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Book of Beasts – Boitatá

Book of Beasts – Boitatá

Enormous, rage-filled eyes glow in the dark rainforest as a monstrous serpent raises its head. Flames lick along its massive body and gather in its mouth, ready to smite those who would lay an injurious hand on the forest.

Guardian of the Rainforest

The Boitatá is a fierce protector of the rainforest. It will allow travelers to pass through who show respect to the forest. However, any who harm the Boitatá’s realm in any way — whether by chopping down trees or setting them ablaze — risk bringing on the Boitatá’s wrath.

Powers of the Fiery Serpent

The Boitatá can breathe fire, camouflage itself, and turn itself invisible. Even when hidden, however, the Boitatá’s presence can be felt from the heat it gives off, like that of a raging bonfire. Flames dance along its body when angered, but these flames are not corporal, and thus serve no danger to the forest when the serpent slithers through the foliage. This contrasts with the fire from the Boitatá’s mouth, which is very real — and deadly.

Creature of the Night

As a nocturnal creature, the Boitatá only appears at night. Sometimes, just the glowing eyes of the serpent can be spotted in the deep shadows of the forest. Beware, however, lest you gaze long into these bright eyes, as a prolonged stare into their fiery depths will turn you insane.

Defeating the Fiery Serpent

The Boitatá is technically a ghost, and thus cannot be killed directly. However, it is possible to temporarily weaken the magical serpent by dousing its head in enchanted water. Once doused, the serpent produces much smaller flames for a short time and has slower movements. One can also incapacitate the serpent by striking it with a weapon made from the bones of any forest-dwelling animal. A sufficient strike to the head will drive the Boitatá to retreat to the land of the dead, leaving the forest unguarded until the serpent has regained its strength enough to return.

Placating the Boitatá

If angered, the Boitatá can be placated through sacrifice — that is, by offering the bodies (or at least the eyes) of dead animals. The Boitatá eats the eyes of the sacrifice, and if satisfied, abates its anger. However, depending on the level of harm caused to the forest, it may take quite a lot of death to placate the serpent. If the harm is extreme, the Boitatá may not stop until it sees the guilty killed.

Passing Safely Through the Forest

The Boitatá allows the free passage of all who respect the rainforest. However, sometimes small mistakes happen, or minor harm is necessary. Perhaps it is not possible to find sufficient fallen wood for building a campfire, and some logs or sticks must be cut from a living tree. In these cases, a traveler would be wise to keep animals, or at least eyeballs, on hand that it can leave as sacrifices for appeasement.


Large undead, lawful neutral

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 105 (8d10 + 24)

Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR      DEX    CON    INT     WIS      CHA

18(+4) 15(+2)  16(+3)  6(-2)   14(+2)   7(-2)

Skills Perception + 4, Stealth +6

Damage Resistances Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks

Damage Immunity Poison

Charmed, Exhaustion, Paralyzed, Poisoned

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 14

Languages Common

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)                     Proficiency Bonus +2

Banished by Forest Bone

If the Boitatá is struck by a critical hit from a weapon made of the bones of an animal from the Boitatá’s forest, it is banished to a harmless demiplane. While there, it is incapacitated. The Boitatá remains there for one hour, at which point it reappears in the space it left or in the nearest unoccupied space if that space is occupied.

Diminished by Holy Water

If the Boitatá takes damage from holy water, its fires diminish. Until the end of its next turn, its speed is reduced to 20 feet, its Bite no longer does additional fire damage, and its Fire Breath only does 4d6 fire damage.


If it dies, the Boitatá returns to life in 1d6 days and regains all its hit points. Only a wish spell can prevent this trait from functioning.

Melee Weapon Attack
: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage
plus 7 (2d6) fire damage.
Fire Breath (Recharge 5–6)
. The Boitatá exhales fire in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that
area must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) fire damage on a failed save,
or half as much damage on a successful one.
Invisibility. The Boitatá magically turns invisible until it attacks or uses its breath weapon, or
until its concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell).
Designer Notes:
The Boitatá is a creature of Brazilian folklore, originating with the native Tupi people. The story
of the Boitatá tells of a time of darkness and worldwide flooding that killed many animals. A
hungry survivor, an anaconda, fed on the glowing eyes of the dead until its body began to shine.
The serpent died with a great burst of light that escaped to the sun, ending the days of
darkness. Today, the spirit of the Boitatá is said to live on in the Amazon rainforest, savagely
protecting the jungle from all who wish to harm it.
Creative Director: Kevin Andrew Murphy
Lore: Brianna da Silva
Statblock: BJ Recio
Ink: Bien Flores

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As a devout reader of fantasy novels, Brianna has always felt the call to put pen to paper and will be embarking on her greatest adventure yet — releasing her debut novel, City of Reckoning in 2021. When she’s not writing, she can be found behind the camera directing films or behind the computer screen working on multimedia design projects. Brianna’s path has led her to contribute digital illustrations to SBA.gov and motion graphics for a multitude of nonprofits, and freelancing while traveling the world. Follow along to see what’s next on her journey at briannadasilva.blog.

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