True Beholders are isolationists that despise others of their kind, but their dreams can give rise to a variety of lesser beholder-like creatures, one of which is described in this entry.
A death kiss is a lesser Beholder that might come into being when a Beholder has a vivid nightmare about losing blood. Instead of magical eye rays, it has ten long tentacles, each ending in a mouth full of teeth. In coloration and shape it is similar to the Beholder that dreamed it into existence, but its hue is more muted.
Blood Drinker. A death kiss survives solely on ingested blood, which it uses to generate electrical energy inside its body. Paranoid about dying from starvation, it obsessively drains even little creatures such as rats in an effort to stave off this fate for as long as possible. After it drains its prey, it abandons the corpse to scavengers. A death kiss prefers to hunt alone. If it meets another death kiss, it might fight, flee, or team up, depending on its health and pride. When underground, it uses its tentacles as feelers, prodding and examining The Environment in all directions. Above ground, it usually keeps its tentacles retracted when on the hunt, then lashes out and extends them to their full length to catch opponents off guard.
False Tyrant. In poor lighting and with its tentacles extended, a death kiss can be mistaken for a true Beholder. It might purposely present itself as a Beholder to an ignorant creature, but this behavior is rare, since it usually is focused on hunting and lacks the self-importance and paranoia of a true Beholder. It can speak through any of its tentacle-throats, and its voice sounds nasal and high-pitched. A true Beholder has little to fear from a death kiss, since it can easily kill or subdue the death kiss long before the death kiss gets into melee range. Thus, out of self-preservation, a death kiss usually submits to the rule of a Beholder that it encounters, though it might attempt to escape as soon as its master is preoccupied.
Simple Tactics. A death kiss lacks the Combat Finesse and Intelligence of a Beholder. It might attempt an unusual maneuver to control its prey (such as flying up while grappling), but in most cases, it attaches one or more of its tentacles to a creature and drains blood until its prey collapses. If it is in a superior position and its opponent poses no threat, it might toy with its food, slowly squeezing and draining the life out of a creature.
Multiattack: The death kiss makes three tentacle attacks. Up to three of these attacks can be replaced by Blood Drain, one replacement per tentacle Grappling a creature.
Tentacle: The target is Grappled, if it is a Huge or smaller creature. Until this grapple ends, the target is Restrained, and the death kiss can’t use the same tentacle on another target. The death kiss has ten tentacles.
Blood Drain: One creature Grappled by a tentacle of the death kiss must take 22 lightning damage, and the death kiss regains half as many hit points.