Six infamous outriders in the service of King Lucan and Emperor Nicoforus the Pale.
The following serves as a grim dossier, detailing six unique non-player characters (NPCs) who prowl the shadow-haunted realms of Midgard’s Blood Kingdom. These villainous outriders are united by their allegiance to a sinister mercenary company known as the Band of the Twice Damned, a cruel and cunning cadre of elite vampire spawn and other denizens of the night led by the undead warrior Vilém Erzov.
If you’re a stranger to the Midgard setting, the Band of the Twice Damned can find a home in your own game world with the slightest modicum of effort. Rest assured, these horrific, headstrong characters belong anywhere they roam.
Scaling Encounters with the Twice Damned
The characters and creatures that comprise the ranks of the Band of the Twice Damned feature challenge ratings between 2 and 6, so gamemasters (GMs) should find them readily accessible for encounters throughout low- to mid-level campaigns. But that doesn’t mean the Twice Damned can’t give higher-level characters a run for their money as well.
You may find it somewhat difficult to scale these NPCs to 1st-level encounters without sacrificing many of the traits and abilities that make them unique, but you should run into very little trouble in your attempts to scale them upward for higher-level adventures. A few extra hit dice, a handful of minions, and a couple of interesting magic items can go a long way when it comes to balancing your encounters.
Below are the members of the Band of the Twice Damned…
Žravika, the Mangler
Medium undead (vampire spawn), chaotic evil
A tangled mane of black hair obscures the feminine face of this imposing vampire spawn. A feral ferocity is evident in the bloodstains on her shredded garments and by her curious blood-soaked arsenal: a chain that dangles menacingly at her side, its far end fused to a rusty hunting trap. She lurches forward with a hiss, dragging the hefty iron trap along the ground before winding up the chain for a toss.
Hook and Pull. Žravika utilizes a crude and brutal arsenal to capture and savage her victims, including her supernaturally gifted claws and fangs as well as a bear trap hooked to a 20-foot chain. She almost prefers to snare her victims with the trap instead of her bare hands if only for the distress it seeps into their doomed and frantic souls. As Žravika is fond of saying, “Terror makes the blood taste sweet.”
Unholy Hunger. Žravika is nicknamed “the Mangler” by her allies because of the blood frenzy that drives her chaotic style of combat. It is a rare circumstance that a victim of Žravika’s is left whole enough to re-animate, and she is quite often drenched in blood after feeding. This untamed approach to battle is an effective one however—that is, when Žravika’s ruthless appetites don’t spook the quarry or needlessly hurry the chase.
Undead Nature. Žravika doesn’t require air.
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 110 (12d8 + 56)
Speed 30 ft.
|18 (+4)||16 (+3)||18 (+4)||11(+0)||10 (+0)||12 (+1)|
Saving Throws Dex +6, Wis +3
Skills Perception +3, Stealth + 6
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Darakhul
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
Blood Frenzy. Žravika has advantage on melee attack rolls against any creature that doesn’t have all its hit points.
Regeneration. Žravika regains 10 hit points at the start of her turn if she has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight or running water. If she takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of her next turn.
Spider Climb. Žravika can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Vampire Weaknesses. Žravika has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. She can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. She takes 20 acid damage when she ends her turn in running water.
Stake to the Heart. She is destroyed if a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into her heart while she it is incapacitated in her resting place.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. She takes 20 radiant damage when she starts her turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, she has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
Multiattack. Žravika makes two melee attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature or a creature that is grappled by Žravika, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and Žravika regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) slashing damage. Instead of dealing damage, Žravika can grapple the target (escape DC 14).
Bear Trap Bola. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) piercing damage plus the target is grappled (escape DC 13).
Žravika’s Personality Traits
Ideal. “The greatest pleasures are derived from inflicting pain.”
Bond. “I thirst for the glory of the master.”
Flaw. “All living creatures are cattle and should be treated as such.”
Encounters with the Band of the Twice Damned
Whether presented as allies or enemies, there are many ways characters could come into contact with Vilém Erzov’s Band of the Twice Damned. Here are a few scenarios (both within and outside the Blood Kingdom) that could draw the party into a conflict or confrontation:
- The characters are soldiers in King Lucan’s army, training among the lower ranks of the Ghost Knights of Morgau. As part of their training, Commander Baleneus of Cantri Abbey has ordered the party to meet up with the Band of the Twice Damned outside of Heiderbirg. Here, they will collectively plan an assault against several barbarian tribes of the Wolfmark that have risen up against their vampiric invaders. Once the uprising has been adequately stamped out, the characters are promoted in rank by Commander Baleneus who stations them near Cantri Abbey for a new campaign alongside the Red Sisters.
- A wealthy merchant from the Free City of Jozht hires the characters to disprove a despicable rumor: that his offspring—a brash cleric of Thor named Magni Magnason—has not only fallen in battle against the dread armies of King Lucan but has been re-animated to serve their abyssal ranks in damnable perpetuity. With the name and last known location of the Band of the Twice Damned as his only leads, the elder Magnason offers the party a handsome fee to find his boy and either bring him home or put him out of his undead misery.
- The characters are all residents of a Blood Kingdom border town (such as Skogarholm, Lingenau, or the Obertal Freehold) that is sacked by the Band of the Twice Damned and allied soldiers in Lucan’s army. Instead of slaughter, the party members face a life of servitude to the Twice Damned. How they survive is entirely up to them…
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