Etherbanes are not a true race to themselves. Rather, these creatures are born as normal children and can be born to any race. However, because of their mutation, they will begin to mutate as their reach puberty. Physical mutations will be subtle at first, but will grow more severe with each passing month. In addition, because of their unique feeding method, small animals and plants around them will often die. A young person with this affliction will lose their appetitie and refuse food. They will also begin to exhibit aggressive, almost animalistic, behavior. The mutations, odd behavior and incidents of death around them will often lead to accusations of witchcraft and such. These unfortunate young men and women are often killed or driven from their villages by superstitious and fearful peasants. Those driven from civilization will wander alone in the wilderness as their mutations get more severe and their strength grows.
Fully grown etherbanes are ugly humanoid creatures with bloated pale flesh and large, pupilless white eyes. They exhibit a variety of mutations and deformities. Limbs will be disproportionate and often will not match. For instance, an ether bane may have one humanoid foot and one hoof. One arm may be longer than the other and a third eye may be present. In addition, tusks, horns, fins, fur, tails and wings are possible mutations. Every etherbane is unique.
Etherbanes feed on essence in all of its forms - life energy, spells and even the sunlight from Drellis. Plants near an etherbane will gradually wilt and die as they are drained of all life. The same is true for animals. Any creature near an etherbane will slowly grow weak and eventually die. Many scholars believe that this method of feeding is what causes ether banes to become so deformed. Fully grown etherbanes do not consume plant or animal flesh. They feed exclusively on magic and life energy.
In combat, etherbanes bludgeon with their immense fists. They may also use horns, tusks or any other bodily weapons that their mutations have given them. The etherbane is remarkably strong with a very tough hide that is difficult to cut. It's unusual eyes allow it to see the life essence of opponents. It's ability to see an enemy is not hampered by invisibility or absolute darkness or thick fog. Etherbanes can also see undead and artificial automatons (such as golems) in the same way because it can see the magical energy that gives them artificial life.
The primary ability of the etherbane is its ability to feed on both life and magic. Magic spells are almost worthless against them. Most spells will fizzle as their energy is absorbed into the body of the etherbane. This depends a great deal on the nature of the spell and the proximity to the creature (DM's discretion). Creatures who approach an etherbane will feel their strength drain away. Wizards will suffer head aches and feel their spells drained away. Even fighters will feel themselves getting fatigued in the presence of these creatures. The effect is slow, but continuous.
Magic items will cease to function near an etherbane. The effect varies with distance and the strength of the item. The effect is temporary for most items. A magic sword, for instance, will become a normal sword when used against an etherbane as its magic is fed on. However, if the etherbane is slain quickly enough, the magic sword will return to normal. Any magic item that spends too long in the presence of an etherbane will be drained of all magic and become inert. Even if the etherbane is killed, a fight that takes too long may result in some magic items being permanently weakened. This magical draining ability makes the etherbane a fearsome adversary and etherbanes are often avoided when possible. Fortunately, these beasts are rare.
Ether banes are solitary creatures and usually found alone. Very little is known about the mind of the etherbane. They seem to be angry and miserable creatures haunted by dim memories of a happier time earlier in life. They do not communicate verbally and seem to have forgotten language. At least, all attempts to communicate with them have failed. Some reports indicate that an etherbane may have some dim recollection of people it once knew long ago and may recognize them, but this is unproven. An ether bane will typically dwell in a cave or the hollow of an immense dead tree deep in the forest. Though they are most often found in forests and swamps (surrounded by living creatures for them to feed on), it is possible to encounter one in the mountains or the seacoast or almost anywhere. They tend to avoid lifeless rocky regions where there is nothing to feed on. Etherbanes have been known to attack lone travelers or small groups in the wilds, especially if the individual or group has magic items or spells to feed on.
Etherbanes avoid civilization. They will never voluntarily venture into a city, town or village. They even avoid farms. It seems they have a dislike of being around people, perhaps because of the memories of being driven out of civilization.
Etherbanes love essence storms and always seem to know where and when one is going to occur. It is not uncommon to several etherbanes out during an essence storm.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.