Monster Mayhem
Dwellers of the Void
By Scott Brocius and Mark A. Jindra

Aramitama Yurei found the villager, freshly dead, his body cut countless times. He was too late -- again. Standing with disgust, he was about to scream his frustration when he glimpsed a shadow move. Spinning, he laughed out loud. He was not too late on this day.

He prepared a spell as the beast rushed him. The six-legged dog came snarling out of the darkness and slashed Yurei's thigh, disrupting the spell. Stupid, Yurei chided himself. He readied the next spell while trying to block the pain of his bleeding thigh. He blasted the fireball towards the hound, but it shifted nimbly to the side and avoided the flames. It then rushed again and sliced Yurei's other thigh.

"So, the pursuer has finally caught his prey." A cloaked figure emerged from the darkness, revealing a broad smile as he stared at Yurei writhing on the ground. "Congratulations to you Yurei, for you have found death tonight. I wonder if one so adept at the dark arts can withstand the pain that my pet shall unleash upon you. Do you wish to flee? Come Yurei, I can taste your fear."

The figure flicked out a hand, causing waves of pain in Yurei that forced him to cry out. The humanoid laughed aloud and motioned the dog to attack. The hound bounded forward to maul Yurei.

In an act of desperation, Yurei managed to pull forth his siangham and call the Oni from within. "Save me!" he cried. Then he succumbed to the pain and passed out.

Those with the understanding of the elements know the utzou, or Void, is not merely empty space, but a powerful medium that binds the elements together. Certain enlightened individuals actually learn to tap this force and use it for their own means. The void disciples (from Oriental Adventures) also know of the danger that lurks there -- the creatures that call the Void home.

Void walkers are rarely seen by those who are not targets, for they are elusive and enigmatic in their ways. Those people lucky enough to see one without being a target never seem to get a good look. It's always just a shadow in the corner of the eye, a glimpse blinded by the sun.

It is unclear why or how these creatures pick a target, but when a choice is made, they leave four similar objects where the target will be the first to find them. Objects used have ranged from copper coins to fresh-cut flowers, but in each case, the four items are laid in a perfect row. Many of their victims do not realize the significance of this warning, but almost all that receive this offering are found dead -- sliced horribly --within a week.

Some who have studied the significance of the objects believe that they represent the four basic elements (fire, water, earth, and air). Many of their targets have been void disciples or those who have sought knowledge of the Void. For these reasons it is believed the creatures are guardians of the void and seek to safeguard its secrets. However, the fear that their warning instills and the brutality of the deaths often lead scholars to the conclusion that the creatures somehow feed on the fear of their victims and that they enjoy stalking and killing their prey.

Void Walker
Medium Outsider (Evil, Extraplanar, Void)
Hit Dice: 6d8+18 (45hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 feet. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+6 Dex), touch 16, flat-footed 10
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+10
Attack: Katana +12 melee (1d10+6/19-20)
Full Attack: Katana +12/+7 melee (1d10+6/19-20)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunity to energy drain, outsider traits, void subtype
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +8
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 23, Con 16, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 18
Skills: Balance +8,Diplomacy +15, Handle Animal +13, Hide +15, Intimidate +13, Jump +6, Knowledge (the planes) +12, Listen +12, Move Silently +15, Ride +8, Search +12, Sense Motive +12, Spot +12, Tumble +15
Feats: Combat Reflexes,Dodge, Weapon Focus (katana)
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary plus 1d8 void hounds
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Any evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +6

The slender humanoid stands about six feet tall. It has gray skin, black eyes, and no hair on its head. Dressed in a simple cloak, it stares with burning hatred.

Void walkers are humanoid-shaped denizens of the Void. They typically dress in nondescript peasant clothes and cloaks in drab colors such as dull brown or muted green. The walkers speak little, but they engage their target in a largely one-sided conversation. They question the target's integrity, honor, and being, all with the intent to rattle the victim into making a stupid mistake.

Void walkers usually avoid combat, allowing their hounds to dispatch their target. If forced to fight, they wield their katanas with deadly precision. They generally have several levels in a character class, favoring those with spellcasting ability.

Combat

In addition to their katanas (see pages 144-145 of the Dungeon Master's Guide) and class ability (if any), void walkers use the following special abilities.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- pain (DC 18), tongues, teleport without error. Caster level 14th.The save DCs are Charisma-based.

The pain ability works by touch. A living creature touched must make a Fortitude save or be wracked by searing pain for 1 minute. While the pain lasts, the victim takes a -4 penalty on attack rolls, skill checks, and ability checks.

Void Subtype: Void creatures are made of the same empty space that comprises the Void. Normal creatures (that is, creatures without the void subtype) cannot see them unless the void creature makes its presence known, either by an act of will (a free action) or by attacking. A void creature has total concealment (50% miss chance) unless it reveals itself. See invisibility and invisibility purge don't reveal void creatures, but true seeing does. Blindsight and blindsense don't reveal void creatures. Members of the void disciple class can see void creatures. Once it reveals itself, a void creature remains visible until it uses a free action to conceal itself again.

A void hound can avoid magical and unusual attacks with great agility; it has the evasion special ability. If the creature makes a successful Reflex save against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, the void creature instead takes no damage. A helpless void creature does not gain the benefit of evasion. A void creature must be wearing light or no armor to benefit from evasion.

Immunity to Energy Drain (Ex): Due to their physical makeup, energy drains of any type (level drain, temporary or permanent ability damage, etc.) cannot affect void walkers.

Outsider Traits: A void walker cannot be raised, reincarnated or resurrected (though a limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection spell can restore life). Darkvision 60 ft.

Void Hound, Seeker
Medium Magical Beast (Extraplanar, Void)
Hit Dice: 3d10+9 (25 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 60 feet. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+2 Dex, +4 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+7
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d10+4) or slice charge +7 melee (1d8+6 plus wounding)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d10+4) plus 2 claw +2 melee (1d6+2) or slice charge +7 (1d8+6 plus wounding)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Slice charge, wounding
Special Qualities: Darkvision 120 ft., evasion, immunity to energy drain, low-light vision, void subtype
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +13, Move Silently +5
Feats: Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or pack (1d8)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 4-9 HD (medium-sized)

The gray, six-legged canine snarls through its large muzzle. The hairless monster has rows of razorlike bone protruding along its spine.

Void walkers created the void hounds as companions and killing machines. They are six-legged hairless dogs with whiplike tails. Coloration ranges from dull gray to black, and most have black or red eyes. They possess viscous fangs and their front pair of legs has claws similar to those of a bear. Their most dangerous feature, however, is their backbone: Each vertebra has a razorlike protrusions jutting out through the hide. These sharp bones are strong as steel and cause devastating wounds as the hound rushes by. As the hounds grow older, they increase in size.

Void hounds are completely loyal and obedient to their masters. They will kill quickly or toy with a target, depending on the cruelty of the walker commanding them.

Combat

As beings of the Void, the hounds share many of the same special traits as their masters.

Immunity to Energy Drain (Ex): Due to their physical makeup, energy drains of any type (level drain, temporary or permanent ability damage, etc.) cannot effect void hounds.

Slice Charge (Ex): A seeker can use its razor-sharp spine as a weapon; to do so, it must charge. The seeker throws its whole body into attack and gains 1-1/2 times its Strength bonus on damage, just as if using a sole natural weapon.

Wounding (Ex): A hit from the seeker's slice charge deals 1 point of Constitution damage from blood loss when it hits a creature. A critical hit does not multiply the Constitution damage. Creatures immune to critical hits (such as plants and constructs) are immune to the Constitution damage dealt by the slice charge.

Skills: A void hound has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks.

Void Hound, Stalker
Large Magical Beast (Extraplanar, Void)
Hit Dice: 10d10+50 (105 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 60 feet. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +6 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +10/+22
Attack: Bite +17 melee (2d8+8) or slice charge +17 (2d6+12 plus wounding)
Full Attack: Bite +17 melee (2d8+8) plus 2 claws +15 melee (2d6+4) or slice charge +17 melee (2d6+12 plus wounding)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Slice charge, wounding
Special Qualities: Darkvision 120 ft., evasion, immunity to energy drain, low-light vision, void subtype
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +8, Will +3
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 12, Con 20, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +8, Move Silently +11
Feats: Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Multiattack, Power Attack
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or pack (1d8)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 11-15 HD (Large)

Stalkers are simply Large seeker void hounds. They have the following change to their combat profile:

Wounding (Ex): A hit from the stalker's slice charge deals 1d2 points of Constitution damage from blood loss when it hits a creature. A critical hit does not multiply the Constitution damage. Creatures immune to critical hits (such as plants and constructs) are immune to the Constitution damage dealt by the slice charge.

Skills: A void hound has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks.

Void Hound, Slayer
Huge Magical Beast (Extraplanar, Void)
Hit Dice: 16d10+112 (200 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 60 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (-2 size, +9 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +16/+36
Attack: Bite +26 (4d8+12) or slice charge +26 (3d6+18 plus wounding)
Full Attack: Bite +26 (4d8+12) plus 2 claws +24 (3d6+6) or slice charge +26 (3d6+18 plus wounding)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Slice charge, wounding
Special Qualities: Darkvision 120 ft., immunity to energy drain, low-light vision, void subtype
Saves: Fort +17, Ref +10, Will +5
Abilities: Str 34, Dex 10, Con 24, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +8, Move Silently +11
Feats: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Improved Natural Attack (claw), Multiattack, Power Attack
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or pack (1d8)
Challenge Rating: 11
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 17-24 HD (Huge)

Stalkers are simply Huge seeker hounds. They have the following change to their combat profile:

Wounding (Ex): A hit from the slayer's slice charge deals 1d4 points of Constitution damage from blood loss when it hits a creature. A critical hit does not multiply the Constitution damage. Creatures immune to critical hits (such as plants and constructs) are immune to the Constitution damage dealt by the slice charge.

Skills: A void hound has a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks.

About the Author

Scott Brocius has been "kicking around" with the D&D game since being introduced to it 1980. He has been an RPGA member for a number of years and has helped organize and run RPGA events for several conventions, including Origins. The new edition of D&D has renewed his love for and interest in the game. Scott coauthors the monthly Mind's Eye feature on the Wizards of the Coast website.

Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for the past 25 years and has organized RPGA Network events for many conventions and game days, including Origins and Winter Fantasy. He is currently the developer of the D&D area of Wizards of the Coast's website. Mark has authored or coauthored various tournaments for the RPGA Network, and he also coauthors the monthly Mind's Eye feature on the Wizards website.


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