Space is…kind of terrifying. Let loose from the limitations of Earth, who knows what might be lurking on distant worlds, behind asteroids, or in the inky void itself. That goes double for Spelljammer, where all manner of magical and demonic beasties can be found threatening travelers of Wildspace. In Boo’s Astral Menagerie, D&D have spotlighted some of the wildlife, monsters, and villains you might run into on your adventures aboard a Spelljammer ship. And out of all of those, these are the weirdest ones of all.
So imagine if a a T. rex, a Cave Troll, and a Triceratops went into Seth Brundle’s teleporter. That’s a Braxat. A gigantic, warm-blooded carnivore, Braxat’s are much more intelligent then they might appear and are protected by a Psionic shield that allows them to deflect attacks and even absorb magic missile spells. They also spit acid because, you know, it’s space. Something has to spit acid.
One of the scariest things you might face in Wildspace is the Neh-Thalggu, or Brain Collector. These creatures of the Far Realm use humanoid brains to fuel their magic and they spend their days roaming the Material and Astral Planes to collect as many as they can. They extract their victims brain with those huge pincers and store them in sacs all over their body until they get enough to return home for some mysterious purpose.
Asteroids are already a problem for the average Spelljammer crew, but sometimes it gets worse when an Eye Monger is in the mix. When these Beholder-like predators feel the vibrations in nearby space (because physics) they snap awake and tries to swallow its prey whole. And just to make sure its food can’t get out, the inside of an Eye Monger suppresses all magic. So good luck plane shifting your way out!
Everyone loves a space whale. In Spelljammer, space whales take the form of the peaceful Kindori. These gentle giants (emphasis on giant) have no visible mouth and no need for food, drink, or air. Their eyes project light that they use to communicate over long distances as well as blind predators. They’re so large that they often have vegetation growing on them and often have their skeletons repurposed as spelljamming ships.
A Murder Comer is what happens when an evil spellcaster fuses a fire elemental and earth elemental together and turnes them into a malevolent stone head flying through space. While terrifying on their own, they sometimes join up with other murder comets to create a roving band of maniacal astro trash who only want to destroy. Some of these spellcasters will even fuse their spirit to the Murder comet and become ageless and immortal, free to roam the universe for all eternity.
Yeah there’s…there’s Space Clowns. No, I’m not entirely sure why they exist. Once humans who worshipped a god of revelry, they became addicted to a drink called Thrill Joy distilled from a demonic ichor that eventually turned them all the colorful fiends above. It is from them that the universe has acquired its fear of clowns.
A Vampirate is not like a normal vampire. They don’t feed on blood, don’t sleep in coffins, and aren’t created by being bitten. Instead, Vampirates come from Space Pirates who simply refuse to die. They travel the void in a morbid facsimile of their former pirate life, drinking and carousing as they search for victims to drain life from. Like normal pirates, you’re never sure if a crew of Vampirates will be a crew of murderous criminals or a slightly more polite crew of murderous criminals. One thing is for certain, though, they know how to dress.
You can pick up Boo’s Astral Menagerie as a part of the Spelljammer: Adventures In Space bundle. For a look at another book in that set, check out my review of The Astral Adventurer’s Guide, and don’t forget to enter our giveaway to get your own!
Images via Wizards of the Coast
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