This absolutely adorable little critter is the brainchild of Brent Jans (@DorkLordCanada) with splendiferous artwork by Jeff Martin (@HEATcomic) and published by Prairie Dragon Press with all proceeds going to the wonderful children’s charity, Extra Life (@ExtraLife4Kids), “Which is frankly how the hedgicorn would want it.”
So what exactly are these tiny, enchanting erinaceinae? “Hedgicorns are the founts of wisdom and stalwart pro-tectors of the smallfolk of the fae” and “defenders of lost children” keeping them safe and amused, “distracting them with funny stories and magic as they lead them back to safety.” They are ambassadors working for peace between all fey of both the Summer and Winter Courts and everything in between through the power of diplomacy. However if conflict arises,” they will not back down, trusting both to their own formidable abilities” and allies. “Once brought to conflict, hedgicorns rarely give second chances, fighting to the death”, which is pretty intense, but they do not go to battle easily and the toll they reap serves the cycle and balance of life.
Coming in at CR4 and a 5th, the Hedgicorn is nothing to laughed at, even if its regular melee, Spiney Barrage, is a bit of yawn doing minimal damage and putting creatures to sleep. However, the spells in it’s arsenal at first glance seem to have a lot of utility (which it does, it’s a busy fey on the go after all), there is a daily blast of epicness that will power of friendship you right through that wall! Plus they can make the forest around them start wailing on its enemies, and if all else fails it can be sure you can-trip and can’t get away. The image of large evils of the forest getting dragged across the mossy, leafy floor, before being Sleeping Beauty’d and pummelled by the very nature they besmirch is glorious.
What I’m saying is these neutral good tiny fey are far from harmless...especially in a prickly array of 3 or more, due to their Magical Resonance that makes them more powerful casters. If you mean evil, the last thing you want to come across is an adorable herd of 7 or more cuties, as their powers combined make them each 17th level casters each with ALL spells at will! That’s a serious amount boom that would give even a Dark Lord pause... If the Feywild is one reflection of the material plane and the Shadowfell another, Gods help us all there are armies of Hedgimares...Nighthogs/pigs with blazing spines and nothing but darkness in their teeny weeny adorable hearts!
This lore is far more robust than I would have expected at first and truly pays homage to the precious little fey furze-pigs; their happy and magical ties to other fey and smallfolk, stalwart guardians of lost kids, expert diplomatic immunity (or at least magical resistance) in the politics of the fey courts, as well as their rather shocking blitzkrieg of deadly cuteness for those that cross it, all in service to the life’s balance.
Remember this wonderful creature that can add so much rooty tooty fey cutey and lore to any game, particularly near or in forests, the Feywild or large piles of leaves/ bonfires (always check!) are all for a wonderful cause: Extra Life: https://www.extra-life.org/ @ExtraLife4Kids
More of Jeff Martin’s art and comics can be found here: http://hell.rentathugcomics.com/ @HEATcomic
I reached out to Jans to ask him more about the Hedgicorn, the inspiration behind it and how they got involved with Extra Life and more, which they were kind enough to enough to answer in this short interview I include in full below:
Where did the inspiration for this adorable, yet powerful little fey hedgepig come from?
I have a soft spot for hedgehogs, I think they are fascinating creatures. And in my home D&D campaign I knew that the smallfolk of the Fey (pixies, brownies, sprites, etc) were going to play a substantial role. I wanted a creature to act as a protector for the smallfolk, and for a while I was considering a normal unicorn but that didn’t have the right feel; why would a (albeit magical) horse worry about folks so small they might step on them by accident? But what if the uni was a creature more on their level? Thus the hedgicorn was born.
How was the process of having the precious art provided by the stellar Jeff Martin?
Jeff is a friend of mine here in Edmonton, and I have loved his art style. I’m a huge fan of his online comic Hell Inc., as well Redcoats-ish, his strip about the War of 1812. He has a simple but evocative style, full of expression and story. I knew he could put on the page what I could see in my head, and I was right. He came back with sketches within a few days, and I had a finished version in a few weeks.
How did you get involved with Extra Life?
I have been a supporter of our local children’s hospital, the Stollery, for over a decade. I used to take part in their Hair Massacure each year, dying my hair pink and then shaving it off to raise funds and awareness. But when that fundraiser came to an end I took to Extra Life, as it let me combine raising much needed funds for children’s hospitals with my favourite hobby, gaming. This will be my seventh year fundraising for Extra Life, and I am looking forward to spending the day with friends, playing games and raising money.
What inspired you to make this minikin fey such an awesome little powerhouse?
I think one of the strengths of the small fey, is that they are underestimated because they are cute. Looking at the hedgicorn, you wouldn’t expect it to pose much of a threat; it’s essentially a slightly larger hedgehog with a horn. But then it has some unicorn abilities, I gave it a fly speed, and I added some things that would allow it to call upon the Fey Wylde itself to defend the smallfolk. Suddenly this cute little creature, while largely benevolent, can act as a believable protector. Add to that the special abilities that only come from hedgicorns working in concert, and I felt I had created for myself (and other DMs) a creature who could be scaled up or down depending on the campaign and the stories you wanted to tell.
Finally, how did you come up with the lore? The diplomacy and lost child helping are adorable, but the sudden swerve into cold and deadly when crossed was a shocking, yet delightful twist!
I didn’t want to play off the “small creature acts angry all the time because of its size” angle, I felt that was boring and overdone. So I went in the opposite direction. Besides acting as protector, I wanted hedgicorns to be the wise advisers to the smallfolk, settling disputes and dispensing advice. So they have substantial power, but will not use it capriciously. Once they do make that choice, however, there is no wavering; hedgicorns will give you the benefit of the doubt, but no second chances. The lore around children came at the end, when I decided to give all proceeds to Extra Life. Once I decided that, it made sense to add some lore about protecting lost children. After all, that’s what I was trying to use it for in the real world.
I can’t thank Jans enough for taking the time to answer my questions, and for leading by example with their charity work. I urge you to follow Jans example and support Extra Life, whether through picking up this awesome prickly pal, creating your own wonders to help the kids (in all settings) and/ or making a donation at www.extra-life.org!
[5 of 5 Stars!]