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3.5 Elder Dragons

2. Human, 15th-Level Sorcerer Lich King
Mumrah

Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 15d12 (97 hp)//33d12 (214 hp)
Initiative: +1//+9
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 20 (Dex +1, natural +5 mage armor +4), touch 11, flat-footed 19, incorporeal touch 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+8//+12/+13
Attack: Dagger +8//+13 melee (1d4+1) or paralyzing touch +8//+13 melee touch (1d8+5 negative energy damage plus paralysis) or by spell +8//+13 melee touch or +8//+13 ranged touch
Full Attack: Dagger +8/+3//+13/+8/+3 melee and paralyzing touch +3//+8 melee touch (1d8+5 negative energy damage plus paralysis) or paralyzing touch +8//+13 melee touch (1d8+5 negative energy damage plus paralysis) or by spell +8//+13 melee touch or +8//+13 ranged touch
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Fear aura, paralyzing touch, spells
Special Qualities: DR 15/bludgeoning and magic, immunities, turn resistance +4
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +10
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 12, Con -, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 20
Skills: Appraise +3 (//+7 jewelry), Bluff +23, Concentration +26//+44, //Craft (jeweler) +39, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +5 (+7 acting), Hide+9, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (arcana)+21//+39, Listen +9, Move Silently +9, Search +11, Sense Motive +9, Spellcraft +23//+43 (+2 scrolls//+8 scrolls), Spot +9, //Use Magic Device +41 (//+4 scrolls)
Feats: Augment Summoning, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, //Efficient Item Creation (wondrous item) [epic], Empower Spell, Energy Substitution (acid), //Energy Substitution (cold), //Eschew Materials, //Ignore Material Components [epic], //Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Concentration), //Superior Initiative [epic]
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or troop (Lich king and two 12HD mummies)
Challenge Rating: 20//23
Treasure: Amulet of mummy control (only works for these two specific mummies), darkskull, Lich’s Crown, Phylactery
Alignment: Lawful evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +4
Mumrah speaks Common,//Abyssal, //Celestial, //Infernal
Mumrah was introduced to mummies early in life. He was so impressed that he decided to become the best embalmer in the world. He studied long and hard on each different custom and ritual; finding and filing each one until he happened upon, quite by accident, a ritual for becoming a lich. Intrigued, he spent all of his resources to perform the ritual; thinking, “Now I will become the best embalmer in the world, I’ll create an army of mummies.”
200 years later, his army had been created and destroyed twice when he chanced upon the Lich’s Crown while hiding in a deep cavern from his paladin pursurers.
Another 50 years put him in possession of the ritual for changing soul energy into larvae
He makes contact with a Night Hag merchant willing to trade divine power for enough larvae. A price is agreed upon: 1,277 larvae for rank 0 divine status.
Unfortunately for him though, he refused Nethrancor’s offer for the ritual; and instead found his own copy in the annals of a great library. The copy he found had been edited by a monk under the influence of Desinora's Scout. Desinora had discovered that one purported way of destroying the crown was if a Null-Magic Elemental ate it. So she set a devious plan in motion by laying dreams showing the monk as saving the world by adding a short passage of words to a specific document. Eventually the monk added a “location requirement” to the ritual even though no such requirement existed. The location was a cavern on the edge of Arkonseptsis’ realm reached by an attached map.

Desinora hoped to destroy Nethrancor’s crown as well as create dissent between the Lead Dragon and the Death Father. Nearly 600 years later, Mumrah found the modified ritual.

Mumrah is usually accompanied by two 12HD mummies that follow his spoken (free action) or mental (standard action) orders due to an amulet around his neck. He is searching for the cavern in which to perform his ritual.

Spells: 6/8/7/7/7/7/6/4; Caster Level: 15//33; Save DC 15 + spell level, 16 + spell level for conjuration spells (marked with an *).
Spells Known: 9/5/5/4/4/4/3/2
0th acid splash*, detect magic, ghost sounds, mage hand, mending, message, open/close, ray of frost, read magic
1st burning hands, disguise self, grease*, magic missile, shield
2nd acid arrow*, false life, locate object, scorching ray, see invisibility
3rd arcane sight, dispel magic, fireball, flame arrow
4th charm monster, dimension door*, ice storm, phantasmal killer
5th cloudkill*, cone of cold, fabricate, shadow evocation
6th flesh to stone, summon monster VI*, veil
7th finger of death, mass hold person

//Crown Spells: 1/day each as an 18th level caster; Save DC 15 + spell level, 16 + spell level for conjuration spells (marked with an *).
0th Acid splash*, detect magic, disrupt undead, mage hand, mending, read magic, touch of fatigue
1st cause fear, chill touch, expeditious retreat, mage armor*, mount*, ray of enfeeblement, true strike
2nd acid arrow*, command undead, pyrotechnics, scare, spectral hand, web*
3rd arcane sight, halt undead, ray of exhaustion, stinking cloud*, vampiric touch
4th animate dead, bestow curse, contagion, enervation, fear
5th blight, cloudkill*, symbol of pain, teleport*, waves of fatigue
6th circle of death, create undead, eyebite, symbol of fear, true seeing
7th control undead, finger of death, symbol of weakness, waves of exhaustion
8th create greater undead, horrid wilting, symbol of death
9th energy drain, summon monster IX*, wail of the banshee


Since putting his mummy army (3rd iteration) on hold, Mumrah has taken to wrapping himself with bandages as if he were a mummy (Disguise +7, circumstance +2). This also helps hide his phylactery.
Mumrah’s phylactery is the basic one: linen arm wrappings holding a diminutive metal box next to his desiccated skin. The metal box is adamantine and contains (with no way to get them out without destroying the box) small linen strips inscribed with magical phrases invoking soul storage and unlife. Mumrah acquired a scroll of hardening and cast it on the box. Hardness: 25; HP: 40; Size: Diminutive AC: 6; Break DC 40. Only by unwrapping the body can the phylactery be found; all his other wrappings are on top of the arm wrappings holding his phylactery.

Stats and abilities after a double slash (//) are for when the crown is worn.
Mumrah uses the elite array.
 
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PRIVATIVE MAGIC
Arkonseptsis claims more territory than a demigod of divine rank 5 usually rules. Visitors begin feeling the drain of magic; everything magical seems more taxing than usual. Spellcasters* that require sleep to regain spells, now require 1 hour more to regain their spells. Creatures that instead meditate now also require 1 more hour. Creatures with spell-like abilities* now require at least one hour’s rest per day or their abilities will not recharge. There is no effect to magic items in this extra claimed area. The size of the extra area changes daily but never exceeds five miles from Arkonseptsis’s realm.
*Manifesters and psi-like abilities also for campaigns that include psionics.

The Realm of Arkonseptsis
Once the border area is passed, things get more dire for magical visitors. Another hour of sleep or meditation is required. And spellcasters* face a Concentration check DC 5 +2/day spent inside the realm for each spell they attempt to cast (this is in addition to any required Concentration check called for by the spell, casting defensively, or taking ongoing damage. Failure means the spell sputters out and has no effect other than the waste of the caster’s time, any material components, and the now empty spell slot. Creatures using spell-like abilities are also forced to make the same check, with the loss of one usage of the spell-like ability as a penalty for failure. Magic items also face such a Concentration check (from their user/activater) each time they are activated. Failure in this case results in the magic item being totally inoperative for 1 minute. Artifacts as not affected by these constraints.
*In a psionic campaign, manifesters, creatures with the psionic subtype, and psionic items face a similar Concentration check any time a power or psi-like ability is activated.

Arkonseptsis’s realm is roughly a sphere 5 miles in diameter; encompassing multiple tunnels and chambers that interconnect often. The tunnels go every direction, incuding up and down, wandering around the rocky demenses of the Lead Dragon.
The Surrounding Maze
There is a tangled maze of tunnels leading to Arkonseptsis' lair. The tunnels converge from all directions. Many are false trails that lead to dead ends. These false trails as well as the true path to his lair are littered with the debris and detrius left behind when Arkonseptsis travels: oozes and slime keepers as well as dangerous traps built by an enslaved dwarven clan oversaw by Arkonseptsis in his youth when he was yet mortal. The tunnels leading to Arkonseptsis' lair, if properly followed without deviation from the true path would take approximately 12 hours to traverse on foot, usually 2d4 12-hour days otherwise. Unfortunately, using magic to find the true path is a sure way to gain Arkonseptsis' attention even if he is not in his lair.

Tunnels are roughly cut, mostly natural caverns 40 to 70 feet wide with many stalactites (ceiling) but few stalagmites (floor). A lot of stalactites constantly drip water forming small puddles below their tips. Sometimes pools of grimy water or sandy patches or graveled slopes cover the undulating floor, but mainly the floor is bedrock, worn smooth through generations of use. The walls are slick with slime or slimy water. Large fields of phosphoreresent fungi (the rare kind that glows as bright as a torch, but stranger because violet is only one of the choices for color though each patch is only a single color) are arranged in shapes and even messages in strange languages every fifty feet or so, often negating the necessity for light sources even for those with no darkvision. These messages make no sense even if properly translated, having been written by mind-blasted slime keepers over the centuries.

The roof of the tunnels varies in height from 30 to 50 feet with most chambers (wider areas or crossroads) being the maximum. An encounter usually happens in a chamber, whether that be a wide area or an intersection. The tunnels are chock full of intersections as every path crosses every other path at least once. Even though many have died in these tunnels, the various oozes in the tunnels "clean" the area of bodies, equipment, and most signs of passage.

Imagine that Arkonseptsis’s realm is an egg, then his lair would be the yolk. The entrance to the lair seems to be a shallow puddle about 100 feet in diameter in another dead end, but the water reflection makes the actual depth look deceptively close instead of the 50 or so feet deep the puddle actually is. The puddle is really just the only corner of an underground lake on this side of the tunnel walls. Forty feet down into the puddle, the tunnel wall separating the lake from the dead end ends; allowing entrance into the lake beyond the tunnels, albeit underwater. The water is ice cold, see below under Water Level for rules dealing with this infested, tainted, icy underground lake.



Surrounding Maze Random Encounters
1d20/Encounter (check hourly)
1-4
Black Pudding
5-7 Slime Keeper
8-9 Ocher Jelly
10-11 Gelatinous Cube
12-13 Gray Ooze
14 Purple Worm (1)
15 Otyugh
16 Flaming Puddle (2d6)
17 Treasure Ooze (1)
18-20 Special

1d20 Black Pudding Type
1-12 Black Pudding 1d4 H
13-18 Black Pudding 1d3 G
19 Elder Black Pudding 1 G
20 Wizard Pudding 1 G

1d20 Slime Keeper
1-16 Any one
17-18 Any two
19-20 Any three

1d20 Ocher Jelly Type
1-14 2 L
16=20 1 H

1d20 Gelatinous Cube Type
1-13 1d3 L
14-20 1d2 H

1d20 Gray Ooze Type
1-17 1d6+2 M
18-20 1d4 L

1d20 Otyugh Type
1-18 1d6 L
19-20 1d4 H

Special
1-10 Fungus Patch
11-15 Altar
16-20 Trap
Fungus Patch: 50/50: 3d4 Violet Fungi (1d2 of them advanced), 4d4 Shriekers (all advanced), 1d2 Ropers, and 1d10+30 regular giant sized mushrooms. Shriekers call a purple worm or 1d4 otyughs (equal chances) after 2d4 rounds of shrieking. OR a casting of Summon Monster I from a slime keeper forming a message that makes no sense. This consists of glowing slimy fungus shaped into a written message often in strange or unknown tongues and always incoherent even if translated properly. The colors of the glowing words varies according to the whim of the writer but each message is a single color, giving the whole area dim lighting within 50 feet of the glow.
Altar: A temporarily consecrated altar (usually just a few rocks stacked together) made to sacrifice magic items or creatures (equal chances of either).
Trap: A mechanical trap built by some long forgotten race (each trap construction personally oversaw by Arkonseptsis). Dwarves that get within 10 feet of a known trap can identify it as a shoddy (thus slave-built) dwarven construction, a shoddiness noticeable only to a dwarf though there is no actual difference to the DC's. The age of these stonework contraptions varies from 10 to 20 centuries ago.
Traps are either of two types (equal chances of each, neither of which affect the resident oozes in any negative way):
1. Crushing Wall Trap: CR 10; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset; no attack roll required (18d6, crush); Search DC 20; Disable Device DC 25.

2. Poisoned Spiked Pit Trap: CR 10; mechanical; location trigger; automatic reset (every 10 minutes); (Search DC 25); DC 20 Reflex save avoids; 50 ft. deep (5d6, fall); multiple targets (first target in each of two adjacent 5-ft. squares); pit spikes (Atk +10 melee, 1d4 spikes per target for 1d4+5 plus poison each); poison (purple worm poison, DC 24 Fortitude save resists, 1d6 Str/2d6 Str); Search DC 16; Disable Device DC 25.
 
Magical Sense

Arkonseptsis' Salient Divine Ability of Extra Sense Enhancement (magical sense) is much more powerful in his realm, even if he is not there. He is so attuned to his realm that he immediately knows whenever a creature with magical abilities* (including spellcasting, or even divine status) or a magical item** (including artifacts) enters his home turf. This does not anger him; he doesn't profess to guard his borders from intrusion, but he does expect visitors to respect him and not cast magic while in his realm.
*This includes psionic abilities in campaigns with psionics.
** This includes psionic items in campaigns with psionics.


Each hour, Arkonseptsis tallies up the spell violations to his realm and decides to intervene or not according to his criteria. For DM's keep track of each spell cast, each magic item activated, each spell-like or supernatural ability activated during that hour.

On the first day in the realm: Arkonseptsis is very lenient on his punishments so each spell or spell-like ability or magic item activation or supernatural ability activated only counts as a 1% chance to draw the Lead Dragon's attention.

Day 2 in the realm: increases Arkonseptsis' annoyance and thus increases the chances by a lot. Spells are now worth their spell level in %; spell-like abilities with a level equivalence are treated as if that spell level; magic items, supernatural abilities, and spell-like abilities without a level equivalence are treated as if 5th level.

Day three: the base changes to 2% per spell level.

Day four: the base changes to 3% per spell level.

Day five and afterward: the base changes to 4% per spell level.

If the roll is made and it draws Arkonseptsis' attention, his actions depend on the total of the % chance.

20% or less: Arkonseptsis runs to within 300 feet of the offending group, spits out a black pudding and leaves to attend to other business.

21% to 60%: Arkonseptsis does a run-thru attack. He runs through the offending group's position at full speed on the ground (staying off the walls) doing an overrun attack. Each party member must make a choice: dodge (Ref DC 15) to the side (evasion works against this attack); or stand and get an AoO but become prone. In either case, Arkonseptsis is then gone from sight. For the overrun attack, Arkonseptsis' modifier is +36 versus Medium opponents and +40 versus Small opponents (+16 Str, +16/+20 size difference, +4 more than two legs) versus the party's individual Dexterity or Strength checks. Arkonseptsis suffers a -2 penalty to his AC during this attack. RBDMs would also call for saves vs. his curse, his divine aura, and his diseases as he runs by.

61% to 80%: Arkonseptsis does a run-thru attack as before but also gets one try at snatching a magic item in his jaws as he passes by (grapple to hold onto the item or it is gone with Arkonseptsis), the attack gains +2 to hit and deals bite damage and half strength bonus to the attached appendage. The magic item is immediately swallowed unless successfully grappled by its owner. A successful grapple check allows the owner to hold onto the item and go for a ride with the Lead Dragon. Successful grapple checks must be made each round or the item is lost and the character falls to the wayside (2d6 damage from skidding to a stop). As usual, the overrun deals no damage just forces the party prone. Same note about RBDMs here.

81% or more: Arkonseptsis has had enough of your insolence and intends to put an end to your annoyance once and for all. He spits a black pudding from max range, charges and gets full attack attacking as many opponents as he can. The Lead Dragon will not allow anyone to escape unless he gets to destroy a magic item of worth (no potions or scrolls; something substantive).

If someone is so brazen as to enter his lair, the base chance rises to 5% per spell level and no matter what the final %; if the roll is made, he will treat it as if the chance were 81+%.

Artifacts and deities are treated as if they had been in the Lead Dragon's realm for 1 more day than they have been there; Arkonseptsis considers that gods and their creations should know better.
Salient Divine Abilities and artifacts activated within his realm are treated as if they were 10th level spells for the purposes of drawing Arkonseptsis' attention.
 
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Dead Ends

Another kind of encounter occurs whenever the party enters a dead end. Dead ends are disguised by turns in the tunnel walls or changes in the tunnel's elevation; hiding the dead end until the party is in it.

Dead ends are roughly circular and about 200 feet in diameter. Most of the dead end is filled with a mound of volcanic glass that has been polished and faceted to reflect any light onto the cavern walls, dimly lighting the whole area from just a single torch.

Long ago, before he achieved godhood, Arkopnseptsis made a deal with a small family of otyughs. That family has since grown into a tribe that inhabits all but one of the dead ends in the Lead Dragon's realm. Arkonseptsis had his dwarven slaves build the mounds in each dead end, with volcanic glass mined from a nearby dormant volcano (any dwarf within 10 feet notices this dwarven construction, Knowledge (architecture and engineering) DC 25 can do the same). The mounds have been built to nullify vibration in the ground (such as used by tremorsense) for any creature standing on the mound. Also, as a side effect, oozes find this polished glass to be especially hard to move upon (their speed is halved on the mound).

Arkonseptsis uses all but one of the dead ends as his bathroom, so each mound in each dead end has 1d6 huge-sized piles of poop on it. This is where the otyughs live in family units of from 2 to 8 members. At least one or two are advanced and thus use the non-elite array. Oozes usually come into the dead end and wander around the mound for several days to a week then exit the way they came in. The mounds are also home to 2d4 rat swarms. The poop can have items buried in it, but a god's diseased poop is not something anyone should want to pilfer through. There is a 25% chance (per pile) that the poop is also infested with rot grubs.

There are two special dead ends. The first is the repository of the artifact known as the Lich's Crown; which is to be found deep inside one of the six piles of poop in its dead end. There are eight otyughs, 3 of which are max advanced, 2 rat swarms scuttle about on the mound, 2 poop piles are claimed by a group of 7 monstrous centipedes (1 H, 2 L, 4 M), a trio of gelatinous cubes (one Huge -sized) patrol the pathway around the mound.
The second special dead end is the entrance to Arkonseptsis' lair, where he keeps his treasure.
 
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THE LAIR OF THE LEAD DRAGON
In the yolk that is the egg of Arkonseptsis’ realm is the lair of “no magic”. Though magic can be cast or activated here, it is likely to immediately draw the lead dragon’s attention. No matter where he is in his realm, Arkonseptsis can be anywhere his attention is drawn in 4d6+2 rounds. He knows all the shortest routes. In his lair though, he can be anywhere his attention is drawn in only 2d6 rounds. Once he has shown up, he will use his normal speed for combat.

The lair of Arkonseptsis is shaped like an ellipsoid angled slightly upward, with the lowest level of the lair below water.

Lake Level
The lake itself is shaped like a half-circle, with the flat edge being the wall of the tunnels beyond. The curved edge offers three ledges on which the party can climb out of the water; all other areas being filled with a multitude of stalagmites and some stalactites, enough to call the whole area a forest of stalagmites. The radius of the lake is 1,000 feet.

The only entrance to this cavern is deep under water (40 feet) but not at the bottom (50 feet) and once the surface is reached, a swimmer needs to cross nearly 1,000 feet of ice cold, deep lake water to get to an area where climbing out of the water is possible. Those in the water and not ooze type or aquatic subtype or resistant to cold must make a Fortitude save DC 15 every 10 minutes or suffer -1 Strength and -1 Dexterity from numbness (this numbness stacks). Make numbness checks every 10 minutes in the water. Numbness penalties lessen by 1 on each ability score for each minute spent out of the water. A campfire will provide enough warmth to lessen the time to rounds spent out of the water instead of minutes.

The lake is infested with treasure oozes. Any creature in the water acquires an treasure ooze attached to it each minute. They will stay attached until a pile of objects comes into range.

Further, the water is tainted with Blinding Sickness and requires a save versus the disease (DC 16) or catch the disease, repeat this save every 10 minutes for anyone in the water until they fail a save or exit the water. This cavern is nearly lightless, having only a faint multicolored glow coming through the stalagmite forest of the second level.

The ledges are five feet above the water, requiring a jump and grab to get up on the ledge.
Climbing out of the water is made difficult by slippery edges everywhere climbing up is possible (3 different places easily seen because of a diffuse glow from around the stalagmites surrounding the curved side of the lake): Climb check DC is 20 to climb out of the water because of the slipperiness.

The chance of an encounter while in the lake is 50%, checked every 10 minutes. If an encounter occurs, roll on the table below to determine what creature(s) are encountered. If possible, creatures encountered will follow any that seek to escape onto land.

Lake Random Encounters
1d12:Encounter (# of creatures)/Creature Size

1 giant octopus (1d3)/L
2 giant octopus (1)/H
3 black pudding (1d3)/H
4 black pudding (1d2)/G
5 elder black pudding (1)/G
6 wizard pudding (1)/G
7 ocher jelly (1d3)/L
8 ocher jelly (1d2)/H
9 gelatinous cube (1d4)/L
10 gelatinous cube (1d3)/H
11 gray ooze (1d6)/M
12 gray ooze (1d3)/L

Kerthan mentions a legendary tale of an apprentice dwarven blacksmith of clan Stonehammer, named Hraggar, who encountered a "Magic Eater" deep underground. While running from it he stumbled and fell into a puddle that turned out to be the corner of a deep lake. Hraggar's armor bore him down to the bottom where he found a glowing bluish gate and rather than wait to drown or try and walk out, he entered the gate.
The other side of the gate offered a bleak, hostile landscape. Hraggar quickly took off his armor and plunged back through the gate into the icy water. Months later, a fellow clan member found him wandering the deep tunnels, barely alive. Though the best dwarven physicians and priests tried for years; he never recovered enough strength to return to his craft. The clan history blames the Magic Eater for his affliction; Kerthan the Historian claims that "Magic Eater" is another epithet for Arkonseptsis.
 
Stalagmite-Forest Maze

The second part of the cavern that is the lair of Arkonseptsis and taking up about a third of the cavern is the Stalagmite-Forest Maze. The dimensions of this part of the cavern are consistently 1,000 feet wide and another 1,000 feet from the edge of the lake to the beginning of Arkonseptsis' bedroom/treasure chamber. Stalagmites grow so closely together as to form the walls of a maze with many intersections, dead ends, and rejoinings. Unlike the larger Surrounding Maze, this maze is all level (no tunnels going up or down), though the whole maze tilts slightly uphill toward the next section of Arkonseptsis' Lair. The stalagmites meet stalactites about 30 feet up, making the "walls" reach to the ceiling. The stalagmite walls are about 5-7 feet thick at ground level, tapering to only 2-3 feet thick at 30 feet, then widening again to 4-5 feet thick at the ceiling.

The three openings from the lake level join into a small clearing with 4 possible exits into the maze.

This maze should take no more that 2 hours to traverse (barring encounters). The maze ends at a 50-foot wide ramp that leads through an opening in the stalagmite walls that form the end of this zone.

Busting a way through the maze is possible, but the "walls" are stone (hardness 5, 60 hp per 5-foot section). Even with the perfect tool and great strength; walking the maze should prove quicker.

The maze is inundated with oozes of various types that usually come in groups of from 5-10 creatures.
Check every 10 minutes (50% chance) for an encounter. The oozes will always be ahead in the party's path.
Encounters always occur in intersections or dead ends. Intersections have 3-6 (1d4+2) choices (including the direction from which the party came).
If an encounter occurs, use the table below to determine which oozes are present.
Roll 1d6
1: 1 black pudding, 4 flaming puddles, and 1 ocher jelly
2: 3 ocher jellies, 3 gray oozes, and 3 gelatinous cubes
3: 1 wizard pudding and 9 treasure oozes
4: 2 elder black puddings, 2 flaming puddles, and 1 gray ooze
5: 8 flaming puddles and 1 black pudding
6: 1 Huge gelatinous cube, 3 treasure oozes, 1 gray ooze, 1 ocher jelly

Once an encounter has occured, ignore that result for future encounter rolls (or go to a smaller die-size when two or more encounters have been removed from the list: d4, d3, d2). There should not be more than 6 encounters to traverse this area unless the party tarries for some reason (in that case, start over with the list).
 
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Treasure Level
The cavern walls that surround the treasure level are lined and swirled with multitudes of colors of glowing fungi (black, white, violet, red, orange, green, pink, and yellow) sort of a psychedelic wall coloring with swirls and stripes of the various colors. Fungi that grow on the walls here can be found nowhere else in the world. The whole central chamber is brightly lit requiring no special vision to see. There are still some shadows though, but they are few and far between on the treasure level (-6 to Hide checks on the treasure level). Because of the wild colors though, determining color of items is impossible.
Though oozes will follow opponents into the treasure level, there is only one resident ooze in the treasure chamber otherwise; and it will not attack or even reveal its presence until a piece of the pile of coins and gems is touched.

Check upon entering the treasure level and once per hour thereafter.

1d10 roll//Encounter//Creature Size
1-2//Arkonseptsis//C
3-10//None//N/A


Arkonseptsis' Treasure
12,773,000 cp
5,080,562 sp
1,851,034 gp
350,908 pp
7,163 gems of various types
392 pieces of artwork
No magic*

Artwork: All artwork is ancient beyond belief but every piece is delicate and won't stand up to travel or even touching very well. (+25% to the value of all artwork because of age, but only a 10% chance any piece survives transport undamaged (extraordinary safety measures can take this to 20%). Damaged artwork is worth only 10% of the adjusted value). There are pieces of jewelry, statuettes, paintings, tapestries, silverware, busts, and maps among the artwork. The various pieces of artwork are arranged in two natural rock showcases on either side of the pile of coins and gems and flanking the ramp from the Stalagmite-Forest Maze. The showcases are truncated stalagmites that grow so closely together as to be a single 5-foot high, 12-foot long, U-shaped wall encasing the artwork. Phosphorescent fungi grow on the showcases and supply violet mood lighting for the art.

Gems: The gems are located in a huge pile in the central area of the treasure chamber along with the multitude of coins. This enormous pile is often visited, slept on, and swam in by the Lead Dragon. Arkonseptsis only picks up the very best gems to add to his hoard so +100% to the value of all gems. Though it is not possible to tell in the normal lighting of the cavern; 75% of the gems are green.

Coinage: The coins are representative of every civilization that ever minted coins, Some are old beyond belief, many are stamped with unknown faces, unrecognizible beasts, impressive buildings or strange ships on them. They also contain lettering and symbols from some forgotten time [Knowledge (history) DC 20 or Bardic Knowledge DC 20 to identify most times and places, lots of coins though and examining each coin would take years]. Coins must be exchanged for present day local coinage and most will lose much of their value due to this exchange. At best, assume -50% of value for all coins because they will be melted and used as metal stock.

Magic:* Any magic that Arkonseptsis finds, he eats or destroys depending on his mood; so, none will ever be found in his treasure.


Notes
There is only a 20% chance that Arkonseptsis is present in his lair. The other 80% of the time he is out tracking down some magic/spellcaster/undead he wants to destroy. And sometimes he then moves onto to the destruction of a magic-using city, depending on his mood.

Using active magic while in the lair of Arkonseptsis, can call his attention and bring him running to protect his home from magic. It will only take him 2d6 rounds to get to his lair if he senses enough active magic cast there. He can locate and arrive at an area of active magic anywhere in the surrounding tunnels in 4d6+2 rounds. He does not teleport. His running speed is impressive. He usually skids to a stop far enough away to start the battle with a spit and charge.

The treasure itself in Arkonseptsis' lair has been animated by a treasure ooze; and it will attack once touched.

Once Arkonseptsis returned to his lair after a long absence on the Elemental Plane of Entropy, one of the treasure oozes that infested him from his eon-long stay on the plane dropped off of Arkonseptsis to bury itself inside the treasure hoard that he slowly tracked down, piece by piece (along with any other treasure he could acquire along the way) and animated it. It followed him until he got the last piece adding any new treasure Arkonseptsis dropped on the pile to its size. The treasure pile followed the Lead Dragon all the way back to his lair and even to the treasure chamber where it now sleeps and procreates.

As it animates a Colossal pile (advanced to 60HD), it produces offspring once per month. An offspring has no pile to animate thus it searches for creatures on which to use its attach ability. At present, there are 10 new treasure oozes slowly moving toward the second level. Most young treasure oozes attach to Arkonseptsis when he is in attendance, but he has been absent for nearly a year presently.

Even if some adventurers were to abscond with some of Arkonseptsis' treasure; the Lead Dragon would track them unfailingly until he retrieved his treasure, stopping only momentarily to destroy or eat a magic item. Chances are that said adventurers have attached treasure oozes that will drop off as soon as a pile of objects comes into range. Any piles of treasure animated by such oozes, will be combined into one pile and herded back to his lair by the Null-Magic Elemental as soon as he regains his spoils. Once there, the ooze animating the largest pile will engulf the other pile(s) and gain control of an even larger pile. The other ooze relinquishes its hold on those objects and must use its normal movement or its attach ability to find another pile. It has been over 150 years since Arkonseptsis last herded a treasure pile into his lair.



Treasure Ooze
Animated Treasure Pile

Colossal Construct
Hit Dice: 60d10+80 (410 hp)
Initiative: –5
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: –3 (–8 size, –5 Dex), touch –3, flat-footed –3
Base Attack/Grapple: +40/+70
Attack: Slam +46 melee (4d6+21 plus 4d6 bludgeoning)
Full Attack: Slam +46 melee (4d6+21 plus 4d6 bludgeoning)
Space/Reach: 60 ft./30 ft.
Special Attacks: Constrict 4d6+21 plus 4d6 piercing, improved grab
Special Qualities: Blend, blindsight 60 ft., construct traits, fast healing 2, immunity to metal, ooze traits, vulnerability to stone
Saves: Fort +20, Ref +15, Will +15
Abilities: Str 38, Dex 1, Con —, Int —, Wis 1, Cha 1
Skills:
Feats:
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 20
Treasure: None (but see below)
Alignment: Always neutral

Notes:
Arkonseptsis, through centuries of study and experimentation, discovered how to affect the immunity and vulnerability of treasure oozes. He herded his private treasure ooze and all its coins and gems to one side of the cavern he calls his treasure room/bedroom. Then he broke all the stalactites off the ceiling, creating a Gargantuan pile of rocks and herded the treasure ooze with all its treasure pieces onto the top of the rock pile and waited for the hidden rocks to become part of the treasure ooze’s pile. Metal though numerous in coins, is only the second largest component of the pile, the largest being stone from ceiling rocks and gems. The treasure is always arranged so that few if any rocks show. Usually as a carpeting of coins that swirls up into motionless waves across the chamber; with a glint of large gems everywhere.

Even a thrown rock will damage this ooze, albeit only by its normal damage x 1.5. Unfortunately, any handy rocks are part of the ooze's construct.

The treasure ooze operates the Lead Dragon’s treasure hoard as a construct. Once defeated, the treasure it operated as a construct, is available for the taking.
 
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SPECIAL FEATURES OF THE REALM

There are several features of the realm of Arkonseptsis. Most are found in the surrounding maze and only one is found in the lair. First off, there are 3 streams, mere rivulets, that run through Arkonseptsis' realm. One feeds the lair lake, one drains from said lake, and one just meanders through the sphere that is the realm from near the topmost point and exits out finally near the bottommost point flowing through the different levels of the maze. Second, there are 6 secret rooms. And third, there are magma pools.

First, the features of the surrounding maze. Except for the first one, all features should be added to a normal encounter. 20% of all encounters will include a feature of some kind.
If the dice determine that a feature should be added; roll a d6 to determine which one.
D6 roll
1-3 Stream (d6: 1-4 pure water, 5-6 cold, tainted, and infested water*)
4-5 Secret Room (d6: 1-5 empty, 6 skeletons)
6 Magma Pool
*see the Lake Level for details

Streams
Streams appear in one of three ways in the surrounding maze. Equal chances of any appearance.
1. The rill drips from the roof of the tunnel cascading down one wall forming a puddle below where the water slowly seeps lower in the maze.
2. The rill enters the tunnel from one wall and runs across the tunnel to the other wall where the water waits in a puddle to drain further down in the maze.
3. The rivulet becomes a tiny waterfall in the middle of the tunnel, falling again to a puddle until the water can seep back into the cracks in the bedrock.

The streams are too small for any creature larger than Fine size and even then, Ooze type is a necessary requirement to travel the cracks with the water. Even Small oozes cannot squeeze themselves so thin.


Secret Rooms
There is just one description of the secret rooms, as they are all identical except in one respect.
The very first encounter in the realm is one of these secret rooms instead of any random creatures.
The room worked stone, 60 feet by 60 feet, and 30 feet high. Any dwarf that gets within 10 feet knows that this is dwarven construction, shoddy like the traps, but still dwarven. The 20-foot wide, 10-foot tall secret door is obviously worked stone when viewed from the inside of the room, but retains the natural stone appearance when viewed from out in the tunnel. The door is locked with a lever, only accessible from the corridor. The lever requires a combined Strength score of 40 (or size H and 30) to move it. Once moved to its lower position, the door becomes apparent as it opens. Also apparent is another door (10 feet wide and 5 feet tall) across the tunnel, that also opens. It contains racks for tools, but the racks are all empty. Raising the lever (Strength as before) closes and locks both doors.

Each room contains 50 stone bed frames, the bed-clothes having long ago turned to dust. There is a small partially walled-off section in one corner that contains a midden that has since dried up. A large pool along one wall still contains water, tepid and stale, but safe and pure. Another corner holds a small mushroom farm where water drips down into it from a crack in the wall. The mushrooms are still edible and provide good nutrition for those brave enough to try them.


Skeletons
One secret room is different. First, a cloud of musty gas exits the room when opened having the same effects and size of a stinking cloud. Once the cloud clears (10 minutes), the party will discover that some of the stone beds are occupied by dwarven skeletons (not the creatures called skeletons, just dead bodies), rusted chains still on their legs. A group of four skeletons lies near the door with dwarven leg bones in or near their hand bones. There are scratches all over the inside of the door and bone fragments everywhere around the door. Several of the skeletons in the beds close to the door are missing one or both legs. It seems as if Arkonseptsis no longer had a use for his slaves once their work on the traps, rooms, and magma pools was done;.so he neglected to release his slaves from their quarters.

The tool rack across the tunnel contains loads of mining tools (picks, shovels, a heavy stone-wheeled, stone cart (requires a total Strength of 25 to push it slowly-5' feet per round, it weighs 800 lbs., higher Strength totals can move it faster), and even a grinding wheel powered by pedals for sharpening the tools. The tool-heads are all worn, but in good condition and sharp. They are made of normal iron. The wooden handles though have petrified and are actually now stone. These stone tool handles could be used passable weapons against the treasure ooze guarding Arkonseptsis' treasure (Damage 1d6/x2, bludgeoning), if the party takes them. The tools weigh 3 lbs. each and there are approximately 60 of them. The grinder has two wheels like a wheel barrel and is easily moved by someone with at least a 12 Strength, at normal walking speed. Stone handles removed from the tool-heads only weigh 2 lbs. each.


Magma Pools
These are simply obsidian bowls about 10 feet in diameter and about 3 feet high, containing lava. The bowl merges with the floor and can only be removed by its destruction. The lava is drawn straight from a volcanic vent far below, raising temperatures by 30 degrees within 10 feet. Arkonseptsis provides these for visitors to his realm to make it easier for them to destroy their magic items and dispose of spellcasting creatures. Any dwarf within 10 feet recognizes these as the same shoddy dwarven construction seem elsewhere in the realm.
 
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The last kind of special feature is to be found only in the depths of the lake in the lair. It can be easily missed.

Gate to Entropy
Description: It is 50 feet underwater and 300 feet from the underwater entrance to the lair (from the dead end in the surrounding tunnels). It produces a feeble blue glow that can only be seen from 30 feet away (60 feet for low light vision). It is nothing more than a hole into nothingness whose edges glow slightly, roughly 40 feet in diameter laying flat against the bottom of the lake.

Exploring the whole lake underwater is the only reliable method of finding this feature, a gate to the elemental plane of entropy. The gate is a natural phenomena (if it had been magical, Arkonseptsis would have surely destroyed it long ago), and radiates massive amounts of cold into the surrounding lake water (providing the extra-special coldness of the lake).
Perhaps, the Lead Dragon living here causes the area to mimic entropy enough to attract a physical connection with the plane itself.

Special Rules: The DC 15 Fortitude save to prevent Numbness (see the Lake Level) must be made every minute while within 30 feet of the gate. Numbness penalties accrue per minute rather than per 10 minutes when within 30 feet of the gate. When within 10 feet of the gate, the Fortitude save to prevent further numbness must be made each round and the numbness penalties accrue per round. Warming methods, once the water is exited (on shore or through the gate) do not change.
 
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Adventure Hooks

1. The evil lich, Mumrah, has reappeared and is again building an undead army to sweep across the realms. Even now, smaller villages in the north are being swarmed by the lesser undead of his vanguard. His fortress, as always lies in the mountains far to the north. The oracle has proclaimed that this time his armies are destined to overrun all the known world so that he can become a god; unless some hardy group of heroes can assail the ruins that was his fortress in another age, relieve him of his crown, and destroy that fabled artifact before he can attain godhood through creation of an undead horde. [Use any ruins map and have an entrance to Arkonseptsis’ realm from that map; add Mumrah as a fixed encounter in one dead end instead of its usual encounter. He has started the ritual to become a god. The party must interrupt the ritual, gain the crown, and destroy the lich and phylactery/escape all the while avoiding the demigod whose realm they’ve invaded.]

2. A madman roams the countryside shouting to all that the end is nigh. He searches for some few brave of heart to take his map, find and destroy the crown buried in a huge pile of dragon poop. He claims that the crown turned his friends into monstrous undead just from wearing it. [add two crown liches to the dead end with the crown, one wearing the crown. These crown liches also have disease that is spread by their physical attacks (filth fever, normal save) from the filth in which they are covered.]

3. The local magistrate has posted a reward of 10,000 gp for the capture or killing of the bandits of the king’s road. [The bandits are 2 slime keepers who wandered out of Arkonseptsis’ realm and are waylaying travelers along the road to acquire their magic items. The slime keepers do not work together even if encountered together.]

4. A group of living fires are attacking the town, easily climbing over the stone walls and setting fire to anything they can touch. [8 flaming puddles have come out of the wilderness leaving a blackened trail from a nearby cavern to the town, subsequent investigation reveals different kinds of oozes exiting this cavern.]
 
PART TWO
Nethrancor
Dead Secrets



According to Erevann and the Draco Procreatio:
...The last half of the eleventh tablet spends most of its space delineating the dark and the creatures that inhabit it and how Nethrancor is responsible for all that creeps, crawls, or flies after death. Nethrancor is the dark head of all draconic undead, specializing in necromantic magic and reanimation techniques. Called the Death Father, he is said to command the worship of all undead dragons, making him unique among deific elder dragons for having some type of draconic worshipers, even if his are already dead.
Nethrancor knows every method of immortality through undeath and he is willing to trade a bit of that knowledge to anyone that swears fealty to him (which he guarantees with his Lay Quest salient divine ability). He also assigns a rogue bone devil to tail such aspirants and report on their successes or setbacks towards becoming undead. Nethrancor's Lay Quest holds them to their word and demands aquisence and fealty even after death into undeath.



When in his lair, Nethrancor (neth-ran-kor) most often appears as a Colossal dragon, with black scales so ancient they appear to be almost gray. His wings are leathery and make him seem even darker when they are unfurled and outstretched. Outside his lair, he usually appears as a huge pair of serpentine flaming eyes. To his worshipers of humanoid or giant type, sometimes he assumes the form of a Huge robed skeleton of any type of giant carrying a scythe. It is unknown what form he uses for his undead dragon followers. In all forms, his eyes flame and smolder.

As the Death Father he knows the specifics of all means of unlife and he is more than willing to trade such secrets to gain another sycophant follower. Nethrancor always uses his salient divine ability of Lay Quest on such potential followers to ensure they will worship him properly by becoming undead. He also makes deals to hand out any secret of undeath in return for a service, but this deal is only offered to undead.




New NPC Class
Fanatic

The fanatic is a member of a religion that has dedicated her life to the service of her church and her deity. Unlike clerics or adepts, fanatics can only rely on their faith, they have no actual training other than in the normal operations of the church. They can be found doing nearly any meanial task for their church, even standing on the front lines of battle if necessary.

Hit Dice d6

Good Saves: Fortitude
BAB x3/4 (as cleric)

Class Skills:
The fanatic’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are: Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (all skills taken individually) (Int), Profession (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int).
Skill Points at First Level: (2 + Intelligence modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Intelligence Modifier

Class Features:
All of the following are class features of the fanatic (Fan) NPC class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The fanatic is proficient in all simple weapons. The fanatic is not proficient in any type of armor or shields.

Steadfast: Fanatics are immune to any effect that would make her go against her church, her deity, or the tenets of her faith. This means a fanatic can fail a save versus an on-going mental control effect, but if she is told to do something against her church or deity; she automatically breaks free of the magic.

Fanatical Rage (Ex): At 5th level, a fanatic can fly into a fanatical rage once per day. In a fanatical rage, a fanatic temporarily gains a +2 bonus to Strength, a +2 bonus to Constitution, and a +1 morale bonus on Will saves, but she takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the fanatic’s hit points by 1 point per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when her Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.) While in a fanatical rage, a fanatic cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, EscapeArtist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can she cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. She can use any feat she has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of fanatical rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 1 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A fanatic may prematurely end her fanatical rage. At the end of the fanatical rage, the fanatic loses the fanatical rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter. Entering a fanatical rage takes no time itself, but a fanatic can do it only during her action, not in response to someone else’s action.

Spells: At 9th level, a fanatic gains the ability to cast a very few spells. A fanatic casts divine spells which are drawn from the adept spell list. Like a cleric, a fanatic must choose and prepare her spells in advance. Unlike a cleric, a fanatic cannot spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells. To prepare or cast a spell, a fanatic must have a Wisdom score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a fanatic’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the fanatic’s Wisdom modifier. Fanatics, unlike wizards, do not acquire their spells from books or scrolls, nor do they prepare them through study. Instead, they meditate or pray for their spells, receiving them as divine inspiration or through their own strength of faith. Each fanatic must choose a time each day at which she must spend an hour in quiet contemplation or supplication to regain her daily allotment of spells. Time spent resting has no effect on whether a fanatic can prepare spells.

Like other spellcasters, a fanatic can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. She does not receive bonus spells per day. Each fanatic has a particular (un)holy symbol (as a divine focus) depending on the fanatic’s magical tradition.

Spells/Day
At 9th level a fanatic can cast one orison (0-level spell) a day. At 13th level, she gains a second orison. At 17th level, she gains her third and last orison. At 20th level, a fanatic gains the ability to pray for and cast up to one 1st level spell.

Note: Most fanatics are tied to a religion, but not all. Some fanatics revere a cause, a city-state or country, or even a person (such as Ygor or Renfield). Such fanatics receive their spells from their total faith in the object of their fanaticism.
 
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Canon
Nethrancor is the draconic deity of endings, afterlife, undeath, and secrets. He provides the secrets of how to become immortal through undeath for mere subservience and allegiance to him. Many dragons near the end of their life have pledged fealty to him in order to learn some of the secrets of undeath. Most giant undead have made the same bargain, and it is not unheard of for a human or humanoid lich to worship the Death Father. Those who have already moved into undeath can hope to offer a service for some secret of unlife.

There is only one holiday associated with Nethrancor, but it has been known by many names. The Feast of Samhain, Hallows Eve, The Day of the Dead, All Saints' Eve, The Blood Moon, Dead Dawn, and The Hollow Night, are a few of the names it has been called over the centuries. Bardic songs tell that it is a day where daylight does no harm to and has no effect on undead. Undead usually exiled to only rule the night, have one day to dance in the sunshine. It is also a popular time for dark rituals concerning undead animation or lower planar creature summoning. Vampires and other undead usually exiled to the night are able to move about freely during this one day. Daylight has no effect on creatures that have aversion to or take damage from or lose abilities because of daylight for this one day. On this holiday, undead animated and lower planar creatures summoned gain an extra 1 hp per Hit Die.

Kalisstan, the celebrated sage of the south, imparts a hint that the holiday is mostly celebrated by or for vampires as their one time a year to watch the sunrise. Those celebrating this holiday usually dance in the streets, watch sunrise and sunset, and generally cause as much havoc as possible in Nethrancor's name.
Some places developed a habit of dressing up as ghouls and zombies to confuse and confound the evil denizens that walk the earth that day, making it more of a holiday than a horror day. Other times saw the gifting of candies, cookies, or once even garlic buds to any stranger on this day. It was thought that the roaming undead could not kill someone they were beholden to until they repaid with a gift of equal value. These practices always quickly died out because they did not offer any actual protection from the undead.
Today, in most places where the holiday is "celebrated", the day is spent barricaded at home, going outside only when absolutely necessary. Most families spend The Hollow Night or whatever the holiday is called in that land at that time, telling scary stories around the fireplace, sometimes in rooms fortified with garlic or silver mirrors, always with ale or some other spirit.

The holiday has no set date; instead it is caused by a year-long ritual held once per month, on the night of the new moon. On the thirteenth night of the ritual (1 year later), the holiday starts at dawn and encompasses a radius of five miles from the sight of the sacrifices. Each session of the ritual takes several hours and requires a sacrifice of some kind. All sacrifices must take place on the same sanctified sacrificial altar. The year's sacrifices are divided into 4 triads. The first triad of sacrifices must be wild animals. The second triad of sacrifices must be befriended animals (pets). The third triad of sacrifices must each be intelligent creatures. And the last triad of sacrifices must each be an intelligent creature well-known by the creature performing the ritual. The thirteenth night requires no sacrifice unless the caster wishes to continue the holiday next year, then the sacrifices must start over with at least a wild animal. It is always permissible to use a later sacrificial requirement for an earlier one. The rituals can be set up to be performed once each season (with 3 sacrifices required for each ritual) instead of monthly.

Only areas with a strong alliance of death priests, cult of vampires, or cabal of necromancers have this holiday for more than several years at a time (usually hoping to command, control, forge an alliance with, or draw into the area a light-impaired undead clan). Each year it continues, the holiday lasts one day longer. Villagers, adventurers, even the king's guards could be out to put a stop to the rituals. When the holiday first starts though; the general populace will be unprepared for its effects and many will be lost the first few years until sages or bards bring enlightenment or the ritual sacrifices are halted.


As Keeper of the Core, Nethrancor trades one secret of undeath for a service from an undead. The only deal he will make with living creatures is to trade the knowledge of one method of becoming undead in return for using that method to become that type of undead in his service.



Clerics and Holy Sites
The Spirit Caller considers the lair of any undead being that worships him to be an unholy site. No shrine or temple is needed; indeed, he only has two actual temples: The Grotto of Death (also known as just “The Grotto”), his demesnes in Hades [or any Neutral Evil plane or the plane of the afterlife], and the frost giant built Krag'r Kompf hidden somewhere among the peaks of the Misty Mountains [or any other snow-capped mountain range]. Most humanoid clerics of Nethrancor are members of a circle of death priests and necromancers and meet for worship in temporary and out of the way places, like a basement or cavern.

Giant and humanoid clerics of Nethrancor wear linen arm wrappings called phylacteries, most sport Nethrancor’s unholy symbol embroidered on the left breast of their black robe and go about with the hood pulled up to shadow their often dessicated undead face. Draconic clerics of the Keeper of the Core usually have carved statuettes of Nethrancor’s unholy symbol prominately placed in their lair; but other than their undead state, they do not otherwise advertise their choice of lord.
 
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Nethrancor
Wizard (Necromancer) 40
Colossal+ Dragon (Evil, Lawful)
Divine Rank: 14
Hit Dice: 43d12 + 387 (dragon) + 40d4 + 360 (wiz) (1,423 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 180 ft. (36 squares), fly 360 ft. (clumsy), swim 140 ft.
AC: 109, touch 31 (incorporeal touch 51), flat-footed 109*
*Against deities of higher rank, Nethrancor’s flatfooted AC is 105.
Base Attack/Grapple: +32/+80
Attacks: Bite +57 melee or by spell +56 melee touch or +42 ranged touch, or <as giant skeleton> +5 Huge keen vicious scythe of speed +66 melee
Full Attack: Bite +57 melee, two claws +51 melee, two wing claws +51 melee, and tail slap +51 melee; crush +56 melee; tail sweep +56 melee; or by spell +56 melee touch or +42 ranged touch, or <as giant skeleton> +5 Huge keen vicious scythe of speed +66/+66/+61/+56/+51 melee
Damage: Bite 8d6+18, claw 4d8+9, wing claw 4d6+9, tail slap 4d8+27, crush 8d6+27, tail sweep 4d6+27; or by spell; or <as giant skeleton> +5 Huge keen vicious scythe of speed 3d6+23+2d6 (and 1d6 to Nethrancor) (19-20/x4)
Space/Reach: 30 ft./20 ft. (30 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, rebuke undead, greater rebuking 14/day, domain powers, salient divine abilities, spells, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Dragon traits, divine aura (1,400 feet, DC 35), divine familiar (any intelligent undead), divine immunities, DR 25/epic, fire resistance 19, godly realm, greater teleport at will, plane shift at will, PR/SR 46, remote communication, understand, speak, and read all languages and speak directly to all beings within 14 miles, familiar (U), scry on familiar 1/day/familiar
Saves: Fort +66, Ref +61, Will +70 (72 vs. enchantment)
Abilities: Str 47, Dex 19, Con 29, Int 52, Wis 36, Cha 33

Skills*: Bluff +113, Concentration +109**, Craft (armorsmith) +121**, Craft (gemcutting) +121, Craft (leatherworking) +121, Craft (sculpting) +121, Craft (weaponsmith) +121, Craft (woodworking) +121, Decipher Script +121, Diplomacy +133, Hide +90, Intimidate +121, Knowledge (arcana) +121, Knowledge (gemstones) +121, Knowledge (religion) +123, Knowledge (the planes) +121, Knowledge (spirits) +123, Knowledge (undead) +133**, Listen +115, Move Silently +106, Search +121, Sense Motive +115, Spellcraft +131**, Spot +115, Survival +39**, Use Magic Device +111**
*Nethrancor always gets a result of 20 on any check, provided he needs to make a check at all.
**See below under Skills.

Feats: Ability Focus (breath weapon), [Alertness], [Blind-Fight], Combat Casting, [Craft Construct], [Craft Magic Arms and Armor], [Craft Rod], [Craft Staff], Craft Wand, [Craft Wondrous Item], Empower Spell, Enhance Spell [Epic], Epic Spell Focus (necromancy) [Epic], Epic Spell Penetration [Epic], Epic Spellcasting (8/day) [Epic], Eschew Materials, [Forge Ring], Greater Spell Focus (necromancy), Greater Spell Penetration, Heighten Spell, Ignore Material Components [Epic], Improved Combat Casting [Epic], Improved Familiar, Intensify Spell [Epic], [Martial Weapon Proficiency (scythe)], Maximize Spell, Multispell x4 [Epic], Negative Energy Burst (DC 45) [Divine, Epic], Quicken Spell, [Scribe Scroll], [Simple Weapon Proficiency], Spell Focus (necromancy), Spell Penetration, Undead Mastery [Divine, Epic], [Weapon Focus (bite)], [Weapon Focus (scythe)], Zone of Animation [Divine, Epic]

Dragon Traits: Immune to negative energy damage and effects. He also has darkvision, frightful presence (450 feet, 43 HD or less, DC 76), and low-light vision.

Breath Weapon (Su): Nethrancor breathes a black cloud (40-foot radius spread, 30 feet high) of negative energy that persists for 1d4 rounds and moves away from him at a speed of 10 feet per round. Anyone in the area when the cloud forms is allowed a Reflex saving throw DC 78 to dodge out of the area (to the nearest clear space of their choice).Those caught in the cloud must make a Fortitude save DC 78 or die and immediately rise as a wraith under Nethrancor’s control (these undead do not count against his limit of commanded undead). Successful saves instead take 12d6 negative energy damage (victims that die of this damage do not become undead). Unlike normal dragons, Nethrancor can only use his breath weapon once every 2d6 rounds. Breath weapon created wraiths only last for one minute, then implode into nothingness; but any spawn created by them in that time are creatures that must be fought and defeated normally (these spawn are not under Nethrancor’s direct control and not under any control after their wraith creator implodes, but all undead have an indifferent encounter reaction to The Death Father at worst).

Rebuke/Command Undead: Nethrancor can rebuke, command, or bolster undead as a 20th level cleric (14/day as a 20th level cleric, check: 55, 2d6+31 turning damage, 200 HD command max).

Spell-Like Abilities: Nethrancor can use the following spell-like abilities; 6/day—skeletonize*, and zombify*; 3/day—animate dead, create undead, 2/day—greater create undead; 1/day—power word: undeath* and energy drain. Unless otherwise noted, these abilities are activated as if cast by a 40th level caster. All saving throws for these spell-like abilities are 21 + spell level.

Divine Immunities: Acid, cold, electricity, transmutation, draining and ability damage, mind effects, disease, poison, paralysis, stunning, disintegration, imprisonment/banishment, and death effects.

Domain Powers: Nethrancor gains the Blind-Fight feat, he can use Death Touch (14d6) 14/day, he can Smite (+4 attack, +14 damage) 14/day. He gains a +2 on Will saves vs. enchantment spells and effects, he gains the ability to use Greater Rebuking 14/day, he gains a free Martial Weapon Proficiency feat with his favored weapon (scythe) and a free Weapon Focus feat with that favored weapon (scythe and bite)

Epic Spells: Nethrancor can cast up to 8 epic spells per day, save DC 41. He has developed the following epic spells: demise unseen, epic counterspell, greater ruin, hellball, mummy dust, peripety (usually active), ruin, and superb dispelling.

Salient Divine Abilities: Alter Form, Alter Size, Battlesense, Craft Artifact, Divine Blessing (Intelligence, 14/day), Divine Shield (absorbs 140 hp, 12/day), Divine Spell Focus (necromancy), Divine Weapon Focus (scythe), Energy Storm (negative energy, 140 ft. emanation, 14 hp negative energy damage per round, heals undead 14 hp per round), Extra Domains (Darkness, Mind, War), Hand of Death (Fort DC 45), Lay Quest* (14/day), Master Crafter, Shift Form (any Giant skeleton), Undead Mastery (command up to 14 undead)

Lay Quest (Salient Divine Ability): This ability affects creatures past death into undeath (as a zombie if no other means of unlife is prepared), only complete destruction of the body and soul ends this quest normally (it can still be ended by a higher ranked deity or possibly an artifact).

Divine Spell-Like Abilities: Nethrancor uses these abilities as a 24th-level caster. The save DC's are 35 + spell level. Animate dead, armor of darkness, astral projection, blacklight, blade barrier, blindness, brain spider, cause fear, comprehend languages, contagion, create undead, death knell, death ward, destruction, detect thoughts, discern lies, disintegrate, displacement, divine power, earthquake, flame strike, greater create undead, harm, implosion, inflict critical wounds, inflict light wounds, invisibility, lesser telepathic bond, magic vestment, magic weapon, mass inflict light wounds, mind blank, modify memory, nightmare, obscuring mist, power word: blind, power word: kill, power word: stun, probe thoughts, prying eyes, screen, shadow walk, shatter, slay living, spiritual weapon, summon monster V (only summons 1d3 shadows), telepathic bond, veil, wail of the banshee, weird.

Wizard (necromancer) Spells/Day: 5/11/10/10/10/10/9/9/9/9; base DC 45 + spell level (52 + spell level for necromancy spells). Nethrancor’s opposition schools are Enchantment and Conjuration. Because of his epic feats (Multispell x4) Nethrancor can cast up to 5 quickened spells per round so many of his memorized spells will be quickened.

Skills: Nethrancor gains a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (religion) and Knowledge (arcana) checks. Survival is a class skill for Nethrancor.
**The Death Father gets a +4 bonus to Concentration checks when casting defensively. Nethrancor gets a +10 synergy bonus to Craft (armorsmith) checks when dealing with leather. He gets a +10 synergy bonus to Knowledge (religion) checks when dealing with incorporeal undead. Nethrancor gets a +10 synergy bonus on Spellcraft checks to decipher spells on scrolls. He gets a +10 synergy bonus on Survival checks made on other planes and to find and follow tracks anywhere. Nethrancor gets a +20 synergy bonus on Use Magic Device checks related to scrolls.


Other Divine Powers
Senses: Nethrancor can see, hear, touch, and smell at a distance of 14 miles (including darkvision and low-light vision). As a standard action, he can perceive anything within 14 miles of his worshipers, temples, or other object or site sacred to him, as well as any location where one of his titles or name was spoken in the last hour. He can extend his senses to up to 10 locations at once and still sense what’s going on nearby.
Once he chooses a remote location to sense, he automatically receives sensory information from that location until he chooses a new location to sense, or until he can no longer sense the location.
He can block the sensing power of deities of his rank or lower at up to two remote locations plus the area within 1 mile of himself at once for up to 14 hours. This block has a radius of 14 miles, centered on a temple or other locale sacred to him, or on a portfolio-related event.

Portfolio Sense: Nethrancor is aware of anything that affects his worshippers’ welfare. He also senses when any creature becomes, creates, or animates an undead. When Nethrancor senses an event, he simply knows that the event is occurring and where it is, but he receives no sensory information about the event. Once he notices an event, he can use his remote sensing power to perceive the event.

Automatic Actions: Nethrancor can use any portfolio-related skill as a free action if the DC for the task is 25 or less. He can also use any undead animating/creating spell or spell-like ability as a free action. He can perform up to 10 such free actions per round.

Create Magic Items: Nethrancor can create magic items related to his portfolio without any requisite item creation feat, provided that he possesses all other prerequisites for the item. The maximum item value Nethrancor can create is 200,000 gp (any non-artifact). The item’s cost and creation time remain unchanged, but he is free to undertake any activity when not laboring on the item.

Godly Realm: The Grotto of Death, Hades: A sized-for-dragons amphitheater roughly carved from granite and filled with seats (in the humanoid sections) and other embellishments made of the bones of various creatures. The amphitheater floats on an actual sea of blood, flight is its only entrance, boats flounder and sink after only a few minutes on the sea. The blood burns any other creature for 1d4 Constitution damage per round so swimming is not a good idea. Undead find that the blood clots around them (even incorporeal undead) slowing their movement by 10 feet per round cumulative leaving that undead unable to move and under the blood sea out of sight of everything, without teleport or fly, such undead is imprisoned for eternity. Once out of the lake, clotted blood can be easily removed at a cost of a full round action for each 10 feet of speed lost. Teleporting into the grotto always misses so that those arriving in this manner arrive instead chest-deep in the blood lake, taking 1d2 rounds to exit the lake.
The Grotto is usually populated with hordes of mindless undead as well as a goodly number of intelligent undead and some few postulates looking for the secret to immortality through undeath (treasured among such postulates are the dragons). Charon can drop anyone at the entrance to the Grotto for his usual fee and his skiff is unaffected by the blood sea.

Divine Familiar: Nethrancor has the ability to treat any intelligent undead as a familiar. He can choose any that are within 14 miles. This special familiar ability only applies to one creature at a time, but he can switch between one creature and another instantaneously, as long as the second creature is within range. This special familiar ability does not replace his ability to have a normal familiar.

Spellbook: This enormous book measures 3 feet by 4 feet and is nearly 1 foot thick. The covers are slate covered by some type of reddish leather. The book is embossed with Nethrancor's divine symbol in gold leaf on the front. Its magical protections are numerous for both preventing theft and destruction. It is impervious to most mortal magic. Only 9th level or epic spells can affect it. These are not all the spells known by Nethrancor, he has other books hidden in various places and each book contains different spells. This is essentially his traveling spellbook.

It contains the following spells. 0th-detect magic, disrupt undead, ghost sound, mage hand, mending, ray of frost, read magic, touch of fatigue; 1st-cause fear, chill touch, expeditious retreat, identify, mage armor, magic aura, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, reduce person, true strike; 2nd-blindness/deafness, command undead, false life, ghoul touch, invisibility, phantom trap, pyrotechnics, scare, spectral hand; 3rd-arcane sight, dispel magic, displacement, halt undead, ray of exhaustion, vampiric touch; 4th-animate dead, bestow curse, contagion, enervation, fear, greater invisibility, phantasmal killer, shadow conjuration; 5th-blight, dismissal, magic jar, shadow evocation, skeletonize*, symbol of pain, waves of fatigue; 6th-boneshatter*, circle of death, create undead, disintegrate, eyebite, greater dispel magic, permanent image, programmed image, shadow walk, symbol of fear, true seeing, undeath to death, zombify*; 7th-banishment, control undead, create bone mage*, finger of death, greater shadow conjuration, simulacrum, symbol of weakness, waves of exhaustion; 8th-clone, create greater undead, greater shadow evocation, horrid wilting, prismatic wall, symbol of death; 9th-astral projection, energy drain, power word undeath*, shades, soul bind, time stop, wail of the banshee, weird
*Found below

Familiar: Homunculus, “U”
Medium Construct
Hit Dice: 83d10 (711 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares), fly 50 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 24, (natural +20) touch 14, flat-footed 22)
Base Attack/Grapple: +52/+46
Attack: Bite +53 melee (1d4–1 plus poison), or wand of enervation +56 ranged touch (40’ range)
Full Attack: Bite +53 melee (1d4–1 plus poison), or wand of enervation +56 ranged touch (40’ range)
Space/Reach: 2-1/2 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Deliver touch spells, poison, spells
Special Qualities: Construct traits, darkvision 60 ft., empathic link, improved evasion, low-light vision, share spells, speak with master, SR 45
Saves: Fort +43, Ref +45, Will +44
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 15, Con —, Int 25, Wis 12, Cha 7
Skills: Craft (armorsmith) +93, Craft (gemcutting) +93, Craft (leatherworking) +93, Craft (sculpting) +93, Craft (weaponsmith) +93, Craft (woodworking) +93, Hide +88, Listen +87, Move Silently +88, Search +93, Sense Motive +87, Spellcraft +93, Spot +87, Use Magic Device +85
Feats: Familiar Spell (power word: undeath x2) [Epic], Lightning Reflexes
Alignment: Lawful Evil

U is a miniature servant created by Nethrancor. U is vaguely dragon shaped and of gray color like Nethrancor but of Medium size. Though dragon shaped, U can assume an upright stance in order to use its wand, it uses its tail and wings to help balance. U is an extension of Nethrancor, sharing the same alignment and basic nature. U cannot speak, but the process of creating U linked it telepathically with Nethrancor.

U knows what Nethrancor knows and can convey to him everything it sees and hears, out to a distance of 1,500 feet. U never travels beyond this range willingly, though U can be removed forcibly. If this occurs, the creature does everything in its power to regain contact with its master. An attack that destroys U deals 2d10 points of damage to Nethrancor.

COMBAT
Nethrancor supplies U with a fresh wand of enervation (Use Magic Device DC 20, 1d4 negative levels, no save, SR applies, negative levels last for 7 hours and stack) every day and sends the previous one with whatever charges remain as a gift to some prospective undead dragon.
If Nethrancor designates U as the toucher for a touch spell, U flies up and lands on its victims and bites with its venomous fangs to deliver the spell; treat this as a charge attack. Otherwise, U uses his wand at range and his power words when opponents get too close.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 53, initial damage sleep for 1 minute, secondary damage sleep for another 5d6 minutes. The save DC is Constitution-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Deliver Touch Spells (Su): U can deliver touch spells for Nethrancor. If Nethrancor and U are in contact at the time Death Father casts a touch spell, he can designate U as the “toucher.” U can then deliver the touch spell just as Nethrancor could. As usual, if Nethrancor casts another spell before the touch is delivered, the touch spell dissipates.

Empathic Link (Su): Spirit Caller has an empathic link with U out to a distance of up to 14 miles. He cannot see through U's eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated. Because of this empathic link, Nethrancor has the same connection to an item or place that U does.

Improved Evasion (Ex): When subjected to an attack that normally allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, U takes no damage if it makes a successful saving throw and half damage even if the saving throw fails.

Scry on Familiar (Sp): Keeper of the Core may scry on U (as if casting the scrying spell) once per day.

Share Spells: At Nethrancor’s option, he may have any spell (but not any spell-like ability) he casts on himself also affect U. U must be within 5 feet at the time of casting to receive the benefit.
If the spell or effect has a duration other than instantaneous, it stops affecting U if it moves farther than 5 feet away and will not affect U again even if it returns to Nethrancor before the duration expires. Additionally, Spirit Caller may cast a spell with a target of “You” on U (as a touch range spell) instead of on himself. Nethrancor and U can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of U’s type (construct).

Speak with Master (Ex): U and Nethrancor can communicate mentally while within 1,500 feet as if they were using a common language. Other creatures cannot detect this communication.

Spell Resistance (Ex): U gains spell resistance equal to Nethrancor’s necromancer level + 5. To affect U with a spell, another spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds U’s spell resistance.

Spell-Like Abilities: U can use power word: undeath 2/day as a 40th level caster.




Nethrancor always has 10 bone mages of maximum level in attendance at all times. If he wishes he can order all of them to cast a spell using his 10 free actions a round. Or he has 5 quickened spells and a normal spell he can cast if he wishes to show his magical superiority. He also has an endless supply of intelligent undead who owe him a service for some piece of secret knowledge or another all looking for any possible way to fulfill their obligation so they can leave.
Bone Mages: The Death Father has 3 Huge dragon skeleton bone mages (red, black, and green), 2 frost giant skeleton bone mages, 4 fire giant skeleton bone mages, and 1 cloud giant skeleton bone mage. These bone mages are all made for combat duty and have a wide variety of attack spells and area effects.
 
Chant of the Hollow Night

Into the darkness, wander I
Driven by thirst, ever so nigh
From setting sun 'til dawn's great eye
Take this soul with its last sigh
This is the proper way to die.
 
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Secrets of the Dead
Nethrancor has many secrets that he is willing to trade to an undead creature in exchange for a service. He also has a few secrets that he will trade to a prospective undead in exchange for their promise to use that secret to become undead. Nethrancor’s secrets come in several forms: spells, rituals, and magic item recipes. Each will be taken in its own section. Following that will be a section describing the different kinds of undead created by the spells, rituals, or magic items.

Most of the spells are from the school of necromancy, but not all. Nethrancor has gathered or created spells from several schools of magic to further his ends. His library below the Grotto contains many strange and unique magics.




Spells

Boneshatter
Necromancy
Level: Clr 6, Death 6, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 feet + 10 feet/level)
Target: One creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial (see below)
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell attack breaks some of the bones, chitin, or other exoskeleton of a creature, dealing damage and reducing movement to half its normal rate. Flying creatures lose one maneuverability class rating per boneshatter attack. The victim is allowed a Fortitude save to take only 1d6 damage and not lose a maneuverability class rating or suffer a movement rate reduction. Creatures who fail their save take 3d6 damage on the first round. They take a further 2d6 on the second round, and 1d6 on the 3rd round as the broken bones do their own internal damage. This attack is ineffective against creatures with no bone structure such as constructs, oozes, plants, some vermin, incorporeal undead, etc.

The damage, movement penalty, and maneuverability decrease inflicted by this spell cannot be healed by magical means. It can only be healed through the natural course of time. Healing broken bones normally takes 3 to 6 weeks (1d4+2) and the maneuverability decrease and movement penalty remain until the bones are healed. A successful Heal check (DC 25) can speed bone mending by 1d2 weeks.

Those that successfully save versus this spell do not lose a maneuverability class or gain a movement penalty and can be healed by normal or magical means.
Material Component: a small fragile bone that the caster can break in the casting of the spell


Create Bone Mage
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 7
Components: V, S, M, F, XP
Casting Time: 24 hours
Range: Touch
Target: One undead skeleton
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
The caster creates an undead ally to aid him in casting spells and making items.
He binds an unholy spirit into the body of one of his already-animated skeletons. This allows him to transform one of his skeletons into an undead ally to aid him in casting spells, making alchemical items, and crafting items. This spell instills no intelligence in the creature, but instead allows Charisma to define spellcasting ability, bonus skill points, and skill checks involving Intelligence or Constitution. The skeleton is now able to take the bone mage prestige class and it uses its Charisma modifier to determine extra skill points instead of its Intelligence modifier. This spell gives the target skeleton the ability to approximate the verbal components necessary to cast spells. This spell does three things: first, it enables the skeleton to do a few more jobs; second, it raises the skeleton's Charisma by 12 points (the force of will of the unholy spirit); and third, it allows the skeleton to take the bone mage prestige class.
Material Components: A piece of a brain from an intelligent creature.
Focus Component: A wand made from a lich's femur set with gems, worth at least 1,000 gp.
XP Component: You must pay 500 xp each time you cast this spell.


Create Electric Zombie
Necromancy [Electricity, Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M, F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft. /2 levels)
Target: One zombie
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None/Reflex half (See below)
Spell Resistance: No
The caster of this spell imbues one of his zombies with an electric touch. The zombie gains the supernatural ability to cause 1d6 electrical damage per hit in addition to any normal damage it may do. The corpse must already be animated as a zombie before this magic will work. When the zombie is reduced to zero hit points, it bursts in a 5-foot radius electrical discharge that does 1d4 points of damage per caster level (maximum 15d4 damage), Reflex save for half damage. This damage is set when the spell is cast. This burst completely destroys the zombie body. Application of this spell raises the CR of the target zombie by two.
Material Components: A blue dragon scale, the skin of an electric eel, and a drop of salt water
Focus Components: A piece of a lightning-struck tree.


Dark Prayer
Enchantment (Compulsion) [Darkness, Evil, Mind-Affecting]
Level: Clr 3
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 40 ft.
Area: All allies (and foes) within a 40-ft.-radius burst centered on you
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell has different effects according to whether it is cast at night or during the daytime. You bring special favor upon yourself and your allies. If cast in the daytime, you and each of your allies gain a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves, and skill checks.
If instead, the spell is cast at night, you and each of your allies gain a +1 luck bonus on attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saves, and skill checks; while your enemies suffer a -2 luck penalty on the same rolls.

Note: If this spell is cast in the confines of a darkness effect during the day, the bonuses and penalties are as if cast at night but only where the two areas overlap. Outside the darkness effect the daytime bonuses apply. Dispelling the darkness reverts the whole spell to its daytime effects. Also, casting a darkness effect on the area of this spell will increase dark prayer's effects to the nighttime effect but only where the two areas overlap.


Dance of the Dead
Necromancy [Evil, Mind-Affecting, Sonic]
Level: Brd 6, Sor/Wiz 9
Casting Time: 1 minute
Components: V, S, F
Range: Long (400 ft. + 40 ft. /level)
Duration: Special
Target: 2 or more dead bodies
Saving Throw: None/Will negates for one round
Spell Resistance: No
The caster sings the verbal component of this spell, plays the masterwork musical instrument, and dances a complex eldritch jig for the somatic components. This spell animates 2 or more dead bodies that must all be within 30 feet of each other. These bodies are animated with massive amounts of negative energy, and during the first steps of the dance shake off their skins, muscles, and organs; leaving just their skeletons that continue to dance even if dismembered; but are otherwise identical to skeleton in the Core Rules. Unattached bones and bone slivers are carried along with the dancing dead; swept along in the necromantic dance. Once the dance is started, legs are not necessary for the skeletons to continue their dance. Their bodies twitch and jerk in time to the eerie music that seems to emanate from them in a 30-foot radius of each skeleton or body part. This music forces all who hear it to make a Will save or begin dancing with the skeletons.

The movements of all dancers (whether living or dead) are determined randomly using the rules below, dancing to each new space and provoking attacks of opportunity if in combat. Each round a living creature dances this necromantic dance, that being takes 1d4 temporary Constitution damage [Sonic Resistance can reduce or prevent damage]. A save is allowed to break free of the spell every round. A successful save does not make anyone immune to this dance; if they are still in range of the emanation next round, they must save again. Creatures unable to hear are effectively immune to this spell, as are most outsiders. This spell can be countered with the bardic countersong ability but only for individual dancing skeletons or victims within 30 feet of the bard. Anyone reduced to 0 Constitution shakes off its skin and becomes just another skeleton that continues to dance and emanate the spell effect. Turning, rebuking, or commanding the skeletons will not stop their dance; only destroying them will do so. This spell does not end until all dancers have been stopped (whether all the skeletons are destroyed or the spell is dispelled or countered). Skeletons under the influence of this spell can follow orders (if commanded) only as long as they continue to dance. Any skeleton that stops dancing loses all the negative energy that animated it and falls to the ground, just a pile of bones that cannot be animated again.

Direction//Distance
Die Rolls:
1d8 (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW)//1d4 squares (5-20 feet)
Note: For large amounts of dancers, assume all move the same direction and same distance each round.

Dancing off a cliff is entirely possible (though falling damage can end the spell for that creature if it doesn't survive). Dancing into walls or other obstacles is not possible; the creature instead stops moving at the obstacle this round, but will slide along the edge of it until it can go the die-required direction in subsequent rounds.
Focus Component:
Bardic Version:
A masterwork stringed musical instrument made of darkwood with human bone inlays; worth at least 3,000gp. The complicated tune also requires a Perform (stringed instruments) check DC 25, a Perform (song) check DC 15, and a Perform (dance) check DC 15. There is no detriment for failing a check. Each successful check gives the bard a +1 bonus on his or her DC for the effect.

There is another bardic version that only requires a song and dance (no musical instrument), but such a version requires a Perform (song) check of DC 30 and a Perform (dance) check of 20. Each success gives the bard a +1 bonus on his or her DC for the effect.

Sorcerer/Wizard Version: A hand-cranked music box (a la organ grinder) magically programmed to play the haunting jig as he sings the spell and dances the jig. A successful Perform (dance) check DC 15 and/or a Perform (song) check DC 15 can give the caster a +1 bonus on his or her DC for the effect for each success. Requires ventriloquism to enchant the music box.


Gesturing Hand
Necromancy
Level: Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 5 ft.
Effect: One gesturing hand
Duration: 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
A ghostly, glowing hand the size of your real hand and shaped from your life force materializes and moves and gestures as you desire, always staying adjacent to you. On casting the spell, you lose 1d8 hit points that return when the spell ends, even if it is dispelled, but not if it is destroyed. The lost hit points can be healed normally.

The hand remains within 5 feet of you hovering about waist height. While the hand lasts, you need only think of a gesture and the hand performs it perfectly. This allows the hand to:
• Perform somatic components for you as you cast spells.
• Negate spell failure chances from wearing armor or heavy clothing.
• Convey meaning (if you and your target know sign language of some kind).
• Expand the list of spells that can be cast while in a grapple to include all one-standard-action-casting-time spells, even those with somatic components.

The hand is incorporeal and thus cannot be harmed by normal weapons. It has improved evasion (half damage on a failed Reflex save and no damage on a successful save), your base saves plus your ability bonuses to those saves, and an AC of at least 22. Your Intelligence modifier or your Charisma modifier (for wizards or sorcerers, respectively) applies to the hand’s AC as if it were the hand’s Dexterity modifier. The hand has 1 to 8 hit points, the same number that you lost in creating it.
The hand has no attacks and cannot be used for touch attacks.


Power Word, Chill
Conjuration (Creation) [Cold]
Level: Sor/Wiz 8
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft. /level)
Area: 20-ft. radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude half
Spell Resistance: Yes
The caster has learned the proper word for cold; this allows him to conjure intense cold as from the heart of a glacier with but a word. This word puts out all normal fires in the target area. It also has a 60% chance to put out magical fires in its area. Permanent magical fires are put out for 1d4 minutes if the roll is made. Creatures in the area take 1d6 points of cold damage per caster level, 20d6 maximum damage. A successful Fortitude save indicates 1/2 damage.


Power Word, Command
Conjuration (Creation) [Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 9
Components: V, XP
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft. /2 levels)
Area: Several undead creatures in a 20 ft. radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
The caster has learned the proper word for rebuke. Invoking this word allows him to temporarily gain control of massive amounts of negative energy. He makes a turning check to rebuke as if his caster level were his cleric level. Otherwise resolve the turning attempt as normal. (e.g. 1d20 + cleric level + Charisma or Intelligence modifier, whichever is higher, then 2d6 + Charisma or Intelligence modifier, whichever is higher, for turning damage). Unlike a normal rebuking though, any creature successfully rebuked is instead commanded. This spell is targeted at an area and does not burst from the caster. The undead that the caster controls by use of this spell; remain under his control until destroyed. No matter how many times the caster uses this spell, however; he can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If he exceeds this number, all the newly commanded creatures fall under his control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. The caster chooses which creatures are released. Undead commanded by use of a normal rebuking attempt also count toward this number of HD commanded.
XP Component: You must pay 1,000 xp each time you cast this spell.


Power Word, Undeath
Necromancy [Death, Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 9
Components: V, XP
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 30 feet
Target: One living humanoid creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes
The caster has learned the proper word for re-animate. Use of this spell allows him to instantaneously kill and reanimate one creature, whether the creature can hear the word or not. The target creature falls to the ground and rises the next round as the appropriate type of undead. The type of undead it is reanimated as, is dependent upon its current hit points at the time the spell is cast. All undead animated by this spell have average hit points for their type and are of medium size, no matter what size they were as living creatures. Any creature that currently has 76 or more hit points is unaffected by power word, undeath. The animated creature follows the caster’s spoken commands and does not count against the number of creatures that can be animated by the animate dead spell. The undead remains animated until it is destroyed. (An undead created by this spell that is destroyed cannot be re-animated again as any type of undead). This spell allows the caster to have up to his level in hit dice of undead created by this spell under his control. If he exceeds this number, all the newly created creatures fall under his control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. The caster chooses which creatures are released. This spell can only be cast at night.

Undead Animated
Target Hit Points//Type of Undead//XP Cost to Animate

25 or less//Ghoul//500 xp
26-50//Wight//1,000 xp
51-75//Wraith//1,500 xp


Rotting Ray
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: Ray
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
A sparkling black ray springs from your hand. You must succeed on a ranged touch attack to strike a target. On a successful attack the subject contracts a version of the dreaded disease, mummy rot, which strikes immediately (no incubation period). While in the throes of the disease the victim suffers 1d6 points of Constitution and Charisma damage, with the ravages of the disease continuing daily until the victim reaches a Constitution score of 0 (and dies), fights off the disease naturally, or is cured by remove disease, heal, limited wish, wish, or miracle. An afflicted creature that dies of this version of mummy rot shrivels away into sand and dust that blows away into nothing at the first wind.

Unlike normal mummy rot, the contagion caused by rotting ray can be healed by mundane means (Fortitude DC 20), and magical healing requires no caster level checks.


Shadowtangle
Illusion (Shadow) [Evil]
Level: Brd 6, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft. /level)
Area: 40 ft. spread
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell causes shadows in the target area to take on substance and entangle creatures in the area. Shadows of creatures, objects, structures, etc. wrap, twist, and entwine about all creatures in the area; holding them fast for the duration. Any creature entering the area is subject to the spell's effect. A creature that succeeds a Fortitude save can move at a rate of 5 feet per round as a full round action. Only spells with no somatic components can be cast within the area of effect with no penalty. Spells with a somatic component gain an entangle penalty of -4 to Concentration checks attempted within the area. Other actions that require precise movements also gain this -4 entangle penalty to any checks (Jump, Balance, Move Silently, Ride, etc.) and attack rolls. Creature size doesn't matter as each creature brings its own shadow (an equivalent-sized shadow) into the area. Creatures failing the Fortitude save are held fast, unable to move (though purely mental actions and verbal only spells still remain options). Any creature held temporarily loses 1d2 points of Strength, 1d2 points of Dexterity, and 1d2 points of Constitution every two rounds in the area of this spell as the surrounding shadows sap their life-force. These lost points return at a rate of 1 point per ability per minute once outside the area of the shadowtangle.

Any spell with the light or darkness descriptor cast in the area cuts this spell's remaining duration in half, but has no other effect unless of higher level than this spell. Any spell of 7th or higher level with the light or darkness descriptor cancels and is cancelled by this spell.

Any creature that has its Strength or Dexterity score reduced to 0 or lower by this spell becomes unconscious until the ability score returns to a positive number. Any creature that has its Constitution score reduced to 0 or lower dies and rises as a shadow of average hit points under the command of the caster the next round. The caster can have up to two times his caster level in HD of such controlled shadows. Any shadows above two times the caster's level in hit dice release earlier controlled shadows randomly. Shadows created by this spell do not count towards controlled undead for purposes of animate dead. Such shadows last until they are destroyed.
Material Components: A vial of black ink and an onyx worth at least 50 gp.


Skeletonize
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Clr 5, Sor/Wiz 5
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: One or more corpses touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell turns the bodies or bones of dead creatures into undead skeletons that follow the caster’s spoken commands. A skeleton can be created only from a mostly intact corpse or skeleton. The corpse must have bones. If a skeleton is made from a corpse, the flesh falls off the bones. The undead can follow the caster, or they can remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place. They remain animated until they are destroyed. (A destroyed skeleton can’t be animated again.)

The caster can’t create more HD of undead than twice his caster level with a single casting of skeletonize. The undead the caster creates remain under his control indefinitely. No matter how many times he uses this spell, animate dead, power word: command, or zombify, however, he can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If he exceeds this number, all the newly created creatures fall under his control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. (The caster chooses which creatures are released.) If the caster is a cleric, any undead he might command by virtue of his power to rebuke undead do not count toward this limit.


Spectral Gauntlet
Necromancy [Force]
Level: Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft. /level)
Effect: One spectral gauntlet
Duration: 2 rounds/level (D)
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes
A ghostly, glowing gauntlet the size of your real hand in a gauntlet and shaped from your life force materializes and moves and attacks as you desire. On casting the spell, you lose 2d4 hit points that return when the spell ends, even if it is dispelled, but not if it is destroyed. The lost hit points can be healed normally. These hit points become the gauntlet's hit points.

Control of the gauntlet allows you to strike opponents with a force equal to a mailed gauntlet. Attacking with the gauntlet counts as a normal attack but only as if using a standard action, there is no full attack option with the gauntlet. It takes only a move action for the caster to move and attack with the gauntlet leaving his standard action free for spellcasting. The gauntlet can flank opponents like a creature can. If the gauntlet goes beyond its spell range, goes out of the caster’s sight, or if the caster is not directing it, it returns to him and hovers about waist height. The gauntlet is incorporeal and thus cannot be harmed by normal weapons. It has improved evasion (one-half damage on a failed Reflex save against an area spell and no damage on a successful save), the caster’s save bonuses, and an AC of 20 plus the caster’s Intelligence or Charisma modifier. It has 2 to 8 hit points (the same number the caster lost). On a successful touch attack, the hand deals 2d4 points of damage and the opponent must succeed a Fortitude save or suffer an additional 1d4 damage on the following round. Furthermore, each successful attack causes the opponent to suffer a -1 penalty on their future Fortitude saving throws versus this spell for one minute. The spell lasts until the duration ends, a successful dispel magic is cast, until it has been dealt damage equal to its current hit points, or the caster dismisses it. Unlike the second level variant spectral hand, spells cannot be cast through it.


Weakening Wail
Necromancy [Sonic]
Level: Sor/Wiz 3
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 full round
Range: Caster only
Area: 30-ft. radius burst
Duration: Instantaneous and 1 round/level (see text)
Saving Throw: Fortitude Negates
Spell Resistance: Yes
This spell allows the caster to wail at the top of his lungs for an entire round. During this time, no other action can be taken and attacks of opportunity are impossible. Creatures in the area must succeed a Fortitude save or have their Strength score drained by 2d8 points. This is a temporary draining, for when this spell ends; stolen strength returns. Any creature drained of Strength by this spell finds it impossible to confirm critical hits for the duration (treat all critical threats as failed confirmations). This reduction in Strength takes effect immediately. Creatures who make their saving throw are unaffected by this spell.
Casting this spell has a 5% chance of causing permanent voice loss in the caster. The caster, upon casting this spell, takes one point of Strength damage. The caster can only cast this spell again when the Strength damage (caused by this spell) is healed. Voice loss is automatic otherwise.
Material Components: The caster must use a bit of sulfur, and bat guano and place it in a shot glass of brandy and down the concoction.


Zombify
Necromancy [Evil]
Level: Clr 6, Sor/Wiz 6
Components: V
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: One or more corpses touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
This spell turns the bodies of dead creatures into undead zombies that follow the caster’s spoken commands. A zombie can be created only from a mostly intact corpse. The corpse must be that of a creature with a true anatomy. The undead can follow the caster, or they can remain in an area and attack any creature (or just a specific kind of creature) entering the place. They remain animated until they are destroyed. (A destroyed zombie can’t be animated again.)

The caster can’t create more HD of undead than twice his caster level with a single casting of zombify. The undead the caster creates remain under his control indefinitely. No matter how many times he uses this spell, animate dead, power word: command, or skeletonize, however, he can control only 4 HD worth of undead creatures per caster level. If he exceeds this number, all the newly created creatures fall under his control, and any excess undead from previous castings become uncontrolled. (The caster chooses which creatures are released.) If the caster is a cleric, any undead he might command by virtue of his power to command or rebuke undead do not count toward the limit.
 
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Rituals
Rituals are the second kind of secret disseminated by Nethrancor, of which there are two categories. First are those rituals available to living creatures in exchange for a (deific-ability guaranteed) promise to become undead. These rituals are also available to undead creatures in exchange for a service.
Any ritual can be researched as if it were a 9th level spell for time and cost (though no caster level is required).

I. The Hollow Night Ritual
The holiday has no set date; instead it is caused by a year-long ritual held once per month, on the night of the new moon (choose one moon if multiple moons, or solstices and equinoxes or another astronomical event if no moons). On the thirteenth night of the ritual (13 moons/solar year, or 4 seasons, etc. ~1 year later), the holiday starts at dawn and encompasses an radius of five miles from the sight of the sacrifices.

Each session of the ritual takes several hours and requires a sacrifice of some kind.

All sacrifices must take place on the same cursed sacrificial altar or cursed sacrificial stakes.
The year's sacrifices are divided into 4 triads.

Each triad is a 3 month period (3 separate sacrifices or one big pyre of 3 at once).
The first triad of sacrifices must be wild animals slaughtered on the altar/burned at the stake.

The second triad of sacrifices must be befriended animals (pets) slaughtered on the altar/burned at the stake.

The third triad of sacrifices must each be intelligent creatures slaughtered on the altar/burned at the stake.

And the final triad of sacrifices must each be an intelligent creature well-known by the ritual master and must be personally slaughtered by the ritual master/burned at the stake by the ritual master.

The thirteenth night requires no sacrifice (unless the ritual master wishes to continue the holiday another year, then the sacrifices must start over with at least a wild animal).

It is always permissible to use a later sacrificial requirement for an earlier one (e.g. using pets for the first six months).

A strange quirk of this ritual requires that none of the blood of any of the sacrifices be drank.

Prerequisites: Hollow night ritual; 12 prescribed sacrifices, each on the new moon each month for a year (or 3 on each of the nights of the solstices and equinoxes); a cursed sacrificial altar dedicated to Nethrancor or 3 cursed sacrificial stakes dedicated to Nethrancor. Costs: 100 gp of incense for each sacrifice, vestments worth 1,000 gp (can be reused), the 12 sacrifices, an iron unholy symbol of Nethrancor and 50 xp/sacrifice.

Effects: For one day (plus one day for each previous year’s successful sacrifices) undead within 5 miles of the sacrifices become immune to the effects of normal daylight.

Campaign Note: Each successive year the sacrifices continue; the “holiday” grows one day longer. “Holidays” that encompass a whole year change the surrounding terrain into an Infernal Cesspool but still have their normal effects as long as the sacrifices continue. A "holiday" that continues for 5,000 years opens a permanent gate to Nethrancor’s realm at the center of the Infernal Cesspool. Note that though the altar and area cannot change, the same ritual master is not required for all rituals.

Infernal Cesspool (Terrain Feature)
Infernal Cesspools are another type of terrain feature of any terrain type; but Infernal Cesspools are usually found only in marshes and plains. Two famous examples of non-(plain or marsh) terrain: Farrag’s Heart and The Eye, both mountainous terrain.

Sages have long speculated about both how and why Infernal Cesspools arise. One theory goes that these areas are surrounded by so much death that the terrain itself absorbs it and then later emits this negative energy back into the environment. Another says that the evil perpetuated in the area bleeds over into the environment making the land itself evil. Still another would have one believe that a gate, only partially open, exists somewhere nearby and everything that lives in the area picks up some of this negative energy.

Whatever the case, Infernal Cesspools exist in various parts of the world. Most are situated in the middle of a swamp or bog, but a few have been found in the center of an ancient battlefield or among the gravestones of a long forgotten burial ground. One has even been reported in the mountainous terrain of Farrag’s Heart Chamber and there are rumors of one in the swamp surrounding.the crag called The Eye.

Dark creatures dwell near Infernal Cesspools, usually in the middle of trackless swamps and bogs. They are more fearsome in appearance than their normal counterparts, having darker colors and a nastier attitude. The close association with the negative energy that flows out of the infernal cesspool has altered them. This alteration takes at least 10 years to fully affect the creature. Someone just passing through the area of an infernal cesspool area will not be noticeably changed, though a creature being born in such an area automatically starts with the dark template.

Marsh Terrain Features
— Marsh Category —
Moor/ Swamp
Shallow bog: 20%/ 35%
Deep bog: 5%/ 20%
Light undergrowth: 30%/ 20%
Heavy undergrowth: 10%/ 20%
Infernal Cesspool: 5%/ 5%
Movement: Movement through an infernal cesspool is as for shallow bog (1 square costs 2 squares of movement); and it appears as a shallow bog. It provides the same penalties to Move Silently checks as bogs (+2 to DC).
Short Term Effects: Undead are unharmed by daylight.
Long Term Effects: After a period of 10 years or so, creatures living near an infernal cesspool gain the Dark template.

Plains Terrain Features
——— Plains Category ———
Farm/ Grassland/ Battlefield/ Cloud Island
Light undergrowth: 40%/ 20%/ 10%/ 5%
Heavy undergrowth: —/ 10%/ —/ —
Light rubble: —/ —/ 10%/ 5%
Trench: 5%/ —/ 5%/ 5%
Berm: —/ —/ 5%/ 5%
Infernal Cesspool: —/ 5%/ 10%/ 5%
Movement: Movement through an infernal cesspool is as for shallow bog (1 square costs 2 squares of movement); and it appears as a shallow bog. It provides the same penalties to Move Silently checks as bogs (+2 to DC).
Short Term Effects: Undead are unharmed by daylight.
Long Term Effects: After a period of 10 years or so, creatures living near an infernal cesspool gain the Dark template.

Farrag’s Heart Chamber
Rugged
Gradual slope: 25%
Steep slope: 55%
Cliff: 15%
Infernal Cesspool: 5%
Light undergrowth: 10%
Scree: 20%
Dense rubble: 20%
Farrag's Heart Chamber is a special terrain feature of a specific rugged mountain terrain. It has all the properties of an infernal cesspool, even though the chamber is over five miles in diameter. [Infernal cesspool takes the place of chasm (5%) on the Mountain Terrain Features table for this area.] The infernal cesspool is not centered on Farrag’s Heart and is actually two separate infernal cesspools flanking the heart chamber; looks like nothing more than a heavy mist that lies upon the ground up to about 2 feet high, as such, it provides no penalties to Move Silently checks, but it does impose a -4 slipperiness penalty to Climb checks but only to creatures without the Dark template.
Movement: Movement through an infernal cesspool is as for shallow bog (1 square costs 2 squares of movement); and most of the time it appears as a soupy mist that clings about your lower extremities.
Short Term Effects: Undead are unharmed by daylight. Non-Dark creatures suffer a -4 penalty to Climb checks.
Long Term Effects: After a period of 10 years or so, creatures living within 1 mile of the infernal cesspool gain the Dark template. Creatures born within 1 mile of the infernal cesspool immediately gain the Dark template.



Dark Template

CREATING A DARK CREATURE
“Dark” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal aberration, animal, dragon, fey, giant, humanoid, magical beast, monstrous humanoid, ooze, plant, or vermin (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A dark creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here. Do not recalculate the creature’s Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saves, or skill points if its type changes.
Size and Type: Animals or vermin with this template become magical beasts, but otherwise the creature type is unchanged. Size is unchanged. A dark creature gains the (Augmented) and (Evil) subtypes.
Special Attacks: A dark creature retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains the following special attack.
Negative Energy Touch (Su): The creature's natural attacks do additional negative energy damage. This extra damage is equal to the creature's Hit Dice (that is a 3HD dark creature does +3 hp negative energy damage with each attack). This touch heals undead the same amount, but has no effect on other dark creatures (damage or healing)
Special Qualities: A dark creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature and also gains the following. If the base creature already has one or more of these special qualities or special attacks, use the better value. If a dark creature gains damage reduction, its natural weapons are treated as evil weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Damage Reduction:
Hit Dice//Resistance to Turning//Damage Reduction
1-3//+5//—
4-7//+5//5/good
8-11//+10//5/good
12 or more//+10//10/good
*If the base creature already has damage reduction add "or good" to it and use the better reduction number of the two

Darkvision 60 ft.
Negative Energy Dependence (Su): Dark creatures find that they can no longer live outside a 3-mile radius of the infernal cesspool for more than a day. They begin to rot almost immediately upon exiting the area. The dark creature loses hit points at the rate of 5 per hour or portion thereof and cannot heal normally. Once the Infernal Cesspool area is re-entered, lost hit points are regained normally (through rest) and the rotting stops and heals.
Turn Resistance (Ex): A dark creature gains strong turn resistance because it is still a living creature. See the table above for details.
Turn weakness (Su): Dark creatures are susceptible to the turning/rebuking abilities of certain classes, but they gain strong turn resistance because they are not actually undead.
Undead Traits (Su): Though not technically undead, the massive amounts of negative energy that have coursed through their bodies give the dark creature some of the abilities of being an undead, as follows: Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). Immunity to paralysis and death effects. Not subject to ability drain, or energy drain. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell, but not another dark creature's touch) can heal a dark creature. Positive energy damages dark creatures as if they were undead.

Abilities: Same as the base creature, but Intelligence is at least 3.
Environment: Any infernal cesspool (see above)
Challenge Rating: HD 3 or less, as base creature; HD 4 to 7, as base creature +1; HD 8 or more, as base creature +2.
Alignment: Changes to: Always evil. Law/Chaos axis is unchanged.
Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +2.
Habitat/Ecology: Dark creatures abound in their base creature counterpart’s normal habitat. Sadly, that habitat is most likely overrun with negative energies to such an extent that most inhabitants have acquired the dark template or are on their way to acquiring it. Sometimes the infernal cesspool at the heart of the dark area also houses some type of gate to a less enlightened plane. Some infernal cesspools are powered by the negative energy given off by evil, shadowed, or negatively aligned artifacts. A few have a history of bloodshed that instead powers the cesspool. Nethrancor provides a ritual to create one, but the length of the required ritual is measured in centuries.
 
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II. Ritual of Lichdom*
The ritual for becoming a lich is described in the Core Rules; making it both the best known of Nethrancor's rituals and the easiest to obtain without going through The Death Father [It can be researched for time and cost as if it were an 8th level spell].
Prerequisites: Ritual of lichdom*, devourers essence, lich’s phylactery recipe, phylactery, ritual master’s lifeforce; Costs: 120,000 gp and 4,800 xp; Time: 1 day (8 hours).
*A ritual of lichdom has been documented in several cases to require a potion of lichdom to fuel the transformation. As each lich transmogrification is different and personal to the transformed being, such a potion is neither required nor standard.

The Lich's Phylactery
An integral part of becoming a lich is creating a magic phylactery in which the character stores its life force. As a rule, the only way to get rid of a lich for sure is to destroy its phylactery. Unless its phylactery is located and destroyed, a lich reappears 1d10 days after its apparent death.

Each lich must make its own phylactery, which requires the Craft Wondrous Item feat. The character must be able to cast spells and have a caster level of 11th or higher. The phylactery costs 120,000 gp and 4,800 XP to create and has a caster level equal to that of its creator at the time of creation. It normally takes 120 days to make.
Creating the phylactery is how the ritual is begun. The ritual must tie together the actual form of the phylactery and the caster’s lifeforce. Poisons are common requirements as are sharp pointy things or hot fires in which to douse the ritual master’s lifeforce; but the ritual must focus in some way on the phylactery as a receptacle of the ritual master’s lifeforce.

The most common form of phylactery is a sealed metal box containing strips of parchment on which magical phrases have been transcribed.
If it is a box, the box is Tiny and has 40 hit points, hardness 20, and a break DC of 40.

Such a ritual could include a pedestal of ebony on which to set the phylactery set in an obsidian pool wherein the ritual master slits his own throat as he finishes the last word of the chant.

Other forms of phylacteries can exist, such as rings, amulets, or similar items.

Spellcasters must discover the recipe for making the phylactery themselves (each phylactery is unique to the individual) or trade a service for the recipe to Nethrancor if they plan to become a lich (Warning: this entails letting Nethrancor know what the phylactery is to be). This trade would be in addition to the trade for the ritual of lichdom, completion of the phylactery recipe finishes the lichdom ritual. There are rumors of a potion of lichdom, which would be a another recipe and a different ritual that tied all three together; but some sages insist suicide in some form is an important step of the process (though drinking the potion is equivalent to death also).

Excerpt from Ramiel’s Journal, Year 1.
Ramiel’s Recipe for Lich’s Phylactery:
Strong Necromancy; CL 11+; Craft Wondrous Item, devourer essence, magic jar, ritual of lichdom, phylactery recipe; Price: 120,000 gp and 4,800 xp; Weight: 1-5 lbs.
Devourer Essence is the required component of the ritual/recipe, becoming part of the phylactery through the use of some magic. I decided on fabricate as a means of combining the substances.
After years of study, I have finally discovered a way to gain the devourer essence to fuel the ritual and finish the phylactery. It seems so simple now that I’ve thought of it. Store the essence in a gem from a successful
trap the soul spell…I found it useful to provide a trigger object with sympathy attuned to the former essence creature’s alignment… In practice, it was much harder; no less than 10 gems at once just to be sure…telekinesis...My companions fear this ritual is breaking me: 225,000 gp of gems, 18,000 gp of pearl dust, 120,000 gp for my phylactery, a life’s worth of experience poured into the thing, and still I haven’t started the ritual proper. I tell them, “It will all be worth it for both the ability to converse, personally, with death and to be able to plumb its secrets without fear of mortality.” Besides, the ritual only ends with my death.

Example Phylacteries

A. Linen Arm Wrappings, painted with arcane symbols in gold
Size: Tiny; Hit Points: 15; Hardness: 12; Break DC: 20

B. Wrought Mithral Ring, in the shape of a skull with ruby eyes
Size: Fine; Hit Points: 20; Hardness: 25; Break DC: 50

C. [Only for Colossal and larger sized liches] Polished Silver Mirror, with Illusion*
Size: Huge (12'x12'); Hit Points: 200; Hardness: 15; Break DC: 35
*The illusion shows the surrounding room like a normal mirror, but each creature reflected in the mirror appears as a skeleton, ghost, or shadow that mimics its movements.

D. Metal Box (Tied to the Upper Arm), containing parchment inscribed with magical phrases (Draconic for “immortality thru undeath”)
Size: Tiny; Hit Points: 40; Hardness: 20; Break DC: 40

E. Beating Human* Heart
Size: Diminutive; Hit Points: 10; Hardness: 5; Break DC: 10
*Or other intelligent creature. This phylactery is still inside the chest of the living vessel. This type of phylactery requires extra intelligent creatures and a repeating of the ritual for further resurrections because the first body is used up as the host body for the resurrected lich. [Also requires runes branded on the living vessel.]

F. Jeweled Dagger, engraved with Arcane Symbols along the Blade
Size: Diminutive; Hit Points: 30; Hardness: 25; Break DC: 40

G. Crystal Amulet, in the shape of a Pentagram etched with Glowing Runes
Size: Fine; Hit Points: 15; Hardness: 20; Break DC: 30

H. Ebony Wand, with Emerald Tip
Size: Diminutive; Hit Points: 10; Hardness: 12; Break DC: 30

I. Adamantine Coffer, with mithral lock and fittings, an arcane circle is engraved on the lid which is also set with rubies and emeralds.
Size: Tiny; Hit Points: 10; Hardness: 20; Break DC: 40

J. Brass Urn, used to catch the blood of the ritual master as it drains away, engraved with a lich commanding skeletons and zombies.
Size: Tiny; Hit Points: 20; Hardness: 15; Break DC: 34

K. Silver-tipped Quill Pen, engraved with runes.
Size: Fine; Hit Points: 14; Hardness: 15; Break DC: 20

L. Volcanic Glass Ink Well, always looks like it is in shadow.
Size: Diminutive; Hit Points: 30; Hardness: 10; Break DC: 32

M. Journal, embossed leather covers, thick tome.
Size: Tiny; Hit Points: 40; Hardness: 5; Break DC: 35

N. [Only for Large or larger sized liches] Iron Brazier, containing the ashes of the ritual master.
Size: Small; Hit Points: 40; Hardness: 10; Break DC: 35

O. [Only for Gargantuan or larger sized liches] Battle Standard, of the lich’s sigil or battle flag.
Size: Large; Hit Points: 40; Hardness: 10; Break DC: 25

P. Compass, indicates magnetic north, lodestones affect it.
Size: Diminutive; Hit Points: 30; Hardness: 20; Break DC: 40

Q. Sextant, brass.
Size: Diminutive; Hit Points: 40; Hardness: 20; Break DC: 40

The actual size and shape of a lich’s phylactery could also relate to its personality or goals in unlife. A lich whose immortal life is filled with research would find a pen, ink well, or even a book, a worthy phylactery. One whose unlife revolved around raising an undead army would find a standard, a brazier, or a compass a good phylactery. A lich captain of a ghost ship might have a sextant for a phylactery. Size of a phylactery, though, should never be larger than two sizes smaller than the lich’s base creature.
 
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III. Mummy Lord Ritual
The process of becoming a mummy lord is unspeakably evil and is usually undertaken only by a willing character. A mummy lord retains all class abilities it had in life and this ritual is usually reserved for only the most devout of Nethrancor's worshipers. Alternatively, in some societies the ritual is used as a form of punishment for heinous crimes; the criminal is then sealed in a special prison for all time. Most of these prisons resemble tombs as there are no guards, and no method of entrance or exit is apparent.

Willing individuals must first kill 13 intelligent creatures to prove their devotion before the mummification process can be successfully performed. The method of murdering must involve a sacrificial altar dedicated to Nethrancor, but there are no other proscriptions. It is possible to mummify these extra victims in a separate Mummy Ritual, such mummies are under the control of the mummy lord. Sometimes the bodies are just discarded or even animated as other types of undead.

When used on a criminal as punishment, no sacrifices are needed but the spells are different. The ritual gives specifics of both ways of animating a mummy lord.

The willing character must then perform their version of the ritual by bathing in the blood of its victims then having itself wrapped in linen strips. These strips must first be soaked in a special salve made from the ashes of mummies destroyed by fire, the dust of someone that died of mummy rot and rare earths that must be "blessed" by unholy water [mummy lord salve], Craft (alchemy) check DC 25; Market Price: 10,000 gp; 1 jar is enough for 1 mummy lord. The spells are then cast on the salve. The linen strips must be dipped in the salve then wound onto the prospective mummy lord. These linen strips glow green while drying over the next hour. This necromantic glow somehow kills the prospective mummy lord and re-animates it as a mummy lord. Neither type of mummy lord is automatically under the control of their creator.

Prerequisites (willing): blasphemy, unholy aura, and unhallow or dictum, shield of law, and unhallow (depending on the alignment of the willing character); mummy lord ritual; 1 jar of mummy lord salve, rare incenses, rare herbs, rare oils, vestments, and linen strips. Costs: 6,000 gp of rare herbs, 3,500 gp of rare incenses, 5,000 gp of rare oils, 20,000 gp for vestments (can't be reused), 25 gp of linen strips, 10,000 gp for the mummy salve, thirteen living intelligent creatures, (plus the prospective mummy lord) and 8,000 xp.

Prerequisites (punishment): bestow curse, symbol of fear, and unhallow; mummy lord ritual; 1 jar of mummy lord salve, rare herbs, rare incenses, rare oils, vestments, 1 criminal, and linen strips. Costs: 4,000 gp of rare herbs, 2,500 gp of rare incenses, 1,500 gp of rare oils, 25,000 gp for vestments (can't be reused), 25 gp of linen strips, 10,000 gp for the mummy lord salve, one living intelligent creature (the criminal), and 5,000 xp. Though not under the control of its creator, this type of mummy lord is unable to attack or directly oppose its creator, though anyone else is fair game, thus these creatures are usually quickly locked away.

Note: These are not the only ways to make a mummy lord; these are just Nethrancor's methods. It is also possible for mummy lords to be spontaneously created, given the right conditions.
 
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