Elementals in Dragon Heresy

Part of the challenge of the SRD5.1 is that all of the flavor text – or very nearly all of it – has been cut out of the document. It’s nearly all stat blocks and mechanics.

Part of the fun of the SRD5.1 is that all of the flavor text – or very nearly all of it – has been cut out of the document. It’s nearly all stat blocks and mechanics.

It really gives me a chance to shape each monster, race, and culture to fit within the game.

+Chris Mata noted that he loves elementals in my update post from Wednesday, so I promised to share. So, without further ado, here’s some of the goods on Elementals . . . but first a few notes.

I’ve played a bit fast and loose with Norse cosmology and the shape/interpretation of the Nine Realms to accommodate my needs. Most departures from the classic myths are purposeful.

I’m trying to get just the basics of each critter – because there are over 150 such monsters (more like 170) in the book, and that’s after some serious culling. Each should leave you with a basic description, a feel for appearance, where you might find it/ it’s natural habitat, and some notion of its behavior, which in many cases is “how does it fight, or does it flee?”

Some creatures, which play larger roles in the game setting, have much longer writeups.

Elementals
The elementals are creatures hailing from Niflheim, the elemental
realm. While common wisdom has Niflheim as an eternal realm of ice and cold,
that is only part of the attributes of the place. There are many elemental
archetypes and creatures that hail from this realm, and many powerful magics
and deadly dangers can be found and summoned from that place.
Most elementals are perfectly happy to remain in their home
realm, and are frequently distinctly unhappy
to be called forth from that place. The pure elementals of air, water, and
earth do not come willingly or exist peacefully in the physical world of Etera,
and are constantly wishing to return home. The fire elementals . . . are a bit
more eager to remain.
The essence of movement and force, the air elemental can appear
as visibly as a swirling tornado, or as subtly as a fog rolling in or an errant
breeze.
Its natural habitat is Niflheim, and it spends time in the Realms
of the Field only reluctantly, usually through a summoning spell.
If it is commanded to do so magically, it may attack or be
performing some service. It will cooperate with attempts to free it back to its
home realm.
Large elemental, neutral
Speed 0 ft., fly 90 ft. (hover)
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
14
20
14
6
10
6
+2
+5
+2
-2
0
-2
Defenses
Wound Thresholds
Threat DC
15
Morale
Injury
KO
Death
Hit DC
26
0-6
7-12
13-24
25+
DR
0
Control Thresholds
Vigor
90
Grab
Grapple
Restr.
Incap.
Vigor Dice
12d10+24
0-7
8-14
15-28
29+
Proficiency +3

Damage
Resistances.
Lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from
nonmagical attacks
Damage
Immunities.
Poison
Condition
Immunities.
Exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone,
restrained, unconscious
Senses.
Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages.
Auran
Challenge
5
(1,800 XP)
Air Form. The
elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move
through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Fog and Breeze. When
not engaged in combat or filled with violent intent, the Air Elemental appears
either as a rolling fog, or a disturbance in the air – a rogue breeze or errant
wind. It stands out against the background, however – it is DC 15 to detect in
an environment that should not have any breezes or fog, and DC 20 where such
effects are expected.
Actions
Multiattack. The
elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon
Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning
damage.
Whirlwind (Recharge 4–6).
Each creature in the elementals space must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw.
On a failure, a target takes 15 (3d8 + 2) bludgeoning damage and is flung up 20
feet away from the elemental in a random direction and knocked prone. If a
thrown target strikes an object, such as a wall or floor, the target takes 3
(1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is
thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity
saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.
If the saving throw is successful, the target takes half the
bludgeoning damage and isn’t flung away or knocked prone.
From the plains of Niflheim, the Earth elemental contains within
it the essence of rock and stone. It most frequently appears as a creature of
animated boulders, or a giant mobile pile of gravel or even dust.
When fighting, it appears as a humanoid creature of stone, but
that appearance can shift suddenly, as it changes form when it uses its earth
glide ability.
As with most elementals, the Earth elemental dwells on Midgard
reluctantly, and will mostly cooperate with attempts to aid it to return back
to Niflheim. It is usually not hostile unless commanded to be, but when balked
can be a steady and relentless foe.
Large elemental, neutral
Speed 30 ft., burrow 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
20
8
20
5
10
5
+5
-1
+5
-3
0
-3
Defenses
Wound Thresholds
Threat DC
9
Morale
Injury
KO
Death
Hit DC
20
0-9
10-18
19-37
38+
DR
8
Control Thresholds
Vigor
126
Grab
Grapple
Restr.
Incap.
Vigor Dice
12d10+60
0-7
8-14
15-28
29+
*natural armor

Proficiency +3

Damage
Vulnerabilities.
Thunder
Damage
Resistances.
Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage
Immunities.
Poison
Condition
Immunities.
Exhaustion, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, unconscious
Senses.
Darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages.
Terran
Challenge
5
(1,800 XP)
Earth Glide. The
elemental can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing
so, the elemental doesn’t disturb the material it moves through.
Siege Monster. The
elemental deals double damage to objects and structures.
Actions
Multiattack. The
elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon
Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning
damage.
Alone of all the elementals, the fire elemental relishes its time
on Midgard and the other Realms of the Field. Always seeking and hungry, fire
elementals unbound and unchecked are extremely dangerous and as unpredictable
as the fire of which they are comprised.
Fire elementals appear as wreathing, mobile, darting flames that
can seem to burn without needing fuel. They will happily consume anything that
burns, however, and will naturally seek out the most flammable objects they
can.
In combat, the elemental can be highly unpredictable, and is
known to go from being fixated on one target to flitting from foe to foe
randomly.
Large elemental, neutral
Speed 50 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
10
17
16
6
10
7
0
+3
+3
-2
0
-2
Defenses
Wound Thresholds
Threat DC
13
Morale
Injury
KO
Death
Hit DC
24
0-6
7-12
13-24
25+
DR
0
Control Thresholds
Vigor
102
Grab
Grapple
Restr.
Incap.
Vigor Dice
12d10+36
0-4
5-9
10-19
20+
Proficiency +3

Damage
Resistances.
Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage
Immunities.
Fire, poison
Condition
Immunities.
Exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone,
restrained, unconscious
Senses.
Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages.
Ignan
Challenge
5
(1,800 XP)
Fire Form. The
elemental can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while
within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) fire damage. In addition, the elemental can
enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. The first time it enters a
creatures space on a turn, that creature takes 5 (1d10) fire damage and catches
fire; until someone takes an action to douse the fire, the creature takes 5
(1d10) fire damage at the start of each of its turns.
Illumination. The
elemental sheds bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light in an additional
30 feet.
Water Susceptibility.
For every 5 feet the elemental moves in water, or for every gallon of water
splashed on it, it takes 1 cold damage.
Actions
Multiattack. The
elemental makes two touch attacks.

Touch. Melee Weapon
Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) fire damage. If
the target is a creature or a flammable object, it ignites. Until a creature
takes an action to douse the fire, the target takes 5 (1d10) fire damage at the
start of each of its turns.
The water elemental hails from one of the four corners of
elemental Niflheim, and as with many elementals, wishes for little else but to
return there.
Water elementals resemble large pools of water if they can sit in
a depression, but on flat ground they are fairly conspicuous, appearing as
large coherent spheroids or other shapes of water that should absolutely not be
looking or behaving the way that it is.
As with other “pure” elementals, the water elemental is only
present in the Realms of the Field because it was summoned there, or by
accident (stumbling across a rift, or one of those annoying vortexes in
space-time that crop up now and then).
In combat, the water elemental will usually move to the largest
cluster of foes and attempt to grapple and drown as many as it can, usually two
at a time. It is more comfortable in depressions than on terrain where water
would naturally flow away (the top of a ridge), but that is a matter of
preference rather than any mechanical effect.
Large elemental, neutral
Speed 30 ft., swim 90 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
18
14
18
5
10
8
+4
+2
+4
-3
0
-1
Defenses
Wound Thresholds
Threat DC
12
Morale
Injury
KO
Death
Hit DC
23
0-8
9-16
17-33
34+
DR
2
Control Thresholds
Vigor
114
Grab
Grapple
Restr.
Incap.
Vigor Dice
12d10+48
0-7
8-15
16-30
31+
*natural armor

Proficiency +3

Damage
Resistances.
Acid; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical
attacks
Damage
Immunities.
Poison
Condition
Immunities.
Exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone,
restrained, unconscious
Senses.
Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages.
Aquan
Challenge
5
(1,800 XP)
Water Form. The
elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move
through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing. Detecting a water
elemental in another body of water is nearly impossible. It is a DC 20
perception check to discern such while it is moving, and DC 25 if it is still.
Freeze. If the elemental
takes cold damage, it partially freezes; its speed is reduced by 20 feet until
the end of its next turn.
Actions
Multiattack. The
elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon
Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning
damage.
Whelm (Recharge 4–6).
Each creature in the elementals space must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw.
On a failure, a target takes 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. If it is Large or
smaller, it is also grappled (escape DC 14). Until this grapple ends, the
target is restrained and unable to breathe unless it can breathe water. If the
saving throw is successful, the target is pushed out of the elementals space.
The elemental can grapple one Large creature or up to two Medium
or smaller creatures at one time. At the start of each of the elementals turns,
each target grappled by it takes 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. A creature
within 5 feet of the elemental can pull a creature or object out of it by
taking an action to make a DC 14 Strength and succeeding.
While some elementals are brought for benign reasons to the
Realms of the Field, the Invisible Stalker is always brought for one purpose:
to hunt and kill some quarry.
The invisible stalker is a limited form of air elemental, but has
sacrificed some of its cousin’s offensive power (the whirlwind attack) for true
invisibility, except for the exact moment it attacks. Even then, it is a DC 15
perception check to see the
“thickening” of the air that occurs when the creature uses its melee attack.
It is the attack itself that is visible (and very audible!),
however, and once it moves away from the target, it becomes invisible again.
Stalkers are not always summoned to evil intent, but they are always brought to the Realms of the Field
for lethal intent. Unlike many other
creatures, an Invisible Stalker will not stop attacking its target until it has
reached more than double its wound maximum – it beats its target until it is
defeated or the foe is broken and unmoving on the ground.
Medium elemental, neutral
Speed 50 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
16
19
14
10
15
11
+3
+4
+2
0
+2
0
Defenses
Wound Thresholds
Threat DC
14
Morale
Injury
KO
Death
Hit DC
25
0-4
5-8
9-17
18+
DR
0
Control Thresholds
Vigor
104
Grab
Grapple
Restr.
Incap.
Vigor Dice
16d8+32
0-5
6-10
11-20
21+
Proficiency +3

Skills.
Perception +8, Stealth +10
Damage
Resistances.
Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage
Immunities.
Poison
Condition
Immunities.
Exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone,
restrained, unconscious
Senses.
Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages.
Auran, understands Common but doesn’t speak it
Challenge
6
(2,300 XP)
Invisibility. The stalker
is invisible.
Faultless Tracker. The
stalker is given a quarry by its summoner. The stalker knows the direction and
distance to its quarry as long as the two of them are on the same plane of
existence. The stalker also knows the location of its summoner.
Actions
Multiattack. The
stalker makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon
Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) thunder damage.
Ice Alf
The Ice Alf, like the fire elemental, is one of those rare
elementals that wants to be on the
Realms of the Field. It is, of course, not an “alf” at all – it has no
relationship to the svartalfs, other than being of similar size.
It is said that at a time long ago, an air elemental and a water
elemental chanced to meet in the Frostharrow. Perhaps under the influence of
the Winterfae, they combined, and from that union came a creature that not only
was an embodiment of living ice, but it wanted to see all things frozen.
The Ice Alf resembles a semi-humanoid cluster of icicles, but its
many frozen parts settle naturally into a formation that is indistinguishable
from other ice formations around it when it is unmoving. For this reason, Ice Alfs
tend to make their homes near cliffs where icy runoff forms icicles and mounds
of ice on the ground. The Ice Alf takes advantage of this to lay ambushes.
These elementals are “native” to the Frostharrow, but can be
found in any region where the ice lays thickly on the land.
These elementals are universally hostile, and will seek to attack
any warm-blooded creature that comes near. They will not, however, attack
Winterfae and Alfar, and will not attack elves first (half-elves seem to
inspire no fear or aversion in them) if other potential targets are available.
Small elemental, neutral evil
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
7
13
10
9
11
12
-2
+1
0
-1
0
+1
Defenses
Wound Thresholds
Threat DC
11
Morale
Injury
KO
Death
Hit DC
21
0-1
2-3
4-6
7+
DR
0
Control Thresholds
Vigor
21
Grab
Grapple
Restr.
Incap.
Vigor Dice
6d6
0-1
2-3
4-6
7+
Proficiency +2

Skills.
Perception +2, Stealth +3
Damage
Vulnerabilities.
Bludgeoning, fire
Damage
Immunities.
Cold, poison
Condition
Immunities.
Poisoned
Senses.
Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages.
Aquan, Auran
Challenge
1/2
(100 XP)
Death Burst. When the alf
dies, it explodes in a burst of jagged ice. Each creature within 5 feet of it
must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, taking 4 (1d8) slashing damage on a
failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
False Appearance. While
the alf remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary shard of
ice.
Innate Spellcasting
(1/Day).
The alf can innately cast fog cloud, requiring no material
components. Its innate spellcasting ability is Charisma.
Actions
Claws. Melee Weapon
Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) slashing damage
plus 2 (1d4) cold damage.
Frost Breath (Recharge 6).
The alf exhales a 15-foot cone of cold air. Each creature in that area must
succeed on a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5 (2d4) cold damage on a
failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

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