(From the Journal of Jearomy, former Squire to Sir Du’Port of Gettybury)
I remember the first time which I first saw a hint of weakness in my former master. All four of the Knights of Gettybury were busy praying for courage and wisdom while myself and the other squires waited solemnly, fearful of the task ahead of us, for this night, we were to enter the dark church of Orion and take back the crypts and mausoleums which they had stolen from the people. Word had it that they were using our loved ones, many of whom died in the great Plague just 24 moons ago, in rituals designed to defile the land, and bring more death and destruction upon the innocent heads of Gettybury.
Nobody saw him come in, and before anyone could react we found ourselves to be surrounded. This man, I shall never forget his face, for it was hideous! This desecrater of mankind was but a scarecrow of a man, yet strange and bizarre powers radiated from him. He said that he knew what they were planning, and he could had let them just come to him, but he wished to use the order as a lesson to all whom appose his powers. He said his name was Wrath, and told us the he was the new way.
Sir Gledis drew his sword, and meant to strike the evil apostle down, however with a simple gesture, the dark shadow of Wrath stopped Sir Gledis in his tracks. What he began uttering will always remain unknown to me, but I saw him holding the seal of Orion, and I watched as all of these brave knights, who have fought larger and stronger monstrosities, coward from the little man. I, seeing this, covered my ears, and I am sad to say that I ran away. That was the last that I have seen of Sir Du’Port, and indeed, of any of the Knights of Gettybury.
Evil clerics have powers which many people have forgotten about. Chief among them is the ability to turn paladins! Granted, that it is very difficult. Paladins are living beings, not undead, therefore an evil cleric turns a paladin as if the cleric were 3 levels lower then what he is. Paladins are turned according to their level, and weaker paladins are turned first. Because paladins are living people, they cannot be destroyed by words alone, therefore, when D is indicated, this simply means that the paladin has been turned automatically.
Evil clerics can also dominate and control undead, if a D is indicated in a turning attempt, the unintelligent undead is permanently dominated by the cleric. This generally doesn’t effect player characters, at least not directly, but many a messy war has been caused between evil magicusers, and this tends to quickly become the problem of adventurers.
Intelligent undead also will hold a grudge if they are forced to do the evil cleric’s bidding, they will comply as required, however at the first opportunity, the undead will punish the cleric in some horrible way.
I have seen Leopald, he and I go back to our time as squires to the Knights of Gettybury. He is a ghost of a man now, I almost didn’t recognize him! Fore, I found him cowering in the streets like a common begger, we saw each other at the same time and he instantly bolted, however a man in his condition was no hard task to outpace.
Once I convinced him that I meant no harm, and wanted nothing more then just information to his wellbeing, did he talk, insisting a pint of grog in some dank hole of a tavern before complying with my request.
What he told me chilled my bones. Apparently Sir Rapaport, escaped the night of slaughter with his life, and contacted my old friend, together they secretly attempted to enter the graveyard of Gettybury, however the evil was even stronger then what was made apparent on that terrible night all those years ago.
Leopald shuddered as he recounted how Sir Rapaport kneeled before the grave of Saint Thomas, praying for his blessing and aid so that he may avenge his fallen brothers, and defeat the unspeakable evils which punish this fine city with their wickedness.
At this point it took a deal more rum and water before I could convince Leopald to finish his story, and what he told me was shocking, for, as he has reported, the spirit of Saint Thomas himself rose from the stone, however the evil that has corrupted the cemetery had also corrupted even the soul of our fine hero! Without warning, and with a single touch, Leopald says, Saint Thomas drained the life of brave Sir Rapaport as a weed sucks the life of the plants around it, leaving the brave paladin a dry husk.
Understandably, Leopald took flight, but, and this is more shocking and unsettling still! This was not the last that he had seen of Sir Rapaport, for a year after that dark night Leopald says that he saw him again, and he was angery. Rapaport called him a gutless coward, and that Leopald was going to make sure that he lived the rest of his life as a coward as well.
It appears that Sir Rapaport haunts my old friend, taking away anything which he earns for himself. He swears that the spirit of Sir Rapaport murdered his sick mother, as well as his wife Helen. Rapaport had murdered two of his three children, burned down his family home, and slays anyone brave enough to give him employment. Leopald is convinced that one day soon, Sir Rapaport is going to arrive again, and this will be the last time that anybody will see him alive.
Indeed, after that meeting, I let Leopald go on his way, but a few weeks when I went to look him up again, I discovered that just moments after our talk, his body was discovered drained of both life and blood. I instantly reported to the church, offering to pay for a full funeral, however they told me that this was impossible as the corpse was brought in to be cleaned and blessed, but when the priest pulled back the shrouds, the corpse of Leopald was gone.
UNDEAD PLAYER CHARACTERS
Dead characters belong solely to the Dungeon Master, unless this is part of an adventure. The Ravenloft box set, “The Grim Harvest” contains rules to running undead characters, but for this article, we are going to stick to core rules, and a dead character is lost to the PC.
Many intelligent undead have the ability to turn their enemies into undead servants. Player Characters who have been slain by an energy drain (reduced to 0 levels) are dead but rise as a form of the undead which killed them. All of their former levels are returned, and they have access to the skills which they possessed in life, however this is generally augmented and more effective to an undead. The new undead will serve the one who created it, if this creature has been slain, then he will be independent.
An undead classed character still gains experience until he reaches his max level, the max HD for the undead he has become, thus a 3rd level thief who has been slain by a Wraith will be able to gain 3 more levels to reach his max HD of 6th level. In regards to his class, mixed with undead abilities, he will always use the most beneficial system, thus a warrior who has becomes a ghost will roll hp with a 1d10, not the typical 1d8, he will also use the warrior THAC0 if this is better then the THAC0 of the undead.
A character of a higher level then the creature which slew him will only regain the max HD of his new form, and all benefits of levels above this number will be lost, however a DM must consider if some of this knowledge is kept, such as the case of a 12th level wizard who falls to the hands of a Wight, many of his stats will be dramatically lower, but he may still be able to cast spells as a 12th level wizard, granted that it still must have access to its old spellbooks. This is completely up to the DM and how he runs his campaign, but regardless, the wizard wight in question could still cast spells as a wizard of 5th level.
An undead character will always become evil and will usually blame those who he traveled with for allowing this to happen, and will seek revenge upon them. This can include henchmen and hirelings which feel wronged by the PCs who, with all of the powers and abilities, could have done something to help him.
The undead will typically wait until he is at max level before exacting his revenge, he may follow those whom he feels wronged him the most, and kill innocent victims until achieving the powers that it needs, and can concoct wild and intelligent schemes to get the most out of his revenge, knowing full well that time is on his side now.
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