Last year about this time, I unveiled my cucurbitaceous masterpiece: the begourder. I also asked for help in coming up with stats for the begourder. I have considered your suggestions and for this Halloween season, I will unveil four separate members of the begourder family: the begourder lantern (a brute minion), the begourder jack (a standard artillery), the begourder pumpkin queen (an elite controller/leader), and the begourder stalk tyrant (a solo soldier). All the begourders are designed as 8th level creatures.
However, before I reveal the stats, I thought I'd start with a little tale of begourder lore.Begourder Beginnings
Long ago, the archifey and the fomorians waged a great war for control of the Feywild. With the help of the sylvan gods, the archifey were eventually triumphant, driving the fomorians deep into the Feydark. In the waning days of the war, the fomorian kings grew desperate. One fomorian, whose name is lost to time, made supplications to an entity from the Far Realm, seeking power. He ordered his witches to open a rift to the Far Realm, thinking that his poor attempts at flattery had swayed this entity to aid him in his fight against the elves.
Through the rift floated an eye tyrant, which promptly turned the foolish fomorian to stone and then began to devastate the rest of his court. It was only defeated through the combined efforts of the late king's four briar witch wives, who entwined the aberration in vines and buried it in the courtyard outside the fortress.
When the elven forces reached the fomorians castle months later, it had been abandoned, and the entire place overrun with vines from a pumpkin patch growing in that courtyard. The archifey who led the forces decided to make this fortress his new home, and took on the moniker of the "Pumpkin King". As summer waned, and the autumn moons grew heavy, the pumpkins grew fat and large. The Pumpkin King, arrogant and egocentric, took this as an auspicious omen for his reign.
That year a harvest moon coincides with the autumnal equinox, and the Pumpkin King decided to dedicate the largest pumpkin in his crop it to Sehanine. However, as he pulled his long knife, the pumpkins arose, revealing themselves to be the first begourders. The Pumpkin King and all his court were their first victims, and they quickly scattered to the four corners of the Feywild.
Now, whenever the harvest moon and the autumnal equinox coincide, one can be certain that the begourders will rise. They can be found at other times, but it is on this day that they are most active, because on that night, they can sense that the space between the Feywild and natural world is thin, and they can sometimes punch through to wreak havoc on the mortal world.Begourder Biology
During their active phase, the begourders spread their seeds in mundane patches of pumpkins and gourds. While they are dormant, the patches are bountiful, producing large, ripe fields. But when the harvest moon falls on the equinox, the seeds bearing the begourders erupt, and the region is plagued with the destructive aberrations. Sometimes, a small patch of begourders may hatch prematurely. Possibly, this is intentional, an advance guard of scouts to survey the area before a larger invasion.
The begourder society is led by the pumpkin queens, who often control a cadre of jacks and lanterns. The queens lead her followers on far and wide ranges, attacking the weak and helpless, often the children. Meanwhile, the stalk tyrants prefer to operate alone, or with a handful of lanterns, terrorizing farmers and destroying livestock. All begourders are naturally drawn to crossings, and will traverse into the natural world by any means possible.
Begourders remain active for only a month, if not slain earlier, and then they return dormant to new fields. It is believed that while dormant, they seeds communicate with one another through deep, penetrating root systems that suffuse the thin earth that separates the Feywild and Feydark, sharing their experiences, learning, and plotting their next opportunity for terror.Begourder Beliefs
The begourders are known to revere a Far Realm Entity they call the "Great Pumpkin". It appears as a bright orange star in the Feywild sky, and a dimmer orange star in the natural world. The begourders believe their regular spates of carnage will eventually bring the Great Pumpkin down to the world, to institute a Mad Dominion of Gourds. The Great Pumpkin even manages to have some followers among mortals, with crazed followers of the Van Pelt Prophecies believing that the Great Pumpkin will shower its mortal devotees with gifts on the fateful day when it escapes the Far Realm.
I leave you with the words of the great Prophet Linus himself...
Read the entire Begourder Series: