This is the second in an irregular series of posts containing stat blocks for Zhents in my campaign. The first post is here.
I will again state that these are lower level than the Zhents in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide but that's the result of a conscious decision on my part to lower the level of monsters to make them better suited to a Heroic Tier campaign (and also to better match their 1E hit dice, if appropriate).
The Zhent battlelord is a legacy of the Banite training of many in the Zhent ranks before the Spellplague. According to FRE1 Shadowdale, battlelords were 4th-level clerics of Bane that are implied to function something like a high-ranked NCO or low-ranked officer.
The battletide aura, in particular, ensures that they do a good job of locking down their area of the battlefield. Battletide is a spell include under Iyachtu Xvim in 2E's Faiths & Avatars but it has been noted in other books that it is a Banite spell. And now it would appear in my campaign that the Cyricists have duplicated it.
Zhent cutthroats are the basic Zhent assassin. They cut throats, it's as simple as that, but they're also quite effective at moving around the battlefield due to tumble.
Groundlings are a creation of the Zhents of Darkhold involving the perverse magical blending of badger and dwarven stock. Nevertheless, for generations they have been a particularly useful Zhent assassin noted for their obedience as much as their ability to sneak into almost any fortress, building or settlement.
Zhent guards are your basic polearm-wielding sentries, designed to stop Zhent enemies from passing through doors, gates or even portals. They have good battlefield control but at the expense of an absence of ranged attacks.
Zhent Messenger Snake
The Zhent messenger snake is more of a story device than a monster to fight and yet it could possibly make an effective assassin. It is also a conversion of a 2E monster.
As my plans are purely to use it as a story device, it is basically designed to be able to escape... and woe to the brawler fighter PC that tries to grab it!