Random Encounters
Denizens of Stone Bog
By Skip Williams

The Gargoyles of Stone Bog

A pair of gargoyles stands ready to attack those who enter their area of influence. Some believe that the two are ancient guardians for the temple that originally stood in the heart of Stone Bog that have somehow survived the centuries since its fall. Others think they are merely descendants of those guardians. However, no one can say for sure. The pair regards the whole of the bog as their domain, though they avoid the ruined tower, where the green dragon Wrinestii makes her lair (see the fourth part).

The two gargoyles make their own lair in the ruined façade of an old building. Little is left here now but a flight of stone steps leading up to a roofless platform with the stumps of a few columns. A scummy pool at the foot of the steps was once a public fountain that now holds only stagnant water. The gargoyles' treasure lies concealed in muck at the bottom of the basin.

The gargoyles love to flit about in the deeper shadows of the bog while keeping an eye out for living creatures to torment and kill. When they spot likely prey, they scoot ahead and take up positions where they can pose as statues and catch their victims off guard. If a group seems particularly wary, one gargoyle plays statue while the second circles around behind, ready to blindside the enemy if someone sees through the statue ruse. They're cagey enough to wait until a group has examined a few statues, or at least passed by a few statues, before trying either ploy.

In battle, one gargoyle generally stays on the ground, trying to pin down the opposing fighter types while the other flies overhead and tries to reach softer targets such as spellcasters. If that doesn't work, they concentrate on one foe, using their mobility to flank that opponent.

Advanced Gargoyles (2): CR 5; Medium-size magical beast (earth); HD 6d10+18; hp 51; Init +2; Spd 45 ft., fly 75 ft. (average); AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14; Atk +8 melee (1d4+1, 2 claws) and +6 melee (1d6, bite) and +6 melee (1d6, gore); SQ darkvision 60 ft., DR 15/+1, freeze, low-light vision; AL CE; SV Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +2; Str 13, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 11, Cha 5.

Skills and Feats: Hide +11, Listen +4, Move Silently +4, Spot +4; Multiattack, Power Attack, Weapon Finesse (claw), Weapon Finesse (bite), Weapon Finesse (gore).

Freeze (Ex): An advanced gargoyle can hold itself so still it appears to be a statue. An observer must succeed at a Spot check (DC 20) to notice the advanced gargoyle is really alive.

Skills: *Gargoyles receive a +8 racial bonus to Hide checks when concealed against a background of worked stone.

Bring the Parts Together

The gargoyles occasionally range some distance from Stone Bog, and PCs might meet them almost anywhere. Perhaps the PCs find a trail of mangled forest creatures (random victims of the gargoyles), or perhaps the gargoyles descend on them while the group camps at night. The gargoyles might steal something, such as a sleeping character's backpack, and flee into the bog. Alternatively, the gargoyles might attack or panic the party's mounts, driving them into the bog.

Should the party simply stumble into the bog, the gargoyles are the first dangerous creatures the PCs are likely to meet.

Coming in Part 2 of Denizens of Stone Bog
Check out the ghouls of Stone Bog.

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