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.
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 Yet • Encounter
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 Away • Encounter
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)