This pale blue humanoid has bulging white eyes, wild hair, four-fingered hands, and a large hooked club.
Derro CR 3
Speed 20 ft.
Melee short sword +5 (1d4) or aklys +5 (1d6)
Ranged repeating light crossbow +5 (1d6/19–20 plus poison) or aklys +5 (1d6)
Special Attacks sneak attack +1d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd)
Derros use their Charisma modifier on Will saves instead of their Wisdom modifier, and are immune to insanity and confusion effects. Only a miracle or wish can remove a derro’s madness. If this occurs, the derro gains 6 points of Wisdom and loses 6 points of Charisma.
Poison Use (Ex)
Derros are not at risk of poisoning themselves when handling poison. They use Medium spider venom to poison their crossbow bolts, and generally carry 10 pre-poisoned bolts at all times.
Medium Spider Venom—injury; save Fort DC 14; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1d2 Strength damage; cure 1 save.
Vulnerability to Sunlight (Ex)
Environment any underground
Organization solitary, team (2–4), squad (5–8 plus 1 sorcerer of 3rd–5th level), or band (11–20 plus 30% noncombatants plus 3 sorcerers of 3rd–8th level)
Treasure NPC Gear (leather armor, short sword or aklys, repeating light crossbow with 10 poisoned bolts, other treasure)
Though derros dwell deep under most of the surface world’s cities, very few know of the sadistic creatures’ existence. Descended from mysterious fey that once dwelt deep underground, the derros lust for the comforts of the surface, yet the light of the sun causes them to blister, burn, and die. Derros often abduct surface dwellers to perform hideous experiments on them in their never-ending quest to divine what protects those who dwell above from the burning death, yet the intrinsic madness that plagues all derros dooms these experiments to failure every time. In the end, traumatized victims are returned to their homes, memories not quite completely wiped of their ordeal, to live the rest of their lives in vague fear of a nightmare they can’t quite recall.
A typical derro fights with a short sword or a repeating light crossbow with plenty of poison bolts. Some derros also carry an aklys—a hooked throwing club attached to a 20-foot- long cord. This cord limits the club’s range, but allows the derro to retrieve it as a move-equivalent action after it has been thrown.
Derro leaders are typically sorcerers of at least 3rd level, although they also make excellent rogues. Many derros wield strange and unusual weapons like hooked polearms, eerie whistling aklyses, long hollow spears that can be filled with toxins, or crystalline throwing wedges that shatter on impact to create horrific bleeding wounds.
A derro stands 3 feet tall and weighs 70 pounds.
Even though many derros live mere miles below the surface, few surface dwellers know much about the true terror that lurks below. Derros are expert infiltrators who work under the cover of night and skillfully hide their tracks. Underground, they quickly silence any strangers who stumble upon their settlements. Derros target undesirables, slum-dwellers, and people living on a city’s outskirts, for even the shameless derro have learned to avoid reprisal from surface authorities. On these frightful nights, a gang of eight to 12 derros led by a derro bodysnatcher infiltrate a city, quietly subdue unwilling subjects, and drag them below.
Once secured in their territory, derros fasten victims to stone slabs and prepare them for the devious white-eyed torturers who subject their captives to bizarre procedures.
Derros mend and release test subjects who survive this gruesome ordeal, though they often return for future abductions to track their weird experiments’ progress.
Derro brainwashers set upon the rare subjects who draw too much attention to their activities or audaciously attempt to trace their way back to derro enclaves. Masters of clouding memories and tweaking neural pathways, brainwashers ensure that their former guests’ recollections of their time underground remain suppressed. If this fails, or if there is no time for this delicate procedure, the derro cut ties with their specimen and send an urban hunter to terminate the experiment.