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Monster Spotlight: Lay Siege to Your Enemies With the Horizonback Tortoise! – Posts

To have fun the approaching launch of Name of the Netherdeep, Crucial Position’s first journey guide, we’re taking a deep dive into Exandria! This world bears the scars of The Calamity, a warfare fought with and in opposition to the gods. No area of Exandria was as badly wounded throughout The Calamity as what’s now generally known as the wastes of Xhorhas. And it’s on this desolate panorama that Name of the Netherdeep kicks off. 

We already know lots in regards to the wastes of Xhorhas because of the Explorer’s Information to Wildemount. Inside this sourcebook, we find out about creatures that seem all through the continent of Wildemount. Amongst them is the gargantuan-sized horizonback tortoise, atop which cellular villages and siege weapons are constructed.

Let’s take a detailed look on the horizonback tortoise and how one can convey them into your sport.

Monster highlight: Horizonback tortoise

Horizonback tortoises are native to Japanese Wynandir, the place the desolate wastes of Xhorhas are discovered. Measuring 50 ft in size from nostril to tail, these creatures are comparable in measurement to dragon turtles, although they’re much less temperamental. The truth is, horizonback tortoises will tolerate wastefolk who feed and take care of them. In return, they’re going to function the inspiration upon which cellular homesteads or siege weapons are constructed. A typical horizonback tortoise can carry as much as 20,000 kilos.

Goblinkin are among the many commonest allies to horizonback tortoises. The 2 are so interlinked in Wildemount that the creatures perceive Goblin. However horizonback tortoises aren’t simply beasts of burden. They’re omnivorous and in a famine may activate the very creatures who serve them. Within the wild, you would be hard-pressed to coach a hungry horizonback tortoise.

horizonback tortoiseCreatures on the frontlines

The wastes of Xhorhas are fraught with warring tribes and the persistent menace of hunger and assaults by monstrosities and fiends. Nevertheless, following the Calamity, a sect of drow emerged from the Underdark to determine the Kryn Dynasty and the town of Rosohna. Since then, they’ve sought to unite the individuals of Xhorhas underneath the sunshine of the Luxon whereas grappling with brokers of Lolth that search to destroy them from under in addition to the Dwendalian Empire, which seeks to destroy them from the west.

Such conflicts imply that the Kryn Dynasty has needed to construct a sizeable army. Within the course of, they’ve made good use of the monsters discovered within the wastes of Xhorhas. These embrace moorbounders, which function mounts, and horizonback tortoises, which transport troopers and siege weapons.

Horizonback tortoise statistics

Horizonback tortoises are comparatively gradual however are arduous to hit. And if you end up beneath one in every of these creatures, hope that it would not fall inclined.

Horizonback tortoise stat block

Enjoying with horizonback tortoises at your desk

Horizonback tortoises can add aptitude to your setting or act as traps in badlands. For those who’re planning a one-shot journey set in a village, for instance, have the village constructed atop a herd of horizonback tortoises, with buildings linked by poorly constructed rope bridges. Or you would have horizonback tortoises act extra like ambush predators, mendacity in wait within the wastes of Xhorhas till a creature is inside putting distance. Giving these creatures the False Look monster trait would have the characters terrified of each mound and hill they encounter:

  • False Look. Whereas the horizonback tortoise stays immobile, it’s indistinguishable from a hill.

A horizonback tortoise may operate as a cellular base for the characters. For those who go this route, enable the characters to spend gold on enhancements to make their base really distinctive. For extra concepts on bringing horizonback tortoises to your desk, take a look at the next journey hook, which could be performed by itself or lead as much as the occasions of the Wildemount journey “Unwelcome Spirits.”

A siege upon reclaimed ruins

You possibly can hear the strategy of the cellular settlement of Urzin lengthy earlier than you see it. Comprised of 40 lumbering horizonback tortoises—atop that are constructed homesteads, Luxon temples, and different buildings—Urzin’s strategy is marked by a rumbling that shakes the earth. Nearer to the village, you can hear the songs of goblinkin, gnolls, and orcs, and odor their stink.

If you’re noticed, you are met with weapons earlier than a goblin seer seems at a window atop a temple and shouts, “Put these sticks away, you fools, they’re simply those to assist us!”

The goblin seer is Bol’bara. A extremely revered determine, Bol’bara is tasked with defending Urzin, a cellular village that acts as a army fortress for the Kryn Dynasty. Recently, she’s been dealing with a bunch of goblins which have abandoned the village and established a brand new settlement within the close by ruins of a fortress. Bol’bara desires the goblins to return to Urzin, lest their actions encourage extra of her individuals to shirk their duties to the Kryn Dynasty.

The goblins have refortified the broken partitions of the fortress and refuse to barter with Bol’bara. The seer is aware of that the one option to convey the goblins again is by pressure. Nevertheless, a few of the goblins in Urzin argue that they need to be free to depart their posts. Doing so may trigger the Kryn Dynasty, which has lengthy supplied provides to Urzin in trade for service, to retaliate.

To assist settle the matter, Bol’bara seeks the assistance of the characters. Arming the group with a cannon-backed horizonback tortoise, she asks the group to tear down the fortress partitions and retrieve her individuals alive. In trade for his or her assist, she guarantees weaponry crafted by the Kryn Dynasty. 

Ticket to trip

The fortress is in The Brokenveil Marsh, a land marked by tangled brush, mud pits, and gnarled timber. The horizonback tortoise could be mounted by every of the characters and offers safety from environmental hazards. It travels at a tempo of about 5 miles per day and can attain the fortress in two days. 

Use the next statistics for the cannon mounted on the creature:


Massive object

AC: 19
Hit Factors: 75
Harm Immunities: poison, psychic
Cannon Ball. Ranged Weapon Assault: +6 to hit, vary 600/2,400 ft., one goal. Hit: 44 (8d10) bludgeoning injury.

Supply: Dungeon Grasp’s Information

As a result of The Brokenveil Marsh has seen many skirmishes between the Kryn Dynasty and the Dwendalian Empire, the social gathering could also be attacked by undead alongside their journey.

Attacking the goblin fortress

The partitions of the fortress have been broken with age and shoddily repaired with mud by the goblins. These deserters are holed up contained in the fortress with sufficient shops of meals to final them one week. Whereas the fortress partitions are up, they refuse any negotiations with the characters, claiming that they’re establishing a free nation of their very own.

A fortress wall has 100 hit factors, immunity to wreck from nonmagical weapons excluding siege weapons, and resistance to all different injury. The horizonback tortoise has sufficient ammunition wanted to convey down a fortress wall. When the characters assault the fortress, 1d6 goblins fireplace arrows at them from above. A goblin will retreat if delivered to half of its hit factors or fewer.

Simply desserts for deserters

When the fortress is breached, the goblins will give up and comply with observe the characters again to Urzin. There, Bol’bara will reward the characters and announce an appropriate punishment for the deserters: six months of scrubbing the hind of the horizonback tortoises’ shells. 

An epic journey awaits

Name of the Netherdeep is Crucial Position’s first journey module set on the earth of Exandria. It takes characters from third to twelfth stage and spans a number of continents. If you would like to study extra in regards to the world earlier than the guide’s launch on March 15, take a look at the Explorer’s Information to Wildemount. It has every thing you want to find out about Wildemount, provides participant choices like subclasses, and has a bestiary and adventures for low-level events.

Michael Galvis (@michaelgalvis) is a tabletop content material producer for D&D Past. He’s a longtime Dungeon Grasp who enjoys horror movies and all issues fantasy and sci-fi. When he isn’t within the DM’s seat or rolling cube as his anxious halfling sorcerer, he’s taking part in League of Legends and Magic: The Gathering along with his husband. They reside collectively in Los Angeles with their lovable canine, Quentin.

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