Eclipse d20 – Torak Rosul, ECL 19 Lord of Darkness

   This year for Halloween, we have the vampire-lord of a cursed land…

   Decay cannot be forever denied – but it can be diverted.

   When one refuses to accept the decay of the mortal body, that decay can, instead, be transferred to the immortal soul.

   Over time, all that is good and noble within such a cursed spirit will become utterly corrupt.

   The mind will become twisted as well, the victim of strange obsessions, of fantasies and madness.

   The body will become little more than an illusion, a specter of what once was.

   The circle of decay – the vortex of corruption surrounding such a creatures unnatural bridge between life and death – will widen, drawing beasts, innocent spirits, and the very elements of the natural world under the dominion of the lost and corrupted soul as it’s decay spreads into all it touches.

   There may be times of temporary surcease, as the fallen soul lies suspended between the worlds – but always the corruption will rise again until, at last, some fortunate – and often frightened – hero finally finds the keys to unbind the curse, and releases the soul into the surcease of true death at last.

   Only then will the balance be restored and the miasma of corruption be lifted from the land.

   Long centuries ago, a sordid tale played out – a tale of jealousy, betrayal, and kinslaying. Curses were exchanged, vengeful oaths were sworn, and dying mortals attempted – at all costs – to cling to the fading embers of life.

   Such tales have played out ten thousand times, and will continue to play out as long as mortals – for good or ill – endure.

   Unlike most such tales, one participant – a once-noble lord – possessed the ability to give his oath of death and vengeance, his implicit pact with darkness – and his doom – real power.

   Refusing death, he steals the lives of others in an endless – hopeless – attempt to cling to what he has lost and – perhaps this time – to find a way to restore his past.

   Here, in the deep and shadowed valleys of the forested mountains, the remnants of an ancient barony have waited for heros long indeed – long enough for the slow corruption of the area to become deeply-rooted and for hopelessness to have become a way of life.

   That once-lord is now usually known as Torak Rosul – a badly-corrupted form of a phrase in the old tongue, that once meant Blood-Drinking Corpse-Demon. It’s possible that – in his madness – even he no longer remembers his original name.

   Torak normally lurks in his secret crypt, buried deep beneath the mountains some miles from the ruins of his ancient castle.

   That doesn’t keep him from playing quite an active role in the area though. He can take Astral or Ethereal spirit-journeys using Dreamfaring, leaving his body behind – and, when he wants to do so, he can use his witchcraft to manifest a shadowy Astral Construct VI to use as a body on the material realm.

  • In a wolf- or bat-like form he roams the forests, spying, checking the borders of his realm, and leading his packs of worgs. .
  • In a humanlike body, wrapped in a shell of illusion, he takes the form of Elmain Varith – a local healer, wise-man, and sage, allowing him to easily monitor the activities of most “adventurers” who intrude upon his realm.
  • As a healer, he sees most of the villagers children early on. Those who awaken his hunger, or who remind him of his own, centuries-lost, offspring, he will set his links upon and slowly drain from afar – so many children die young in any case – and finally steal their souls, either binding them into the bodies of wolves to create more minions or sealing them into the walls of his crypt, so that their imprisoned tender spirits will be constantly with him – and constantly available to fuel his power. Of course, he ensures that those he does not take grow up strong and healthy, well-fed and well-protected, to produce the next generation of his prey. The overall casualty rate is pretty close to what it is in other lands…
  • In another humanlike body, he is a mysterious merchant – a man who brings strange and terrible bargains, bestowing prosperity and wealth in exchange for dark prices. As Ahriman Viscal, he recruits his spies and agents and gathers sacrifices.

   Torak may be quite mad, and utterly corrupt, but he is incredibly dangerous – and is a pervasive force within his lands.

  • If you mention his name – or even his major aliases – there, he will hear you, and can reach out to use some of his lesser powers upon you.
  • He can influence the minds of the population, turning them against you in murderous mobs, causing riots, soothing away warnings, and spreading fear and terror.
  • He has many, many, servants.
  • He can kill with words, wields terrible magic, and is quite deadly in physical combat as well.
  • You may kill “him” – in his projected bodies – many, many, times, with no real effect.
  • He is a gateway for the dark powers to spread their influence over the world.
  • He is – in many ways – the prototype. Most other vampires are lesser, superficial, reflections of HIM, even if their power is far more self-contained.

   He is not, however, without his weaknesses.

  • He is bound to his land, and his power is gravely weakened beyond it’s borders.
  • He is repelled by the sacred, vulnerable to purification, and bound by social rituals.
  • He must draw on external sources to recover his psychic Power – and his reserves, while great, can be exhausted.
  • He must bind the land to him to use many of his powers within it, and to draw on it to fuel his dark magics – and those links can be disrupted and broken, gravely weakening him.
  • He relies on the people of his land to provide offerings and service – but beneath it all, even his power cannot conceal what he is from them, and so they can be turned against him.
  • He can replace his minions only slowly.
  • His devices can be taken from him.
  • One of his greatest strengths lies in secrecy – but there are always ways to seek out the forgotten past. His betrayed brother may live the life of a ravenous, maddened, werebeast roaming the hills and forests, but he cannot die while Torak endures. The spirit of his architect has passed beyond his power, but can still be reached by clever mortals. There are records in temples and other places that enjoy some protection from his power – and in other lands, which lie beyond his reach.
  • There are traces of his life – and relics of his past which can torment and harm him – scattered across the land.

   He can be defeated. Do not expect it to be a quick and simple battle. You will have to first discover his presence, then exploit his weaknesses to reduce his power, and then – perhaps – you will be able to banish him.

   Hopefully forever.

   Torak Rosul

Accursed Elder Vampire, Child of the Dreadful Night.

   Available Character Points: 456 (Level eighteen base) +10 (Disadvantages: Accursed/vulnerable to relics of his forgotten past, Compulsive/searches for the reincarnated spirits of his family, and Insane) +36 (Duties; despite his own corruption of the land and predation on it’s people, Torak regards it as his duty to protect his realm from both foreign invaders and from other monsters) +4 (Unique Training, as an Champion of the Dark Powers. See; Godfire) +42 (seven bonus feats) = 548 CP.

   Human Racial Abilities:

  • Bonus Feat (+3 CP to Fast Learner, Below, Specialized Adept/Buys Perform/Oratory and Spellcraft at half cost, 6 CP total).
  • Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills for Double Effect (+2 SP/Level, 6 CP).

   Child of the Dreadful Night (Acquired +53 CP template):

  • Shapeshift with the Dire, Shrinking, and Hybrid modifiers. Corrupted/only to take the form of predatory mammals (12 CP).
  • Damage Reduction 10, Corrupted/Does not work when exposed to sunlight (24 CP).
  • Unique Returning: A Child of the Dreadful Night can only be destroyed by finding a way to remove their curse and then killing them (18 CP).
  • +4 Turn Resistance (8 CP).
  • Defender: +(2 x Level/5 rounded down) Natural Armor (6 CP). .
  • Reflex Training/Combat Reflexes Variant (6 CP).
  • Improved Initiative +6 (9 CP).
  • Cloaking/detects as a normal human (6 CP).
  • Augmented Bonus x2: May add their (Int Mod) to their (Cha Mod) and (Wis Mod) for skill purposes (12 CP).

   For all their power, the Children of the Dreadful Night have several major weaknesses:

  • They are repelled by sacred objects and places. They may not enter good temples and can be held at bay by a strongly presented holy symbol in the hands of a believer (sadly, this merely means that they must stand back and rely on less-physical attacks). Presenting such a symbol is a standard action each round.
  • They are vulnerable to purification. Contact with purifying forces – sunlight, running water, fire, salt, garlic, exorcism rituals, sacred chants, and similar things – inflicts 3d6 damage per round or active exposure, bypassing their damage resistance.
  • They, like the fey, are bound by social rituals. They must respect hospitality, be invited to enter a private home – unless, of course, they own the place (once invited, they are free to return unless the invitation is ritually rescinded), exchange gifts, keep their promises, honor debts, and return favors.
  • They are unnatural and disturbing. They upset animals (-10 on relevant rolls), blight plants growing nearby, set off magical alarms, disturb ancient magics, twist areas towards evil, cause strange weather, and bring up undead from old graves by their mere presence.

   Thanks to these limitations, the entire package is considered Specialized for half cost (except for Defender, which is double effect). That reduces the net cost from 101 CP to 53 CP. Added to the 9 CP base cost for a human, that comes to a +1 ECL Racial Modifier.

   Basic Attributes:

  Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
Rolled 14 14 (13) 16 14 17
Level (+1) +3
Inherent +4 +4 +4
Profane +6 +6
Items +4 +4 +4 +4
Wealth +2
Total 14 18 30 22 36

   In manifested forms:

Wolf 37 17 30 22 36
Bat/Man 33 17 30 22 36

   Basic Abilities (146 CP):

  • Hit Points: 12 (L1d12, 8 CP) + 54 (L2-18 d4, 0 CP) +247 (18 x Cha Mod) = 313
  • BAB +11 (66 CP)
  • Saves:
    • Fortitude: Not applicable.
    • Reflex: +10 (Purchased, 30 CP) +4 (Dex) +4 (Res) = +18
    • Will: +10 (Purchased, 30 CP) +11 (Wis) +4 (Res) = +25
  • Proficient with Light Armor (3 CP), Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9 CP).

   Combat Information:

  • Initiative: +10
  • Move: 30′
  • Armor Class: 10 (Base) +4 (Dex) +8 (Armor +2 Wealth) +6 (Shield +2 Wealth) +7 Natural +4 (Martial Art) = 39
  • Unarmed Attack: +20/+15/+10 (+11 BAB +2 Str +1 Magic +4 Martial Art +2 Wealth) for 1d12 +1 (magic) +2 (strength) +2 (Wealth) +1d8+2 (fire) +2 Negative Levels. Crit 20/x3 (adds another 2d12+10).

   In Manifested Forms:

  • Wolf or Man-Wolf Form: 85 HP, 50′ Move, AC 28 (10 Base +15 Natural +3 Dex), Attacks +19/+19 for 1d12+1d8+23+2 Level Drain Adamant Magic, Crit 20/x2 on dice. Form Options: Celerity +10, Damage Reduction 5/Magic, Knockdown (those hit must make a DC 22 Str check or be knocked prone), Fast Healing II, +4 Str, and +4 Dex.
  • Bat, Dire Bat, or Bat-Man Form: 85 HP, 40′ Move, 60′ Flight (Good), AC 32 (10 Base +15 Natural +3 Dex +4 Deflection). Attacks +17/+17 for 1d12+1d8+20+2 Level Drain Adamant Magic, Crit 20/x2 on dice. Form Options: Fly III (60′, Good), Fast Healing II, Heavy Deflection and +4 Dex.
  • Man-Form Options: 85 HP, 40′ Move, AC 32 (10 Base +15 Natural +3 Dex +4 Deflection). Attacks +17/+17 for 1d12+1d8+20+2 Level Drain Adamant Magic, Crit 20/x2 on dice. Form Options: Swim 30′. Tunnel 10′, Mobility, Fast Healing II, Heavy Deflection and +4 Dex.

   Skills:

   Skill Points: 41 (CP Spent) +84 (Int, Inherent bondrune boost applied at L4 as a young lord) +42 (Racial) = 167 SP.

  • Str (+2 or +13): Climb, Jump +5/+16, Swim +3/+14
  • Dex (+4 or +3): Balance +5/+4, Escape Artist, Hide, Move Silently, Open Lock, Ride +5 (-10 with normal animals), Sleight of Hand, Tumble, and Use Rope.
  • Con (No Add):
  • Int (+10): Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script +12, Forgery +12, Knowledge (Arcana* +31, Architecture and Engineering +11, Dungeoneering +12, Geography +12, History +15, Local +12, Nature +12, Nobility and Royalty +15, Religion +12, The Planes +15), Search, Speak Language, and Spellcraft* +31.
  • Wis (+16): Heal +17, Listen, Profession, Sense Motive* +37, Spot +36, and Survival.
  • Chr (+23): Bluff, Concentration* +44, Diplomacy +46, Disguise* +44, Gather Information +35, Handle Animal +13, Intimidate +25, Perform/Oratory* +44, Use Magic Device +24.
  • “Unarmed” Martial Art/Int (+27/14 known abilities): Attack +4, Defenses +4, Strike, Expertise, Instant Stand, Sunder, Whirlwind Attack. Occult techniques are not usable due to his lack of constitution.

   Skills marked with an “*” are half-price due to Adept. No, I’m not bothering to account for synergy bonuses. I have included the wealth bonuses for the social skills, +2 masterwork references and tools can be assumed wherever applicable.

   Minor Powers (42 CP).

  • Adept. May buy Concentration, Disguise, Knowledge/Arcana, and Sense Motive at half cost (6 CP).
  • Dominion (6 CP). Torak usually has at least a hundred Dominion Points in reserve.
  • Action Hero/Stunts (6 CP): This is – as it is for most bad guys – Torak’s final “save my neck!” option. He has 46 action points in reserve, since he is VERY reluctant to spend any.
  • Luck with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).
  • Reflex Training/three actions per day variant, with +4 Bonus Uses (12 CP).

   Witchcraft (213 CP).

   Over the long dark centuries, Torak has become one of the most powerful witches in history – although he does lump a few related abilities that technically aren’t witchcraft into the bundle:

  • Fast Learner specialized in Witchcraft (6 CP). At L18 this provides 36 extra CP for Witchcraft.
  • Seventeen levels of the Wilder Spellcasting Progression based on Cha, Specialized/power does not recover normally (51 CP). This provides 360 Power and the abilities of: Energy Wave (L7), Inertial Armor (L1), Mass Cloud Minds (L6), Psionic Dominate (L4), Psionic Freedom of Movement (L4), Mass Missive (a L5 upgraded version, can be sent to any area within one mile per level of the user, may send lengthy messages), Temporal Acceleration (L6), and Touchsight (L3). Save DC 23+Power Level.
  • Pacts: Epic Quest (long since completed), Duties (hospitality, to guests who ask it and behave in accordance with the ancient customs), Essence (Torak does not appear in mirrors, and cannot use telephones and similar devices; he is only quasi-real and can only be seen, heard, or otherwise sensed directly, and even then only by those creatures with spirits of their own. Thus he cannot command constructs or non-sapient undead)), Vamparism (Torak’s Power does not recover naturally, but his touch does 1d4 damage and replenishes his power by the same amount), and Gateway (the more power Torak uses, the more corrupted entities from dark realms can pass out into the world) (Net -30 CP).
  • Basic Witchcraft I, II, and III (18 CP) (+9 Power, and access to seven basic witchcraft abilities. Will save DC 26).
    • The Adamant Will (resist mental influences and mislead divinations), Dreamfaring (limited ethereal and astral projection), Elfshot (may lay minor curses), Glamour and Advanced Glamour (+6 CP) (projective telepathy, may enhance social skills or create L0/1-2/3 hypnotic, emotional influence, and communicative effects for 1/2/4 Power), The Hand of Shadows (minor telekinesis and animation effects for 2 Power), Healing, Hyloka (manipulation biophysical processes), Infliction (may cause up to 3d4/5d4/7d4 damage for 1/2/3 Power, +3 Power for 5’R, save for half), The Inner Eye (thought-sensing and sense-sharing, +6 on relevant rolls for one power per ten minutes), Shadoweave and Advanced Shadowweave (+6 CP) (minor illusions, 1/2/4 Power for L1/2/3 effects), Witchfire (minor molecular manipulations), and Witchsight (1 Power for one sense for one hour. Either +6 to checks or a sensory upgrade such as scent or darksight).
  • Advanced Witchcraft:
  • The Path of Coven Mastery:
    • Dreamgathering (6 CP): May hold as astral conference with his followers.
    • The Secret Order (6 CP): +4 Power and access to the remaining five basic witchcraft abilities.
  • The Path of Spirits
    • Apparition III (18 CP): May generate a Level VI Astral Construct to use as a material-plane body while using Dreamfaring. This costs 2 Power + 1/Hour.
    • Seize the Wandering Soul (6 CP): The user may steal the spirits of the very ill or newly dead.
    • Hag-Riding (6 CP): May inflict attribute damage (up to 12 points per day, cannot reduce an attribute below six) on a willing victim or bound spirit to gain extra Power.
    • Spirit Binding II (12 CP): May bind spirits into bodies, lay the equivalent of a Lesser Geas for 3 Power, seal bargains for 1 Power, and issue simple commands (which work for up to three hours) for 3 Power.
  • The Path of Darkness:
    • Voice of the Dead (6 CP): May communicate with and use social skills on the undead.
    • The Umbral Form (6 CP): May assume the form of a shadow for three power/hour.
    • Nightforge (6 CP): May create solid darkness equivalent to adamant. This lasts one hour and costs 1 Power per 20 pounds of material “created”. Victims of entrapment get a reflex save.
  • The Path of Water
    • Dismissal (6 CP): May damage outsiders, Dispel Magic for 3 Power, or send extradimensional beings home for 7 Power.
    • Sympathetic Link (6 CP): May use blood, fingernails, etc, to work witchcraft effects at range.
    • Wrath of the Sea (6 CP): +6 Strength for 1 Power per 10 Minutes.
  • The Path of Air:
    • Weathermonger (6 CP): Gust of Wind costs 2, Wind Wall costs 3, channeling an existing storm costs 2 Power, raising a storm costs 20 Power.
  • The Path of Fire
    • Dance of Flames (6 CP): +6 Dexterity for 1 Power per 10 Minutes.
    • Leaping Fire (6 CP): Spend 2 Power for a move-equivalent action or +4 to an initiative check. Spend 3 power to be hasted for 3d4 rounds. Fast Heal (1d4+Cha Mod) HP/Round for five rounds for 1 Power.
    • The Inner Fire x3, Corrupted/does not grant access to spells of beyond the level that the user can use safely. Any higher-level spell slots must be used for spells that can be handled safely (12 CP) plus Journeyman and Master/+2 effective levels for use of Witchcraft, Specialized in The Inner Fire only (6 CP). This gives him an effective caster level ten and allows him to safely use spells of up to level five, preparing spells from the following lists. Note that these are SRD spells. If you have other spells available in your campaign, feel free to substitute some of them.
      • His Charisma grants him access to the Sorcerer/Wizard list, representing his constant arcane dabbling and many demonic bargains. He gets 4/3/3/3/3 spell slots and has eight higher-level slots to fill with spells of any lower level.
      • Sorcerer/Wizard Spells:
        • L1) Chill Touch, Grease, Expeditious Retreat, Magic Missile, Protection from Good, and Shield.
        • L2) Command Undead, Darkness, Protection from Arrows, Rope Trick, Scorching Ray, and Web.
        • L3) Dispel Magic, Fireball, Hold Person, Lightning Bolt, Nondetection, and Stinking Cloud.
        • L4) Arcane Eye, Bestow Curse, Confusion, Dimensional Anchor, Enervation, and Lesser Globe of Invulnerability,
        • L5) Cloudkill, Cone of Cold, Hold Monster, Prying Eyes, Teleport, and Wall of Force.
      • His Intelligence grants him access to the Druid Spell list, representing his mastery over the powers of corrupted nature. He gets 3/3/2/2/2 spell slots and has five higher-level slots to fill with spells of any lower level.
      • Druid Spells:
        • L1) Detect Animals or Plants, Entangle, Faerie Fire, Obscuring Mist, Pass Without Trace, and Speak with Animals.
        • L2) Cat’s Grace, Chill Metal, Fog Cloud, Tree Shape, Spider Climb, and Summon Swarm.
        • L3) Call Lightning, Contagion, Inflict Serious Wounds, Meld Into Stone, Poison, and Stone Shape.
        • L4) Blight, Control Water, Ice Storm, Protection from Energy, Reincarnate, and Rusting Grasp.
        • L5) Animal Growth, Baleful Polymorph, Call Lightning Storm, Commune with Nature, Summon Nature’s Ally V, and Unhallow,
      • His Wisdom grants him access to the Bard spell list, representing centuries of keen observation of people – and the ways in which they can be manipulated. He gets 2/2/1/1/1 spell slots and has one higher-level slot to fill with a spell of any lower level.
      • Bard Spells:
        • L1) Alarm, Comprehend Languages, Expeditious Retreat, Identify, Undetectable Alignment, and Unseen Servant.
        • L2) Glitterdust, Hold Person, Locate Object, Pyrotechnics, Summon Swarm, and Tongues.
        • L3) Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Charm Monster, Gaseous Form, Glibness, Haste, and Slow,
        • L4) Detect Scrying, Freedom of Movement, Greater Invisibility, Modify Memory, Rainbow Pattern, and Shout.
        • L5) Greater Heroism, Mind Fog, Mislead, Seeming, Shadow Evocation, and Shadow Walk.

   The Deep Strengths of the Land (27 CP).

  • Metamagical Theorems: Amplify, Easy, and Elemental Manipulation, with +6 levels of Streamline (-4 on the cost of each metamagic), Specialized/relies on mystical links to appropriate power nexi, which can only be set up 1-3 times per year and can be broken via exorcism, removal of the special talismans buried at the sites, or other meddling. He will not become aware of such meddling until he goes to use his powers – unless the Worgs which are usually guarding his power sources become aware of the interference. (27 CP).
    • In general, his spells require no components or are quickened, have twice the usual effects, and drain a level and cause victims to become exhausted if they inflict damage.

   The Dark Tongue (21 CP).

  • Torak’s mere words hold a sinister and terrible power.
  • Mystic Artist/Oratory (6 CP) with the Fast modifier (+6 CP) and with the Path of Whispers abilities of Subliminal, Conditioning and Compelling (18 CP) and the Path of Dissonance abilities of Distracting and Disrupting. That allows him to use the power of his voice eighteen times per day and provides access to:
  • Manipulation: Fascinate, Hold Audience, Emotional Auras, Freedom, and Mass Suggestion.
  • Synergy: Block, Amplify, Harmonize, Serenity, Rule the Horde, Concerto, and Carrier.
  • The entire power is, however, Specialized: Torak’s influence is limited to the areas which he has claimed, and within which he has performed mystical rituals at various magical focal points scattered around those lands – opportunities for which come every few months at best. Those links can be severed by antimagic, exorcisms, and many other means – and he will generally not even become aware of that severance for some time.

   Unnatural Vitality (36 CP):

  • No Constitution score (0 CP). Includes immunity to ability damage [including all poisons], ability drain, energy drain, and effects requiring fortitude saves unless they work on objects or are harmless. Does not breathe, eat, or sleep, cannot tire, and can move, work, or remain alert indefinitely. Cannot be Raised or Reincarnated and is instantly destroyed at 0 HP.
  • Negative Energy Metabolism (0 CP): Torak is healed and enhanced by negative energy and harmed or hindered by positive energy, instead of the reverse. As a side effect, he regains 10 HP whenever he would normally suffer a negative level.
  • Finesse: May substitute his (Cha Mod) for his (Con Mod) when calculating hit points (6 CP).
  • Immunity to things which affect biological processes (Very Common/Major/Epic, Corrupted: cannot heal naturally, must use other special abilities, 30 CP). This includes paralysis, stunning damage, nonlethal damage, diseases, death effects, critical hits, and necromancy effects.
    • The conventional undead are immune to mind-affecting abilities. Given that Torak can already shield his mind quite effectively, and that I don’t really see why you can’t affect those parts of an undead creatures’s mind that actually exist, Torak isn’t purchasing this one. Similarly, he can give himself Darksight with a thought if he wants it, so he’s not buying that one either.

   The Root of All Evil – The Corruption of Wealth (15 CP)

  • Major Privilege/May purchase a Wealth Level Template from The Practical Enchanter at 3 CP/Level beyond “Destitute”, Specialized/does not provide legal privileges, benefits to mounts, pets, and familiars, recognition, retainers, or per-level training bonuses. Torak has the “Affluent” wealth level (“Wealthy” with his use of a Horned Amulet, 6 CP), and so can support a dozen or so retainers at “Affluent” and plenty of people at “Well-Off”.
  • Minor Privilege: Torak can easily use small occult rituals to produce Charms and Talismans (3 CP).
    • Remaining benefits of Well-Off: You get plenty to eat and drink, warm clothes, a good solid cottage, decent furniture, and live comfortably. You afford good weapons and armor if you need them and can use three Charms and a Talisman.
    • Remaining benefits of Affluent: You have many luxuries and a fine house, all your weapons and armor are treated as Masterwork, and you can use five Charms and two Talismans.
    • Remaining benefits of Wealthy: You gain a +2 Wealth Bonus to shields, armor, and weapons, may be treated as being made of special materials, +2 to Diplomacy, Gather Information, and Intimidate, +2 to any one Attribute, use of seven Charms and three Talismans.

   Torak usually provides subtle supernatural support for favored local villagers, using his malevolent powers to grant prosperity far beyond the norm, as well as providing small magics to help in daily life – although he tends to provide Black Magic Charms and Talismans mixed in with the more generally useful stuff. Such favors come at a price of course, – whether that is information, a bit of betrayal, or an unhealthy child who might not have lived anyway.

   Torak is especially fond of ploys such as cursing someone’s child with an terrible illness and then giving the desperate parent a “helpful” charm, such as a Bloody Bowl (The Practical Enchanter, page 204) full of medicine that will help for some months, allowing said parent to see their child healthy again – but it’s effects will gradually fade. The parent will find that, to maintain their child’s health, all they have to do is occasionally murder people and refill the bowl with their blood… Of course, they can kill murderers, bandits, and thieves that the local law would have killed anyway – but eventually their standards always start to slip.

  • Why do this sort of thing? It’s because whenever someone draws on his power to commit a vile act, it helps restore his personal reserves: That’s Rite of Chi with +(2x Cha Mod) Bonus Uses, Specialized and Corrupted/Only usable to regain Power and Generic Spell Levels, not Mana, uses do not recover normally; he regains 1d6 uses whenever he completely drains someone’s life energy or when someone uses the powers he grants to commit a truly vile act or offers him large quantities of blood. (6 CP).

   Minions of Darkness (19 CP):

  • Torak has Leadership with Beast Lord and Emperors Star twice, all Specialized and Corrupted for Triple Effect (except for Beast Lord, which is one-third cost). He must personally place enslaved souls into animal or mindless bodies, twisting them into dependable servants. Ergo, he must first acquire the souls, then the still-living bodies, then perform his mystical ritual to join the two together – and only then can he send forth his “new” (or recycled old) servants (19 CP).
  • As an eighteenth-level character with a monstrous Charisma, this gives Torak a total of (Level 18 + 13 Cha Mod) x 2 x 3 = 186 ECL / CR worth of followers, each of whom enjoys the benefits of +6 to their BAB, AC, and Saves, as well as 36 CP worth of special abilities derived from having two spirits in one body. Those 36 CP go to buying the following package:
    • Returning: Torak can re-summon and re-embody his followers – or at least the implanted spirits – if they’re killed, although this is Specialized since it may take him quite some time to find another body and get around to it (3 CP).
    • Mystic Link with Communications, Power, Summons, and Travel Link, Specialized/controlled entirely from Torak’s end and it takes a full coven (at least a dozen) to anchor a “summoning”; his followers cannot locate him, summon him, or travel to him unless he activates those abilities (making this generally useless for escape). He, of course, can open communications with them, use spells on them, and call them to him pretty much at will (9 CP). Note that he can communicate with them even beyond death, so killing them will NOT prevent them from reporting what they saw before they were killed to Torak.
    • Innate Enchantment. All enchantments Spell Level One, Caster Level One, Unlimited-Use Use-Activated, and Personal-Only. 7000 GP effective value (8 CP). Effects include:
      • Wolfman. A lesser, specific, variant on Alter Self that provides a normal humanoid using it with +2 Natural Armor Fur, d6 Claws/Fangs, and a wolfish appearance. A wolflike creature using it, on the other hand, gains hands, comprehensible speech, and an upright posture but no mechanical bonuses. In either case, there are no other game-mechanic alterations. (1400 GP).
      • Focused Vigor I. Provides +12 + 2x Con Mod hit points (1400 GP). Normally all followers get the same thing, but the basic Immortal Vigor effect would be bad for any undead followers – so I’ll presume that this is a version that amplifies whatever life or unlife force the target happens to have.
      • Unholy Wrath. +2 Str, +2 Con, +1 Will, and -2 AC when in use (1400 GP).
      • Undetectable Alignment (1400 GP).
      • Rugged Metabolism Package: Fast Healing I – for 18 Rounds – 2/Day, Relieve Illness 1/Day, Relieve Poison 1/Day, and Lesser Restoration 1/Day (from the Hedge Wizardry list on this site and The Practical Enchanter, 1400 GP). Most of this won’t help the vampires, but most of the still-living minions are very glad to have it.
    • Immunity/the normal XP cost of Innate Enchantments (Uncommon, Minor, Trivial [only covers first level effects at caster level one], Specialized/only to cover their packaged abilities, 1 CP).
    • Immunity to Dispelling, Antimagic, and Countermagic (Common/Minor/Great. Specialized in protecting innate enchantments only, Corrupted/only covers powers in this package (4 CP)
    • Luck with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP).
    • +3 specialities in Survival/Torak’s Domain and Knowledge/ Local/Torak’s Domain (2 CP). Torak doesn’t want anyone in his service to be ignorant of the local area and it’s quirks.

   Torak’s current followers include:

  • Four packs of 12 Worgs Each (CR 2 each, total 96). Actually these are wolves with the spirits of murdered infants bound into them. They’ve been raised to be evil predators and minions of Torak – but the net effect is just the same as being born Worgs. Of course, if the player characters ever do manage to destroy them and Torak, their blackened spirits will be released to the lower planes. Isn’t it sad when that happens?
  • Three Vampire Agents. These are the remains of a modest party of adventurers; a skillful fighter, a noble cleric, and a competent wizard, who came to the area to try and defeat whatever terrible evil it was that haunted the place. From the fact that they’re no vampire minions of Torak, you can probably guess at how well THAT worked out. Now they are occasionally dispatched on errands, but their primary job is to hang around the crypts and tunnels under the ruins of Torak’s ancient castle, fill the place with traps, and be an easy diversion and target for any other annoying parties of adventurers who turn up. If they wind up being slain by adventurers, Torak will put them right back into place after he brings them back. After all, everyone knows that vampires are really hard to get rid of permanently. They were each level six, and so now are each CR8 (24 total).
    • Yes, these stretch a point. He should probably be paying for their ECL, not their CR – but, given that most of his minions are Worgs, and are fairly ineffectual as far as minions for a 18’th level character go, I can’t be bothered doing the calculation. If you want to subtract a few Worgs, go right ahead.
  • The Iskari Order is a small (levels 3×1, 4×2, 2×3, 4, 5, and 14, for a total of 40 levels) group of “benevolent priests” who care for the deranged and otherwise severely damaged. In fact, they are a selection of evil clerics and sorcerers who serve as the caretakers of the six unfortunate individuals carrying Torak’s Bondrunes (and having their own attributes drained to provide his “Inherent” attribute bonuses at a terrible cost to themselves) – as well as a few of their masters snacks.
  • Two corrupted 11’th level Rangers and a 14’th level Antipaladin (Total ECL 36), who specialize in hunting down their master’s enemies and eliminating them with extreme prejudice. These guys are fairly heavy combat specialists, but – fortunately – lack magical support.
  • A castle caretaker (a third level rogue) and a dozen small children (count as one level worth of followers) who help him take care of the place and occasionally run errands for Torak. Of course, the child-pack will gladly try to pull annoying intruders apart – and is just as damned as the corrupted infant spirits in the wolves.
    • That leaves six ECL worth of followers scattered around the local villages – most likely some more kids and a selection of minor villagers who are acting as spies for him. Alternatively, if the game master would rather have Torak out and riding about, give him a Nightmare Steed (CR 5) and just have the local village spies be another dozen corrupted little kids (counts as one level worth of followers).

   Normally, of course, Followers would be pretty reluctant to die for their master – but there’s no real question of that, so this bunch will pretty readily sacrifice their easily-replaceable bodies for Torak. Sacrificing their equipment is quite another matter though, at least for the higher-level followers who use the stuff…

   Equipment (18 CP):

   As a level eighteen character, Torak would be entitled to 440,000 GP worth of gear if he was a player character. In my book, major NPC’s get just as many goodies as the PC’s – and I think he qualifies as a “major NPC”. Ergo, his gear includes:

  • Ravenwing is a +1 Adamantine Life-Drinker Great Axe. It inflicts two negative levels on the creature struck and one on the user (as he’s already undead, this merely gives Torak ten extra hit points for an hour with each hit). Twenty-four hours after being struck its victims must make a DC 16 Fortitude save for each negative level or lose a character level. It is Sapient and Lawful Evil. Ego 24, Int 19, Wis 19, Cha 10, Speech and Telepathy, reads all languages and magic. 120′ darkvision, blindsense, and hearing. Spot +14, Listen +14. It’s has the power to Detect Magic and Produce Flame (caster level two for 1d8+2, allows DC 15 reflex for no effect if used at range rather than a roll to hit, otherwise it simply adds to attacks) at will, Continuously Detects Scrying, and can cast Hold Person 3/Day, Slow 3/Day, and Lesser Globe of Invulnerability 1/Day. As a construct, it is inherently immune to all mind-affecting abilities. 96,000 GP.
    • Torak had Ravenwing forged especially for him long ago, and granted it sapience and merged it with his own body (Innate Enchantment/Absorption Variant, 6 CP) centuries ago. It now watches over and protects Torak’s body while Torak himself is out dreamfaring. Thanks to Ravenwing’s presence, Torak’s “unarmed” attacks are considered +1 Adamant – and inflict 1d12 damage and two negative levels. Worse, each time he hits, he gains a ten hit points. If Ravenwing is currently operating Torak’s body it simply uses the basic bonuses for one of his minions (+6 BAB and all Saves).
  • The Crown of Ebon Glory grants a +6 Profane Bonus to Intelligence and Charisma (90,000 GP). Innate Enchantment/Absorption Variant with Altered Bonus Type (original Enhancement Bonus changed to Profane, 12 CP).
    • If Torak is slain, a sufficiently-powerful magical rite can be used to recover both Ravenwing and the Crown from the remains – and most evil characters would consider both items (especially, the Crown, since the Profane Bonus will stack with an Enhancement bonus) to be major treasures, well worth a few little quests to find the ingredients for such a ritual.

   His external gear includes:

  • A Crystal Ball with Telepathy (70,000 GP). Note that – since this lets him send messages and sets up a telepathic link – both his personal telepathic powers and mystic artistry will work over the link.
  • The Ward Major of his Sanctum (QV, 28,800 GP).
  • A Headband of Intellect +4 (16,000 GP).
  • A Vest of Charisma +4 (16,000 GP).
  • A Periapt of Wisdom +4 (16,000 GP).
  • Gloves of Dexterity +4 (16,000 GP).
  • A Cloak of Resistance +4 (16,000 GP).
  • Bracers of Armor +6 (36,000 GP).
  • A Ring of Counterspells (Dispel Magic, 4000 GP).
  • A Ring of Shielding (as per a Shield spell, CL 4, 8000 GP).
  • Dust of Tracelessness (200 GP)
  • Quaal’s Feather Tokens/ a Swan Boat and a Tree (850 GP)
  • A Handy Haversack (2000 GP),
  • Boots of Striding and Springing (+10′ Move, +5 to Jumps, 5500 GP)
  • A Belt of Harm (7 Charges of Use-Activated Harm, only on the wearer, 10,000 GP).

   That leaves him about 10,000 GP worth of his allotment to pay for other items. His Wealth Template covers conventional luxuries, artwork, fine tapestries, and similar stuff however.

  • Charms (7): Horned Amulet (+1 Wealth Level), Diplomatic Sash (creates illusory clothing), Dream Essence (brings marvelous dreams), Captain’s Torc (+4 to Listen, voice can be clearly heard at greater distances, -1 to saves versus sonic attacks), Trackless Amulet (leaves no trail), Tinkerstone, and a Dream Anchor.
  • Talismans (3): Miasmic Dust, Shard Blade, and a Spirit Pearl (contains an Ice Devil, it’s powers can be tapped up to three times a day with an opposed will check, on a failure, the creature is free to use one of it’s powers as it wills).

      The Lair of the Midnight Sun (12 CP):

  • Torak’s crypt is sizable complex of luxurious underground rooms. It’s his Sanctum (6 CP), and is protected by Occult Wards (a sizeable assortment of CR 9 traps and barriers, 3 CP) and several Bone Devils (Guardians, Specialized/there are only a few, 3 CP). Within it he can gains the abilities of:
    • Occult Ritual (4 CP), Corrupted/always requires a sapient blood sacrifice. Torak’s rituals are truly elaborate affairs, calling for altars, engraved and inlaid magical circles, and an assortment of other occult paraphernalia – which is why he has to have an established sanctum to use them.
    • Dominion/Ears of the Wind. Supported by the energies of his lair and its imprisoned souls, Torak can listen in on conversations whenever he is mentioned, Corrupted/this only works within his own realm within his realm (4 CP).
    • Dominion/Curse. Within the center of his power, Torak can lay terrible curses upon his foes (6 CP).
    • Immunity/Range. Very Common, Major, Great, Specialized and Corrupted/only works to let him use a witchcraft power or his power-draining touch (1d4 Power theft, 1d4 damage turned to Power if the target his no Power) on anyone who mentions him within his domain when the Ears of the Wind brings such activities to his attention (10 CP).
  • The Lair is also a Rank–5 Ward Major (28,800 GP). Int 18, Wis 20, Chr 11. 32 Skill Points (Net: Spot +10, Listen +10, Spellcraft +9, Arcane Lore +9 (library), Perform +5 (Background Music via Unseen Servants), Profession/Butler +10, Craft/Woodworking +5, and Craft/Tailor +5. The ward will usually exercise it’s skills through it’s masses of Unseen Servants and routinely makes Aid Another attempts. It also gains a +10 bonus on any internal perception checks, and will use it’s unseen servants to sound the alarm if there is any disturbance.
    • Minor Powers (4): Enduring (area has Spell Resistance 30, triple hardness, and the items inside are protected from the ravages of time), Counterspells (use the Cursed Necropolis list), Forgotten (records and memories of it tend to fade for non-residents) and Servant Legion (it has hundreds of Unseen Servants to call upon).
    • Major Power (1): Veiled. The Ward and it’s contents are concealed with Nondetection, Mirage, and Veil effects as needed.

   Normally, of course, Torak remains hidden in his lair, protected by his wardings, walls, traps, devilish bodyguards, guardian spirit-axe, and minions, listening to the soft music and the faint wailing counterpoint of hundreds of imprisoned souls, and either scrying with his crystal ball or sending his spirit out to roam his lands in disguise. He will find the spirits he has lost, and he will gather them to him, and none shall ever touch them again…

   Torak is very, VERY, powerful. He also has an incredible range of powers and abilities. Fortunately, you don’t actually have to bring him into play for quite awhile; he’s at the center of a series of mysteries, and enough sub-adventures to support quite a long campaign. He can even be helpful if the characters are currently protecting the people of his lands.

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One Response

  1. […] Nineteen: Torak Rosul, ECL 19 Accursed Primordial Vampire and his […]

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