Abhorsen Trilogy – Mordicant

Mordicant

Undead, CE, 50’, Size Large, AC 0, HD 10+5, 1 claw and 1 bite, 2d6 (claw) + (Energy Drain or 1d4 STR dmg) / 2d4+1d4 fire (bite), F10, Mo 11, xp 6600

Mordicants are one of the most powerful undead that can be created by a Necromancer of the Old Kingdom. About the size of an ogre, a Mordicant’s body is molded from bog-clay or grave-dirt that has been infused with vast quantities of human blood. This vessel is filled with a malevolent Dead spirit that burns with a bottomless rage for the living.

A Mordicant’s eyes, mouth, feet, and claws drip with green fire and its presence is often enough to make mortals collapse from terror.

Aura of Death: A Mordicant has a persistent aura surrounding it that reeks of death and decay. The aura surrounds it at a radius of 20′ and might appear as a smoky miasma. Those who encounter it must Save vs Poison or be nauseated (can only make Move actions) and may only move at half speed (even while running) for as long as they remain in the aura and 1 round afterwards. Those who have recovered must still Save when exposed to the aura again, but those who make a successful Save are immune to the effects for 24 hrs.

The aura can be negated by a successful Dispel Magic (caster level 10), but the Mordicant can reestablish the aura as a free action on its next turn. Effects that improve the quality of the air and negate the effects of harmful gasses also work against this aura.

Weakening Touch: Those hit by a Mordicant’s claw must Save vs Death or suffer an additional 1d4 Strength damage. Whenever a Mordicant successfully drains Strength, it gains +1 to Hit and Damage on all its attacks and heals 1d8 damage. The bonus is cumulative and the bonus lasts for 1 Turn from the last time it was applied.

If you play with Energy Draining Undead, the Mordicant drains 1 Level of experience instead of Strength Damage, but gains the same benefits.

Night Affinity: A Mordicant naturally absorbs shadow-stuff from the darkness around them. They regenerate at 3 hp / round under two conditions: in complete darkness or once night has fallen (generally, between astronomical dusk and dawn).

Greater Dead: As a powerful undead spirit, a Mordicant can only be harmed by magical sources and by weapons with an enchantment of +2 or better.

Create Spawn: Those slain by the Mordicant rise as Dead Hands under the control of the Mordicant 1d4 rounds afterwards. A body that has been Blessed or doused in Holy Water will not rise as a Dead Hand.

Undead traits: Beyond the usual traits granted the undead, this type of undead cannot cross (above or below) deep or fast-moving water. An uncontrolled Mordicant will not attempt a crossing under most circumstances, but if it’s pushed to do so by a Necromancer, it must make a Save vs Death or be swept away into the River of Death, body and spirit. Very shallow and/or very still water may grant a bonus to this Save and vice versa (crossing a large waterfall would be a -4 penalty on a Save made every round, a sluggish brook would be a +4 bonus).

“There, between gusts of snow, she saw a figure leaping from step to step; impossible leaps that ate up the distance between them with horrible appetite. It was man-like, more than man-high, and flames ran like burning oil on water where it trod… It was a Mordicant that hunted her – a thing that could pass at will through Life and Death, it’s body bog-clay and human blood molded and infused with Free Magic by a Necromancer, and a Dead spirit placed inside it as its guiding force.”

– Sabriel by Garth Nix

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