The Regal Tombs of Orbis were the place where the richest of the rich were buried, and Bert was sure that if he could break in to a recent two-month old burial he would be wealthy for at least the rest of the year. Since tomb-robbing could get somebody the gibbet, he had gone alone, and now he cursed as he fought hand to hand with the bulbous, distended, decomposing corpse that had leapt up when he tried to steal the grave goods and now beat and clawed at him and swiped at him with a rapier. Every wound it inflicted on his body, he got a little weaker and to his horror, it grew a little stronger and a little less rotten. Not long afterwards, a seemingly living man left the tomb, leaving the body of a grave robber behind. A body that would soon rise...and walk...
Created by necromancy, and traditionally placed in above ground tombs with rich grave goods to ensure grave robbery, the necromancer who was paid well to create this Undead deliberately spreads stories in the right ears of the fine Funeral Gold and Grave Silver to be found in the tomb. Historically, most graves with objects of value were robbed whilst the body was still fresh. When the grave robber robs this particular grave, the LifeStealer will rise and try and kill the robber, both with bare hands and with any weapons he or she may have been buried with. Depending on how soon the tomb is robbed, the LifeStealer may be fresh in appearance, with few or no signs of rot, or a decaying body crawling with maggots and blind or near blind. The fresher it is, the stronger it is. Every wound it gets in, will steal the life-force from it's foe, and it gets stronger and less decayed as it's opponent grows weaker and less able to fend of it's attacks. Should it kill it's foe or foes, the LifeStealer will look like a sturdy, middle aged or young human who is not in the least bit Undead.
The time it stays this way varies, depending on the climate and the length of time it lay in the tomb but between twenty-four hours and a month afterwards, a small part of the LifeStealer will start to rot. If the LifeStealer kills somebody else within a short time, the rot goes away again, until it once more comes back. If the LifeStealer refuses to carry on killing or is unable to, he or she will rapidly decay until the tendons snap and the mind ceases to function and all that is left is a twitching, moaning, badly decomposed body.
To kill a LifeStealer permanently, it's head must be cut off, or it's limbs removed, otherwise it might be a threat to anyone who finds it later on.
A PC has been killed by one of these Undead, and shortly afterwards seemingly comes to life again, only to start decomposing within days. Should he or she be attacked during this time and kill the foe, the decay will vanish only to start again soon afterwards. There is a holy place where the person can be cured, but it is weeks away before they can reach it. The PC must carry out various murders on the way there and avoid law enforcement and/or bands of vigilantes on the way. Or maybe he or she needs to seek one of 30 Legendary Antidotes/Cures to rid himself or herself of the Undead taint. Or the assistance of a priest of Mathom, the God of Delays is needed but all sorts of things are getting in the way. Can the PCs find the priest in time before one of them is uncovered as a murderer, an Undead, or both?
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? Responses (3)
That was a quick turnaround!
Playing an infected character would make for some very interesting interactions.
In practice one might have to let the thing get the drop on the PCs to ensure that its life-gain ability has a chance to reveal itself.
Clearly we should all be cremating our dead.
I like this a lot! I can picture interesting character interactions with that plot hook for sure. As I main a Paladin having an undead party member could cause a lot of tension despite them having been a friend. As for the Life Stealer itself that is a scary creature concept for sure! Very good job! Keep up the good work.