Lillend

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The Lillend, as drawn by Tony DiTerlizzi.

Lillendi are a lamia-like race of angels native to the settings of both Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. Whilst they are somewhat obscure, as most "Always Good" creatures tend to be, they do go back a long way. First appearing in the Creature Catalog II in Dragon Magazine #94, they were later made canon in Planescape.

At their core, lillendi are angels associated with Ysgard, Arborea and Limbo; embodiments of passion, creativity and art, they take the form of beautiful elven maidens with feathered wings whose lower bodies are the lengthy coils of giant serpents. They also champion the wilderness and artists, to varying degrees. Like the Asuras, they exist outside of the better known "families" of angels:Aasimon, Archon, Eladrin and Guardinal.

In 1e[edit]

Appearing in the pages of Dragon #94's "Creature Catalog II" in FEbruary of 1985, the lillend's creation is credited to a "Stephen Inniss". Differing to their "effectively all female" portrayal in later editions, lillendi are stated to appear as both male and female beings, always comely, with a lamia-esque body structure (human from the waist up, giant snake from the waist down) marked by the addition of mighty wings. Their scales and feathers are brightly colored and strikingly patterned, forming a coloration unique to every individual; this is a source of great pride to the race, and may be why they are infamous for being nudists. No lillend ever wears cllothing, although they may wear jewels. However, they always carry both weaponry and musical instruments, with the former typically being enchanted longswords, spears or longbows.

In this first form, lillendi are stated to be natives of Gladsheim, and from there occasionally travel to the Prime Material Plane, Olympus and Limbo. Associated with "benevolent chaos", they count both Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral individuals amongst their ranks, a rarity for exemplars. They are described as being peace-loving and fascinated by song and conversation, though quite capable of defending themselves.

They have a bardic nature, with the spellcasting abilities, morale affecting ability and legend lore traits of a 7th level Bard. They can also wield a vast number of spell-like abilities - predominantly bardic, but with some possibly druidic spells as well, such as Pass Plant, Speak With Animals/Plants and Transport Via Plants. They can use any magical item available to bards, are considered to be Strength 17 and Dex 16, and can use their coils to crush victims or hold them prisoner so the lillend can drag them into the sky and drop them.

Their precise array of spell-like abilities is... a little hard to follow. Seriously, this is the quote direct from Dragon Magazine; make heads or tails of it yourself! "In addition (three times per day), fire charm (once per day), hallucinatory terrain (three times per day), knock, light or darkness (as a cleric), Otto's irresistible dance (once per per day), hallucinatory terrain (three times per day), knock, light or darkness (as a cleric), Otto's irresistible dance (once per day), pass plant, polymorph self (into humanlike form only), speak with plants, speak with animals, and transport via plants (once per day)."

If that's not enough, they can understand any sort of intelligent communication, always have a random assortment of 2 major disciplines and three minor disciplines of psionics, can breathe water, can only be hit by a +1 or better magical item, have 25% magic resistance, and are immune to: poions, noxious gasses, normal fire, the effects of the Positive & Negative Energy Planes, life-draining, level-draining, enchantment spells, and any magical effect which has a musical base, such as the song of a harpy or the piping of a satyr.

Needless to say, it's no wonder that most people will go out of their way to avoid affronting a lillend, and why their love of pranks goes unchallenged. They take an especial dislike to any who try to impose civilized order on the wilderlands.

In 2e[edit]

First appearing in the "Planes of Chaos" box set for Planescape, and then being reprinted two years later in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 3, the lillend of 2nd edition has already started to change.

The core of who they are remains the same as in the previous edition; music-loving, wilderness-protecting, bardic lamia-angels. They even retain most of their abilities - their 7th level bard neo-class, water-breathing, protection from the Energy Planes, coil attack... their spell-like abilities (darkness, hallucinatory terrain, knock, and light each 3 times per day; and fire charm, Otto’s irresistible dance, pass plant, polymorph self (into humanlike form only), speak with animals, speak with plants, and transport via plants each 1 time per day) have been tweaked a little but are recognizably related to their 1e version. They have lost their psionics, though.

But their lore has undergone some definite tweaks. For starters, female lillendi now vastly outnumber male ones. And, in truth, there actually are only female lillendi; they are described in this edition as reproduciing through parthenogenesis (virgin birth), a kind of spontaneous, self-induced clone-spawning, and "male" lillendi are actually a form of transsexual, with masculine torsos but feminine sexual organs. They also look like elves instead of humans.

With the reordering of planes to create the Great Wheel, Lillendi are now natives of Ysgard, though also occasionally seen on Arborea, Limbo and the Prime Material. They are stated as hailing from a realm called the Gates of the Moon, as the lillendi serve the various lunar gods - that said, of all of Ysgard's proxies, they are the least-involved in the affairs of others.

Lillendi are said to be able to choose the hour of their death, the Silent Hour, when they grow weary of life and service to the moon. This knowledge is either a gift from the gods of the moon, or a curse from the powers of Law, whom the lillendi are said to have served long ago and then abandoned. Shortly before her death, a lillend makes her farewells. As she dies she is absorbed into her power’s realm, disappearing in a misty fog that acts as a combination moonbeam and chaos spell. On the rare occasion one is foolish enough to fight a lillend in her Silent Hour, the angel's calm, focused fury ensures that she will always win initiative and attack at +4 for doubled damage. That said, she will die at her appointed time, even if she is victorious in battle.

Lillendi who haven’t yet chosen the Silent Hour can still die through accident or violence, but in death their faces are always wracked with despair, for the legends say that those who do not pass through the Silent Hour are never joined with the power they serve.

Lillendi social status depends on a simple system of initiations into mysteries and the ownership of certain totem masks. The mysteries are akin to secret societies, and each mystery is a specific kernel of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next. The more societies a lillend is a member of, the greater her status. Each society is devoted to particular musical forms, songs, instruments, and weapons, so a group of lillendi usually uses the same instruments, weaponry, and spells.

The masks are tangentially related to the societies, since each mask design belongs to a specific family, and long ago each family lived in a single lodge and wore a single type of mask. Things have gotten a little more complicated since then, but the masks still roughly indicate status and family affiliations.

Lillendi devour both material food and magic essences. They can sustain themselves on moonbeams and the elemental essence of the wilderness (mountain breezes, gentle rains, raging rivers, and forest fires), though they prefer more substantial fare. If they gorge themselves on meat, they often remain in a torpid digestive state for hours or even days. This torpor doubles their spellcasting times, halves their constriction damage, and causes a -2 penalty to initiative. The lillendi enjoy this sluggishness, though they are wise enough not to go into such torpor alone and unguarded.

Lillendi are known for broad tastes: They eat meat, vegetables, hay, grains, or spell components with equal abandon. Their digestion is complete and efficient; they excrete nothing though some say that the lillendi merely transmute matter into magical energy. Hunters and rangers have never found scat or markings in lillendi territory. It may be that anything indigestible is transformed into the fog that lillendi sometimes breathe out. Who knows?

Lillendi feud with the petitioners of Ysgard from time to time, but more often keep to themselves. They are rivals of tht asuras, devas, and valkyries. They usually avoid the clumsy fensir (ysgardian trolls) easily. They are deadly enemies of the baatezu and modrons.

In 3e[edit]

Like most "fey-themed" monsters in 3e's Monster Manual, the Lillend took a few whacks with the ugly stick.

Lillendi managed to make it into the Monster Manual 1 for both 3.0 and 3.5, as well as getting PC writeups in both 3e's Savage Species and 3.5's Planar Handbook.

This version of the lillend clearly uses its 2e lore as a base, but trimmed down and slightly shifted around. They are Ysgardian angels that love/are associated with art, especially muscial art; destroying art or mistreating artists enraged them, and they are infamous for their ability to hold grudges and their love of violent retribution. They are now purely Chaotic Good in nature, having the Chaotic and Good subtypes. Their vast array of spell-like abilities has dwindled even further (Darkness 3/day, hallucinatory terain 3/day, knock 3/day, light 3/day, charm person 1/day, speak with animals 1/day, speak with plants 1/day), although they can now freely train as bards, so it's not all bad.

They retain the lore that the majority of lillends resemble elven women, with a spattering of men, but no mention is made of their 2e parthenogenesis or transsexuality traits. Oh, they also gained the weird trait of having feathers at the tip of their tail in this edition, perhaps because "colorful feathery-winged snake-person" was a little too close to the couatl for WoTC to resist.

Lillend PCs[edit]

In the Planar Handbook, Lillendi are presented as having the following base stats:

+2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma
Outsider
Large
Base land speed 20 feet, fly 70 feet with Average maneuverability.
Darkvision 60 feet
+4 racial bonus on Survival checks.
Favored Class: Racial and Bard

The lillend racial class spans 13 levels and looks like this:

Hit Dice: 1d8, increase in value by +1d8 at ever level divisible by 2, maxing out at 7dh HD at level 12.
Class Skills: Appraise, Concentration, Diplomacy, Knowledge (Arcana), Listen, Perform, Sense Motive, Spellcraft, Spot and Survival.
Base Attack Bonus: +1, increases to +2 at level 2, +3 at level 4, +4 at level 6, +5 at level 8, +6/+1 at level 10, and +7/+2 at level 12.
Base Saving Throw Bonus: Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2. Increase all bonuses by +1 at levels 2, 6, and 10, maxing out at +5 to all saving throws at level 10.
Skill Points: (8 + Int modifier) X 4 at first level, then 8 + Int modifier at levels 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12.
Weapon Proficiency: Simple and Martial weapons.
Aligned Weaponry: A lillend's natural weapons and any weapons it wields count as Chaotic-aligned and Good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Level 1: +2 Int, +2 Cha, Light (Sp) 1/day, +5 rcial bonus on saves against Poison, Natural Armor +1, Feat
Level 2: +2 Int, +2 Wis, gain the Spellcasting & Bardic Music ability of a level 1 Bard, Speak With Animals (Sp) 1/day
Level 3: +2 Str, +2 Dex, Charm Person (Sp) 1/day, Darkness (Sp) 1/day, Knock (Sp) 1/day, Natural Attack: Tail Slap (1d6 damage)
Level 4: +2 Cha, Bardic Abilities increase to 2nd level, Darkness & Knock SLAs now 2/day, Feat
Level 5: +2 Str, +2 Wis, Darkness & Knock SLAs now 3/day, Speak With Plants (Sp) 1/day
Level 6: Bardic Abilities increase to 3rd level, +1o racial bonus on saves against poison, Fire Resistance 5
Level 7: +2 Str, +2 Wis, Tail Snatch (Improved Grab with Tail Slap), Constrict, Natural Armor +2
Level 8: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, Bardic Abilities increase to 4th level, Hallucinatory Terrain (Sp) 1/day
Level 9: +2 Str, immunity to poison, tail slap damage increases to 2d6, Natural Armor +3
Level 10: Bardic Abilities increase to 5th level, Fire Resistance 10, Feat
Level 11: +2 Str, +2 Con, Natural Armor +4
Level 12: +2 Dex, Bardic Abilities increase to 6th level
Level 13: +2 Cha, +2 Con, Natural Armor +5

In Pathfinder[edit]

Pathfinder won't change a winning formula if they can avoid it.

Amazing, lillendi have appeared in Pathfinder. Their lore is an even further boiled down rendition of their 3e lore, depicting them as Chaotic Good tale-tellers, chroniclers and guardians of art and the wilderness, and male lillendi are no longer mentioned. These lillendi have lost their "loner" status; they are now part of the Azatas, Pathfinders own knock-off version of the "fairy angels" concept seen in D&D's Eladrin.

They are sometimes associated with the goddess Shelyn.

The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape
Upper Planes: Aasimon - Angels - Animal Lords - Archons - Asuras - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend
Middle Planes: Formians - Githzerai - Inevitables - Marut - Modrons - Rilmani - Slaadi
Lower Planes: Alu-Fiends - Baatezu - Bladelings - Cambions - Demodands - Erinyes - Hags
Hordlings - Imps - Kytons - Marilith - Succubi - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
Transitive Planes: Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki
Inner Planes: Azers - Elementals - Genies - Grues - Mephit - Salamanders - Sylphs
Sigil: Dabus - Cranium Rats
High-ups: Archangels - Archdevils - Archfey - Archomentals - Demon Princes