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A study completed by Raman Nabonidus, Sage and 1st Engineer of the Princess Ark:

“As many people correctly believe, a living being is made of two basic elements, material and immaterial - body and soul. The body results from the interaction of forces pertaining to the Spheres of Matter and Time. Matter makes up the body, while Time regulates its natural life. “The soul requires elements pertaining to the Sphere of Thought and Energy. Thought allows the soul to be sentient, while Energy allows to it exist. It is the soul that animates and governs the body when both are joined. Without it, the body soon perishes.

“A fifth element exists, one that initially binds soul to body. This element pertains to the Sphere of Entropy. It is strong at birth, then weakens as years pass. If natural death occurs, that bond withers, allowing the soul to leave the body. Otherwise, the remaining entropic force is released in the Prime plane or wherever the body was at the time of death. This force is one that creatures of Entropy feed upon. . . .”

 

Limbo

At the time of death, a soul is immediately transported to Limbo, a very remote outer plane. It is a dark and mysterious place that no living being but Immortals (or Exalted Immortal servitors) may enter. There, the soul may seek eternal rest or struggle to return to its body, thinking it still has unfinished business. Chaos is the dominant element in Limbo. It affects many things, from the physical laws to the passing of time. Time in Limbo runs differently than in the Prime plane. The first day a soul “lives” in Limbo lasts only an hour in the Prime plane. The second consecutive day in Limbo lasts two hours in the Prime plane, the third consecutive day three, and so forth. At this rate, an uninterrupted year in Limbo would be a little over seven years in the Prime plane, and a decade there would last seven centuries on the Prime plane! When a soul manages to leave and then return to Limbo, the passage of time resets itself, so a day there is equal to an hour in the Prime plane. Time in Limbo can always be measured with a sundial despite the lack of any sun. Natural sundials exist in Limbo’s wilderness. The mark of the sun on the dial actually glows no matter how the sundial is held. Sigils on sundials mark the passing of weeks, months, and years. Magical hourglasses may also mark the corresponding time in the native plane of the entity consulting it. The passing of time in Limbo explains why two creatures who entered that plane at different times will not be able to exit it and reappear in the Prime plane at the same time. For example, two warriors die during a battle. The first warrior dies at dawn, the other at noon (six hours later). Both meet in Limbo. This means the first warrior has already spent three full days there (three days in Limbo equal six hours in the Prime plane). Together they manage to find a gate back to the Prime plane after another four days in Limbo. By then, the first warrior has spent seven days in Limbo, and the other only four. If both enter the gate simultaneously, the first warrior appears 28 hours after his death (at 10 A.M. the day after his death), and the second warrior appears 10 hours after his death (at 10 P.M. on the day of his death). If they met again in the Prime plane and both reentered the gate to Limbo at the same time, time in Limbo would affect both in the same way from this point on.

As long as a soul remains in Limbo, it appears, feels, and thinks like its living counterpart, though it neither ages nor requires food or water. It possesses all items the character carried or wore at the time of his death, complete with magical abilities. The soul and its equipment are only “reflections” of what they once were. Magical-item reflections function only in Limbo, being powerless in the Prime and other planes. Should the next living owner of the deceased character’s magical items die in the Prime plane, the old reflections of these item would dissipate and reappear in the possession of the last owner’s soul when it reaches Limbo. Exception: Artifacts have no reflection in Limbo. A soul in Limbo senses when its former possessions, such as weapons, tools, clothes, and so on, are being used on the Prime plane. It also knows if they are being used in a way the soul would approve of. The physical objects and their reflections in Limbo are closely linked. The older the object or the stronger its magic, the greater the bond. An intelligent sword could even communicate with its owner on the Prime plane and its previous owner’s soul in Limbo. Think again before stealing a sword from an ancient tomb; one never knows to whom it once belonged, and the owner’s soul might come back from Limbo and haunt the grave robber until the sword is finally returned to the tomb.

Most spells may be cast normally, except for traveling spells used in an attempt to leave Limbo. A teleport spell used to move from one region of Limbo to another will function. Teleport, travel, word of recall, or wish spells used in an attempt to exit Limbo will fail. The only way to leave Limbo is through adventuring. Likewise, all healing spells and all spells related to life, death, or souls (e.g., raise dead, speak to the dead, animate dead, magic jar, or a wish used in any way affecting death) cannot be cast from inside Limbo. Entering or leaving Limbo heals any damage done to the soul. To a soul, the environment in Limbo looks and feels as if it were a tangible reality. For D&D game purposes, the soul is played exactly like the live character was, with armor class, hit points, movement, and so forth. Of course, a soul that just arrived in Limbo doesn’t immediately believe it is “dead.” The soul needs time to come to that conclusion.

Limbo may take different aspects, depending on the character and his cultural background. For example, a character from Ochalea may see Limbo as a shadowy Oriental garden with pagodas, while a character from the Northern Reaches could see it as giant glaciers battered by dark, thunderous storms. For those without such beliefs, Limbo is likely to look like dirt paths winding through jagged rocks. The sky ranges from a dim, gray twilight to total darkness. Eerie algae and veils of Spanish mosses seem to stretch forever from the ground up into the starless sky. Even though the ethereal plants sway slowly as if in some imaginary breeze, a sound like a howling wind can be faintly heard far away in the darkness. Occasionally, a screech or the rumble of falling rocks echoes in the distance. Limbo is a cold, dismal place, with grays and blacks dominating throughout. If one flew “upward” alongside the algae, he would discover that their other end is rooted in a land that is the mirror image of the one he just left, as if Limbo were a giant sphere. If one could dig into the ground, he would reappear on another surface in all ways identical to the one he just left. These places are all infinite extensions of the same world, like interlocking Mobius strips. Like the Prime plane, Limbo is not a finite universe; this is due to the predominance of Chaos in Limbo.

Many creatures populate Limbo, ranging from the lost souls of otherworldly beings to creatures of Entropy and predators unique to Limbo. These latter seek to destroy lost souls, for they feed on elements related to the Spheres of Thought. These entropic entities represent ultimate oblivion for those who fall before them. They usually remain in Limbo, since other planes are deadly to them. Only the more powerful ones dare linger in the Prime plane, often in an attempt to stalk prey that escaped them. The more powerful the prey, the more it will attract these denizens’ hunger. Other beings haunt Limbo as well, including Immortals on a quest or fiends with some dark scheme in mind.

 

Seeking eternal rest

The souls of nonplayer characters entering Limbo will seek eternal rest in most cases, at the DM’s discretion. If not, skip to the next section, “Returning home.” If the character chose an Immortal Patron to guide him during his previous life and he has been faithful to his philosophy, his soul will find a gate leading tothe plane of hImmortal Patron. The time spent in Limbo, ranging from a few minutes to several decades, depends on how faithful that character was. The stay in Limbo is meant as a period of atonement. On the Immortal Patron’s plane, the soul becomes a servant of the Immortal and cannot be called back to the Prime plane (by a cleric casting a raise dead spell, for example) without the Immortal Patron’s will. All memory of the Immortals plane is wiped out permanently if this is achieved. No mortal magic can restore memory lost that way. If the character had adopted an Immortal Patron’s philosophy but betrayed it later, that character’s soul will not ever be allowed into the Immortal’s plane, and it is condemned to remain forever in Limbo. Sooner or later, the lost soul will fall prey to entities of darkness that wander the paths of Limbo. Truly evil souls could fall before the forces of Entropy there and join their side, but they are more likely to become Entropy’s prey or the hapless pawn of some grand, evil plot. A chaotic soul trapped in Limbo may become a Minion of Chaos. It must first become familiar with the peculiarities of Limbo (subtract the character’s or monster’s level from 40; the result indicates the number of local days a soul needs to “survive” in Limbo to gain this knowledge). If it defeats a Minion of Chaos of the same number of hit dice or better (minimum 10 HD), a Chaotic soul then becomes a Minion itself, the very predator it learned to fear in Limbo. If the character never adopted any philosophy at all, his soul must go on a quest to find the gate that leads to eternal rest on planes where free souls may reside. These are the entities that mend the fabric of the universe in the Prime or Outer Planes, allow the celestial clock to work, enable the eternal cycle of creation to go on, and maintain the balance between the powers of the spheres.

Simple prayers from those still alive can help a soul lost in Limbo. To someone in Limbo, prayers sound like faint calls from friends. If the prayers are uttered with enough faith, they can lead a soul in the right direction, toward a gate it seeks or away from danger. Many clerics know prayers for the dead, which are particularly effective when said by mourning friends gathered at the side of the deceased or at his grave. Depending on the mourners’ background, candles, incense, chimes, songs, Ochalean firecrackers, the toll of a bell, or the sacrifice of gifts, are used to ward off evil spirits (equivalent to a protection from evil spell in Limbo) and help the prayers reach the soul beyond. The most effective prayers for the dead were written many centuries ago by the ancient Nithians; these are still in use in the Hollow World. Other spells cast in the Prime plane can affect lost souls, like speak with the dead. To a soul in Limbo, the spell induces a trance that allows the soul to respond to questions (no save). The soul is totally vulnerable during that time and cannot break the trance until it has responded to the cleric’s three questions.

 

Returning home

For a soul to desire its return to the Prime plane, there should be some unbearable need or feeling of distress such that the soul would be ready to risk losing eternal rest in order accomplish a great deed. An epic struggle against evil, a loved one in dire need of help, and revenge for some terrible crime are examples of legitimate reasons to go to the Prime plane. When confronted with a character’s death and entry into Limbo, players will almost always attempt to bring their characters back to life, regardless of the legitimacy of their reasons. Let them. If a player is being frivolous, make his character’s path to the Prime plane dangerous and unforgiving. The path to the Prime plane can be a long and difficult one. In the case of a character with a noble quest, some help could be made available in the persons of benevolent entities guiding the lost soul toward a gate. The wandering soul must face many dangers that could destroy it forever. Creatures of darkness dwelling in Limbo prey upon these lost souls. Gates are well hidden. Malevolent beings also know that lost souls seek these gates to return to their world, and therefore will haunt these places. The more powerful ones, fiends or their Minions in particular, will attempt to fool a lost soul into believing they are trying to help. Instead, they will guide the soul to the wrong gate, one that leads to their plane. There the soul will be devoured or imprisoned by creatures of Entropy.

If the soul succeeds in reaching the Prime plane, it will enter at the spot where its body was killed. The soul is invisible totally immaterial, and incapable of affecting anything physically or magically in the Prime plane. No one can see it or hear it. The soul must find its body by wandering the region and listening to people. If it finds its body, the soul may immediately enter it and attempt to reanimate it, provided the body is in reasonably good condition. Make a Constitution Check based on the character’s original score. If it succeeds, the body is revived. For example, a warrior dies from a stab in the heart, and his soul leaves the body and later returns. Everyone thought the fighter was quite dead (he was), only to discover that the deadly blade just grazed the fighter’s heart. He “miraculously” awakes, very weak and in pain but alive. If the body decayed beyond any possible recovery, was damaged to a point it couldn’t conceivably live, or was already disposed of (cremated, buried deep in the ground, etc.), then the soul is in danger of becoming a ghost. Make a Wisdom Check based on the original character’s score. If it succeeds, the soul immediately returns to Limbo. If not, it becomes a ghost trapped in the Prime plane (see the description of the ghost in the Rules Cyclopedia, page 182).

Souls may be recalled to the Prime plane by powerful clerics. To a soul in Limbo, a raise dead spell would produce a great ball of blinding light. The spell in effect creates a magical gate for the soul. It leads it directly to its body, at the time the cleric casts the spell. If it does not desire to return to the Prime plane, the soul must pass a Wisdom Check to resist the call. Sometimes entropic entities will imprison a newly arrived soul, hoping for an unsuspecting cleric to cast such a spell. The entity will enter the gate and take possession of the resurrected body. At other times, a Minion of Chaos might sneak into the gate after the soul. Creatures of Limbo can be jealous of and spiteful toward those who escape Limbo. Clerics should always take heed when summoning a soul back from beyond, for there very well might also be a furtive shadow lurking somewhere near, waiting for its time.

 

Cities of the dead

Invariably, there are places in Limbo that can be called cities. They offer a neutral ground where souls, followers of Entropy, and creatures of Chaos may meet and dwell without fear of each other. It is rumored that these places are under the protection and law of Immortal Patrons. As long as one remains in such havens, no harm may befall him without his own consent. To say the place is absolutely safe would be far from the truth, however; the only acceptable “currency” there is one’s precious lifeforce. Many reasons exist for why a being might want to part with some of its lifeforce; this is usually done for services or information. A Minion of Chaos may bestow upon a weak soul some of its lifeforce in order to obtain its services for a time. A lost soul may accept the loss of some lifeforce in order to gain valuable information on the location of a magical gate. Another might want to pay a rent to “open shop” and sell goods (remember, there is no way to tell how long the reflection of an object will last in Limbo). A fiend may “loan” lifeforce to another entity, at an interest, but the fiend might let the contract run past its deadline and claim its dues back when one is not in any shape to repay. Many souls became the victims of an unscrupulous fiend, either meeting their final doom or becoming followers of Entropy just to survive. Cities crawl with such unsavory creatures. The trading of lifeforce is vital in Limbo because it often is the only way to cure damage to souls. A soul on a quest to find a gate might sustain great damage in a battle against a creature of Chaos, and thus would want to seek employment in order to cure its wounds. The reflection of money and precious items has little value in Limbo. These are viewed as mere trinkets and baubles. Lifeforce can be transferred upon contact. For simplicity, lifeforce is measured in hit points. The recipient cannot receive more lifeforce than its normal hit-point total. Lifeforce can be stored in vials and used at a later time like a magical potion. One may refuse to return borrowed lifeforce, but then the protection of the city no longer applies to the delinquent, and his creditor is entitled to take any action it sees fit.

 

Denizens of Limbo

As mentioned earlier, myriad entities populate Limbo besides the souls of the dead. Because of the preponderance of Chaos there, the “law” of the strongest is the only one that applies. Among the more powerful entities are fiends and their rivals, the Masters of Chaos. Fiends, or Lords of Entropy, are not native to Limbo but consider that plane their hunting grounds. Masters of Chaos are souls that remained in Limbo and rose to power there. Every Minion of Chaos remembers vividly its very first encounter with a fiend or its servants when it first entered Limbo as a lost soul. For this, Minions of Chaos abhor fiends and all other entities of Entropy, especially undead in the service of Entropy. Undead are abominations that should not normally exist, except that sometimes intense emotions or evil magic interfere with order in the Prime plane. Some undead maintain links with Limbo. Sentient undead with physical forms (ghouls, wights, mummies, liches) often require souls to be called back to the Prime plane from Limbo and be bound to their corpses. Souls that make it past a gate to eternal rest cannot be called back for the purpose of creating undead. Sentient undead whose souls are capable of traveling Limbo retain their ability to control other undead souls in Limbo, just like on the Prime plane. Undead without physical forms (wraiths, spectres, haunts, spirits, etc) are perversions of their original souls. This happens in the cases of great sorrow or ultimate evil. Some souls trapped in Limbo for a very long time may turn into these beings and return to the Prime plane many years after their actual deaths. Most undead have a goal that will allow them to earn eternal rest, sometimes good (ghosts), sometimes evil (spectres). Others hope to break the curse that created them (mummies). Most evil undead are content with spreading evil and sorrow around them (wraiths, nightshades) in revenge for their fate. Others have become insane in their quest for power and knowledge (liches), or in their painful, unbearable hunger for live flesh (ghouls, wights, vampires). Note that in order for an evil soul to become any of the undead in the following section, the late character must have had at least the same number of HD as the chosen undead form.

Skeletons, zombies: These are the lowest manifestations of evil magic. Someone in the Prime plane simply animated the remains of dead bodies, which does not affect their souls. The souls of the victims of this magic may go on quests for eternal rest.

Ghouls, wights: These creatures exist in the Prime plane due to entropic magic. Ghouls must feed only to ease the pain of hunger; they do not otherwise require food to survive. A wight, however, is far more than a hungry undead. After being killed by a wight, a victim’s soul first goes to Limbo. There, it is stalked by the wight’s mind, as the wight enters a catatonic trance that allows it to send its own soul after its victim. A wight’s soul looks like a dark, frightening shadow straight from the deceased’s worse nightmare. The wight’s soul is more powerful in Limbo than in the Prime plane, and it knows many tricks. It can cast the following spells once per visit in Limbo: hold person, phantasmal force, web, continual darkness, and hallucinatory terrain. It can also enter Limbo within 1d4 miles of its victim. The wight can sense the general direction of its victim. The energy drain ability functions in Limbo. A soul totally drained of its energy is forever destroyed. The wight’s soul uses this ability to heal damage on its Prime plane body at the rate of 1d4 hp per hit die drained. If it catches the hunted soul, the wight can instead bind it to the victim’s corpse, thus creating another wight. If the victim’s soul can stay clear of the wight for four Prime plane days (almost seven months in Limbo), the undead will give up the hunt. If the soul defeats the wight, the undead awakens from its trance. It may attempt a trance every night for four nights. The trance lasts 1d4 hours in the Prime plane, at which point the wight’s intolerable hunger for flesh awakens it. Destroying the body of a ghoul or wight in the Prime plane also destroys its soul.

Wraiths, spectres: These are the corrupted souls of evil beings whose hatreds drove them to return to the Prime plane. Wraiths usually prefer to haunt an evil place. Spectres, however, often are followers of Entropy sent back to the Prime plane by a fiend to complete a quest. Wraiths and spectres hate all that lives. Destroying these entities also eradicates their souls. These entities can follow the souls of their victims into Limbo to drain their energy. They possess the same spell abilities in Limbo as the wights. As with wight, energy drain heals any damage inflicted to the entities at the rate of 1d4 hp per drained hit die.

Mummies: A mummy is the result of a curse cast by someone who is already dead and desires revenge on the mummy-to-be. The caster of the curse refused eternal rest and remained in Limbo in order to take its revenge. Nithians were notorious for this sinister practice. The curse has the power to send a soul eater (see AC9 Creature Catalogue) after its victim’s soul soon after the latter’s arrival in Limbo. The soul eater will stalk the victim until the latter can locate and destroy the caster of the curse. If the soul eater effectively defeats the soul, it will drag it back to the victim’s mummified corpse, to which it will be bound. The curse prevents the soul from ever leaving the body, except for a very specific task that the mummy must accomplish. The mummy might not initially know what the task is. If it is to guard a tomb, it may do so for 1d6 millennia. The hapless being remains in the darkness of its tomb until such time as it can meet the terms of the curse. If the mummy meets its goal, the corpse falls apart and its soul returns to Limbo to seek eternal rest. If the mummy is destroyed before it achieves its goal, the curse prevents the soul from then earning eternal rest. It must then attempt to return to the Prime plane, again, and seek revenge on those who destroyed its corpse. It returns as a ghost that can cast curses of insanity. Only a wish or a remove curse spell cast by a 20th-level spell-caster can cure a mummy’s curse.

Vampires: The “gift” of vampirism is a magical disease created by an Immortal of Entropy and brought to the Prime plane in an attempt to spread sorrow and destruction. Mortal magic or medicine cannot cure this disease. It prevents the soul of a victim from entering Limbo at the time of death; the soul remains in the corpse to rise again later. When a vampire is destroyed, its soul returns to Limbo to seek eternal rest. Vampires do not always begin as evil creatures, but the agonizing need for fresh blood eventually turns each of them evil or insane at the rate of one day per hit die it has.

Phantoms: Although treated as an undead, the apparition is the reflection in the Prime plane of a Master of Chaos. This is a powerful tool given to Chaos, since it can be used anywhere at any time, without the entity leaving Limbo. The shade is the undead servant of a fiend. It is the corrupted soul of someone who was captured in Limbo and taken away to the fiend’s plane. When destroyed, the shade returns to its evil master’s plane. The vision is an amalgam of the souls of warriors who died on a battlefield and found a way to return to the site. Their emotions were so intense at the time of their death that they couldn’t leave the place. Their misdirected angst causes them to attack anyone entering the site, thinking them to be their old enemies. They cannot communicate and go dormant if no one approaches. If the vision is destroyed, these souls return to Limbo to seek eternal rest.

Haunts: The most common manifestation of Limbo on Mystara is the ghost (or banshee, for evil female elves), which was brought up earlier in this article. Although treated as an undead form, the poltergeist is in truth the extension of a Minion of Chaos. The latter uses it to interact with the Prime plane without traveling there itself, like using a remote-controlled device. By using a poltergeist, a Minion of Chaos may pull objects into Limbo for its own uses. This is a way physical objects from the Prime plane may end up in Limbo. An object’s reflection in Limbo, if one already exists there, vanishes from the hands of whatever soul possessed it at the moment the physical object is brought into Limbo. The soul of someone killed by a poltergeist’s aging ability is drawn into Limbo where it falls prey to the Minion of Chaos. Poltergeists may be created only on the site of a dramatic death where the link between the Prime plane and Limbo is strong.

Spirits: The druj and the revenant are similar to the ghost in that the soul returned to the body sometime after death. The difference is that the original, evil character was 18th level or higher and his soul may reanimate the corpse even though it has reached an advanced state of decay. The odic is the soul of an evil monster whose body was totally destroyed before the soul’s return to the Prime plane. All three spirits travel the Prime plane in search of those (and their descendants) who caused their deaths. Spirit hauntings cease when all legitimate descendants of the original culprit, up to the seventh generation, are dead or insane. These spirits are destroyed when they reach their goal or exceed the time of their quests in the Prime plane.

Nightshades: Very rare on Mystara, these undead are constructs built by fiends to further some grand, evil scheme. Fiends use the souls of shades as the basic element to build nightshades, which are often sent into Limbo to harass the more powerful Masters of Chaos. Because of the distorted time flow in Limbo, however, it is difficult to retrieve nightshades. Finding the right nightshade and determining with accuracy when it would arrive on the other side of a gate is an arcane art that few among Masters of Chaos or Lords of Entropy can master. Nightshades do not control the time distortion that occurs when they leave Limbo to go to another plane.

Liches: Magic is required to create a lich, allowing the soul of the lich-to-be to travel to Limbo where it must accomplish a quest. The object of the quest is usually to gain some form of evil magic or a spell that will bind the soul back to its body and suspend its decay. Depending on the time the lich’s soul takes to meet its goals, the body may reach an advanced stage of decay. There have been cases of liches that accomplished their quests quickly enough to prevent major deterioration of their bodies, but as long as a few bones are left, a lich may yet succeed in its scheme. If nothing is left of the body, the lich cannot further its quest and is trapped in Limbo. The lich’s quest often requires the destruction of a powerful denizen of Limbo. Like wights, liches dream and can thus travel Limbo in search of victims to torment and secrets to gain (such as new spells or the location of artifacts). A lich can enter Limbo once per new moon, and it tracks down victims much as a wight does. The souls of liches have the same abilities and game statistics in Limbo as the original monsters, complete with magical weapons (which again are only reflections of the true items). Liches prey on the souls of dead wizards, preferably ancient rivals. Liches, though able to summon and control undead creatures, are not necessarily followers of Entropy. For this reason and because they are very powerful entities on Limbo, liches sometimes manage to become Minions of Chaos when trapped on that plane. Lichdom often leads to insanity - a symptom of Chaos - although wanting to become a lich in the first place is a clear sign of a sick, evil mind. Lichdom precludes any hope for eternal rest. Destroying a lich in the Prime plane traps its soul in Limbo; destroying its soul in Limbo kills the creature forever.

Minions of Chaos: These chaotic denizens of Limbo were lost souls once and still have the statistics and abilities of the characters or monsters they once were. Each benefits from the ability to shapechange (with the ability to cast spells, if any are possessed, in whatever shape they choose), dimension door at will, and use alter reality (not as the spell). The latter power can’t be used to affect a victim directly, affecting only its perceptions, and it is limited to a sphere with a diameter equal to 1’ per hit die of the Minion. The alteration can be centered as far away as 10’ per hit die of the Minion. A Minion can use alter reality only in Limbo, once per round, independent of anything else it does during that time. The difference between phantasmal force and the alter reality ability is that if the victim fails an Intelligence check, the alteration (so long as it is of a nonliving thing) becomes real. For example, if the victim struck a Minion of Chaos a damaging blow, the Minion could respond by showing his wounds healing instantaneously (using alter reality). On the other hand, the Minion could not cause a bridge to melt away under the victim’s feet, sinking him into bubbling lava, but it could create this illusion near the victim to prevent the victim from fleeing. This power is negated for the remainder of an encounter the first time the victim succeeds in his Intelligence check. If several foes are present, use the highest Intelligence score in the party for the roll, with a + 1 bonus. The Minion can use this ability to shape its surroundings, create nonmagical, nonliving objects, and build itself a lair in Limbo’s wilderness or cities. The durability of such dwellings is largely based upon its builder’s notoriety among Minions of Chaos, who will attack at any chance. A lone Minion always succeeds in using alter reality. A Minion of Chaos can survive no more than an hour per hit die in the Prime plane. It has the ability to follow someone through a gate and appear at the same time in the Prime plane, despite the time distortion in Limbo. The Minion can freely return to Limbo anytime it wishes. A Minion of Chaos can also create poltergeists. Each poltergeist it creates temporarily reduces the Minion’s hit points by 10%, rounded up (or by 5 hp, whichever is greater). If the poltergeist is destroyed in the Prime plane, those hit points are recovered. Creatures capable of earning levels of experience (the lost souls of player characters, for example) may resume their quest for higher levels in Limbo if they become Minions of Chaos, using their original experience tables.

A Minion of Chaos may become a Master of Chaos if it destroys a Master in combat. Note that a creature of Chaos can “heal” damage caused to it by feeding on lost souls. The more hit dice or levels a soul had, the more damage is healed, at a rate of 1 hp per hit die or level devoured. Creatures of Chaos are fiercely competitive and aren’t known to form alliances. Coercion and fear are the only motivations for any such creature to obey another.

Masters of Chaos: These powerful rulers of Limbo have all of the abilities available to their Minions, with several differences. Each has an anti-magic resistance equal to its hit dice, the power to cast telekinesis and ESP at will, and the power to cast confusion, reverse gravity, and maze once per encounter. It exudes a 30’-radius aura of Chaos that temporarily reduces the Intelligence scores of all creatures caught in the aura by one-half, rounded down (save vs. spell). aura affects only creatures of fewer dice than the Master itself. Its ability to alter reality affects a sphere 10 times bigger and at 10 times the range of the normal spell. A natural 1 on an Intelligence Check is needed to knock out a Master’s alter reality power in an encounter. A Master of Chaos can open a gate to the Prime plane, but only once each time it senses a soul escaping Limbo (a one-mile radius per hit die). The gate leads to an area in the Prime plane located 1d4 miles away from the location of the soul. As with the souls of wights in Limbo, a Master of Chaos can sense the general direction of a runaway soul. It can survive in the Prime plane up to one day per hit die. Its alter reality power works on the Prime plane, too. Masters of Chaos can create ˝-HD creatures of Chaos called discords (AC 7; MV 30’(10’), 180’(60’) flying; AT alter reality as a 3 HD Minion; Dmg none; Save MU1; ML 6; TT none; Int 8; AL Chaotic; XP 7). Each of these small winged eyes cost their creator 1 hp, recoverable only when the discord is destroyed. Discords act as the eyes and ears of their creators, with whom they remain in telepathic contact. For the same cost as a making poltergeist, a Master of Chaos can also create an apparition in the Prime plane, using it to seek information or revenge. The apparition has a mind of its own, which frees the Master of Chaos from having to concentrate in order to control it. The Master does have the option to see, listen, and control the apparition at will from Limbo. The apparition dissipates upon returning to its master.

Visitors: Other creatures may wander through Limbo, such as spectral hounds, undead beholders, and other undead variants. Fortunately, not all that dwells in Limbo is evil. Some friendly entities exist and may bring help, such as lawful souls on their way to eternal rest, or guardian angels (see next entry). The archon is perhaps one of the most powerful creature at the service of good that could roam Limbo. It enters Limbo to monitor the schemes of the Masters of Chaos there, or to keep the Masters under control (see the Rules Cyclopedia, page 158).

 

Beyond Limbo

Characters reaching “eternal rest” past Limbo are still playable. They could become servants of their chosen Immortals, or free entities in a separate plane. In either case, their goals could be very similar to those they had when alive in the Prime plane, in that they continue their struggle against the enemy (presumably Entropy), either defending their home plane against their foes or returning regularly to the Prime plane as “guardian angels” to protect their philosophy. A guardian angel permanently loses 1d6 HD when destroyed or defeated in the Prime plane, and it immediately returns to its home plane for 1d8 days thereafter. If “killed” on its home plane, a guardian angel is permanently removed from the game. The guardian angel gains experience levels as appropriate to its mission and original character class, and it may continue its quest for immortality if it wishes. The guardian angel has the original character’s game statistics and abilities. The guardian angel’s incorporeal form is invisible in the Prime plane (infravision cannot reveal an incorporeal guardian angel). It can freely materialize, thus becoming visible. In either form, only spells or magical weapons of +2 or greater power can affect it. The guardian angel may cast up to three travel spells a day as an innate ability. The guardian angel cannot take away any material objects from the Prime plane. Note, however, that guardian angels do not deliberately interact with other creatures in the Prime plane; stiff penalties threaten those who do.


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