Small aberration, unaligned
Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 16 (3d6 + 6)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Skills Perception +3, Stealth +7
Proficiency Bonus +2
Damage Resistances damage from spells
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, petrified, poisoned
Senses blindsight 120 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 13
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Antimagic Weapons. The afilate's weapon attacks are magical, and ignore AC bonuses from spells such as mage armor or shield.
Magic Resistance. The afilate has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Pack Tactics. The afilate has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the afilate's allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.
Sense Magic. The afilate senses magic within 120 feet of it at will. This trait otherwise works like the detect magic spell but isn't itself magical.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) piercing damage. If the target has spell slots, the afilate regains hit points equal to twice the level of the highest level spell slot available to the target and the target must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or be unable to cast any spells of 1st level or higher until the start of its next turn.
Nimble Escape. The afilate takes the Disengage or Hide action.
Afilates are small quadrupedal creatures that feed on magic. They have iron skin plating with exposed flesh visible in between the plates. They have no facial features except for a single circular mouth with many rows of teeth. Upon attacking a creature capable of casting spells, the target will temporarily lose the ability to cast spells of any kind. During combat, an afilate will actively target any spellcasters before retreating, preferring not to waste its time and energy with non-magical beings. Afilates will gather into small packs to hunt their prey. They are believed to have originated from twisted mind flayers in an attempt to wipe away all magic.
When an afilate consumes magic, the energy it takes forms into ruby-colored crystalline growths known as afilate rubies all over its body in stark contrast with its outer grey shell. When these growths grow too big, they will fall off of the afilate and the afilate will collect them. After collecting a certain number of growths, the afilate will shed its metal exoskeleton and merge both the shell and the growths into two separate bracelets. The naked afilate will then place the bracelets in a place where a humanoid will come across it before finding a place to die. Upon death, the afilate's body will quickly begin to decay and dissolve. These bracelets are used in the reproductive cycle of afilates. While a creature wears one of these bracelets, the bracelet will form spheric metal "buds" around half an inch in diameter across its surface once every three months. Each bud will fall off four hours later, whereupon it will uncurl, revealing a Tiny infant afilate, which will scurry off to find a safe shelter where it will rapidly mature over the course of one week.
Variant: Afilate Sickness
Sometimes, an afilate may become too bloated with magic and magical growths which have failed to fall off. An afilate with afilate sickness has the following traits.
Bloated. The afilate has disadvantage on Dexterity checks and Dexterity saving throws and its speed is halved.
Death Burst. When the afilate is reduced to 0 hit points, the magical growths on its body will explode and send out a wave of magical energy. Each creature in a 10-foot radius must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 14 (4d6) force damage and is infected with afilate sickness. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and isn't infected.
Creatures infected with afilate sickness are referred to as afilate sickened, and they gain the ability to absorb magic and can detect magic in a certain radius. Absorbed magic is also turned into afilate rubies, which grow upon the creature's body much like with true afilates, but an afilate sickened can have no more than three. One afilate ruby can be removed if the afilate sickened is subjected to a remove curse spell or similar magic. An afilate sickened has the following traits.
Sense Magic. The afilate sickened senses magic within 120 feet of it at will. This trait otherwise works like the detect magic spell but isn't itself magical.
Magical Absorption. The afilate sickened has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. If the afilate sickened succeeds on a saving throw against a spell or a spell attack misses it, it regains hit points equal to 3 (1d6) plus the spell's level (the level of a cantrip is 0).
After absorbing 3d8 levels worth of spells, the afilate sickened must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the afilate sickened becomes overcome by primal urges for 1 minute and grows one afilate ruby. On a successful save, the creature isn't overcome by primal urges and removes one afilate ruby (if any). If this would cause the afilate sickened to have no afilate rubies, it is cured of afilate sickness.
While the afilate sickened is overcome by primal urges, it must use all its movement to move towards the closest spellcaster that it can see, taking the Dash action as required. If the afilate sickened cannot see any spellcasters, it moves normally. If the afilate sickened ends its movement adjacent to a spellcaster or starts its turn adjacent to a spellcaster, the spellcaster must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw, taking 11 (2d10) force damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The afilate sickened then regains hit points equal to half the damage dealt.
If an afilate sickened starts its turn with three afilate rubies, it is transformed into an afilate abomination.