The Stygian Sea

A rules supplement for a flooded infernal realm. Includes rules for creating infernal ships, with some examples of some of the vehicles and creatures a party might encounter on the Stygian Sea, and some aquatic charms a fiend can offer in this modified setting.




Writing and Gameplay

Mario Panighetti


Fawn, Haru, Jon, LemonySnide, Pola

Special Thanks

  • TigerLilyNoh and Jamie (for their valuable insights on representation in fiction)
  • The Probably Bad Podcast Discord community (for delightfully ridiculous courtier suggestions)


Made with The Homebrewery.


This content was written to be compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. This document uses “lineage” in place of “race” where used in the Systems Reference Document.


The Stygian Sea © 2023 Mario Panighetti. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Certain materials are included under fair use exemption of the U.S. Copyright Law and are restricted from further use. These references, including game mechanics, are not approved or endorsed by Wizards of the Coast and do not constitute any license or agreement with Wizards of the Coast.

Third-Party Content

Systems Reference Document 5.1 (“SRD 5.1”) © 2016 Wizards of the Coast LLC. Licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Version History

0.1.2a (1/27/2023)

  • Added CC BY 4.0 license for SRD 5.1.

0.1.1a (1/14/2023)

  • Added CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

0.1a (5/20/2020)

  • Created initial draft document.




This supplement describes how to create your own infernal ships, includes examples of some of the vehicles and creatures a party might encounter on the Stygian Sea, and adds some gifts a fiend can offer in this modified setting.


As war was waged between devils and demons upon the battle-scorched plains of the infernal realm, a group of enterprising fiends sought to access the Material Plane to wreak havoc upon its denizens. With a great sacrifice of souls and mortal blood, they were able to perform an arcane ritual which opened a great portal, large enough for their legions of troops to march upon the lands of the living.

Unfortunately, they did not anticipate the need for specificity in their incantations. A miscalculation in the spell caused the portal to open at the bottom of the world’s oceans, resulting in a massive torrent of seawater wiping out the entirety of the invading force. The ensuing chaos interrupted the demonic casters, which prevented them from being able to close the portal before they were washed away.

The hellish landscape changed overnight. The River Styx flooded, causing temporary bouts of memory loss to nearby residents before it became diluted and lost much of its potency. Gorges and canyons disappeared in the waves. Once-mighty mountains became tiny islands. The water continued to rise in the following weeks, and soon the landscape was a massive unnatural ocean. The entire ecosystem was thrown into sharp disarray, grinding the war effort to a stop.

But devils and demons are nothing if not enterprising and adaptive. Over the coming months, orders began to pour into the forges for vehicles better-suited to travel and combat on water. Soon the hellish seas were teeming with naval fleets, and the war carried on, still fueled by souls but now being waged on the decks of infernal ships.

Infernal Ships

Creating an Infernal Ship

The easiest approach when designing your own infernal ship is to start with a vehicle with features you like (either a ship or a land-based vehicle), then pull in features from the opposite vehicle type onto your template. You might find they go together like chocolate and peanut butter (which sadly is revolting in the infernal realm like all other food, but maybe you’ll have better luck).

At minimum, the following modifications are required for turning a ship or land vehicle into an infernal ship:

Converting a Ship

Giving a ship the attributes of an infernal ship requires at least the following changes:

  • Add an immunity to fire damage and remove immunity to exhaustion. Infernal ships are typically made of fireproof metals (if your ship is still made of wood, omit this change). However, their dependency on souls for power may make them vulnerable to exhaustion under certain conditions.

  • Add a soul fuel propulsion method. The Stygian Sea, being a new body of water, has unpredicatable air currents, to the point where finding a favorable wind is often impossible. To work around this, an infernal ship typically contains a method of propulsion fueled by souls to allow for magical movement across the sea. See Stygian Water Propulsion for guidance.

  • Add the Magic Weapons trait. All infernal war machines use magical weapons to counter the increased strength and resilience of demons and devils, and infernal ships are no exception.

Converting a Land Vehicle

Giving a land vehicle the attributes of a ship is a little more involved for obvious reasons. The following changes are recommended at minimum:

  • Add Ship Actions. Determine how many actions your infernal ship can take on its turn, and pick crew member count thresholds under which the action count would be reduced. Also, some larger ships might not provide cover for a ship action if a helm or weapon is on its exposed deck.

  • Add one or more ranged weapons. Combat on the water typically requires firing weapons to weaken an enemy ship from a distance, then coming in closer to board. The most common ranged weapon a ship might use is a ballista or cannon, but other similar weapons can be used.

    Some ship weapons might require multiple actions from different creatures to fire, including loading and aiming. This is not compatible with water-based combat, where weapons tend to only require a single ship action. In these cases, consider removing the separate actions but instead adding a recharge roll (similar to some monster actions). This still provides some realism (and reduced damage output) while allowing for streamlined combat.




  • Add a means of stygian water propulsion. The wheels of a land vehicle might be practical on land, but useless in the water. Instead, most ships travel the sea with a sail on a mast or oars (or both). But since it would be a shame to lose the ride-or-die imagery an infernal vehicle might convey, the vehicle’s propulsion method should still be fueled by souls. See Stygian Water Propulsion for suggestions; you can use control and movement components from existing ships of a similar size to your infernal ship.

  • Remove or reduce land movement speed. Since land vehicles usually need their wheels removed or rendered nonfunctional to work on the water, their original movement speed attribute is no longer applicable. Use the speed of any water propulsion methods you’ve added instead (e.g. sail, oars, motor, engine).

    As an exception to removing land speed entirely, if you’ve made your infernal ship amphibious and retained its wheels, consider reducing its land speed by half. A vehicle with these sorts of modifications is going to have reduced maneuverability on land.

  • Remove or change incompatible features and traits. As an example, a land vehicle with a trait dependent on jumping over a gap in the road might not make much sense on the water. Consider removing such features and traits, or modifying them to work on the sea (see the skate vehicle stat block for an example replacement trait for a similar vehicle). Try to maintain the flavor of the original vehicle when redesigning these traits or features.

Stygian Water Propulsion

The Stygian Water Propulsion Examples table includes several types of propulsion an infernal ship might use in the unpredictable waters of the Stygian Sea. Mechanical propulsion methods are powered by the magical energy provided by souls, as traditional methods of water transportation may be too slow or inefficient for hellish high-seas combat and survival.

Pick a propulsion type suitable to your vehicle’s size class. Smaller infernal ships might use their soul fuel to power a propeller, allowing them to quickly zip around and outmaneuver an enemy. Larger vessels might use a gigantic fuel source that can burn more souls at once to power a large paddle wheel, allowing travel over long stretches of open sea.

If you’re creating your own method of water propulsion, consider what real-world sea vehicles match the intended use case of your infernal ship and design your propulsion method around that.

If you wish to make one of the propulsion types be powered by souls, you could grant it a magical upgrade appropriate to the propulsion method. Note that the upgrade only has its effect if the infernal ship is actively consuming souls for fuel, unless the ship was given this upgrade on the Material Plane using another fuel source.

Souls are not required for some methods of propulsion, but without this reliable source of power, your infernal ship may have trouble getting around in the Stygian Sea, and will potentially suffer an additional effect as indicated by its Mundane Penalty.

Note that this is not a comprehensive list and you should feel free to come up with your own creative solutions. Additionally, the size class recommendations are only that; choose whatever feels suitable for your particular infernal ship and scale it appropriately.

Soul Coin Charge Cost

Most infernal ships require consuming one soul for every 24 hours of travel. Gargantuan vehicles, however, require consuming two souls for the same benefit.

Stygian Water Propulsion Examples
Propulsion Type Sizes Upgrade Mundane Penalty Note
Oars all automatic oars once per hour of travel, roll percentile dice; 50% chance of rowers suffering one point of exhaustion
Paddle Wheel Huge – Gargantuan none none soul fuel required
Propeller Large – Huge none none soul fuel required
Sails Medium – Gargantuan sails always full of wind once per hour of travel, roll percentile dice; 60% chance of no wind, 20% chance of opposing wind



Infernal Ship Stat Blocks

This section describes how infernal ships reconcile their mundane origins with traversing the Stygian Sea, as well as newly introduced concepts unique to infernal ships.

Actions and Components

An infernal ship has the same default action options and components as a normal ship.

Basic Statistics

By default, infernal ships match the statistics of normal seafaring ships, except for the following:


Like normal ships, most infernal ships are Large, Huge, or Gargantuan.

A Medium or smaller infernal ship is unusual but not impossible. Tiny creatures like imps or sprites might drive miniature ships made of discarded scraps of infernal iron, using their smaller size to their advantage to sneak past enemy defenses and act as spies. Note that their water propulsion method options are usually limited to oars as noted in the Stygian Water Propulsion Examples table, but at that size they could also be propelled forward by a creature’s own magical abilities.

Vulnerabilities, Resistances, and Immunities

An infernal ship’s vulnerabilities, resistances, and immunities apply to all its components, unless otherwise noted in the stat block.

Infernal ships are typically immune to fire, poison, and psychic damage. They are also usually immune to the following conditions: blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, stunned, and unconscious. Additionally, Huge and Gargantuan infernal ships tend to be immune to the incapacitated and prone conditions.

Note that infernal ships powered by souls have no immunity to exhaustion, as infernal vehicles are potentially susceptible to exhaustion effects under certain conditions. Also, a ship that is not immune to the prone condition should have the Prone Deficiency trait (if the vehicle falls prone, it can’t right itself and is incapacitated until pulled upright), unless it has something in its design that specifically overcomes this weakness.

Sample Infernal Ships


If one squints, the Bathýs superficially resembles a sailing vessel one might see on the oceans of the Material Plane, but a closer examination reveals the vessel to be mechanical in design and built of a dark infernal iron. Its hull is assembled from scraps of motorized land vehicles, with large metal beams twisted into tight braids in the vague shape of a ship, but pulsing with the churning of gears and an infusion of chaotic magical energy that provides buoyancy.

The Bathýs accounts for the Stygian Sea’s lack of predicable winds with an enchanted sail that allows for movement in still or opposing winds. To power this magic, a furnace in the belly of the ship fuels the mast and sails with the energy of consumed souls.

The Bathýs employs several exotic armaments, some stolen from other vessels, others repurposed from siege weaponry. The cannon on its port side provides a range and firepower not typically seen in seafaring combat, and the harpoon launcher to starboard allows for a quick method of trapping other ships for boarding and plundering.

Bathýs Crew

The Bathýs is captained by The Great Undying, a sahuagin pirate in life who continued her piratical reign of terror on the hellish Stygian Sea.

Besides its captain, the ship is crewed entirely by reanimated skeletons. Magically gifted with speech and independent thought, the crew is nonetheless loyal to its captain — or too fearful of her wrath to protest.

Unlike normal skeletons, the crew of the Bathýs has had their souls, intellect, and autonomy restored, along with some of their memories from when they were living creatures. They are still obedient and faithful to The Great Undying, but this is less a compulsion of necromantic spellbinding and more out of gratitude for her taking pity on their damned souls. They can question their captain’s orders but will follow them obediently unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. They can speak and read Common, Infernal, and Abyssal, allowing them to interact with the denizens of the infernal realm without difficulty.




The exception to this restoration of the soul is “Brutus”, a minotaur skeleton crew member. It was animated in the more typical necromantic fashion and behaves normally (for a minotaur skeleton, anyway). Its true name is unknown as only its bones were reanimated, leaving it a mindless and obedient servant of The Great Undying and her crew.

Beyond the captain, there are no other designated officers on the ship. Instead, members of the “skeleton crew” fulfill these roles interchangeably as needed. Brutus acts as muscle to help defend the ship from hostile takeover but is otherwise kept below decks for the general safety of the crew.


Gargantuan vehicle (100 ft. by 20 ft.)

Creature Capacity
30 crew, 20 passengers
Cargo Capacity
100 tons
Travel Pace
5 miles per hour (120 miles per day)

20 (+5) 7 (-2) 17 (+3) 0 0 0

Damage Immunities
fire, poison, psychic
Condition Immunities
blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, incapacitated, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned, unconscious

Magic Weapons. The Bathýs’ weapon attacks are magical.


On its turn, the Bathýs can take 3 actions, choosing from the options below. It can take only 2 actions if it has fewer than twenty crew and only 1 action if it has fewer than ten. It can’t take these actions if it has fewer than three crew.

Fire Ballista. The ship can fire its ballista.

Fire Infernal Cannon. The ship can fire its infernal cannon.

Move. The ship can use its helm to move with its sails.

Use Harpoon Launcher. The ship can fire, release, or retract its harpoon launcher.


Armor Class
Hit Points
400 (damage threshold 15, mishap threshold 30)

Control: Helm

Armor Class
Hit Points

Move up to the speed of the ship’s sails, with one 90-degree turn. If the helm is destroyed, the ship can’t turn.

Movement: Enchanted Sails

Armor Class
Hit Points
100; -10 ft. speed per 25 damage taken
Speed (water)
45 ft.; 15 ft. while sailing into the wind; 60 ft. while sailing with the wind

Wind-Filled Sails. As long as the ship is fueled by souls, the Bathýs’ sails are magically enchanted, which allow the ship to move up to its maximum sailing speed as if it is always sailing with the wind.

Weapon: Ballista

Armor Class
Hit Points

Ballista. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 120/480 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d10) piercing damage.

Weapon: Harpoon Launcher

Armor Class
Hit Points
60 (winch), 40 (chain)

Harpoon. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 40 ft., one creature or vehicle of size category Large or greater. Hit: 22 (4d10) piercing damage, and unless the target takes no damage from the attack, the target is grappled (escape DC 16). If the target is a creature, it is restrained until the grapple ends. The harpoon can grapple only one target at a time.

Release. The winch’s operator can use a ship action to make the harpoon release whatever it’s holding and retract the harpoon back onto the Bathýs’ deck.

Retract. The winch’s operator can use a ship action to retract the harpoon on its chain, pulling whatever it’s holding to an unoccupied space next to the Bathýs. As a part of this action, the operator can choose to also release the creature or vehicle grappled by the harpoon.

Weapon: Infernal Cannon

Armor Class
Hit Points

Cannon Ball (Recharge 5-6). Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 600/2,400 ft., one target. Hit: 44 (8d10) bludgeoning damage.




Bathýs Layout
  • The Bathýs has infernal cannon and 5 cannon balls on the main deck, with additional cannon balls secured in the siege weapon ammunition cabin.
  • The harpoon launcher is on the main deck, containing one harpoon attached to the deck with a chain of infernal iron.
  • The ship has one 80-foot-tall mast with a sail.
  • There are no rowboats, oars, or benches.
  • All wooden or iron objects and structures typical for a ship are made of infernal iron. The ship’s doors and footlockers have AC 20, 18 hit points, and immunity to fire, poison, and psychic damage.
  • The hanging lanterns are under the effect of a continual flame spell, with the following changes:
    • The lanterns cast dim light in a 20-foot radius.
    • The flame from these lanterns is not affected by the darkness spell and ignores its effect within the light’s radius.
  • There is no privy.
  • The medical cabin has been repurposed to hold the captain’s private treasure storage, including the ship’s main supply of soul coins. The door to this cabin is usually locked, the key kept by the captain.


With its lack of weaponry, this boat is seemingly not a major threat to larger vessels of war. That impression fades quickly, however, as a skate can catch its foes by surprise with its speed and maneuverability, allowing it to nimbly dodge enemy fire and close in on its prey. Small fleets of skates can bring down a ship quickly by swarming and surrounding it, then boarding it to take out the crew in close-quarters combat rather than trying to overpower their siege weapons.

The skate achieves this impressive maneuverability by using souls to power a small propeller at the rear of the vehicle. With sufficient power, a skate can run circles around sail-powered vessels in any wind conditions. It’s built like a motorcycle, but its wheels have been replaced with long flat metal beams, allowing it to quickly glide across the water.


Large vehicle (10 ft. by 5 ft.)

Creature Capacity
1 crew, 2 passengers holding onto the outside of the hull
Cargo Capacity
100 lb.
Travel Pace
5 miles per hour (120 miles per day)

14 (+2) 18 (+4) 12 (+1) 0 0 0

Damage Immunities
fire, poison, psychic
Condition Immunities
blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, stunned, unconscious

Juke. If the skate is able to move, the crew can use its reaction to grant the skate advantage on a Dexterity saving throw.

Prone Deficiency. If the skate falls prone, it can’t right itself and is incapacitated until pulled upright.


On its turn, the skate can take the move action. It can’t take this action if it has no crew.

Move. The ship can use its helm to move with its propeller.


Armor Class
23 (19 while motionless)
Hit Points
30 (damage threshold 5, mishap threshold 10)

Control: Helm

Armor Class
Hit Points

Move up to the speed of the ship’s propeller. If the helm is destroyed, the ship can’t turn and must use all of its movement speed on its turn, moving in a straight line in the same direction it last moved (this happens even if there is no crew).

Movement: Propeller

Armor Class
Hit Points
30; -40 ft. speed per 10 damage taken
Speed (water)
120 ft.

Rev Motor. If the skate moves at least 60 feet on its turn, it does not provoke opportunity attacks.





With a modified setting comes some new faces. An infernal ship powered by souls is also typically crewed by fiendish leaders or undead monstrosities, and a power vacuum might be filled with unexpected players. Below are a few examples of someone a party might cross swords with on the Stygian Sea.

Sample Creatures


Just as an injured animal can still be a threat, so too is a marilith with fewer arms no less of a concern to mortals and fiends alike. Ag’dramur continues to wield her four cutlasses with a ferocity, laying waste to her enemies before they have a chance to count her limbs.


The great flood threw normal power balances into disarray. As the landscape gradually became a seascape, the warlords who were able to adjust to newly-required skills and tactics could quickly find themselves in positions of authority and territory ownership. Ag’dramur fared better than most demons in this regard, and used her authority and strength to gather whatever supporters she could to gain headway on the new battleground.

These early successes painted a target on her back, and other demons rallied to try and take her off of the board before she could become a bigger threat. A skirmish ensued, resulting in Ag’dramur losing most of her navy. A magically aided ballista bolt took two of her arms clean off, and she barely escaped with her life.

This setback has left her at a reduced strength, but had no impact on her drive for power and conquest. Her first goal was to sneak aboard the ship that took her arms and murder its captain and crew. Their bones now line the ship’s railing, and she has freshly restarted her efforts to build her military might.

Infernal Ship

The fiend captains an infernal ship crewed by enslaved fishfolk who came to the infernal realm accidentally through an interplanar whirlpool. The creatures aren’t the powerful warriors she’d prefer to lead into battle, but their amphibious nature makes them well-suited to sail the infernal seas, and their propensity to revere whoever leads them as a demigod ensures their loyalty. All this combined with a loose grip on reality and desire for protection made their souls easily corruptible.


Medium fiend (marilith), chaotic evil

Armor Class
16 (leather)
Hit Points
116 (18d8 + 54)
40 ft., swim 20 ft.

14 (+2) 20 (+5) 17 (+3) 16 (+3) 16 (+3) 16 (+3)

Damage Resistances
cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing attacks from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities
Truesight 30 ft., passive Perception 13
Common, Abyssal, Telepathy 120 ft.
6 (2,300 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Magic Resistance. Ag’dramur has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Reactive. Ag’dramur can take up to four reactions per round of combat. The reactions available decrease by one for each scimitar attack Ag’dramur performed on her turn (minimum one reaction).


Multiattack. Ag’dramur makes up to four attacks with her scimitars.

Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage.

Teleport. Ag’dramur magically teleports, along with any equipment she is wearing or carrying, up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space she can see.


Parry. Ag’dramur adds 4 to her AC against one melee attack that would hit her. To do so, she must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.




The Great Undying

Medium humanoid (sahuagin), chaotic evil

Armor Class
14 (studded leather)
Hit Points
136 (21d8 + 42)
30 ft., swim 30 ft.

16 (+3) 14 (+2) 14 (+2) 10 (+0) 12 (+1) 18 (+4)

Athletics +6, Intimidation +7, water vehicles
Damage Resistances
darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Common, Abyssal, Infernal, Sahuagin
5 (1,800 XP) Proficiency Bonus +3

Amphibious. The Great Undying can breathe air and water.

Blood Frenzy. The Great Undying has advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.

Flourish. The Great Undying adds her Charisma modifier to the damage roll for her sharktooth spear attacks (included in the attacks).

Plunderer of the Depths. The Great Undying ignores any of the drawbacks caused by a deep, underwater environment.

Sea Legs. The Great Undying has advantage on ability checks and saving throws to resist being knocked prone.

Shark Telepathy. The Great Undying can magically command any shark within 120 feet of her, using a limited telepathy.


Multiattack. The Great Undying can make up to three attacks: one ranged attack with her hand crossbow or sharktooth spear, and two melee attacks with her sharktooth spear or bite.

Sharktooth Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d6 + 7) piercing damage, or 15 (2d8 + 7) slashing damage when used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Hand Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (2d4+3) piercing damage.

The Great Undying

Amidst the chaos of the changing seascape, an opportunistic pirate, tired of wandering the lands and protecting what remained of her tattered soul from hellish fiends, commandeered a vehile and converted it into a mighty sailing vessel. She christened her new ship the Bathýs and began patrolling the new Stygian Sea, taking up a career of piracy as she did in life. Now in her element once again, she has turned the tide against her oppressors and lives freely in the infernal realm, plundering what she can to survive and thrive as she tries to build an armada and wrest more power from the cadre of devilish rulers as they struggle to hold their positions.


Few details are known of The Great Undying’s life (or death) before the realm was flooded. What little she has revealed to her crew suggests that she was a cruel taskmaster of a pirate captain in life, and whatever horrific deeds she had done seemed to make her time in this realm a deserved punishment. But her actions after taking to the Stygian Seas indicate a deep trauma from the torture she endured as a dead soul, which in turn has given her motivation to fight back against the devils of this plane in retribution for their own misdeeds.

Seemingly with sheer determination, The Great Undying took back not only her autonomy but also her life vitality, no longer wandering as an undead soul and instead possessing her original mortal sahuagin form. It is unknown how she came upon this rare gift, as she seems to possess no magical abilities of her own, but it can be assumed that an infernal contract with a powerful fiend made this possible.

This same boon seems to have allowed her to staff the Bathýs with a literal skeleton crew possessing their souls and fractured memories. The crew is broken by their own travails, but grateful to their captain for her gift to them, which allows them the chance to fight for their own freedom alongside her.


The Great Undying is a sahuagin, but for the most part has the appearance of a human with pale blue skin. Her true inhuman nature is quickly discerned, however, when she smiles, revealing rows of pointed, serrated, shark-like teeth.

Infernal Ship

See Bathýs under Sample Infernal Ships.





As two sides clash on the high seas of Hell, the dragon god Tiamat continues her silent observing, sending her agents out across the fiendish realm to carry out her machinations. Though not as strong in magical ability as her other draconic followers, Shuv’Zlor puts his natural talents to work in the new setting.


Once a terrifying warlord in a long-forgotten ancient civilization, Shuv’Zlor’s wicked deeds and sworn allegiance to the dragons of his era inspired Tiamat to reform his corrupted soul. His cruelty made him well-suited to serving as Tiamat’s proxy while she brooded and schemed from her prison.

After the flood sent demons and devils alike into scattered disarray, Shuv’Zlor found himself on a changing battlefront. He would need to make adjustments to his strategies to continue carrying out Tiamat’s grand plans, and though the fiend had no previous sailing experience, he was a quick learner and eager to please his master.

Infernal Ship

The abishai commandeered the first vessel he could find and murdered the crew — all devils serving Asmodeus, but this means little to a follower of the dragon god. Tiamat blessed her mighty warrior with infernal magic to allow him to operate his ship without any crew or soul fuel, letting Shuv’Zlor move about the Stygian Sea with full autonomy.

But even the aid of a deity is not without cost. The magic still requires fuel, but instead of souls, its power is sourced from the blood of one with draconic lineage. Shuv’Zlor routinely provides this supply from his own body, preferring it over deigning to reach out for assistance from others. To him it is a source of pride that he literally gives his essence to fuel the war effort, and he hopes that the sacrifice will grant favor upon him from his disaffected patron.

Shuv’Zlor’s ship does not have the ability to be fueled by souls, and thus has none of the associated benefits or other effects. Instead, the ship’s weapons and helm are powered by a Charm of Dragon Blood, granted to Shuv’Zlor by Tiamat (see Aquatic Charms for details).


In any war, there is a profiteer benefiting from both sides of the conflict. Xaltrax’s magnanimous business offerings to demons and devils alike belie a more sinister quest for personal gain.


When the need arose to replace legions of land vehicles and shift focus to combat on the high seas, Xaltrax offered competitive services in the form of vehicle conversions. The fiend “employs” enslaved workers to make these vessels seaworthy, allowing them to be put to use in the war effort much more quickly than waiting for bespoke ships to come off the assembly line.

Xaltrax would typically be referred to as either a succubus or an incubus depending on zir preferred form, but as zie has no prediliction for either, zie uses the term “concubus” when describing zirself and zir people generally, reserving “succubus” and “incubus” to specify zir fiendish feminine and masculine forms respectively.

As with other concubi, Xaltrax’s ultimate goals tend to revolve around gaining more followers, whether they join by choice or by force. It can often be difficult to discern whether a member of Xaltrax’s court is coerced by zir magical charm, drawn to zir power, spying on zir to look for weaknesses and opportunities for an employer, or truly enamored with the fiend. To this entrepreneur, they all taste the same in the end.

Xaltrax resides in, and conducts business out of, an eponymous castle on an equally-self-referential island in the Stygian Sea, and does not abide competition. Any attempting to offer vehicle conversion services in the vicinity of Xaltrax Island (a territory that seems to increase in size on a daily basis) quickly find themselves with damaged goods, sabotaged equipment, and if they persist, shortened lifespans. Thus far, none but Xaltrax have been able to make inroads on the Stygian Sea’s burgeoning ship conversion industry, and zie continues to reap all the profits.


Xaltrax regularly presents a different physical form and honorific title when interacting with others. These forms may change in response to who zir is specifically addressing, but this is not an exclusive trigger for these shapechanges. Additionally, as a concubus, Xaltrax identifies as genderfluid and will change gendered forms as befits zir current disposition.

Xaltrax will regularly shift between the following true forms via zir shapechange trait, and take on the included titles and pronouns:

Xaltrax True Forms
Form Title Pronouns
incubus Lord he/him
succubus Lady she/her
concubus Sovereign zie/zir

Note that none of these forms would be considered more “true” than any other, and none are considered disguises or obfuscations of how Xaltrax identifies. A creature interacting with Xaltrax in any of the above forms could be said to have seen zir as zie truly is — at that particular moment.




Xaltrax’s servants and followers learned long ago which titles and pronouns to use as zie changes appearance before their eyes, often multiple times within a single conversation. Xaltrax does not correct those who misgender or misidentify zir (though zir followers might be quick to do so, as they see such slights as disrespectful), but zie is impressed by any visitors who learn the preferred protocol and may grant more favorable business terms to such diplomats. That said, as a general fallback, Xaltrax is satisfied with the use of zie/zir pronouns and the title of Sovereign for any of zir true forms, and will not take offsense at such identifiers.

Stat Block

Xaltrax and other concubi use the succubus/incubus stat block.

Xaltrax’s Court

Many would like to be accepted within Xaltrax’s innermost circle of business advisors and romantic partners. Xaltrax, for zir part, happily takes in newcomers zie might refer to as a friend publicly, but zie tends to only hold regard for a select few at a time. This trust might be reserved for an occasional favored courtesan, or a recent victim of zir charm who is treated like a favorite pet before ritualistic slaughter.

Regardless of their relationship to Xaltrax, zir courtiers tend to be a motley crew, picked by the concubus for possessing unique or amusing traits. You can fill Xaltrax’s court by selecting from the Courtiers table or rolling for random results (reroll duplicate courtiers), then determining their reason for being in Xaltrax’s court by selecting or rolling from the Courtier Motivations table. All courtiers can speak, read, and write Common in addition to their existing languages (unless otherwise stated).







d12 Courtier
1 a bearded devil who is mildly allergic to lawful good creatures
2 a normal cave bear (polar bear statistics but with darkvision 60 ft.) that Xaltrax treats as intelligent; the other courtiers play along in order to not appear contrary
3 a couatl in human form posing as a noble; it is extremely hesitant to change back into a couatl right now because it’s rather fond of its human form’s hat and it doesn’t wish to misplace or damage it
4 a pyromaniacal dryad (chaotic evil; in addition to its normal spells, can cast fire bolt and produce flame at will, hellish rebuke 3/day, and fireball 1/day) trying to get back to the fey realm to wreak havoc
5 a treant influenced by the dark thoughts of other courtiers (chaotic neutral); whenever a creature it sees attempts to read its thoughts, it throws a rock at the creature.
6 a gelatinous cube (true neutral) attuned to a defective headband of intellect it tried to absorb (Intelligence score is 6 while wearing this headband regardless of previous Intelligence); currently in a (one-sided) flirtatious relationship with a mimic it engulfed
7 an awakened giant toad who is subtly trying to eat another courtier or party member without anyone noticing, including the would-be victim (roll on this table to pick a courtier target; if you roll a 7, pick a player character at random)
8 an imp stuck in the form of a raven, which is starting to change its natural behavior to be more birdlike; it is fascinated with shiny objects and keeps trying to make nests with whatever it can find
9 three kobolds standing on each other’s shoulders and wearing a cloak to pose as a single dragonborn (while in disguise, use guard statistics, add Draconic language and Sunlight Sensitivity); they can use an action to doff the cloak (at which point use their individual kobold statistics) but only for particularly dramatic reveals
10 an animated pile of robes (rug of smothering statistics, neutral evil) who believes that all living creatures are inanimate and that all clothing is sentient, but plays along with the mass delusion; currently in love with Xaltrax’s cloak
11 a bone devil with a defective stinger that, instead of dealing damage, might grant the effect of eating a goodberry on a target the bone devil hits using its Sting action (50% chance)
12 a goblin magically gifted a walking speed of 120 feet who is constantly picking the pockets of the other courtiers and reverse-pickpocketing the stolen items into other pockets (roll twice on this table for the owner and recipient of the item; the goblin moves fast enough to accidentally pick its own pocket; if you roll a 12 for the recipient, put it in the pocket of a player character at random)
Courtier Motivations
d6 Motivation
1 Enthralled. Magically charmed by Xaltrax, which forces them to obey zir every command (see the succubus/incubus stat block; reroll motivation if Xaltrax already has a creature charmed). This doesn’t end well for them; if the party revisits Xaltrax’s court more than 24 hours after last encountering an enthralled, they are no longer present, having been drained of all life essence.
2 Groupie. Idolizes Xaltrax and wants to get to know zir better, no matter the cost. Kisses zir poster good night in their chambers and would happily accept zir actual draining kiss if ever offered the chance (automatically fails the saving throw). Xaltrax, for zir part, finds groupies to be somewhat gauche, and will avoid draining them unless particularly bored.
3 Indentured. Owes Xaltrax a favor or a payment for services rendered, and as a result is contractually forced into servitude for sometimes indeterminate periods. Usually held in slightly higher regard than the normal serving staff, Xaltrax likes providing zir indentured with the niceties in life, but this is in part to parade them around in front of others as a warning for timely payment of debts.
4 Power-Hungry. Xaltrax’s business savvy and political acumen often draw bottom feeders trying to take some of zir power for their own. They will do whatever is necessary for even the smallest taste of Xaltrax’s influence, and the sovereign delights in stringing them along.
5 Spy. As Xaltrax’s power grows, competitors in the Stygian Sea and elsewhere desire to see zir removed from the board. Agents from across the planes are sent to investigate the concubus, find weaknesses to exploit, and seize opportunities for their employers to negotiate favorable business deals. It is unclear how aware Xaltrax is of these spies and their true intents, but the sovereign may not care — or zie may take the apparent jealousy of those who sent their agents as a professional compliment.
6 Devoted. Occasionally, an intelligent creature may simply examine Stygian politics and come away liking what they see, pledging fealty to Xaltrax and helping zir efforts come to fruition. The devoted tend to be the most dangerous of the courtiers, and will fight for their sovereign (both on the political landscape as well as the battlefield) with more fervor than even a charmed creature or fanatical follower.



Aquatic Charms

Infernal contracts may take on a more nautical flavor on the Stygian Sea, with archdevils offering supernatural gifts providing great benefits in the hellish waters — if the price is right.

Charm of the Depths

Rows of gashes appear on the sides of your neck forming fishlike gills, and the skin between your fingers and toes (or equivalent digits) grows into webbing. These changes grant you the following traits:

  • You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.
  • You gain the ability to breathe water through your gills.
  • While you are submerged completely underwater, you have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.

This charm vanishes from you when you die.

Charm of Dragon Blood

The evil dragon god Tiamat has granted you a boon, channeling her divine energy directly into your bloodstream. Your veins pulse with a faint orange glow of infernal fire, and you are now considered to have dragon blood, granting you draconic ancestry for the purpose of any effect which requires this trait (if you did not already have draconic ancestry).

Additionally, you can temporarily anoint a vehicle’s weapon or movement component with fresh blood shed from a creature with dragon blood, including but not limited to: dragons, kobolds, and any creature with draconic ancestry (including yourself). To anoint a vehicle component, as an action, either you or a creature targeting you must spill the dragon blood on the component by making a weapon attack that deals slashing damage against an eligible creature. This attack automatically hits willing creatures.

While a vehicle component is anointed in this manner, the vehicle gains the following special traits:

  • Anointed vehicle weapons and movement components can function without dedicated crew members, instead operating autonomously and taking vehicle actions in response to your telepathic commands (no action required).
  • If a vehicle with an anointed helm has functioning sails, it can move up to its maximum sailing speed as if it is always sailing with the wind.
  • Anointed vehicle weapon attacks are magical.

An anointed vehicle component trait only functions while you are within 30 feet of the anointed component and are not incapacitated. Each component remains anointed for 8 hours, until the ship or the component is destroyed, or until the dragon blood is removed by any means, after which the magic fades until more dragon blood is shed. This charm vanishes from you when you die.