Often found as guardians, these automatons usually appear as warriors com- pletely clad in plate mail. A horror is merely animated, empty armor, linked by magical forces. The process of creating a helmed horror results in silent, intelligent guardians, capable of independent reasoning.
Combat: Helmed horrors (also called shadowguards) can use all weapons allowed to fighters and employ all magical items that do not need verbal commands or contact with living flesh to function (ointments and potions, etc.). Horrors cannot cast spells or conduct magical research,
Helmed horrors are not undead or summoned creatures and cannot be turned. Horrors can see invisible creatures and objects up to 120 feet away and have infravision effective to the same range. The senses of a horror permeate its entire form; a "de-helmed" horror can fight on.
Portions of a horror's body that are separated from the main suit of armor cease to move and cannot fight. If brought back into contact with a horror, they will reattach. A horror can never collect lost pieces after a battle and hold them for reattachment, although others can. A horror heals lost hit points at the same rate as a living, resting human does by restoring linking energies and mangled armor.
Helmed horrors are able to stand through magical levitation. Thus, they can walk on air or above surfaces, or function without any legs at all. This levitation allows flight at the movement rate given in their statistics, but ijoes not allow riders. A falling horror is always protected as if by a fealher faR spell. Horrors can carry up to up to 200 Ibs. of living or nonliving matter when on foot, but only 100 Ibs. of nonliving matter if "flying".
A helmed horror is fearless and cannot be mentally controlled or influenced by magical or other means that work on the mind or senses. A horror can be contacted by means of ESP or similar spells, but it cannot be affected by illusions or enchantment/charm magics.
Any mental contact with a horror allows it to read the current surface thoughts and emotions of the being contacting it, despite any defenses. This ability has allowed horrors to anticipate treachery and attacks and always allows them to unerringly judge the sincerity of an encountered creature.
Magic missile spells cast at a horror serve to heal it of any damage by restoring its bonding energy. Excess hit points are not gained by a horror, but instead are always reflected back 100% at the caster.
Habitat/Society: Created to have iron-strong loyalty, helmed horrors are seldom self-willed wanderers. Instead, they serve as guardians long after the death of their creators or masters, tirelessly manning posts in crumbling ruins, tombs, or forgotten tunnels. Some have been known to avenge a slain creator, following orders instilled in them. Some revenant horrors have traveled across the Realms to fulfill their duty.
In some cases, however, the orders of a horror allow it autonomy in the absence of commands, or are simply silent on the subject of a horror's freedom. If not specifically commanded to cease existence at the death or behest of their creator, horrors will continue operating until destroyed.
Ecology: The process of creating helmed horrors remains secret, but is known to require a priest of at least 7th level, some assistance from a wizard, and physical, nonmagical armor of any sort.
The creator of a horror instills in it a set of orders or commands that govern its freedom, behavior, and limitations. These vary considerably from horror to horror. The orders of a specific horror cannot be changed once given. Dangerous loopholes in a horror's orders may bring its loyalty into serious jeop- ardy; instilling orders in a horror is as delicate as wording a wish spell.
Preceding its orders, a horror can be made immune to the effects of three specific spells when created (typically fireball, heat metal, and lightning bolt). These spells must be named by the creator (who need not be able to cast them or have access to them) and cannot be changed thereafter. A horrors orders can never increase its spell immunity beyond three specific magics and their equivalent magical item effects.
Horrors do not sleep, eat, or speak, and cannot feel pain. They are ideal guardians, for their loyalty is total and devoid of ambition or emotion. If commanded by a being possessing telepathy, they can communicate, and a garrison of horrors can be coordinated into a well-organized fighting band.
A few modified helmed horrors with magical powers have been encountered. These battle horrors are identical in appearance to helmed horrors, but have the following magical powers: dimension door up to 60 yards distant, once per day; blink for up to 1 turn, once per day (a horror cannot cease blinking and start again, even if it has not used a full turn); and cast magic missiie. A horror can unleash two 2-5-hp magic missiies every 3 rounds with a range of 70 yards. Battle horrors have a lawful evil alignment and a typical XP value of 4,000.
|Previous Next||Index Up|