Friday, November 30, 2012

HMS APOLLYON - Plague Sénéchal (More Boiler Mail)

Plagued Armor
April 21, Year of the Feathers, 44 days after the beginning of the retreat.

The Marine line was thin and weary, stretching across the forty foot companionway, with only ten marines worthy of being called active. Seven walking wounded made up the rear line, and only Hereditary Corporal Penthurst wore powered armor, his shrapnel cannon the unit's only fire support.  That they would hold anchoring the sixty odd civilian militia behind them, was the best chance of stopping the advance of plague King Macheath and his legions of the steerage dead.  Penthurst also had a squad of frogling hunters in reserve, worthless in his estimation, led by one of their witch doctors - a grey hunched thing in robes who lorded her authority over the rest of her people with obscure croaking threats.  As pitiful as these forces were they were all that remained  between the overrun factory decks and the desperate efforts of the Steward's second corps to create a defensible bulwark sternward.

It was only a matter of time before the dead came, ranks upon ranks of naked skirmish wights, their forearms replaced by crude axes and armor piercing spikes, spearheaded by a cohort of huge bone draugr.  Over the mass floated several spectral banshee, their attractive ethereal forms dragging behind them  broken masses of rotten flesh by a ghostly cord.

Waiting for the battle to start with the of the banshees' flesh rotting screams and the silent charge of the undead foot soldiers, humanity's soldiers grew silent themselves.  From the back of the undead mass came a deep voice, shouting "Comrades, heroes, it is sad that I must mark your ends today - send forth the Steward and the Passenger among you, then let my men pass and you may live a few more years before you inevitably join me." 

Confused Penthurst shouted encouragement to his men but did not give the firing order.  From the enemy lines, amongst the draugr, a figure stepped, standing almost eight feet tall in a suit marine boiler mail - corroded, battered splattered with gore and sieved with bullet holes, but still obviously recognizable as one of the Vengence Armors last forged three hundred years before.  The gilded name plate was still visible as the thing approached, with its skeletal face grinning at the marine lines, and Penthurst hissed as he recognized the family crest on the revenant's brassard was his own.  The thing did not miss the irony, and it saluted with a marine saber, the ancient white cermitite of the Penthurst family blade now dripping with foul ichors. 

"Penthurst, a historical name amongst out people, yes descendant? Shall we show your men how our family dies?" The dead man beckoned the marine with mocking words and Penthurst had no choice but to step forward and meet it, setting his cannon aside and drawing the magically infused steel copy of the revenant's own weapon and charging forward to meet his death. The battle was short, and as Penthurst felt the cermitite blade slide through his lung, he heard the militia behind him panic and begin to flee.  The marines he knew would fall at their posts.

(It should be noted that the Frogling wangatuer Belo Kruuk was able to drive off Plague Sénéchal Penthurst and destroy most of his force by releasing several trapped and enraged elementals from her six-demon bag. Unfortunately for Kruuk the elementals turned on her after the dead were routed and killed her as well as the majority of her escort.  The battle's survivors included four marines, twelve frogling spearmen and sixty four citizen militia.

Plague Sénéchal
The exact statistics of each Plague Sénéchal differ, but these great warrior captains of the steerage dead are universally dangerous and equipped with the best weapons and armor available in the armories of the ash plague.  The original mechanisms of the armor are largely replaced by the workings of dark magic and enhanced with bound ghosts, but the effect is the same - terrible survivability and the ability to lay waste to less well armored foes.

The armor worn by each Sénéchal may differ in appearance, but generally has basically the same profile.  The weaponry and magic available to Plague Sénéchals is dire, not standard boiler mail equipment, but whatever danger these suits represent in melee they are far deadlier as protection for these peerless leaders of undead troops and necromancers.

Plague Sénéchal Armor "Ghost Armor" - Medium 3rd Generation Boilermail (corrupted)
Armor Class -1
Damage Reduction
(Dex Mod N/A)
-3 All damage
Strength 19 ( +4 Melee to Hit and Damage)
Initiative -3
Move: 20'
Value: 15,000 GP for parts and technological research – more to necromancer
Reliability: 0
Dimensions: Variable, Average 7.5' Tall, 4' Wide 3' Deep
Weight: 4,500lbs
Other Disadvantages: Cannot swim (though have no need of oxygen), spirits in armor may be turned as Ghosts and for each turned armor gains a reliability point. Cannot surprise enemy even when still due to miasma of death.
Sample Loadout: Corrupted Saber – 1D8 + 3 + paralytic poison (+3 hit), Screaming Flail – 1D12 + causes fear, strikes at all enemies in melee with user).

It should be noted that the actual reliability of Plague Sénéchal Armor is higher as none of the undead using these suits is less than a master in powered armor use. Also any living individual wearing ghost armor will find it non-functional - if they are not killed (Save vs. Death upon donning) by the spirits that live within it.

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