Corpse Candle

AUTHOR: Erica Balsley (Camdin)

ISSUE: 1:14



BRG 12 (+3)*


PER 8 (-1)*

STR n/a

VIT 10 (+2)

WIT 6 (+0)




WILL +3*

WIS +3



















Special Abilities

Drain Vitality, Extraordinary Sense (Sense the Living), Holding, Immobility, Incorporeal, Spirit-Light, Lure (the Living), Undead Stamina


Intimidate (Fear) +4, Observe (Sense the Living) +8, Unarmed Combat (Touch) +4


TN Equivalent




Corpse candles are eerie, glowing orbs that appear to be floating just under the water's surface in some swamps and marshes.  One should take heed not to look too closely, for beneath the lights can be seen the vague faces of rotting corpses from long ago.  The light of a corpse candle has a luring effect on those that see them, causing many an unwary traveler to become lost or drown.  Those unfortunate souls lost to a corpse candle become one of the foul creatures and light a candle of their own.


A corpse candle attacks by luring a living victim into a deep pool and draining its Vitality.  Often, victims paralyzed by the corpse candle's Holding ability drown before the creature can drain them completely.



Unique Special Abilities

Holding: Living creatures that fall to the Lure of a corpse candle are held as if by the Holding-Spell.  They are paralyzed with fear and dread, and may drown in the stagnant water.


Spirit-Light:  When it detects living prey, a corpse candle generates a soft, eerie glow with the approximate brightness of a candle. The spirit-light is the basis of the corpse candle's Lure ability; a potential victim that cannot see this light cannot be affected by the Lure.



Corpse candles have their beginning in the decisive battle of the War of the Last Alliance.  The alliance of Elves and Men, led by Elendil and Gil-galad, assailed Mordor in an effort to rid Middle-Earth of Sauron.  The battle was one of the greatest ever before witnessed in the land, and the sounds of war rang long and loud over the dusty plain.  Eventually, Sauron fled back to Barad-Dr where the Last Alliance besieged him for 7 years.


The open plain upon which the battle was waged was thenceforth known as Dagorlad, the Battle Plain.  Thousands of Elves, Men, and Orcs were buried there.  Eventually, their graves were inundated and befouled by the waters of a fetid swamp.  Now known as the Dead Marshes, this swampland is an eerie expanse of stinking fens, stagnant water, and rushes.  Nothing pure lives there, only snakes and worms and fouler things.  The spirits of those that fell in the battle linger still as corpse candles.




Corpse candles exist only in swamps that were places of great strife and death.  They lurk under the water's surface, waiting for living creatures to pass by.  When they find prey, they rise to the surface in a jealous attempt to snuff out its life and breath.




Corpse candles have no real society, and they only congregate together because they were buried together.  Depending on the size of the battle that causes their death, there may be dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of them in a single marsh.




An assault by corpse candles lends an eerie touch to a journey through marshlands.  Since the formation of these mournful undead creatures depends on great strife, the history of the swamp in which they dwell can play a role in your chronicle.  A TN 10 Lore: Realm (appropriate region) test provides some insight into the history of the place, and might even attach some ancient names to some more powerful corpse candles.