Category Archives: Monsters

Tribes of the Land: The Stone Raiders

This entry was written by Wesley K. Hall, for the April Contest: Tribes of the Land. He can also be found as Illustrator of the Nameless PCs Webcomic, on his sketch blog and twitter under @wesleykhall.

The Story
The Stone Raiders

Paths all throughout the forests are littered with horrifying statues. Women and children with faces in terror, warriors screaming with swords drawn and shields raised in defense. These are considered to be the lucky victims of the �Stone Riders�. The unlucky victims are men and women who wander naked into town missing arms and legs, with empty spaces where noses use to be or with their eyes scratched out.

The Stone Raiders are a small group of goblins mounted on cockatrices. They are known to ambush travelers (especially the more wealthier looking ones) and quickly neutralize the major threats of the group with the bite power of the cockatrices. After petrifying a few party members, a large goblin named Kreush offers the travelers a simple exchange: the antidote for the cockatrice bites for all the traveler�s treasure and weapons. Those who accept the exchange are happy to leave alive. Those who do not accept the bargain, end up as statutes or are found wandering naked into town missing limbs with horrible scars left on their bodies when they became statutes and that remain when they are released from the cockatrice�s bite.

Kreush, is a tall brown goblin who wields a war hammer that appears to be dwarven made. He uses it to crush recently petrified foes in a single blow and is the only voice ever heard from the Stone Raiders. He is rumored to have left his goblin tribe to find the most difficult mount to ride and is rumored to have killed over 1000 foes. He has been heard to speak a wide range of languages from goblin, to dwarven, to common, to elven. Many believe that he is collecting a stockpile of weapons and money to build up a goblin empire lead by him and his Stone Raiders.

The Stone Raiders are said to be handpicked by Kreush and are picked for their veracity and their willingness to follow orders. They all mount cockatrices and are covered in leather armor; the cockatrices are covered in pieces of handmade armor mostly covering their heads and sides of their bodies. A few wield crossbows circling the travelers and keeping them pinned down, the others wield warhammers for the smashing of foes be them petrified or a bit squishier.

Tribes of the Land: Gaspak’s Clan

This entry was written by James Lawson, for the April Contest: Tribes of the Land. He can also be found on his website and twitter under @blackengorge.

Gaspak’s Clan

Gaspak’s Clan is a small tribe of Xivorts (see MM3, p.208) that have taken refuge in the world and are waiting for the day that they become strong enough to exact their revenge on the giants and ogres that they see as their oppressors.

Distant cousins of gnomes, Xivorts have been changed and ravaged by fell magic and torture by formorians in the Shadowdark. Many xivorts are still slaves to the formorians, but a lucky few have managed to escape into the feywild or the world. However, for some this escape was at a price – bargains with cabals of hags to help them escape left them with gross exaggerations to their twisted features as they escaped through the Shadowfell. Many xivorts harbour hatred towards larger creatures, such as goliaths and half-orcs, but reserve their fiercest ire for ogres and giants.

One such xivorts that managed to flee the formarians’ servitude through the Shadowfell is Gaspak, who’s journey through that plane has transformed him into something stronger than normal. He saw opportunity for revenge when he was released by the hags and made further deals with them. The hags would continue to free xivorts and hold them for Gaspak in exchange for riches and treasures from the world.

Gaspak steadily built up his clan, starting with those that escaped with him, and gradually adding to his numbers with gifts and offerings to the cabal of hags that freed him.

The main tactic the clan employs is to find caves or hideouts fairly close to small villages and towns. Time is spent fortifying these places with traps and hazards, and then they begin small raids – more intent on terrifying than any real destruction. These raids are disguised as best they can as goblin or kobold raids, with the hope that the village will employ any wandering adventurers to solve the problem.

When adventurers arrive the xivorts use their traps and hazards to waylay them and then attack in swarms. The intent is to relieve the adventurers of any items they have that the hags would like. Gaspak takes his share of the items, picking and choosing those that will ultimately help him reach his goal of being powerful enough to take on giants and ogres, before meeting with the hags at pre-arranged times and places to offer them the remaining riches.

Gaspak stays in the location for as long as he deems it safe and the raiding disguise holds, or until adventurers stop coming. The clan then leave in the night to find a new base of operations.

This process has been repeated over and over again for more than three years, and their leader has gradually accumulated items that he believes will help him in his crusade. His clan now numbers over thirty, with new xivorts from the hags helping bolster his numbers, or replace those that have fallen.

Gaspak is a single-minded and determined Xivort, the thought of revenge all he truly has to rest upon after years of suffering and torture. Clever and decisive, he has thought of many of the traps that the xivorts employ – the tinkering skills of their distant cousins, the gnomes, present in his bloodline. He leads battle from the front when he has to, using the weapons and armours he has taken from past adventurers to his best advantage.

Sample Encounters:
Level 1 Encounter (550xp)
– 2 Xivort Slashers (MM3, p.208)
– 1 Shadowhunter Bat (MM, p.27)
– 1 Xivort Darter (MM3, p.208)
– 1 False Floor Pit Trap (DMG, p.87)

Level 3 Encounter (750xp)
– 3 Xivort Slashers (MM3, p.208) mounted on…
– 3 Giant Rats (MM, p.219)
– 2 Xivort Darters (MM3, p.208)
– 1 Xivort Netcaster (MM3, p.209)
– 1 Spear Gauntlet Trap (DMG, p.87)

Level 5 Encounter (1,025xp)
– 3 Xivort Slashers (MM3, p.208)
– 1 Xivort Darter
– 1 Xivort Netcaster
– 1 Xivort Shadow Caller
– Gaspak (see above) mounted on…
– 1 Dire Rat

Tribes of the Land: Contest Winner!

April’s winning entry was written by Tony Mastrangeli, for the April Contest: Tribes of the Land. He can also be found on twitter under @DnDHelper.

The Anher Haunt

Sevron was a necromancer of some renown in his day. Legend has it that he worked in a liar built into the Nadam mountain range, just outside the town of Anher. Sevron’s goal, of course, was Lichdom. However, as powerful as he was, he wasn’t able to complete the ritual properly. The result was a magical mishap the kept his brian functioning, but destroyed his body.

Trapped in his own dead body, he wait for months until a unfortunate peasant boy from the town of Anher stumbled into his mountain lair. Using his mental influence, he quickly dominated the boy and set him to do his bidding.

Once the boy had Sevron’s brain safely interred into a jar, his use came to an end. Sevron had the boy kill himself and then proceeded to raise him as a ghoul.

Now with his most pressing need taken care of, Sevron began to think about the danger this nearby town might pose to him if they came looking for the boy. So he ordered his new ghoul servant to take him to the nearby graveyard for the town of Anher.

They went down into the deepest crypt and setup shop. With a massive supply of “raw materials” Sevron knew he could build his tribe up quickly. Using the first ghoul as his hands, he ordered him to start by bringing him a few corpses, to which he quickly raised in to skeletons. So over the months, Sevron managed to build up his tribe into a fierce band of undead.

He had thought about creating more ghouls, but knew they would be much harder to control then the simple-minded undead. So he deiced to work on experimenting with different types of zombies and skeletons. In addition to old corpses, anyone unfortunate enough to walk near his graveyard was quickly “recruited” into the tribe.

Thus, over the months, Sevron was able to create himself the Tribe of the Anher Haunt as he calls it. Locals know something isn’t right and steer clear of the graveyard. Sevron knows it’s only a matter of time before a group of adventures decides to come bother him, so he diligently is working on increasing his tribe.

This day his tribe consists of the following:
Sevron, Brain in a Jar
Level 6 Controller

Unfortunate Boy, Ghoul
Level 5 Elite Soldier

5 Skulk Zombies
Level 3 Skirmisher

4 Hulking Zombies
Level 4 Brute

10 Skeletons
Level 3 Soldier

5 Skeletal Archers
Level 3 Artillery