Skarrnog (3.5e NPC)

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Skarrnog, Chieftain of the Great Claw

CR 12

Male barghest barbarian 8
LE Medium outsider
Init/Senses +6/darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +19, Spot +15
Languages Maridian
AC 23, touch 12, flat-footed 23
(+2 Dex, +6 natural, +5 breastplate)
hp 107 (14 HD)
Fort/Ref/Will +12/+9/+9
Speed 30 ft. in breastplate (6 squares), base speed 40 ft.
Melee +1 flaming greatsword +19/14/+9 (2d6+6 plus 1d6 fire/19-20) and bite +13 (1d6+4)
Base Atk/Grp +14/+18
Special Actions spell-like abilities, feed, rage 3/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 14th):
at will—blink, levitate, misdirection (DC 14), rage (DC 15)
Abilities Str 18, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 14
SQ change shape, damage reduction 5/magic or 1/—, darkvision 60 ft., scent, fast movement, improved uncanny dodge, trap sense +2, spell resistance 13
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Track, Weapon Focus (greatsword)
Skills Bluff +15, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +2 (+4 acting), Hide +11 (+7 with armor), Intimidate +21, Jump +21 (+17 with armor), Listen +19, Move Silently +10 (+6 with armor), Search +11, Sense Motive +11, Spot +15, Survival +19 (+21 following tracks)
Possessions +1 flaming greatsword, breastplate of spell resistance (13)
Feed (Su) When Skarrnog slays a humanoid opponent, he can feed on the corpse, devouring both flesh and life force, as a full-round action. Feeding destroys the victim’s body. Skarrnog advances in Hit Dice by consuming corpses in this fashion. For every three suitable corpses he devours, he gains 1 Hit Die, and his Strength, Constitution, and natural armor increase by +1. His attack bonus and saves improve as normal for an outsider of his Hit Dice, and he gains skill points, feats, and ability score improvements normally. Skarrnog only advances by consuming the corpses of creatures whose Hit Dice or levels are equal to or greater than his own current total.
Change Shape (Su) Skarrnog can assume the shape of a goblin or a wolf as a standard action. In goblin form, Skarrnog cannot use his natural weapons but can wield weapons and wear armor. In wolf form, Skarrnog loses his claw attacks but retains his bite attack. Skarrnog has learned how to wield his greatsword while in barghest form.
Pass Without Trace (Ex) A barghest in wolf form can use pass without trace (as the spell) as a free action.
Fast Movement (Ex) Skarrnog’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor, light armor, or medium armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying Skarrnog’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.
Rage (Ex) Three times per day, Skarrnog can work himself into a battle frenzy (+4 Strength, +4 Constitution, +2 morale bonus on Will saves, -2 AC penalty). The frenzy lasts for 7 rounds, after which Skarrnog becomes exhausted for the rest of the encounter.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex) Skarrnog retains his Dexterity bonus to AC when flat-footed, and he cannot be flanked except by a rogue of at least 12th level. He can flank characters with the uncanny dodge ability as if he were an 8th-level rogue.
Trap Sense +2 (Ex) Skarrnog gains an intuitive sense that alerts him to danger from traps, giving him a +2 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps.
Skills Skarrnog in wolf form gains a +4 circumstance bonus on Hide checks.

NOTE: Skarrnog is an NPC in the Years of Gold setting, and the entry reflects that. He should be easy enough to adapt to games and campaigns in other settings, but remember to add the resurrection clause to his feed ability.

History[edit]

The lowlands not far north of Redford have been, from time immemorial, a goblin haunt. Life there is dark, chaotic, and most of all violent. This, perhaps, is a blessing for those who live southward, for the constant struggle amongst the many wild goblin tribes keeps the situation in check: not a single warlord or chieftain has been born great enough to wrest control from the rest and not get killed, assassinated, crippled or otherwise terrorized back to line in the process. This all changed when the cruel times of the Harsh Winter came knocking on the door.

Not native to the lowlands, Skarrnog is a monstrous descendant of the wolves of the wild north. He traveled long ways over the mountains, honing his skill in battle and gathering information. For Skarrnog was unlike others of his wild kin: strong-willed instead of wily, intelligent instead of cunning, strong instead of desperate. More than once he collected together a band of goblin allies and practiced leadership and banditry. But it never stuck. The life of a common robber or highwayman was never for the budding barghest. He wanted more - a kingdom.

That's why he eventually descended from the mountains he had grown so accustomed to, infiltrating the greatest goblin fortress in Hundon. The once-wild mountains had grown tepid and drowsy, and the goblin kings had long since retreated to their hoards to treasure memories of a glorious past. This didn't sit well with Skarrnog: hardened by the Harsh Winter of 3204, he challenged the greatest lord and easily butchered him in combat. He held a great speech then, promising the greenskins that the goblins banished from the civilized lands would wrest control of the decadent west again. Few understood the scope of his meaning, but they all knew and began to eagerly await what was to come.

But Skarrnog is not just a warrior or a warlord. By all standards he's a genius, and he knew full well that no amount of manpower could bring down the kingdoms that lay ahead. Instead, he (through a vast network of spies called the Illeague (illeague) he established) came to contact with the mercenary goblins and other shady characters of the great cities of the west. Many winters has he hungered high on the dark mountaintops, and he knows the best way to strike a man down is through the stomach. Redford will burn, and with it, the irreplaceable grain the west needs to function.

Appearance and personality[edit]

evil_goblin_by_caiomm-d5eq9sf.jpg
Skarrnog in goblin form.

In goblin form, Skarrnog is nothing like the lesser of his kin: he stands much taller than an average goblin at 4' 9'' and weighs a massive 225 lb., all of which is muscle. Veins tattoo his barrel-like arms, and every bit of him, from tanned skin to sharpened teeth, looks and is hardened. The long years in the mountains have made Skarrnog into more a monster than a humanoid. In his true, barghest form (which he does not hide, even if he is more rarely seen in it), is like an even more monstrous, larger version of his goblin one, and his dire wolf form is a sight to behold - and to fear.

The mountains have also affected his way of thinking. Unlike wild goblins or even barghest, he isn't thinking only of the next meal at any given time. The scope of his plans and schemes, as well as his understanding of people's psyches is astounding. In his military gifts he is like a master tactician, and even they are shamed compared to his effectiveness. Skarrnog has transformed the ruthless, uncontrolled goblin tribes into a singular, powerful force, and the fact he still hasn't blindly assaulted the west tells leagues of his gift as a strategist.

Followers and allies[edit]

Every wild goblin north of Redford is under the total and complete rule of Skarrnog. Exceptions are not tolerated and any sign of even the slightest mutiny will lead to massacres and destruction of entire forts. Mutinies are rare, however, as the goblins live in complete fear of their horrid overlord. Many other monstrous humanoids, such as ogres and trolls, have been either hired or forced into service as well, making the armies (collectively known as the Great Claw) led by the barghest chieftain as strong as they are endless.

Another notable ally of the Great Claw are the monstrous spiders that gather in the caves and dying-out coppices of the western sea line. Among their number are still those who are descended from the horrible matrons of their race. Some goblins under Skarrnog's rule are gifted riders, and go to war on the backs of eight-legged monstrosities. Among the siege engines of the goblins, huge spiders that can climb over any wall and sting and claw thousands of people to their deaths are a jewel.

Some of the most elite followers of Skarrnog are Izzit-Ogg, a sorcerous steam mephit turned court jester; Rakabarr and Urabarr, fiendish ogre brothers who forge the armor of Skarrnog's armies; and Viga Toecutter, a nasty goblin who works as Skarrnog's personal scout and assassin.

Recent activity and plans[edit]

Skarrnog's eyes are ever on the defenses of those he will lay siege on, and his mind always devices new plans as well as reinforcing old ones. The barghest has little, if any time for the finer details, which is why he keeps several outside mercenaries as generals of his army. These gifted individuals take care of day-to-day business while Skarrnog contemplates the large picture.

Currently, Skarrnog is undermining the Basket area from all fronts. Workers are being paid to move by mysterious sources, nobles assassinated and terrorized, fields burned and stomped. There is no dark deed in the town that Skarrnog wouldn't either have his hands in or that he's trying to invade. Thomas von Gutherberg, a particularly monstrous noble, is the one Skarrnog attempts to push his advantage through: the foul noble is easy to puppeteer, considering his condition and operations. Many more are being controlled (directly or more subtly) by the Great Claw, and it seems highly unlikely Redford can endure such a pressure from all fronts.

Combat[edit]

On the outside, Skarrnog looks like your average, bloodhungry and unstrategic barbarian - and he's fighting style matches that image. However, he is an incredibly wily combatant, always making sure not to face enemies alone, cleverly picking out the best targets and reserving his options for the best possible situations.

He spends most of the time in his goblin form (mostly to better rule the goblins he lives among) but fights in his barghest form, using his greatsword Saradin (a goblin word that means "cunning"; literally "one with two heads"). Skarrnog eschews ranged combat altogether (that's what minions are for) and begins fights with crushing despair and charm monster, breaking up opposition and softening them for the melee to come. He then charges and depends on a high armor save and massed attacks. He rarely, if ever, turns into a wolf, and even then only to escape a losing fight.

Skarrnog's clever tactics means he never fights without minions on his side, especially Izzit-Ogg and a bunch of barghest bodyguards. Since he is fairly vulnerable to massed attacks and flanking, he makes sure this won't happen, usually by cleverly choosing where to fight. The many trapped rooms and corridors of his fortress are his favorite place to destroy opposition. To escape fights, Skarrnog uses dimension door.


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