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Drakainai, Scylla

Füssli, Johann Heinrich Title: Odysseus in front of Scylla and  Charybdis, Drakainai, Scylla
Füssli, Johann Heinrich Title: Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis

Scylla is a huge, terrible beast. Six scaly necks end in wolf-like heads, and suckered tentacles curl from its swollen body.

“Her legs – and there are twelve – are like great tentacles, unjointed; and upon her serpent necks are borne six heads like nightmares of ferocity”

Homer, The Odyssey.

Scylla with Charybdis live on either side of a narrow channel of water. The two sides of the strait are within an arrow’s range of each other, so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis will pass too close to Scylla and vice versa. Scylla is a horribly grotesque sea monster, with six long necks quipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp teeth. Her body consisted of twelve canine legs and a fish’s tail. She was one of the children of Phorcys and Hecate.

She was once a beautiful nymph. The sea-god Glaucus fell madly in love with her, but she fled from him onto the land where he could not follow. Despair filled his heart. He went to the sorceress Circe to ask for a love potion to melt Scylla’s heart.

As he told his tale of love to Circe, she herself fell in love with him. She wooed him with her sweetest words Glaucus and looks, but the sea-god would have none of her. Circe was furiously angry, but with Scylla and not with Glaucus.

She prepared a vial of very powerful poison and poured it in the pool where Scylla bathed. As soon as the nymph entered the water she was transformed into a frightful monster with twelve feet and six heads, each with three rows of teeth. She stood there in utter misery, unable to move, loathing and destroying everything that came into her reach, a peril to all sailors who passed near her. Whenever a ship passed, each of her heads would seize one of the crew.

Odysseus was given advice by Circe to sail closer to Scylla, for Charybdis could drown his whole ship. Odysseus then successfully sailed his ship past Scylla and Charybdis, but Scylla caught six of his men, devouring them alive.

Heracles encountered her during a journey to Sicily and slew her. Her father, the sea-god Phorcys, then applied flaming torches to her body and restored her to life.


AI Generated Artwork – NightCafe Creator

This warped being has a beautiful female’s upper torso and the lower body of a fish. Like a macabre belt, six heads on long sinewy necks are attached to her torso.

Huge monstrosity, chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 253 (22d12 + 110)
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.

20 (+5)12 (+1)20 (+5)10 (+0)10 (+0)5 (-3)

Skills Perception +7, Stealth +8
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Common
Challenge 22 (41,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Ambusher. In the first round of a combat, the she has advantage on attack rolls against any creature it surprised.
  • Amphibious. She can breathe air and water.
  • Legendary Resistances (3/Day). If she fails a saving throw, she can choose to succeed instead.
  • Magic Resistance. She has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Multiple Heads. She has five heads. While it has more than one head, the scylla has advantage on saving throws against being blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, and knocked unconscious. Whenever the scylla takes 20 or more damage in a single turn, one of its heads dies. If all its heads die, the scylla dies.
  • Reactive Heads. For each head the scylla has beyond one, it gets an extra reaction that can be used only for opportunity attacks.
  • Regeneration. The scylla regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. If the scylla takes acid or fire damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the scylla’s next turn. The scylla dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.
  • Siege Monster. She deals double damage to objects and structures.
  • Wakeful. While the she sleeps, at least one of its heads is awake.


  • Multiattack. The scylla makes one fist attack and as many bite attacks as it has heads, each of which it can replace with one use of Fling or Swallow.
  • BiteMelee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10 + 5) piercing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 20). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the scylla can’t bite another target with that head.
  • FistMelee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Large or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 20) and restrained until the grapple ends. The scylla has two fists, each of which can grapple one target.
  • Fling. One Large or smaller object held or creature grappled by the scylla is thrown up to 60 feet in a random direction and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes a solid surface, the target takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.
  • Frightful Presence. Each creature of the scylla’s choice within 120 feet of it and aware of it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, with disadvantage if the scylla is within line of sight, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the scylla’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
  • Swallow. The scylla makes one bite attack against a Large or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target takes the bite’s damage, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the scylla, and it takes 56 (16d6) acid damage at the start of each of the scylla’s turns. If the scylla takes 60 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the scylla must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the scylla. If the scylla dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse by using 30 feet of movement, exiting prone.

Legendary Actions

The she can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The she regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Attack. She makes one bite attack or slam attack.
  • Move. The scylla moves up to half its speed.
  • Chomp (Costs 2 Actions). She makes one bite attack or uses its Swallow.


According to some myths, Phorcys and Hecate are the parents of this horrendous monster, others say Typhon and Echidna beget the monster. Yet another myth says that Scylla was born a radiantly beautiful nymph who was cursed into her current vile form.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Ancient Adventures. Copyright 2020, Mal and Tal, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E RPG: Ancient Adventures. Copyright 2020, Mal and Tal, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.


Originally Posted by Kain Darkwind of the Dicefreaks d20 Community.

On this Thread

It lives in a cave in a high rock, across the strait from Charybdis, a monster even more horrible Scylla

Colossal outsider (Aquatic, Evil, Lawful)
Hit Dice48d8 + 672 (1,056 hp)
SpeedSwim 100 ft.
Armor Class42 (+8 Dexterity, +6 insight, +26 natural, -8 size), touch 16, flat-footed 28
Base Attack/Grapple+48/+94
Attack2 tentacles +60 melee (3d6 + 20)
Full Attack6 tentacles +60 melee (3d6 + 20) and 2 claws +58/+53 melee (4d6 + 10)
Space/Reach40 ft. /40 ft. (80 ft. with tentacle)
Special AttacksConstrict, frightful noise, improved grab, spell-like abilities, swallow whole
Special QualitiesDamage reduction 25/good and silver, Darkvision, immune to cold and poison, regeneration 10, resistance to acid 20 and fire 20, Spell Resistance 43, telepathy 500 ft.
SavesFort +40, Ref +34, Will +38
AbilitiesStrength 51, Dexterity 27, Constitution 39, Intelligence 20, Wisdom 23, Charisma 28
SkillsBluff +60, Climb +71, Escape Artist +59, Hide +51, Intimidate +66, Knowledge (nature) +56, Listen +57, Move Silently +59, Search +56, Sense Motive +57, Spot +57, Survival +57, Swim +79
FeatsAwesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Fling, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Multiattack, Power Attack, Rapid Strike (claw), Swim-by Attack
Epic FeatsEpic Will, Improved Combat Reflexes, Legendary Wrestler, Penetrate Damage Reduction (adamantine), Penetrate Damage Reduction (cold iron), Penetrate Damage Reduction (silver), Superior Initiative
OrganizationSolitary (unique)
Challenge Rating31
TreasureDouble Standard
AlignmentLawful Evil

Constrict (Ex): She deals 3d6 + 20 points of damage with a successful grapple check with a tentacle or claw.

Frightful Noise (Su): All creatures within 900 feet of her must make a Will save (DC 43). Creatures with 20 HD or less who fail are panicked for 2d6 minutes after they can no longer hear the sound. Creatures with 21 HD or greater who fail are scared for 2d6 rounds after they can no longer hear the sound. Creatures who succeed on their saves are merely shaken for 1 round and can not be affected by Scylla’s frightful noise for 24 hours.

Improved Grab: If she hits with her tentacle attack, she can immediately make a grapple check as a free action. If she wins she establishes a hold.

Spell-like Abilities:

Caster level 48th, DC 19 + spell level.

Swallow Whole (Ex): She can attempt to swallow a grabbed opponent by making a grapple check. Once inside, an opponent takes 4d8 + 20 points of crushing damage plus 4d6 points of acid damage per round. A swallowed creature can cut its way out using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 50 points of damage to the maw (AC 27)

Regeneration (Ex): She takes normal damage from good aligned weapons and spells.

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