Ermordenung, Nostalia Romaine

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Ermordenung, Nostalia Romaine
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Very (12)
Treasure:W (I)
Alignment:Lawful evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:10
Hit Dice:4 (27 hp)
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:2-5 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks:Poison; charm
Special Defenses:Immune to poison
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:M (5'11”)
Morale:Fanatic (17)
XP Value:1,400

Nostalia Romaine is the head of Ivana Boritsi's dreaded ermordenung. She is as evil as she is ravishing, and utterly loyal to her evil mistress. A series of elixirs keeps her eternally young and maintains her alluring beauty, which is perhaps her most deadly weapon.

Like all ermordenung, Nostalia is in perfect physical condition. Slender and elegant, she moves with the grace and agility of a dancer. She stands just under six feet in height, with crisp dark eyes that stand out from the unnaturally pale complexion of her skin. Her ebony hair, which she wears in a thick braid, falls almost to her knees. She often decorates herself by braiding flowers into her hair, selecting blooms that are both beautiful and poisonous. Nostalia carries a slender jewelled dagger on her hip but employs no other armor or weapons. She always wears long, elegant gloves, removing them only when preparing to kill someone with her poisoned touch.

Nostalia speaks the language of Borca, as well as that of several neighboring domains. Her aristocratic tones come across clearly, whatever the language.

Combat: Like all ermordenung, Nostalia has the ability to kill with her touch. Because her body has been infused with deadly toxins, the slightest unprotected contact with her exposed skin is deadly. In combat, a normal attack roll is required for her to touch exposed skin. Anyone touched must make a Saving Throw vs. Poison (with a +4 bonus) at once. Those who fail their saves succumb instantly to her deadly touch. Those who make their saves suffer 10 points of damage. A natural roll of 20 on the attack indicates that Nostalia has gotten a firm grip on her enemy. When this happens, the victim must make an unmodified Saving Throw vs. Poison: failure indicates instant death, while a successful save results in the loss of 20 hit points. If the victim is unable to break her iron grip, a new save must be made again on each subsequent round.

In noncombat situations, Nostalia strikes by luring male victims into a deadly embrace. Her natural charisma, intoxicating beauty, and seductive manner makes this a simple task in most cases; in addition, her deeps husky voice acts as a charm spell. Once she has taken her victim into her arms, she delivers a passionate, and utterly deadly, kiss. Anyone kissed by Nostalia must make a Saving Throw vs. Poison (with a -4 penalty to the roll) or be instantly slain. Success at the saving throw results in a mere 30 points of damage. Anyone caught in the ermordenung's embrace who fails to break free will be kissed again on the next round.

Breaking away from Nostalia is not an easy task. Like all ermordenung, she has a Strength score of 18/50. Anyone whose Strength score is lower must make a Saving Throw vs. Paralysis (again, at a -4 penalty) in order to pull away. Persons of equal strength must succeed on an unmodified roll; those who are stronger gain a +4 bonus.

When she opts not to use her natural attacks, Nostalia strikes with her bejewelled dagger. This is her preferred means of attacking female victims, for she finds the touch of other women repulsive. This weapons is actually a dagger of venom which she keeps filled with a solution mixed from her own blood. Anyone stabbed by this +1 weapon must make a Saving Throw vs. poison with a -4 penalty or die instantly (success on the save means that the toxin was not injected). The dagger holds enough poison for six attacks.

Nostalia's system is so infused with deadly toxins that she herself is immune to almost any manner of poisonous attack. The only toxin to which she is vulnerable is the touch of another ermordenung.

Habitat/Society: Nostalia was born near the city of Levkarest in Borca. Her parents were aristocrats, loyal followers of the dread Camille Dilisnya, the lord of the domain at that time.

As a young girl, Nostalia and Ivana Boritsi were close friends. When Ivana, who was the elder by some two years, began to plan her ascension to the throne of Borca, Nostalia was her loyal assistant and confidant. Nostalia had no great dislike of Camille, but her devotion to Ivana was such that she would do anything her friend asked of her.

When Ivana perfected her mysterious method of toxic infusions that she believed would grant the recipient a poisoned touch at will, she asked Nostalia to be the first to receive this dire and deadly gift. Nostalia agreed and underwent the horrible transformation. As the process was completed, she fell into a coma and remained all but lifeless for a fortnight. When she awoke at last, she was an ermordenung, the living embodiment of venom.

The first act that Nostalia was called upon to undertake as an ermordenung was the destruction of Ivana's mother, Camille. Ivana planned to poison her mother, just as Camille had poisoned so many others, and Nostalia would be her weapon.

On a warm, bright day some two weeks after she had completed her transformation, Nostalia went to visit the unsuspecting monarch in her clambers in the Boritsi Manor. Here, she professed her loyalty and love, saying that she had come to warn her monarch about lvana's foul plot to assassinate her and usurp the domain. Even now, Nostalia warned, a group of hired thugs were on their way to Camille's chambers to murder her, unless she fled immediately. Camille believed her story and, hearing noises outside that sounded like a mob breaking down the outer door, panicked and fled through a secret passage with Nostalla.

Together, the two women navigated the dark, narrow, cobweb-filled tunnels within the manor's walls, emerging at last in the coachhouse, where a magnificent coach stood, a team of fine horses and a driver in hat and greatcoat at the ready. Nostalia explained that this conveyance would carry Camille to safety in Levkarest, where she could rally her supporters and return to reclaim her throne.

But when the grateful matriarch ordered the coachman to open the carriage door, the supposed servant suddenly removed hat and cloak to reveal - Ivana's face. As Camille turned to her companion, her face pale with shock and horror, Nostalia stepped forward with a smile and kissed the older woman, who crumpled dead at her feet to the sound of lvana's cruel laughter.

Ever since that time, Nostalia has found herself haunted by the face of the woman she betrayed and killed. Nightmares in which Camille Dilisnya rises up as a ghost to destroy her are not uncommon. Nostalia is unable to escape the feel of Camille's lips on her own, even when she kisses another. For this reason, Nostalia loathes the touch of female flesh. While she will gladly use her poisonous embrace to destroy men, she is sickened by the thought of actually touching another woman. As such, she debends upon her dagger of venom when Ivana orders her to assassinate a woman.

She soon found herself at the head of a growing clan of ermordenung. Although they were fewer than half a dozen of the deadly creatures in those early days, it became clear that their usfulness to the lord of the domain would quickly lead to the creation of more. Gradually, Ivana began to place more and more power in the hands of her deadly childhood friend.

In the years that have passed since that time, Nostalia has grown detached. She no longer feels any remorse over her deeds and has come to savor the pain and suffering that she brings to others.

Ecology: Like all ermordenung, Nostalia Romaine is deadly to all that she touches. As such, she can never take a lover, marry, or raise children. While she claims to hold such things in contempt and boasts that she holds no desire for them, the intimacy that is denied her gnaws at her soul.

For several years now, Nostalia has been employing an elixir that prevents her from aging. Only she knows the secret ingredients of this concoction, though it is believed to require the “harvesting” of no fewer than three young men. Nostalia must create and consume a new draught each month or her aging will resume at a greatly accelerated rate.

Nostalia is Ivana Boritsi's closest advisor and has a great deal of influence in the selection of new ermordenung. As such, she is often thought of as the mother of that race, despite the fact that she had no part in actually devising the formula that made her what she is today.