Ripe for Colonization
An entire stinger hive-city has used a three-year ritual to transport itself to the Underdark beneath the nation of Amn. The tlincallis have taken over the region formerly ruled by the dwarven kingdom of Xothaerin. The only resistance of note came from the elemental fire creatures (salamanders, efreet, and the like) that had populated the southern reaches of the ruined dwarven kingdom. The tlincallis fought off the fire beings and are now sending exploring parties through the rest of the Underdark, possibly in search of other areas ripe for stinger colonization.
-- from the entry for Stinger
It would certainly be possible to structure an adventure arc around stingers' attempts to found a new city in a different region of the Underdark -- near the infamous drow city of Menzoberranzan, perhaps, or in the great dungeon of Undermountain beneath the bustling surface metropolis of Waterdeep. Such an attempt would certainly cause conflict between the stingers and the other residents of the Underdark, which could have wide-ranging repercussions. On the other hand, the tlincallis' attempt to find other areas to colonize could provide the background for a single encounter. For example, the stinger ranger Tikkir, with her unusual slaves, offers an intriguing encounter in any Underdark region. This scenario has an encounter level of 10, but lower-level parties may be able to deal with Tikkir and her companions through diplomacy rather than combat.
Tikkir, female stinger Rgr 5: CR 9; Large Monstrous Humanoid; HD 4d8+12 (stinger) plus 5d10+15 (ranger); hp 76; Init +9; Spd 20 ft.; AC 25 (flat-footed 20, touch 15) [-1 size, +5 Dex, +4 natural, +6 magic breastplate, +1 ring of protection]; Atk +15/+10 melee (2d6+5, Huge spiked chain), +8 melee (1d8+2 and poison, stinger); SA Poison, favored enemies (aberrations +2, drow +1); SQ Tremorsense, bolthole magic; Face 5 ft. by 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with stinger and spiked chain); AL NE; SV Fort +8, Ref +10, Will +6; Str 20, Dex 20, Con 17, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10.
Skills and Feats: Hide +10, Listen +6, Move Silently +11, Search +4 , Spot +5, Wilderness Lore +11; Dodge, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), Improved Initiative, Mobility, Track.
Poison (Ex): Stinger; Fortitude save (DC 17); initial and secondary damage 1d6 points of temporary Strength damage.
Favored Enemies (Ex): Gain listed bonus to weapon damage, Bluff, Listen, Sense Motive, Spot, and Wilderness Lore.
Tremorsense (Ex): Sense location of anything within 60 feet that is in contact with the ground.
Bolthole Magic (Sp): Move 20 feet straight up or down by passing through at least a foot of earth. Suffers 1d3 points of damage for each 5 feet of earth (round up).
Possessions:+1 Large breastplate, +2 Huge spiked chain, +1 ring of protection,necklace of fireballs (type II), potion of invisibility, 50 gp
Spells Prepared (1; base DC = 11 + spell level): 1st -- magic fang.
Durgin and Drom, Average Salamanders: hp 43, 40; Monster Manual, page 159.
Melphis, Fire Mephit: hp 14, Monster Manual, page 132.
Tikkir is a strong-willed, independent-minded scout of the stinger people. She actually cares little for the company of her own people, preferring the solitude of the miles of Underdark caverns that she calls home. She rarely speaks, for she rarely encounters other creatures she considers worth speaking to, and has fallen out of the habit. Her fiery companions respond to silent hand gestures, and have learned to anticipate many of her wishes.
Tikkir is always accompanied by three creatures who are technically her slaves, though there is little room for a master-slave relationship in the dangerous wilds of the Underdark. All fire creatures, these slaves are previous inhabitants of ruined Xothaerin, conquered by the stingers when they overran that region. They are slaves, and serve Tikkir out of fear, but during the years of their service to her they have gained a great respect for her as well. They do everything in their power to aid her in battle, and would most likely die on her side rather than betray her to enemies.
A player character party could encounter Tikkir anywhere in the Faerūnian Underdark, but most likely relatively close to Amn, or perhaps beneath Cormyr to the east. She spends most of her time far from any other subterranean civilization; she bears a particular loathing for mind flayers and gives their cities a wide berth. She rather enjoys fighting drow patrols, however, and if the PCs encounter her in the middle of such a skirmish they could put themselves on good footing by helping her against her hated enemies. Evil though she is, she could prove a valuable ally to heroes who are fighting drow in the Underdark.
Since her mission has nothing to do with killing adventurers, Tikkir generally does not plunge into combat with randomly-encountered strangers. She is especially wary of parties that she meets in uninhabited regions of the Underdark, since anyone who can survive in such a place must be a dangerous opponent. She generally prefers to stalk a party, trying to remain hidden (and leaving her flamboyant slaves at camp), learning what she can of the characters' capabilities and mission before revealing herself . . . if she chooses to do so at all. Should characters spot her and confront her, she attempts to flee until she can face her foes prepared. Though anything but sociable, she is not above making an alliance that will benefit her in the short run, nor does she have any qualms about betraying (or simply abandoning) erstwhile allies when they have outlived their usefulness.
©1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.