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Cavern Defender

Cavern Defender CR 4

Source NPC Codex pg. 64
XP 1,200
Half-elf druid 5
N Medium humanoid (elf, human)
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +11


AC 20, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+5 armor, +2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 shield)
hp 31 (5d8+5)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +9; +2 vs. enchantments, +4 vs. fey and plant-targeted effects


Speed 20 ft.
Melee quarterstaff +2 (1d6–1) or sickle +2 (1d6–1)
Ranged mwk sling +6 (1d4–1)
Special Attacks wild shape 1/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th; concentration +9)
7/day—acid dart
Druid Spells Prepared (CL 5th; concentration +9)
3rd—spike growth (2, DC 17), stone shapeD
2nd—barkskin, bear’s endurance, soften earth and stoneD, summon swarm
1st—cure light wounds, magic stoneD, obscuring mist, shillelagh, speak with animals
0 (at will)—create water, guidance, know direction, light
D Domain spell; Domain Earth


Before Combat The druid casts spike growth twice per day to protect her position, using stone shape if necessary to limit any viable approaches to her.
During Combat The druid wild shapes into a small flying animal at the first opportunity to escape melee. On subsequent rounds, she casts soften earth and stone and spike growth to distort the terrain beneath her enemies. She intersperses these spells with speak with animals and summoning spells to call flying creatures to harass those enemies. Once her spells are exhausted, she uses acid dart.


Str 8, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 15
Feats Dodge, Lightning Reflexes, Natural Spell, Skill Focus (Survival)
Skills Climb +1, Fly +4, Handle Animal +6, Heal +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (nature) +11, Perception +11, Spellcraft +7, Survival +15
Languages Common, Druidic, Elven, Undercommon
SQ elf blood, nature bond (Earth domain), nature sense, trackless step, wild empathy +5, woodland stride
Combat Gear wand of cure light wounds (50 charges), alchemist’s fire (3); Other Gear +1 hide armor, heavy wooden shield, masterwork sling with 20 bullets, quarterstaff, sickle, cloak of resistance +1, backpack, healer’s kit, holly and mistletoe, silk rope (50 ft.), spell component pouch, 91 gp

Though most druids tend and protect the wild lands that lie under the open sky, others stalk the tunnels that lie beneath the earth, serving as wardens, protectors, and tenders of vermin and fungi.


Zirul is the solemn protector of a large cave system that is rife with bats and vermin of all kind. Having been abandoned here at a young age, she sees the cave as her home, and will not allow anyone to access it. She dresses in dark, splotched clothing to better blend in with the cavern walls, and has lost some of her humanity as a result of living so far from civilization for so long.

Combat Encounters: Zirul’s combat axiom is that a good defense lays the groundwork for a devastating offense. She always makes sure to enter combat from a position of defensive strength.

Roleplaying Suggestions: Zirul has nearly lost her ability to feel empathy for other humanoids. She constantly mutters to herself and to the rats that swarm around her, ignoring other people’s perturbed reactions to her odd behavior.