Mysterious fane on the banks of the Sea of Ohkotsk

Mysterious fane on the banks of the Sea of Ohkotsk

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Prydain Project - Monster - Cauldron Born

Gwydion rose in turn.  His face was grave. "Who has not heard of the Cauldron Born, the mute and deathless warriors who serve the Lord of Annuvin?  These are the stolen bodies of the slain, steeped in Arawn's cauldron to give them life again.  They emerge implacable as death itself, their humanity forgotten.  Indeed, they are no longer men, but weapons of murder, in thrall to Arawn forever."

Taran shuddered. Gwydion's words chilled him like a sudden cold wind.  Too well he remembered the lifeless eyes and livid faces of the Cauldron Born, their ghastly silence and ruthless swords." 
-- The Black Cauldron, Lloyd Alexander
Cauldron Born
AC: 5
HD: 2*/4*/6*
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-8 or by weapon
No. Appearing: 2-8 (6-60)
Save as: Fighter 2/4/6
Morale: 12
Treasure type: nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP value: 50/75/100

The Cauldron Born are the bodies of slain warriors who have been revived by Arawn in a dark rite using the Black Cauldron. The magic that animates them steals their voices and chains them to the will of the one who controls the Black Cauldron.  The eerie silence and relentless tenacity with which they fight, along with the aura of Annuvin that clings to them, are terrifying to mortal warriors. A save vs spells must be made when entering combat with a group of Cauldron Born to avoid fleeing in fear for 2 turns (1-5) or being frozen in fear for 1-4 rounds (6).

Since Cauldron Born can't talk, they rely on force of numbers and implacable attack, however they retain the skill and instincts of their days as living warriors and will disengage if it is clear their objective can't be attained or if they are so seriously outnumbered that it's obvious they will be destroyed.

For every 10 Cauldron Born encountered there will be a leader with 4 HD, and for every 50 there will be a captain with 6 HD.  Leaders and captains may be mounted on horses specially trained in Annuvin, however ordinary Cauldron Born will always travel and fight on foot.

Cauldron Born require neither food nor sleep, and so can cover enormous distances by marching constantly.  As they are no longer alive, they cannot be killed but will cease fighting when their body has received too much damage to continue.  Their unlife also means that their bodies do not heal, however they can return to full strength by returning to the Black Cauldron to be re-infused with the dark power of Annuvin.  They are immune to sleep, charm and hold spells.

The one weakness of Cauldron Born is that they grow weak if forced to stay away from the Black Cauldron for any length of time.  Cauldron Born lose 1hp per day for every day they spend more than 1 day's travel from the Black Cauldron.  Their strength returns at the same rate so long as they are within this range of the Cauldron, and can be refreshed immediately by returning to the Black Cauldron, just as with physical damage.

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