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Legion of Darkness

by Bruce Heard

Okay, so on the one hand we may have friendly Kavajan goatmen with Hammers of Concussion. On the other... we have the Legion of Darkness.

A servant of the Dark Ones (now a powerful baatezu in AD&D2 terms or a weak entropic Immortal for OD&D) survived the goatmen's onslaught when they broke free of their evil slavery. Once a powerful servant of a Dark One, Braatnee has now the power to meddle with Mystara. She has manipulated people to become her agents in the Prime, helping them form evil sects to do her bidding. To each of these sects, she has granted the power to summon one of her warriors, the original breed that spawned the goatlings of Kavajan fame. Braatnee had managed to keep a few under her control when she escaped.

These warriors look like very large goatlings, with black hair and heavy muscles. They wear plate armour and fight with two-handed swords. Adult specimens have at least 4 HD and the size and strength of an ogre. These warriors are to serve and defend their assigned sects on Mystara, but their true plan is to assemble, with or without their sect's knowledge, and march upon the stray Kavajan goatmen. So far, Braatnee's secret sects exist in all the city states. Their ultimate goal is to destroy or enslave the runaway goatman breeds in the name of their patron. The sects goal is of course to multiply in the region and make more converts, which is also useful to Braatnee. When enough warriors are available, they will leave their sects and form the Legion of Darkness. Braatnee's goal is to free her former masters from the Kavajan goatmen's magic, but only to subject them to her control.

These warriors have two special features. The first is that they have most of the abilities of anti-paladins such as: detect good 120', turn clerical type characters and magical creatures with good (AD&D2) or lawful (OD&D) alignments, etc. They must act in accord with a Covenant of Evil designed to keep the Legion cohesive, ruthless, an loyal to Braatnee. The spells they can cast, depending on their actual experience levels, include exclusively wizard spells that are Charm or mind-control type spells (using AD&D2). For OD&D, the spells allowable are:

Charm, ESP, hold person, charm monster, confusion, hold-monster, magic jar, mass charm, and mind barrier.

Their other main feature is their horns. Their natural appendages have been replaced with Horns of Iron Darkness which are literally rooted in their skulls. They cannot be removed without killing the creature (save when using a wish spell). Unattached Horns of Iron Darkness (HoID in short) have the power to reattach themselves when placed on top of any creature's head. If so the character's alignment automatically becomes lawful evil (AD&D2) or Chaotic (OD&D) -- no save. Braatnee and her warriors will consider the character a new member of the Legion of Darkness else, the character will be hunted down until killed and the HoID returned to Braatnee. The character however gains the following powers:

100% chance per round of gating another warrior of the Legion of half or less experience (minimum level 4).

15% Magic resistance

+1 or better weapon to hit

Regenerate (as a ring of regeneration)

Head-butt special attack: requires charging again a foe -- damage d10+10 of magical damage as good as a +2 magical weapon as far as being able to hit magical beings. With a roll five points or more above the required attack score, the opponent is off-balance and loses its action for the round.

Immunity to all fires, poisons, and mind-affecting spells/spell-like powers. Half-damage from cold- and gas-based magical attacks.

Infravision and know-alignment (both at will), and dimension door (twice per day).

Warriors of Braatnee cannot fly and cannot call upon a paladin's warhorse (they do not use mounts at all*). They must respect their Covenant of Evil or be hunted down and destroyed. Upper level warriors may have other magical items provided to them by their sects. Occasionally, Braatnee will provide a Sword of Ineffable Damnation to a warrior whose eventual role will be that of a Legion commander. The sword is the evil equivalent to a paladin's +5 Holy Avenger. A warrior of Braatnee who is killed turns into ashes within a 2d4 rounds and cannot be raised from the dead. Its soul returns to Braatnee and becomes a lesser being on her plane.

(*) Perhaps wicked-looking war-chariots pulled by nightmares.