Vordgot (a.k.a. the Demon Lizard)

Climate/Terrain: Swamps and jungles
Frequency: Rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Animal (1)
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Neutral (n/a)
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: -4
Movement: 36 (48 when charging), SW48
Hit Dice: 10
THAC0: 11
No. of Attacks: 5
Damage/Attack: 3d6 (Tusk), 2d8 (Bite) or 3d6 (Horn), 2d6 (Front Claw), 2d6 (Front Claw), 2d6 (Tail swipe)
Special Attacks: Thrashing
Special Defenses: Immune to acid and poison
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: H (60′ long, 25′ tall)
Morale: Fearless (20)
XP Value: 3000

In swamps and jungles that do not have resident black dragons the apex predator is bound to be the terrifying vordgot. Tall enough to hide behind trees the lanky monsters rely on their long, powerful legs to reach incredible speeds to bring down even the fastest prey. Standing up to twenty-five feet tall at the shoulder and weighing little more than the total weight of two horses a vordgot can devour half its own bodyweight a day in meat. They will feast on any animal and size isn’t necessarily a factor in determining what does or does not constitute a potential meal. Being both powerful and stupid, vordgots have been known to tackle dragons, tearing at them in a frenzy of claws, tusks, horns and roars.

Combat: In the wild these horrifying creatures will stand for long periods of time waiting for something to happen by to be tackled. Once they get a target identified the vordgot will then spring forward with enormous speed and making quite the ruckus to make it’s quarry panic and possibly founder. Vordgots can’t maintain their charging speed for more than 2d4 rounds before needing to rest for one turn. Anything attacked during this charge will be hit by the vordgot with a +2 to its THAC0 and double all damage inflicted. After the initial assault the vordgot will begin tearing mindlessly at its prey, seeking to devour it as quickly as possible. With a head only large enough to swallow a gnome whole, and a good number of its prey being larger than that, the frenzy can take several rounds to complete.

Vordgots have long, tusk-like teeth that can measure up to two feet or more in length at the high end. They also have two tusks jutting out from their snout like a boar’s tusks that they use to thrash about and dig in the mud and muck of their environment. They also have a prominent horn that juts from their forehead, and if their attempt to bite fails to land on their target then they automatically will get a chance to impale the target with their horn. The long, dragon-like claws on their feet are accentuated by long, bony barbs that run along their forearms and calves. These spurs can be up to three feet in length and are used by the vordgot in battle or when clamoring about in the trees and underbrush of their environment. Bony spikes run the length of their spines from the back of their skull to the tip of their tail, where one large sword-like spike sticks out like a scorpion’s stinger. These spikes are longest on the creature’s shoulders and come into play to ward off attackers dropping onto the vordgot or against anyone around the vordgot when it begins to thrash.

When really excited or riled a vordgot will begin to thrash about in a blind frenzy. All reason and logic are abandoned as the beast seeks to do as much damage to everything nearby. In this event the monster takes a -3 to all of its saving throws but gains a +3 to attack rolls and damage. This horrific display of destructive chaos is enough to deter all but the most foolhardy of opponents.

Habitat/Society: Vordgots are mostly solitary animals but will tend their offspring for a number of years until the young are old enough to strike out on their own. While not overtly territorial because they are too stupid to mark their turf or stay in one place long enough to consider themselves settled they will attack each other if they are hungry enough or otherwise agitated. After mating vordgots will lay 3d4 eggs which take about four months to hatch. Young are considered dangerous at birth and things spiral downward from there at an alarming rate. Only the most advanced of shamans, druids, rangers and huntsmen can tread without fear in areas inhabited by vordgots. Once “domesticated” and not needing to compete for food vordgots seemingly lose this strong individuality and will spend enormous amounts of time with each other.

Ecology: While their bodies are only ten feet in length (giving them a distinctly odd appearance in relation to their long legs) a mature vordgot’s neck measures up to twenty-five feet in length and their tail can be another thirty feet long. Their skeletal structure is such that their heads hang low to the ground most of the time although they can raise them up far enough that they can see over their own shoulders. Such is the flexibility of the vordgot that they can bite at anyone within range, even if they are standing directly behind the creature. Their tails also hang low and when running stick out almost straight to give the creature balance. Once engaged in combat, though, all bets are off and their tails thrash about with reckless abandon. Vordgots love the water and can breathe water at will same as a black dragon. However, they will never hunt while swimming. They will submerge in rivers, lakes, and swamps to sleep or get from one place to another, but to attack they prefer to have their feet firmly planted in the mud to enable them to utilize their speed and freedom to thrash about. When swimming the demon lizard more closely resembles the motions of a huge serpent, its limbs pressed close to its body and using its powerful tail to propel it through the water.

Vordgots collect no treasure but may inevitably devour things of value that sit in their stomach for years. They are utterly immune to acid and all forms of poison. Their scale hides can be fashioned into armor with relative ease, and if done properly this armor will afford protections against acidic attacks. The armor will look very much like supple black dragon scale armor although it doesn’t usually weigh as much. Vordgot bones, teeth, and organs can be used in many ritualistic ceremonies by tribal people and are especially prized by witchdoctors. One of the key functions a vordgot performs is serving as a vital part of these important rites that are the center of many tribal societies.