First up: The Hollyshade. That this is possibly the best drawing I’ve ever done may show the limits of my artistic talent (other artistic output). This monster is statted for Basic Fantasy, but should be pretty easy to drop into other OSR games. Image and monster text are both CC BY 3.0, so feel free to repost/use in your own books.
A thick cloak of holly leaves covers this stocky biped. Many eyes peek from the foliage, as does a large beak protruding from its off-center head. Its sole arm is muscular, and ends in a shimmering greataxe. A cluster of wood stakes pierces its torso.
Attacks: Greataxe +3 (d10); Flying Stake +3 (d4) (20’)
Movement: 30’ Jump 30’
Key Abilities: Smoke Cloak +1, Non-Magic Immunity
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: Fighter: 3
Treasure Type: N and +1 Greataxe
The hollyshade is a relentless hunter created when a human’s blood is shed on a holly bush. With sufficient bloodshed, the bush becomes dependent on the magical energy received from blood and yearns for more. Its boughs twist and turn under the great influx of magical energy, eventually forming a hollyshade.
From there, the hollyshade will go out and seek fresh blood to water the bush, killing indiscriminately and dragging its victims’ bodies to lay on the bush’s roots. A hollyshade’s parent bush will spawn a new hollyshade 1d4 weeks after one is killed, until the bush is chopped down.
Smoke Cloak: A cloud of thick black smoke extends fifty feet from this creature, surprising with 1-4 on 1d6.
Non-Magic Immunity: The Hollyshadow is immune to non-magical weapon damage.
The monster text included in this article, and the illustration, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License Please attribute by linking to this article.