The fundamental aspect of a draudnu's form, its body shape, easily indicated its alien nature, as they were seemingly constructed upside-down. They stood 7 ft (2.1 m) tall, but it was their legs that reached that height rather than their heads; a draudnu's three muscular legs were attached to the top of its bodies while the area that could be classified as its head was at their bottom. In place of a mouth was a single, pulsating blood-red eye, ringed by three arms that each ended in hooks of bone covered by hardened, scaly flesh. The main part of its 300‑pound (140‑kilogram) body was a misshapen mass of quivering, wrinkled flesh covered in thick, hairless, rubbery skin and dark, bulging blisters.
Draudnus were completely lacking in kindness and mercy, and any trace of benevolence that might once have been in them had long since been eradicated. They were not fueled by megalomania or greed, only a hateful, bloodthirsty desire for savage vengeance and destruction. The born killers reveled in destruction and sought to do no less than bloodily murder all non-obyirths in existence.
Draudnus were physically formidable creatures able to surge forward, jump great distances, and balance well with their tripod legs. The three flesh hooks attached to their arms were not only useful weapons, but could also be detached by the draudnu to pin an enemy to a wall or the ground, requiring both great strength or considerable escape skills to remove and medical knowledge to safely dislodge the hook without horribly injuring the immobilized victim. Detaching their hooks did no harm to the draudnu as they immediately regrew them afterwards.
Also aiding the druadnus in combat were the swollen sacs filled with acid covering their bodies. Upon being burst, they would spray their contents everywhere around a draudnu. Furthermore, their mind-warping influence implanted a sickening thought in the heads of all beings within a few dozen feet of them that something was growing inside of them.
A draudnu's main priority was relentlessly killing every non-obyrith they could, leading them to charge towards any such beings with their great speed and mobility before madly cutting them to pieces. However, just because they were compelled to slaughter didn't mean they were completely unthinking, and they were smart enough to employ tactics, such as using hazards in a room to their advantage or "herding" their enemies to put them in vulnerable positions.
Because they wanted all non-obyrith life dead, they tried to eliminate weaker, less-armored targets first. When facing more than one opponent, they used their hooks to immobilize enemies, which allowed them to direct their ire at one before quickly moving on. Though they rarely went long without rending something, they sometimes had specific targets they wanted to focus on, and defended themselves when closing the gap between them and their prey.
As was typical for obyriths, the draudnus were a race in decline, their war against not only the innumerable tanar'ri but every other creature of the Abyss leaving them nearly hunted to extinction. Regardless, they were antisocial creatures who rarely worked in groups larger than four. The one area of the Abyss they were somewhat common in was the Endless Maze, although even their existence there was somewhat ironic.
The draudnus in the Endless Maze were fearfully enslaved to their ancient and unknowable creator, Pale Night, who it seemed didn't particularly care for their overall well-being. Despite their innate purpose to destroy all non-obyriths, Pale Night had long ago entered a kind of non-aggression pact with the layer's other resident, the tanar'ri lord Baphomet, allowing him to take most of the realm as his own. This didn't prevent the murderous draudnus from killing the Horned Lord's minions in their hopeless, never-ending war against non-obyrith kind.
Still, while the tanar'ri went about tearing the Abyss apart in their Blood War endeavors, some obyriths began to resurge, no longer content to wait on the fringes of the Abyss for the time to strike. Under the fiery sky of Banehold, an army of indescribable nightmares was starting to muster, the most numerous of which were the draudnus.
Since the Age before Ages, when Obox-ob was the Prince of Demons, the draudnus had been born in the fields of remains surrounding Pale Night's Bone Citadel. Given that their purpose was to rid the Abyss of all non-obyrith life, yet they predated the tanar'ri uprising, it was possible that their exact purpose differed in the past, though still being hunters and killers. It was believed that Obox-ob himself, who was known to have some draudnus as servants, was in some way involved with their creation, although like the Mother of Demons he held no particularly strong interest in them. One known method of creating them involved the use of the corrupted remains of celestials, with Pale Night breathing life with a dreadful whisper into the bones of eladrin who'd tried to wage war in her realm.
- (July 2007). Monster Manual V. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 24–26. ISBN 0-7869-4115-4.
- Robert J. Schwalb (October 2007). “Essence of Evil” (PDF). In Miranda Horner ed. Dungeon #152 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8.19. Archived from the original on 2009-06-01. Retrieved on 2021-01-02.
- Ed Stark, James Jacobs, Erik Mona (June 13, 2006). Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 0-7869-3919-2.
Caligrosto • Dybbuk • Guecubu • Manitou
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