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“Prester John, the Righteous King of Ethiopia”

Prester John
Preste” as the Emperor of Ethiopia, enthroned on a map of East Africa in an atlas prepared by the Portuguese for Queen Mary, 1558. (British Library)
  • Alias: John the Pious
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Human
  • Occupation: King and warrior
  • Religion: Christian
  • Allies: Other Christian rulers and armies, especially the Knights Templar
  • Enemies: Muslim and pagan rulers and armies
  • Abode/Base of operations: A hidden kingdom in the mountains of Ethiopia, protected by magic and guarded by fierce warriors
  • Nationality: Ethiopian
  • Languages: Ge’ez, Amharic, Arabic, and Latin
  • Alignment: Lawful Good
  • Affiliation(s): Christianity, the Knights Templar
  • Significant others: Queen Sophia, who ruled alongside him and was known for her wisdom and compassion. They had several children, who were all trained to be warriors and leaders.

As a character, Prester John is shrouded in mystery and intrigue. He is often described as a wise and just ruler, who governs his people with compassion and fairness. He is known to be a devout Christian and a powerful warrior, who has led his army to many victories against his enemies.

Physically, Prester John is said to be a tall and imposing figure, with a thick beard and piercing blue eyes. He is often depicted wearing rich robes and adorned with precious jewels, reflecting the wealth of his kingdom.

Prester John’s motivation for his quest for wealth and power is rooted in his desire to spread Christianity and defend his kingdom from its enemies. He is driven by a deep sense of purpose and duty, and will stop at nothing to protect his people and promote his beliefs.

Despite his many victories, Prester John remains a mysterious figure, and his kingdom has never been definitively located. Nevertheless, his legacy has continued to inspire adventurers, scholars, and artists throughout the ages, and his story remains a symbol of hope and power for many.

Prester John, King of Ethiopia

Medium humanoid (human), lawful good

Armor Class: 20 (plate mail, shield, ring of protection)
Hit Points: 350 (20d20+100)
Speed: 40 ft.

22 (+6)16 (+3)20 (+5)18 (+4)24 (+7)22 (+6)

Saving Throws: Str +12, Con +10, Wis +13
Skills: Athletics +12, Intimidation +11, Perception +13, Religion +11
Senses: passive Perception 23
Languages: Ge’ez, Amharic, Arabic, Latin
Challenge Rating: 20 (25,000 XP)

Legendary Resistance (3/Day): If Prester John fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance: Prester John has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.


  • Radiant Longsword: Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) slashing damage plus 10 (3d6) radiant damage.
  • Javelin of Lightning: Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d6+6) piercing damage plus 18 (4d8) lightning damage.
  • Holy Bolt (Recharge 5-6): Prester John casts a bolt of radiant energy at a target within 120 ft. The target must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 35 (10d6) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
  • Divine Inspiration (3/Day): Prester John inspires his allies within 60 ft., granting them advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws for 1 minute.

Legendary Actions

Prester John can take 3 legendary actions per round, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be taken at a time, and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Prester John regains all spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Divine Strike: Prester John makes a Radiant Longsword attack.
  • Healing Touch: Prester John heals himself or a creature within 5 ft. of him for 30 hit points.
  • Holy Aura: Prester John emits a 30 ft. aura of holy energy that grants his allies resistance to necrotic and radiant damage, and advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. This aura lasts for 1 minute.


Prester John wears a suit of +3 plate mail and wields a +3 radiant longsword. He also carries a javelin of lightning, a symbol of his authority (a golden scepter), and a ring of protection. His armor and weapons are embellished with intricate designs and holy symbols.

Lair Actions

If fighting in his hidden mountain kingdom, Prester John can use the following lair actions:

  • Blessing of the Mountains: Prester John can summon a hail of rocks that rain down on his enemies. All creatures in a 60 ft. radius must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 40 (10d8) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
  • Divine Protection: Prester John can create a protective barrier around himself or one ally within 60 ft. The target gains resistance to all damage for 1 minute.
  • Divine Intervention: Once per day, Prester John can call upon his deity to intervene on his behalf. Roll a d20 at the start of his turn. On a roll of 20, his deity answers his call, granting him any one spell or ability of his choice.
  • Healing Springs: Prester John can create a pool of healing water in a 30 ft. radius. Allies who step into the pool regain 20 hit points at the start of their turn, as long as they remain within the area.


  • Holy Shield: Prester John can use his reaction to raise his shield, gaining a +5 bonus to AC against one melee attack that would hit him. If the attack misses, the attacker takes 15 (2d8+6) radiant damage.
  • Divine Retribution: When Prester John or one of his allies within 30 ft. takes damage from a spell or magical effect, he can use his reaction to retaliate with a bolt of holy energy. The attacker must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 25 (6d6+2) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

Overall, Prester John is a formidable opponent for any adventurer. With his high hit points, powerful attacks, and magical resistance, he can stand toe-to-toe with even the toughest foes. His legendary actions and lair abilities make him a versatile and unpredictable foe, while his divine powers make him a valuable ally to those who fight for good. At CR 20, he is a boss-level encounter suitable for a high-level party of adventurers.

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