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Bloodstained Ice: Monsters of the Arctic (Part 3)

Bloodstained Ice: Monsters of the Arctic (Part 3)

An Arctic Image
The world’s arctic region is both a place of great natural beauty and an inherently deadly environment. Freezing waters can turn blood to ice in mere minutes. Avalanches can bury entire parties, hiding their bodies forever under a mountainside’s worth of snow.

As deadly as the arctic is, a wide variety of monsters call it home. Having survived and evolved in one of the world’s harshest environments, these humans and beasts are deadly threats to any adventurers that intrude on their frozen domains.

Blizzard Wolf

All who call the arctic their home fear and respect blizzard wolves. Cunning and vicious pack predators that stand nearly as tall as a man at the shoulders, these gray-and-white-furred canines are graceful killers that stalk the length and breadth of the arctic in an endless hunt for prey.

Blizzard wolves hunt in packs of up to two dozen individuals, and they display an extraordinary degree of coordination in their attacks for mere beasts. They favor hit-and-run strikes over direct confrontations, a tactic aided by their innate magical ability to teleport short distances as a gust of wind. Working together as a pack, blizzard wolves can kill larger animals like hammer moose, to say nothing of humans that stumble across them.

Arctic barbarians often train blizzard wolves to assist them with hunting and defending their villages. Taming these beasts is very difficult, but the result is an animal that’s both vicious and unfailingly loyal to its masters, something that most tribes feel is well worth the effort.

Blizzard Wolf                                    Level 3 Skirmisher

Medium natural beast     XP 150

HP 46; Bloodied 23; Initiative +6

AC 18, Fortitude 15, Reflex 16, Will 15; Perception +8

Speed 8; Immune cold

Standard Actions

[mb] Bite * At-Will

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +8 vs. AC

Hit: 2d6 + 3 damage

[m] Wolf Pack Tactics * At-Will

Effect: Before the wolf attacks, one ally adjacent to either it or to its target can shift 1 square as a free action.

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +8 vs. AC

Hit: 1d10 + 3 damage

Minor Actions

Gust * Recharge 4 5 6

Effect: Shift up to 4 squares in any direction

Skills Athletics +8, Endurance +8, Intimidate +7, Stealth +9

Str 14 (+3); Dex 17 (+4); Wis 14 (+3)

Con 14 (+3); Int 4 (–2); Cha 12 (+2)

Alignment unaligned; Languages

Blizzard Wolf Tactics

Feral blizzard wolves begin their assault by eliminating one enemy with a massed bite attack. They then divide into two groups and engage two other enemies, using wolf pack tactics and gust as necessary to execute hit-and-run attacks until their new targets are eliminated. They repeat this process until their enemies retreat or die. If over three-quarters of the pack are killed, the wolves retreat.

Tamed blizzard wolves employ similar tactics, beginning their assault after the barbarians’ initial arrow volley. If the arrow volley kills the target, the blizzard wolves will wait for their masters to choose another target before attacking.

Encounter Groups

Level 6 Encounter (1,300 XP)

—4 arctic barbarian archers (Level 4 artillery)

—4 blizzard wolves (Level 3 skirmisher)

Level 7 Encounter (1,500 XP)

—10 blizzard wolves (Level 3 skirmisher)

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