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Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Morvanghulf: An Original #dndnext Legendary Monster! - Part 1


I had a "gothic (s)urge" amidst the Ravnica craze of the last days/months. It began while looking at Warhammer miniatures of the Vampire Counts, mainly the Vargheists and the Varghulf.


Check out the "plog" of the talented artist that painted this beautiful vargheists!

I thought that this kind of "terror creatures" are under-represented in D&D, but I didn't want to "convert" anything.
Then I was studying for my latest geology exam and a real world location caught my attention for its name. Morvan. I did a bit of research and found out the name means "black mountain". A "gothic-sounding" name for such a location pulled some strings in my head for some reason, and I decided I wanted to create a creature that satisfied the following requirements:

  • A cool, flavorful and gothic story, name, and special location.
  • Being wolf-like, to fill a gap in one of my planned campaigns in the also gothic setting of Innistrad (from Magic The Gathering).
  • Using the new Legendary creature "template" presented with the early testing version of the Legendary Black Dragon appeared in one of the recent Legends & Lore articles by Mike Mearls.
So, the idea of the Morvanghulf was born. The "wolf of the black mountain", that I'm actually brainstorming+creating while I'm writing, as always, would have to have some or all of the following characteristics:
  • Have ghost-like traits. Something in-between a nature spirit and a restless soul. A creature that embodies a feeling/story, and a very negative one of course.
  • Being wolf-like but not entirely. It should be a monstrous wolf, something akin to a never-human werewolf, but not entirely hybrid either. A strange mix.
  • A terror-machine: a creature that terrifies a whole region, but in a subtle way, nearly never actually causing direct damage, or at least not leaving witnesses of it.
  • Attached to a particular landmark, the "Black Mountain". This is connected to its "spirit of the land" trait, and should be part of its story.
For now, I'll stop here at this level of brainstorming, because I have so many things to do (I'll soon be writing from a (very) different country, permanently..!), and because I want to this this creature very well. So I added a good old "Part 1" tot he title, and... To our next meeting..! :)