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A Desert Raider (from Diablo II)

A Desert Raider (from Diablo II)

The Desert Raiders are the humanoid tribes that live in the Desert of the Gods. They are not found elsewhere in the world – which is a blessing as they produce fierce and deadly warriors more than a match for the warriors of the major demi-human races and even the mighty ogres!

These eight to eleven foot tall humanoids appear emaciated and thin, but are quite strong and quick. What’s most apparent to any who encounter them, however, are their four arms. Their warriors use these to great effect, eschewing the use of shields and instead wading into battle on their long legs wielding four swords at once.

Tales and rumours around the desert as well as artifacts in some of the oldest temples in the plateau indicate that the raiders have ruled these deserts for unknown ages. Their bodies were misshapen by magic so that they could wield the weaponry of four men and their spirits were imbued with elemental energies that they could unleash against their foes. Holding no mercy in their hearts, they sweep across the dunes as a plague of locusts to this day – establishing no permanent cities or encampments.

Although they typically raid, kill and pillage, some rare pilgrims crossing the Desert of the Gods have reported more friendly or at least neutral encounters with these creatures. In one case a small clan of raiders escorted a group of pilgrims to the temple they were searching for on the plateau after they became stranded by a sandstorm and had lost most of their guards to the predations of the purple sand worms that remain forever a threat.

Because of the limits of their physiology, they cannot attack with all four swords at once, and instead attack with two each round in a terrifying flurry of blows that doesn’t cease until the raider is slain. Further, the elementals bound into their souls trigger powers of fire or cold when they have successfully struck an opponent. After the first attack lands, for the next 6 rounds all of the raider’s weapons are either wreathed in fire or frost, giving them an additional +1 to hit and damage. Typically a clan of sand raiders will have the same elemental enhancement passed down as their bloodright.

Sand Raider
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4
Move: 120′ (40′)
Attacks: 2 swords
Damage: 1d8+1 / 1d8+1
No. Appearing: 2-5 (2-16)
Save As: F4
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: V (D)
Alignment: Chaotic

The mightiest of the Sand Raiders are known as Infidels. They have achieved a greater link with the elemental fragment imbued into their souls and have grown to be a towering 11 feet tall, and a match for the slightly taller and significantly heavier hill giants. Their swords are also enormous, and are beyond the ability of a normally-sized person to wield. They can trigger their cold or flaming weapons without first striking an opponent, providing the same benefits as above (+1 to hit and damage).

Sand Infidel
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 7
Move: 120′ (40′)
Attacks: 2 swords
Damage: 2d8 / 2d8
No. Appearing: 2-5 (2-8)
Save As: F7
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: V (I)
Alignment: Chaotic

One of the items I love in the Diablo II books is r.k.post’s awesome interpretations of the characters and monsters in the setting. It is really unfortunate that he didn’t do an illustration in his style of the Sand Raiders…