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Book of Beasts / Gaming / RPG

Book of Beasts: Sering

Book of Beasts: Sering

A pretty green-haired wood nymph swings in the bower of a strangler fig tree, rocking the suspended remains of dead infants while singing a lullaby and nursing a living babe. Fruit bats dangle around her upside-down, happily munching her tree’s luscious figs.

The sering, the dryad of the nunut strangler fig, is a loving mother who cannot abide the sound of a crying infant, living or dead. She steals any crying babe she hears, leaving one of her own quiet green-haired infants in its place. Villagers leave dead babes in her care, for the sering’s lullabies can lull even the undead to sleep. Serings dress in gowns of fig leaves with fig blossoms and fruits as accessories and ornaments.

Babes in the Wood. Serings love babies and will not stand to see them being neglected or abused. If a sering hears one crying near her forest home — or hears of one from her sharp-eared friends, the bats — she sets out to find it and bring it back to her bower. She leaves a green-haired changeling in its place. Sering changelings never cry or fuss but look exactly like the child they replaced except for a telltale green tint to their hair. Mortal babes nursed by a sering become changelings in a week if not stolen back.

Batty Bower-Swing. Sometimes the crying child is too far for the sering to walk from her tree, so she has her fruit bat friends take hold of the vines of her swing and carry her to the bawling babe, even into the heart of a city.

Soothing Lullabies, Nightmare Screams. The sering’s song is so sweet it can lull any to sleep, even the undead. Villagers whose children die before they can walk sometimes bring their little ones to the sering’s tree and hang them in her branches, beseeching the nymph to look after them, which she does, singing them to sleep just as she does her living charges. If a sering is ever killed, the spirits of the dead babes haunt the killer every night thereafter, denying any chance of sleep or rest.

Sering

Medium fey, neutral good

Armor Class 14 (16 With barkskin)

Hit Points 112 (15d8 + 45)

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR      DEX     CON     INT     WIS     CHA

13(+1)  19(+4)  16(+3)  14(+2)   14(+2)   19(+4)

Saving Throws Str +4, Dex +7, Con +6, Int +5, Wis +5, Cha +7

Skills Animal Handling +8, Insight +5, Perception +5

Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 15

Languages Common, Elvish, Gnomish, Sylvan

Wood Walk. The sering can move through undergrowth in forests and jungles without making an ability check. Additionally, difficult terrain of this kind doesn’t cost it extra movement.

Tree Stride. Once on her turn, the sering can use 10 feet of her movement to step magically into one living tree within her reach and emerge from a second living tree within 60 feet of the first tree, appearing in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the second tree. Both trees must be Large or bigger.

Innate Spellcasting. The sering’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: druidcraft

3/day each: entangle, goodberry, sleep

2/day each: barkskin, hallucinatory terrain, pass without trace

Speak with Beasts and Babies. The sering can communicate with beasts and babies as if they shared a language, and in the sering’s presence, beasts and babies can communicate freely with each other. Once an infant is able to walk it no longer counts as a baby.

Lull the Dead. The sering’s sleep spell affects even the undead. So long as the sering sings to them each night, the dead babes in her charge never wake, including utburds and any other undead babes.

Retinue of Bats and Babes. The fruit bats in a sering’s retinue include a swarm of bats and 1d4 giant bats. For every bat, the sering has one ghost babe and for every giant bat she has an utburd or other major undead infant among her sleeping charges.

Actions

Whip. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 4) slashing damage.

Credits:

Lore: Kevin Andrew Murphy

http://kevinandrewmurphy.com/

Statblock: Eugene Marshall

https://arcanistpress.com/

Ink: Bien Flores

https://www.deviantart.com/bienflores

Sensitivity Editor: Pamela Punzalan

https://www.patreon.com/thedovetailor

Art Director: Aaron Acevedo

http://sigil.info/


This creature is from the upcoming Book of Beasts. Keep an eye out every Thursday for a new monster as part of our Monster of the Week series!

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Kevin Andrew Murphy writes short stories, plays, poems, novels, and roleplaying games. A long-standing contributor to Wild Cards (www.wildcardsworld.com), George R.R. Martin’s super-hero series, Kevin’s story for Mississippi Roll, “Find the Lady,” won the 2019 Darrell Award for Best Novella. On the gaming end, Kevin’s currently editor in chief for Savage Sign, the Savage Worlds roleplaying game magazine. Kevin’s next short story is “Anastasia’s Egg” coming out in October in Weird World War III edited by Sean Patrick Hazlett for Baen. A lifelong resident of California’s Bay Area, Kevin has recently relocated to Reno, Nevada.

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