They’d traveled for nearly a week in this green hell.
They followed the map to Castle Fang that Orwen had uncovered in the Caves of Derok.
Twenty experienced adventurers entered together into this alien landscape.
Now only ten remained.
“I don’t understand,” Aeric said, throwing down his pack as the group settled for a short rest. “How can any place be so deadly?”
“Didn’t you know?” Twelith the elf asked. “This land protects itself from all who would invade it. The plants, the beasts, the ground itself seek to keep all out. We have done ill coming to this place, and the land does not forgive. We have yet to even see the worst this place has to offer.”
“And just what might that be?” Orwen asked from the ground where he leaned against a tree.
“Drop bears,” the elf said, in a hushed whisper.
Orwen burst into laughter. When it stopped, he wiped the tears from his cheeks. “Seriously elf? That old story? In a land where everything, and I mean everything is trying to kill us, you have to make up something else to scare the boy with?”
That was the last thing Orwen said. A moment later a large, dark shape dropped from the tree above and tore him apart. It happened so fast, the others could not even react before the creature hissed at them, and then scampered back up the tree, dragging the remains of Orwen in it’s teeth.
When the shock left them, the expedition immediately turned around and left for home.
Something I’ve noticed in my blog statistics is that PEOPLE LOVE DROP BEARS! Seriously, I do not know what the hell is up with that, but I get more hits on my article with the Drop Bear than on anything else. So, since people love drop bears, who am I to not give them what they want?
% In Lair: 50%
Dungeon Enc: Armageddon (1) /Apocalypse (1d3)
Wilderness Enc: Apocalypse (1d3 / End of Days (1d3)
Movement: 180′ (60′)
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 8+8***
Treasure Type: M
Drop bears appear to be smallish bears that live in trees. If noticed, they are easily mistaken for a bear cub or young bear that is hiding in a tree. However, woe betide any who get under their tree or find them on the ground! Drop bears are vicious, powerful killers. Despite their small size, they are incredibly strong. They can climb trees at their full movement rate, traveling up and down them as though over land. They can camouflage themselves, disappearing into foliage and moving with preternatural silence, giving targets a -2 to their surprise rolls (so they surprise on a 1-4 normally). Their favorite tactic it to leap from a tall tree onto prey below them. When successful, this counts as a Charge and any attacks that hit do double damage. They can fall from up to 60′ and take no damage. Further, once per day, they can produce a burst of speed and activity equivalent to a Haste spell without suffering any ill effects, though usually they must feed shortly after doing so or begin starving. Further, they are somewhat resistant to magic and harm in general (as exemplified by using Dwarf saves). It is obvious that magic was involved in their creation, but to what end, no one can say.
Though only of animal intelligence, they are on the smarter end of the animal scale (about as smart as a primate). They are cruel and malicious, like a cat, and will often play with food that survives their initial assault.
They have no use for treasure, but the treasure of those they kill often ends up scattered on the ground beneath their tree nests, luring even more prey to them. While adventurers often think the tree is the threat, it’s actually the creature living in it’s branches…
Obviously this monster is a bit of a joke. But if you use it, holy cow is it dangerous!