The Horde (Forgotten Realms)



Climate/Terrain:Tundra and arctic forest
Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Day
Intelligence:Very (11-12)
Treasure:W (D)
Alignment:Lawful neutral
No. Appearing:1-4
Armor Class:0
Hit Dice:8
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:1-8 or weapon
Special Attacks:Breath weapon, spells
Special Defenses:+1 weapon or better to hit
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:M (5-7)
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:3,000

The shatjan is a powerful protector of the icy far north. There it lives in solitude, watching over the flocks of reindeer that roam the tundra.

The shatjan has the body of a man or woman, strong and stocky, and the head of a reindeer. Males sport large antler racks, while females have antlers that are somewhat smaller. The head, neck, shoulders, and forearms are covered with a thick gray to dark brown coat. Shatjan clothing is made from skins and bark, often decorated with patterns and symbols.

Combat: The shatjan is not by nature a warrior, and seldom seeks out battle. However, in its role as protector of the herds, the shatjan is often forced to fight against predators of all types. The shatjan is accustomed to fighting in snow, ice, and cold. It is never hampered by these conditions and will often try to lure its opponents to a position that places them at a disadvantage a deep drift or a slippery patch of ice. In combat it uses bone-tipped harpoons, wooden clubs, or short bows.

The shatjan has a breath weapon, usable every round. It can breathe a blast of freezing cold to a range of 5. The cold can only affect a single target per round and causes 3 dice of damage. Because the breath is narrow and concentrated, a successful saving throw vs. breath weapon negates all damage.

The shatjan can also lower temperatures in a 10 radius. This is an innate ability and does not require any concentration. The temperature drops by 10 each round. When the temperature drops to 0, those in the radius suffer 1-2 points of damage per round. At -20 or lower, the damage suffered increases to 1-4 points per round. Those dressed appropriately for that temperature suffer correspondingly less damage. Thus, if the temperature is already 0 and the characters are wearing parkas, no damage is suffered until the temperature reaches -20, and then the damage is half normal.

The shatjan is immune to cold and all cold-based attacks. It can be hit only by +1 weapons or better.

Habitat/Society: Shatjans are solitary creatures, moving with the annual migrations of the reindeer herds. During the summer, it lives in a small family group at the edge of the forest and tundra. There they build temporary camps, little wickiups of fir branches and birch bark. During winter they follow the reindeer back into the forests and live in ice caves or leather tents. Since shatjans do not need to protect themselves against the cold, they build these shelters for convenience and comfort.

A typical camp has only one male and one female, who mate for life, and a number of young. Females are equal to males in combat ability, while the young have 1-5 hit dice and no special abilities.

Shatjan are closely linked to reindeer and serve as their guardians. They can speak with animals and predict weather. The guardianship of a herd does not mean they defend against all predators. The shatjan become involved only if the predators become too damaging in their attacks. In addition, they act to minimize the damage from natural disasters, such as fires or famine, by guiding their herds to safe grounds.

The shatjan have no friendship or dislike of humans, viewing them as yet another force to contend with. They haltingly speak the language of humans, usually that of whatever tribe is closest to their territory. In addition, they speak their own tongue.

Ecology: The shatjan eat much the same foods as reindeer. In addition, they sometimes trade with humans for vegetable delicacies they cannot get in the north.

The northern human tribes consider the shatjan to be powerful totem spirits. The creatures figure strongly in local folklore, since the reindeer herds are vital to the survival of the tribes. No wise hunter begins a hunt without first making an offering to the shatjan. When the creatures are encountered, tribesmen treat them with great respect and consider the meeting to be a good omen.

Last Modified: January 05, 2014, 19:54:50 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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