“Tabi-tabi po, mga nuno” is a phrase often taught to young children to help them avoid the ire of the Nuno sa Punso. The Nuno sa Punso is a spirit of the earth that lives in termite mounds and ant hills. He is a capricious, territorial creature that often shows itself as a hunched, wrinkled old man with a long, tangled greyish, and sometimes, white beard. His skin is dark and tanned, like his mound, and his voice is just as hoarse and scratchy as the soil that he digs his toes in.
The Nuno sa Punso can be found in a myriad of places, from backyards, to deep forests, to riverbanks, and even dark caves. Because of this wide range of potential Nuno homes, trespassing is a near inevitability.
Angry Old Man and His Curses
The Nuno sa Punso loves his solitude. He doesn’t like it when people come through and step on his termite mound or even come too close. He doesn’t appreciate human presence. Expect a curse in the form of an inconsolable pain or swelling in the body if you find yourself accidentally stepping near or on one without saying the signature phrase. Some folks report that after trampling on a punso, they grow an excessive amount of hair on their back. Others still, if you have truly earned the ire of a Nuno, may experience some dizziness that leads to vomiting up some dark liquid, causing them to be ill and bedridden for days.
Small but Terrible
Woe is the one who dares to challenge the Nuno and his territory. If you suffer a scratch from his long, sharp nails, your skin begins to harden until it spreads to the rest of your body. Many underestimate him for his diminutive stature, but his bite is much, much worse than his bark.
There are rare cases where a Nuno will allow himself to live nearby humans. In these rare instances, the humans that live near the termite mound know that offerings of small bowls of rice, a bottle of Tubâ, or a small harvest of their backyard’s fruit trees can help to appease the Nuno and ensure a peaceful co-existence. Sometimes, when a family member of the household has fallen ill, they can even beseech the help of the Nuno nearby with the same offerings, to lend a hand towards the speedy recovery of the sickly.
5e D&D Stat Block:
Nuno Sa Punso
Tiny fey, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 49 (9d4 + 27)
Speed 20 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
6(-2) 17(+3) 16(+3) 10(+0) 14(+2) 18(+4)
Skills Perception + 4, Survival + 4
Damage Resistances Poison; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened, Poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 14
Languages Common, sylvan
Challenge 2 (450 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
Innate Spellcasting. The nuno sa punso’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: poison spray, thaumaturgy
3/day each: bestow curse, lesser restoration
1/day each: contagion, greater restoration
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage and 13 (3d6 + 3) poison damage. On a hit, the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target is also unconscious while poisoned in this way. The target wakes up if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it awake.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature magically begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified for 24 hours, or until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic. The nuno sa punso can also use an action to free a creature petrified by its claws.
Creative Director: Kevin Andrew Murphy
Lore: Sinta Posadas
Statblock: Eugene Marshall
Ink: Bien Flores
Colors: Carly Sorge
Sensitivity Editor: Pamela Punzalan
Art Director: Aaron Acevedo