Stephen Rowe

Monster of the Month #3: Varpulis

PDF, Fantasy Grounds

(1 customer review)


Monster of the Month

To give our subscribers their monthly monster treatment we serve up the highly sought after Monster of the Month. This month I feel like including a small appetizer alongside the main course granting some insight into how we get start crafting our new monsters. Below is the outline and notes gathered by Justin Andrew Mason which were then passed onto Stephen Rowe (Pathfinder) and Chris Harris (5th Edition) for development, Mates Laurentiu handles the artwork also based on notes from Justin, finally Alex Tallon handles our layout and Leonid builds the Fantasy Grounds files. Read on and enjoy the information as well as the downloads for 5E or PF in PDF, Print, Fantasy Grounds, and image files below.

Mythological Monster of the Month #3: Varpulis – Notes & 
Name: Varpulis
Size: Large Humanoid (outsider)
Source: Czech Mythology
Alternate Names: None. Varpulis is a lesser known minor spirit from bohemian mythology.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (or Evil, can’t decide) (nature of the storm)
Ecology: Any Outdoors (especially stormy weather)
Communication: Languages (common, auran) – thunderous, booming voice
Ability/Skill Focus: Supernatural abilities – chain lightning x/day, lightning bolt as a standard action, control weather (constant 2 mile radius), can summon 2-3 medium air elemental minions once per day
Combat: no weapons, natural attack (pummel) or grapple with additional electricity damage
Special: ability to automatically teleport to the exact location any of its lightning bolts strike as long as that space is not currently occupied.
Note: Is constantly surrounded by strong, whipping winds and the droning and growling sounds of storm.
Description – From behind the obscuring veil of sheets of rain, a towering obese humanoid figure lumbers forward with its arms wreathed in arcing electricity. Its heavy pants mimic the howls of the raging storm surrounding it as its eyes flash erratically like lightning. With an angry glare, it reaches out and points in your direction, a fury of sparks cascading down from its fingertip.
Information – There is actually very little information about Varpulis available. He was a minor deity from what is now the Czech Republic, Solvakia, Lithuania and Croatia. In mythology he is an attending spirit to (and champion of) Perun, the god of thunder. He ran alongside Perun’s chariot, and it is said his breathing was the sound of the wind heard during storms. There’s not really any representation of how the spirit is supposed to look, so I thought of the “sounds of the wind” coming from someone who is always out of breath. I immediately imagined this extremely overweight guy running a lot side his master’s chariot angry and gasping for breath. I then wondered how he could possibly keep up with a speeding chariot, and thought adding the “lightning teleport” special ability was fitting. Even though Varpulis has origins as a now obscure demigod/lesser spirt, I really think pluralizing the idea and making him a monster is fun. I also thought since almost all “tough guy” monsters get the “I’m ripped and spend my days lifting weights at the gym” treatment, it would be an interesting twist to have a completely out-of-shape big baddy.


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