As seen in the Oasis Down and Memory Grove one-shots, the Hound Lord’s followers have a strong dedication and relationship to both the natural world and the animals they coexist with. Often warriors and soldiers in the Hound Lord’s forces will form a strong bond with a dog or other domesticated beast. Together they work in tandem to support their comrades and fight back against the wanton destruction of the Herald of the Wrecked Comet.
In forging ahead in the crafting of this world, I wanted to give my players some additional options and potential areas of growth for their characters and their companions. I’m interested in Vlad’s boar Misha and Marcus’ pig Julia taking a little more of the spotlight, but want each of them to still feel different. Julia’s primary function is that of a mount, while Misha could be doing more to help Vlad out in a few different ways. Simply renaming the “Dire Boar” stat block isn’t going to satisfy me, and by coming up with something custom, my players will get more excited about engaging their companions in the fray.
For a great take on Mounted Combat, see MCDM’s Arcadia 1. It’s not only a great publication, but has a cool take on mounts that I’ll slightly tweak and put to use in some of the following stat blocks.
Battle Bond: As a one hour ritual that requires a blessing from an Avatar of the Hound Lord, the animal is bonded to another creature. The bonded animal gains temporary hit points equal to 3 times the bonded companion’s level or challenge rating after completing the ritual. The animal uses its bonded companion’s proficiency bonus in place of its own proficiency bonus for AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, and the DC made to save against certain action effects.
In the below stat blocks, the abbreviation “PB” means you should add the bonded player character’s proficiency bonus to the roll, or CR of a monster or NPC bonded to the animal. If your PC is level 3, your proficiency bonus is +2. So Armor Class 12 + PB means 12 + 2.
The highly trained war dogs of the Hound Lord are cunning, obedient and bred for battle. They are often led and rode in packs by smaller soldiers that swarm enemy positions and attempt to herd and corral larger enemies.
The Battle Boar is among the largest and most fierce of the porcine servants of the Hound Lord. With massive tusks and a bristling, thorny crest, this is no suckling pig!
Valued for their superior intellect, Riding Pigs are oft utilized by halfling knights that appreciate the animal’s quick-wittedness and bravery. The most gung-ho of these knights stuff their ears with cotton before heading into battle and make good use of the pig’s screeching to gain the upper hand over their opponents.
Smaller than the mythic roc of legend, but no less fearsome, these raptors are utilized in all manner of ways in the war effort against the Herald of the Wrecked Comet. Effective as both transport, scouts, bombers and dogfighting experts, the Swift Roc has earned it’s place as an integral part of the Hound Lord’s forces. Rocjumpers form strong bonds with birds they have flown with and often refuse to fly with a new roc once they’ve seen battle together.
The Herald’s Seige Wagons
I would be loathe to give the players a bunch of goodies without coming up with something dangerous for them to be pit against! The Herald of the Wrecked Comet has many contraptions and weapons up his own sleeve. The Siege Wagon below sees extensive use in the war, especially against the Hound Lord’s more heavily fortified positions, such as the fortress Brindlehelm, seat of Aluvar, the Red Left Hand.