The Lord of the Forest

Hunter who tracks outside of time
Guardian lord of ancient rhyme
Brother stag in the musky glen
And consort of the Goddess in her woodland den
We call you forth as we make our way
Walking in your power every day
Guide us true in our hunt this night

One of the many allies the party encountered during the Ways campaign was the Lord of the Forest – an Actaeon, who made it’s home in the Black Forest to the north east of Lunima. While this particular Actaeon was male, Actaeons can be male or female.

This creature is partially inspired by the original creatures from Mystara, but also by some lyrics from the song “Hymn to Herne” by S.J. Tucker, and performed by Alexander James Adams. As usual, you can find The Lord of the Forest on Homebrewery or download a PDF.

There are many who look to the forests as a wilderness to be explored, or to be hunted for food, or to be cut for resources, but there are many creatures that make the forest their home. Those who reside in the Black Forest look to the Lord of the Forest for protection.

Peaceful Protectors

The Lords of the Forest are fey creatures that trancend boundaries between the planes, and seek to protect and heal the forests the frequent. When they can, they prefer to avoid confrontation but if they aren’t afraid to fight.

Allies of Nature Often responding to the calls of those who would deal with threats to their forests, they can provide healing, guidance, and protection. In rare cases, the Lord of the Forest may also transform their allies to transport them across great distances, but such a journey can be unsettling and have lasting impacts.

Roaming the planes Any single Lord of the Forest will usually protect forests across worlds, travelling between them when there is need. They will usually bring favored animals with them, or if they have transformed an opponent, they will bring them to another world, stranding them away from the forests where they will not be able to cause harm.

Implacable Hunters While the Actaeons are generally kind, and benevolent creatures, they love to hunt. When they mark their prey, they will run it to ground over any distance. Actaeons only hunt when hungry or seeking vengeance against a tresspaser who has despoiled the wilderness they protect.

Thouls of the Black Wind

When I was looking for a powerful enemy to supplement the goblins that are touched by the Black Wind (a malign, otherworldly force heavily inspired by The Black Wind from the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan), Thouls seemed like a natural fit. As usual, you can find a copy of this on the Homebrewery, or download a PDF!

Thouls are a foul mystical blending of hobgoblins with trolls and ghouls, originally from the Mystara campaign setting from TSR. Whatever mystical grafting processing was used to combine them left Thouls as living, but necrotic creatures whose foul touch is poisonous to all living things. Stinking of decay, and having the pallour of death, Thouls appear to be grey skinned, grey haired hobgoblins with long fingers that taper into wicked claws. While the first thouls were created by mystical means, they breed naturally with other goblinoids, with only a fraction of the offspring resulting in a thoul.

Shock troops. Thouls often form the front line of a goblinoid force – their poisonous touch can disable their adversaries, and their healing abilities make them more resilient than their allies.

Scavengers and Outcasts. Thouls don’t usually mix socially with other goblinoids – outside of a warband, or the few shamans and warlocks that set themselves apart from common thouls, they are very unpopular, reminding others of the hideous experimentation that other races often perform on goblin-kind.

Chosen of Elder Evils. While goblinoids are not usually the first choice when seeking minions, some thouls are smarter, wiser, or stronger then their kin, and this makes them attractive to gain a fast foothold in an area. Shamans and Warlocks that swear themselves to dark powers often rise to positions of power commanding warbands and tribes.

Voices of the Black Wind

Several tribes of goblinoids have been taken over by the Cult of the Black Wind, and of them, several thouls have been taught by the Seers to act as shamans. These Voices of the Black Wind answer to The Faceless and the Seers, and often lead warbands. The Voices of the Black Wind usually wear bonemail armor crafted from the remains of victims of the Black Wind.

Thoul Voice of the Wind Statblock; see the Homebrewery page for full text.

Hands of the Seers

Some of the thouls who are even more capable than those who are raised as shamans are offered the chance to trade their souls for more power, and become warlocks dedicated to the Black Wind. Lured by the false promise of the chance to become seers themselves, they give up aspects of themselves to become Hands of the Seers with the knowledge that, like all who serve the Black Wind, those who fail will be flayed and transformed into the Faceless.
Black Wind Bonemail Armour

The Servants of the Black wind can often be found wearing armour made from the bones of sacrifices to the Black Wind. Bonemail Armour comes in two varieties – bonemail shirts, and bonemail armour. Regardless of the type of armour, all bonemail grants disadvantage and diplomacy checks, but advantage on intimidation checks against intelligent, living creatures due to the hideous sound and visage the armour grants.

AmourCostArmor ClassWeight
Bonemail Shirt75 gp13 + Dex modifier15 lb
Bonemail Armour100 gp15 + Dex modifier25 l b