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Corpse Candle

A pale man with hollow eyes looks up impassively from beneath the rippling surface of the dark water, a dim glow gives his form a ghostly translucence.

Corpse Candle CR 5

XP 1,600
NE Medium undead (incorporeal, water)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +13

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 16, flat-footed 13 (+3 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 52 (7d8+21)
Fort +5; Ref +4; Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits

OFFENSE

Speed fly 50 ft. (good), swim 50 ft.
Melee incorporeal touch +7 (1d6 Strength damage)
Special Attacks hypnotic lights

STATISTICS

Str —, Dex 15, Con —, Int 13, Wis 13, Cha 17
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 21
Feats Alertness, Blind-Fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative
Skills Bluff +10, Fly +16, Intimidate +13, Perception +13, Sense Motive +3, Stealth +12, Swim +8
Languages Common, Infernal

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Hypnotic Lights (Su)

The corpse candle possesses the ability to create a dancing, twisting pattern of ever-shifting lights that slowly change colors. The corpse candle can create these lights within 20 feet of itself, covering an area in a 10-foot radius spread (usually underwater). Creatures viewing the pattern within 50 feet must make a successful Will save (DC 18) or become fascinated. If the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by that corpse candle’s hypnotic lights for one day. The lights remain for as long as the corpse candle concentrates plus 1 minute. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

A fascinated victim moves toward the lights, taking the most direct route available at its normal movement rate. The creature avoids certain dangers (walking off a cliff, walking through fire, etc.) and skirts around such obstructions if possible, but it will swim towards the light if necessary, paying no heed to the need for air. If no path to the light is available, the fascination is broken. Any living creature within the area of light at the end of its turn takes 1d2 points of Constitution damage. This is a death effect.

ECOLOGY

Environment any aquatic
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Corpse candles are formed when creatures are sacrificed by ritualistic drowning to a sea or water deity. The fear of dying coupled with the hatred of the ones performing the ritual infuses the victims’ spirit with energy that often lingers in the area and empowers the corpse with unlife, raising it as a corpse candle. Corpse candles hate the living, and have a particular dislike for clerics. Corpse candles are bound to the area of their death in the sense that they cannot leave that particular body of water (be it a sea, river, lake, or ocean).

A corpse candle appears as a translucent image of its living self. Its body shows little, if any, signs of death, though as its “ages”, the corpse candle’s translucence seems to grow faint and fade (as if a light were burning out). Some sages have researched this phenomenon and believe that corpse candles can actually die of old age. Perhaps some remnant of their former lives binds them to the mortal world or perhaps sages are just reaching for answers to some unknown equation.

Corpse candles detest the living and seek to lure wayfarers to their doom using trickery and misdirection. Corpse candles use their ability of deception to lure unsuspecting victims to their doom. When a corpse candle successfully fascinates a creature, it waits until the creature draws near and then attacks relentlessly with its incorporeal claws.

Corpse candles are particularly fond of luring sailors, swimmers, and other seafarers to their watery graves by first fascinating them, draining sapping them of their strength, and finally allowing them to drown as the lights sap their vitality. Drowned victims are left as food for any aquatic carnivores in the area.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Corpse Candle from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene.