“You understand the risks of joining our hunting team, yes? There are many things in the woods that would stop our enterprise, but we’re among the most elite in the lands. Our skills are legendary. Some angered spirits don’t threaten us!” – The last words of a foolish trespasser
The forest holds many mysteries beyond the fabled Grandmother of the Witches. Life grabbing wolves, tree-like giant men, three headed dragons! Such terrors and more lie over the mountain side and into the forest. Travel with caution and tact. And of course, show respect to the spirits around you.
Author’s Note: My exploration into Slavic folklore creatures continues. Also, I’m gonna cover some weaker monsters for lower tier adventures later. So far, all of these have been at least pretty strong.
Tall, stocky and strong; the Leshy is an imposing figure of the forest. Their massive builds greatly resemble the trees they protect, as their wavy hair and untamed beards resemble leaves and grass. These roaming giants act as protectors, indulging in trickery when their turf risks threat. Their looks can very though, as some have been known to be more spindly with skull like faces.
Plane of Origin: Deep Ethereal – The Good Kingdom. The realms of the fey are where these creatures are most at home. Typically, they roam the woods filled lands of the Summer and Autumn Courts. Some have been known to form pacts with the denizens of these realms. Of course, they’re not above making deals with farmers and shepherds of the prime material.
Huge fey, neutral
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 135 (14d12 + 42)
Speed 35 ft.
STR 21 (+5) DEX 10 (+0) CON 17 (+3) INT 10 (+0) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 15 (+2)
Saving Throws Dexterity +3, Intelligence +3
Skills Athletics +8, Nature +6
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from non-magical weapons that aren’t cold iron*
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Sylvan
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
Call the Wilderness (1/day). As a bonus action, the Leshy may call upon the aid of powerful predators. This can manifest as 1d4 wolves or 1d2 brown bears. These animals will fight to the death and grant no bonus experience points.
Imitated Voice. The Leshy is capable of mimicking other voices, as well as throwing the voice within 30 ft. of it. Any creature that the Leshy has heard for at least 1 minute can be imitated.
Lead Astray. While in a forest, the Leshy may use its action to conjure illusionary trees, while masking others. Creatures interacting with this altered terrain must make a DC 16 Nature check or find themselves getting lost.
Tree Disguise. As an action, the Leshy can take the form of a tree. While in this disguise, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary tree from its region.
Throwing Mastery. The Leshy does not have disadvantage to make ranged attacks while adjacent to an enemy creature.
Multiattack. The Leshy may use its slamming fist three times per round or use Slamming Fist and choice of either Choking Earth And Roots or Forest Debris.
Slamming Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d12 + 5) bludgeoning damage. The target must also make a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be pushed back 10 ft.
Forest Debris. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 40 ft./120 ft., up to two targets within 5 ft. of each other. Hit: 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage.
Crushing Earth and Roots. All creatures within 40 ft. of the Leshy must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw. Upon failure, they become restrained. At the start of their next turn, they take 7 (3d4) bludgeoning damage. They may attempt a DC 16 Escape Action to break free.
Frightful Presence. Each creature of the Leshy’s choice that is within 120 ft. of the Leshy and aware of it must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the leshy’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
*treat similar to silvered weapons
A horrible beast from beyond death itself. This cursed being drains the life of the living, while under the guise of a wolf. To many, they are akin to a fusion of vampire and werewolf. That’s not entirely false.
Plane of Origin: Prime Material. Those loathsome and bestial creatures were damned as wicked revenants. It is said that they come about when a slain soul with the mark of the beast is given an improper burial. One legend speaks of just a feral undead horror, akin to the worst of ghouls, created much like traditional vampires and, in some cases, werewolves. Despite being similar, they don’t share a lot of the same weaknesses as vampires do.
Medium undead (shapechanger), neutral evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (10d8 + 40)
Speed 40 ft. (50 ft. in wolf form)
STR 17 (+3) DEX 15 (+2) CON 18 (+4) INT 10 (+0) WIS 16 (+3) CHA 11 (+0)
Skills Perception +6, Stealth +5
Damage Immunities necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing and smashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered.
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common (cannot speak in Wolf or Hybrid forms)
Challenge 7 (2,900 xp)
Shapechanger. The Volkolak can use its action to polymorph between forms. It may change between a humanoid, wolf and hybrid of the two. While in wolf form, speed is increased to 50 ft. Besides attacks and speed, the creature’s stats do not change between forms.
Keen Hearing and Smell. The volkolak has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks related to hearing and smelling.
Regeneration. The volkolak regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn. However, should the volkolak take radiant damage or start its turn in sunlight, this effect is disabled until the beginning of next round.
Sunlight Weakness. At the start of the volkolak’s turn, if it is exposed to bright and natural sunlight, it takes 10 radiant damage.
Multiattack. The volkolak makes two attacks per turn, only one may be Bite.
Bite (Wolf or Hybrid Forms). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one grabbed, incapacitated or restrained target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage. The target must also make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Failure results in taking 9 (2d8) necrotic damage. The target’s maximum hit points are reduced by the necrotic damage taken. The victim’s hit points are returned to normal after completing a long rest or being subject to a Greater Restoration spell. When a creature’s maximum hit points drop to 0 or if a creature is killed by this attack, they return as a volkolak up to 24 hours later.
Claw (Wolf or Hybrid Forms). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) slashing damage. The volkolak may forgo damage to grab a target instead. The target must succeed a DC 14 Escape Action to break free.
Club (Humanoid or Hybrid Forms). Melee Weapon Attack: +6, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.
A curiosity among dragon kind. Sometimes, they act as benevolent folk heroes, other times they’re antagonistic. Unlike other dragons, they’re capable of manipulating multiple elements. Its three heads are capable of inducing much terror. Its serpent-like structure for its many heads allows it to snap at prey, without even needing its many breath weapons. Combined with fish-like tail, bat-like wings and sturdy limbs; it remains a strange looking creature, even among other dragons. While it has made many foes, one in particular is a type of demonic spirit called a Hala that can wield lightning.
Plane of Origin: Unknown. The Traladarans of Mystara have a theory of some realm of spirits that this dragon emerged from a spirit realm. This story likewise rings true for many people of Damara on Toril. Lately, Rashemen has begun experiencing problems with it, so they too suspect something similar. Some suspect that it is related to the Baba Yaga.
Huge dragon, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 250 (20d12 + 120)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
STR 25 (+7) DEX 16 (+3) CON 22 (+6) INT 10 (+0) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 14 (+2)
Saving Throws Dexterity +9, Intelligence +6, Wisdom +7
Skills Deception +8, Perception +7, Persuasion +8
Damage Resistances lightning; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from non-magical weapons
Damage Immunities cold, fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)
Shapechanger. The zmey may use its action to polymorph itself into a unique humanoid. This form is specific to it and usually resembles a specific person from a particular humanoid race.
Multi-headed. The zmey has advantage on saves against blinded, deafened, incapacitated paralyzed, and restrained conditions.
Regeneration. The zmey regains 5 hit points per round at the start of its next turn. Being attacked by a +3 weapon nullifies this ability until the start of its next turn.
Multiattack. Zmey may attack up to three times per round.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8 + 7) slashing damage.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) damage from one of the following types: cold, fire, poison.
Three-Headed Breath (Recharge 4 – 6). The Zmey exhales an elemental breath from one of its three heads. All creatures within a 60 ft. cone must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take 63 (18d6) damage. This damage is either cold, fire or poison and must be chosen before the breath weapon is used. Successful saves result in halved damage.
Hydro Burst (Recharge 6). A watery tornado is briefly formed by the Zmei’s tail. It surges in a straight line for 40 ft. All creatures 5 ft. within that line must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw or take 65 (10d12) bludgeoning damage.
Combination Breath (1/day). The Zmey uses its breath weapon as normal. However, it becomes an 80 ft. cone. Also, the damage is dealt as follows: 21 (6d6) fire damage, 21 (6d6) poison damage, 21 (6d6) cold damage.
IMAGE CREDIT: Aivar Jürgenson – Taiga in Siberia; Angus McBride – Leshy; Alchera01 – Volkodlak; Zabirokhin – Zmei Gorinich