Nature: Creature
Type: Construct

Alignment: True Neutral
Size: Large
CR: 8

First Encountered: 24.4 "Pyramid Schemes"

Description: "Holding its own severed head in its hands, this tall marble statue looms stern and forbidding over its domain"

A typical cephalophore stands 10 to 15 feet tall and weighs up to 4'000 pounds. They're made of solid marble, which makes attacking them with standard weaponry inefficient at best.

Information: Adventurers wandering among forgotten ruins, abandoned temples, or moldering graveyards may have a chance encounter with an enigmatic cephalophore standing watch over the site. At a cursory glance, these guardians appear to be looming statues of decapitated humanoids (often hobgoblins of the Dhakaani empire), their severed heads held aloft in a gruesome warning or cradled in their hands like a precious prize.

To benign passersby, these marble constructs remain inert, their stone gazes producing only an unnerving sense of watchfulness. However, those who attempt to raid or desecrate the cephalophore's holy site quickly find that this seemingly immovable statue is anything but. Part guard and part trap, most of these hulking figures were constructed millennia ago to stand guard over a single culturally significant location, typically a tomb or temple.

Cephalophores are the perfect sentinels - they remain completely still, without fatigue or complaint, for centuries, until a specific set of circumstances triggers them. These triggers are far from universal, and each individual cephalophore has a different set of transgressions that it is constitutionally bound to prevent. For many, it's the violation of certain relics within its tomb or temple, but some cephalophores are bound to attack any who pass by without performing a now­ long-forgotten ritual or incantation.

The ravages of time do little to diminish the single-minded dedication of these creatures, but the sacred edifices to which they're bound seldom stand so firmly against the ages. Thus, cephalophores are often found amid ruins or deep in the wilderness, standing vigilant guard over a site long forgotten by mortal society.

Consequently, many adventurers and tomb raiders have come to see cephalophores as a type of good-luck omen, because when one finds a cephalophore, a dangerous and treasure-filled ruin-hopefully still unlooted-is surely not far away.

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