|Intelligence:||Average to high (8-14)|
|No. of Attacks:||2|
|Special Attacks:||Vengeful grasp|
|Special Defenses:||+2 weapons or better to hit|
|Size:||M (4-7’ tall)|
A venger is the animated remains of some strong-willed being who suffered a great wrong in life. The wrong must have been committed by an intelligent creature who survives beyond the death of the being who will become the venger. At the moment of death, the consciousness of the wronged person is trapped by its rage and frustration within its corpse, and it rises as an undead venger 2d6 days later.
The venger looks much as it did in life, though it continues to decay as its quest for justice goes on. Its clothing rots, its flesh grows cold and gray, and its possessions slowly fall apart as time goes by. The venger will never pick up or use weapons or magical items of any sort, but it may possess items it carried on its person at the time of its death. It never uses these items, either. Instead, the venger simply continues to carry them around until straps rot and break, pouches unravel, or sacks wear thin and the items fall through and are lost.
A venger has a single goal to its existence. It seeks to destroy the person or creature that willfully wronged it. This usually involves hunting down the one who wronged it, but sometimes it can involve finding a way to right the wrong that was committed.
Though a venger can communicate as it did in life, the rage and desperation that have animated it usually keep it from doing more than making pained sounds. To most, these sounds have no intelligence behind them. They are simply the wailings of a suffering undead monster, and not a form of communication at all. In fact, those who hear the wails of a venger must make a saving throw versus petrification or flee in terror for 1d6 rounds.
Combat: A venger ignores the presence of all save the one who did it wrong--unless others get in the way. So, a venger could approach an innocent character and pass right by as it searched for the one who wronged it. If the innocent blocks the venger’s path or attempts to slow it through attacks or obstacles, the venger turns its attention on the innocent until the obstacles no longer remain. In other words, a venger will fight those who attempt to hamper its undead quest.
Rage gives a venger strength enough to cause great damage with its bare hands. It inflicts 1d10 points of damage with each successful hit, and it can strike twice in the same round of combat. When a venger finds the one who wronged it, its grasp is strong enough to inflict crushing damage. This form of attack is called the vengeful grasp, and it is an attack powered by supernatural hate and trapped rage. The vengeful grasp causes immediate death if a saving throw versus death magic is not made. If the saving throw is successful, the vengeful grasp causes 1d12 points of damage, and the venger continues to grip in the next round.
The saving throw must be made each round that the venger is able to maintain its grip. The vengeful grasp attack can never be used against an innocent opponent — it only works against the being or creature who wronged the venger. The vengeful grasp special attack does not apply to any other opponents. Even those who attempt to bar a venger’s way can’t be attacked using the vengeful grasp.
To break free of the vengeful grasp, the venger must be reduced to 0 hit points, turned (as a wight), or magically restricted in some way. When any of these circumstances apply, the venger collapses into a stinking pile of flesh. Unfortunately, the venger will rise again in 1d4 days regardless of how much damage was done to it — even if the corpse was burned to ashes and scattered to the four winds.
The only way to completely destroy a venger involves the participation of the venger itself. If the venger destroys the object of its hatred, or for if the hated one to destroy it in turn, then the venger is completely and utterly destroyed. When the venger completes its undead quest by reaching and destroying the one who wronged it (and thus created it), then it collapses as a lifeless corpse. The rage and hatred dissipate, and the trapped spirit is released to go where all spirits go upon dying.
If a venger’s hit points drop below 0 due to a blow, spell, or other power delivered by the one it hunts, the ghostly rage trapped inside the thing’s body explodes, hurtling bony fragments in all directions for a distance of 25 feet. Anyone in the burst radius takes 5d6 points of damage from the supernatural explosion. The one who wronged it must also make a saving throw versus death magic or be killed by the explosion.
If the one who wronged it dies before the venger can reach him, then the venger’s focus shifts. Now it must find a way to right the wrong that was committed, or eternal rest will forever be denied it. This is more than most undead spirits can stand, and a venger in such a position will often haunt a particularly powerful hero (or party of heroes) until he or she agrees to aid it. As vengers are not the best communicators, it will take a bit of cleverness and imagination on the part of the hero to figure out what must be done.
Habitat/Society: Vengers never rest. They are always locked on the general direction of their tormentor. If they should be trapped in some way, the vengers simply collapse and wait to be released. Once free, they continue their treks, stopping only to defend themselves against any who dare impede their hateful progress.
Vengers are difficult to stop. When a venger does reach an obstacle it can’t navigate over or go around, it collapses and wails pitifully until the barrier is removed.
As vengers continue to deteriorate as the years go by, many appear as hideous, decaying creatures. Sometimes all that remains of a venger is a torso, head, and arms. Such a creature drags itself along by its fingers as it seeks to reach the object of its undead quest. If such a venger is reduced to 0 hit points (by anything other than its hated foe), it will rise in its complete form in 1d4 days. Then the process of decay and deterioration begins again.
Ecology: Unfortunately, vengers aren’t as rare as one would hope in the world of Athas. The strong will of the inhabitants that live here and the cruel injustices often inflicted upon them create several of these undead creatures every year.
Vengers do not need food or water, and they do not need to rest or sleep. As undead creatures, vengers do not have a place in the natural world. That does not mean they do not exist, just that they do not occupy a necessary niche in Athas’s ecology.
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