Baneguards are skeletons, usually but not always human, animated by clerical spells to serve as guardian creatures. The create baneguard spell was originally researched by priests of Bane, but in the years since the demise of that deity the secret of the spell has been spread throughout the Realms, such that many other evil (and not so evil) deities allow their priests to use it.
Usually found as guardians, baneguards are identical in appearance to normal skeletons, but have additional deadly powers which they reveal once they are in combat.
Combat: All baneguards are silent but intelligent, wholly evil servants, capable of independent, reasoned, malevolent behavior. A baneguard can blink (as in the 3rd-level wizard spell) once every turn. This effect lasts for up to four rounds and must be continuous. It cannot be stopped and then resumed; once ended, a full turn must pass before the baneguard can blink again.
Baneguards can also cast one magic missile spell every three rounds. Each spell creates two missiles causing 2-5 points of damage, which come into being from a baneguard's bony fingertips (or what is left of any extremity, if the fingers are missing), and can be directed at separate targets up to 70 yards away.
Baneguards can use all normal weapons, inflicting normal weapon damage rather than a straight 1-6 points damage. Most are armed with swords or maces. Baneguards can employ all magical items that do not require verbal commands, living flesh or organs (for example, ointments and potions), and the like.
Baneguards suffer damage from edged weapons, fire, spells, and holy water as normal skeletons do. They may break off combat if their orders permit. Baneguards are turned as wights.
Habitat/Society: As baneguards are created, they have no societal organization. They go where commanded, and do as commanded. They are used primarily by evil faiths as guardians, but neutrally aligned faiths with a ready supply of skeletal remains use baneguards as well, particularly those who venerate gods of death.
Ecology: Baneguards eat nothing. They do not contribute to the natural ecosystem in any way. As manufactured creatures, they can- not be said to have a natural habitat. They are guardian creatures, and are found wherever they have been placed by their creators.
Some baneguards appear to be wearing black, shadowy armor, which is semitransparent so that their bones show through, and red flames burn in their eye sockets. These direguards are AC 6, and can see invisible objects and creatures. Direguards are used by the clergy of Cyric, and are turned as wraiths. The create direguard spell is as the create baneguard, but is 7th level and guarded jealously by the clergy of Cyric. Direguards have an XP value of 1,200 each.
6th-level Priest Spell
The casting of this spell transforms an inanimate skeleton of size M or smaller into a baneguard, gifted with a degree of malicious intelligence. Only one baneguard may be created at a time using this spell. The baneguard is capable of using its abilities the round following creation, and needs no special commands to attack. The material components of this spell are the holy symbol of the priest and at least 20 drops of the blood of any sort of true dragon.
The create direguard spell is similar, save that it is a 7th-level spell and has a casting time of 1 round.
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