Continuing the series (encounter 1, Archaeologists, is here).
The Cursed Holmgang
When crossing land long lost to civilisation, the PCs hear the ring of steel on steel. If they hesitate for more a moment they will notice the curious lack of cries, shouts, or screams. If the PCs listen carefully, they will begin to hear a pattern in the blows as the same series of strikes, parries, and blocks is repeated. Endlessly.
The sound is that of a ritualised duel that has never ended. Two SKELETON CHAMPIONS in tattered chain fight skilfully but monotonously on a 10’x10’ square ox hide, the boundaries marked by five hazel stakes driven into the ground. To one side is a shield, upon which rests a large iron key. Carved into the shield, in an archaic runic script, is “While Brothers Fight, None Will Prosper”. The PCs should be able to decipher this.
SKELETON CHAMPIONS (2) = AC: 4, HD: 3, HP: 12, MV: 60’/20’, ATT: 1 sword, DAM: 1d8, SV: F3, MR: 12, AL: C, XP: 65
The SKELETONS were twin brothers, cursed by their sister as they fought over the inheritance of the family hall. The hall, a few hundred yards away, has crumbled to a few rotten posts and an overgrown hearth. The PCs will find this with if they search the long grass and bushes (perhaps 1d6 chance per turn). A treasure trove is buried by one of the posts (worth 1500GP, mostly copper and silver coins and jewellery - golden torcs, silver rings and broaches studded with semi-precious stones).
The hazel stakes mark the limit of the curse, forming the points of an invisible pentagram. Within, the Skeletons cannot be Turned and are immune to non-magical attacks. If the stakes are all torn up, the monotony of their fight is broken but the duel will not end. However, the Skeletons will turn as brothers to fight any PC that damages either of them, ending the duel. Other methods might also succeed. If the duel, and hence the curse, is not ended, the spirit of their sister protects the family treasure. She sits on the hearth, a weeping corpse, insensible with sadness.
VENGEFUL WIGHT = AC: 5, HD: 3, HP: 10, MV: 90’/30’, ATT: 1 grasp, claw, or bite, DAM: Energy Drain, SV: F3, MR: 12, AL: C, XP: 110.
Again, this fits on two sides of a 4"x6" index card.
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