Early 3.0 Version of Janisar

Janisar "von Terg" - Darklord of Rookhausen
Male human ancient vampire Barbarian 15
CR 18
SZ M Undead (6 ft. 5 in. tall)
HD 15d12 (103 hp)
Init +9 (Improved Initiative +4, Dex +5)
Spd 60
AC 22 (+7 natural, +5 Dex, remember to penalize -2 if he is raged)
Atk: +23/+18/+13 melee (1d6+8 and energy drain, slam) or +24/+19/+14 melee (1d12+13, Life-Drinker greataxe) or +20/+15/+10 ranged (1d8, longbow)
SA Blood drain, children of the night, command undead (SU, as 12th level cleric), create spawn, domination, energy drain, frightful presence (SU), rage, uncanny dodge
SQ Alternate form, cold and electricity resistance 20, damage reduction 25/+2 plus 2/-, darkvision 60 ft., fast healing 6, gaseous form, light sleep, scent (per Monster Manual), spider climb, turn resistance +10, undead, vampire weaknesses, bloodlust
SR 15
SV Fort +9, Ref +12, Will +9
Str 26 (+8), Dex 21(+5), Con -, Int 17(+3), Wis 18(+4), Cha 18(+4)

Rage: When Janisar is using Rage, his Strength rises by +6 (to 32), giving him an additional +3 to hit and damage normally, and +3 to Strength based skill checks. He also adds +3 morale bonus to Will saves and suffers a -2 to AC. He can Rage up to 4 times per day. Janisar's rage only lasts 3 rounds, but as an undead it does not exhaust him.

Bloodlust: The sight or smell of blood drives Janisar into a frenzy. If possible he immediately uses one of his Rages.

Skills: Appraise +3, Balance +5, Bluff* +12, Climb+15/+18, Craft(weaponsmith) +4, Craft(armorsmith) +4, Craft(bowmaking) +4, Diplomacy +9, Disguise +4, Escape Artist +5, Forgery +3, Gather Information +4, Handle Animal +11, Heal +4, Hide* +14, Intimidate +19, Intuit Direction +11, Jump +15/+18, Knowledge(arcana) +4, Knowledge(history) +5, Knowledge(local) +6, Knowledge(Ravenloft) +7, Knowledge(religion) +4, Knowledge(undead lore) +12, Listen** +23, Move Silently* +15, Perform +4, Ride +14, Scry +3, Search* +11, Sense Motive* +12, Spellcraft +4, Spot** +19, Swim +9/+12, Use Rope +5, Wilderness Lore +11
* - Skills marked with an asterisk include a +8 racial bonus for being a vampire.
** - Skills marked with a double asterisk include a +8 racial bonus and the Alertness feat bonus.
+X/+Y - For skills with a split value, the higher value applies only when he is using Rage.

Feats: Alertness*, Cleave, Combat Reflexes*, Dodge*, Expertise, Ghost Sight, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative*, Leadership, Lightning Reflexes*, Power Attack, Sunder.
* - Feats marked with the asterisk are gained by virtue of vampire template.

Languages: Terg*, Balok, Sylvan and Luktar.

Possessions: Life-Drinker greataxe +1, Scarab of Protection (shaped like a snarling wolf head) with only one charge remaining

Background: See the Rookhausen history I already wrote. Plus the following - Janisar was a young boy when Strahd's soldiers destroyed the last Terg strongholds in Barovia and drove them into the freezing mountain passes fleeing for their lives. He grew up with a hatred for the devil Strahd that exceeded even that of his elders and playmates. As he grew older, the young barbarian began to gather those around him who desired to gain revenge upon the Barovian people and Strahd in particular. In particular, priests of his tribe favored Janisar and lent him protection against the fell axe he inherited from his father. Armed with holy might and inspired by a seemingly bottomless reservoir of hatred, Janisar forged together the tribes and marched upon Barovia. The rest is history.

Idea for the axe. I thought perhaps the axe might be what resulted in Janisar's father's death, and that perhaps it was cursed by Strahd. Mayhap the weapon once simply drained life energy from its victims, but Strahd cursed it, "May half the life you cut down with your axe be your own," or some such.

Note that Janisar remains illiterate because part of his curse remains feeling trapped in a culture different from his. His ghost sight feat lets him see the dead souls of those who remain from the slaughter of the sacking of Rookhausen a few hundred years ago. Due to his capturing of a Kargat vampire, he learned the secrets of creating thralls (see Ravenloft Gazetteer II).

Janisar hates Strahd with a passion, but cannot reach him directly. Currently he sponsors the mysterious blood cult which has arisen in the Low City. Made up primarily of Gundarakites who fled their land when it became part of Barovia and settled here, the blood cult is basically a recruiting ground for guerrilla fighters who return to Barovia, armed and trained, in effort to free Gundar from Barovia and Invidia again. Of course Janisar just wants them to help him destroy Strahd, but that's not what he tells them.

Notes on figuring Janisar's abilities: Janisar possessed 13 Intelligence until he became a vampire, and he would have been a 12th level Barbarian mortal, having gained 1 level each time he gained a vampire age category. Thus he had 24 skill points at 1st level, gained 6 per level for levels 2-12 as 4 +1 for human +1 for Intelligence (for 66 more) and gained 8 per level for levels 13-15 as 4 + 1 human + 3 Intelligence (for 24). That is a total of 114 skill points. I also figured him as maximum hit points at first level, but average (real average, not DMG table average) thereafter, thus giving him 103 hp. A good chunk of his skills listed actually have 0 ranks spent on them but have high bonuses due to his vampirically improved stats.

More notes: Note that the axe itself is rather useless against Janisar nowadays, and as an undead he no longer suffers its negative effects. Ultimately it's real purpose is to keep him from creating vampires left and right and to ensure his fate even more reflected his past actions. I also see that there would be ancient elves in the city who were alive when he sacked it. Having learned Sylvan from the Wolf god's priests, he speaks that tongue on occasion to a decrepit elven elder or two, forcing them to recount to him the glorious tales of the sack of the city.

Click here for the 3.5 version of Janisar.

Janisar is written and copyright Conrad Hubbard. Ravenloft is copyright Sword & Sorcery under license from Wizards of the Coast. Nothing on this page is meant to contest that copyright.

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