Heroes of the New Day
Here you’ll find descriptions of the various monsters you’ve fought, along with any interesting info from the associated Monster Knowledge checks you may have made. I’m going to alphabetize the larger categories, then include notes on specific types of critters you’ve encountered each session.
There are realms and dimensions beyond known reality, and in these places dwell many things of unspeakable horror (see also anything by H.P. Lovecraft). Beings from these realms tend to find ways into our own world, either due to curiosity, accident, or a desire to turn our world into an insane hell-hole where people rip out their own eyeballs to stuff into their ears to drown out the screaming of their own mouths. Common things in the Aberrant category are beholders, aboleths, mind-flayers, and mimics. Aberrant knowledge checks are made with Dungeoneering.
SESSION 14: Beholder… though you did not meet one, the Murder Machine trial featured a representative of a powerful beholder known as “The Gaze”, one of the 13 Skulls of Skullport.
SESSION 15: Mirror Mimic… a humanoid-sized creature that can copy the appearance of those it touches, and also create mirror duplicates of itself to further confuse things.
SESSION 15: The Wandering Tower… an ancient mimic that got so huge it could take on the form of a multi-story building. This creature appears to have been unique, and teleported back to the Far Realms when it was bloodied by the party.
Creatures native to the Abyss (or one of its sub-planes), demons can have a wide variety of powers, and are broken into many different sub-categories. Demons are not all servants of evil gods, as many evil gods have angels that can do their bidding. Some demons have thrown-in with a particular god, demi-god, or demon lord, though, and have their own ideas about who should be “in charge” in the world.
SESSION 1: Yochlol… these lesser Tanar’ri demons have devoted themselves to Lolth, the Drow Spider goddess, and are considered her “handmaidens”. They are known to have 3 distinct forms: a Drow woman, a giant spider, and a massively bulbous spire of tentacles and death. The particular yochlol the party encountered seems to enjoy torture, and took the half-Drow Kyone (Christania’s best friend & maid of honor) prisoner in the first game session.
SESSION 3: Yaxavanda is the name of the Yochlol who kidnapped Kyone. She is powerful enough that an entire village of goblins in the underdark saw no reason for outer defenses because they had faith in her strength… though it was just goblins serving her, so maybe she’s not the strongest of Yochlol.
SESSION 14: Ar’kamesh’a… known as “The Widow”, this was a yochlol (dressed as a Drow) whom Lady Artania recognized in the audience at the Murder Machine trial.
SESSION 16: Ekhahk, the Smoldering Duke… a ruler of a domain in the Elemental Chaos known as Fume, it was revealed by the devil Lee that Ehkahk is actually a demon, and that he had tricked one of Jenn/Art’s distant ancestors into a family curse that was still active. Known to have many powers related to smoke & fire.
Evil creatures that are somehow bound to certain sets of laws governing their existence, these creatures inhabit the Nine Hells and, while not technically as powerful as most gods, are still always on the look-out for souls of mortals that they can acquire. There is animosity between demons & devils, since demons tend to see devils as too stuck-up, while devils see demons as uncivilized.
SESSION 16: Lee… a rather pleasantly mannered devil, Lee revealed some realities about a negative relationship he had with Ehkahk, a demon who had apparently tricked one of JennArt’s relatives into a family curse. Lee was clearly interested in acquiring any souls that were available, but was otherwise quite helpful.
An entire species of intelligent, magical, huge winged lizards, dragons are hard to miss (especially when you’re playing a game called Dungeons & DRAGONS). They tend to be connected to a particular element or area, so a dragon that breaths fire will likely also resist fire damage and enjoy fiery places, etc. In general, those dragons with chromatic scales (i.e., normal colors of the spectrum) are evil, and those with metallic scales (the shiney, metal-looking ones) are good, but be careful making that assumption. Good dragons tend to worship Bahamut, who is portrayed as a platinum dragon, while evil dragons tend to worship Tiamat, who is portrayed as a 5-headed dragon (1 red, 1 white, 1 blue, 1 black, 1 green).
SESSION 3-4: Purple Dragons… so far you can tell that purple dragons are attuned to psychic energy. They also exist solely in the Underdark, as direct sunlight will destroy them.
SESSION 12: Fernando Clutched-of-Scorch… a half-dragon, Fernando is the offspring of a human father and Scorch, the female red dragon who is a leader in the Red Wing of Tiamat, a sort of governing group for the red dragons of the world. BTW, the whole cross-species thing usually happens with the dragon polymorphed to a form more compatible with the partner.
SESSION 16: Blazewyrm: sometimes draconic beings are warped by the energies of their surroundings. The Blazewyrm was such a creature, living in a smoke & fire realm of the Elemental Chaos, it had an aura of flame and the ability to teleport through smoke when it used its smoldering breath weapon.
The dark cousins of elves & eladrin, Drow are native to the Underdark. As a race, more info on them can be found here. The Drow you’ve encountered so far have served the Spider Queen, who appears to have little regard for males of the Drow species, unless they are particularly good at what they’re doing. Drow seem to have innate abilities related to darkness magic.
SESSION 1: Drow Demonologist… skilled with fire & summoning rituals
SESSION 1: Drow cultists… minions, swords & hand crossbows
SESSION 9: Ssussun Beluth, Avenger of Pelor… sort of the direct opposite of what you’d expect from a Drow, but then again also exactly what you’d expect. A ruthless zealot and military commander from Dambrath.
Native to the elemental chaos (or one of its sub-planes), these creatures embody the essence of whatever element they are composed of. Elementals speak Primordial, though as often as not they don’t actually bother speaking.
SESSION 1: Minor fire elementals… minions, liked to set things on fire.
SESSION 1: Fire Archon Flameshield… humanoid-ish, used armor & weapons, flared flames brightly to entice foes to come closer (and get burned).
SESSION 16: Flamesoul spikers… minions, creatures of smoke & fire, with extra attack reach from their lance-like limbs. Dwell in the Fume area of the Elemental Chaos.
SESSION 16: Firebats… flying creatures of fire & smoke, these creatures can swoop through a melee, burning all they touch as they move.
The worst parts of men and hyenas, fused together. Often skilled hunters, gnolls are known to mock and laugh at their prey as they kill them.
SESSION 7: Gnoll hunter… powerful ranged attacks, yet smart enough to flee.
Fairly low on the totem pole of “intelligent” critters, goblins survive through a high breeding rate and sometimes by latching on to stronger groups/powers that can provide some protection.
SESSION 3: Lolth-bound Goblins… these goblins have devoted their lives to serving the Spider Goddess Lolth. While she may pay them little mind, they are certainly willing to do most anything in her name, and are often used for menial tasks by other more respected servants of Lolth (like drow priestesses or her demon handmaidens).
Illithids (mind flayers)
Tentacled horrors from the Far Realms, most of the mind flayers in the Prime Material plane make their home in the Underdark. They are known to eat the brains (and memories) of their prey, and may also feast on strong emotions like terror and pain. Looking sort of like a man with a monstrous octopus for a head, these are definitely the creatures of nightmares. It is known that the Illithids at one time had enslaved an entire race then known as the Gith, and the present-day Githyanki and Githzerai still hold an intense grudge against their former Masters. Other big foes of the Illithids include the Drow (who would rather rule the Underdark alone), the Dwarves (who hate when they’re digging and run into these monsters), and Beholders (who believe that they, alone, represent the perfection of the far realm made manifest in the Prime Material plane). Illithids, as far as anyone knows, probably worship insane gods from the Far Realms.
Technically you could call all the servants of any god “angels”, though many don’t fit your typical “feathers & a harp” stereotypes. Immortals are powerful creatures, and sometimes when their tie to a god disappears (say, if the god dies), they go insane. Not good. They often have attributes somewhat tied to the god they serve(d).
SESSION 5: Amitiel, Angel of Knowledge… once a servant of Oghma, she is doomed to painfully relearn the awful things that happened to her god every time she awakens, only to beg for the amnesiac lash of Bob, her captor.
SESSION 5: Bob, Wrackspawn… a servant of Torog, Bob gains pleasure/strength from torture, either of others or of himself. His job is to oversee the torture of Amitiel.
SESSION 14: Kalarel, the Rakshasha… Rakshashas are malevolent trickster spirits, who delight in the use of illusions and trickery to have fun (often at the ultimate expense of others). There is a rumor that Rakshashas used to be devas, but were somehow infected with evil and reincarnated as these awful tiger-creatures. Kalarel enjoys using his illusion magics to pose as the feared Elven pirate captain Blackheart Deathclaw
About on-par with goblins as far as their place in the pecking order, kobolds are more lizard-like, and tend to congregate around stronger lizards… usually dragons. Sometimes dragons are their kings, other times they are their gods. The dragons don’t seem to care much, but the kobolds enjoy feasting on the scraps of whatever the dragon has killed. All kobolds are shifty and move around the battlefield in short little scampers.
SESSION 3: Kobold skirmisher… minion, spear
SESSION 3: Kobold slicer… short swords, extra cutting powers on hit
SESSION 3: Kobold slingers… fling specialized sling bullets that have extra effects
SESSION 3: Kobold wyrmpriest… “religious” leader with powers tied to the dragon it serves
Sort of the wildebeasts of the Underdark, the Kuo-Toa are a pathetic race of frog/fish-men who tend to serve Dagon, a dark lord of the Abyss.
SESSION 3: Kuo-Toa Cleric Ghost… seeking to reclaim Webdrink for his people and his god, this ghost enlisted the aid of a party member, who promised to help promote Dagon’s goals.
See “Illithids”, above.
The less-civil brothers of those minotaurs who live in regular society, these beasts have given in to their animal nature. Known to charge and attack the color red, these villains also tend to serve Baphomet, a giant minotaur god/demon who seeks to enslave all of the civilized races in a huge hellish labyrinth, then hunt them and kill them while they scream.
SESSION 5: Krup & Vandemaar: Two high-ranking minotaur warriors/priests/chosen of Baphomet. They believe that the underground minotaur nations will rise up to overthrow the orcish hordes, then sweep down the east coast to enslave all other races there. They were looking for tips on torturing angels and feasting on Drow stew, last you checked.
SESSION 7: Minotaur War Band: charge like a stampede, lots of muscle (HP)
While the term “natural” may be a bit confusing to folks who don’t believe something like a dog-sized spider should occur naturally in the world, the term actually refers to creatures who are native to the “natural” world… that is, the Prime Material Plane. This category covers things you’d normally think of as natural, like owls and bears, as well as things that really are fantastical, like owlbears.
SESSION 2: Deathjump Spiders… poisonous, lots of mobility, good climbers, “death from above”
Greenish-skinned and muscle-bound, orcs are the predominant race in the Hordelands. They are also natural enemies of elves, dwarves, and any “civilized” race. Most orcs serve Gruumsh, the orcish god of battle, conquest, and awesomeness (in orcish eyes, anyway). While orcs are “civilized” enough to have language and a sort of culture, they’re also easily provoked to awful fits of violence. Most orcs are heavy foot soldiers.
SESSION 0: Orc Puppy-Kickers… mean & violent, wandering ruffians (minion & regular)
SESSION 7: Orc War Band (axe)… violent melee skirmishers
SESSION 7: Orc War Band (bows)… ranged fighters with more power than skill
SESSION 7: Orc Catapulters… minions, not very bright, devastating burst strikes
SESSION 7: Eye of Gruumsh… cleric of Gruumsh, ranged striking & leader powers
Not really “monsters” by any traditional definition, sometimes you come into conflict with other “civilized” humanoids, and sometimes that can lead to fighting.
SESSION 9: Buzzed Dambrathan soldiers… standard warriors, obeying their captain
SESSION 9: Drunken Brawlers… minions, with a tendency to be so tipsy they fall over.
SESSION 9: Buzzed Kislever Dwarfs… always raring for a fight, esp against those who’d serve a drow captain (like the Dambrathans)
Not a lot is known about these trickster creatures, except that they look like tigers and have a lot of illusion magic. Also that they are vicious and sadistic. Deva have stories that Rakshasha are actually evil deva who reincarnated in this form instead of as another deva. Little is known about the metaphysics of this, but many deva live in fear that their next life will put them in a tiger’s body.
SESSION 14: Kalarel… The elven pirate captain “Blackheart Deathclaw” was actually recognized by Akara as formerly having been a deva named Kalarel. He locked eyes with her, and seemed to recognize her as well, as he smiled with sharp teeth.
It is believed this race of humanoids used to be humans, but they wandered into the Shadowfell. The constant darkness infected their souls, causing a near genocide of their population, until a few of them realized that strong emotions could overcome the darkness of the shadowfell. Now the Shadar-kai are not amazingly numberous, but the families that have managed to thrive for generations have learned to embrace their strongest emotions. The majority of Shadar-kai worship the Raven Queen, and it is said that she has something to do with the fact that they return to the Shadowfell instead of seeking homes in less depressing climes (like the Prime Material plane).
SESSION 12: Sikel… seen dancing wildly on the ballroom floor of Mirt’s party, then giving Final Rites to a bumbling adventuring party about to throw their lives away, Sikel is an Avenger of the Raven Queen. He tries to embrace the things that make life worth living, but does not hesitate when administering his divine duties.
Those that walk after they have died, there are many, many different types of undead. In general, they don’t like radiant energy, tend to be imbued with necrotic energy, and often don’t have the intelligence they had in life (or at least the lower-level soldier ones don’t seem to).
SESSION 1: Necrarachnid Zombies… formed by a special undead charm given to Lolth’s chosen ones, these zombies are made immediately after a corpse’s death, and thus are not subject to the typical zombie weakness of headshots. They also possess whatever combat skills their previous form had, and likely have access to more of their memories than normally rotted, shambling zombies do.
SESSION 6: Skeleton warriors… pretty standard, vulnerable to radiant damage
SESSION 6: Eye of Vecna… servant of secrets, able to steal knowledge from your head, leaving you dazed and confused (and only able to use at-will powers).
SESSION 8: Skeletal Archers… pretty much what the name says. Smart enough to take cover near pack zombies.
SESSION 8: Pack Zombies… slow-moving & single-minded, with a tendency to jump in front of attacks that might damage their allies.
SESSION 8: Umbrian Necromancer (Elf)… retained enough of his elvenness to still use the Elven racial abilities. Also had fear and draining powers, and was smart enough to use terrain to his advantage.
SESSION 14: Lich… Valindra Shadowmantle is a leader among the Red Wizards of Thay, and is also an undead super-wizard called a lich. You met her in the audience of The Murder Machine trial.