DDO Dungeons and Dragons Online Hell Hound
Creature Type: Outside
Environment: Where summoned
Special Qualities: Breath weapon
Organization: Solitary or pair
Many a brave adventurer, exploring the depths of the underground dungeons of Xen'drik, has seen a canine form in the half-light of a flickering torch. Another dog, or perhaps a wolf, he ponders. With confidence, the adventurer ventures forth to find a fiery grave like so many before him.
The typical specimen of canis infernis stands over 4 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs more than the typical elf male. As a creature summoned forth from a lower plane - typically Fernia, the Sea of Fire - the hell hound has immunity to a host of spells and effects that would otherwise effect animals or other creatures of the world of Eberron. More important to the fighter, though, are the hell hound's sharp teeth and fiery breath. This fiery breath strikes at the hell hound's victim with every bite attack, fully doubling the damage suffered. More threatening, the hell hound can breath out a cone of fire not unlike that of a small drake or dragon. Hence protection from fire is of paramount importance when dealing with these four-legged combatants. Without their fire attacks, the challenge posed by a hell hound is reduced to little more than that a trained attack dog.
As one might expect, spellcasters should bear in mind that the hell hound, raised in burning pits of flame, is not subject to fire attacks of any kind, magical or nonmagical. On the other hand, cold-based offensive energies, from the lowly chill touch to the more puissant cone of cold, prove effective.
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From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard.
26 Therendor, 998:
Another adventuring group failed to report back last night. They were sent into a ruined complex built into the side of a volcano, and the task to discover what happened to them fell to us.
Our progress was slow - the complex seemed uninhabited, but was still heavily trapped despite the passage of the other party. We were stalled for some time at a sealed door until I solved the puzzle that kept it closed. As the door opened, we were struck by a flash of heat and the smell of brimstone. Senna ordered us on our guard, and just in time, as a pair of canine creatures leapt upon us. Short rust-red fur, red glowing eyes, and sooty black skin identified these creatures as hell hounds - outsiders from Fernia known for their temper and their fiery breath.
The two beasts circled us and tested our defenses with their breath weapons, yapping gleefully at our discomfort. Kleija dodged the blast, but Senna's reflexes were not quite as quick and she was badly burned. Enraged, Zarn rushed forward to dispatch the hound - it takes them a few seconds to recharge their breath weapon, and that moment of weakness was enough for the warforged to send the summoned creature back to its fiery home. Khovis chanted words of healing and protection from flame, and I launched volley after volley of Magic Missiles into the other beast.
We tracked the passage of the missing party but our mission ultimately ended in failure. Creeping forth through the tunnels we came to an enormous room literally covered in ancient runic carvings, crisscrossed by streams of flowing lava. Above a dias in the center of the chamber a fiery red tear in reality stood open, surrounded by a sea of summoned creatures - far too many for us to assault. Unfortunately, the party we sought thought too highly of their skills, so their armor and belongings lay charred and blackened beneath the portal. We chose to fall back and report our findings rather than join them.
I suspect that the complex was built by the giants of Xen'drik to study the Sea of Fire, and at some point when Fernia was coterminous the portal was opened by creatures that crossed between the planes. I look forward to an opportunity to study the ancient wisdom inscribed upon those walls, but first a more powerful expedition must cleanse the place and close the portal.
Always remember to know your limits. Too many adventurers have fallen to the temptation to explore "just one more room".