The border between land and sea is a bounty and a barrier for creatures on both sides. A rare few creatures cross that border and thrive.
Surface people rarely consider the impact they have on the rivers, lakes, and oceans that they sift, fish, and soil with their great works. Children of the water, however, rarely tolerate disrespect for long. From the societies that thrive underwater to the monsters that stalk the depths, folk who do not respect the waters often fear them.
How, then, to bridge these realms so that they may be both loved and feared? Perhaps the first step is to make these coasts and riverbanks safe. But safe for whom?
The Siren Hunter
Daughter to humans but descendant of a distant succubus, Zelina “Stern” Harne was born with dangerous, yet beautiful features that draw the eye as surely as her violet shade and crimson eyes make admirers think twice. Fear, she can manage. But unwanted attraction has been the pain of her life.
Seeking respect for her talents, she fled to the sea aboard a military vessel and took to ships and steel with the vigor of the desperate.
Stern’s upward climb took a sharp dive during an escort for whaling vessels. The whaling captain spoke of strange, sad songs on foggy nights and other eeriness. Her crew expected to find harpies or hags. What found them were humans, elves, tritons, and merfolk, astride great seaweed beasts.
Leading them was an antlered beauty, emerald eyes glowing like beacons. She slew everyone on board but Stern. She cast a knowing glance on the tiefling and left her to stagger one ship full of corpses home.
Swearing vengeance, Stern has been hunting down every bit of lore she can find to hunt this “Green Maiden” and end the mysterious pacts she makes throughout the wilds.
You Meet In a Tavern…
Stern is a veteran. As a tiefling, she can also cast thaumaturgy at will, and hellish rebuke and darkness once a day. She has darkvision 60 feet, resistance to fire damage, and can speak Infernal.
An avid wanderer before her quest for vengeance, Stern has taken to the waterways on her search for answers. She swaps stories and secrets about pirates, witches, and aquatic monsters to trade for information on the Green Maiden.
She has heard rumors of drowned young adults along a particular lake or coastline. Rumors abound of brave people being drawn by distant glance or the faint echoes of people drowning, only for them to be found washed ashore, drowned themselves. These rumors sound similar to what she knows about kelpie stallions.
These creatures are not fey, but plants, imbued with enough native intelligence to protect their native waterways. They roam shores and river banks in various forms seeking heroic riders to help protect their waters from both cruel surface mortals and vicious sea monsters. To be worthy, one must survive a harrowing underwater ride bound in their tendrils.
Large Plant, Typically Chaotic Neutral
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 19 (3d10 + 3)
Speed 60 ft., swim 60 ft.
Skills Deception +4, Perception +3, Stealth +3
Senses Darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Understands Common, Elvish, and Sylvan
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP) Proficiency Bonus: +2
Amphibious. The kelpie can breathe air and water.
Drowning Vigor. If a creature is suffocating within 5 feet of the kelpie, it gains 5 temporary hit points at the start of its turn.
False Appearance. While the kelpie remains motionless in its true form, it is indistinguishable from normal seaweed.
Shapechange. The kelpie can use its action to polymorph into a Small or Medium humanoid or beast, or back into its true form. However, this appearance doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. A successful DC 13 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals that the creature is made of seaweed. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
Multiattack. The kelpie stallion makes one Tendril attack and one Hooves attack. If a creature is already grappled by it, it makes two Hooves attacks.
Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
Tendril. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 4) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 14). Grappled targets are pulled 5 feet towards the kelpie.
Rider’s Bond (1/day). The kelpie can grant a bond with its rider, sharing its Amphibious trait with the creature for 24 hours or until the rider completes a long rest. Riders affected by the bond appear to have seaweed growing in their hair (if any) and take on a green shade.
These magic items can be found in and around a freshwater environment.
Wondrous Item, Uncommon
This lily bulb remains closed once harvested and remains fresh until opened. The lily has 3 charges. As a bonus action, the bearer can caress the bulb to expend 1 charge, which opens the bulb and grants a d8 of Bardic Inspiration which lasts for 10 minutes or until used. A bearer can only have one die of bardic inspiration at a time. Additional charges can be expended as a bonus action.
The lily wilts at the next dawn after being opened. Any remaining charges are lost.
REED OF SCORN
Wondrous Item, Uncommon
Reeds of scorn grow around riverbanks, marshes, and by ocean coasts. A 5-foot patch of reeds attacks any creature that comes within 10 feet of it, with a melee weapon attack +5, reach 5 feet, one target. It deals 4 (1d4 + 2) slashing damage on a hit. A patch dies if any damage is dealt to it.
If harvested after death, a reed of scorn can be fashioned into a whip. On a hit with the whip, the wielder may deal no damage and instead grapple a target of Large size or smaller. The escape DC for this grapple is equal to 10 + the attacker’s proficiency bonus.
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