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Murder-Born (Dread Codex Monster)

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Murder-born
Size/Type: Tiny Undead (Incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 6d12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: fly 40 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 17 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +3 deflection), touch 17, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/—
Attack: Incorporeal touch +7 melee (1d4 Charisma drain)
Full Attack: Incorporeal touch +7 melee (1d4 Charisma drain)
Space/Reach: 2.5 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Charisma Damage, Despondent Wail
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 Ft., Incorporeal Traits, Sense Living, Undead Traits, Unnatural Aura
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +7
Abilities: Str —, Dex 15, Con —, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 16
Skills: Hide +12, Intimidate +12, Listen +11, Search +11, Sense Motive +11, Spot +11
Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Strength of the Grave
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or (very rarely) pair
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 7-12 HD (Small)
Level Adjustment:

This creature appears as a ghostly child with translucent, yet delicate features. Its unholy eyes rage with absolute and thorough evil.

Spawned of hatred when both mother and child are murdered, the rapacious soul of the unborn sometimes rises as a foul and corrupt spirit. It is bent on exacting revenge against its killers and against all living creatures it crosses. Driven mad by its unloving existence, the murder-born has blurred its senses into believing that every living creature is responsible for its current state and it never hesitates to attack any that come within range of it.

A murder-born is always encountered within 500 feet of the place it was killed. It is a solitary creature, though very rarely, when twins are involved, two of these cursed creatures may be encountered. Neither is aware of the other's presence; they do not communicate, interact, or even see each other. They are oblivious to the other's existence. Whether this is because the creatures are so driven with rage it blinds them, or because some magical and mystical force prevents them from interacting, is unknown.

Murder-born do not speak but seem to understand a variety of languages including Common.

Combat Edit

A murder-born closes quickly when it detects a living creature in its realm. It always opens combat by unleashing its despondent wail. It then moves to melee and uses its incorporeal touch to destroy its enemies. Unless driven away or its opponents flee, a murder-born attacks relentlessly until it is destroyed.

Charisma Damage (Su): A murder-born causes 1d4 points of Charisma drain each time it hits with its incorporeal touch attack. On each such attack, it gains 5 temporary hit points. At Charisma 0, a creature dies.

Despondent Wail (Su): Twice per day, as a standard action, a murder-born can unleash a child-like wail. Any living creature within 60 feet that hears the wail must succeed on a DC 16 Will save or be overcome with supernatural feelings of hopelessness. An affected creature suffers a -10% penalty to all XP earned from this point forward until the curse is removed. A remove curse or break enchantment (requiring a DC 20 caster level check for either spell), limited wish, wish, or miracle breaks the curse, but XP "lost" while this curse is in effect are not regained. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by the same murder-born's despondent wail for one day. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Sense Living (Su): A murder-born can detect living creatures within 100 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability. It also senses the strength of their life force automatically, as if it had cast deathwatch.

Unnatural Aura (Su): Both wild and domesticated animals can sense the unnatural presence of a murder-born at a distance of 30 feet. They will not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so; they remain panicked as long as they are within that range.

Treasure Edit

None — The murder-born isn't even aware of the humanoid need for "things" in its life. Therefore, even if it could use treasure, it would not collect it.

In Your Campaign Edit

Yet another undead that rises because of the way it was slain. However, the murder-born has above-average intelligence and a distinctly unique form in that of a small baby. While the murder-born's objective is to kill living creatures, it does not need to do so recklessly. It can pretend to be a helpless infant, weeping softly until its living victims draw close enough for a despondent wail.

While inherently intelligent, the murder-born gains its knowledge of its domain from its mother. The more familiar she was with the surroundings, the more the murder-born is as well (and thus can use it to its advantage when attacking residents). This might also provide intimate knowledge of some individuals' schedules, allowing the undead to attack when it is most convenient. Imagine if one of the PCs personally knew a mother and unborn child who recently died. Wouldn't they be in for a shock when, after visiting the grave site, they are attacking by a murder-born which closely resembles the mother? Would that PC allow his party (much less himself) to destroy the undead without trying to otherwise bring it peace?



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