Vampire, Eastern (Mayónaka)

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Vampire, Eastern (Mayónaka)
Activity Cycle:Night
Intelligence:Exceptional (15)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:1
Hit Dice:8+3 (43 hit points)
THAC0:11 (8); (5 with katana)
No. of Attacks:1 (touch) or 3/2 (katana)
Damage/Attack:1d6+7; 1d10+10; or 2d6+10
Special Attacks:Energy drain; jump; swordmanship
Special Defenses:+1 or better weapon to hit; regeneration; invisibility; half damage from cold and electricity
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:M (7' tall)
Morale:Champion (16)
XP Value:10,000

Mayónaka wanders the domains of the Core, seeking out the greatest warriors in Ravenloft and challenging them to duels. While he hopes that he will die in such a match one day and thus be freed of his eternal curse, he has yet to meet anyone strong or skilled enough to defeat him.

Mayónaka dresses himself in common robes that effectively conceal his oriental arms, armor, and features from the people that he encounters in his travels. Beneath his robes, he wears the armor of a samurai and carries an assortment of unusual weapons. Mayónaka stands just under seven feet tall and has the smooth build of a graceful athlete. His hair is short and dark, matching perfectly the endless night reflected in his midnight black eyes.

Mayónaka speaks the Common Tongue of Kara-Tur, as well as that spoken in the western realms of Toril. He has picked up a fragmentary knowledge of the languages of Ravenloft's various domains, but this is only satisfactory for simple conversations.

Combat: As an expert warrior, Mayónaka is a deadly opponent. With the abilities he gained as a vampire, he is almost unbeatable.

Like all vampires, Mayónaka is tremendously strong. Indeed, he is even more powerful than most of his undead kin. His unnatural Strength rating of 19 gives him a +3 bonus on all melee attack rolls and a +7 bonus to all melee damage rolls, for a total of 8-13 (1d6+7) points of damage for each bare-handed blow.

In addition to the damage inflicted by his crushing blows, anyone struck by Mayónaka is instantly drained of two life energy levels. This is a by-product of the vampire's terrible nature and can be used by Mayónaka whenever he touches the exposed flesh of a victim. He need not employ this special ability if he chooses not to.

Mayónaka does not normally fight bare-handed. Instead, he wields a keen silver katana, or oriental sword, that has been in his family for generations. Oriental runes run down the side of the blade, naming it Tasogare or “twilight” in the language of Mayónaka's homeland. The katana is described in PHRB1, The Complete Fighter's Handbook; it can be used either one- or two-handed. As a one-handed weapon it does 1d10 points of damage against small or medium-sized targets and 1d12 against large ones. As a two-handed weapon it does 2d6 to both types of targets. The katana is a medium weapon that weighs 6 pounds and has a speed factor of 4. Tasogare is enchanted, giving it a +3 on all attack and damage rolls. In addition, once per day it can be used to cast a darkness, 15' radius spell. Anyone holding the sword can see normally in the area of darkness, which remains centered on the weapon itself. Mayónaka's Strength bonus of +3 to attack and +7 to damage applies when using Tasogare.

Like all eastern vampires, Mayónaka has the ability to render himself invisible at will. When in this state, he has all of the normal advantages associated with invisibility (such as a -4 on all attack rolls made against him). When he is about to enter combat, fading from view is generally his first action.

Anyone attempting to attack Mayónaka must employ a weapon that has at least a +1 enchantment. Any weapon of lesser quality will pass through his body without seeming to strike anything. Even if magical weapons are employed and he is harmed, Mayónaka regenerates 3 hit points per melee round.

If he is driven to 0 hit points, Mayónaka is not slain. Rather, he is forced to assume a gaseous state similar to that created by a wraithform spell (see below). Once in this state, he has 12 rounds to reach his current resting place. If he fails to accomplish this feat, his vaporous form breaks up and he is destroyed. If he does reach his resting place, he must rest there for 8 hours and will then rise again with his body wholly regenerated. When he is in this vaporous form, no weapon or spell can harm him, he can pass through even the smallest crack or opening, and he appears to be nothing more than a drifting cloud of shimmering fog. Unlike more traditional vampires, he cannot assume this state at will but must be driven to it by the destruction of his physical body. Similarly, he has no natural ability to shape change.

As an undead creature, Mayónaka is immune to all manner of sleep, charm, hold, or other spells that depend upon biological function for their effects. Poisons, diseases, and similar things have no effect upon him at all. His undead nature also makes him very resistant to cold and lightning, so that all such attacks do only half damage to him.

Mayónaka has the natural ability to spider climb and jump, as if he were employing the spells of the same name. He uses these abilities to seek out his victims and to escape from his pursuers when need be. Like all eastern vampires, he lacks the natural charming or summoning abilities of the western vampire.

There are means by which Mayónaka can be held back and even driven away by those who have the courage and wisdom to confront him with the correct tools. He cannot approach anyone who presents a lawful good holy symbol. Instead, he must remain at least 10 feet away from the symbol until some means can be found of removing the offensive object. It is important that the person presenting the icon be a strong believer in the deity to which the symbol is sacred, however, or it will have no effect upon the vampire. Similarly, he cannot bear the presence of ginger root and will not come within 10 feet of it. If an unbroken line of powdered ginger is made on the floor, he cannot cross it.

It is possible, although quite dangerous, to use some of these items as weapons against the vampire. If he is touched with a holy symbol, his flesh is burned for 1d6+1 points of damage. Holy water or ginger water splashed upon him does 1d6+1 points of damage per vial that strikes his flesh.

Exposure to direct sunlight is just as deadly for Mayónaka as it is for any other vampire. Thus, a single round of exposure to the purifying rays of the sun will utterly annihilate him. However, running water has no negative effect on Mayónaka. Further, he is not required to obtain an invitation before entering the home of a potential victim, nor do mirrors distress him.

Unlike the traditional vampire, Mayónaka's resting place is not dictated by the place in which he died. He has no need to maintain a coffin or similar sanctuary. When the sun lightens the eastern sky, Mayónaka must seek out the place where he last killed someone. He must find a lair within 100 feet of the spot on which his victim died in which to pass the daylight hours. If he cannot escape the daylight and remain within the required radius of the kill, his body crumbles away and he dies.

Any human slain by Mayónaka's life-energy drain will become a vampire in turn. The transformation into unlife occurs one day after burial. Those who are not buried will not rise as vampires; thus, tradition dictates that all who die at the hands of these undead be cremated. Mayónaka recognizes the horrible nature of the living death and would wish it on no other, so he never willingly creates new undead. When he takes a life with his level-draining ability, he always sees to it that the body is destroyed. If the victim died with honor, he arranges a very solemn ritual in which great respect is shown for a worthy enemy before a pyre is set and the body destroyed. If the victim died in a cowardly or dishonorable way, then no such courtesy is shown and the body is merely tossed onto a fire and forgotten.

Habitat/Society: Mayónaka was born nearly a century ago in the lands of Kara-Tur in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. He came from a noble family, having a father and mother who were both samurai of great distinction. As the youngest of three children, Mayónaka lived in the shadow of his two older sisters, who were proving themselves to be masterful warriors. Their growing fame simply made Mayónaka more determined to win a name for himself as a samurai greater than any who had ever lived before.

His chance came when he was seventeen years old. Both of his sisters had vanished while exploring an island that was said to be haunted. It was generally assumed that anything deadly enough to defeat them was more than a match for anyone else, so few were interested in investigating the matter. Mayónaka, however, took up his sword and set out for the island.

As he explored the island, he discovered that it was indeed the lair of some horrible, undead creature. Further, he found that the beast had captured his sisters and was subjecting them to horrible tortures and temptations in an attempt to corrupt their honorable souls.

Sickened by what he saw, Mayónaka vowed to free his sisters and see to it that the monster was destroyed. Moving as quietly as he could, Mayónaka snuck into the monster's lair and reached the cages where his sisters were held. As he worked to free them, the sisters told him of their capture and the hideous vampire spirit that had tortured them. Working quickly, Mayónaka managed to free them and the three began to flee the villain's cave.

Suddenly, the invisible vampire attacked them. In the confusion that followed the surprise attack, Mayónaka was sent tumbling over what appeared to be an almost bottomless fissure. His sisters, enraged by the loss of their brother, drove the monster off and escaped from the island in Mayónaka's ship, little knowing that their brother still lived.

Hours later, Mayónaka awoke on a ledge that protruded from the walls of the endless shaft. With much effort, he climbed the rough stone face and reached the vampire's lair. Much to his horror he found that the creature was fully recovered from its earlier wounds. Delighted to discover that it might still have a prisoner to torture, the vampire attacked. The battle was long and terrible. In the end, the samurai was triumphant. Sadly, he too was dying. The vampire had tasted his life essence and left his soul drained and tainted. With a final prayer to his ancestors, he died.

To his surprise, he awoke a day or so later. His wounds, it seemed, were completely healed. Indeed, he felt better than he ever had before. He left the vampire's lair and headed out of the cave. With luck, he hoped to rejoin his sisters before they left the island. As he reached the cave's mouth and stepped out into the sunlight, he found himself wracked with horrible pain. He turned and tossed himself back into the cool darkness of the cavern just in time. With horror, he realized that he himself had become undead.

Mayónaka spent the next several days coming to grips with his new condition. While any lesser man would have collapsed in despair and given in to the bestial urges that now burned within him, the samurai did not. Instead, he meditated and prayed, seeking the council of his ancestors. At last, he decided that he must return to his home. With luck, the priests there could drive this curse from his body.

Mayónaka fashioned a crude boat and set sail. He spent the next few days at sea. Each morning, he would retreat into a coffin-like wooden box until the daylight passed. Because he had not yet slain anyone, he was not bound to rest in a given area. The voyage was difficult, not because of bad weather or lack of seamanship, but because Mayónaka was beginning to feel the vampire's hunger for human life. By the time he reached the shores of his native land, he found himself weak with hunger.

Because he was left without navigational instruments, Mayónaka was not certain where he had come ashore. He began to explore, coming across a monastic encampment of monks. Careful not to reveal his nature to them, Mayónaka presented himself to them shortly after nightfall and asked for their help. They took him in and answered all his question. Much to his delight, he found that he was within thirty miles of his home.

The night passed quickly, for the monks saw many travellers and had news of Mayónaka's sisters and their return. He learned, as he had expected, that he was believed to have died in the battle with the vampire. Indeed, it seemed that his sisters were being hailed as great heroes for their valor in destroying the beast.

Had his mind been clear, the young vampire should have known that this was to be expected. However, the darkness that is vampire's blood burned in his veins now. Reason faded before an onslaught of sinister emotions, jealousies, and hatred. Soon he had convinced himself that his sisters deliberately left him for dead, fleeing before the threat of the vampire so that they could return home and claim victory. Indeed, had it been only an accident that sent him tumbling into that chasm? Probably not. Perhaps they had even struck a deal with the vampire to lure their brother out to the island. No doubt they knew that he was destined to become a far more skilled warrior than they and devised this scheme to see him destroyed.

At last, the rage and hunger proved to be too much for the samurai vampire. He flew into a wild frenzy and killed the monks, feasting on their lives and laughing at their pathetic attempts to drive him off. When the sun arose, he hid himself away in their ravaged camp and slept. In his heart, now, he knew that he must rest near the site of his last kill. He saw now the pattern that his life must take.

The next evening, he began to move back toward his home. His tortured soul hungered for the hour when he would stand before his sisters. They would cower before him, aware at last that their plan had failed. Their treachery would be exposed, and then they would die. Somewhere, deep in his heart, a voice of reason cried out that his sisters were women of honor, but the hunger of his vampire's nature was far too potent to be swayed.

As the sun began to lighten the horizon, Mayónaka found a small home that belonged to an elderly couple. As they slept, he descended upon them and drained them of their lives. By the time a cock crowed to greet the sunrise, he was fast asleep in their peasants' bed, nestled between the two cooling corpses.

The next night brought him to the edge of his family's ancestral lands. Aware that he had no time to act before the coming of the sun, he found the home of a young couple and entered it. They recognized the young man as their lord, expressing relief that he was still alive when all around them thought he was dead. Scoffing at their false protestations of happiness, Mayónaka killed them and fed. Inside his fading soul, the tiny spark of his humanity flickered and grew dim.

The next night, Mayónaka went to his parents' castle. He had learned that wails were no obstacle to him in his vampiric form and quickly scaled them. As the night passed, he moved from room to room, killing everyone in the fortress. At last, he came to the rooms occupied by his family. He moved to the large gong that was used to call the castle to alert in times of crisis and struck it with his fist. To his surprise, his new strength was so great that he shattered the thing. However, the tremendous sound that it made brought his parents and sisters racing into the hall, ready for battle.

At first, Mayónaka watched them. Lurking invisibly in the background, he watched as they discovered that everyone else in the castle was dead. At last, he became visible and confronted them.

His father, normally a reserved and quiet man, was so happy to see his lost child that he began to weep. As he rushed forward to embrace his son, Mayónaka struck with his katana. The keen blade flashed in the night and beheaded the old samurai with a single stroke. His mother cried out in horror and his sisters drew their weapons. They advanced on Mayónaka, under the impression that he was some form of monster that had taken their brother's shape.

Mayónaka scoffed at them. He attacked them and, with the aid of his new vampiric abilities, easily killed them both. As he stood over their bloody corpses, he turned to his mother and faced her in single combat. Despite the passing of many years since her last duel, she was an expert swordsman. Time after time, Mayónaka struck, only to have his blows fended off. At last, his great strength snapped the blade of her katana and left her defenseless before him. As she calmly awaited death, he stepped forward and beheaded her. As her body fell across her husband's and her blood mingling with that of her daughters, the last spark of humanity in Mayónaka's soul faded and was gone.

Mayónaka looked around at the carnage he had sown. All around him was death and desolation. With disgust, the vampire samurai remembered the battle against his family. For all their supposed skill and might, they had been no match for him. His skill as a warrior was, as yet, untested. He vowed to wander the world until such time as he found a worthy enemy: to make it his lot in life (or death) to seek out the mightiest warriors and test himself against them. When he found someone whose blade was faster and whose skill was greater, he would accept death with honor. In the interim, many lesser foes would die and feed his newly discovered lust for life energy.

The next evening, when he left the desolate castle, he stepped through the gates and into a rolling fog. He had not gone twenty paces before he knew that something was amiss. Whirling, he saw that the castle was gone. Somehow, he had been transported to another land.

In the years since he was drawn into Ravenloft, Mayónaka has travelled throughout the Demiplane of Dread. He has fought werewolves in Kartakass, battled the illithids of Bluetspur, and triumphed over the Drow of Arak. While he has never faced the lord of a domain, he has battled some of Ravenloft's most powerful creatures and, in every instance, defeated them. This has left him somewhat despondent. He has grown tired of his unlife and is now desperate to see it ended. Yet he still holds to his vow and refuses to put forth less than his best effort in battle. If he is to die, it must be at the hands of someone who is truly his superior in combat. The longer he lives, however, the more certain he becomes that his ultimate reward will be forever denied him.

The Vistani know of this wandering creature, and speak in pitying tones when they are asked about him. They call him Ritterwig, which means the eternal warrior, and say that an old prophecy of their people holds that no man's hand will ever bring him the ending he seeks.

Ecology: As with all vampires, Mayónaka is not an aspect of the natural world. He feeds on that world, draining away the life energy of its creatures, but gives nothing back to it. He is an obscene aberration, the likes of which is seldom encountered by man.

The aura of evil and unlife that surrounds Mayónaka is so absolute that animals and similar creatures can sense it. Horses will snort and bay at his presence, dogs will howl and bark at him, and cats will hiss and spit.

Mayónaka's existence is nomadic at best. Each night, he travels in search of a warrior to challenge. If he does not find one, he kills someone just before dawn so that he may rest near the site of his or her demise. It is not difficult to follow his progress across the lands of the Core, for he leaves a fairly regular pattern of bodies in his wake.