Activity Cycle:Carnivore
Diet:Average (8-10)
Intelligence:B, individuals J,K,M
Treasure:Lawful evil
No. Appearing:3-24
Armor Class:3 (8)
Hit Dice:2+4
No. of Attacks:2
Damage/Attack:By weapon +2
Special Attacks:None
Special Defenses:Fading
Magic Resistance:None
Size:M (6-7’ tall]
Morale:Steady (11-12)
XP Value:175

The reaves are a race of violent marauders and plunderers who live for battle and pillage. They’ve been wandering the planes for centuries now, preying on the weak and defenseless wherever they find them. Bands of reaves like to hire on with any blood who has the jink for their services, as long as the job involves leg-breaking, arson, and general mayhem. When a reave can’t call himself a mercenary, he’ll “freelance” for a living until he finds “employment” again. Since there’s always a basher who needs some extra muscle, reaves’re fairly common anywhere there’s a need for enforcers or professional highwaymen and brigands.

Reaves’re true planewalkers, like fiends or devas. They can travel to the Astral by willing themselves there, and enter the top layer of any plane the Astral touches. This means that they’re capable of hit-and-run tactics that most of their enemies can’t respond to. Especially brazen reaves’ve even raided into Mount Celestia, Bytopia, and Arcadia, retreating to the Astral before the defenders of these planes muster their response. This natural ability makes reaves valuable to anyone who needs violence done in another plane.

The chant is the reaves’re natives of Acheron, but this isn’t strictly true. A thousand years ago or more, a great general brought 100.000 reave warriors to one of Acheron’s wars from some unknown prime-material world. The First-comers were largely exterminated in the genocidal war, but enough survived to prosper and continue their race. It didn’t take the reaves long to figure out that Acheron’s opportunities were limited, and bands of reaves’ve been setting out from there to find their fortune elsewhere ever since.

Reaves are large, powerful humanoids equal in size to a mighty human warrior. They’ve got four arms, hut the secondary arms are behind the primary ones, not below them like an insect’s extra limbs. Reaves aren’t covered in skin, hut instead have a leathery, pebbled hide that gives them a natural AC of 8. However, they favor suits of garishly-decorated plate mail with flaring shoulder-plates and long chain skirts.

Reaves normally conceal their features beneath their helms, but if they’re encountered without their armor they almost always wear great dark cloaks with heavy cowls over their faces. They have a powerful aversion to revealing their faces to any other creatures, including other reaves. Should a basher happen to see a reave’s face, the reave’ll make it a lifequest to find that basher and kill him. The reave’s face is generally humanoid in appearance, but with four eyes spaced evenly across the front of its head and a series of convoluted, bony ridges in place of hair.

Combat: Reaves can use all of their arms as well as a human’d use his or her primary arm. Typically, a reave wields two weapons. If the weapons require only one hand each to use, the reave carries a pair of shields in his off-hands, improving his Armor Class to 1. A reave’s arrangement of arms doesn’t accommodate archery, so most prefer melee weapons. A group of reaves is normally equipped as shown below:

l 30%: Two polearms|25%: Two broad swords and two shields|15%: Two two-handed swords|20%: Javelin, short sword, and two shields|10%: Two morning stars, flails, or maces and two shields

A reave’s powerfully muscled, and receives a +2 damage bonus to his attacks with band-held weapons. His odd symmetry permits a reave to attack foes on his flank as easily as a human’d attack someone in front of him, and turns any rear attacks into flank attacks. He receives a +1 bonus to surprise checks due to his increased range of vision.

Reaves’ve developed an unusual ability called fading, which they use to stack the odds in their favor during a fight. Basically, the reave becomes astral in order to surprise or escape his enemies. This ability works only when the reave can reach the Astral Plane — in other words, in the topmost layer of any of the Outer Planes, but not in the deeper layers. By fading, the reave can leave his current plane and return 1 to 6 rounds later to any chosen point within 100 yards of the place he left. The reave remains aware of what’s happening on the plane he’s fading away from, and doesn’t have to come hack if he doesn’t want to.

Fading takes two full rounds (besides the 1d6 rounds spent elsewhere): one to leave, and one to rematerialize. During this time, the reave can he damaged only by magic or enchanted weapons, since he’s partially astral.

Habitat/Society: A band of reaves is organized along semi-military lines, with a clear chain of command and iron discipline within their own ranks. The most powerful male is the band’s war-leader; he’s the cutter responsible for commanding the reaves in battle and maintaining discipline. The most powerful female is the band’s guide. She decides who they’ll serve and under what kind of cohtract, and if they’ve got no employer, she decides where they’ll raid next and when they’ll move on.

Reaves can be extraordinarily violent bashers, but their violence is controlled by a strong commitment to their war-band and a sacred respect for their word. Once a reave’s sworn to something, he’ll never break his oath, no matter what the cost may be. ’Course, he’ll seek any loophole possible and turn stag given half a chance, but as long as his word’s bound him, he’ll stick to it.

Between their sense of duty and love of battle, the reaves’ve evolved a complicated system of ritual challenge and honor. They’re always on the lookout for possible insults, slights, or missteps on the part of any bashers around them, and they’re quick to answer any slight, real or imagined. This also means that a cutter who knows the dark of the reaves’ code can deal with an entire band of the creatures at once by challenging the band’s champion or war leader and fighting one battle instead of dozens. He’ll want to be real peery of how he words the challenge, though — wouldn’t want to invite more trouble than he’s already in for by giving them more fuel for their fire, imaginary or otherwise.

When a reave’s free-lancing or between jobs, he’s most dangerous, since he’ll start a war if he can’t find one that’s already going. When they’ve got an assignment, reaves can be touchy, but they keep a tighter handle on their natural bloodthirst. It’s not uncommon to find a handful of reave bodyguards having a drink in some Lower Ward alehouse, minding their own business and not trying to kill anyone. A cutter’d better be on his guard around those same reaves when he meets ’em in a lonely place on the Outlands, however.

Ecology: Reaves like red meat and lots of it. They’re carnivores through and through, and sneer at anything that doesn’t care for a bloody hunk of fresh meat. Like some other predators, reaves follow a cycle of gorging themselves and then fasting for days or weeks. This makes it possible for a band of reaves to move quickly, carrying few supplies.

On Acheron, their “native” plane, reaves can be found serving in the warring armies as mercenary contingents. Life’sexciting bur short there, so more and more reaves’re leaving to try their luck elsewhere on the Great Wheel.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition

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