Sepulchral Stalker (5e Creature)
From D&D Wiki
Large construct, neutral
Saving Throws Dex +6
Multiattack. The sepulchral stalker makes two melee weapon attacks.
Glaive. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 5) slashing damage.
Transfixing Gaze. As a bonus action, the sepulchral stalker attempts to transfix a creature within 30 feet of it that it can see with its gaze. The creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw against this magic. On a failed save, the target begins to turn to sandstone and is restrained. The restrained target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends on the target. On a failure, the target takes 36 (8d8) necrotic damage and it loses a randomly determined limb as it crumbles into sand. If a creature is reduced to 0 hit points by the gaze it dies.
Sepulchral stalkers are massive, reanimated sentinels created by the ancient Nehekharans to delineate the borders of a king's realm. Over the centuries, the sepulchral stalkers have been swallowed by the shifting sands of the desert, and they now lie hidden beneath the dunes. Sepulchral stalkers are statues that have the body of a snake and the upper torso of a man. Atop the statues' curved spines sit inhuman skulls, inside which glow eerie, baleful lights. Lying beneath the surface of the desert, they wait for intruders to pass by before launching a devastating ambush. When the trap is sprung, several horrifying, snake-like forms burst from the ground to surround their prey. The sepulchral stalkers impale their foes on ornate glaives before they even realize they are under attack. However, it is not for the skill with which they wield these weapons that sepulchral stalkers are so feared, for those who gaze into their eyes are turned into pillars of sand, standing as still as statues until a gust of wind blows them apart and scatters the grains into the desert. To literally look upon a sepulchral stalker is to look to your own death.
Desert Sentinels. The incantations required to awaken sepulchral stalkers are complicated and difficult. First, a temple priest must collect the remains of a fallen Nehekharan warrior, one whose skeletal body is broken beyond all hopes of repair. The priests then walk out into the open desert under a full-moon, where they scatter these fragments on the ground, casting powdered bone to the wind as they speak a magical incantation. At the ritual's end, they throw the eyes of a desert cockatrice onto the sand, and the offerings sink beneath the desert surface. The spirit of the warrior's remains is thus bound into the stone frame of one of the buried sepulchral stalkers. They are imbued with powerful enchantments and compelled to patrol the lands against invaders for all eternity.
Gaze of Death. Sepulchral stalkers can burrow underneath the desert as quickly as they can move across its surface. They are instinctive hunters who can sense their prey trudging across the ground above, and they can prepare their ambushes without ever being seen. Those who are foolish enough to face sepulchral stalkers are magically turned into sand. Even foes who only catch a momentary glimpse of these creatures may find that one of their limbs crumbles in a shower of golden grains before their eyes—those that stare any longer seal their own doom. Sepulchral stalkers are said to be the desert's vengeance made manifest, and as suddenly as an attack begins, it ends. A lucky survivor might just witness the tip of a tail burrowing back under the dunes as the sepulchral stalkers leave in search of other prey. Even those who best these constructs must take care not to look at the decapitated beast, for in death, a vestigial hint of arcane power remains in their eyes.