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The Beasts of Halruaa
Text by Elaine Cunningham
Stats by Andrew Cunningham
The tropical land of Halruaa lies in a remote area of the Forgotten Realms and is filled with creatures both strange and magical. Author Elaine Cunningham wanted to share more of the elements of this mysterious land, setting for her latest title The Wizardwar, with fans, so she and her son Andrew created a bestiary for creatures unique to Halruaa. Take a look and see just how unusual they are!
Medium-Size Magical Beast (Electricity)
Hit Dice: 5d10+45 (52 hit points)
Speed: 30 ft., climb 10 ft.
AC: 18 (+1 Dex, +7 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 17
Attacks: Bite +9 melee and 6 claws +4 melee
Damage: Bite 1d6+4 and claw 1d4+2
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 20 ft./ 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, constrict 2d6+6, static discharge
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunities, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +5, Will +0
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 13, Con 21, Int 6, Wis 9, Cha 12
Skills: Climb +18, Hide +5, Spot +5
Feats: Cleave, Power Attack
Organization: Mated pairs
Challenge Rating: 6
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6-9 Large; 10-13 Huge, 14-15 Gargantuan
The many-legged, crocodilian behir lives in most lands and climates of Aber-Toril, as well as in the underground passages. The Halruaan version is a smaller, more magical breed, and it is quite distinct in several ways from the common behir. They are used as guardians (and occasionally pets), but like pigs and poets, they achieve most of their acclaim after their deaths.
Halruaan behirs are bred for brilliant color. Blue is the most common hue, but innovative breeders (who are invariably necromancers) have developed strains of green, coral, and even rose-hued monsters. Halruaan behirs take about five years to reach adult size, which is about half the size of average behirs. They seldom reach 20 feet or weigh more than 1,500 pounds -- usually they are "harvested" long before they reach this size. Their strength and attack abilities are adjusted for their smaller size. As is often the case when creatures are vigorously bred for miniaturization, their intelligence has suffered. Halruaan behirs do not speak Common or any other recognizable language. They are cunning predators and sharp-eyed guardians, however, and their breath weapon is fully as strong as that of their larger kin.
A Halruaan behir is more likely to rely on its breath weapon than its cousin, the standard behir, does. Hatchlings are vigorously trained not to bite, maul, or crush. Some Halruuan behirs are trained to constrict prey -- or intruders -- to the point of unconsciousness. Trained guardians usually hold an intruder at bay with the threat of its breath weapon. For the most part, however, Halruaan behirs don't need much training to be effective guardians. They can emit small crackles of energy at will, shocking any who touch their hide. With this natural electricity, a swimming Halruaan behir can turn even a shallow moat into a deadly, impassible barrier.
It's rumored that certain unsavory elements in Halruaan society raise vicious strains of these creatures for behir-baiting dens, but such sport is frowned upon, if not actually illegal.
Breath Weapon (Su): A Halruaan behir can exhale a line of lightning 5 feet high, 5 feet wide, and 20 feet long that deals 7d6 points of electricity damage (Reflex save DC 17 for half). Once it has used its breath weapon, it must wait 1d4 rounds before it can do so again.
Constrict (Ex): A Halruaan behir crushes its opponent, dealing 2d6+6 points of bludgeoning damage, after making a successful grapple check.
Static Discharge (Ex): A Halruaan behir constantly generates electricity within its body. Any creature that touches it, makes a successful melee attack against it with a natural or metal weapon, or is hit by any of its attacks takes 1d4 points of electricity damage from the discharge. This ability is always active.
Immunities: A Halruaan behir is immune to electricity attacks and is not subject to tripping.
Medium-Size Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 5d10 (27 hp)
Speed: Fly 60 ft. (average)
AC: 19 (+5 Dex, +4 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 14
Attacks: Bite +4 melee
Damage: Bite 1d4-1 plus poison
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Poison, spell-like abilities, static discharge
Special Qualities: Dream shield, SR 15
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +9, Will + 4
Abilities: Str 9, Dex 20, Con 11, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 26
Skills: Diplomacy +20, Listen +13, Search +7, Sense Motive +11, Spot +13
Feats: Alertness, Dodge, Endurance, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Diplomacy)
Challenge Rating: 5
Alignment: Always chaotic neutral
Advancement: 6-13 HD (Medium-size)
The starsnake is unique to Halruaa, and many visitors and inhabitants think it is one of the most beautiful creatures in a tropical land rich in colorful and unusual wildlife. A starsnake is a gossamer-winged snake that stretches 8 to 10 feet long when fully grown. Their glossy scales possess an iridescent sheen and range in hue from brilliant shades of blue and green to radiant ruby. In flight, they resemble ropes of gemstone. Their eyes always possess a sky blue hue. They are intelligent, and they speak the Halruaan tongue. They have no language of their own, as they assiduously shun their own kind. They are hermaphroditic and do not need to come together even to mate.
When resting during the heat of the day, the snakes employ a dream shield that repels certain types of magic and rewards anyone who touches it with a jolt of electrical energy. They are reclusive creatures who are usually seen only at twilight, with their beautiful wings reflecting the sunset colors. They feed upon tree lemmings and other arboreal rodents, and they present a threat only to those foolish enough to disturb their slumber. They do, however, delight in playing pranks on humanoids. They occasionally coil in low branches, engaging passing humanoids in conversation and planting ludicrous but usually harmless suggestions. A common explanation for foolish behavior is to claim, only half in jest, that someone was "beguiled by a starsnake."
Dream Shield (Sp): While asleep, the starsnake generates an aura of absorption that absorbs spells in a manner similar to that of a rod of absorption. Any targeted spell directed at the starsnake is absorbed. This energy is instantly converted into electrical energy and discharged back at the caster in a bolt that deals damage equal to 1d10 points of damage per level of the spell absorbed. For example, a searing light spell converts into 3d10 points of electrical damage. The bolt itself is 5 feet wide and streaks out to a maximum of 200 feet to hit its target, and a successful Reflex save (DC 18) halves the damage. The bolt can set fire to combustibles and damage objects in its path. It can melt metals with a low melting point, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, or bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the bolt may continue beyond the barrier if the range of the effect permits; otherwise, it stops at the barrier just as any other spell effect does.
Poison (Ex): A starsnake delivers its poison (Fortitude save DC 12) with a successful bite attack. The initial and secondary damage are the same (1d6 points of Dexterity damage).
Spell-like Abilities: At will -- charm person, hold person; 3/day -- charm monster, suggestion; 1/day -- eyebite, hold monster. Caster level 12th; save DC 18 + spell level.
Static Discharge (Ex): A starsnake constantly generates electricity within its body while sleeping. Any creature that touches it or makes a successful melee attack against it with a natural or metal weapon takes 1d4 points of electricity damage from the discharge. This ability is active only while it sleeps.
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