Inspired by such stories as that of Philinnion, related by the classical writer Phlegon of Tralles, the Amorous Revenant can be used to either add a touch of dark romance to your campaign, or as the ultimate squirm-inducing monster.
A corpse returned to pursue love amongst the living
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1
HD: 3 (d8)
ATTACKS: 1 Weapon (by weapon type), or 1 Grapple & Bite (1d3+Drink Blood)
SPECIAL: Immune to Most Attacks, Undead Immunities, Glamor of Life, Drink Blood, Darkvision 60′
INT: Average – Genius (as in life)
TYPE: Undead (Unique)
Sometimes love is not extinguished by the grave. On rare occasions, men who die away from their wives, new brides who expired on their wedding nights, or those who perish with unfulfilled desires, will rise from their graves and return to their lovers, or pursue new affairs with living people. Such Amorous Revenants are alternately the subject of fearful tales and romantic ballads.
Amorous Revenants are often mistaken for Vampires. There are a number of similarities, but also important differences. First and foremost, while Amorous Revenants are usually nocturnal, they are not actually harmed in any way by sunlight. They appear to eat and drink the same food as living people, although like Vampires they actually require blood to sustain themselves. Such blood need not be human, however, and the Revenant only requires a small amount each night (about an once). Unlike Vampires, Amorous Revenants are not evil. They are motivated by a desire for love, and drink blood only incidentally to sustain themselves. Vampires, on the other hand, are condemned to a restless death and cursed with an all-consuming hunger for human blood. Amorous Revenants are no stronger or faster than human beings, nor can they change their true forms. While they can disguise themselves as living beings through an illusion, the real body of an Amorous Revenant may actually be in an advanced state of decay.
Whispered tales speak of children fathered by Amorous Revenants, or even more outrageously, of living infants born from the dead wombs of Revenant mothers.
Combat: Amorous Revenants will usually flee combat, as they have no desire to risk returning to the grave a second time. If cornered and forced to fight, the Revenant can use any weapons he or she knew how to use in life. Alternately, the Revenant will attempt to grapple opponents, thereafter automatically biting and drinking blood.
Immune to Most Attacks: Amorous Revenants can only be destroyed with blessed objects, magical weapons, fire, or lightning. No other attacks will have any damaging effect on the creatures. In particular, it is pointless to drive a wooden stake through the heart of an Amorous Revenant.
Glamor of Life: Anyone who encounters an Amorous Revenant must first save versus Illusion magic (Challenge Level 3). Failure means the person will perceive the Revenant as they were in life. The actual body of an Amorous Revenant, however, remains as rotted or mangled as it was when it first rose from the grave. An Amorous Revenant’s Glamor of Life extends to all the senses, so the creature will seem to look, feel, smell, and taste alive. Once a someone succumbs to the Revenant’s Glamor of Life, that person is thereafter unable to perceive the creature for what it is until the Revenant is actually destroyed.
Drink Blood: An Amorous Revenant who successfully grapples an opponent in combat will automatically bite and inflict 1d3 points of damage. Thereafter, the Revenant can drain blood equal to 1 point of Constitution from their victim each round, for as long as the grapple is maintained. When a victim reaches 0 Constitution they are completely drained of blood and dead. Those killed in this way do not automatically become undead. Note that Amorous Revenants do not suffer from the blood lust of Vampires, and under ordinary circumstances most will not drink the blood of their lovers. Since the creature lacks any kind of fangs, the aggressive bite of an Amorous Revenant is extremely painful and traumatic.
After spending the night at the inn with a lovely and charming woman who seems to be his perfect mate, one of the PCs tries to find her the next morning. The innkeeper is horrified when the PC describes the woman, because she is no common tavern wench. She is the innkeeper’s own daughter – who has been dead for a month. In addition, a local Demon Hunter has overheard the conversation, and decided to destroy what he sees as a foul abomination. Do the PCs protect the Amorous Revenant, or join in the hunt for her?
The seemingly-endless wars are finally over, and the PCs have been released from their military service. Before they return to their families, they have to fulfill a promise, and inform the the widow of a fallen comrade that her husband won’t be coming home. They are shocked when they come to the house and find the widow pregnant. They are even more shocked when they see their dead comrade – who they saw slain by an enemy’s sword over a year ago!
The kingdom’s greatest lover has no intention of stopping his conquests, just because he was murdered by a jealous husband last week. Everyone knows he is dead, however, so when he keeps showing up at the same parties where he used to seduce local noblewomen, the PCs are hired to put him to final rest.