D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Escornáu

Epic Monsters is ready to impale you with fun today thanks to the escornáu!

Escornau DnD 5e BANNER.jpg

Also known as the ehcornáu or escornai, the escornáu hails from the 1500s in the village of Ahigal in Cáceres (Extremadura, Spain). The legend goes that it was sent by God to punish people for their sins, although there are several different ways it might have been brought into the mortal realm: by a sow and stallion, a boar and mare, cow and stallion, bull and mare, or a bored sheepherder. In any event it was said to be part horse, part bull, and part boar, most importantly with that big old horn (or in the sheepherder case, a scaly boar with the horn). This was a vicious creature that loved goring people to death—ladies in particular, who would then be carried about—and though it wasn’t against eating human flesh it preferred riverside pigeons. Like the kongamato the escornáu has a prehistoric ancestor (a horned boar called the kubanochoerus), and other myths about it claim it had exceptional senses and that it “always slept with one eye open”.

Impervious to arrows and bullets, the people of Ahigal instead turned to faith to deal with the escornáu. The second attempt to quell it with the power of prayer succeeded (the Order of the True Cross were slaughtered, the Order of the Rosary survived) first paralyzing the beast and then making it explode upon a hill turned red with its blood, rechristened Canchu la sangri. Its horn became a treasured relic famous for its healing properties for female sterility, insomnia, stomach pain, nervousness, and growth, and as a token of good luck—until in the late 1800s the Bishop of Coria found out about the faith bestowed into it instead of christianity, taking it away to parts unknown.

Design Notes: To begin with we’re going to start with dire boar but make it a monstrosity to avoid druid shenanigans, and also a smidge stronger. As for alignment it seems like there’s no option but neutral evil; parading around dead people as trophies on your face is definitely evil. Obviously it’s getting immunity to weapon damage, and also fire resistance and poison immunities because those seem like tactics a terrified village probably tried, and cold resistance too (both because it means no rays of frost so more emphasis on melee cantrips when fighting it, and because this thing should probably be able to tool around in the winter doing its job). On top of that we’re going to give the escornáu Regeneration with a radiant weakness—that covers a lot of the ancillary bases and makes it extremely durable, at least tough enough to give spellcasting adventurers pause. Throw in proficiency with Intelligence saving throws for a bit of illusion proofing. So how does it die? That weakness to faith! We’ll define it, make sure it’s something within reach of villagers, and then give it some structure and functionality at a distance that should keep things interesting. It’s still possible to kill it with other things, but it’ll be a slog. Finish everything by putting on that big old horn, including a bit about impaling folks. Let’s do the numbers! The DMG skirted in just barely past 6 and the Blog of Holding at 5.666, averaging out to make the escornáu a beefy CR 5 that should prove to be an exciting encounter for most parties (good luck to any group totally bereft of divine spellcasters though as they are in for quite a long fight).


Large monstrosity, neutral evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 68 (8d10+24)
Speed 40 ft.
19 (+4)​
10 (+0)​
16 (+3)​
2 (–4)​
7 (–2)​
5 (–3)​
Saving Throws Int –1, Wis +1; Proficiency +3
Damage Resistances cold, fire
Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses passive Perception 8
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Charge. If the escornáu moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a horn attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 9 (2d8) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Regeneration. The escornáu regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the escornáu takes radiant damage, this trait doesn't function at the start of the escornáu’s next turn. The escornáu dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn't regenerate.

Relentless (1/Short Rest). If the escornáu takes 10 damage or less that would reduce it to 0 hit points, it is reduced to 1 hit point instead.

Weak to Faith. When the escornáu first enters within 60 feet of an active holy spell or starts its turn within 60 feet of an active holy spell, it must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 10 + the spell level of the highest active holy spell) or gain a level of suffering. At the end of each of its turns when suffering and not within 60 feet of an active holy spell, the escornáu repeats the saving throw, recovering from one level of suffering on a success. The following spells count as holy spells when cast by a good creature: beacon of hope, bless, dispel evil and good, hallow.
In addition, the escornáu gains a level of suffering when it is within the area of a Channel Divinity to Turn Undead and fails its saving throw.
Suffering 1: The escornáu has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls, and its walking speed is halved.​
Suffering 2: The escornáu has disadvantage on saving throws.​
Suffering 3: The escornáu becomes paralyzed.​
Suffering 4: The escornáu begins to swell.​
Suffering 5: The escornáu explodes, covering everything in a 60-foot radius with crimson gore. Each creature within 20 feet of it must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.​

Horn. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium-sized or smaller humanoid, on a critical hit it must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be grappled (escape DC 15).
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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

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