G is for Gerthrax the Goblin

Gerthrax is a wickedly clever goblin. Her nefarious pursuits are aided by her band of like-minded creatures; a mix of haunted beings  who obey every command. She is known for her greed, daring escapes and for her wicked serrated sabre, Bleeder.

Background

This is not a run-of-the-mill goblin. Her origins are far less mundane than her typical green-skin folk. While there are many rumors of her actual nature, no one knows for sure:

  1. She is of the dark fey; an exiled member of the Unseelie court.
  2. She is a minor devil who was accidentally summoned by a desperate demonologist (whom she gleefully slew).
  3. She is actually a Hob-Goblin from a northern tribe of evil raiders.
  4. She is part Swamp Hag, but never took up the mantle, preferring sword-play to sorcery.
  5. She was once a beautiful but cruel human bandit. A goddess cursed her with ugliness because of some dire transgression.
  6. She really is just a goblin, but from one of the most evil tribes of the Dark Lands; spawned by Lich’s magic.

Whatever her true nature, she is a formidable foe, always serving masters who can offer great prizes for her cruel deeds. While her crimes and wicked black humor are notorious, her magic sabre, Bleeder is equally so. No one survives even a scratch from the blade; it oozes a poison that quickly eats away at the victim’s soul. Losing their shadow is the least of their worries.

Using this NPC

Gerthrax is best used as a villain, obviously. Usually she serves some greater foe in your campaign, a dragon, a devil, a lich, a Medusa or a Swamp Hag.

She is always accompanied by a band of miscellaneous creatures who mindlessly follow every one of her orders and laugh at all of her jokes. One possible story hook is that a beloved NPC ally gets wounded by Gerthrax’ blade and eventually succumbs to the illness.

This villain wears spiky chain mail and clawed gauntlets. Her magic sword, Bleeder, inflicts Poison and Disease simultaneously. Unless cured by potent magic or divine intervention, anyone wounded by this sword will lose a point of Constitution every day. If this stat reaches zero, they will fall into a coma and their shadow will crawl away, eventually transforming into another monstrous part of Gerthrax’ party:

  1. Bullywug
  2. Dretch (Demon)
  3. Quasit (Demon)
  4. Imp (Devil)
  5. Ghoul
  6. Gnoll
  7. Goblin
  8. Smoke Mephit

The only way to save someone who’s befallen this fate is to kill their “shadow” before the next full moon. Otherwise the victim stays comatose forever.