[New Monster] The Astral Raiders

Astral Raiders

Bakra-do saw the trio of tall, lanky creatures approaching. One of them, apparently the leader, raised a hand. The human mercenary kept his hand on the hilt of his blade, unsure of what these strange humanoids wanted.

“We seek two scoundrels who stole a weapon from us and killed four of our companions,” the lead creature said in a horrible, raspy voice.

“What is it to me?” asked Bakra-do sternly.

“You have been seen with them, or so the old horse trader in Yot-oi told us,” the leader replied with an evil smile.

Bakra-do shook his head, “Chalk and Koram. Yes, I know them.”

“Where are they now?” asked the leader of the strange creatures.

“Why would I tell you?” the mercenary replied.

“To keep your head on your shoulders?” answered the alien creature.

Taking a deep breath Bakra-do drew his sword and stood his ground.

“Those two might not be honorable or duty bound. Yet I did admire them for one thing; they would never sell out a companion,” he said.

The lead creature drew a strange crystal sword from its scabbard, as did the two creatures accompanying him.

“There are worse ways to die than at the hands of the Astral Raiders, I suppose,” the creature said with a sneer.

Astral Raiders

No. Enc.: 1-8 (3d12 in Astral lair)

Alignment: Chaotic

Movement: 90’ (30’)

Armor Class: 3

Hit Dice: 4

Attacks: 1

Damage: 1d6 or by weapon

Save: F4

Morale: 8

Hoard Class: VII

From the depths of the Astral plane come the dreaded Astral Raiders, thin, emaciated beings that wield strange swords and even stranger powers. These sinister humanoids wear ornate and efficient armor and most will carry Crystal Swords (q.v.) with them. What they do on this plane is largely unknown and these creatures keep to themselves, although the Astral Raiders sometimes appear to be stranded or lost and will, at these times of apparent duress, work with wizards or others that might be able to get them back to the Astral Plane.

Astral Raiders have powers that can be considered spell-like abilities, although these powers seem to come from the mind alone. These powers are:

Astral Bolt: Twice per day an Astral Raider can project a mental blast at a target, if the victim of this power fails a save versus spells and spell like devices they suffer 1-6 hit points of damage. This power can be adjusted to 1d6 per level of the creature, assume a typically encountered Astral Raider is around the 4th level of experience.

Despair: Once per day an Astral Raider may attack by attempting to cause a sense of malaise or despair in any foe within 100 feet. Those who fail a save versus magic and magical devices are -1 to strike an Astral Raider.

Planar Travel: Two or more Astral Raiders can travel to another plane with concentration, yet four or more can do so with more precision. If a band of Astral Raiders is whittled down to a solitary creature, then the remaining individual is considered planebound and may not leave without the assistance of someone or something that can return him or her to the Astral plane.

Sustenance: If an Astral Raider concentrates for thirty minutes undisturbed he or she may somehow be able to function normally without food or drink for 1d6 days. This ability may only be used twice within a 30 day period of time.

Magic-User Astral Raiders are also sometimes encountered on the Prime Material plane and these are usually 4th-8th level in experience, with appropriate spells. The typical Astral Raiders will usually be the more martial type as described above.

Bands of Astral Raiders who routinely visit the Prime Material plane may have made pacts with different types of monsters (dragons, manticores, trolls, etc) and will often return to the lairs of these creatures as soon as they arrive for protection and information gathering purposes.

[Note: For the sake of simplicity I am not going to work psionics into the system for a handful of creatures, their powers can work for all intents and purposes just like magic does.]

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3 Responses to [New Monster] The Astral Raiders

  1. MoonSylver says:

    Very nice. Mystery bad guys with mysterious motivations, aims, & goals are always cool.
    —MS

  2. bat says:

    Thank you both for the comments. It is a little more difficult to simplify a complex AD&D creature sometimes more than others. As stated the psionics can just be spell-like effects and I bumped up their innate abilities this way.

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