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Karesh, Kobold Herald of Tiamut (Part 1)

Karesh, Kobold Herald of Tiamut (Part 1)

This is what Karesh might want to be eventually. [Artists: Johnathan and Daisey Bingham]
Do you need a recurring villain? Karesh is a nasty little boss that you can use at almost any level of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition play.


Early in his career, Karesh leads a typical band of kobolds. His life changes when his band is forced to relocate to a new mountain cave, where their simple excavations reveal the remains of a necromancer’s lair. Karesh is just smart enough—and greedy enough—to decipher much of the necromancer’s writings.

Playing Karesh

Archetype: Petty Tyrant

Actors to imitate: Steve Buscemi, John Turturo

Behaviors: Rub hands together, look around a lot, shift on your feet

Goals: Get out of here alive, with as much necromantic treasure as possible. But with no treasure if necessary.

Dialogue: Karesh is not much for small talk. He can be pushed into uttering villainous monologues, though he will never reveal the location of his home. As the herald of Tiamut, he will speak of her, but he will reveal nothing about her—unless he is cornered. If he’s cornered, he’ll blubber everything.

Through the Tiers

As a villain in the heroic tier, Karesh seeks other treasures left behind by the necromancer. Using some of the necromancer’s leftover gold, Karesh has bought the services of several small mercenary groups. After they find a vault of the necromancer, they secure it and notify Karesh, who arrives with a retinue of kobold guards. The mercenaries are an easy adventure hook for the player characters, who can arrive just as Karesh has entered the vault. The PCs must fight the mercenaries, Karesh’s guards, plus any traps left behind by the necromancer.

Karesh (Level 7 Artillery)

Small natural humanoid (reptile); XP 300

HP 62; Bloodied 31; Initiative +5

AC 19; Fortitude 18, Reflex 20, Will 19; Perception +9

Speed 6; Darkvision


m Withered Claw (necrotic) • At-Will

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +12 vs. Reflex

Hit: 1d8 + 3 necrotic damage.

R Necrotic Ray (necrotic) • At-Will

Attack: Ranged 20 (one creature); +12 vs. Reflex

Hit: 2d8 + 3 necrotic damage.

A Hands from the Grave (necrotic) • Recharge 4-6

Attack: Area blast 3 within 10 (enemies in the blast); +12 vs. Reflex

Hit: 1d8 + 3 necrotic damage, and the target is grabbed (save ends).

Not Dead YetEncounter

Trigger: One kobold ally that is within 10 squares of Karesh has been reduced to 0 HP or fewer.

Effect: The kobold ally returns to life with half its bloodied value in hit points.


Scurrying AwayEncounter

Effect: Karesh shifts 3 squares, then moves its speed, gaining +4 to all defenses during this movement.

Alignment evil; Languages Common, Draconic

Str 9 (+2) Dex 15 (+5) Wis 12 (+4)

Con 14 (+5) Int 12 (+4) Cha 10 (+3)

2 thoughts on “Karesh, Kobold Herald of Tiamut (Part 1)”

  1. WerewolfPaladin

    I don’t play 4E anymore, but this is a great article and a great idea. I’d love to see these for other game systems as well.

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