Medium monstrosity, neutral
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 31 (7d8)
Speed 20 ft.
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses passive Perception 8
Languages understands Common but cannot speak
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Transfixing Gaze. If a creature starts its turn within 60 feet of the golgotha and the two of them can see each other, the golgotha can force the creature to make a DC 14 Charisma saving throw if the golgotha isn't incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature magically becomes transfixed and is charmed. It must repeat the saving throw at the start of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends and the creature is immune to this effect for 24 hours. On a failure, the creature uses all of its movement to approach the golgotha.
A creature that isn't surprised can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If it does so, it can't see the golgotha until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If it looks at the golgotha in the meantime, it must immediately make the save.
Deathwish. One creature the golgotha can see within 30 feet must succeed on a DC 10 wis saving throw, or it becomes convinced it is meant to die and is charmed. While charmed this way, the creature automatically fails all saving throws, attacks made against it have advantage, and it does not move away from danger or otherwise make any attempt to protect itself. This lasts for 1 round, after which the creature has advantage on the saving throw to resist this effect for 24 hours.
Sickle. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (8d6) slashing damage. This attack roll is made with a +3 bonus if the target is charmed by the golgotha.
|Art by Jonathan Wojcik
The golgotha was created by a bygone "death cult" to carry out its ritualistic executions; The original creators and masters of the golgotha were poorly understood, but near the end of their existence, the cult employed golgotha not only to extinguish themselves but to assassinate whatever powerful beings they judged as having lived "long enough."
Mostly hollow, it requires little more than heat and light to sustain itself, drawing energy through its eyes to be metabolized by its bacterial flora. The creature otherwise exhibits few biological processes, requires no sleep and produces no waste. Reproduction is a simple matter of growing a second, only slightly smaller individual within the conical mantle.
The golgotha's interior is lined with a thin layer of redundant neural tissue and crystalline growths to facilitate the telepathic transmission of cognitive information, the creature's primary offensive and defensive weapon. Susceptible organisms find themselves drawn to the monster's rhythmic "ticking," transfixed by its luminous eyes and induced to believe with absolute certainty that it is simply "their time;" that they are "meant" to perish by the monster's blade when its ticking comes to a close, often peacefully submitting to termination without resistance or regret.
A golgotha is silent, serious and unwaveringly patient, stirring to action only to defend itself or fulfill the orders of a superior. It carries out an execution with somber indifference until the very moment its blade ends another life, upon which it "celebrates" with a brief, spinning "dance" and a sound often compared to a cuckoo clock. This behavior does not appear programmed by its original creators, and it can explain only that it simply "feels right."