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Wendar - Forbidding Soulby Geoff Gander
This is a monster that I have created for the Wendar region:
Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 6**
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1 weapon +2 or 1 slime
Damage: by weapon or special
No. Appearing: 1-2
Save As: F6
Treasure Type: V
XP Value: 725
Monster Type: Undead (Rare, Enchanted)
Forbidding Souls are hideous creatures. They resemble tall, mouldering skeletons, between seven and eight feet in height, wearing rusted armour and bearing battered weapons, usually battle axes or longswords. Loose pieces of rotting flesh dangle from their forms where their flesh is exposed, but what makes them truly horrible is the black, glistening slime that coasts large portions of their bodies, which appears to move of its own accord.
These creatures inhabit the Mengul Mountain range to the northeast of Wendar, from the highest peaks down into the forested foothills. They have also been sighted on the Denagoth Plateau itself. This form of undead is tied to the magics that make that plateau the evil place it is today, and, in fact, it is a product of them. Violent murders caused by madness or wars, committed on the plateau or in the mountains, produce these creatures from the tortured spirits of the former victims. The victims' memories of their former lives are lost, and are replaced by a murderous desire to destroy all living things. This process takes only a few hours, during which the spirit cannot be harmed in any way, short of a wish. Once the transformation is completed, the spirit assumes a solid form resembling that described above. This form, complete with armour and weapons, is taken regardless of what sort of person the victim was in life, as this creature is a product of the evil of the Denagoth plateau, and therefore the magical effect does not act in any way mortals can understand.
Forbidding Souls are tremendously strong creatures; in combat they receive a bonus of +2 to damage when using any melee weapon. They are also capable of lifting, one-handed, anything weighing up to 5,000 cn.
In addition to its formidable strength, they also radiate an aura of fear - anyone seeing a Forbidding Soul must Save vs. Paralysation or be frozen with fear for 1d4 rounds. They can only be hit by silvered weapons, or those of +1 enchantment or better. Also, Forbidding Souls can become ethereal in order to pass through walls 10 feet thick or less. The act of assuming ethereal form takes one round, as does the reverse.
These creatures are also reasonably intelligent, capable of employing tactics of average complexity when in combat (such as feints, parrying, disarming foes, and so on). Some have been seen leading groups of humanoids and undead in the Mengul Mountains, it is known in some circles that more powerful Forbidding Souls, somewhere on the Denagoth Plateau, command small legions of common versions of themselves, as well as groups of lesser undead and humanoids. Although they are chiefly driven by the desire to destroy, Forbidding Souls can be commanded by powerful spellcasters and clerics to follow commands, and they can be turned as well. In both cases, they are treated as Spectres. Even when controlled, Forbidding Souls are surprisingly wilful, and when given orders will always seek to find a loophole to avoid doing its master's bidding.
What makes this form of undead truly dangerous, though, is its slime. Once per round, instead of attacking with its weapon, a Forbidding Soul can point at an opponent and fire some of its black slime in their direction. The victim must make a successful Save vs. Death Ray in order to avoid this attack. If the save fails, the slime begins to dissolve the victim, doing 1d10 points of damage per round. While the victim takes damage, the amount of hit points lost is gained by the Forbidding Soul. The creature can add a maximum of 30 additional hit points on top of its normal maximum, and any damage received by the creature is absorbed by these hit points, first. The slime can only be neutralised by holy water, a remove curse spell, or by a natural fire. Any of these methods will automatically destroy the slime in the round in which they are used, and the victim will stop taking damage. Hit points lost from this slime may be regained through magical healing or normal rest.
Forbidding Souls cannot venture more than 20 miles away from the Mengul Mountains or the plateau (the general region of Denagoth), otherwise their bodies will grow insubstantial and fade away, destroying them. If a Forbidding Soul is killed, its body crumbles into dust, and its spirit is freed. Any treasures carried by the creature materialise on top of the pile of dust one round after it is destroyed.