The Lord of Sloth

Sloth by Tim Vargason

More than four hundred years ago, Kiborus the Cold Lord, vampiric "mayor" of the Nameless City, conducted several magical experiments in the sewers deep beneath the city. It was Kiborus' desire to create a life form, to shape the bodies of the dead into a sentient, controllable creature. His efforts were a mixed success-- Kiborus was the first known individual to create a flesh golem--but he was unable to instill sentience into the creature. He tried more than five times to give awareness to the creature, but each time he failed-- until the last time, when his experiment succeeded and he created a powerful servant for himself.

There was, however, a side-effect to his experiment: he had poured the life force of a multitude of tortured souls, many of his own enemies, into his inert vessel of flesh. This sentience was unable to take hold in the automaton and instead flowed out of the creature and into the sewers. There the excess energy found one of the most menial beings of the sewer-- a lowly creature of slime, a mindless black pudding.

Upon encountering this ooze, something strange and unique occurred. The sentience took control of the pudding, giving it intelligence where it had none, giving it a direction, a purpose. It only desired to slay Kiborus, its unholy father and the being that had caused it to understand its tortured existence. And thus was borne Orax, Black Pudding of the Nameless City.

For years Orax schemed, determined to undermine Kiborus. His new-found sentience allowed him to unlock inherent powers he possessed, powers that allowed him to sap the strength of others to make them easier to hunt. The minions of Kiborus quickly became his prey, and the ooze's ultimate goal was to destroy Kiborus himself.

It was two years after the experiment that Kiborus learned of the creature he had created, learned of the power it possessed, and learned of its hatred of him. He knew that he must stop this being, for it had caused the death of many of his henchmen, and the Dweller did not forgive weakness. His position in the Nameless City was slipping, and he had to remedy that.

Gathering up a group of his most powerful and loyal henchmen, the Cold Lord once again planned to venture into the sewers to destroy this irritating creature. But it was the gathering of this group that brought the existence of Orax to the attention of another, the Dweller herself. The Dweller had been involved in a subtle scheme to end all schemes, a plan to expand her power by creating mighty Lords of Sin to serve the will of her dark master Vornoth. She struggled bitterly, though, to find a suitable candidate for one of the most unusual of the sins, Sloth. Orax, however, seemed to be the perfect candidate. And so when Kiborus and his minions located Orax in the deep sewers, they were surprised to find that the ooze had company. The white-robed Dweller herself was there, speaking with the creature. The Lord of the Wintervale dismissed the vampire and his forces with a slight wave of her hand, and they slunk away. The Dweller then promised to fulfill Orax's greatest desire -- she would kill Kiborus painfully, for a cost. This price was an eternity of servitude to The Dweller and Vornoth himself. Orax only too readily agreed.

The ooze and the enigmatic Dweller then retired into the depths of the Frostspire, where, using the Book of Seven, the Dweller strengthened the power of the ooze to exhaust those who came close to it. In addition, the Book gave the creature the power to assume human form, for the Dweller knew that Orax would need to control a kingdom. She also imbued the pudding with the Dark Will so that it could command armies. And thus Orax, the Lord of Sloth, was born. Yet the Dweller betrayed the ooze, for she still considered Kiborus to be too useful a steward to sacrifice, and she knew that the will of the ooze was forever bound to hers by the Book of Seven. Thus when she sent the creature from the Wintervale to conquer Zeland at the head of a dark army, it had no choice but to do her will. Still, in its deepest core, a great resentment of the Dweller was growing...

The Lord of Sloth

Huge ooze (shapechanger), neutral evil

Armor Class   18
Hit Points   260 (20d12+100)
Speed   20 ft., climb 20 ft. in ooze form

STR  22 (+6)   DEX  9 (-1)   CON  20 (+5)   INT  12 (+1)   WIS  12 (+1)   CHR  9 (-1)

Saving Throws   Str +12, Con +11
Skills   Insight +7, Intimidate +5
Damage Immunities   acid, cold, lightning, slashing; bludgeoning and piercing from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities   asleep, blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, prone while in ooze form
Senses   blindsight 60 ft. in ooze form (blind beyond this radius in ooze form), passive Perception 17
Languages   Dark Speech, Kingdom Common, Farlandish
Challenge   17 (18,000 XP)

Shapechanger. The Lord of Sloth can use his action to polymorph into a human, or back into his true form, which is a black pudding. His statistics are the same in each form, although if an attack or ability is designated as a specific form, he can only use that attack or ability while in that form. Any equipment he is wearing or carrying is transformed. He reverts to his true form if he dies. In human form, the Lord of Sloth is stocky and strong. He generally carries and fights with a greatsword and crossbow, which somehow remain drenched in the acid of his ooze form.

Aura of exhaustion. At the start of each of the Lord of Sloth's turns, each creature within 20 feet of him must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or gain a level of exhaustion. This effect cannot cause a creature's level of exhaustion to progress beyond level 5.

Amorphous. While in ooze form, the Lord of Sloth can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch without squeezing.

Corrosive Form. While he is in ooze form, a creature that touches the Lord of Sloth or hits him with a melee attack while within 5 feet of him takes 12 (3d8) acid damage. Any nonmagical weapon made of metal or wood that hits the Lord of Sloth corrodes. After dealing damage, the weapon takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to damage rolls. If its penalty drops to -5, the weapon is destroyed. Nonmagical ammunition made of metal or wood that hits the Lord of Sloth is destroyed after dealing damage. The Lord of Sloth in ooze form can eat through 2-inch-thick, nonmagical wood or metal in 1 round.

Spider climb. While in ooze form, the Lord of Sloth can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.


Multiattack. The Lord of Sloth makes two melee attacks or two ranged attacks.

Pseudopod (ooze form). Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage plus 20 (4d10) acid damage. In addition, nonmagical armor worn by the target is partly dissolved and takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to the AC it offers. The armor is destroyed if the penalty reduces its AC to 10.

Acid projection (ooze form). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 40/100 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (4d10) acid damage. In addition, nonmagical armor worn by the target is partly dissolved and takes a permanent and cumulative -1 penalty to the AC it offers. The armor is destroyed if the penalty reduces its AC to 10.

Greatsword (human form). Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d10+6) piercing damage plus 20 (4d10) acid damage.

Hand crossbow (human form). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage plus 20 (4d10) acid damage.

Legendary Actions

The Lord of Sloth can take three legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The Lord of Sloth regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Attack (costs 2 actions). The Lord of Sloth makes a melee or ranged attack.

Heal Self (Costs 2 Actions). The Lord of Sloth magically regains 24 (5d8 + 4) hit points.

Sleep. One creature within 90 feet of the Lord of Sloth must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious until it takes damage or someone uses an action to shake or slap it awake. The target can save again at the end of each of its turns.

Lair Actions

Those who live within half a mile of the Lord of Sloth's lair tend to be lazy and apathetic. Streams and bodies of water have a dark tint and taste acidic. If the Lord of Sloth is encountered in his lair, his CR is 18 (20,000 XP). On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the Lord of Sloth takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects. The Lord of Sloth can't use the same effect two rounds in a row.