For most of the dwarves of the Underwarren, piercings are little more than a fashion statement or, at most, a means of displaying their wealth. There are a few dwarven shamans that take the practice of piercing far beyond what decent dwarves would ever dream of. These religious zealots pierce as much of their face and body as their thick skin can withstand, going so far as to hang great weights from their flesh as an act of devotion. The pain, they say, drives them closer to the swirling chaos of the spirit world and grants them peculiar insights not otherwise attainable by mortals.
Though the Pierced Savants are revered among a fringe element of the dwarves, they are more commonly feared by their countrymen as the pain and close contact with the realm of the dead can drive them violently mad. When driven to divine fury, these Pierced Savants become nigh-unstoppable engines of pain and destruction. They hold no regard for themselves or for their surroundings, seeking only to destroy everything within their reach.
With such great risk attached to the practice, why do the dwarves allow the Pierced Savants to continue? When the Pierced Savants maintain control amidst the chaos, the revelations and prophecy they bring are invaluable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the “fringe element” that reveres the Pierced Savants includes many of the leaders of the dwarves despite the protestations of their citizenry. Rumor has it that it was the Pierced Savants that warned the dwarves of the Chokesun Mountains that the elves of Melankul would seek their help when the wards failed.
Medium humanoid (dwarf), chaotic neutral
Armor Class 17 (layers of piercings, equivalent to scale male)
Hit Points 117 (13d8 + 52)
Speed 25 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 10 (0) CON 20 (+5) INT 10 (0) WIS 8 (-1) CHA 16 (+1)
Damage Resistance Necrotic, Radiant, Poison, Piercing and Slashing from Nonmagical Attacks
Condition Immunities Charmed, Frightened
Skills Athletics +7, Medicine +2
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages Common, Dwarvish
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Dwarven Resilience. The Pierced Savant has advantage on saving throws against poison.
Stonecunning. Whenever the Pierced Savant makes an Intelligence (History) check relatead to the origin of stonework, it is considered proficient in the History skill and adds double its profiency bonus to the check, instead of its normal profiency bonus.
Prophetic Destruction Before the start of its turn, the Pierced Savant can choose to deal 1d12 piercing damage to itself to gain advantage on all its attack rolls for the remainder of that turn. Further, attacks the Pierced Savant makes against objects and constructs deal double damage.
Innate Spellcasting The Pierced Savant’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). The Pierced Savant can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
3/day each: Shield, Cure Wounds, Divine Favor
1/day: Divine Word
Multiattack. The Pierced Savant can make two melee attacks with its Hooked Chain or Warhammer. It can substitute one of these attacks to make a Piercing Embrace attack against an enemy in melee range.
Hooked Chain. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 30 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage and if the creature is Large or smaller, you pull the creature up to 10 feet closer to you.
Hooked Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 9 (1d8 + 4) piercing.
Piercing Embrace. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit 2d6 piercing damage and the target is Grappled (escape DC 15). Until the grapple ends, the target is Restrained, and the Pierced Savant can’t target another creature with its Piercing Embrace.