Tag Archives: fire

Abhorsen Trilogy – 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

The Unbroken Forge – Part 3

Unbroken Forge Part 3

Unbroken Forge Part 3

“The heat in the domed hall is intense and the air almost dances with embers and soot from further inside. The bas reliefs on the walls are brought to life by the shifting patterns of heat behind them and the work of the great fire-dwarf craftsmen depicted there is reflected by the clanging of hammer on anvil coming from all sides.”

The final section of the Unbroken Forge is the forge itself. There are three main chambers to the north, south, and east where armor, weapons, and shields are made. Other rooms are the various finishing workshops and storerooms.

The central chamber has a domed ceiling and walls covered in bas reliefs depicting the almost religious nature of the fire-dwarves’ work here. Thick archways rising from the floor branch out onto the dome to create a complex design of ridges and lines. An experienced magic-user might recognize that this pattern weakens the barrier between this place and the Plane of Elemental Fire. Invisible ley lines link this room with the three forges and helps create the infernal heat necessary for their work.  Of course, depending on who now controls the Forge, these ley lines may not be active, but who can say what will happen (or come through the planar skein) when they are activated?

The Unbroken Forge – Part 2

Unbroken Forge Part 2

Unbroken Forge Part 2

“Ahead of you is a long rope-bridge in place of a stone bridge (of which almost nothing remains) and spans a great crevasse in the earth. Taller, deeper, and wider than your eyes can see, the very space seems to breathe with the sound of bellows. You can see the glow of torchlight on the other side. Below the bridge are several windows and a thin stream of molten slag pouring from a narrow drain. As you begin your crossing, however, another light ignites from a balcony above you and arrows begin raining down around you.”

The bridge is about 70 ft long from end to end, though the crevasse is larger. On the other side is a large and well-guarded cave.

This level contains several finishing workshops and jewelers along with several guardrooms. A pool of dark, mysterious water is used to quench certain pieces made by the fire-dwarves, but the secrets of its use were known only to the lost dwarves. Stairs going down lead to the Unbroken Forge itself. Part 3 of 3 is coming next week!

The Unbroken Forge – Part 1

Unbroken Forge Part 1

Unbroken Forge Part 1

“Past the antechamber with its statues clad in mirrored ceremonial armor, you see a wide hall with long steps and a narrow ramp leading down to a huge bronze door. Upon the thick doors are shaped two dwarf thanesguard holding pikes, their beards appearing ornately braided and capped and their bodies wreathed in flames. Beyond the sealed door you can hear hammer on anvil, the distant whoosh of bellows, and echoed orders. The Unbroken Forge is occupied once more, though one wonders if it’s the ancestral dwarves of legend, or some usurper seeking the forge’s power.”

 The Unbroken Forge was originally built by the now-extinct fire-dwarves of Borzen-khar, the Firelands, who, centuries ago, were renowned for their skill in creating terrible weapons and frightening armor, all imbued with their unique runecraft rumored to be native to the Plane of Elemental Fire.

The map features two main obstacles: the bronze doors at the bottom of the hall and the wide portcullis just beyond it.

West of the bronze doors are mostly storage rooms and a few plundered museum pieces (though hidden treasures might still be found!). To the north east is a private bazaar where the fire-dwarves sold their wares to the highest bidder.

Beyond the portcullis, a wide tunnel leads to Part 2 of 3 maps in this series.