Blades of Unlife

Copyright Phillip A. Ellis © 2013

Edited by Terence Wynne for The Guild Companion

"Those that are slain by a blade of unlife rise again as mindless horrors."

What follows is a magic item for use in Rolemaster, with two associated creatures. They have been designed using the RMFRP rules, though they are easily adaptable to the other iterations of Rolemaster.

The Blades of Unlife

These swords were created by high-power necromancers seeking to increase the spread of the unlife. For your campaign, you may deem them as having existed and fallen, creating only a finite number; otherwise, you may have the necromancers still extant, and creating them still.

The blades themselves vary in type, mostly being the main type of sword in the culture of their creation. If you have the creators no longer extant, it may be ideal to make them antique weapons that are worth collecting for their rarity and magical value.

These weapons are made of enchanted iron; they have a magical bonus of +5. They are also enchanted to slay living beings: all criticals that they deliver to living beings are Slaying. They also have a very specific curse. The wielder of these swords, if injured, does not heal naturally. Wielders can only be healed through magic and herbs, rather than through resting or mundane, nonmagical healing skills. This is so because the magic of the swords increases the chance of the wielder dying and becoming undead, specifically a sword warrior (statistics are at the end of this article). Wielders are also compelled to use the sword wherever possible, and will never freely relinquish the weapon unless the curse is removed.

Those that are slain by a blade of unlife rise again as mindless horrors (again, statistics are at the end of this article).

Sword Warriors

The sword warrior is a tormented, thinking undead that feels release only by slaying living beings. As a result of dying from wounds accrued while wielding a blade of unlife, it will seek to use the blade to create as many undead as it can.

Unlike many undead, it does not drain constitution by either its presence or touch. It is also very corporeal, with its wounds plainly evident and weeping a sickly, putrescent cruor. It cannot regenerate limbs but will heal all wounds other than those that dismember it. It can continue to fight without a head.

Fire-based damage is not regenerated, and to dispose of a sword warrior it must first be reduced to zero hits, then its remains burned.

Mindless Horrors

Mindless horrors are shambling, mindless undead that seek only to destroy all living beings. They are similar to sword warriors, save only in their mindlessness, and inability to use any attacks other than their fists. They are also similar in many respects to created undead, however they do not need to be controlled in order to (crudely) function.

Sword Warrior: (–)-EY§#,(–,–,–)-6.
Mindless Horror: (–)-EY§#,(–,–,–)-5.

Type Sword Warrior Mindless Horror
Level 4B 1H
Base Rate 50 40
Max. Pace/ Run/0 Run/0
MS/AQ VS/MD SS/SL
Size/Crit M/I# M/I#
Hits 50F 25
AT (DB) varies (15) 1 (10)
Attacks 50 Weapon (sword) 25 Mba
# Enc. 1 1-20
Treasure Special
Bonus EP B A
Outlook (IQ) Berserk(AV) Berserk(NO)