Forget the rickety, fragile skeletons. Remove all thoughts of the limping, weak zombies. Shrug off thoughts of blood-dependant vampires. Whereas the former are reflections of necromatic magic, the Mogrolyth is a creation derived from the pure essence of unholy power - namely pain.
Excerpt from a moldy, rotting journal perhaps fiteen hundred years old, found in an unnamed tomb.
Day 7. Tomb entrance opened-
After seeing the stone slab collapse from our digging and prying, the feeling that all our hard work has paid off hit me head on. Finally, after months of preparation we are in! We set camp outside for tonight, and will send our first team in at dawn.
Day 8. Tomb structure-
Amazing! I went in partway with the first team today. We breached two more lesser doors into empty rooms before I left to record this in my journal. The architecture of this place is unequaled! I cannot seem to find similarities to any ancient cultures however, it's completely unique. The designs are intricate and the room structures seem to defy logic - I can barely understand how the rooms do not collapse in on themselves. Well, even with this superior architecture, it hasn't stopped thousands of years of disuse making it dusty and dank. The place has the smell of death about it. I will await the teams return for their report on what they find in there.
Dusk approaches and there is no sign of the team we sent in to study these tombs. I have decided to enter with Crawlins to see if we can find out what is taking them all so long. Our excitement from opening this tomb has faded from me, and I can't help but feel a bit uneasy - I'm not the only one. Everyone in camp seems to be looking over their shoulders this afternoon. I have no explanation as to why we all feel so sombre. Still - time to move on.
Day 9. Team still missing-
Crawlins' and I found no evidence of the missing team, and we searched the entire tomb: It isn't nearly as large as we first imagined. There seems to be only eight chambers with two corridoors connecting them. In the seventh chamber, we did find a fair sized crack in the wall, perhaps large enough for a man to squeeze through. It seemed to slope downwards, and there was a steady breeze coming from out of it, which smelled musty and moist - almost swamp-like. Myself and Crawlins will see if we can squeeze through there later today.
Strange occurances. Horrifying discoveries-
Where to begin? Crawlins and I made our way into the tomb once again. Before we even reached the third chamber I thought I heard footsteps coming from it. In the darkness of the tomb I thought I saw a shadow moving through the door. I moved to the chamber and stared in, but strangely saw nothing - Chamber three is bare, and there's only one entrance to it. I was ready to dismiss it as my imagination before I saw Crawlins' face filled with bewilderment as well - He had heard and seen it too. Still, we moved on. We were readying to enter the seventh chamber when I heard a faint whisper coming from the eighth. It sounded very much like the voice of Kalin - one of the members of the first team. I raced to the eighth chamber and searched but once more I found nothing. I was sure I could still hear her voice though, distant and almost drowned by the emptiness. It seemed to have an urgent tinge to it, but I couldn't make out the words. This time, Crawlins did not hear what I did.
Unsettled, but determined to find the team, we entered the seventh chamber. Torch burning in front of me, I pushed my way into that crevice first, letting Crawlins take the rear. The crack wasn't too long before it widened out - perhaps ten yards - but it was awkward to squeeze through. On the other side of the crack was a small cavern, perhaps eight by ten yards. The walls were hard rock and the cave led nowhere - just this empty room. After a quick, uneventful search we turned to squeeze back through the crack and saw on the wall that the crack was on, A line of ancient runic writing split in the center by our route in and out of this cave. Abruptly, the flame of my torch began to flicker, then fade out completely.
Absolute silence reigned for what felt an eternity, and in that silence and darkness, I was completely and utterly alone. After several millenia - or several seconds - A faint whisper broke the spell of non-existance which had tidalwaved over me. 'Leave this place...' The dead torch in my hand flickered into life for a second before dying once more - and in that second I saw the entirety of the team we had sent into the tomb, surrounding us and all silently urging us to flee as quickly as we could manage. I saw two images of them in the one place - I saw them as completely healthy people; the people who I had been with for years. And at the same time, I saw what had become of them. I saw blood. I saw eyes violently torn out of their own sockets by their own hands so they didn't have to see what was happening to their team members. I saw flesh rendered from bone, organs separated from bodies, limbs torn in unnatural positions. And in that one second, I felt the reflection of all the agony which had become of our exploration team. My torch suddenly burst violently alight once more.
Alone with Crawlins in the cavern once again, I fell to my knees and vomited. It was apparant that Crawlins didn't have the same vision as I, but he could sense my terror and urgency to leave. We pushed our way through the crack once more and ran out of the seventh chamber. without slowing to think of our own safety, we bolted down the corridoor towards the entrance. Crawlins was a couple of meters ahead of me.
Just before we passed the entrance to the third chamber - the one where we heard the footsteps earlier - time seemed to slow to a crawl. A sense of indescribable danger emenated from that chamber, and as Crawlins passed in front of it a BURST of power slammed through that door. It moved so fast! - so quickly that it was difficult to track its movement at all, something surged into Crawlins. In a heartbeat my friend was crushed against the wall of the corridoor. I could hear his skull snapping against that stone with the pressure of the beast upon him. Foolishly, I stumbled to a pause for a second, turning back with the thoughts of helping Crawlins. I saw that I was already too late, and what I saw will stay with me long after I have entered the grave. It was not a huge beast, but it was clear that it was coursing with an unholy power. Its face was not unlike a skinned human head - it's muscles and flesh open for all to see - blood still fresh and moist. It had no lower jaw, however, and the teeth on it were long and sharp. Where its eyes should be was eternal blackness in twin caverns - at the very center of those sockets pale, white pinpricks of light emenated. The rest of its body was similarly skinned, its movements causing the occasional splatter of seemingly endless blood to drop to the floor. It was naked, though it had no genetalia, and its fingertips ended in sharp, bony protusions like claws. I watched for an instant as it easily tore apart the already lifeless body of Crawlins - as it shredded the cadaver it sunk its sharpened upper teeth into flesh, feasting. blood and entrails now covered half the hall, and I turned and ran once again.
Why I still live, I do not know. I entered camp to find all our team gone without trace - everything was still in place as it should have been but nobody was there. I was waiting in camp for my inevitable death, but the creature never left the tomb to come after me. A horrid, wilting screech did emenate from it though, the sound overwhelming me with dread - it must have been the beast within. It sounded as though it were feeling a thousand years of agony administered in a heartbeat.
My theory is that this tomb was a prison for this creature, and the runes in that cave was some magical ward which entombed it. The force of our excavating must have caused that crack which broke through those runes, negating the enchantment and setting whatever this thing is free.
I feel that I should return to that tomb - I will not be able to live with the nightmares for a lifetime, so I may as well end it looking for some way that I could lock this creature away once again.
Forget the rickety, fragile skeletons. Remove all thoughts of the limping, weak zombies. Shrug off thoughts of blood-dependant vampires. Whereas the former are reflections of necromatic magic, the Mogrolyth is a creation derived from the pure essence of unholy power - namely pain. Originally used as a method of ultimate punishment for the worst of crimes, the process of creating this creature of death is gruesome indeed. It involves the surgical removal of all skin. Salt is applied to the exposed flesh of the victim to amplify pain. Eyelids are surgically removed and the eyes are deflated by the lengthwise slicing of the eye across the lens. All nails are plucked off, and the lower jaw is snipped away from the head, discarded. Death occasionally takes as long as three hours.
After several years of using this form of punishment and torture for crimes, the ancient race which used it perfected the technique to the point that the victim reaches the pinnacle of pain. One such victim ended up pushing themselves through that height, breaking the barrier of agony and found on that other side a well of unimaginable power. He too died, his corpse left in a tomb made for the burial of the people who have suffered this torture. However - he did not stay dead. A day after his burial White pinpricks of light flamed into life behind the sockets and of his ruined eyes. Teeth lengthened and sharpened into claws and the dried flesh and muscle began to moisten again, running crimson with blood. The once dead form of this tortured soul dug its way out of its grave, it sought to give all living biengs a taste of what its very bieng was - Pain.
The ancient race soon determined that the creation of this creature was due to the punishment they put on criminals and as such they have ceased such torture. It is thought that the amount of Mogrolyths existent is a single digit - less than 10 in the world.
The Mogrolyth, spawned by a pain which refuses to allow them to die, will not ever age. Its strength and speed - fueled by emotions far more intense than any human could ever hope to grasp hold of - is unparalleled and if by some strange quirk of fate a human manages to fell one of these creatures, it will only stay dead for a matter of days before arising once more. Though its life can temporarily be snuffed out by the crushing of its heart, the Mogrolyth - bound by pain to the world - will never stay dead. As such, it can be said that the Mogrolyth is the only truly immortal creature in the world. The mogrolyth cannot be dismembered, - any object is able to pierce through the flesh, but the bone cannot be shattered or cut.
Every life this aberration takes is completely devoured. No trace of blood or bone remains, and even the soul is consumed, leaving it tied to the creature. People who are in the same area as this monstrosity will sometimes be able to see images of people long dead - as the souls captured attempt to make contact with anyone around to warn them of the danger they are in.
Finally: Though the Mogrolyth is one who desires suffering to be brought upon others, it does not actively seek out and hunt prey. As such, if one is able to slay the beast and get far enough away, there is little chance of it wishing to hunt its attacker once it is revived.
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? Responses (35)-37
Why have I never voted on this? I read this in the forums I believe and this was great then and it is awesome now. The journal entry makes this creature more dramatic, more real and life like. I love it...
Truely nasty. Can it be cremated?
Awesome. A clear 5/5.
My only objection is its ability to never truly die. Perhaps it could be killed in a very hard to accomplish manner? I think this is an awesome idea and will definitely find a way to use it, but I may give it some obscure way to be truly killed.
Their existence is based on pain... so ending it could be done if they cancel it with pleasure.
That's the philosophical part. How you do such a thing to an unapproachable being is another question. :)
Very cool. Juicy and deadly, with a nice history and explanation for its existance. Plus, I had a ball with your story. Great work!
I've commented on this already but I really liked it and I wanted the newer members to get a look at it as well.
Good to see interest in the Mogrolyth :D it's my favourite Undead!
In response to Cheka Man: It would take an extremely intense heat to be able to wither through the mogrolyth's flesh and incinerate it's heart, and if by some chance someone manages to force a Mogrolyth into an inferno of flames and kill it, its flesh will burn and crack, but it will not turn to ash. Once the fire is out, The mogrolyth will return to life in a matter of hours. So effectively, having a mogrolyth in the centre of an eternally burning fire will keep it down :)
(A good plot point may be in there, too: 'The snowy city of Jamore has had a pyre burning in the centre of their town for centuries. All Jamorans consider this pyre a good luck charm and thus continue feeding it wood to keep it burning. Jamorans always gather around this fire to keep warm and for religious occasions. But this winter, Wood is in short supply, and the city council have decided to let the pyre burn out for the first time in over five hundred years. Unfortunately, none recalled the true reason of the Pyre...
I can see it now...! It starts by everyone just having to adjust to the coldest winter they've ever had. And then... Blood tracks are found in the snow! People start disappearing. Rumours of ghosts, and hundreds of people leaving the city in terror! Truly, the pyre WAS a good luck charm! For now their city is falling apart. Who could possibly find the real reason behind the haunted city save the town from this curse!?))
No, sorry. There is no way to permanently kill it. Any show of end to life would be to deny what the Mogrolyth truly is! However, yes - if you wish to alter it to be able to die permanently for the purposes of your roleplay, by all means!
And Manfred: Maybe you'd like to pucker up to the mogrolyth to test your theory? :D
The pyre plot idea is superb... I still think making it almost impossible to destroy, well if you make the fact you have to destroy it with pleasure than it is impossible, is a bit to much... but I still like it.
As the vote says - my players are in for some gruesome fun :D
An excellent undead! I like the tale of its origins and the pyre plotline. Like many powerful creatures, the party's goal has to be stopping it rather than killing it.
This is one of those fun remakes of the undead. If you haven't seen the codex, click the link in the link back area and check it out.
A truely nasty undead, though in my opinion, even the Divine can cease to exist, even if only at the hands of other Divine.
A thoroughly creepy and bloody undead. I'll definitely use it as soon as possible.
I have thought of a few ways to kill it. If the deity of pain choses to he could end its existents. Another way is to have a being who also consumes souls to consume the Mogrolyth.
There *is* one other sub, made recently, which could potentially put one of these down - the Shadows of Mercy that Siren no Orakio devised. But then, to use one of those, you have to get into knife-fighting range, and considering this critter's combat capability, I seriously doubt anyone being able to stab it with the knife before it killed them and threw the knife away.
You can't nuke Cthulhu. That ruins the entire point. Likewise with the Mogrolyth.
Wow, SE... I like it. And in regards to the pretty knife thingies, seeing as this undead enjoys reanimating itself whenever it dies, the only way I can see for using this knife to kill it would be to make sure the knife stays in after the critter dies, and make sure it can't pull it out once it reanimates...
Very timely! Here's a halloween HOH!
There's one thing beyond the Shadows of Mercy that I can think of that would put this beast down: the Collateral Damage Adventurer's Guild.
The problem with this is that by the time the Mogrolyth is put down for the count, so is the majority of the universe/multiverse. Getting the CDAG to tangle with something is never a winning proposition for anyone...
A nasty and useful piece of work, perfect to throw against any undead hunter that's getting "too big for their britches."
I also particularly like the plot line you provided in your later reply; I'm thinking of using it for a one shot advneture sometime soon.
All the praise aside I did notice one small technical error with the sub:
The mogrolyth cannot be dismembered, - any object is able to pierce through the flesh, but the bone cannot be shattered or cut.
The human skeleton is not actually held together by the bones themselves, but by the tendons and muscles surrounding them. (as anyone who has dislocated a shoulder or cut up a thanksgiving turkey can attest to)
Thus after killing it, a knowledgeable char (any char that's butchered an animal for food) could dismember it with a little gruesome work and a few minutes of effort.
Of course the chances of the heroes knowing dismemberment is the only way to destroy the creature are pretty slim. (although the second time they face it they'll likely decapitate it after death knowing most chars.)
5/5 (4.5 for the sub itself, +0.5 for the extra plot suggestion added as a comment)
There are a few demons and similar creatures, where not even dismemberment helps - it may keep them inert, but they do not die, forever waiting on being put together, or even working a little towards that goal. Were someone to succeed in 'killing' this creature in such a way, I fear it still wouldn't be gone.
Hmm.. So no weapon can destroy the bone, eh?... Well, for some reason I like to put guys with modern weaponry and training up against fantasy-level enemies (ex: one of my mercenary characters trying to gun down a giant with an assault rifle), so how 'bout this: instead of simply dismembering the damn thing, how about pumping it so full of bullets that pretty much all that's left of their torso is their spinal column and the corn flakes they had for breakfast? Would THAT stop the monster's rampage? I really like the idea. However, I've never liked the idea of a TRULY invincible enemy. A very skilled and dangerous enemy? Sure. Invincible? Nah.
What if after killing it the first time the PCs somehow put a skin on it to ease it's pain? Would that help it drift to the afterlife?
You mean, actually removing the source of pain, and therefore removing the source of his power? Darn, that might even work!
It would require powerful healing spells and even then it might not help... but it could at least weaken him.
Ive thought of a couple ways of creatively 'destroying' it.
A.)A healing spell of epic proportions.
B.)An alchemical procedure that could graft the skin to it. Then kill it.
C.)After utterly destroying it you could take each seperate bone and place them each in a different plane of existance.
OUCHIES. You had me squirming at the slicing of the eyeballs. Gruesome. Liked the journal entries. I liked the fact that it's prime mode of operation is causing pain, not hunting. Adds a bit of realism to the surreal. Very good undead creature - just what we need in the wake of all the "Twilight" and "True Blood" nonsense we are living with.
This is a damn good undead, and a great submission. Skeletons and zombies are for pansy necromancers, to try and control one of these is true nectomantic power - but one doomed to failure. I agree with others, I dislike things that are truly invincible unless it's the terrasque. There can be only one! (Invincible thing, that is. Something has to be on top and it's sure not the gods.) The comments on this submission are great too, giving a lot of good food for thought. This community is simply awesome.
A truly gruesome undead. I can think of one other sub that might help put this creature down permanently: Gideon's Mercy, by dark_dragon. The person who stabbed the Mogrolyth would bring it instant easement of its pain, but would have to endure the entire force of pain that is the Mogrolyth to begin with. This could either create another Mogrolyth (thus transferring the curse to a new person), or could perhaps kill them both -- the Mogrolyth killed by being cut off from its power and the knife wielder from the shock.
Everybody's already sung all praise, so just let me pick a nit, or nit a pick, or whatever:
*all living biengs a taste of what its very bieng was - Pain.'
bieng -> being
It cannot be destroyed. Period. It is literally pain incarnate. The only way to stop it is to seal it off. Or perhaps confuse it with a paradox, such as a masochistic Agony Demon.