Creature Type: Outsider (Evil)
Attack: Claw, fire damage, spells, poison
Special Qualities: Damage reduction, spell resistance, fire and poison immunity, cold vulnerability
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-5)
Final letter to Mikayl “the Pious” from his late father
Before I pass from this life I have a confession to pen. I’ve lived a long and healthy life, but I will have no peace if I do not admit how that came to be. It’s strange, in all the mercenary jobs during my lifetime; there are some instants that are so impactful. I see only one image when I close my eyes-- that terrible moment forever burned into my memory. The guilt over it consumes my thoughts, like a branding iron pressing always against my gut, held there by my conscious. You remember when I told you of my journey to the deeper jungles as a young fist for hire? And of our chance encounter with a fire reaver? It is that expedition that troubles my weary soul, for I have always neglected to tell the truth of it to any – even to you, until now.
When the creature appeared before our company, panic spread so fast it was like a madness touching every mind at once. I turned -- just in time -- to see the man who had paid for our services on the expedition draw a weapon. Across the way, the beast tucked-in its arms, curling inwards slightly. Our employer began to shout something.
"By the Sovereign Host! There’s a…"
At the time, I knew not what he was going to say, and I never would. That final, shrill, cry of caution, trying to inspire us to stand our ground and attack the danger, it is something I have been unable to push from my mind for years. It happened in only a moment -- not even long enough for him to complete his full rally cry really – and yet, I can’t put it from my thoughts. The beast's chest puffed out, its arms flung back, and a burning apparition emanated from it, racing in our direction. It was like an echo of the monster, moving so fast I couldn’t make sense of it. My employer was caught in its wake, his words transforming into a harrowing shriek. I felt the heat of the attack as it overcame him and rushed past me; I later discovered the blast was so close that my eyebrows and eyelashes had been singed off. Had I been but one step closer, I would have shared my employer's terrible fate.
I had my weapon in hand, and yet, I couldn’t keep my legs from carrying me in the opposite direction of the fray. You may take me for a coward, and I admit as much, but don’t pretend you could have stayed to fight after seeing what I had seen. What I can’t stop seeing to the end of my days. Never was there such a misery as the painful demise that flames can bring. To be torn to shreds by vicious claws – only that would be a more painful way to meet your end. I can only imagine what it would be like, for when my late employer met with that fire reaver he had the displeasure of experiencing both, while I had the chance to run.
Of the twisted demons born of Xoriat's folly, there are none as masterful with the power of incineration as the fire reaver. A being of flame incarnate with a temperament to match, the creature is devoid of mercy, absent of pity, and filled only with a passion for reducing prey to ash. A crown of fiery protrusions jutt from its skull-like head, its clawed appendages are tipped with fiery embers, and its bowels burn from within like a maleficent bonfire, distinguishing the fire reaver from its demonic kin. It possesses the height, strength, and weight to cast down any opponents who dare stand in its presence.
Being in a fire reaver’s path is the first mistake of the inexperienced adventurer. Stand still too long and you’ll be set ablaze. A reaver has no need to be within arm’s length to dispatch you (other than delighting in dispersing your ashes with a frenzied rake). Fire reavers can release a flaming projection of its essence to wash over any foe directly in front of it, and those beyond such an attack are struck down with fire it calls from the sky. Protect your life with wards and magic protecting against fire, but don't call on flame to dispatch the demon – it IS fire! Instead, trust to cold damage if you have it available. Beware of the creature’s scorched hide, which helps to protect it from physical attacks. A blessed weapon forged out of cold iron is your best chance at cutting deeply enough to slay this beast.
Always be wary… both of the poisonous flaming claws and lashing tail, but also for the possibility that a fire reaver you face is not alone. Where there is one fire reaver, there are sure to be other demons or extra-planar creatures close at hand. Having a companion extremely skilled in the arts of banishment or dismissal could make the difference between life and death. However, don’t waste precious resources on such attempts unless the caster is powerful, for fire reavers are so resistant to spells they could possibly shrug off the attempt of a lesser caster. Expending magic needed for defense leaves you – and any of your allies -- at the mercy of a walking inferno.