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Previews: Monster Journals - The Vrock and the Otyugh

By William Murphy on October 08, 2015

Monster Journals - The Vrock and the Otyugh

We've shown off a lot of Sword Coast Legends' more prominent and known monsters this week, but today, we're getting weird with the Vrock and the Otyugh. Seriously, these are not your typical D&D monsters. Read on for the details on the winged harpy-like Vrock and the nasty bulbous Otyugh!


The Vrock

I can't say I'm too familiar with the Vrocks. They remind me of a cross between The Dark Crystal's Skeksi and the Harpy. But they're brutal winged  creatures with poison gas, sharp claws, and they love shinies. I plan to ruin a lot of my friends' day when I drop about 10 Vrocks on them at once in my dungeons.

Vrocks are dull-witted, capricious fiends that live only to create pain and carnage. A vrock resembles a giant hybrid of humanoid and vulture, its gnarled, bestial body and broad wings stinking of filth and offal. Vrocks gobble humanoid flesh whenever they can, stunning potential prey with an ear-splitting shriek, then swooping down to attack with beak and claw. Vrocks can shake their wings, releasing clouds of toxic spores.

On the hunt, these demons loose ear-splitting shrieks. Vrocks covet pretty things, and they will turn against each other for the chance to lay claim to cheap jewelry or ornamental stones. Despite their love of treasure, vrocks are difficult to bribe, seeing no reason to bargain when they can simply take what they want from a would-be bargainer’s corpse.

The Otyugh

An otyugh is a grotesque, bulbous creature borne along on three sturdy legs, its eyes and nose set along a vinelike stalk that snakes from the top of its bloated body. Two rubbery tentacles end in spiky, leaf-like appendages that the otyugh uses to shovel food into its gaping maw. An otyugh buries itself under mounds of offal and carrion, leaving only its sensory stalk exposed. When an edible creature happens by, the otyugh’s tentacles erupt from the filth and grab hold of it. Otyughs make the most of any opportunity to ambush and devour prey. They use a limited form of telepathy to urge sentient creatures toward their lairs, sometimes by pretending to be something else.

Otyughs tolerate bright light only when considerable stores of carrion or garbage lie within reach. In the wilderness, they dwell in stagnant swamps, scum-filled ponds, and damp forest dells. The scent of graveyards, city sewers, village middens, and manure-filled animal pens attracts them to civilized areas. Since otyughs lack concern for anything but food, their nests sometimes accumulate a variety of treasures shed from their victims and mixed among the junk.

Sentient subterranean beings can coexist with otyughs, employing them as garbage disposals. With such plentiful sustenance, otyughs grow fat in their wallows, unmoved by any other drive or desire. This sedentary gluttony makes them reliable guardians. As long as it is fed, an otyugh refrains from attacking other creatures. However, would-be otyugh masters can easily underestimate the quantity of waste, carrion, and meat necessary to keep an otyugh from wandering off in search of food. More than one “trained”otyugh has eaten its keeper after devouring all the waste in its wallow.

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.