Thursday, April 26, 2012

From Hell's Legions: Mammon's Knights

 Silas crumpled the note and threw it in the fireplace.  Three weeks ago he had found a note on his horse's saddle promising a great sum of gold when a village elder died.  The elder had contracted the plague some weeks ago, and passed shortly after Silas had received the note.  The next morning his saddle bags were full of gold.

Silas had paid down some of his debts, and spent some on repairs to his family manor,  and the next day he received another note.  When one of his second cousins died he would receive another great sum.  His cousin was at war with the Northern Tribes, and news came in several days later of his cousin's death.  Once again, his saddle bags were full of gold.  Further repairs were costing him an arm and a leg from those price fixing artisans in town, and he took out an additional lone to improve his manor, buy a new horse and have a small celebration.  The next morning he found another note, when his friend Bartan passed he would receive an even more enormous sum of wealth.   But several weeks had passed,  Bartan was chipper and happy.  Healthy as an ox.  

'Bartan' Silas hissed.   He lay there asleep from too much wine on the couch.  'Drinking my wine, sleeping upon my couch...' Silas scowled as he thought on the ingratitude he suffered at the hands of this Bartan. 'And you feel this is owed to you don't you? Because you saved my life once so many years ago? Because you gave me wealth a few times to pay debts...' Silas felt his belly fill with a self righteous hate and he knew what he would do.  'Well then you shall help me pay off one more debt' 

The Knights of Mammon are the souls of the damned, brought low by pure greed. Each one is a trained warrior,  increasing in level as they ply their evil on the realms of the living.

A Knight of Mammon will take the form of a silver skeleton wielding a finely made weapon.  As they gain experience and levels,  their form will become more ostentatious.  Their teeth will become gold,  giant rubies will adorn their eyes.  Their weapon will be plated in  the finest silvers, adorned with pearls.  Suits of golden mail,   gem studded helms and shields.  This is not their true power however.

When a Knight of Mammon haunts an area, the nearby townsfolk will be overcome with feelings of greed.   Prices of goods will double,  prices offered will halve.  People will become miserly and selfish.  What is more,  the Knight will sneak about in the witching hour,  attempting to coerce the vulnerable into greater depravity through greed.

When the Knight has found an exemplar of greed,  they will slay them with their blade.  The flesh will quickly rot off the individual, puddling into golden blobs that in turn form into coins bearing the mark of Mammon.  The skeleton will turn to silver under the next full moon, and the damned soul will rise as a new Knight of Mammon. As most PC's are motivated strongly by greed,  most of those slain by a Knight of Mammon will suffer the same fate (unless they are fleeing when slain, in which case they still value their life more than wealth).

Should a knight be slain,  his body and equipment is worth 1 gold coin per point of experience the knight has earned,  plus 100 gold for their skeleton (if melted) and sword as a base.  However,  this treasure will slowly seek to escape from the players as soon as they aren't looking.  A gem falling out of a sword here, a coin rolling out of a pouch there..   Slowly but surely the knight will reform.

The only way to slay the knight permanently is to smelt the weapon and all treasure on holy ground and cast bless upon it.  Few take this option, as the weapon will count as a +1 weapon for every 2 levels of the knight (or part thereof).  Few are willing to destroy such a powerful weapon alongside such vast wealth.

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