Written by: Nicos Ostas, creator of EXORDIUM: Origins of Mythos
EXORDIUM introduces the concept of Mythic Paths to the 5th edition, promising numerous larger-than-life narratives and characters, as well as their ominous adversaries. Today, we will present you with three such adversaries, chosen from the Monster Manual that is featured in our book.
Each of them is known as a Mythic Nemesis, for they are more than a formidable foe; they are recurring, campaign-defining villains, equipped with various powers, assets, aspirations and statblocks of various Challenge Ratings to employ in order to hinder or destroy those who would dare to oppose them.
We will also accompany each Mythic Nemesis' description with a wonderful map, chosen from amongst Czepeku's collection in order to represent the perfect monster lair. Feel free to use them as is, in order to flesh out the environment of a Nemesis' domain and incorporate its Lair Actions to the breath-taking combat encounters which you are bound to experience in EXORDIUM: Origins of Mythos.
So, without further ado...
King Without a Crown
The strands of destiny interweave into intricate, beautiful patterns, creating what mortals refer to as fate. Throughout the cosmos, this notion is regarded with different views, but one thing remains constant; its will is inescapable. But what happens when such a commanding force is left unfulfilled? What destruction can its empty promises bring?
The King Without a Crown is a fabled spectre, created after the death of a proud hero, who chased fate all his life, only for it to be left unfulfilled. Now risen as a vengeful wraith, a revenant against fate itself, he has declared war upon the notion of destiny, uttering a promise that he was intent to keep; to lay waste upon the machinations of the fates and the plots of those who served them, severing every thread that links a mortal to a mythic destiny.
The King Without a Crown is a CR 21 mythic encounter. Below, follows a battlemap of his ethereal domain (Czepeku's Nightmare Dragon Lair - Ghost Realm variant), where torrents of lost souls are beckoned to lament the loss of life and their unrighteous passing.
The material plane has been under threat of destruction many times since its inception. Yet, among all of the perils it has faced, few were as grave as the menacing rise of the Eschatos; a man whose real name has been eradicated from the records of history. The destruction he sowed was enough to unite the mortal realms in a final stand to bring his reign of terror to an end.
Whole kingdoms fell at his feet, leaving nothing but scorched earth beneath his wake. All feared that the end of civilisation itself was approaching fast, when his one and only weakness was miraculously uncovered and used to halt the ruination that he sought. This great destroyer was finally defeated, shackled and confined for all eternity in a place where none would ever find him; or so his wardens thought. For against all odds, a millennium since his imprisonment, the ancient prison finally cracked and this demented, almighty being was allowed to break free.
The Eschatos is a CR 23 mythic encounter. Though the nature of his legendary prison rests entirely up to you as the storyteller of a campaign, we have selected the following map (Czepeku's Yggdrasil Trunk - Cracked variant) to imagine and depict a scenario where the wardens of Eschatos were potentially a powerful Circle of Archdruids, while its eternal binds, the stoic roots of a primordial Tree of Life.
Walker in the Wastes
The Walker in the Wastes is a figure shrouded in mystery, its legend twisted beyond recognition by the savage passing of time. All that is certain, is that it is archaic, a tattered dry husk hailing from an era during which even gods could bleed.
The Walker wanders seemingly aimlessly, bringing the desert with it and desiccation to all who would not flee in its passing. It is a force of nature, driven by a singular purpose; to bring all to dust. The ancient evil seeks to bring the end of all life, turning the world into a realm of strife, struggle and sorrow, a bleak canvas of endless solitude, free from its burdens and flaws.
The Walker in the Wastes is a CR 22 mythic encounter. The vast sea of sand dunes upon which it wanders are not only part of its expansive lair, but also the phylactery that will reanimate its malicious form through dark magics, should it ever be destroyed. Below, you will find a map that serves perfectly as a location for the final confrontation between the Mythic Heroes and this primeval Nemesis.
About EXORDIUM: Origins of Mythos
Thank you for enjoying the tales we have been spinning around these formidable adversaries and the beautiful maps by Czepeku that could go perfectly alongside them! EXORDIUM: Origins of Mythos is a book that will allow you to turn any 5e campaign into a mythic saga! If you enjoyed the above Nemesi, you can discover the Mythos yourselves by supporting our Kickstarter which will be concluding on November 9th, 2023.
Check out the art from the wonderful artists that brought these beautiful characters to life (by order of appearance):