Kobold Press

Monarch of the Monsters 4: Mask Wight

Monarch of the MonstersIn the past few weeks, we had many wonderful entries to the Monarch of the Monsters contest, and our talented and skilled judges chose five finalists from among the entries. We now present those five finalists to you so that you can enjoy them, and, at the end of the week, vote on your favorite. This time, we have the mask wight by Sersa Victory.

Millennia ago, two icons fell in love – the first, a lord of shadow and subterfuge; the other, a goddess of demons and destruction. While consummating their romance at the base of a crater left by a civilization-ending living comet, the two icons devised a plan to not merely slay the other icons, but wholly expunge them from time itself, leaving only each other.

Shortly thereafter, the mask wights were conceived.

Their creation began with one of the most dangerous heists ever pulled, in which the lord of shadow’s thieves stole the bodies of legendary death knights from beneath the necropolis of a powerful arch-lich. For her part, the goddess of the underworld then sacrificed a million condemned souls in an infernal ritual, their essence drained into ivory masks – one for each icon the couple sought to annihilate. Finally, the masks were hammered onto the knights with cold iron nails, and their armored husks were left to collect silt at the bottom of the memory-draining River Styx for 600 years.

When they rose, the mask wights bound themselves to the immortal lovers and marched out into the planes, heeding their instinct to bury knowledge, conjure secrets, and erase the icons from memory and history. Should the mask wights be successful in obliterating the other icons, their followers, and their faiths, a perfect expression of the two icons’ love would arise – a metaverse that has, since creation, known nothing other than darkness, tyranny, and violence.

Unbeknownst to each other, the two icons each created an additional mask wight in secret, should betrayal cross their lover’s mind.

Mask Wight

The frame of this withered demon’s corpse barely fills the ash-colored plate armor that encases it. The wight carries a serrated khopesh in spiked gauntlets that hiss with violet smoke, and a horned ivory mask devoid of features has been nailed into its face.

Double-strength 7th level spoiler [Demon, Undead]

Initiative: +10

Vulnerability: holy

HP 180         AC 23

PD 19          MD 20

Blade and Fist – The mask wight makes one khopesh of oblivion attack and one enervating spiked gauntlet attack.

Khopesh of Oblivion +15 vs. AC – 50 negative energy damage.

Natural 16+: The GM names a specific person, building, or object the target has touched in their lifetime, excluding anything or anyone within view of the mask wight. The named thing is obliterated, and any memories and historical references to it anywhere in the planes vanish.

Natural even miss: The mask wight uses spawn secret as a free action.

Enervating Spiked Gauntlet +15 vs. PD – 20 negative energy damage.

Natural 13+: The target loses one recovery. If the target is staggered after resolving the damage from this attack, the recovery loss lasts until the target drinks a glass of wine mixed with the blood of a living demon of 7th level or higher.

Natural even hit: The target is weakened until the start of the mask wight’s next turn.

Wail of the Forgotten +15 vs. MD (nearby enemies) – 100 negative energy and thunder damage. Targets slain by this attack are erased from the memories of every creature in the planes, and all historical references to the target fade away. In addition, the target’s birthplace and any people, places, or objects within 20 miles of it are likewise annihilated.

Limited use: 1/battle, as quick action. The mask wight must be staggered to use this attack.

Spawn Secret: Pick something or someplace in the dungeon valuable to the PCs they’ve yet to claim or discover. It is now hidden behind a secret conjured by the mask wight, such as a hidden door, illusory wall, minor puzzle, or similar effect. The mask wight will often conceal dungeon elements behind multiple, layered secrets.

When the mask wight uses this ability, the PCs will instinctively sense that it has concealed something important in the dungeon.

Icon Enmity: When the PCs first encounter the mask wight, name an icon. The mask wight’s crit range is expanded to 18+ against PCs that have a positive relationship with the named icon.

Treasure

When the mask wight is slain, the PCs may claim the following rewards in addition to any treasure they would normally earn:

  • One memory escapes the mask wight and settles into the minds of one of the PCs. The GM may prepare a recovered memory relevant to the adventure, or they may ask the affected PC to invent one.
  • Beneath the mask are two violet gem-eyes. Shattering one of these gems opens all nearby secret doors, dispels all nearby illusions, and reveals all nearby invisible creatures.
  • A PC may wear the mask and name a specific person, building, or object they’ve touched in their lifetime. The named thing disappears, and all memory or historical record of it vanishes. The mask likewise fades, and the PCs have no recollection of claiming it.

11 Replies to "Monarch of the Monsters 4: Mask Wight"

Adam Daigle

December 12, 2013 at 11:36am

Best of luck!

Matthew Federico

December 12, 2013 at 11:54am

I did not win.

I can see why. This monster blew my 13th Age entry out of the park. Well done.

Mike Welham

December 12, 2013 at 11:58am

I’m not versed in 13th Age rules, but this monster has an amazing concept!

Stephen Abel

December 12, 2013 at 12:11pm

Incredible concept and implementation. Fits the 13th Age perfectly from mechanics to the concept of world-changing after-effects. Good luck!

Curaigh

December 12, 2013 at 12:34pm

Wow this is cool. Reminds me of the Oblivian war in the Dresden Universe, and yet is something I can see driving my PCs to wet themselves.

Well done Sersa!

Tom

December 12, 2013 at 1:49pm

I don’t know 13th Age at all, but it looks like you made a fine Mythender.

Morgan Boehringer

December 12, 2013 at 4:28pm

Dread! My favorite so far, and I have no 13th Age-fu whatsoever – that the concept and execution of the concept transcends rulesets is a definite indication of Sersa’s abilities.

Wendall Roy

December 13, 2013 at 7:32am

Terrific concept, and it’s compelled me to go out and take a look at 13th Age.

Jeff Lee

December 13, 2013 at 10:53am

Not having delved into 13th Age, I can’t speak to the mechanics of the monster. However, I love, love, LOVE the flavor of the mask wight. Great concept!

Rob Heinsoo

December 20, 2013 at 6:07pm

Wow! I love it.

I will use it some day. The story is too perfect not to.

If I use the stats exactly as written I’ll probably consider that it’s a bit tougher than most double-strength monsters.

I won’t want to use the Wail of the Forgotten exactly as written, 100 points of damage kills most PCs in that level band, and I think I’d want to make a playable version somehow. So I’d reduce the number of targets. And I think that instead of a flat amount of damage, this is the type of high-drama attack that it would be OK to roll damage for separately against each target. It’s a die roll that everyone would want to pay attention to. In other words, terrifying. Given how terrifying it is… hmmm… it could definitely be something that using successful icon relationship results could soften the amount of damage. (And then, later, the PCs who survived thanks to that form of intercession would learn that their icons had been wounded by attack instead, a different form of ongoing story damage!)

Great stuff.

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