When I set out to create a new monster, I often start by thinking about of what’s this creature is supposed to be. “A challenge” is the most common idea, but sometimes you want to create something to suit a certain vision. This week’s new monster was designed to be scary, or as scary as any monster really can be in game where the PCs have an incredible amount of power at their disposal. Combining several different ideas about just what might do the trick, I settled on this week’s new monster: the mirror lurker, an aberration that dwells out of the PCs’ reach and looks out at them through mirrors. Hideous to behold, unnatural and creepy, this elusive monster could provide you with just what you need to add a sense of fear to your game, and to plague the PCs with something they won’t be used to encountering.
The creature peers back at you from the mirror—where your own reflection should be, instead a mass of scarred flesh with three irregularly situated eyes, each different from one another, looks back at you. Its diagonal slash of a mouth is filled with diverse teeth, some long and jagged, some short and square, leering in a profane imitation of a smile.
MIRROR LURKER CR 16
CE Medium aberration (extraplanar)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +27
AC 31, touch 13, flat-footed 28 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +18 natural)
hp 228 (24d8+120)
Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +14
Defensive Abilities mirror world
DR 10/cold iron; SR 27
Melee 2 claws +24 (2d6 +5/19-20), bite +24 (3d6+5/19-20)
Special Attacks dread copy, mirror reach, mirror teleport, vision of terror
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +21)
At will—eyebite (DC 26), nightmare (DC 25), phantasmal killer (DC 24), suggestion (DC 24), veil (DC 26)
3/day—charm monster (DC25), waves of exhaustion
1/day—dominate person (DC 26), sympathy (DC 29)
Str 20, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 13, Wis 11, Cha 28
Base Atk +18; CMB +23; CMD 36
Feats Ability Focus (vision of terror), Dodge, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Improved Critical (bite, claw), Improved Initiative, Toughness, Spell Focus (enchantment, illusion, necromancy), Weapon Focus (bite, claw)
Skills Intimidate +36, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +28, Knowledge (local) +25, Knowledge (religion) +25, Perception +27
Languages Aklo, Common
Environment Ethereal Plane
Dread Copy (Su): Once per hour, a mirror lurker can cause a single mirror within 30 feet on either the Ethereal or Material Plane to produce an evil copy of the creature looking within it. This functions like the effect of a mirror of opposition, except that the copy is chaotic evil and destroying the mirror does not destroy the copy (though it does prevent further copies from being made out of that mirror). If the copy is not slain, it vanishes after 1 minute.
Mirror Reach (Ex): Even though it dwells on the Ethereal Plane, a mirror lurker can affect certain objects on the Material Plane. It has the ability to project its appearance into any mirror on the Material Plane, provided that mirror is within 1 mile of its equivalent location on the Ethereal Plane. When it does, it can use its spell-like abilities against creatures on the Material Plane, even though it is still on the Ethereal Plane. Destroying the mirror the mirror lurker is using in this way has no effect on the mirror lurker, though doing so may prevent the mirror lurker from using its spell-like abilities for a time. Destroying a mirror a mirror lurker is inhabiting in this way is exceptionally difficult, as the mirror gains hardness 20 and 5d20 hit points for as long as the mirror lurker remains in it.
Mirror Teleport (Su): The mirror lurker is aware of the locations of all mirrors on the Material Plane and their equivalent location on the Ethereal Plane, and can transport itself from one such mirror to another as a standard action, as with the spell greater teleport.
Mirror World (Ex): A mirror lurker is a creature that dwells on the edge of the Ethereal Plane. Though it cannot normally be harmed, except by other creatures on the Ethereal Plane or creatures that can see and interact with the Ethereal Plane, it is possible to bring it to the Material Plane. A character that casts plane shift on a mirror that the mirror lurker is currently inhabiting can force it to the Material Plane, where it can be harmed normally. The mirror lurker can reenter the Ethereal Plane with a special 1-minute ritual performed in front of any mirror.
Vision of Terror (Su): While projecting its image onto a mirror, as a full-round action the mirror lurker can choose to cause the mirror to reflect a vision of utter horror, the exact nature of which varies according to the mirror lurker’s desire. Characters who look into the mirror during this time must succeed on a Will save (DC 31) or become frightened for 1d4 rounds. Treat this as a gaze attack. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
Mirror lurkers are otherworldly aberrations native to the Ethereal Plane. Relatively little is known about these creatures, which are often mistaken for ghosts, demons, or even as cursed objects by those that encounter them. In truth, the creatures seem to live for nothing other than causing terror and misery to those who look in mirrors. The creatures strike randomly and afflict dread visions, impart wicked mental commands, and even create terrible living reflections that threaten the life and health of those looking into them. Though they rarely actually take a life, instead preferring to slowly torment and drive honest folks to evil or insanity, the creatures are both malicious and persistent, being a lasting plague on those unlucky enough to encounter it. Exceedingly difficult to reach, the mirror lurker can plague an individual or group for years without facing any real consequences.