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The Irish Dullahan (also Durahan, Gan Ceann) is a type of unseelie faerie. It is headless, usually seen riding a headless black horse and carrying his head under one arm. The head’s eyes are massive and constantly dart about like flies, while the mouth is constantly in a hideous grin that touches both sides of the head. The flesh of the head is said to have the color and consistency of moldy cheese. When the dullahan stops riding, a mortal dies. There is no way to bar the road against a dullahan–all locks and gates open on their own when it approaches. Also, they do not appreciate being watched while on their errands, throwing a basin of blood on those who dare to do so. Nonetheless, they are frightened of gold, and even a single gold pin can drive a dullahan away.

Originally posted by The Vorpal Tribble of the Wizards Community forums.

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Medium fey (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice11d6+33 (71 hp)
Speed40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class17 (+2 Dexterity, +5 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple+5/+6
AttackWhip +8 melee (1d4 plus 1 Constitution damage)
Full AttackWhip +8 melee (1d4 plus 1 Constitution damage)
Space/Reach5 ft./5 ft.
Special AttacksEvil eye, headless, spell-like abilities, water into blood
Special QualitiesDamage reduction 10/gold or silver, dark of night, Darkvision 120 ft., death watch, know no barriers, immunity to fear, Low-Light Vision
SavesFort +6, Ref +9, Will +8
AbilitiesStrength 13, Dexterity 14, Constitution 17, Intelligence 15, Wisdom 12, Charisma 19
SkillsBluff +18, Climb +15, Intimidate +18, Listen +15, Move Silently +16, Ride +16, Search +16, Spot +15
FeatsAbility Focus (headless), Blind-Fight, Intimidating Strike, Weapon Finesse(B), Weapon Focus (Whip)
EnvironmentUnseelie Court
Challenge Rating7
AlignmentNeutral Evil
AdvancementBy character class
Level Adjustment

This being appears at first as a man dressed in an exquisite suit and cloak all in black. There is no head upon its shoulders however, but is instead tucked beneath one arm. The head glows with a faint, unwholesome light of decaying matter and indeed its skin is the color and texture of stale dough or moldy cheese. An enormous, idiotic grin literally spreads from one pointed ear to the other. The eyes are enormous and noctural, though the pupils are tiny and dart about like crazed flies.

A dullahan is a bringer of death, a relentless being of cruelty who preys upon humanoids without pity and with a vicious amusement. They are the assassins of the Unseelie Court, going hither and thither, riding or running all night in Search of one who has in some way insulted or even merely annoyed the court or a member. Just as often they kill only for the sake of killing, playing horrible, deadly games that may last for hours, but fortunately cannot last past daybreak.

They are most often found riding a horse which he has cut the head off and granted a temporary life. Blind and mute, it is wholey enslaved to its rider’s whims to guide it. He rides the horse until it dies or the sun rises, whereupon the steed is finally granted death.

They weigh the same as a standard human, though tend to be a head shorter than average.


A dullahan on an assassination mission usually kills the creature straight out if possible with it’s finger of death, with only minimal play beforehand. Those it persues for sport can last all night, bleeding and frightening the creature until before dawn it is often quickly dispatched. Those that are particularly amusing however are allowed to live so that it can ‘play’ with them in the future.

A dullahan’s weapon appears to be made from a human spine. It acts as a +1 wounding Whip that deals lethal damage and can deal damage even to those with armor.

Dark of Night (Su):

A dullahan fades away uponm exposure to the mortal’s sun, instantly returning to the Unseelie Court. It may transport back to the Material Plane anytime during the night and cannot transport again until the next night. If kept from transporting, such as by an anti-magic field, the sunlight renders it blind for as long as it is exposed and for 1d4 minutes after.

Deathwatch (Su):

A dullahan continuously senses how close a creature is to death as the Deathwatch spell. This ability extends out in a thousand foot cone.

Evil Eye (Su):

If it wishes, anyone who meets a dullahan’s gaze within 60 feet must succeed on a DC 19 fortitude save or go blind in one eye. They take a -4 penalty to Appraise, Craft, Search, and Spot checks and those flanking them gain a +4 bonus instead of the normal +2. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Headless (Su):

A dullahan is immune to decapitation such as from a vorpal weapon. The head cannot be focused for a sunder attempt while held, and anyone who touches it, such as snatching away the head with a disarm attempt, must succeed on a DC 21 will save or be struck instantly dead. Those who survive initial contact are immune to the deathly repercussions for as long as they hold it. If it is set down and then touched again they must make another save. This is a death affect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

If the head is destroyed the dullahan is not killed, but it can only hear and see and use its death watch ability wherever the head is located. The head has 10 hit points and a hardness of 5.

The dullahan must always have one hand free to hold its head. When a dullahan fades back at sun up the head fades as well and reunites with the body.

Unless a dullahan’s head is destroyed after the main body is killed the creature rises back to life the next night.

Know No Barriers (Su):

All non-magical doors and locks a dullahan wishes to pass through unlock and open automatically whenever he approaches within 20 feet. Magical doors and locks are also affected and effects such as Arcane Lock are dispelled if the caster level is less than the dullahan’s HD.

Spell-like Abilities: Caster level 12th. Save DC’s are Charisma-based.

Water Into Blood (Ex):

As a standard action a dullahan can convert 1 cubic foot, or eight gallons, of water into blood.

Headless Steed

A dullahan’s steed has no Intelligence score and is blind and deaf. For as long as the dullahan is in contact with it it can continue to run without taking damage, though still takes damage from being spurred to greater speeds, and moves as if sighted by his guiding. It can take no actions and has no initiative except for what the dullahan commands it to do.

The steed must be first killed by the dullahan and its head removed. If the dullahan beheads and mounts the creature within one minute it returns to a temporary life at full hit points.

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