person and happen to have a hound (who is the best girl yes she is). What we have here is a very sneaky hunting ghost able to tear it up and take a beating while its more sinister ability—that howl that kills people—gradually mounts up to raise the tension of a fight. As usual here at the end: it’s time to do the numbers. The DMG put the cù-sìth at a 6.5 and the Blog of Holding’s rubric at a 7, but given the whole heart-seizing howls thing I’m inclined to go with the latter.


Cù-Sìth
Large fey, lawful neutral

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 127 (15d10+45)
Speed 45 ft.

STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
18 (+4)​
17 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
3 (-4)​
15 (+2)​
16 (+3)​

Saving Throws Int -1
Skills Perception +8, Stealth +9, Survival +8
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, restrained
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Ethereal Sight. The cù-sìth can see 60 feet into the Ethereal Plane when it is on the Material Plane, and vice versa.

Incorporeal Movement. The cù-sìth can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.

Innate Spellcasting. The cù-sìth’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). The cù-sìth can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
+|+|+At will: hunter’s mark, misty step

Keen Hearing and Smell. The cù-sìth has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

Magic Resistance. The cù-sìth has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The cù-sìth attacks twice.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6+3) magical piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Howl of Terror (Recharge 8). The cù-sìth lets loose with a howl that chills the very soul of mortals. All living creatures within 2 miles of the cù-sìth that are able to hear it make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or are frightened for 1 minute.

A frightened creature that fails its save becomes panicked instead. A panicked creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from the cù-sìth as it can. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

A panicked creature that fails its save makes an additional DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or it dies instantly.

As long as it is not able to see the cù-sìth, a frightened or panicked creature can use a bonus action on its turn to make a new saving throw, ending the effect on a success. Panicked creatures have disadvantage on this save.

Etherealness. The cù-sìth enters the Ethereal Plane from the Material Plane, or vice versa. It is visible on the Material Plane while it is in the Border Ethereal, and vice versa, yet it can't affect or be affected by anything on the other plane.

Invisibility. The cù-sìth magically turns invisible until it attacks or until its concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell).
 
Last edited:
Mike Myler

Comments

Mike Myler

Explorer
Great write up. Can you explain why you chose to make it an aberration rather than a fey?
I do these in groups every couple months so it's been a while but from what I can recall of my thought processes, I think it was generally, "well it's not an undead, but it's definitely a weird supernatural harbinger of death and intended to fill that role in the lore, and it has no links to nature--aside from the dog bit--so maybe not a fey, and it's definitely leaning more into the alien/strange side of things than a usual monstrosity so: aberration."
 

maceochaid

Explorer
Interesting, I guess since it's name translates to "faerie hound" and in Celtic tradition, they come from the otherworld, which is roughly analagous to DnD's feywild I always think of them as fey. I do like the idea of the hounds of death having a supernatural representation of the natural cycles, curses, and prophecies. 5E hasn't been very clear about the distinctions of creatures as 4E was, but I still always think of aberrations as things Cthulueque.
 

Mike Myler

Explorer
Interesting, I guess since it's name translates to "faerie hound" and in Celtic tradition, they come from the otherworld, which is roughly analagous to DnD's feywild I always think of them as fey. I do like the idea of the hounds of death having a supernatural representation of the natural cycles, curses, and prophecies. 5E hasn't been very clear about the distinctions of creatures as 4E was, but I still always think of aberrations as things Cthulueque.
I can dig that. Fey it is!
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
Very nice. Much closer to the mythology than the "Cooshee" Elven Hounds we got back in 1st and 2nd Edition. As far as I can remember those were pretty much just big green doggos.
 

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