Okay so, technically I rolled for a “reduced-threat” version of this creature but, to be quite frank I’ve never been a fan of those variants and, considering that the only difference is a couple of numbers, we might as well do the full thing. Also, this pirate is currently high as a kite on cold meds, pardon the amount of frogs. With those disclaimers out of the way, let’s take a look at today’s Daily Monster…
Already right off the bat, these creatures have really solid looking stats, but we’ll see how well that holds by then end of this article. For now, if you end up in combat with one of these, your best bet is going to be to rely on their extremely low INT (-3). Their WIS and CHA is only slightly better with a +1 modifier to both. With a DEX of +3 and STR of +4 you would think that those are the stats that you have to worry about but on top of that these creatures have a CON of +5.
These large chaotic evil demons have proficiency in STR, CON, and WIS saving throws as well as a pretty extensive array of resistances. They have a single immunity to poison and a Darkvision of 120ft. They can communicate in Abyssal via their Telepathy.
As expected from a 20 in constitution, Hezrous are very meaty with an AC of 16 and a substantial pool of 13d10+65.
Not only are these creatures resistant to weapon damage dealt from non-magical attacks but, they also have access to a Magic Resistance that gives them the upper hand against spell saves and effects.
Other than their incredible resilience, however, Hezrou fall a little flat in terms of other features. They get a single ability called Stench that can poison nearby enemies on a very low DC save. For a CR 8 creature, Multiattack is just sort of expected at this point, so I’m not even sure it counts to redeem the Hezrou statblock.
Looking back at older editions we learn that Hezrous were in fact one of the very first demons created for Dungeons and Dragons. Unlike many other creatures who have undergone multiple changes throughout the various editions, however, Hezrous have remained mostly the same.
Also known as Croaking Demons, Hezrous are described as massive toad like creatures that secrete a foul smell so potent that it can be poisonous to anyone who approaches them.
As expected of demons, these creatures are native to the Abyss. Generally speaking they tend to be extremely simple in their nature, often content to just server higher demons such as the Demogorgon or Jubiblex as long as they get to partake in the carnage and torture. They are brutes and thugs that serve in the front lines and a very likely encounter for your party to come across when visiting this plane.
Although their origins are still uncertain, it is said that, like many other demons, Hezrou are created from the souls of evil mortals that have been sent to the Abyss by the Gods.
Even though Hezrous are definitely not the sharpest tools in the shed, these demons will still make pacts with living souls. They seek desperate individuals willing to sacrifice their souls in exchange for what are often destructive tasks. Whenever a Hezrou enters the Material Plane seeking to make a deal it is called a Dark Walk as that is usually what follows after.
While on these walkabouts it’s not uncommon for Hezrous to be venerated or even worshiped by Bullywugs or other similar creatures. Likewise, Hezrous that remain within the Abyss can also end up with a small group of minor demons who follow them around picking at their scraps.
The very first thing I would definitely consider when running this monster is to just, straight up just run the Summoner variant because I find them to be so underwhelming on their own. Since we haven’t covered what that is quite yet, it basically gives our creature a 30% chance of summoning some other demons (in the Hezrou’s case that would either be another Hezrou or 2d6 Dretches).
With that out of the way, let’s see how exactly we can have our players bump into this demon.
As mentioned before it is very likely that a party that adventures into the Abyss will come across a few of these. If that’s not the case, however, we can still make use of the Hezrou’s Dark Walks into the Material Plane.
It could be that your group of adventurers get in a little bit of a stinky situation by getting caught by a tribe of Corrupted Bullywugs that have taken to worship this demonic entity. The cool thing about this is that, if this is the case, you can also use the Bullywugs for a bit of combat variety. Heck, you might not even need to use the Summoner variant if that’s the case. The process of escaping the Bullywug alone is already interesting as it is, but imagine your players faces when they find out they’re about to be sacrifices to this:
Another interesting approach to take with the whole Dark Walk shtick could be to have the players interrupt a deal. Perhaps a well-loved (and slightly misguided) NPC is about to make a big mistake out of desperation and it’s your player’s job to stop it before it escalates any further.
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