Undead were nothing new when the gods left the world, but when the celestials left and the gods no longer presided over the flow of souls to the afterlife undead became increasingly and alarmingly more common. Undead come in two main forms, physical and spiritual. Physical undead are the animated bodies left behind when a creature dies. These undead are created by foul magic and usually as minions to serve a master. Afflictions like vampirism also leave behind physical undead with a hunger for blood or other mortal energies, but the source of the affliction is largely unknown. Spiritual undead are those spirits who have returned to the mortal world from the Mists Between. While in the Mists Between spirits are considered part of the natural cycle of life and death, but if they find a way to leave and come back to the mortal realm, the souls of mortals leave the natural cycle and become undead possessed of often times malicious intent.
Lesser Undead: Skeletons, zombies, ghouls, and the like are considered lesser undead. These abominations are often raised as minions for more powerful necromancers. Lesser undead are usually mindless with no will of their own, however some rare examples of exist of undead who retain even just a small portion of their soul and awareness. Though the classification of lesser undead is broad, their primary feature is that their bodies are less capable than when they were alive. They are diminished in death by decay or by a diminished physical form. Lesser undead may be played by players, but most city guards will assume that lesser undead are there to attack, and may not wait around to find out. Sometimes a lesser undead can make it through certain city gates if escorted, but even then guards would be wary, and would not under any circumstances aid a lesser undead under attack.
Lesser Undead only have 3 HP, but do not have additional racial weaknesses.
Greater Undead: Among the undead there is generally a level of dark power that is required to reach the level of a greater undead. Greater undead are fully capable of rational thought, but often have malicious wills and wish only to destroy. Mummies, Revenant, and Dulluhan are some of but not nearly all of the types of greater undead. Some greater undead can look very much like what they were when they were alive, even sometimes passing for human. Mummies for instance are capable of reforming themselves into a life-like state, if they can retrieve all of their organs and replace those that were lost. The primary trait of greater undead is that their physical forms are just as strong or stronger than in life, and their level of decay is minimal. Sometimes a city guard won’t even know that a greater undead is an undead, but they also aren’t likely to aid one if they know what they are.
Greater Undead have 5 HP, but do not have any racial weaknesses.
Vampires: Vampires are uniquely feared among the undead as a myth or legend. Vampires prey on the living, and live among them, hidden. Their relationship with mortals is one of wolves in sheep’s clothing. At times it can be almost impossible to tell a vampire apart from a living being, but there are subtle differences that give vampires away as a walking corpse. Vampires are victims of an affliction, and as such fear silver among other things. Different vampires may be subject to different weaknesses, but all vampires fear the sun as well. Vampires are at the least weakened by but at the worst turned to ash by the sun. Vampires usually drain the blood of their victims, but different afflictions of vampirism lead to vampires that require different forms of sustenance, but all types of vampirism drain a mortal and harm them. Vampires can only be made of the mortal races, such as humans, elves, dwarves, and the like. Vampires are largely a myth that is whispered to children at bedtime. Victims are secretive and do their best to keep their existence hidden away. For this reason not everyone is even sure that they are real. Even the most racial tolerant mortal would be hard pressed to accept a creature that eats his neighbors in the dead of night.
Vampires have 6 HP normally, but this is reduced to 4 HP if they are out in the daylight (at the time of an RP scene beginning).
Vampires risk taking additional damage from silver weapons. Any wounds given by silver, fire, holy magic, or sunlight are persistent, while wounds from any other source are healed fully the next time they drain a victim. Feeding off of a victim gives that victim 1 wound, and can only be done if the victim is defeated or if they are willing, and can only be performed outside of combat.
Dhampir: Though it is entirely unclear how a vampire and a mortal managed the complicated process of creating a child when one is undead, it is possible as evidenced by the creation of half vampires known as Dhampir. Dhampir are considered undead, yet are also mortal. Magic which targets undead will effect Dhampir, but the half vampires eat and drink normal food, and breath air just like anyone else. It is rumored they could live for an eternity possibly, but their oftentimes violent lives don’t let many experience the full life span they might have. Dhampir are uncomfortable in daylight, but not weakened, and they do not require blood or other mortal energies to survive. They are also however not nearly as strong as their vampire progenitor.
Dhampir have 5 HP at all times, and do not risk taking additional damage from silver.
Dhampir can fully restore wounds that were not caused by silver, fire, or holy magic if they feed on a mortal, similar to how vampires can do the same. Feeding off of a victim gives that victim 1 wound, and can only be done if the victim is defeated or if they are willing, and can only be performed outside of combat.
Incorporeal Undead: The spirits of the departed that return from the Mists to the mortal realm without being brought back to life become disconnected from the natural cycle of life and death. These spirits become incorporeal undead who can never fully be a part of the mortal realm. They are now ‘safe’ from the afterlife, but will never experience true happiness or contentment. Incorporeal undead will always be jealous of mortals, and this jealousy may turn to hatred and even violence. These angered spirits often have to be driven away and sent back to the Mists. For this reason, Incorporeal Undead are particularly vulnerable to holy magics. Before the gods disappeared celestials would be tasked with bringing incorporeal undead back to the Mists, but since then it is paladins and the clergy who hold the mantle as enemy of these wayward spirits.
Incorporeal Undead have 6 HP, and risk taking additional damage from holy weapons and spells.
- Incorporeal Undead may be able to pass through some objects, but pure iron, silver, and any blessed or magically protected areas will bar their passing. Consecrated areas can be as good as a solid steel wall against an incorporeal undead.
Liches: Liches one and all were once powerful evil spellcasters. The process of becoming a lich is one that is both painful to the spellcaster as well as vile in nature. The magic involved can often involve human sacrifice among other vile deeds. Liches always store their souls in a phylactery to keep themselves from dying. Their physical forms are often decayed beyond recognition, but their incredible power does sustain them. Liches are seen much like lesser and greater undead, with no city guard willing to actively protect one. Unlike lesser and greater undead, their true weakness is in the link between body and soul. Holy weapons can rend that connection much like they can incorporeal undead. Unlike incorporeal undead who are sent back to the mists however, Liches go back to their phylactery when slain. If the phylactery is ever found, their souls could be completely destroyed for good.
Liches have 6 HP, and risk taking additional damage from holy weapons and spells.
- Liches, when killed, return to their phylactery and come back in three days time.
- Note on Poisons: With the exception of Dhampirs, all undead are immune to mundane poisons. Some undead may have a dislike for certain substances, or even be repelled by them (such as vampires typically disliking garlic), but these substances cannot be used as a damaging poison against them.
- Unholy Magic Immunity: All undead are immune to the effects of any magic that is designated as unholy, even if the attack roll was successful.