Ambrosia is a powerful necromancer. Unlike many necromancers, she has no interest in eternal life, or obtaining magic, or furthering her knowledge of the dark arts. Ambrosia has a single, horrifying goal: To make the world suffer for its sins, and purge the world of all evil with pain and death.
Ambrosia’s convictions are extreme, and deeply rooted. The world has become a miasma of evil and corruption, and she is it’s salvation. Only through pain and suffering can evil be cleansed. Ambrosia is the purifying fire, meant to bring vengeance to the world.
Ambrosia holds no double standards. She understands that she too is wicked and evil. She makes no efforts to prevent the excruciating pain in her twisted joints and muscles, or heal the wounds on her skin. She is cleansed through torment with every step that she takes, every movement, every action. She makes an effort to heal only fatal wounds, constantly paying a penance for her wickedness.
Only when she has finally cleansed the world of evil, and endured her torment long enough, will she be cleansed. On that day, she can finally die.
Ambrosia is hard to miss. Garbed in rags, she is a twisted mockery of human life. Her body is grotesquely deformed. Her bones are warped, and her joints are twisted. She limps along, her face constantly contorted in agony from the extreme pain that torments her constantly and the terrible drive that pushes her forward. Her body is covered in numerous scars from long healed injuries.
If she were not always surrounded by death, her smell would repel even hardy adventurers. Ticks and lice infest her unwashed hair, and she has bites and sores all over.
In many ways, she is physically hard to distinguish from the undead creatures under her control, however, there are a few distinguishing features about her.
The first, a large book that she carries always on her person. It is a worn, but heavy tome of the necromantic arts. It’s red wooden cover has been stripped of all ornate jewels and gold. On close inspection, there is obvious fading where these embellishments have been removed.
The book has no name, nor did it ever. It most closely resembles a diary tracking the discoveries of an unnamed necromancer. It does not record any personal experiences, only discoveries. The concentration of information makes the Tome extremely useful. The information inside is extremely technical however, and cannot be read straight through, and the information requires practice to master.
(For rules purposes, a necromancer who reads the tome 4 hours a day, with an additional 8 hours per day of guided practice (guided by book instructions), can gain a level in about a month. Practice requires revivable subjects, and necessary materials, and available spells as normal. The Tome can be re-used any number of times up to expert level.)
The Twin Rings
On her Left Hand, she wears Kadesh, the ring of the master. It is made of a dull, grey, reflective silver, that curiously omits the reflection of living people. Kadesh can steal the essence of any creature (living or dead) that it’s owner commands, and heal otherwise fatal wounds to the master.
On her right hand, she wears Udaj, the ring of the servant, which looks identical to Kadesh.
If identified, Udaj will register as cursed, and indeed, it cannot be removed by non-magical means. the negative implications of unremovable or "Cursed" items, this non-removal enchantment is a benefit to the wearer. If it is not removed within eight hours after death, the wearer will return to life, although in a weakened state.
Udaj is not a phylactery. It does not store the soul of the wearer, nor does it prevent the soul from being harmed, controlled, or destroyed. The ring simply tethers the soul of the wearer to any body that is worn by the ring eight hours after death.
If Udaj is switched to another dead body after Ambrosia’s death, Ambrosia will rise again in the other body.
The Music Box
More than any other thing, the
identifies Ambrosia as a necromancer. Held always open in her right hand, it endlessly plays an eerie tune that reaches farther than it’s sound.
can be heard inside the minds of any living person within a mile, and any unliving entity within ten miles. From the music box, emanates a fog that lays silently on the ground.
The music box is extremely powerful.
The music weakens the will of undead, making them easier to control, effectively doubling any limit on the number of undead that can be controlled at a time. Ambrosia however, is in a way, attuned to the music box. She is especially capable with it, and the number of undead she can control is nearly triple.
The music box also doubles necromantic, dark, and chaotic power. Ambrosia funnels this power into the music of the box itself, making her undead creations extremely strong and extending the reach of her control even farther.
The music box does however, take it’s toll. It’s powerful magic changes the wearer, and causes random wounds to appear. Prolonged use of the music box has left Ambrosia in her current state. Even her bones are twisted and deformed, and her joints have been effected the worst, causing a severe arthritis.
Ambrosia moves from city to city, "cleansing" the population. Her small, but powerful army of undead, are ruthlessly efficient, and target men, women, and children alike.
After defeating any resistances, Ambrosia raises as many undead as possible, releasing lesser undead already under her control if necessary. Undead released this way do not die, but remain trapped in their undead state, becoming mindless feral creatures that forever thirst for life, and never tire. Ambrosia does not do this by accident. Being undead is a horrifying, inescapable state, and serves as additional penance.
Those who escape Ambrosia in death, and never make it away from the city, turned to ash with the rest of the city as it is burned to the ground.
The Army of the Damned
Her undead are indeed an army, complete with soldiers, officers and generals.
Her lesser undead, soldiers of feral strength and speed, ambush tactically key locations. The undead officers, usually incorporeal shadows and wraiths, prefer to send minions through unexpected paths to their targets, often traveling through rivers, sewers, or even digging underground if it means catching an enemy from behind.
The zombies and skeletons that reach their victims are terrifyingly fast and ruthless. They tear into living troops relentlessly, resistant to mundane weapons, and constantly driven by their insatiable thirst to consume the life of their foes. These skirmishes are brutal and efficient, leaving survivors confused and terrified, and destroying moral in even veteran armies.
Ambrosia’s officers, although preferring a secondary role, are formidable foes, and are not afraid to capitalize on an unexpected opportunity. When required, they use their incorporeal nature to bypass physical obstacles and do devastating damage to otherwise inaccessible locations.
Although only a few exist, Ambrosia’s generals are terrifying. They possess the bodies of the living, preferring to take control of officers, and sabotage commands, leading men into ambushes, and sowing dissension in the ranks. They rarely fight directly.
Ambrosia’s Elite Guard
Ambrosia herself always remains in the back, close enough only to maintain control on her creations. She surrounds herself with large monsters, re-animated into an even more deadly form. The most commonly used are bears, but other, more powerful monsters are used whenever found.
Ambrosia prefers to avoid direct battle. She requires great concentration to maintain control of her undead minions, and if she were to ever lose that control, or drop her music box, her most powerful officers and generals would happily turn on her.
If cornered however, Ambrosia can be formidable. Releasing control of some of her lesser undead, she can wield dark magic far more potent than any normal necromancer.
The constant state of agony that she is conditioned to, allows her to shrug off all but immediately fatal wounds. She never miscasts a spell from distractions or pain, and Kadesh, the ring of the master, gives her instant healing as long as she is close to any minion.
She is however, extremely vulnerable to any attack that injures her warped joints. Hammers and maces prove especially potent at causing concussive damage, even on an indirect hit. A direct hit by a blunt weapon to any of her joints is sufficient to break Ambrosia’s concentration, and drop the music box.
If she ever drops the music box, she will immediately lose control of the majority of her army. She will maintain her hold on those that are near her, and her intelligent undead if possible. Intelligent undead who are not under her control will immediately seek her out to destroy her. Ambrosias ability to dominate them is a greater threat to them even than destruction.
Keshly’s bad habits
Keshly Trox was a young man with a wife and two daughters. He had a prestigious name in the community, a large manor with estates and titles, and a successful side-business. He was a wealthy man.
At least, he appeared wealthy. The last five years had bankrupted him. Gambling had gotten the best of him, and he would have lost everything a year ago had he not taken out high interest loans. Officially, he and his family died in a fire in their manor house one winter evening, however, only one body was ever found.
The Two Sisters
His wife, Trazinella, and his two daughters, Jourin and Kalire, were sold to a man who went by the name "Merchant". Trazinelle died only months later, but the two sisters were loaned out to the Merchant’s accomplices as payment for favors.
Jourin, the older of the two, had the worst of it. She would wake up night after night, screaming in terror from last night’s affairs. Her nightly outbursts were severely punished, but no matter how many times they put her in the freezer crying and screaming, or sent her to the prisons to see how bad life could really be, she always woke up the same way.
Finally, when her outbursts made her unusable by even his most deviant clients, she was killed. Kalire quickly learned that her sister had been hateful and wicked. That her cries in her sleep had been from bad things that she had done, and how Jourin had betrayed Kalire, and deserved worse than she had gotten.
Kalire was better at containing her nightmares, and she survived long enough to understand. She was a bad person, but that the Merchant would help her be a good person again, and he would love her like her sister never had.
Years later she would cry, night after night, that the Merchant would love her, and would forgive her for all the bad things that she had done, and that he would hold her and kiss her again, as he had once done.
One night, during an autumn rain, Kalire found a trap door in her room, an old escape tunnel not used in ages. She dared not leave for long, lest the master beat her, but a mystery like this was too intriguing to ignore.
On all fours, she climbed into the tunnel under the floorboards. She crept for ages, and finally, she emerged, through a stone portal out from under an altar. It was a hidden church. The bodies of the devoted still lay here.
She explored the rooms of the abandoned place. The torches still burned with an unending fire. She wondered how the people here had died. She wondered why the main entrance was barred from the outside, why the walls were stained by black ash, or why the dry foods were still left in their metal containers in the kitchen.
Getting back was not so easy however. The stone, so easily opened from inside the Alter, was to heavy for her to open from the outside.
Frantically, she tried to get back, but she was just too weak. Always too weak. She knew she would be punished. She would deserve it.
Trapped for weeks, she spent her time reading. There was only one book, pulled from a twisted corpse with no hands. It was hard to read, but slowly her progress moved forward.
Death wasn’t the end. It was only the beginning.
It was in her sleep that she saw her new life. She dreamt again, as she had many times, about killing her sister to prevent her crying in her sleep. To make her stop. To erase her nightmares.
She did it with a knife this time.
Upon waking, she realized it. She could stop all nightmares. All nightmares everywhere. She could stop people from hurting themselves. She could stop them from being bad. Make them good again. She would make them good again.
First Kalire had to get out. And so she read. She raided the rooms for supplies, and learned to bring the bones back to life. But though the corpse was stronger than she was, it was clumsy. No matter how well she learned to control it, it could not open the altar door.
She was searching for more potent ingredients when she found it. A small, worn music box of brown wood. The lock was held open with a small piece of cloth, and it flowed with a dark fog, but it was the music that held her. It rang within her mind, and she could feel the force withing her ebbing and swelling.
Again she performed the ritual, and again she raised the corpse, but this time, with newfound strength, it smashed into the stone altar, and opened the passage by sheer force.
Salvation by Fire
Kalire emerged into her old room. It had been emptied out.
She went through the door and into the hallway, the music box with her. Slowly, she worked her way through the rooms. The old, fat servant didn’t have time to scream as his chest was crushed by the inescapable force of her damned servant, nor did the cook. She raised them as she had done so many times. They would hurt no others.
The master found her as she was leaving, seeking out the source of music. His first look was one of confusion. Why were the Servant and the cook taking one of his girls outside. Then shock as he realized who it was.
"Kalire! Where have you been!" and then, "You will be punished severely for this outrage"
She hated that name. She hated what she had been. She hated him. She hated them all. Her mental command rang out to her servants.
That night, Kalire died in the fire, and Ambrosia, the immortal, was born. Her dreams were now filled with the cries of many. They were a reminder of who she was, and what she must do.
Ambrosia is not a new creation (although there is a lot here that is). She was originally made for a post in the freeform roleplaying thread "The Last War". That thread is still the largest in-character roleplaying thread on the boards to date. I was honored to have participated in that thread.
I would like to thank Ancient Gamer for his Music Box of Mordalin, without which, I never would have made such a villain.