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Frequency:Very rare
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:High (13-14)
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:2
Hit Dice:6
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Eternal Dirge
Special Defenses:+1 or better to hit
Magic Resistance:25%
Size:M (5-6' tall)
Morale:Steady (11-12)
XP Value:3,000

The death of a young human is almost always considered a tragedy, a life of promise snuffed out before its full potential could be reached. But to the long-lived elven race the early death of one of their young means not just the loss of decades, but centuries left unlived. Sometimes, a young ya href="/appendix/elf">elf struck down before their time will be given a chance to live out the years stolen from them, and make sure that their incomplete lives are never forgotten.

Echoes are creatures much like the feared and hated banshee. These undead elven spectres take the forms that they had in life, but are now semi-transparent and radiate a luminous aura of blue-white light. The undead elves retain the natural grace and elegance characteristic of young, handsome elven males and beautiful elven maidens, but an unfathomable sorrow now mares their delicate features.

These tragic spirits drift about the place of their death, floating scant inches off the ground, maintaining an endless vigil over the area where their lives were cut short. With haunting voices they recite their short lives and the infinite possibilities that their ruined futures held for them, singing an ominous dirge which they will chant for the remainder of their unnatural existence.

Combat: Echoes are generally nonviolent creatures, due to the tentative hold they retain of the innocence of youth. As such will very rarely attack a living creature. The aspect of these creatures that makes them truly deadly is their eternal dirge. This song that sounds as if it is being performed from a great distance away, or is merely the echo of a song once sung, hence inspiring these creatures' name. Anyone who comes within 90' of an echo hears this mournful song and must succeed at a saving throw vs. spell or find themselves suffering from an unexplainable sense of grief, acting as a combination of the spells slow and ray of enfeeblement with the associated penalties added to one another. Those who fail to escape the dirge's effects within five rounds will lapse into a comatose state and will not awaken until 24 hours after they have been removed from earshot of the echo's haunting dirge. If a victim does fall unconscious within the area of the dirge and is not removed from it for an extended period of time they will wither away from exposure and starvation.

If attacked, an echo will first try to flee, but never stray far from the area to which they are bound (150 yards from the place of their death). If they are pursued to the limits of their small domains they will attack with their spectral fists. These incorporeal blows do no damage in and of themselves, but the intense chill of the grave so permeates an echo's spirit that anyone who comes into contact with one suffers 1d6 points of damage. Also, being spectral undead, echoes are immune to non-magical weapons, charm, sleep, and hold spells, and cold- and electrical-based magic. Echoes cling to their undeath tightly and as such are turned as wraiths. Despite the most brutal of attacks, an Echo will never cease its sorrowful chant until it is destroyed.

Even though Echoes are not aggressive creatures they know when anyone has entered their haunting grounds and will gravitate towards them in an instinctual need for their dirge to be heard. They will follow any sentient creature while they can and sing for them the versions of the life they will never have, regardless of whether the victim is capable of listening, or even conscious. Even if the victim does manage to flee, the eternal dirge can drift outside of the boundaries of an Echo's eternal prison to threaten a relatively large area.

Habitat/Society: Echoes are the ultimate victims. Everything that now shapes their identities was forced upon them; everything that made them who they were in life has been stolen. They have no choice but to stay within 150 yards of the site where they lost their lives, often haunting the very area where their decaying body still rests. They spend their days circling their domain, embellishing their mournful songs, and dwelling upon the events which stole their young lives.

Caring little for worldly treasure, echoes do not keep hoards of coins or other wealth. However, depending on the age of the spirit before its death, they may keep a small treasure trove of objects which were meaningful to them in life. The echoes of young elven children may have toys or remembrances of their lost parents, and girls may have small caches of brushes or jewelry, while young males often keep items of battle or musical instruments. Whatever the nature of the treasure or its worth, an echo will make every effort to protect its collection, blocking the way to their treasure's hiding spot and even attacking those who remove the items.

Echoes are solitary creatures for the most part. Unless tragedy creates several echoes in the same area, these spirits interact with no one save those that enter their domains, and as such have no real society. Echoes will not associate with others of their kind and seem completely unaware of the presence of any other undead in their haunting grounds.

Ecology: The presence of an echo has a great effect on the environment of the areas they inhabit. No animals of any kind will enter the domain of an echo and all animals will seem nervous while in the region, doing their best to stay at least a quarter mile from such a place. The home of an echo is often marked by the complete lack of any trace of animals, from spoor to sound. Besides the effect on animal life, the domain of an echo will usually be littered with the bodies of those who could not escape the song of the dreaded spirit, and as such are forced to lie unburied and without their final rites. Often, the loss of one person to an echo has cost an entire search party their lives as they try to recover their companion from the domain of these pitiable, tortured creatures.