|by Chris Rahn|
Number Appearing: 1d3 + 1d8 servants (see below)
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca and Giantish, plus 1d4+1 ancient languages
Treasure: Strange alchemical mixtures, potions and equipment used in magical experimentation. Also, spell books and scrolls containing spells.
The Cloud Giants are the greatest of the Giants, or so they say. The Imperial Cult teaches that they were created from the brain of the Dragon-Mother, which is why they are so smart and magically talented, but also completely insane. This is their explanation for why Cloud Giants act the way they do, which seems completely bizarre to someone without context. Southerners from the frigid lands beyond the Cold Gates tell it differently. They say the bizarre behavior of the Cloud Giants is fuelled by resentment. The Cloud Giants are the weakest Giant race and thus wish to exterminate their brethren so that they can be the only Giants left on the Earth.
The truth is, as always, more complicated. It is true that the Cloud Giants do occasionally descend on their brothers and obliterate them with storm-cannons and unnatural weather events, but this is not to destroy their brothers, but to enforce the rule of the Cloud Giants. All other races of Giant, with the exception of the Frost Giants, bow in service to the Cloud Giants.
The Cloud Giants are the progenitors of much of current Giant culture. They created and enforce the Ordning, a code of ethics and law that explain and order everything from the religious to the utterly mundane. This legal code is byzantine, utterly enormous as it grew over the centuries from relatively comprehensive to gargantuan. It contains rules from how to properly wash your hands and bathe, to whether or not it is okay to wear shoes to bed to how to butcher and prepare meat. But the most important parts of the Ordning are this: that the Cloud Giants rule and that the Giant race is to be preserved. Securing and protecting fellow Giants is considered the highest priority, above everything else. This means that almost any action, no matter how cruel, is justified in the pursuit of that goal.
According to certain Cloud Giant scholars, one Giant is worth the equivalent of 10,000 smallfolk, while others propose larger numbers. Still others argue that it is a meaningless comparison, as the Smallfolk are essentially animals and to compare them to Giants in any way is a sin. That being said, the Ordning does not explicitly demand the subjugation of the Smallfolk- that is a note of culture exclusive to the Fire Giants. The Cloud Giants generally argue that unless Smallfolk impose themselves on Giants or otherwise trouble their betters, they are to be left alone. That doesn't mean Giants should help them, that is unacceptable, but like a child sitting on the edge of a well, they are to be neither pushed in nor pulled away.
Meanwhile, the Cloud Giants police the rest of their brethren to ensure that not only the Ordning is followed, but so that the catastrophe of the Storm Giants is never repeated.
Damage Threshold: 8
Innate Spellcasting: Cloud Giants have Mana Dice equal to their HD. They do not cause Chaos on rolls of doubles or triples, though their dice do burn out on a 5 or 6. They can cast one spell as an action. Cloud Giants know the spells April Showers, Cloud Control, Feather, Fogbank, Incapacitating Grip and Meteor Guard.
Cloud-Walker: Cloud Giants can walk on clouds, fog, smoke or airborne dust as if it was solid ground to them.
R: [dice] miles T: [dice] clouds D: [dice] hours
The caster can select up to [dice] clouds. These clouds take on the shape that the caster wishes over a period of 2[dice] minutes. The clouds will maintain this shape until the duration ends or someone else casts a spell of equal or larger [dice] to change them.
If cast with 4 or more [dice], the effect is permanent unless someone attempts to modify the clouds with magic.
|by Mist XG|
Servants of the Cloud Giants:
1- Claymen. Crude constructs made of soft clay. Resemble a child's toy, with large eyes and faces painted on. Can mold and shift themselves into new shapes. Obedient, servile and fearless. Have no minds of their own, despite appearances. Can easily be chopped or smashed into bits, but will just flow back together. Fire is the only way to truly destroy them, by fusing them into a solid mass.
2- Harpies. For some reason, the horrific screeching of a Harpy's song seems to please the ears of the Cloud Giants, who often keep them as valued servants or pets. The distinction is usually lost on the Giants and the Harpies seem unaware that they are being condescended to, or they just don't care.
3- Bound Spirits. Cloud Giants often summon lesser spirits and bind them into service. They rarely summon Demons, Angels or Noble Spirits, as such creatures are generally too independent and dangerous to be useful. These spirits usually resent their bondage but are often powerless to escape on their own.
4- Lab Assistants. Generally Smallfolk with magical expertise, these humanoids were long leather aprons, thick gloves and goggles to protect themselves from toxic fumes and chemical spills. They carry a variety of horrible potions and chemicals that they throw at people, or know how to cast spells as a level 1 Wizard.
5- Doom Eyes. Cloud Giants seem fascinated by these horrid birds, letting them roost in their lairs and using their precognitive abilities to the Giant's advantage.
6- A Cloud Giant. In particular, a Cloud Giant who looks very similar to the more dominant Cloud Giant. Is it just your unfamiliarity with the species or are they actually, identical? No, it couldn't be...
|by Krassimir Mercier|
Cloud Giant Battle-Lord:
To be a Cloud Giant is to take responsibility, for not just oneself, but for the curses poured out onto the Giant race. It was not the fault of the Cloud Giants, but they still take it upon themselves to understand how the curses changed their race and how they could be alleviated. This is a task countless Cloud Giants have dedicated themselves to and while progress has been made, much of it has only created more problems.
A good example is the Frost Giants. Their skin burned at even weak sunlight, so they fled north, where the Sun's dominion was non-existent. Yet there they froze in droves, nearly driving an entire part of the Giant race to extinction. The Cloud Giants intervened, modifying their brother's children through their magicks, allowing them to survive in the brutal cold. But were the Frost Giants grateful? No, they continued their vendetta, blaming the Cloud Giants for the arrogance of their former masters, as well as for the gift that allowed them to survive.
The Hill Giants were consumed by ravenous hunger, so the Cloud Giants taught them magic so they could create food and not strip the land bare. Yet while this allowed the Hill Giants to survive, they instead became extremely sophisticated in their tastes. Before, they ate everything in sight to sustain their ravenous appetites. But now, with an abundance of food, they could become far choosier in their meals. The Cloud Giants abandoned their experiments shortly after, which led to most of the knowledge they sought to impart on their lesser brethren never reaching the Hill Giants, when it wasn't ignored or forgotten. The Hill Giants today are a bizarre parody of the master's ancient servants, brutish and primitive, with the same sophisticated palette and opinions of highly-trained valets who insist nothing is good enough for their master.
Perhaps it was only natural that some of the Cloud Giants became frustrated with this scholarly approach. Instead of dedicating themselves to study and scholarship, they took up the sword and lance. They sought to enforce order upon the other Giants, to control and guide them, even if the other tribes refused. This was the beginning of a series of civil wars that not only further weakened the Giant race, but further spread enmity between the tribes. While formerly, different races of Giants would work together, that is no longer the case. Now they will only rarely cooperate, even sometimes aiding Smallfolk who seek to harm one of their rivals.
Most of these martial Cloud Giants faded away, calling their mission a failure. Some withdrew into solitude and isolation, refusing to aid anyone. Others continue their doomed quests to this day, training, preparing and making ready for the day they will once again unite all of the Giant Tribes under one banner once more. Then and only then, they tell themselves, will they be able to end the curses plaguing their races and restore the Golden Age of the Giants.
Damage Threshold: 11
Innate Spellcasting: Cloud Giants have Mana Dice equal to their HD. They do not cause Chaos on rolls of doubles or triples, though their dice do burn out on a 5 or 6. They can cast one spell as an action. Cloud Giants know the spells Anti-Gravity, Cloud Control, Divine Retribution, Fly, Fogbank, Snow Storm and Meteor Guard.
Giant Test Subject:
Many Cloud Giants study sorcery and the corrupted nature of the Giant race, in an effort to try and remedy the various afflictions their race suffers. This can result in beneficial effects, but just as often, these experiments can result in horrors and freaks. Most Cloud Giants will simply describe this as a simple failure, the processes they are experimenting on and meddling with are fiendishly complex and there are no cut-and-dry solutions. Others, however, share a different opinion. They argue that the Cloud Giants, despite their own claims, have been affected by the curse that befell the whole Giant race. But rather than a moral or physical corruption, there's was a mental affliction, a belief that they alone were the saviors of their race, an ingrained messiah complex that all Cloud Giants can fall victim to. A belief that not only are they the only ones who can save their people, but that they alone are pure and untainted.
And if one has seen some of the horrors these scholars produce in their laboratories, the gruesome experiments some of them conduct, you might have to agree. Many a Cloud Giant has fled their laboratory in horror of what their work has created, or abandoned a facility after their test subjects died on the slab, leaving behind toxic brews of chemicals, ancient, nigh-incomprehensible scribblings and rotting carcasses or worse, freakish organisms that if freed, might die in minutes. That is if they, or you, are lucky.
Some of these facilities might have been abandoned less willingly. Some are destroyed by the experiments conducted there, the forces the Cloud Giants scholars unleashed too powerful even for them to control. Others may have been destroyed by rival Cloud Giants who felt the work going on there was unethical and perverse, or perhaps by a group of Frost or Fire Giants, seeking revenge or a new weapon to make war with.
Despite all that, the Cloud Giants insist that they do what they do out of concern for their brethren. Though their methods may seem clue, they are the only method through which the Giant race might obtain salvation.
The Cloud Giant's Test Subjects and their Maladies:
1- Three severed Giant Heads, kept alive through an elaborate machine that pumps fresh blood into their stumps and removes it. All conscious and suffering the agony of an entire body's worth of phantom limb pain. The Giant's minds have merged into a collective consciousness which dominates their individual souls. The heads have the power to read minds, communicate telepathically and dominate the minds of weaker creatures. They can also fire psychic blasts that stun or harm, but cannot kill. They long for an end to their pain and to be healed. The original consciousnesses of the Giants are still in there and long to die, but the collective consciousness prevents them from taking suicidal actions, as it can only exist in this current state.
2- A seemingly normal Hill Giant that randomly teleports to different planes. Every 1dX [1= 1d10 minutes; 2= 1d6 hours; 3= 1d3 days; 4= 1d4 weeks] the Giant has a 50% of teleporting to another plane of existence. He will remain there for an equal amount of time before teleporting back to an occupied space 1d4 [1= 1d20'; 2= 1d100'; 3= 1d6 miles; 4= 1d4 leagues] from his original point of departure. He
3- A floating cloud of organs, muscle and bone that shimmers in and out of view. This is actually a Fire Giant with transparent skin and eyes. It is blind and upset with the world. Largely impotent unless you get too close to him.
4- A Giant Chimera. It's actually three different Giants, their torsos spliced together and their limbs shuffled about their new body. All three of the Giants retain their original minds and dislike each other, but not so much that they refuse to work together. All three wish to be separated and secretly fear that the others would kill the others if it meant to separating them would be easier.
5- A Frost Giant that has a dozen angry ghosts bound to it's body through the use of the runes and symbols carved into it's chtininous exoskeleton. The ghosts want to be free and hurt the Giant, but both are currently impossible for them, so they take out their aggression on anything around them, engaging in violent poltergeist activity and frightening people to vent their frustrations. The Giant spends his time avoiding others in the hopes that his curse will prevent him from hurting anyone.
6- A Giant that constantly grows in size and mass. This allows him to regenerate from almost any injury, but if he has no injuries, he will continue growing. He will eventually grow other appendages including new limbs, heads, etc. He prevents this by carving off bits of his body and disposing of the meat in whatever way he can.
7- An enormous Ooze, controlled not by an Artificer's Juju, but by a Giant's brain encased in a protective shell. The Giant can 'see' through it's new slime body and control the slime via it's telepathic commands. The shell that contains it's brain enables this, as well as preventing the acidic slime from dissolving it's brain.
8- The skin of a Cloud Giant stretched over an iron frame, so much so that it is even ripping in places. The creature's eyes are artificial and it's mouth is sewn shut. It is a horrific fusion of flesh and metal. Cannot speak, but is in constant, agonizing pain. If threatened, emits an ear-splitting sound that bursts ear drums and causes internal damage that is usually fatal.
Cloud Giant Plot Hooks:
1- A group of Hill Giants are oppressing a village, which has drawn the presence of a band of soldiers who have come to remove them. But the soldiers are acting strangely. They are currently engaged in a massive party and seem to be all intoxicated, though they don't have any alcohol. Secretly, they've been drugged by a Cloud Giant who is conducting an experiment. Find a cure for the soldier's ailments before the Hill Giants slaughter/eat them all.
2- A Hill Giant shaman has transformed a small hill into a massive pancake and his brethren are feasting on it and the scavengers who come to try and steal some of their meal. The Cloud Giant Battle-Lord who has come to monitor the situation has decided that this Shaman's ability could benefit him and his battle-brothers, so he plans on kidnapping the Shaman and stealing his power, or convincing him to work for them. He plans to do this by sending his mortal servants to stir up trouble and blame it on the Hill Giants. Hopefully, they will send adventurers and then he will be able to exploit the chaos.
3- A Fire Giant warband is marching through Smallfolk lands, killing and burning as they please. A Cloud Giant has decided that the City they are approaching is too dangerous for them to try and assault and thus sent his servants to inform the City's leadership that he is going to destroy the City in three days. You are hired by this City's King, who asks you to find out how the Giant plans to do this and stop him.
4- A scholarium of Sages has been surrounded by a group of Cloud Giant Battle-Lords who have demanded the Sages build them a terrible magical weapon. They are willing to wait and fetch the materials needed, but the Sages cannot leave until the weapon is finished. The Sages have asked for your help in recquisitioning the necessary materials and also, helping them escape, hopefully without drawing the Cloud Giant's ire.
5- A Magi wants you to break into the laboratory of a Cloud Giant and steal something valuable, dangerous and/or magical. The Cloud Giant has left on a trip recently, so if you hurry, you can be in and out before the master returns. Just avoid the booby-traps, servants and other counter-measures the Giant has no doubt left behind.
6- A Demon has been sending dreams to people in a nearby village, demanding they free it from the lab of a Cloud Giant. The Demon tells the truth when it reveals that the Cloud Giant has it working on something awful that would certainly be a pox on all those in the village. But foiling this plan might mean freeing the Demon, which could be just as bad.
7- A group of Frost Giants approach a migratory tribe and demand the help of that tribe's warriors. They are planning on assaulting a Cloud Giant's stronghold and need someone to sneak in and scout it out for them. In exchange, the Frost Giants will not eat the tribe. If a bunch of powerful adventurers intervene, they might be willing to offer other treasures, such as several tons of frozen whalemeat, the location of a treasure that is useless to the Frost Giants, etc.
8- An enormously powerful monster is rampaging across the landscape. A Cloud Giant is concerned that the Frost Giants who live nearby might try to hunt it, which could be dangerous to them. As such, he is going to redirect the monster away from them. This will lead the monster toward a port city full of innocent Smallfolk. The Cloud Giant doesn't particularly care about them, but he will be willing to let you try to kill the monster. You have one week to do so before the Cloud Giant tries his plan. The Frost Giants are unaware of this and would hate the Cloud Giant meddling in their lives.
9- A Cloud Giant is attempting an experiment. This experiment is to see if he can fix the Giant's corrupted blood through interbreeding with other species. To do this, he has directed his servants to steal a number of Smallfolk children and modify them to slowly grow them to Huge size and accelerate their maturity so they can reach breeding age faster. That way, when they are old enough, they can be used as test subjects. You don't know this. Free the children before it's too late.
10- You find a Cloud Giant preparing to test an incredibly powerful magical device. However, if the device is activated, it could endanger the town in the valley below. The Cloud Giant doesn't understand your objections to this and is planning to go ahead with the test anyway.
No one knows where they went, or if they were even real. Many Smallfolk scholars argue that there the so-called "lost tribe" of the Giants simply never existed. They are either mythological/religious construction or were a rank awarded to the ancient ruling class of the Giants. The similarities between Cloud and Storm Giants is obvious. Both were said to possess the ability to mold creatures and change them, both were said to possess powerful magical abilities and both lived much longer than other Giants. In addition, the Storm Giants were also said to be the rulers of the Giant race, uncontested by any others.
Yet the first camp argues that while the Cloud Giants are generally loathed or ignored by their kinsmen, the Storm Giants are almost always described favorably as the benevolent rulers of the Giant race, while the Cloud Giants are tyrants. Some cite accounts that say the Cloud Giants overthrew the Storm Giants and destroyed them as stories that might have been influenced by local religion's accounts of older pantheons of Gods being defeated by a people's current divinities. For example, the Thousand-Faced-God and the Voice of the Sea were two ancient religions that only survive in the accounts of those who defeated them. The Thousand-Faced-God was said to be the religion of the Orzane's cruel oppressors, who worshiped a God that spoke through a thousand identical priests who hid their faces and had the ability to hear the thoughts of the unfaithful. They were also said to be able to control the Orzane through vile magicks, stealing their will and making them puppets.
This religion was eventually destroyed by the Emperor of Shining Glory, who was said to have been blessed by the Gods to be immune to their psychic manipulations and thus, they were powerless to defeat him. Some say this might have inspired the legends the Giants tell, while others argue for the other way around. None of the scholars who argue this, are, of course, imperial historians.
Yet the Storm Giants were very real. After the First Age ended in the death of the Dragon-Mother at the hands of Marzan (or so the Orzane claim) the world was remade. During this time, the Gods hid in Heaven and failed to man the Gates, which permitted many horrors from the Beyond to invade the world. These creatures oppressed the peoples of the world and made them their slaves. They also set about modifying the world to make it suit their liking more. These horrible monster-cults and alien religions ruled for only a brief moment before they were demolished by the Giants, who emerged from their shelters carved into the Earth, hanging in the sky or concealed beyond the Veil to conquer the world. Armed with immense physical size, supreme magical might and their own incredible brilliance, they defeated the invaders and cast them back into the Dark.
From there, the Giants set about building their own civilization. They erected a glorious Empire, one that encompassed the entire known world and was unrivaled in it's power, culture and prosperity. The level of comfort and safety enjoyed by it's citizens, Smallfolk and Giant alike, has not been equaled yet in the millennia that has since passed. Yet even as they soared to never-before-seen heights, the leaders of the Giants, the Storm Giants, grew unsatisfied. They had created the greatest civilization since those already distant days when Man and God walked hand-in-hand, yet they still did not have enough.
Then, one researcher found it. At first he thought it was an error, but repeated verification produced the same result. It was a huge energy source, buried deep into the Ground. No, it was the ground! The Earth itself was giving off a source of energy, a power that greatly resembled the natural fluctuations of Magic. If such a field could be tapped, the potential benefits to thaumaturgy, to artifice, to life itself were potentially limitless. So the Storm Giants resolved to tap this newly discovered source of magical power.
And to their credit, they succeeded. But all power comes at a price and the price for this power was their entire civilization. The Storm Giants who first held this power went mad, but they were the lucky ones. This new-found power destroyed all who touched it, driving them to madness and violence. Those who did not shortly die afterward were corrupted, twisted into horrific shapes with little to no recollection of what came before them. These horrors then spread further fear and pain and the arrogance of a few led to the pollution of countless others. This was the Doom of the Giants, an experiment to benefit the whole world that destroyed the greatest civilization the Second Age has yet seen.
Number Appearing: 1
Alignment: Any Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca of the region it lives in
Treasure: The weapons, coin and armor left behind from previous victims. Much of it will need to be repaired before it can be used.
Behirs are huge, dragon-like creatures that have long, sineous bodies and a number of limbs from six to twelve. They have wide jaws lined with pointed teeth, though they prefer to swallow prey whole. They have the ability to blast lightning from their mouths and make it crackle along the metallic spines that sprout in patches on their otherwise smooth, eel-like bodies.
Behirs are intelligent, though driven entirely by base desires, namely food. They can speak, though rarely do so except to mock and frighten potential prey. While some are prone to vanity, they are generally far more reasonable than Dragons. They will be vaguely insulted by any comparisons to Dragons, referring to them as "arrogant lizards". They will then probably eat you.
Behirs have, on rare occasions, seem making marks on the walls of the tunnels or caves that they inhabit. Some of the symbols and pictograms they draw seem to resemble humanoid creatures or an ancient language, long distorted by time and the fallibility of memory. Behirs don't seem to know what these mean, if they think they mean anything. Most of them regard them with disinterest, while others consider them curiosities with no inherent meaning to them.
It is not uncommon for outlaws and underground groups to try and recruit a Behir for a scheme. They are strong, much more powerful than most things the authorities are likely to have access to. Additionally, Behirs are reasonable and relatively easy to bribe, provided you have access to large amounts of meat. Despite the fact that Behirs are often willing to make such deals, this rarely goes well for those who attempt to strike bargains with them.
Damage Threshold 8
Atk Bite (1d12+2 + grapple) + Tail (1d8+2 bludgeoning) Swipe or Crushing Coils
Saves 15 or less
Immune to Lightning Damage
Damage Threshold: Unless an attack does damage that equals or exceeds the Behir's Damage Threshold, ignore it as if it did no damage. If it does, the Behir loses 1 SHP. It has SHP equal to it's Damage Threshold. When it has 0 SHP, it dies.
Helpless Prey: If a creature is grappled through the use of the Bite attack, the Behir can do 1d12 damage to that creature as a free action on his turn in place of a normal Bite Attack.
Great Jaws: If a Behir has a creature grappled in it's mouth, it can then choose to swallow that creature on it's next turn as a free action. That creature may attempt to beat the Behir's STR roll with a STR check of it's own, or attempt a DEX check. If the creature wins, it escapes and is not swallowed. If the Behir wins, the creature is swallowed. Swallowed creatures are blinded and grappled and cannot do anything that requires large or precise movements. They also take 1d6 COG damage and 1d6 acid damage a round as they begin suffocating and dissolving. If the Behir takes 10 or more damage as the result of an attack, it must save. On a failed save, the Behir spits up the creature it swallowed. A Behir can also choose to spit up creatures as a free action on their turns.
Crushing Coils: A Behir can, on a hit with a Tail attack, force that creature to save. On a failed save, the creature takes half damage but is grappled and restrained by the Behir's long, sineous body. The Behir can, as a free action on it's turn, inflict 1d6 CON damage on that creature each round. If this CON damage reduces a creature to 0 CON, that creature must save or have a heart attack. On a failed save, that creature dies, though they can possibly be revived with healing magic and alleviating the pressure.
Tunnel Predator: If you are fighting a Behir in a confined space, such as a tunnel or cave where it's body takes up the majority of space, each round you are next to it's long body you must save. On a failed save, you take 1d6 bludgeoning damage as it slams you into the walls, floor or ceiling of the cave. Those grappling the Behir have disadvantage on this attack.
Arc Breath: Once every 1d4 rounds, as an action, a Behir can fire a blast of lightning from it's mouth. This bolt of lightning does 3d6+X lightning damage, where X is the number of metal items a creature is carrying. Save for half damage. Additionally, any creature standing within 10' of the attacked creature who is carrying any metal items is also damaged by the Behir's Arc Breath.
- Open with Arc Breath, use it to separate enemies
- Grab one with bite attack, chew on them until mostly helpless and then swallow
- Use Crushing Coils and Tunnel Predator to keep enemies at bay until their friend is dead
- Then retreat
Behir Plot Hooks:
1- A group of armed squatters/miners have been occupying one of Farmer Yevin's fields for a few weeks. They found a cave entrance there, rich with gold. They refuse to leave and refuse to share the profits of the gold, but to Yevin and the local mayor's disappointment. This has led to a escalating stand-off, but no violence has occurred yet. Yesterday, one of the squatters disappeared and they are blaming the locals. Unknown to both parties is that a Behir lives in that cave system below the farmer's field and is taking an opportunity to explore a new hunting ground.
2- A group of bandits have recently become bolder than normal, completing blatant and obvious crimes. This has attracted the authorities, who have sent multiple squads of lawmen after them, but all have failed to return. Rumor says the bandit leader wields a magic sword that lets him shoot lightning. Go and apprehend them. The truth is that the bandits are actually working with a Behir, who has been eating the lawmen. Despite the abundance of food coming to it, the Behir doesn't particularly care for the bandits and would eat them just as readily, if they were too inconvenient or it got a better offer. The bandits don't trust the Behir and most of them are scared of it.
3- An Ogre recently broke into a local shrine and kidnapped a priest, along with every holy artifact that the Ogre could find. Rescue the Priest. When you get there, you find that the Ogre wants the Priest to bless his cave to try and drive away the ghost that keeps stealing the Ogre's "family", ie a bunch of travelers he kidnapped and is holding hostage. The source of these disappearances is not a Ghost, however, but the Behir that keeps gobbling them up in the night.
4- A Chaos Cult have recently been emboldened in their activities because they discovered a Behir that had accidentally tunneled into the catacombs and thought it was a servant of the Dragon-Mother. The Behir has been pretending to go along with it, promising them it will help them overthrow the city. At the moment, the Behir is content to order them to bring it sacrifices. The Red Ruler of the Cult doesn't trust the Behir and rightly so.
Number Appearing: 1
Alignment: True Neutral
Treasure: Well chewed armor, weapons and other possessions left behind from those it has eaten. If being kept as a pet or helper, it will wear a collar or harness, perhaps even armor that could be broken down into base materials or sold to a collector.
Horrible creatures, vaguely humanoid in shape, but stretched to the size of a Dragon and warped into a quadrupedal shape, these monsters live lives of perpetual discomfort and hunger. Their flesh is naked and elastic, molding around deformed bones with ease, lending them a grotesque appearance. They look ungainly and revolting, but can move quite quickly. Their bones also have the ability to soften, allowing these huge creatures to squeeze into spaces far too small for them ordinarily. They can also reshape their flesh into a variety of different forms, though this process is not instanteous and causes the creature's great pain.
Flesh Drakes vaguely resemble Dragons in body-plan and behavior, though most are no smarter than a Wolf or Dog. They will behave as beasts, hunting and claiming territory for themselves. They can be controlled, even tamed by certain creatures with the power, knowledge or lack of sense, though their loyalty is never certain. They are treacherous beasts, turning on their masters if weakness is ever showed. Many a confident master has been devoured by his previously docile Flesh Drake, often for no reason that can be ascertained.
No one is sure where the Flesh Drakes came from. Some suspect they are the work of Dragons, while others blame Wizards. Regardless, they are plague upon any who find themselves by one, or worse, attempt to control one.
Damage Threshold 7
AR see below
Atk Fists (1d8+2/1d8+2) or Fist (1d8 + grapple) + Bite (2d6-4)
Saves 14 or less
Damage Threshold: Unless an attack does damage that equals or exceeds a Flesh Drake's Damage Threshold, ignore it as if it did no damage. If it does, the Flesh Drake loses 1 SHP. It has SHP equal to it's Damage Threshold. When it has 0 SHP, it dies.
Thrown Object: As an action, a Giant can throw something large and heavy at a creature. That creature and any adjacent creatures take 3d6 damage, with a DEX save to take half damage. Creatures with 16 or more DEX on a successful save take no damage and half on a failed save.
Flesh Drake Plot Hooks:
1- A Chaos Cult has found a Flesh Drake and has begun using it as a terror weapon. Find out where they're hiding it and kill it.
2- As above, except you're hired by a Magi who wants you to find out how they control and it and steal it from them. He wants to study it, or maybe modify it into a living weapon. But you can trust him, right?
3- A Flesh Drake is running rampant, eating livestock and farmers and generally making a nuisance of itself. A Cloud Giant wants to capture it, to take it off your hands. If you help him, he will reward you with a magic item.
Number Appearing: 1 + 1d20 servants
Alignment: Any Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca and Giantish plus 1d10 ancient languages
Treasure: Spell scrolls and books, wands and staves, devices to enhance the use of magic as well as magic weapons and items. You will also find large amounts of alchemical supplies, potions and intricate if highly impractical devices designed to be used in the torture and harvesting of other Giants.
Imagine a beautiful woman. She can look like however you imagine, just make her pretty. Her specific features aren't important. Then imagine taking a knife to her face and cutting a deep, scarlet gash into her flesh. Or imagine spraying her with acid, or burning her with fire. Then, imagine that woman's face after she has been treated, after she has been healed as best as the doctors were able to. She looks similar to how she did before, yet there are still marks of her injuries. Worse, there are psychic scars, deeper ones left upon her heart that might never heal. If you can imagine such a small tragedy, then you can imagine the Fomorians.
They know they were great once. They ruled the world, or so their legends claim. The details of how exactly that was done are not known to them, though many will claim to have the answer. They were once Gods, but they were rejected. Cast down by jealous rivals, those unworthy of their gifts and blessings. These cruel people chose others to follow, tyrants who abused them and treated them like dirt, to be trodden on then scraped off your boots.
Cruelty upon indignity was heaped upon the Fomorians. They were banished from their homeland and forced into the most desolate parts of the world, forcing them to take shelter on the highest of moutains, the coldests of wastes, the deepest depths of the Earth, where few ever come. There they hold court, plotting their revenge, planning for the day they will return.
Fomorians resemble Giants, but twisted and malformed. They are blighted with mutations, most reptilian or Draconic in appearance. These are a source of shame for them and most conceal their mutations from others, especially other Giants and Fomorians. Other then their mutations, though, they resemble Giants. They are pale-fleshed with hair that is either raven or milk-pale, with eyes of palest blue, red or pure black. They are physically more powerful to Smallfolk by virtue of their large stature but compared to other Giants or creatures of a similar size they are actually quite weak.
Fomorians also suffer from a wasting sickness that robs them of much of their vigor. They cannot exert themselves for long and are rather weak in terms of physical strength. They cannot work magic or perform any real labor during their spells of weakness. Over time, these spells will become more sudden and longer-lasting, until they usually lead to the death of the Fomorian, either directly or otherwise. However, they are not without their strengths. Fomorians possess great intelligence and magical talent, able to work incredible feats of magic with only a fraction of the effort other creatures, even other Giants might have to exert to produce a similar result.
Even more fortunately, Fomorians have also discovered a treatment for the wasting sickness. If a Fomorian drinks the blood of another Giant, that will temporarily invigorate the Fomorian and suppress all symptoms of their sickness. This leads to the Fomorians seeking out their ungrateful cousins, seeking not only to punish them, but also to feed on them to continue their own tortuous existences.
Damage Threshold 7
AR varies, see below
Atk varies, see below
Saves 15 (7) or less
Damage Threshold: Unless an attack does damage that equals or exceeds a Fomorian's Threshold, ignore it as if it did no damage. If it does, the Fomorian loses 1 SHP. It has SHP equal to it's Damage Threshold. When it has 0 SHP, it dies.
Giant Weapon: If a Fomorian is fighting with a weapon that is sized for Giants or other large creatures, they get -4 to all Attack rolls against any creature smaller than Large. On a hit, however, they do not subtract this penalty from the damage rolled. Fomorians also have weapons used for fighting smaller creatures, but these do not do as much damage.
Thrown Object: As an action, a Fomorian can throw something large and heavy at a creature. That creature and any adjacent creatures take 3d6 damage, with a DEX save to take half damage. Creatures with 16 or more DEX on a successful save take no damage and half on a failed save.
Spellcasting: Fomorians have Mana Dice equal to their Damage Thresholds. Their dice burn out on a 5 or 6 and a roll of doubles or triples triggers a roll on the Chaos table below. Fomorians know 6 spells. To see what spells a Fomorian knows, select 6 from your favorite Wizard sub-class or roll 1d6 times a random spell table. An example spell-list is included below.
Chaos of the Fomorian:
1- The Fomorian begins bleeding from it's eyes, nose and ears and begins speaking in an ancient language that no one knows. All creatures, including it's servants, must make a morale check or flee from the Fomorian.
2- The Fomorian enters a berserker rage, losing all reason and spell-casting ability for 1d4 rounds. During this time it will only make melee attacks and will attack the last creature that made an attack against it. It will not be able to use magical abilities or magic weapons and will instead just use them to smash, crush or cut.
3- The Fomorian begins seeing a hallucination of a monster that isn't there and will attack the hallucination, unless in danger of dying.
4- The Fomorian becomes frightened and will try to flee from the current situation. This fear lasts for 1d10 minutes, but each minute that passes, the Fomorian can make a save to end the fear effect early.
5- The Fomorian loses his next action as he vomits up a cloud of burning ash that fills the air for 15' around him. Any creature in the ashcloud takes 1d6 fire damage.
6- The Fomorian immediately transforms into a Flesh Drake. This change is permanent and irreversible.
Magic Resistance: Mana-based attacks and abilities are hard to use against Fomorians. When someone uses one of these against them, there is a 25/100% chance (5 or less on a d20) that the mana-based ability (magic, psychic powers, bio-energy blasts, spell-like ability) or attack does not affect them. This causes the attack or ability to slip around them and strike the nearest target. If there is no obvious choice, roll randomly.
- Send servants forward to gauge enemy strength
- Strike the strongest enemy with a powerful spell
- Use magic to break the group apart
- Pick-off the weakest
To customize a Fomorian, roll on the tables below:
What is this Fomorian protected by?
1- Armor. The Fomorian wears 1d4 [1= Mail sized for a Giant. Increase it's Damage Threshold by 1; 2= Mail with breastplate, bracers and greaves. Increase it's Damage Threshold by 1d4+1; It wears a suit of ancient powered armor built for Giants. Increase it's Damage Threshold by 6. However, the armor has a weakness, if the power cells strapped to the back are damaged, they will explode, doing 2d20 damage to everything within 50'. This also disables the armor; 4= A form-fitting suit of combat silks, worn by the Storm Giants of legend. Increase the Fomorian's Damage Threshold by 3. But this armor has a weakness, as it doesn't protect everything. If someone rolls a critical hit or takes a penalty to an ordinary hit, they can target an unarmored area, hitting the Fomorian and only having to overcome it's base Damage Threshold.]
2- Magical Wards. The Fomorian is shielded by magical shields that give it 2d10 temporary HP each round. This HP must be reduced to 0 before the Fomorian can be damaged. These wards can be disabled by stealing or destroying the power source. Alternatively, the wards take double damage to fire.
3- An Ioun Stone. The Fomorian has an Ioun Stone orbiting around it's head. The Ioun Stone causes the Fomorian to regenerate 1 SHP a round and 1/Day, it's magic can be temporarily drained, causing it to stop working but healing the Fomorian for 1d6+1 SHP. This causes the Ioun Stone to stop functioning and fall to the ground.
4- A bound Spirit. The Fomorian has a Spirit that accompanies it in physical form and protects it from injury. Any attack that the Spirit can see has it's Attack roll reduced by 1d20. The Spirit cannot hamper attacks it cannot see.
What weapon does it carry?
1- A Magi's Staff. The Staff is huge, sized for a Giant. It is made of the wood of an enormous tree and topped with a white quartz crystal wrapped in gold wire. The Fomorian can use the staff to make 1 melee attack that does 2d10 bludgeoning but is made at disadvantage against any creature smaller than Large. Alternatively, it can fire 2 blasts of magic from the staff that do 1d12 radiant damage to any creature they strike. Both of these blasts require an attack roll.
2- A Wand and a Whip. The Fomorian can make 1 whip attack that does 1d10 damage on a hit and grapples any creature it hits. The Wand lets it fire two blasts that do 1d8 damage of a random elemental type (roll before the start of the battle). These blasts still require an attack roll. The Fomorian can also forgo the whip attack and fire a concentrated blast from the wand, doing 2d8 damage on a hit.
3- A shapeshifting Living Weapon. The blade is made of enchanted metal that is the "body" of the spirit that inhabits/Is the blade. The Spirit will change itself into a form that is inconvenient to the wielder, such as turning into a trident to fight someone with a sword and shield, unless a contract is made with it. In exchange for 1d4 [1= Ritual sacrifice offered in it's name at regular interval; 2= The murder of it's previous wielder/the descendants of the same; 3= The regular composition of songs and poems praising the weapon and it's various virtues, as well as the performance of the same; 4= Being allowed to have sex with the wielder in dreams and bear children with them, as well as the raising and care of those children until they are fully grown] the Living weapon will protect the wielder and 3/Day, will transform into any form that the wielder wishes. The Living Weapon can only take the form of weapons with no moving parts (with the exception being bows and crossbows). Think T-1000 rules. The Fomorian uses the Living Weapon to make 1 attack that does 2d10 damage. The weapon is agile enough that is prevents the Fomorian from suffering disadvantage on it's attacks on Medium or smaller creatures.
4- A magic sword. The sword is called Nightscream and is made of stygian metal. Nightscream gives the wielder, 3/Day, the ability to cloak themselves in shadows to gain bonuses to stealth, sneaking and hiding. In dim light, Nightscream's wielder is all but unnoticeable. 1/Day, the wielder can also teleport, jumping into one shadow that they can touch and appearing out of another they can see. Nightscream's powers do not work in perfect darkness or in direct sunlight. Nightscream is sized for humans, so the Fomorian is using it like a dagger. The Fomorian uses Nightscream to make 2 attacks that do 1d10+4 sharp damage.
What Spells does the Fomorian know?
(This is an example)
R: touch T: [dice] creatures D: one action
Up to [dice] creatures you touch, counting yourself as one of the creatures, can teleport up to 30*[dice]'.
R: 50' T: 10*[dice]' diameter circle D: 1 action
All within the targeted area take [sum] fire damage, save for half.
R: 30' T: a flat surface within range D: [dice] rounds
You create a portal on a flat surface that begins sucking up everything near it. Everything within 10*[dice]' begins to feel suction as if a creature with a STR score equal to [sum] (maxing out at 19(+4)) is pulling on it. Any creature that fails to resist this pull is sucked off their feet and into the portal. The portal also pulls in loose objects, air, gases in the atmosphere, and etc. Note that the caster also knows that whatever ends up going through that portal is probably gone forever.
But in case you do end up falling through it...
Where does this Portal lead to?
1- Sheol. The grey, sunless land of the dead, where the dead walk through the wastes forever, occasionally being hunted by unimaginable monsters and each other.
2- The Sun. This isn't instantly fatal. You arrive in the golden offices of the Burning Bureaucracy, the heart of the Elemental Court of Fire. You are likely to be instantly arrested and seized as you will stick out like sore thumbs, but if you manage to escape that, you will find the Sun has parks and taverns and cities. The only long term problem you might have is finding food. Being arrested might not even be a bad thing, as you might be able to convince the Pyrocrats or the Sultan to send you back.
3- The Moon. The moon is covered in strange forests and red oceans. It is mostly humid and tropical, with the exception of the poles, which are quite cold.
4- The Veins of the Earth. Enjoy starving to death forty miles below ground. Also, read the book if you haven't.
5- A parallel universe. Nothing seems different at first. Soon you might realize that this is not your world. Or maybe you won't. Who knows?
6- Heaven. The Domain of the Law Gods. It's not full of mortal souls, but the Law Gods, their Angels and their Celestial Bureaucrats. A really swanky place, but if they catch you, they will send you back.
7- The middle of the wilderness. You have no idea where you are.
8- New York City. The air is warm and the sky is blue, but everything else looks different. The roads are paved in solid slabs instead of individual stones and there are metal towers that reach halfway to Heaven it seems. You have no idea what to make of this place.
R: 50' T: [dice] creatures D: one action
Fires [dice] rays at up to [dice] targets. Each ray requires an attack roll. On a hit, each ray does 1d6+[dice] damage. To determine what ray is fired, roll 1d8, rerolling duplicates. All additional effects last [dice] minutes.
What ray is fired?
1- Red. Does fire damage. All hit by this are set on fire and take 1d6 damage a round until they take an action to put out the fire.
2- Orange. Does necrotic damage. All hit by this must save or age 1d6+[dice] years.
3- Yellow. Does radiant damage. Undead, enemies of the Court of Fire or those hated by the Sun take double damage.
4- Green. Does acid damage. All hit by this must save or go insane for [dice] minutes.
5- Blue. Does cold damage. All hit by this are trapped in a thin shell of ice and cannot move until they take an action to free themselves.
6- Indigo. Does psychic damage. All hit by this must save or become overcome with delusions of grandeur.
7- Violet. Does electrical damage. All hit by this must save or be scared of the caster for the duration.
8- Double Strike. The caster fires two rays because of this result. Roll again twice. If you roll this result again, treat it as '7'.
R: touch T: creature D: [dice] rounds
One creature you touch, or yourself, is covered in a magical aura that grants them +[sum] Fighting Spirit (FS) for the duration or until it is all expended.
R: 1000' T: A cylinder 100*[dice]' in diameter D: [dice] hours
You lower the temperature over a specific area, freezing the water in the air and causing it to come down as snow. This snow blankets the area in a wide cylinder and covers the earth in a layer 1/2[dice]' deep. Open fires are extinguished and outside conditions become miserable. Unless they have resistance or immunity to cold, or are otherwise prepared for cold weather, creatures must make a morale check to remain outside or avoid seeking shelter.
If cast with 2 [dice], strong winds fill the cylinder, causing all ranged attacks to be made at disadvantage due to high winds and lowered visibility. At 3 [dice], the storm also drops hailstones that do 2[dice] damage to any creature outside or unprotected. At 4 or more [dice], the storm does [dice] cold damage to any creature outside that does not have resistance or immunity to cold damage or is not wearing sufficient cold-weather gear.
What mutations does it suffer from?
(Roll 1d4 times on the table below.)
1- The Fomorian has clawed fingers, making manipulating fragile or delicate things hard if not impossible.
2- The Fomorian has a mouth overflowing with fangs and sharp teeth. It is an obligate carnivore and can only eat meat.
3- The Fomorian has teeth growing not just from it's mouth, but out of different parts of it's body.
4- The Fomorian has 1d4 extra mouths on it's body. These mouths just bite things near them, but otherwise don't do anything.
5- The Fomorian has a long, reptilian looking tail.
6- The Fomorian's nostrils constantly leak smoke. There is a 50% chance that it can breathe a cone of fire (3d6 fire, save for half) every 1d4 rounds, but each time the Fomorian does this it does 1d8 damage to the Fomorian, so it can be hurt by this ability.
7- The Fomorian has 1d3 pairs of wings growing from it's back. The Fomorian has a 2-in-6 chance of being able to fly. Otherwise, it's wings just make it easier to hit and harm.
8- The Fomorian has patches of thick, colorful scales growing all over it's body. This has a 1-in-6 chance of giving it Natural Armor equal to AR 1d3. Otherwise, it is merely unsightly.
9- The Fomorian has no nipples and is hairless.
10- The Fomorian is cold-blooded. It likes to be warm and cannot last long in cold environments.
11- The Fomorian has reversed legs and a flexible neck. It is quadrupedal and can move much faster than a bipedal creature, but standing up on two legs is very difficult for it, though it can be done for a brief amount of time.
12- The Fomorian has spikes growing out of its 1dX [1= Spine; 2= Arms and Legs; 3= Back; 4= Chest.] It cannot wear most armor or clothing unless it has been specifically modified to fit the spikes. Alternatively, the Fomorian might file down the spikes, a painful and time-consuming process.
13- The Fomorian has reptilian slit-pupil eyes.
14- The Fomorian has horns on the top of it's head.
15- The Fomorian swallows it's food and can unhinge it's jaws. It can swallow Medium or smaller creatures whole.
16- The Fomorian can sit still for hours, not doing anything, not even blinking.
17- The Fomorian has fangs that secrete a painful, but largely harmless venom.
18- The Fomorian, if female, lays eggs. If male, it has genitalia more similar to a reptile. Regardless, the Fomorian finds this disgusting and shameful.
19- The Fomorian has the ability to detach an arm or limb if attacked. It will then run away. The arm will grow back after 1d3 weeks. The Fomorian is skilled at moving with only three, or even two limbs, because of this ability.
20- The Reptilian is only attracted to reptilian creatures and finds mammals and other creatures repulsive.
Who serves the Fomorian?
(Roll 1d3 times on this table or until you have a total of 13+)
1- 1d20+10 level 1d3 Vampires. A gang of low-level Vampires serve the Fomorian, who they refer to their as their Vampire King. The Fomorian despises them for this, but it needs their service, so it tolerates their antics.
2- 1d20+6 Ghouls. A pack of gentlemen Ghouls who dispose of the corpses left behind from the Fomorian's experiments/torture/feeding. Very well fed, so they are cultured, intelligent and friendly. They might still eat you, though.
3- 1d4+1 Wights, each with a small pack of Undead servants bound to them. The Fomorian has his own elite Undead, which he keeps as a safeguard against the Wights betraying him.
4- 1 Demon. The Demon serves as the Fomorian's assistant or partner. The Demon also brought 1d4+1 lesser spirits to assist the Fomorian.
5- 2d20 Chaos Cultists. The Fomorian has convinced them that it's mutations are actually gifts from the Dragon-Mother and if they are faithful, they will receive such benefits as well.
6- Far too many Goblins. They think the Fomorian is a God. To them, it might as well be. They are worshiping it.
7- A Coven (3) of Hags. The Hags act as the Fomorian's research assistants. They make it potions, which helps alleviate it's symptoms. These potions are also addictive and the Fomorian has come to rely on them. It realizes the Hags are trying to control it, but it doesn't dare weaken itself as long as they nearby.
8- A Durama and his household. The Durama feels that the Fomorian's "art" is inspired, if a bit tacky. He has to come lend his talents and maybe make it less tasteless.
9- 1d4 Ogres. The Ogres think of the Fomorian as their Father/Mother and the Fomorian encourages this notion.
10- A Cult of Kua Toa, who revere the Fomorian as a demi-god or a nascent deity.
11- An Anti-Paladin, fallen from grace and dedicated to revenge against the world. The Fomorian will be his tool for that. He just needs to help the Fomorian with a few tasks first.
12- A Mad level 1d4+2 Wizard and his 1d6 Apprentices. The Apprentices are 1d3 levels weaker than their Master (min 1). Most of them are hesitant about helping the Fomorian, but their Master is extremely eager to obtain the Fomorian's research through whatever means he can.
Fomorian Plot Hooks:
1- A group of bandits have kidnapped a noblewoman on her way to an important meeting. Her husband disappeared with her and their families are worried, willing to pay top-dollar for the return of both of them. Secretly, the reason why the bandit's leader kidnapped them is because his men are being held hostage by a Fomorian, who has pressed them into service. They hope that if someone else comes looking for the nobles, then they will be able to get away in the chaos.
2- A group of miners accidentally tunneled into an Iron Giant cavern, but they find the place seems abandoned after a recent attack. The Iron Giants within are being attacked by a Fomorian, who is kidnapping them to feed upon and sate the Fomorian's thirst revenge. This sets off a bit of a gold rush for the strange technology within, with explorers attempting to avoid the Giants, their technology and the thing feeding on them.
3- The city of Al-Kith was built on the ruins of an ancient Giant metropolis, but this fact hasn't been relevant for a long time. Then, one night, a Fomorian leading an army of monsters rises from the catacombs to lay siege to the city. While the city burns and blood runs in the street, the Fomorian is only interested in one specific thing, an ancient treasure that the royal family has guarded for centuries. If it falls into the hands of such a brute, the damage wrought could be catastrophic...
4- War! A conflict has broken out between a fraternity of Cloud Giant Battle-Lords and a clan of Frost Giants. But the Cloud Giants are suffering terribly, far more than they should. The Frost Giants have gained a new ally, in the form of their new shaman. The Smallfolk servants of the Battle-Lords hire the party to assassinate the Frost Giant's shaman, as he is too powerful for the masters to defeat. Secretly, this new Shaman is a Fomorian, disguised with magic, who is allowing the Giants to slaughter each other so it can harvest blood from the fallen.
5- A Fomorian contacts the party through intermediaries and asks them to break into a Fire Giant war-camp to steal a particular item one of their leaders possesses. Secretly, the Fomorian doesn't care about this, and only plans on using the party as a distraction to kidnap a few pickets to sate it's thirst.
6- A thief fell in love with a Cultist and proposed that they should run away together. But the Cultist refused, claiming her work was too important. So the Thief kidnapped her and plans to perform a ritual to charm her into loving him. But unknown to him, that Cultist was the one who made the potions that maintain the health of her Fomorian master. Now the Fomorian is on a rampage, going forth with his servants to find her before he succumbs to his sickness and dies.
|by Alejandro MGNZ|