Across the Shaar, and in the Golden Water region, small herds of nomadic loxo hunt, gather, and keep to themselves. The elephantine humanoids appear strange even to people used to seeing orcs and bugbears on a daily basis, but they are only one of group of strange humanoids that wander the Shaar. The nomadic humanoids of the Shaar leave the shy loxo to their own devices, trading with them but never forming bonds. The loxo fiercely protect their herds, and some actually resent the intrusion of strange humanoids (read: non-loxo) on their peace and serenity.
Every so often, though, a loxo is seen in the marketplace of Halagard in Halruaa, the taverns of Chavyondat in Estagund, in the pirate stronghold of Yaulazna, or among the mercenaries in the Border Kingdoms. Sometimes they move even farther north. Curiosity, or some dark deed, drives these young loxo to venture forth into unknown lands and seek their fortunes. They are prized as mercenaries and bodyguards, and that is a sure way for them to make coin, but some few of these follow other paths.
One such loxo is Dauphal, who is of average size and build (for a loxo). Born into a normal loxo childhood, he felt the yearning to wander at a young age and got into trouble frequently for exploring where his parents told him not to go. At age 14 he fled the herd of his birth and found his way to the trade city of Delzimmer. He has sometimes told people that wemics massacred his herd, but that and any other colorful details are mere exaggerations that he says so that he sounds interesting.
Possessed of a keen mind but very poor social skills, Dauphal found life difficult at first. He learned to fight with the weapons of humans, worked as a thug to afford food, and strangely enjoyed every minute of that part of his life. Having to buy food in itself was a novel experience, and the start of many novel experiences. Eventually he took the road westward, and, after some travels, he fell into the hands of the Wyrm Master, a gnoll chieftain that operates from the Wyrmbones. Some loxo deity must have intervened on Dauphal's behalf, because the Wyrm Master chose to train Dauphal as his personal bodyguard rather than kill him. The loxo spent a number of years with the gnolls, learning the crafts of wilderness survival, tracking, and fighting. Though he never participated in any raids on caravans, and indeed never wanted to, he did help scout for locations and track down survivors so they could be killed.
Eventually, his inherent morality objected to the evil that the gnolls did, and he used his skills to leave them in the night. He made his way south into Halruaa, and the town of Alaurim. Here, he was exposed to magic on a large scale for the first time, and he found it wonderful and frightening at the same time. After some initial hesitancy, he decided to learn this magic himself and asked the wizardess Rhodea Firehair to take him as an apprentice. She was, after all, the only one fearless enough to take on such a monstrous student. Dauphal learned a lot from her and was saddened when an accident with a dragon in the town mint caused her demise. When Rhodea's daughter was killed, Dauphal recognized evil forces at work and prudently decided to continue his wanderings.
Dauphal may be found anywhere in the Shining South, or indeed anywhere else. He is curious about everything, and he fearlessly faces battle. Confident of his abilities, he nonetheless does not rush into a dangerous situation without thinking things through. He has a tendency to tell lies about his past, and though people are not sure that he is being truthful, they also don't know for certain that he is not. His curiosity can lead him into allying with evil forces, at least for a while, as well as good ones. Thus, he can be an ally, friend, or enemy of any player characters that cross his path.
In combat, he has learned to take advantage of his size, strength, and reach. He is trained to charge as well as defend against charges, and his large glaive is always close to his hand. His longsword and short sword are never far from his hip. When someone charges him, he generally gets two attacks of opportunity against that foe, and then follows up with a withering set of blows. His magic is used primarily in support of his combat prowess, but he can cause damage with spells as well.
Dauphal: Male loxo ranger 5/wizard 2; CR 9; Large monstrous humanoid; HD 10d8+40 plus 2d4+8; hp 98; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 22, touch 13, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +11; Grp +21; Atk +16 melee (1d6+6, 2 slams) or +13/+8/+3 melee (2d6+7/19-20, +1 longsword) and +13 melee (1d8+4/19-20, +1 short sword) and +11 melee (1d6+3, slam) or +13/+8/+3 melee (2d8+7 plus 1d6 fire/x3, +1 flaming glaive) and +11 melee (1d6+3, slam) or +14/+9/+4 ranged (2d6+6/x3, +2 composite longbow [+4 Str bonus]); Space/Reach 10 ft./10 ft. (20 ft. with glaive); SA berserk rage, trample (1d8+9); SQ animal companion (lizard; link, share spells), darkvision 60 ft., familiar benefits (Alertness, empathic link, share spells), favored enemy humans +4, favored enemy monstrous humanoids +2, wild empathy +5 (+1 magical beasts); AL N; SV Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +9; Str 22, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 12, Cha 6. Age 26, height 7 ft. 3 in., weight 490 lbs.
Skills and Feats: Climb +16, Heal +6, Hide -3, Jump +8, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +10, Knowledge (nature) +12, Listen +16, Search +7, Spellcraft +4, Spot +16, Survival +14, Swim +6; Alertness[B], Combat Reflexes, Endurance[B], Furious Charge, Hold the Line, Power Attack, Practiced Spellcaster, Scribe Scroll[B], Track[B].
Languages: Loxo, Common, Dwarven, Shaaran.
Rage (Ex): If Dauphal sees a clan member (a loxo of the same clan) killed or incapacitated, he can enter a state of berserk rage that lasts for 9 rounds. The following changes are in effect as long as Dauphal rages: hp 122; AC 20, touch 11, flat-footed 18; Grp +23; Atk +18 melee (1d6+8, 2 slams) or +15/+10/+5 melee (2d6+9/19-20, +1 longsword) and +15 melee (1d8+5/19-20, +1 short sword) and +13 melee (1d6+4, slam) or +15/+10/+5 melee (2d8+9 plus 1d6 fire/x3, +1 flaming glaive) and +13 melee (1d6+4, slam) or +14/+9/+4 ranged (2d6+6/x3, +2 composite longbow [+4 Str bonus]); SA trample 1d8+11 (DC 20); SV Fort +11, Will +11; Str 26, Con 22; Climb +18, Jump +10, Swim +8. At the end of his rage, Dauphal is fatigued for the duration of the encounter.
Trample (Ex): As a standard action, Dauphal can trample creatures of Medium size and smaller by moving over them. The trample deals 1d8+9 points of bludgeoning damage. A trampled opponent can make an attack of opportunity with a -4 penalty against Dauphal or attempt a Reflex save DC 18 for half damage.
Animal Companion (Ex): Dauphal has a snake named Slithe as an animal companion (see Monster Manual, page 279). The companion's abilities and characteristics are summarized below.
Animal Companion Benefits (Ex): Dauphal and Slithe enjoy the link and share spells special qualities.
Link (Ex): Dauphal can handle Slithe as a free action. He also gains a +4 circumstance bonus on all wild empathy checks and Handle Animal checks made regarding his snake.
Share Spells (Ex): Dauphal may have any spell he casts on himself also affect his animal companion if the latter is within 5 feet at the time. Dauphal may also cast a spell with a target of "You" on his animal companion.
Familiar: Dauphal's familiar is a lizard named Mopeke. The familiar uses the better of her own and Dauphal's base save bonuses. The creature's abilities and characteristics are summarized below.
Favored Enemy (Ex): Dauphal gains a +4 bonus on his Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Survival checks when using these skills against humans. He gains the same bonus on weapon damage.
Against monstrous humanoids, he gains a +2 bonus on these skill checks and on weapon damage rolls.
Ranger Spells Prepared (caster level 5th): 1st -- endure elements.
Wizard Spells Prepared (caster level 9th; 15% chance of spell failure): 0 -- acid splash (+14 ranged touch), ray of frost (+14 ranged touch), resistance, touch of fatigue (+19 melee touch, DC 12); 1st -- expeditious retreat, shield, true strike.
Spellbook: as above plus 0 -- arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, prestidigitation, read magic; 1st -- burning hands, disguise self, mage armor, magic missile.
Possessions: +2 studded leather, ring of protection +2,+1 large flaming glaive,+1 large longsword,+1 large short sword,+2 large composite longbow (+4 Str bonus) with 20 arrows and 10 cold iron arrows, wand of cure light wounds (caster level 5th), bag of tricks (tan), backpack, bedroll, other adventuring gear, 128 gp.
Feats from Non-Core Sources
Hold the Line (from Shining South): You can make an attack of opportunity against a charging opponent as soon at it enters your threatened area. Your attack of opportunity happens immediately before the charge attack is resolved. Your attacks of opportunity are still limited to the number allowed by Combat Reflexes.
Practiced Spellcaster (from Complete Divine): When determining caster level for one of your spellcasting classes, you can add a bonus of up to +4. The amount of the bonus depends on the number of nonspellcasting class levels you have; you can add +1 for each nonspellcasting class level up to the limit of +4.
About the Author
Robert Wiese began playing D&D with the blue boxed set (the one after the original three small pamphlets). He has campaigned through three and a half editions of his favorite roleplaying game and has tried Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars, and some other games as well. Throughout it all he has learned that a great DM makes a great campaign. So he is happy to assist great DMs with little ideas such as these random encounters. He led the RPGA Network through the tough times and now works at UNR as a biochemical researcher. Life is very full between studies, work, pets (two dogs, two cats, fish, a toad, and two rats), and gaming, but he always puts his wife and his faith first.
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