The High Lord Stratus, the Enlightened (5e Creature)

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The High Lord Stratus

Huge giant, neutral good


Armor Class 20 (natural armor, unarmored defense)
Hit Points 225 (18d12 + 108)
Speed 55 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
27 (+8) 16 (+3) 22 (+6) 14 (+2) 16 (+3) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Str +13, Dex +8, Con +11, Int +7, Wis +8, Cha +9
Skills Acrobatics +8, Athletics +13, History +7, Intimidation +9, Investigation +7, Insight +8, Perception +8
Damage Resistances lightning, thunder
Senses passive Perception 22, Blindsight (120 ft., but not if deafened)
Languages Common, Giant, Primordial
Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)


Keen Smell. Stratus has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

Innate Spellcasting. Stratus' innate spellcasting ability is Charisma. He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will : detect magic,fog cloud, light

3/day each: feather fall,fly, misty step, telekinesis

1/day each: control weather, gaseous form, legend lore

Monk Training. Stratus has, over the course of twenty years, achieved the skills and abilities of a 7th-level monk (it's more of a hobby than a devotion), with 7 ki points:

  • Way of the Open Hand (Martial Arts, Flurry of Blows, Deflect Missiles, Slow Fall, Stunning Strike, Evasion, Open Hand Technique, Wholeness of Body, etc.)

Storm Sorcery. Through personal study and sorcerous tutelage, Stratus has enhanced his personal spellcasting skills to that of a 7th-level Storm Sorcerer (7 sorcery points), and typically has the following prepared:

5 cantrips: Minor Illusion, Mending, Message, Shocking Grasp, Mage Hand

4 1st-level spells: Magic Missile, Shield, Charm Person, Comprehend Languages

3 2nd-level spells: Detect Thoughts, Invisibility, See Invisibility

3 3rd-level spells: Lightning Bolt, Protection From Energy, Dispel Magic

1 4th-level spell: Polymorph

  • Additionally, his Storm Sorcery origin adds the following features: Wind Speaker, Tempestuous Magic, Heart of the Storm and Storm Guide.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. If not casting, Stratus can make two Unarmed Strike attacks, plus another one (or TWO, with Flurry of Blows) as a Bonus Action.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (4d6 + 9) bludgeoning/slashing/piercing damage (his choice of damage type). This attack is magical.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 31 (4d10 +9) bludgeoning damage.


The High Lord Stratus, chieftain amongst cloud giants, resides within his misty keep floating high above the land below. From within solid walls fashioned from the very air itself, he is the master of a large enclave dedicated to study and martial excellence. He is a patron of adventurers, hiring smaller beings to collect treasures for his collections, and although he craves art, precious metals and jewels like many of his kind, Stratus also thirsts for knowledge; his library (managed by a Guardian Naga) is one of the most fantastic collections of ancient history and lore in existence.

The House of Whispers is occupied by Stratus, his wife, and a small army of guards, advisors, servants, craftsmen and guests guided by his djinni majordomo, Higgenz. He has three children, all of whom have married and established their own houses across the world. About a century ago, Stratus lost a contest to an elven monk but was so impressed with the monk’s technique that he wanted to learn more. Of course, he couldn’t simply abandon his house so he invited the master to give him lessons in his home. Intrigued, the master nevertheless declined, until Stratus sweetened the deal by offering to build a dojo to which he could bring his current students. Thus, the School of the Thunderous Fist was built and Stratus got his way, again. It’s rumored that the school employs enchantments in their tattoos to give their owners amazing abilities.

Stratus also has a love of fine wines, but found it tiresome to wander the world searching for an excellent vintage, only to discover that there was barely enough to wet his tongue. And so, with great effort, he imported vast amounts of rich and fertile soils to establish his vineyards, complementing the abundant sunlight and perfect weather. Then, he built an enormous winery and hired the best vintners to process the harvest of grapes that are the size of a man’s head and craft ambrosias that attract divine envy. Occasionally, he sells or trades a prized vintage to a king.

The High Lord is a dabbler in many things, both martial and magical, but what he specializes in is knowledge. His house is named for his brokerage of trading terrible secrets and hoarding forgotten wisdom. It’s rumored that his sense of hearing is so acute, he can hear almost anything carried on the wind, and anything else he can pry/scry with his Mirror of Mysteries. Stratus also employs numerous spies to keep him apprised of current events. Such knowledge can be had by those Stratus favors, and earning his favor inevitably means paying an exorbitant price. As often as the demand is for coin, it is also for favors, tasks, treasures, promises and errands. As a buyer of information, he must occasionally venture forth to explore an exotic ruin, consult with an extraplanar being, or personally negotiate terms.

Stratus, at a still-youthful 917 years old, is an exceptional giant, whose personal development and influence violates the otherwise strict caste structure of the ordning. He has made himself indispensable to those seeking information so that even the mightiest storm giants become humble supplicants when they enter his keep. He has so much dirt on so many of his contemporaries that none dare to vex him, lest a leaked rumor cause their downfall and destruction. Stratus even knows the circumstances of the rift between giants and dragonkind, and has rarely tolerated dragons in his presence, provided they kowtow and scrape to his satisfaction. He is proud, bordering on vain, of his achievements and power which eclipses that of most kings. When introduced to visitors in his great hall, he is heralded as “The High Lord Stratus, Master of the House of Whispers, Chieftain of the Western Wind Clan, Purveyor of Mysteries, Keeper of the Fantastic Fields, The Enlightened.”

Personally, Stratus is crafty and quicker than his massive stature belies thanks to his monk training, causing smaller opponents to underestimate him. He has abandoned the use of weapons, relying instead on his personal guard, bare hands and spellcasting abilities to crush his enemies. Under the tutelage of several sorcerers, he has somewhat enhanced his own affinity for Storm Sorcery, leading some to speculate if his heritage includes storm giant blood. However, Stratus is such a smooth talker with such an imposing presence that he usually humbles his opponent with words. Somewhere, thieves have reasoned, Stratus must keep a vault to contain all the treasures he’s accumulated. Stratus coyly denies the existence of any such vault, claiming that his greatest treasures are his family, his library, and any artistic objects on display throughout his palace, in that order. Still, the occasional thief has been inevitably exposed and captured by magical wards or the palace guards, and subsequently escorted to the edge of the palace grounds before being tossed over the side to suffer a very long fall (in order to contemplate his foolishness) and inevitable, lethal impact.

[Note: Stratus is the ultimate source of information available to player characters that's not divine; he knows exactly what they need to know to Discover the McGuffin, Defeat the Evil or Dispel the Curse...and he probably owns it. However, he is not readily available, being perpetually busy and living on a moving cloud, to boot. Adventurers may have to rely on more-accessible but less-reliable sources of information. If, by some miracle, a party gains an audience with Stratus (and be received in his VERY impressive throne room), he knows he already holds the upper hand and will be intimidating, imperious and condescending toward their requests, but will still strike a deal provided he gets what HE wants. Stratus’ wife knows many of her husband’s secrets, including some about him that she sometimes leverages to get her way, and often pities guests that Stratus refuses. She clandestinely delivers cryptic clues to resolve their quests, such as the location of a sage who might also know the answer or a more general location to the artifact than what Stratus would have provided. She may exact her own price for such knowledge, or hold the asker to a future task of her choosing. What she doesn’t know, is that Stratus is aware of her dealings but lets her think she’s getting away with it, as it suits his mysterious purpose. Perhaps it’s because of Stratus’ good nature; a (very small) part of him would LIKE to give away his knowledge, but he knows he’d be overrun with the most miniscule requests, so he sets incredibly high prices to filter out all but the most important information trades. Rarely, his price might seem insignificant compared to the desired information (“Bring me the third button of the queen’s blue gown in exchange for my formula for the Potion of Un-Reality.”), but has an inestimable value known only to Stratus.]



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