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Ctel-Zhaot, the Fallen

by Jesper Andersen

The Ctel-Zhaot is a creature of unspeakable evil and hatred. It was cast down by higher beings to live a mortal life on Mystara as a punishment for its wicked deeds. The agony the Ctel-Zhaot feels from being doomed to such a lowly existence can only be soothed by the corruption and torment of mortal souls.

Thus, it leads a life of secrecy and seeks out victims that excel as highly moral, innocent, just or true individuals. It then takes over their bodies (much like a magic jar spell), merging with its host but fully controlling its actions and thoughts. The Ctel-Zhaot usually then proceeds to commit unspeakable acts of bloodshed, cruelty and evil. And then it releases its victim to watch as a spectator as the formerly possessed victim tries without hope to prove his or her innocence.

The Ctel-Zhaot can pass from one body to another by touch, such as a handshake or a kiss. The host or victim has no memory of what went on while the Ctel-Zhaot was in possession of his or her body. If a possessed body is killed, the Ctel-Zhaot is forced out and must then find a new body to posses within 7 rounds. In this aerial form, the Ctel-Zhaot is even harder to resist, but if it does not enter a new body within 7 rounds, it finally dies. That is the only way to permanently kill it.

Every few decades the Ctel-Zhaot changes hunting grounds and can thus be found in any major town or city of the DM's choosing. Unexplained acts of homicidal behaviour in otherwise perfectly upstanding citizens could well be the work of the Ctel-Zhaot. It particularly enjoys victims that have a high standing in the community such as a leader of the town guard, a judge, a priest or children.

There are a few signs that a person is possessed by the Ctel-Zhaot. First of all, it is left-handed and so does its victims become while under its control. Secondly, it enjoys singing an old bandit drinking-song that it once picked up. And thirdly, when it gets angry or taunted, it sometimes speaks in its old native tongue (DM should decide whether it is Infernal, Abyssal, Carnifex, Ancient Nithian or something else, depending on his campaign).

The Ctel-Zhaot can easily spend several years setting up a trap for a particular prey and never actually posses its target, but rather individuals around him or her. E.g. it could possess the friends of a noble paladin and make them attack her, one by one, forcing her to kill them in self-defence and face trial afterwards.

The DM should create the stats and more specific origin of the Ctel-Zhaot for his campaign needs.