Spectral Awnshegh

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Climate/Terrain: Shadow World
Frequency: Unique
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: None
Intelligence: Same as in life
Treasure: W, V (H, Vx5)
Alignment: Chaotic evil
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 0
Movement: Same as in life
Hit Dice: Same as in life
THAC0: Same as in life
No. of Attacks: Same as in life
Damage/Attack: As in life +4
Special Attacks: Shadow touch
Special Defenses: Regeneration, Seeming
Magic Resistance: As in life +25%
Size: Same as in life
Morale: Fearless (19-20)
Bloodline: Azrai, strength varies
Blood Abilities: Vary
XP Value: Varies

Summoned by the Cold Rider to serve his dark bidding in undeath, spectral awnsheghlien are the spirits of slain Abominations from the waking world. At their moments of death, the Cold Rider trapped their essences in the Shadow World—it would be a shame, after all, to let such pure, unmitigated evil merely scatter to the winds.

Spectral awnsheghlien generally appear as they did in life, only in semitransparent form. In combat, however, they can become corporeal at will.

Spectral awnsheghlien exist at the will (and the whim) of the Cold Rider. Among the most powerful of his minions, they act as he dictates; they use their powers to forward his goals. Characters, however, probabl y won't realize that a spectral awnshegh they encounter serves such a powerful master, unless the DM chooses to reveal this fact in the course of multiple encounters

This creature provides the DM an opportunity to bring back favorite major and minor awnsheghlien the characters thought Cerilia was rid of for good—and now the monsters are bigger, badder, and meaner than before, thanks to the Cold Rider's dark gifts.

Combat: In combat, spectral awnsheghlien are even more fearsome now than they were in life.

Spectral awnsheghlien retain the same combat abilities they possessed in life. In addition, their spectral nature also grants them a shadow touch attack. Each time a spectral awnshegh touches an opponent, it transforms some of the victim's life essence to shadow and drains 1 Constitution point. Should a character's Constitution drop to 0, the victim turns into a spectre (see the MONSTROUS MANUAL tome).

All spectral awnsheghlien have the ability to regenerate per the major regeneration blood ability (described in the BIRTHRIGHT Blood Enemies accessory).

One can converse, negotiate, and bargain with a spectral awnshegh to about the same extent as when the individual creature was alive. An awnshegh will not, however, listen to a character who was responsible for its death—it will only seek to repay the deed in kind.

The Cold Rider has bestowed greater Seeming on his minions, a power they often make use of in combat. Perception varies with how long an awnshegh has resided in the Shadow World: 1 point per decade.

Habitat/Society: Spectral awnsheghlien can be found in all parts of the Shadow World. Though none have ever been spotted in Cerilia, it's possible that one could grow powerful enough (DM's discretion) to make the crossing and terrorize the waking world once again.

As they were in life, spectral awnsheghlien are solitary creatures. Unless called together by their evil master, they do not interact with each other.

Though they serve the Cold Rider, spectral awnsheghlien create strongholds of their own in the Shadow World. These lairs are not as large or elaborate as the ones they had in life, though sometimes a spectral awnshegh will manipulate the Seeming to make a Shadow World home resemble its Cerilian counterpart.

Often, spectral awnsheghlien have their own goals and agendas, which the Cold Rider permits them to pursue. When he beckons, however, they must drop everything to answer his summons and carry out his plans.

A number of spectral awnsheghlien command minions. Some of these unfortunate servants are undead versions of the minions the awnshegh had in life. For example, if the Spider died in Cerilia and reappeared as the Spectral Spider in the Shadow World, he would likely have a legion of undead spiders under his control.

Spectral awnsheghlien also take advantage of the native population of the Shadow World, impressing all manner of creatures into their service. Depending on the awnshegh's level of power, it may enslave halflings, changelings, members of the Seelie or Unseelie Court, various types of undead, or other monsters.

Ecology: When a Cerilian awnshegh dies, the bloodline of Azrai that it carried in its veins dissipates and travels to the Shadow World. This holds true even for awnshegh victims of bloodtheft. (Recall that even with a tighmaevril weapon, the attacker receives only 5 bloodline strength points; the rest dissipate.) Only an awnshegh who invests its bloodline before death is immune to the possibility of becoming a specter.

The Cold Rider manages to keep the spectral awnsheghlien in line by magically trapping and absorbing part of this essence. Scions of Azrai in life because they carried in their blood a part of the evil god, they become servants of the Cold Rider in death because he carries part of them within himself.

This connection can be broken by the Cold Rider if he so chooses. He never has.

It is said that perhaps spectral ehrsheghlien also exist in the Shadow World. If so, such a creature would be connected to one of Cerilia's new gods, doing the work of that deity in an attempt to improve the lots of those who dwell in lands eclipsed by shadow.