We attended the funeral of the late Wynn of Fywich, the poor hunter that met with a grisly fate at the hands of Benjamin the Amarok. Most of the village turned out, though the village’s priest was away on an inquisition. I was excited to see a funeral without an oppressive speech from the church but it so happens that an acolyte of Vulcan was passing through town on a pilgrimage and agreed to conduct a sermon.
Wynn’s family had asked for him to be cremated, which suited the follower of the fire god fine. He opened to a page in the weighty tome he brought with him and recited a long speech in classical. The crowd was moved and Bradley had tears streaming from his eyes. Apparently I was the only one there with a classical education. What the ignorant priest had actually read was a rousing war speech. He even ended the sermon with the classical version of “May their souls ever burn in the fires of hell.
I stood with a mixture of amusement and indignant rage which was quickly replaced by shock as the funeral pyre began to move. The fire blazed unnaturally high and the corpse lifted into the air on a tongue of flame. The logs used to build the fire surrounded it, taking the shape of a giant burning effigy. The corpse opened its mouth and the sound that came out was not unlike the bellow of a mammoth I once saw in a travelling circus.
The beast moved with surprising speed and grabbed the priest. He screamed while in its grasp and ignited, quickly burning away to ashes and scattered in the wind. The crowd surged away from the funeral pyre, trampling each other to escape. I became aware of a figure moving against the crowd, towards the towering fire creature. Red light glinted of his plate armour as he strode through the crowd. He carried a heavy falchion with one hand and a large scutum in the other.
The man deftly hid behind his shield as the beast vomited forth a cone of red fire. As interested as I was to see the combat, I decided it would be prudent to escape from the line of fire of the monster. I dragged Bradley behind a building. After a short burst of violent noise, the surroundings went quiet. I leaned out from my cover to see the somewhat blackened warrior standing in a pile of burnt logs. He seemed to be searching for loot.
The man was obviously a seasoned adventurer as I am, so I decided to introduce myself. He named himself as Thorodr of Arancliffe. Though he was short of stature, he seemed to possess great strength and skill with a blade. He told me that he was travelling to the capitol to sell a pile of treasures he had acquired and I, realising that my comrade and I might have overstayed our welcome in Fywich, agreed to accompany him.
This creature is created when a character or priest critically fails at giving a sermon or speech at a cremation. It looks like a towering burning effigy, wreathed in unnatural red flame. The corpse from the pyre sits at the centre, screaming in a loud bellow, and is the creature’s only weak point. The creature attacks by either vomiting fire at opponents or grabbing them and letting them burn to death.
Burning Claws (10 Fire Damage, cannot Parry, opponents hit have a 25% chance of lighting on fire)
Grapple: 20 bonus to Dexterity and Strength Checks to initiate and maintain Grapples.
Burning Hands: If an opponent is grappled by the creature they will automatically light on fire and take a fire damage hit based on the creatures Intellect every turn while the grapple is maintained.
Flamethrower: Once per turn the creature may vomit forth flame in a short ranged cone as the Pyromancy spell Flamethrower. Targets may take a dodge check or a parry check if they are wielding a shield, at -10 penalty, for half damage.
Fire Armour: The creature has 20 points of armour on all locations, except for the chest, and is immune to fire damage. Any opponents making melee attacks against the creature have a 25% chance of lighting on fire.
Regenerate: While the creature is above 0 Wounds, it may regenerate an amount of wounds equal to the degrees of success on a toughness check with a 10 bonus. Opponents may stop the regeneration by dousing the wound with water or by dealing cold damage to its location.