Afilate (5e Creature)
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Small aberration, unaligned
Skills Perception +2, Stealth +6
Antimagic Weapon. 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.
Nimble Escape. The afilate can take the disengage action or hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.
Pack Tactics. The afilate has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of the afilate's allies is within 5ft of the afilate.
Sense Magic. The afilate senses magic within 120ft of it at will. This trait otherwise works like the detect magic spell but isn't itself magical.
Multiattack. The afilate makes two bite attacks.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4 + 3) piercing damage. If the target has spell slots, it must succeed on a DC 14 saving throw or lose 1d4 spell slots. The type of save is determined by the target's spellcasting ability. Roll a d8. The target then loses spell slots of that level. If they have no spell slots of that level remaining, and spell slots must still be absorbed, they are taken from the next highest available slots. The afilate regains hit points equal to twice the combined level of spell slots lost (ex. 2 1st level spells + 1 2nd level spell + 1 3rd level spell = 7 * 2 = 14). If a target loses all of their spell slots this way, the target loses their ability to cast spells until they are cured with a lesser restoration spell.
Afilates are small quadrupedal creatures that feed of 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 lose the ability to cast spells of any kind. During combat, an afilate will activity target any spellcasters before retreating, preferring not to waste its time and energy will 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 it consumes magic, the energy it takes forms into ruby-colored crystalline growths all over the afilates body in stark contrast with its outer grey shell. When these growths grow too big, they will fall, of the afilate which it will collect. 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 reproduction of more afilates. When worn by a female, it will cause a pregnancy where the female will produce multiple large metal spheres. The sphere will uncurl itself revealing it to be an afilate which will quickly grow and mature over a few hours.
Variant: Afilate Sickness. Sometimes, an afilate may become too bloated with magic and magical growths which have failed to fall off. These afilates have the following changes to them:
If a creature is infected with Afilate Sickness, they gain the ability to absorb magic and can detect magic in a certain radius. Absorbed magic is also turned into ruby-colored growths all over the creature's body. These growths prevent the creature from wearing heavy armor. They gain the following abilities:
After absorbing a number of spell levels equal to 3d8 (ex. 2 1st level spells + 4 2nd level spells + 1 3rd level spell = 13), you must make a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw. On a success, nothing happens and you must repeat the saving throw during your next long rest with a +2 to the DC. The DC will reset on a failure. On a failure, you will be taken over by primal instincts and be compelled to seek out the nearest source of magic. Upon finding a creature with an affinity for spellcasting (excluding innate spellcasting), you will attempt to feed off their magic. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw, or take 11 (2d10) force damage. Also, on a failure, the target loses their affinity to cast spells until they are cured with a greater restoration spell. Upon feeding, you will regain your sense of control with no memory of what happened. You must repeat the saving throw during your next long rest, with the same effects occurring for failures and successes.
Upon three failed saving throws, you will transform into an afilate abomination. All of your facial features will recede into your head except for your mouth which will grow multiple rows of sharp teeth. Your fingers will grow into sharp claws and your skin will harden into a grey steel exoskeleton, with the only exposed flesh being present at your joints. Along with that, you will grow a tail, multiple horns will grow all over your head and small fleshy tendrils will push between the openings in your exoskeleton all along your back. You will then be taken over with primal instincts and the need to sate your endless hunger. Before transforming, you may be cured with a remove curse spell cast at 5th level or higher. After transforming, your original form may be restored with a wish spell or similar effect
Upon absorbing another creature's affinity for magic, a large cavity will open on the afilate abominations torso revealing multiple fleshy tendrils and a large capping mouth with hundreds of teeth, a seemingly endless abyss. When its true mouth is open, it can absorb spells and consume other creatures. It requires a lot of energy to keep its true mouth open and must close it after a short amount of time. After retreating to its lair, the afilate abomination will regurgitate any consumed creatures, now encased in a red crystalline chrysalis similar to the red magical growths a normal afilate would produce. A creature in this state can be freed with a remove curse spell. Over time, the afilate abomination will feed off the innate magic within these creatures, eventually draining even their soul from there bodies. But this process will be slow and happen over the course of many weeks. Near the end, the creature will appear completely drained and will have greatly decreased in size. The body will then transform into an afilate under the afilate abomination's control. Note that these afilate have similar deformities as the afilate abomination and are unable to reproduce.