Hello and welcome once again to a new Frightful Fridays! I'm at GenCon as this gets posted, but I got this monster done early for publication. The phantom ray evolved considerably from what I envisioned when I first saw the image. So, what was once a bog standard ghostly monster with a weird poison became a weapon against outsiders, but one that really does not want that role. Its divine purpose or engineering attracts it to outsiders, but phantom rays choose only to observe and record the creatures' activity.
So, that is the phantom ray. I hope you enjoy it, and I'll be back next week with a new monster (even if I get con crud and I deliriously post another amphibian). Thanks for reading!
This ghostly sting ray's long tail whips around. Visible waves of eldritch energy emanate from the creature's body.
Phantom Ray CR 5
N Small outsider (extraplanar, incorporeal)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
Aura feedback aura (60 ft., DC 16)
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+3 deflection, +4 Dex, +1 size)
hp 51 (6d10+18)
Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +4
Defensive Abilities incorporeal
Speed fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee sting +11 (1d6+6 plus poison)
Str —, Dex 19, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 16
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Alertness, Flyby Attack, Improved Initiative
Skills Fly +18, Intimidate +11, Knowledge (history) +17, Knowledge (local) +17, Knowledge (planes) +14, Linguistics +4, Perception +12, Sense Motive +12, Stealth +15; Racial Modifiers +8 Knowledge (history), +8 Knowledge (local), +8 Knowledge (planes)
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Common, Infernal
Organization solitary, pair, or wake (3–12)
Feedback Aura (Su) At the beginning of a phantom ray's turn, every summoned creature and extraplanar outsider within the radius of its feedback aura must succeed at a DC 16 Fortitude save or take 2d6 points of damage. Additionally, any creature within the aura benefitting from ongoing spells or effects must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 16 + highest applicable spell level) or take damage equal to the highest applicable spell level.
Heartstopper Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 16, frequency 1/round for 6 rounds, effect 1d3 Con and paralysis for 1 round, cure 2 consecutive saves. A phantom ray's heartstopper poison bypasses poison immunity or resistance possessed by outsiders and summoned creatures. The save DC is Constitution-based.
A phantom ray claims to merely observe important events as they unfold on the Material Plane, and that may be the case now. However, the creature's array of abilities suggest that it was intended to be a weapon against extraplanar creatures of some sort—perhaps all outsiders, in order to prevent the Material Plane from becoming a massive battlefield. Strangely, the ray is an extraplanar outsider itself, deriving from an ancient aberration now adapted to the Ethereal Plane. A phantom ray will only attack to defend itself, but many creatures, especially outsiders, regard its inherent feedback aura as a preemptive attack.
Depending on the momentousness of an imminent extraplanar incursion, anywhere from one to a dozen phantom rays show up to observe it from a safe distance. Knowledgeable creatures realize that the appearance of phantom rays heralds the arrival of powerful angels, devils, demons, or other planar denizens. If the rays have any awareness of what is coming, they do not share that knowledge.