Savage Hearts and Silver Chains
Four childhood friends left Waterdeep seven years past, in 1480 DR. Fed up with the cities safety and forbidden to journey into the undermountain by their parents, the small group of young rebels stowed away on huge merchant vessel in search of adventure. One of their number, Lord Harelt Keldan, chooses to remain behind as responsibility dictates he maintains his ailing father’s businesses.
The world held no end of fascination for the youthful adventurers. They soon made a name for themselves as skilled treasure hunters, wandering the Sword Lands of returned Abeir. One such expedition led them to a temple for some long gone nature Primordial and sixteen idols older than the temple itself. Touching these objects changed them on a cosmic level, transforming the tomb raiders into animal lords.
If anything, this increased their reputation. Soon, they were venturing into lands no normal mortal could survive. Their past lives all but forgotten, it came as a massive shock when a magical missive entered their thoughts. Harelt Keldan, their childhood friend, had been murdered and they were all named in his will.
Returning him, they expected it to either fit like an old glove or seem disappointingly small. Instead, they found Waterdeep under siege. With it’s dwindling resources and many famed adventurers either dead or looking for greener pastures, the Crown of the North was heavily tarnished. Crime festered in every corner and nothing was being done. Any guard or noble who tried to stop it were soon killed or turned. Any guild that refused to bow to the “new management” had their warehouses burned, families threatened, and leaders killed. The Lords of Waterdeep and nobility in general were doing nothing to stop it, hiring guards to protect their holdings and holding lavish parties in an attempt to forget their city no longer belong to them.
It seemed Keldan was simply the latest victim. He had sold off most of his holdings and almost everything of value he had to pay mercenaries to patrol the streets. Any that weren’t killed just took the better offer. Still Harelt refused to stop, pulling in dozens of favors his noble family had garnered over almost three hundred years. The paper agreements were burned while the spoken ones simple weren’t “remembered”. Finally, the destitute lord took to streets himself, with a sword and shield he had not wielded in years. A supposed mugger killed him, but left the corpse in a public location and didn’t even bother to steal his heavy gold family ring.
All this the adventurers listened to Harelt’s old footman state in a monotone voice. They were seated in the taproom of his childhood home, where the entire group had often spent their summer days, drinking sweetwater and planning imaginery adventures. Keldan had left them everything he still owned, which amounted to this dilapidated house, a small stable which barely turned a profit, and a messenger service which did not turn a profit.
Seated around that small table, staring at their old friend’s ashes, business statements filled with red ink, and family ring, their hearts burned. Then and there, each one of them made a pact. They would save this city. Whoever was behind this would pay and they could not possibly see what manner of fury was coming. Unfortunately, they all still had friends and family living in Neverwinter.
It was then fate visited them a second time. Too distraught to care, one of their more skeevy clients had payed them in the form of a fancy box which he stated “contained incredible wonders”. Opening it, they found four dark green leather masks. Each one slipped on their face and conformed to fit their true self, in addition to other strange properties. Armed with incredible powers and their identities concealed, they are ready to fight back.
Each Animal Lord is the master of their domain, leagues above ordinary lycanthropes. They are powerful and well-respected outsiders, usually seen as agents of balance. They all have the following abilities
Charm: They may speak with and to a limited degree control those under their domain. Such creatures can be given simple commands, though this power does not work on any creature with an intelligence higher than 3.
Immortality: Basically, they cannot die through normal means and do not age past thirty, or an equivalent age for other species. They always regain health over time even when after dying. It would require disintegration or the presence of silver to kill them.
Silver Weakness: Just as they are stronger than ordinary lycanthropes, silver effects them even more. Simply touching a silver object burns them and deals 1 hp. Silvered weapons go through all of their defensive abilities, have advantage on attacks against them, and they have weakness against it. If any amount of silver enters their body, it completely stops all their Animal Lord powers with the exception of improved ability scores.
Unique Transformation: Animal Lords do not have an animal or hybrid form. Instead, their bodies transform as needed. When making a bite attack their face transforms, when flying wings grow from their backs, and when stopping an attack their skin turns scaly. This does not take any kind of action and happens naturally.
Tough Skin: This acts as the Unarmored Defense class feature, but uses Constitution instead of a mental ability score.
Darkvision: Gain 60 ft of dark vision.
Magic Strikes: Any natural attack granted to an Animal Lord counts as a magical weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This ability only activates at level 10.
There are five different types of Animal Lord with four different subtypes each. There may be multiple lords of the same type, but only one with the same subtype. Each Animal Lord has the same set of basic abilities, though subtype abilities can replace them if you choose. In addition, each type also changes the basic appearance of an Animal Lord in some small way. Though specific animals are mentioned here, that doesn’t mean similar animals can’t be substituted. Dogs are similar to wolves, lions are similar to tigers, bees are similar to hornets, et cetra.
Beast Lords tend to have thick shaggy hair and unusually colored eyes, such as gold or amber.
Ability Scores: Increase Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity by +2 each.
Regeneration: Their healing ability is second to none. They regain 4 hitpoints at the end of every round.
Claws: Two savagely thick claws form out of your hands. They are natural weapons that deal 1d6 damage each.
Keen Smell: You have advantage on Perception and Insight checks that rely on smell, even using it to sense emotion.
Rend: Any target hit by the Beast Lord’s natural attacks also take 1d4 bleed damage that persists for 2 rounds or until healed.
Spirit Roar: The Beast Lord can roar, making an intimidation check using your Strength score modifier against every target within 40 ft. Those who fail against this check must immediately flee. Any outsider that fails this check is banished for at least 24 hours. You cannot use this ability again until a long rest.
Pack Tactics: Deal +1d6 precision damage for each ally adjacent to your target.
Summon Wolf Pack: This functions as the spell Conjure Animals and creates six wolves that can follow detailed instruction. Cannot be used again until after a long rest.
Ability Scores: Increase Strength and Constitution by +3, rather than the standard.
Shaggy Hide: Gain a natural armor class bonus of +3. This replaces Regeneration.
Bite: A huge maw full of razor sharp teeth that can tear bone. This is a natural weapon that deals 1d8 damage. This replaces Claws.
Natural Agility: Increase speed by 5 feet and gain the Dexterity Saving Throw. If your class already grants this, gain another saving throw of your choice. This replaces Regeneration.
Pounce: Gain the Charge feat and increase base jump distance by 5 ft. Charge may be used as part of a jump. This replaces Rend.
Antlers: Gain the Charge feat and a set or sharp deer antlers that deal 1d6 damage. Charge may be only used with these antlers, unless you choose to take the feat as normal. This replaces claws.
King of the Forest: Cast Commune With Nature, as per the spell. You cannot use this ability again until after a long rest. This replaces Spirit Roar.
Scaled Lords tend to be hairless or with a widows peak. Their skin is rough, though with a slight sheen.
Ability Scores: Increase Strength by +2, Constitution by +2, Dexterity by +1, and Wisdom by +1.
Scaled Hide: Their thick skin is stronger than most armor. They gain a natural +3 bonus to AC, which stacks with all other sources.
Bite: A huge maw full of razor sharp teeth that can tear bone. This is a natural weapon that deals 1d8 damage.
Thermal Vision: You can sense heat patterns, gaining 10 ft of blindsight. This fails to function if you cannot smell.
Cold Blooded: Gain advantage on all poison, disease, and insight checks made against you.
Natural Poison: Your fangs can produce a dangerous poison. This lasts for one minute and can either be squeezed out into a bottle to make four doses or attacked with using your bite. The poison causes the Poison condition unless the target passes a constitution save, which is equal to 8 + 1/2 your class level. You cannot use this ability again until after a short rest.
Ability Scores: Increase Dexterity by +3 and Strength, Constitution, and Wisdom by +1.
Slither: The lower half of your body transforms into a snakes, granting an increase speed of 5 ft and a climb speed of 10 ft. This replaces Cold Blooded.
Deadly Poison: Rather than inflicting the poison condition, your poison deals 1d6 damage per turn it is not treated. This modifies Poison.
Claws: Two savagely thick claws form out of your hands. They are natural weapons that deal 1d6 damage each. This replaces Bite.
Furious Rend: When a target is hit by both your claws, you can call a dinosaurs strength to savagely tear them open. This deals 2d6 bleed damage which lasts for 1d2 rounds or until treated. You cannot use this ability again until after a short rest. This replaces Poison.
Regeneration: Regain 4 hitpoints per round. This replaces Scaled Hide.
Chameleon Skin: If you remain motionless, turn invisible. This functions as the spell Vanish.This replaces Cold Blooded.
Ability Scores: Increase Strength by +3, Constitution by +2, and Wisdom by +1.
Wings: Gain a flight speed of 50 ft. This replaces cold blooded.
Barbed Tail: Gain a natural attack in the form of a spiked tail that deals 1d8 damage. Poison can still be delivered through this weapon. This replaces Bite.
Avian Lords tend to have brightly colored hair and hooked noses.
Ability Scores: Increase Dexterity by +3, Strength and Constitution by +1, and Charisma by +2.
Dodge: Thin bones makes it easier to simply avoid attacks. This changes your Unarmored Defense bonus ability score to Dexterity and increases it by +3.
Talons: Two three pronged claws made for easily tearing flesh. They deal 1d4 damage, but also deal +1d6 damage against targets you have advantage against.
Piercing Vision: Increase passive perception by +2. Also increase its total range to 120 ft, so long as you are still able to see.
Wings: Gain a flight speed of 50 ft.
Wing Beat: Five times per day you may cast Wind Wall as per the spell.
Seek Target: For every minute you spend observing a target (maximum of 5 minutes), increase the bonus damage dealt by your talons by 1d6 and if you spend at least 1 minute observing the target you automatically have advantage. Also gain a flight speed of 25 ft. This replaces Wings.
Bird of Prey: Three times per day you may duplicate any Ranger spell of 2nd level or lower. This replaces Wing Beat.
Ability Scores: Increase Dexterity by +3, Constution by +2, Strength by +1, and Charisma by +1.
Murder of Ravens: As a bonus action, transform into a cloud of ravens. While in this form you cannot wear armor, wield weapons, cast spells, or do anything else that requires hands. You have a flight speed of 20 ft and can move through characters while flying. Any characters you move through take 1d4 piercing damage. No one target can be affected by this more than once per round. This replaces Wings.
Swarm Defense: When attacked, parts of body temporarily break apart in the form of ravens. This grants resistance to Slashing, Piercing, and Bludgeoning damage, but vulnerability to fire, electric, acid, and ice damage.
Echolocation: Gain 10 ft of blindsight that stops functioning if you cannot hear. This replaces Piercing Vision.
Blood Drain: Three times per day whenever you attack with your talons, regain the damage dealt in hit points by draining the target’s blood. This replaces Wing Beat.
Ability Scores: Increase Dexterity by +2, Constitution by +1, and Wisdom by +3.
All Seeing: Gain 5ft of True Sight. This replaces Piercing Vision.
Divine Envoy: Silvered weapons only have advantage against you and silver has no other special properties to you.
Insect Lords have incredibly sharp features and large eyes.
Ability Scores: Increase Strength by +2, Dexterity by +2, and Intelligence by +2.
Exoskeleton: A thin layer of strong, but brittle armor protects your flesh. Gain resistance to Slashing and Piercing damage, but vulnerability to bludgeoning.
Spikes: When active, several large spikes cover your body. They deal 1d6 piercing damage and you gain the Two-Weapon fighting combat style when using them.
Tremor Sense: You feel the slight vibrations when people move. Increase Passive Perception by +3.
Extra Limbs: Three long spindly limbs extend from your back, granting a +4 bonus on strength checks to lift things. Also each one of the limbs made be used to make a single extra natural attack during an attack action or increase AC by +2 when targeted by an attack as a reaction. Using one of the limbs in either of these ways causes it to retract. Retracted limbs do not come back until after a short rest. For every retracted limb, reduce the strength bonus to lift things by -1.
Summon Swarm: You may summon a large swarm of insects that attack every character in a 15 ft cone. They deal 1d6 damage per every two character levels and targets must make a Wisdom save equal to 8 + your intelligence modifier or be sickened for 2 rounds. You cannot use this ability again until after a long rest.
Arm Blades: Your hands and arms transform into serrated blades, easily capable of tearing flesh. They deal 1d8 slashing damage. This replaces Spikes.
Retractable Limbs: Increase the range of your natural attacks to 10 ft and they now deal 1d12 damage. This replaces Extra Limbs.
Ability Scores: Increase Dexterity by +3, Constitution by +1, Strength by +1, and Intelligence by +1.
Wings: Gain 50 ft of flight. This replaces Extra Limbs.
Stinger: Launch a metal spike at target as a ranged attack that deals 1d8 piercing damage with a range of 40 ft. You have six such spikes stored within your body and they regrow after a short rest. This replaces Extra Limbs.
Ability Scores: Increase Strength by +3, Constitution by +2, and Intelligence by +1.
Crushing Claws: Gain two large claws that deal 1d6 bludgeoning damage each and have advantage on sunder attempts against an object both are grasping. This replaces Spikes.
Venomous Tail: Grow a tail and make a single attack with it as part of an attack action. It can be used in conjunction with other attacks, deals 1d12 damage, and if it connects the target must make a constitution saving throw equal to your attack roll or be poisoned for 1d4 rounds. This ability cannot be used again until after a long rest.
Ability Scores: Increase Dexterity and Strength by +3.
Skitter: Dodge attacks by leaping aside. Three times per encounter you may move 5 ft as a reaction towards being targeted by an attack. That movement cannot bring you within an enemy’s threat range, out of or into hindering terrain, or into an adjacent character’s space. In addition, gain a constant Spider Climb effect. This replaces Exoskeleton.
Webbing: Gain the ability to use webbing, which has three different forms. It can make a form a line, which can be used as a bonus action. It can be used to make a ranged attack, which can restrain a Large or smaller target if successful. Or it can be used to create an actual spiderweb, which is a 20 × 20 ft trap and takes thirty seconds to construct. Any target that comes in contact with it is restrained. Breaking free from webbing requires a strength check equal to 8 + your strength modifier. You get twelve of any of these uses before the webbing needs to replenish, which requires a long rest.