Achelous, Prince of Rivers

Achelous, God of the Achelous River

Large sized god (Chaotic Good)

Armor Class 17 (Natural Armor
Hit Points 157 (15d10 + 75)
Speed 40 ft., 40 ft. swimming 

STR 20 (+5)
DEX 15 (+2)
CON 21(+5)
INT 19 (+4)
WIS 17 (+3)
CHA 16 (+3)

Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Skills Deception +4, Persuassion +4, Religion +2
Senses passive Perception 13, truesight 120 ft. 
Languages Ancient Greek, Animal Speak
Challenge 9 (5,000 xp)

Amphibious. Achelous can breathe air and water. 
Innate Spellcasting. Achelous's spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 16). Achelous can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: create water, fog cloud, misty step
1/day each: bestow curse, tidal wave*, wall of water*

Shapechanger. Achelous can use its action to Polymorph into a large man with a thick beard or back into his true form of a bull with a handsome man's face. His statistics are the same in each form. Any Equipment he is wearing or carrying isn't transformed.

Magic Resistance. Achelous has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Multiattack. Achelous makes two attacks, one with his horn and one with his sword.

Horn. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft. one target. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 5) Piercing Damage.

Sword of Reeds. +11 to hit, reach 10 ft. one target. Hit: 18 (2d10 + 7) Slashing Damage.
The Sword of Reeds is a masterfully crafted steel sword forged by Hephaestus and quenched in the river Achelous. It is a +2 longsword that never rusts.

*from Xanathar's Guide to Everything

Legendary Actions
Achelous can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. Achelous regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Sword of Reeds. Achelous makes an attack with the Sword of Reeds. 
  • Flow. Achelous moves half his speed without provoking opportunity attacks. 
  • Whirlpool (2 actions). Achelous creates a swirling vortex of water centered on himself. The whirlpool has a radius of 10 ft. and creatures caught within the whirlpool must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.  

Achelous is the source of all the world's fresh water. He is the son of Tethys and Oceanus, and chiefest of the Potamoi, the three thousand river gods. He often takes the form of a massive bull with the face of a handsome bearded man. One of his horns was snapped off by Heracles, leaving him with just one horn. He is also known to take the form of a large man with a thick beard. The river Achelous is the largest river in western Greece. It begins on the eastern slope of the Lakmos mountains and flows southward over a hundred miles to the Ionian sea.

When Achelous was courting the Calydonian princess Deianira a challenger stepped forward. Herakles, son of Zeus wrestled the river god for the right to marry the beautiful princess. Herakles won by tearing off one of Achelous's horns. Now Achelous only has one horn and no princess. He was bitter over this defeat and loathes anyone related to his old nemesis Herakles.

DM's Notes
Achelous is the first of the gods that I've given stats. A big part of the Heroic Age is the fact that the gods are real beings. Unlike creatures like Planescape's Lady of Pain who should never have stats. The heroes could fight one of the Olympians. In The Iliad the god of war Ares joins the fray on the Trojan side. With the aid of Athena, the Achaean hero Diomedes hops into a chariot and wounds Ares in the thigh with a spear. Fighting one of the gods is not without precedent. In the hierarchy of strength, Achelous is not a strong god. He's only a CR 9, while the Olympians are CR 20+.

The Sword of Reeds is a work of my own creativity. I feel that all the gods, even one as minor as Achelous, should wield magic items. The gods do not use bronze, they have access to more advanced metals like steel or adamantine or even mithril. Achelous's sword has been enchanted so that it doesn't rust. The river god can't be wielding a rusty sword!

Finally, as per a suggestion I added Legendary Action. That's a part of monster creation I hadn't thought of. 


  1. Interesting. I would have thought he would have had a few more magic options and he really needs some Legendary and Lair actions. After all, he is about as Legendary as they come right?

  2. Thank you so much for you suggestions. You're right! I'd never thought about those before, I'm going to definitely add them to the more divine characters.


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