I'm not cocky enough to lable this as news, but I'm back after an absence of way too long. If you don't know who I am, I am the dreaded dark dude Theophenes, the man who makes less sense than the old off-topickers. Are Olly and Shark and all those other loons still around?
Anywho, I'm gonna try to wirte more than three semi-good articles ths time around. My first series will be on the Skull Lords, some nice villians made in the fifth monster manual. I'm going to give you twelve slight tweaks of them, complete with modified stats, evil minions, and good DMing concepts.
So I'm gonna make a little poll out of this. I've got flavor text up and running for the twelve Lords so far. I will be willing to write whichever article gets the msot votes first, the next one second, etc. This should be open for a few weeks or so.
I will write one article while waiting for your response, on why I'm actually gonna do segments on the Skull Lords. Why? Cause I wanna explain what makes them good villians. Or at least, godo villian material.
Here below are the Skull Lords. Pleas satet which one you'd like me to write out on, and why.
The Skull Lords:
The ancient skull lords were each created from prisoners of Necromancers, their "essences" preserved in skulls and place atop these monstrous bodies to serve for eternity as minions. What became of the Necromancer is unknown, as is who now leads them. What is known, is that they work together for a dark purpose.
Bauntu the Grim: Bauntu the Grim is often considered as undeath incarnate. He commands a strong cadre of undead, ranging from skeletal horses and centaurs to vampire spawn and mummies. His skill with creating new forms of undead, and commanding both necromancers and horrible undead monstrosities earn him the respect of both the other Skull Lords and many o0ther wizards and necromancers who study the ways of undead. He is Lawful Evil. He commands a small army of undead, numbered at around 1400 minions total.
Fatu the Death-Mind: Fatu is the most unstable and erratic among the Twelve Lords, known for both his taste for using and experimenting on aberrations. He also often employs strange, experimental monstrosities in his work, ranging form flesh and cadaver golems to Vivisectors and Illithids to do his dirty work. He enjoys experimenting in and on strange creatures, and is usually the most willing to negotiate with even good characters, if it gets him something he finds worth while. He rarely works with other Lords, who consider him a loose cannon. He is Chaotic Evil.
Obarin the Beggar: Obarin is actually a rather odd Skull lord, lacking the pompousness of most of the others. Obarin tends to live in the sewers, and does carry out his agenda, mainly by manipulating would-be heroes to do his bidding. He controls many vermin, both undead and not. He is also very fond of devising is own traps. Obarin is said to have "Guardian Beggars," but only he truly knows what they are or what their purpose is. He avoids working with the other Skull Lords, due both to their egos and inability to exercise his calmness and restraint. He is Neutral Evil.
Laturi the Corruptor: Laturi is the Bone Lord who is the most skilled in bringing humans to their evilest points, and then manipulating them. He has a large cult, as well as many powerful connections in a few larger cities in the realm. No one knows what his schemes are, but he seems to always be able to get what the other Skull lords need, regardless of how unorthodox his methods are. His skill is mainly to gain resources and manpower.
Bathath the Executioner: The executioner, known as death with wings, is one of the wilder and more reclusive skull lords, with one specialty--killing. Bathath rides on a deadborn vulture zombie named Kao, and slings bone fragments and summons minions form above. His minions are all skilled assassin and killers, from a Phantom Tiger to a small group of Kobold skeletal snipers.
Dungro the Horned: Dungro's natural druidic behavior has not changed in the slightest after death, and he still tames and resurrects undead beasts, ranging from skeletal chimeras to rabid zombie squirrels. His chief monster are bulls and demonic Cows, as well as the minotaur skeletons.
Begorgo the Fiend-Tempter: Begorgo rarely uses undead minions. He instead commands evil outsiders, rarely even using his summoning abilities. Most of his minions were acquired through trading with more powerful, wickeder demons and devils in exchange for artifacts and tutoring in the methods of using bones, as fiend skeletons are of noted interest to several higher level fiends, both as a possible means to increase power and a means to revive oneself when push comes to shove.
Gwetu the Thief-Sage: Gwetu has the smallest group of minions of any of the Skull Lords. however, he has a larger horde of items than most, being truly interested in ancient and lost relics as a means to amass power. His library of scrolls and books is hidden deep in an abandoned cathedral, and his knowledge is his deadliest weapon. He is prone to almost a slothful and tranquil behavior, irritating the other Lord because of his slow-acting and discrete methods. Most of his minions are lower-level undead with class levels and moderate intellects, mainly rogues and archivists. His chief lieutenant is a Beholder named Xargos. He is Lawful Evil, though bordering on neutral.
Ingu the Warlord: Ingu is the most powerful hand-to-hand combatant among the Skull Lords. His hatred and rage make him far more blood thirty and violent. He does not use scrolls, being more interested in martial combat. He is the only member of the Skull Lords to wear armor under his robes for protection, and the only one who wields weapons other than his bone staff. Ingu is hateful and cruel, but will always submit to a fair one-on-one fight if challenged. He's known to fight with deadly precision, using both his weapons and his raw strength. Most of his minions are skull riders, death knights, and other powerful warriors of the undead. He's also known to use Hobgoblin and Orc skeletons to do his bidding, and the occasional troll skeleton. He prefers to do his own fighting. The other Lords think his honor is his greatest weakness. He is Evil Neutral, with some lawful tendencies.
Vemari, the Elder: Vemari, as his name implies, is the most ancient of the Lords. Many believe he created the other Lords himself. Vemari avoids being seen at all costs, and usually gives orders to others via messenger or magic. None but Vemari and Vemani know who truly pulls their strings. Vemari Is lawful Evil.
Vemani the Younger: Vemani is the youngest of the Lords, and one of his skulls originally belongs to Vemari, giving them a telepathic link to each other. Vemani uses his skills in stealth and infiltration to maintain knowledge for Vemari, co he can command the others, and make sure they are kept in line. He is disliked by the other Lords, but none of them wish to incur Vemari's wrath, so they Bide their time and hold their tongue and hands from him.
Drnturo-Tuimora the King: The King of Skulls, as he is called, is a truly methodical fighter and commander. Although he is not the actual leader of the Skull Lords, he commands them in battle situation, allowing the elder to remain hidden. He is the only one who knows where the elder is at any given time aside from Vemani. His minions are typical more ornately dressed and armed than other groups, known for their ostentatious displays of showiness and deadly equipment. He often hires or curses Evil Fey into his service. He is lawful evil.