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Author Topic: The Sentinels of Erethor  (Read 2406 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715

« on: April 27, 2010, 04:53:14 AM »

I've always been bothered by the distances in Midnight, trying to figure out how the fey can defend so vast a forest with their limited numbers. The Sentinels help to correct that problem.  Next up is a more mundane creature from the plains of Erethor.


Sentinels of Erethor

The plan was simple.  Take a small raiding party; two full warbands, human mercenaries, foresters, and a handful of sniffers, and strike with at least some surprise against one or more of the Redgard villages in Erethor. Achieving that surprise was the difficult part.  The raiding party would travel almost due west, staying south of Dergen’s Creek, the outer limit of the Redgard raids. The route would make it look as if we were headed toward the front along the Gameril and should fool the Redgard’s spies. Once we were in sight of Erethor we would veer sharply north, staying just outside the edge of the forest.

We had what we thought was a fairly accurate idea of where the Redgard’s main villages were located. The Sister of Tender Mercy had been instrumental in extracting the information we needed from captured raiders. If that information was correct, the closest village was little more then one day’s hard march into Erethor. We believed that a quick assault, just one day into the great forest and over a hundred miles north of the current fighting, wouldn’t give the fey the time to react.

When we reached the point where we’d enter the great forest, the force was split in two. One warband would remain at the edges of the wood, secure our way out, and block any Redgard raider force returning to Erethor.  The other warband, the mercenaries, foresters and sniffers would move inland and attack the closest village. As we moved deeper into the woods, the warband and mercenaries split into groups of roughly fifty, with scouts to the north and south and the sniffers and foresters on the point.

We marched unopposed for hours until the sniffers picked up a fresh trail.  They thought we were close, so the order went out to ready weapons. Without warning, the plants began to grow rapidly before our eyes, forming dense thickets, blocking movement. My soldiers cried out as thorns slipped past armor and ripped into their flesh. What had been a well organized advance was chaos. To my right I heard war cries and the sound of metal on stone and wood. I tried to move toward the fighting, but the thickets were too dense. Then out of a clear sky came the lightning, arcing into the men around me. Nearly a dozen men lay dead when two figures strode effortlessly through the undergrowth. They were easily twice my size, impossible creatures of wood and stone. With broad sweeping blows they crushed shields and tossed armored men aside as if they were toys.  I screamed for my band to retreat and desperately we tried to cut our way out of this hell.

Once free of the underbrush, I fled east, not knowing or caring what had become of my men. At dusk I stumbled into the camp of the warband left behind to guard our return. Only twenty orcs and mercenaries survived, out of a force of almost 300 hundred.  We were fools to believe that the fey left the area undefended. I don’t know what those creatures were or if our weapons hurt them. I don’t even know how many there were; I saw only two. 

Sentinel of Erethor
Large Construct
Hit Dice: 8d10 + 30 (74 hp)
Init: +2
Speed: 20 ft.
AC: 23 (-1 size, +2 dex, +12 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 21
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+13
Attack: Slam +12 melee (2d8+5)
Full Attack: 2 Slams +12 melee (2d8+5), spells
Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell Like Abilities
Special Qualities: Construct Traits, Damage Resistance 5/Magic or Fire, Meld with Nature
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3
Abilities: Str 20 Dex 14, Con -, Int -, Wis 12, Cha 1
Environment: Erethor
Organization: Solitary, Stand (2-4), Copse (5-9)
Challenge Rating 10
Alignment: N
Advancement: -, rumors of larger versions near Caradul and the Keep of the Cataract
Spell Like abilities: (CL 7)
3/day: Entangle, Obscuring Mist, Plant Growth, Quench, Warp Wood
1/day: Call Lightning, Spike Growth

Seeming to erupt out of the ground is a towering figure of wood and stone. As it moves toward you, the plants reach out and bind your limbs and thorns rip at your flesh.

The Sentinels of Erethor are constructs of wood and stone, created with powerful magic and attuned to the Whisper. These constructs were formed to provide protection for the more isolated areas of Erethor; places of power that were far from the current fighting.  The Sentinels allow the Witch Queen to concentrate what troops she has on the front line, knowing that critical areas will not be unguarded. The constructs are found, in small numbers, throughout Erethor; from the snow covered pines of the Veradeen, through the abandoned villages of the Green March, and south to the fetid gloom of the Aruun.

The constructs are the perfect guardian. Virtually invisible when not moving, and with the awareness and guidance of the Whisper, they can protect a very large area. The process of creating the Sentinels is costly, time consuming, and requires the magical abilities of a master channeler. There are few fey left who have this skill and most are needed to hold the line against the Shadow. Only the very aged or infirm can be spared to create more of these guardians. There are rumors that the traitor Ardherin had this knowledge and has corrupted the Sentinels in the northernmost Veradeen near Bandilrin.

Combat: The Sentinels of Erethor will use their concealment (meld with nature) to allow a foe to get into an area where it can best use its spell like abilities (plant growth, entanglement, and spike growth). It will attempt to constrict its enemy’s movement and cut off their retreat before revealing itself. When facing multiple foes with missile weapons, it will use obscuring mist and kill one target at a time. If reduced to 25% of its hit points it will seek to escape. The Sentinels abhor fire and will attack fire users first, using quench to prevent further damage to the great forest.

Construct Traits: Constructs are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fort save. Constructs are not subject to non-lethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. Constructs are not at risk of death from massive damage. Constructs have both Low-light and Darkvision 60’.
Meld with Nature: The Sentinels of Erethor can not be detected in a natural setting until they activate and move. They are so attuned to nature that they can move unhindered and unharmed through any vegetation and leave leave no trail of any kind.  A Sentinel can not be tracked inside Erethor.


Spell Energy / Taint +13/-5
Gender: Male
Posts: 536

Oh, the humanity!

« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 05:48:07 PM »

I've always been bothered by the distances in Midnight, trying to figure out how the fey can defend so vast a forest with their limited numbers.

Isn't that what the guardian plants from Minions of the Shadow were for? And the Whisper? I dunno. An army of golems along the borders of Erethor seems a little out of place to me. Although I could imagine them as rarer protectors of nexus and other special sites, rather than forming a whole Maginot Line.

edit: I think the problem that I have with them, conceptually, is that they lack the mobility to be effective interceptors (speed 20, no movement powers). So, to be defenders of Erethor, I have to picture them as basically a solid line stretching along the forest's borders.

Maybe if you speed them up a bit they'd work better? Perhaps give them Tree Stride or a similar SLA/ability to let them pass through the vegetation and rapidly reach the site of an incursion? Granted, it's a teleportation effect, but if that's a problem you could change the flavour text so that the Sentinels are actually abandoning their old body, travelling to another location at spirit-speeds, and them forming a new one out of wood and stone?
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 07:50:22 PM by Dirigible » Logged

Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715

« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 05:08:49 AM »


I wasn't thinking about an army of them, just some small groups 2-4 that would be under the control of the whisper.  They would move into position while the enemy pushes deeper in the forest.  That's why I let the raiders in the story get almost a day in; it took a while for the sentinels to get to them.  One possibility could be to let them use the ways to travel faster through Erethor.  That would limit the area that they could easily defend. 

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