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The athach appeared in the second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons under the "giant" entry in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).
An athach resembles something akin to an ogre, a troll, a fomorian or other such highly ugly giant, only with three arms. Two arms are located in the places where normal humanoids have their arms, while the third one sprouts from the chest. Athachs have sickly green coloration, and are covered in a layer of short, soft, brown fur. They have pear-shaped, flabby bodies, mismatched ears, boar-like tusks, many warts and veins in their skin, and curly (if matted) hair and beards. Apparently, they are also poisonous.
Habits and characteristics
Athachs can be either solitary, or in gangs of up to 2 or 4 individuals or tribes of 7 to 12. They are depicted as wearing the hides of dead farm animals, and sometimes tribal decorations of bones, jewelry and webs of rope. Not overly intelligent, they prefer to attack by charging, with a morning star in each of their three hands, into enemies and flailing at them indiscriminately (after a few rounds, however, they will typically attack whoever is causing them the most damage). If they cannot reach the enemy, they will throw rocks. They are immensely strong, and can easily bash any foe into a gory paste. When it comes to habits, athachs are not a great deal different from the brutality and dumbness of other giants, and are likely only regarded as aberrations due to the distinctly unusual features of 3 arms and poison. Athach language is a crude form of Giant.
Athachs are usually chaotic evil in alignment.
Athach is also a giant/monster in the folklore and beliefs of the Highland Scots.
- Gygax, Gary, Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 4: Master Rules (TSR, 1985)
- Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
- Nephew, John, Teeuwynn Woodruff, John Terra, and Skip Williams. Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
- Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
Rose, Carol. (2000). Giants, Monsters and Dragons. Norton