Continuing my series on the Lake of Woe, here are two of the biggest threats in the area.
All dragons are forces of entropy. They may put on a veneer of civility but beneath the facade is a drive for the unordering of all things, the breaking down of man and beast and stone into dust and the hastening of the heat death of the universe. It was dragons who looked with hate on the light of the Big Bang, and dragons that will suck the last cold marrow from the universe before taking each other apart in final destruction. Inevitably the land around a dragon is inexorably degraded by its presence.
Attacks: 2 claws, 1 bite, 1 tail slap, or breath
Movement: 30’ Fly 90’ Swim 60’
*Brinewing can release a blast of concentrated salt from her mouth in a cone 90’ long and 30’ wide 3 times a day. It deals half her current HP in damage, or save for half that. Anyone caught in the blast is slowed for 1d3+1 rounds from the crust of salt that covers them.
Brinewing’s serpentine body is long and sinuous. Whipcord muscles twitch in stark relief beneath her hide. Her head is heavily plated and topped with a sharp frill that extends like a thorny crown. Her wings are thin and ragged on long finger-like pinions. Her breath is superheated salt, and can strip the water from a man in seconds. Entombing them forever in a briny shell. She is naturally magical, counts as a 6th level magic user, and knows the following spells: Level 1: Putrefy Food and Drink (50’ range), Pass Without Trace, Spider Climb 3/day. Level 2: Invisibility, ESP 2/day. Level 3: Feign Death 1/day
Brinewing is crafty, preferring to weaken intruders to her home long before facing them directly. She will approach a group invisibility and use her magic to ruin their supplies, turning their water to brine and food to rot. Then she will leave them to suffer, letting the arid terrain sap their strength until she feels they’re suitably softened. Only then will she face them directly.
The extreme asceticism the monks of the Clay Palace undertake does strange things to their minds. The hours they spend in a trance state weakens the connection between their physical bodies and causes their minds to drift. After a few decades the mind is almost entirely unhinged from the mortal shell and drifts around the Lake of Woe freely. They appear like numinous strands taking the form of an indistinct humanoid figure. They communicate directly to every mind telepathically, but speak in a endless stream of koans, chants, and stream of consciousness ramblings. Enlightenment gives a wandering psyche an entirely alien motivation, never add modifiers to their reaction roll.
Attacks: 1 Mantra
A Wandering Psyche recites ceaseless mantras which have supernatural effects on the creatures around them. Each round of combat a Wandering Psyche uses one of the following Mantra:
Brainshock: target save versus spell or take 1d6 damage.
Skinride: the Wandering Psyche attempts to take control of a body as in the Magic Jar spell. Unlike the spell the host’s soul is subsumed, not removed, and may attempt a save versus spell each round at -2 to eject the Wandering Psyche.
Water Vampire: target takes 1d6 Con damage as the Psyche pulls the moisture from their body.
Koan: 30' save versus spell or be affected as Confusion spell