Kara-Tur (Forgotten Realms)



Climate/Terrain:Temperate mountains and forests
Frequency:Very rare
Organization:Solitary or tribe
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Exceptional to genius (15-18)
Alignment:Lawful evil
No. Appearing:1-100
Armor Class:4 or 3
Hit Dice:6+3 to 8+3
THAC0:6+3 HD: 15
7+3 HD: 13
8+3 HD: 13
No. of Attacks:2 or 1
Damage/Attack:1-10/1-10, or by weapon +6
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L (10’ tall)
Morale:Elite (13)
XP Value:6+3 HD: 1,400
7+3 HD: 2,000
8+3 HD: 3,000

Cousins of the common oni and the ogre magi, the wang-liang are a race of exceptionally intelligent and long-lived humanoids who are implacably hostile to humans.

Soft pelts of lustrous dark brown or black hair cover their thick bodies. Their feet end in two broad toes with hooked black toenails. They have retractable claws in their fingers and the sharp, pointed teeth of a carnivore. Their eyes are wide and large, almost feline, with black irises rimmed in luminous, fiery red. Both males and females have long unruly hair, usually black or brown, which grows in seemingly random directions from their scalps. Long dark beards grow beneath the chins of adult males.

Wang-liang wear a variety of light clothing. Males prefer loin-cloths and capes, while females wear knee-length smocks with scarves around their necks. Their clothing is made of cotton or silk, often dyed red or green. If they are anticipating battle, wang-liang wear a special splint armor. (See below.)

Wang-liang speak their own language, as well as the languages of oni and humans living in the area. The wang-liang also have a limited telepathic ability which functions only between members of their race. Their telepathic power has a range of about 40 miles, but it is blocked by stone walls and similar obstructions. A wang-liang requires one full round to establish telepathic communication with another of its kind; he can take no other actions during that round. Provided they maintain concentration, two wang-liang who are communicating telepathically can do so indefinitely. As soon as an attack or similar disturbance interrupts their concentration, the telepathic link is broken.

Combat: Wang-liang despise humans, and rarely pass up a chance to kill, injure, humiliate, or harass them. If other races are in the company of humans, the nonhumans receive similarly hostile treatment. Otherwise, wang-liang are indifferent to nonhumans.

Wang-liang are very strong and agile. Their tough, leathery skin gives them a natural Armor Class of 4. If they are anticipating battle, wang-liang wear a special splint armor that improves their Armor Class to 3. This armor is custom-fitted to the wang-liang’s bulky body, and other races cannot wear it.

Though wang-liang can inflict 1-4 points of damage with their teeth, biting is distasteful and unnatural to them. They prefer to use their retractable claws, which inflict 1-10 hit points of damage each. Instead of using their claws to slash and cut like swords, wang-liang employ a scooping action, which enables them to tear off chunks of their victims’ flesh.

Wang-liang also use a variety of weapons, which are specially manufactured to fit their large frames. Wang-liang do not use iron or steel weapons. The creatures have a special method of hardening bronze, which makes it nearly as hard as low-grade iron. An average force of wang-liang will be armed as follows: two-handed sword (20%), katana (20%), long sword (15%), wakizashi (15%), naginata (10%), bo stick )10%), bow with armor piercer arrows (5%), and bow with frog crotch arrows (5%).

An average force is half male, half female. Males and females have equivalent fighting abilities and strength. Hit Dice vary among members of the group, however, with each force divided as follows: 6+3HD (60%), 7+3HD (30%), and 8+3HD (10%).

Wang-liang can regenerate 1 hit point per round. They can polymorph self at will into any human or humanoid form from 4’-12’ tall, and can detect invisibility at will. A 6+3 HD wang-liang can become invisible three times per day, as per the spell. A 7+3 HD wang-liang can become invisible at will. An 8+3 HD wang-liang can use improved invisibilty at will, as per the spell.

Wang-liang also use a variety of magical devices in combat. Any encountered wang-liang has a 15% chance of possessing a magical item. Weapons resembling the biwa of calm, the diamond mace, and other magical items common to Kara-Tur may be used. In ordinary circumstances, however, a wang-liang will not use a magical item that has not been specially prepared by the Elder Circle.

Only wang-liang can use these specially prepared magical items. Nonetheless, such items occasionally are stolen or otherwise acquired by members of other races. If this occurs, the wang-liang will always try to recover the missing items, persevering until successful.

Habitat/Society: The wang-liang’s birth rate, combined with the ecological pressures of expanding human populations, has resulted in the creatures’ intense hatred for the human race. Wang-liang have life spans approaching 2,000 years, but the female wang-liang can give birth no more than once in her lifetime. Normally, she bears two infants at this time, one male and one female; in rare instances she bears identical twins of each gender, resulting in four baby wang-liang. Though a wang-liang matures in about 40 years, a female may not be ready to give birth until hundreds of years later.

In contrast, humans multiply at an extremely prolific rate, requiring ever-increasing amounts of land and other resources. In the eyes of wang-liang, humans gobble up these resources with utter disregard for the well-being of other creatures. The wang-liang see their extinction as inevitable, and hold the human race responsible.

For these reasons, the wang-liang shun contact with humans. Human and humanoid travelers may encounter a solitary wang-liang explorer or hunter on a lonely country road, or in an isolated outpost, but such occasions are rare.

The wang-liang culture is steeped in tradition and has remained unchanged for eons, particularly regarding the raising of infants. Shortly after a female gives birth, the mated pair and their offspring are required to live in seclusion in the wild for a period of ten years, using only their wits and natural abilities to survive. This family group is the foundation of wang-liang society. The wilderness experience helps ensure that every wang-liang has the ability to survive under the most extreme conditions; it also reinforces familial bonds. The experience is the most important part of a maturing wang-liang’s development. It is also the happiest time of his or her life – a short, idyllic interlude of perfect intimacy.

The wang-liang family remains invisible during most of their wilderness experience. An adventuring party has little or no chance of locating them; even if the adventurers suspect a family occupies a given area, their chance of discovering it will never exceed 5% per day of searching. If a family is discovered, the wang-liang flee as quickly as possible; otherwise, the parents will sacrifice their lives to protect their children. Should any family members be harmed by a human during this most crucial phase, they will be avenged in a ratio of 100 human deaths for each wang-liang killed.

Once the wilderness phase has ended, the family rejoins the wang-liang community as full members. A wang-liang community comprises up to 100 adults, who are devoted to mutual protection and enrichment. A wang-liang settlement consists of modest huts made of wood and stone. Secure in their settlements, far from the turmoil of the rest of the world, the wang-liang engage in handicrafts, make weapons and tools, and raise domesticated deer for food.

The time a mature female spends in her native village varies from 20 to 1,300 years, averaging about 400. A female instinctively knows when she is ready to choose a mate. At that time, she chooses a suitable mate from a different village; if none is available, she chooses one from her own village. A female has a period of approximately one year to choose a mate. If a mate has not been chosen within this time, she rapidly loses her vitality, usually dying within a few weeks. The wang-liang male suffers a comparable fate; if he has not acquired a mate within ten years after reaching maturity (usually at age 300), he will also wither and die. Because there are an equal number of males and females, instances of unmated Wang-liang are rare.

When both of their offspring have found mates, the parents are free to engage in any pursuits they wish. A few females with the talent to learn magic may retire to an Elder Circle (see below). Others may pursue their interests in history, literature, weaponry, hunting, farming, or music. A wang-liang seeking personal vengeance – for instance, if one of his children was killed during the wilderness period – becomes a wanderer, venturing into the world of humans. Most encounters with wang-liang are likely to be with one of these wanderers.

Wang-liang wanderers usually carry one or more special magical items designed by the Elder Circle. These items are to be traded or otherwise made available to unsuspecting humans. The items are cleverly constructed, highly imaginative, and extremely dangerous. No two of them quite alike. For example, a wandering wang-liang, polymorphed into the form of an old man, might encounter a human traveler and offer to trade him a pair of magical boots in exchange for a meal. The traveler is told that the boots will make him feel as refreshed as if he had just enjoyed a full night’s sleep. However, when the traveler puts them on, the boots suddenly transform into a coffin, sealing him inside, the result of the item’s curse. The coffin begins to sink into the ground at the rate of 6 feet per round. Friends who rescue the victim from the coffin will discover that he lies under the effects of temporal stasis, which can only be ended if the coffin is destroyed.

In spite of their hatred for humans, wang-liang are not without honor. If a wang-liang finds himself obligated to a human – for instance, if a human has saved his life – the wang-liang will always repay this debt, usually by supplying the human with information about other wang-liang in the area or other dangers. If a wang-liang voluntarily makes a promise to a human, he will honor that promise even if it means betraying his own people. The word of a wang-liang means more than his own life.

Ecology: Wang-liang are primarily carnivores, enjoying deer, fish, and other wild game which they eat raw or cook in fire pits.

Elder Circle

Only a few females (1%) have the talent to learn magic. When their children have found mates, these females retire to special communities of their own, called Elder Circles. An Elder Circle consists of 4-20 (5d4) females; no more than 1-4 come from the same village. Wang-liang magic-users are of levels from 1-20. However, the level of any mage cannot exceed the total number of females in her Elder Circle. (For instance, if a particular Elder Circle has 10 members, no mage can be higher than 10th level.) The magic-user can be either a wu jen (50% chance) or a shukenja (50%).

The Elder Circle is the source of all magical items used by the wang-liang villages from which the magic-users originated. If a representative from a wang-liang village approaches the Elder Circle with a request for a magical item, the women join hands and begin to chant. The chanting places the women in a trance that lasts for nine days. When nine days have passed, the women revive from their trance – usually with full knowledge of how to create the requested item. (The women have a 30% chance of failing to receive this information. A DM may vary this chance as he or she sees fit.) Once the Elder Circle knows how to create an item, they require 1-6 months to do it, although simpler items may take considerably less time.

The DM is encouraged to be creative when designing magical items for wang-liang. If the item is a booby-trapped device to be made available to unsuspecting humans, the wang-liang should be able to carry it easily without danger or inconvenience to himself. There should be a way for the victim to activate it, preferably inadvertently. Near-lethal effects are preferable to lethal ones. The device should not be reusable.

If a wang-liang village is seriously threatened, the village can call upon the Elder Circle for help. The Elder Circle will then send one or more magic-users to deal with the threat.

Last Modified: June 10, 2010, 12:06:38 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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