Approximate time to read: 3 minutes.
When I describe the conditions in Alberetor after the war against the enemy, I make reference to radiation and comparison with the likes of Chernobyl. Dark magic pervades the environment like radioactivity. It seeps into the soil and the ground water, irradiating plants, beasts and civilised creatures alike. Those who have remained in Alberetor risk deformity, dire health and death because of the insidious wash of dark energies that remain.
While the enemy bolstered their forces through necromancy, raising soldiers from the battlefield to fight time and time again, the dark radiation continues to leave the dead restless. Where concentrations of the energies exist even grave dirt and bones can find some semblance of life
The roiling, trembling earth lurched and sputtered like a graveyard cough, a wave of dirt and bone surging upward and forward. Jarian back-peddled frantically, his hands seeking out the scabbard at his side, but the wave came too quickly, collapsing across him and pinning him to the ground. An earthy miasma welled up with the creature, choking the clean breath from Jarian’s lungs, even as the mass pressed down hard on his chest. He gagged and fought for air, his one free arm waving wildly trying to shield his face from the spray of reeking grave dirt. He opened his mouth to call for aid from his companions, but the creature surged over him, bones and splinters of leathery flesh bashing and scraping at the thief’s skin.
Resistance Challenging (130)
Traits Armored (II/30), Crushing Embrace (I/10) *, Diseased (I/10), Natural Weapon (I/10), Regeneration (I/10), Undead (II/30)
Accurate 10 (0), Cunning 5 (+5), Discreet 11 (−1), Persuasive 7 (+3), Quick 9 (+1), Resolute 13 (−3), Strong 15 (−5), Vigilant 10 (0)
Abilities Berserker (adept/30)
Weapons Bash 3, Berserker (novice) +1D6, Diseased
Armor Dirt and Rock 3, Berserker (adept) +1D4, half damage from ordinary physical effects
Defense +1 (+5 when Berserker active)
Toughness 15 (immunity to poison and diseased) Pain Threshold —
Shadow Black like the ashes of a funeral pyre (thoroughly corrupt)
Tactics While motionless the Entombed resemble nothing so much as a pile of dirt as if someone dug a grave and left the heap behind. A rough mound of dirt mixed with bones and scraps of clothing, an inactive Entombed with even grow a layer of moss and weeds. When living targets approach, the Entombed lies in wait and will benefit from surprise on most occasions unless discovered with Witchsight or some other perception able to pierce their ‘disguise’. The standard [Vigilant ← Discreet] test applies to notice the Entombed, but the player rolls two dice and takes the worst result as their outcome.
Once engaged with an opponent, the Entombed initially attempts to complete a Crushing Embrace, using the grappled victim as a shield against any other opponents. If surprise worked out, it will do this as it’s Free Attack. The entity literally seeks to entomb an opponent, bludgeoning and suffocating.
The combination of undeath, armor and regeneration makes it a formidable opponent to damage — it appears to any attacker that the Entombed constantly pick up more grave dirt and body parts from the soil beneath them as they move.
If unable to grapple, the Entombed will berserk instead, flowing and crushing like an avalanche of dirt.
Appearance A roiling, tumbling pile of dirt, bones and grave goods. Often one or more skulls surface amongst the other elements, but the Entombed do not sense or process outward information in any way the living might understand. Certainly, they do appear to possess senses — though nothing so conventional as common sight, hearing, taste or smell. Touch, certainly, and some kind of vibration sense seem to suffice, along with a natural ability to possess the wash of bright colors amidst the Shadows.
Environs The Entombed favor graveyards and ancient battlefields — indeed, the presence of dark magic in these locations almost certainly serves in their creation. Any carnal pit, shallow grave site or other location used to dump bodies without consecration may also offer the means for this hideous entity to take shape.
Predation and Treasure The Entombed do not hunt or consume in the sense that a beast might. However, those who have studied them have noted that the bones in the makeup never carry even a scrap of flesh, so perhaps they can ‘digest’ meat.
The Entombed seems to absorb bones and grave matter from the ground as it moves, such that items like weapons or mystic curios can become caught in their mass. The constant shift and flow of the entity mean that simple perishables rarely last long — including items made from natural material like leather — and even metal will degrade over time.
You may include weapons and armor, coins and jewelry, curiosities and even artifacts. Non-magical items have a 50% chance of being ruined (have the player roll any die; a result of more than half indicates an item damaged beyond repair, use or value).
* Note on Crushing Embrace: Featured in Tomb of Dying Dreams, the Crushing Embrace Trait allows a creature to grasp and crush enemies (see ToDD p39).