Monster Mayhem
The Vrill
by Robert Holzmeier

This month, in keeping with our theme of "fantasy meets the future," we offer you two new monsters: the Vrill and the Stellar Deva celestial. Both these creatures make appearances in this month's original online adventureThe Vessel of Stars. I designed these new creatures with the aid of the excellent "How to Create a Monster: Recipes for Disaster" article by Skip Williams in the October issue of Dragon magazine.

Vrill

- Small Outsider
Hit Dice: 3d8+3 (16 hp)
Initiative: +4 (+4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 17 (+3 natural, +2 leather, +1 small shield, +1 small)
Attacks: Gore +6; or vrill battleaxe +6 melee; or shortbow +4 ranged
Damage: Gore 1d4+2; vrill battleaxe 1d8; shortbow 1d6
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, lamentation, stun
Special Qualities: SR 15, damage reduction 10/+2, immovability, charm resistance, scent
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +5
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8
Skills: Diplomacy +3, Intuit Direction +7, Listen +3, Profession (any one) +7, Sense Motive +8, Wilderness Lore +5
Feats: Improved Initiative
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and cold forest, hill, mountain and plain
Organization: Solitary, Gang (2-5), Pod (5-20) or Herd (21-40)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 4-6 HD (Small), 7-9 HD (Medium-Size)

The devoutly neutral vrill are squat, thick-bodied humanoids appearing much like bipedal musk oxen with a thick, powerful rack of horns, cloven feet, and shaggy, matted fur.

Vrill prefer to keep to themselves, leading long and peaceful lives on their far-removed and obscure home plane. They are known for their level-headedness and their dislike for arguments and often find themselves called on to serve as arbitrators in crossplanar disputes. Although vrill avoid conflict, they can be ferocious if provoked.

However, in recent centuries, the vrill somehow ran afoul of the zealous stellar devas, most likely by refusing to accept the stubborn celestials' heavy-handed view of things. The stellar devas invaded the vrill plane with their massive dimensional skimmers, and the vrill have been slaves (the devas refer to them as "students") for longer than most care to remember.

Members of this race speak Vrill and Celestial; many also speak Common. Vrill are roughly the size and weight of dwarves.

Combat

Only recently have the vrill begun to display a more aggressive side. While they prefer to use their special abilities and qualities to incapacitate attackers and thereby avoid combat, they are not above resorting to physical conflict. When they do choose to engage in combat, vrill are more likely to gore or trample their opponents into submission, reserving their waraxes and shortbows for more lethal engagements.

Breath Weapon (Su): 1d4 Constitution damage, cone, 60 feet, every 1d4 rounds (but no more than five times per day); Fortitude save (DC 12). Affected creatures spend the next 1d6 rounds retching and attempting to move away from the offending vrill. Those that can't move away can defend themselves but not attack.

Lamentation (Su): A vrill can generate a radial sonic burst attack extending 80 feet in every direction. Targets subjected to the sound of the vrill's bellow must make a Will save (DC 10) or be overcome with grief for 1d6 rounds. This grief immobilizes its victims, allowing neithe attack or defense.

Stun: Vrill who successfully charge a target can ram with the flat of their horn rack. That creature must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 12) or be stunned for 1d6 rounds. Such "flat of the horn rack" attacks inflict no gore damage.

Immovability (Su): Vrill are able to magically root themselves to any surface. This ability gives the creature a +4 racial bonus to an opposed Strength check for a Bull Rush. Rooting itself offers the vrill no additional protection and ends if the vrill is killed, stunned or rendered unconscious.

Charm Resistance (Su): Vrill charm resistance offer them a +4 racial bonus to Will saves against enchantments.

About the Author

Robert Holzmeier has played D&D for more than 20 years. A lapsed player, he's glad to come back into the fold with the release of the new edition of the game. He contributed the new spell mirror move to our online Spellbookearlier this year, and his new adventure, The Vessel of Stars, is available online now!


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