Environment: Any land or underground.
Organization: Wyrmling, very young, young, juvenile, and young adult: solitary or clutch (2Ė5); adult, mature adult, old, very old, ancient, wyrm, or great wyrm: solitary, pair, or family (2-5)
Challenge Ratings: Wyrmling 3; very young 4; young 6; juvenile 8; young adult 11; adult 14; mature adult 16; old 18; very old 19; ancient 21; wyrm 23; great wyrm 25
Treasure: Triple Standard
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Maleficence dragons are born with plate-like scales the color of sun-bleached bones. Their head looks skull-like, due to their thin flesh, bone colored scales, and a lack of lips to cover their shark-like teeth. The individual links of their neck and spine can be distinguished from their emancipated bodies, although their torso thickens with muscles and heavy scales. Even in the height of summer clouds of condensation form as they breath, and where they walk plants die.
As maleficence dragons age things only get worse. Their eyes, initially a pale blue sink deeper into their skulls and slowly begin to shine with an inner light until they hang like cold, blue flames in empty sockets. Their shoulders, always covered with plate-like scales that look like pauldrons made of bone slowly develop human-like faces. These faces scream and babble continuously, like souls in eternal torment which they are. When a maleficence dragon is born the souls of two recently departed humanoids are pulled into its body where their eternal pain serves as a source of energy for the dragon.
Maleficence dragons are vile and despicable creatures who delight in causing the destruction of other forms of life. Sages have studied their ultimate source and after many years have seemed to unearth some lore on the matter. The first maleficence dragon was hatched from the egg of a gold dragon, stolen and taken to an ancient temple to Orcus (or campaign appropriate god/demon), the dragon within was corrupted with unspeakable rituals, that ended with the death of a pair of chaste lovers whose souls locked in eternal torment, and always close enough to sense each otherís pain but never close enough to truly feel the other, were sealed within the unborn dragon. When the dragon hatched it was as an abomination whose sole desire was to cause destruction and pain to all other living creatures. The first of these would be its creators who were left drained and weakened from the ritual and did not expect the hatchling to attack them with such ferocity.
Maleficence dragons live in regions of taint (see Heroes of Horror) by preference, and any place they dwell in long becomes tainted by their presence. Many also congregate to graveyards, slowly desecrating the area with their presence.
Age Size Hit Dice Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha BAB/Grp Atk Fort Ref Will Breath Weapon Frightful Presence/Fear Aura: Wyrmling S 5d12+5 (37 hp) 13 10 13 10 10 13 5/2 7 5 4 4 2d6 (DC 13) - Very Young M 8d12+16 (68 hp) 15 10 15 12 12 15 8/10 10 8 6 7 4d6 (DC 16) - Young M 11d12 + 22 (93 hp) 17 10 15 12 12 15 11/12 14 9 7 8 6d6 (DC 17) - Juvenile L 14d12+42 (133 hp) 19 10 17 14 14 17 14/22 17 12 9 11 8d6 (DC 20) - Young Adult L 17d12+68 (178 hp) 21 10 19 14 14 19 17/26 21 14 10 12 10d6 (DC 22) DC 22 Adult H 20d12+100 (230 hp) 25 10 21 16 16 21 20/35 25 17 12 15 12d6 (DC 25) DC 25 Mature Adult H 23d12+115 (264 hp) 27 10 21 18 18 21 23/39 29 18 13 17 14d6 (DC 26) DC 26 Old H 26d12+156 (325 hp) 31 10 23 20 20 23 26/44 34 21 15 20 16d6 (DC 29) DC 29 Very Old H 29d12+174 (362 hp) 33 10 23 22 22 23 29/48 38 22 16 22 18d6 (DC 30) DC 30 Ancient G 32d12+224 (432hp) 35 10 25 24 24 25 32/56 40 25 18 25 20d6 (DC 33) DC 33 Wyrm G 35d12+280 (507 hp) 37 10 27 24 24 27 35/60 44 27 19 26 22d6 (DC 35) DC 35 Great Wyrm G 38d12+342 (589 hp) 39 10 29 26 26 29 38/64 41 30 21 29 24d6 (DC 38) DC 38
Age Speed Init AC Special Abilities SR CL 1 60-ft, fly 100-ft (average) +0 16 (+1 size, +5 natural) Deathwarded, Tainted Bite, See in Darkness - - 2 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 18 (+8 natural) Alternate Form - - 3 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 21 (+11 natural) DR 5/magic - - 4 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 23 (-1 size, +14 natural) Babble of the Damned, Fear Aura - 1st 5 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 26 (-1 size, +17 natural) DR 10/magic 20 3rd 6 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 28 (-2 size, +20 natural) Tainted Claws 22 5th 7 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 31 (-2 size, +23 natural) DR 15/magic 23 7th 8 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 34 (-2 size, +26 natural) Aura of Desecration 25 9th 9 60-ft, fly 150-ft (poor) +0 37 (-2 size, +29 natural) DR 20/magic and 5/good 26 11th 10 60-ft, fly 200-ft (poor) +0 38 (-4 size, +32 natural) Slaver of the Damned 28 13th 11 60-ft, fly 200-ft (poor) +0 41 (-4 size, +35 natural) DR 20/magic 30 15th 12 60-ft, fly 200-ft (poor) +0 44 (-4 size, +38 natural) Howl of Souls' Lament 32 17th
Breath Weapon (Su): A maleficence dragon has one type of breath weapon a line of soul disrupting energy. This attack deals the listed damage to all living creatures, and sentient undead, within the area (Will save for half) and applies 1 point of depravity (see Taint in Heroes of Horror) per 2 age categories of the dragon on a failed save. Any creature killed by this breath weapon has its soul bound into the maleficence dragon and cannot be revived until the maleficence dragon is slain, even then any creature revived from this state has 1 less than lethal Corruption and Depravity.
See in Darkness (Su): A maleficence dragon may see perfectly in darkness, including magical darkness, as if it were full light.
Deathwarded (Ex): A maleficence dragon is immune to any effect that deathward protects against (negative energy effects, death effects, and energy drain).
Tainted Bite (Su): Any creature hit by a maleficence dragonís bite attack must make a fortitude save (same DC as their breath weapon) or gain 1 point of corruption (see Taint). At adulthood this increases to 2 points of corruption, and 1 even on a successful save.
Any creature slain by a maleficence dragonís bite attack has its soul sealed within the dragon and cannot be revived until the maleficence dragon has been slain, even then any creature revived from this state has moderate taint if it did not already have a higher taint score.
Change Shape (Su): 3/day as a standard action very young or older maleficence dragon may assume the form of a child from one specific race of humanoid creatures. This race may be any 1-HD humanoid, although human is the most common. A maleficence dragon may remain in this form until it chooses to return to its natural form.
Spells A young or older maleficence dragon casts spells as a dread necromancer of the indicated level (see Heroes of Horror for details on Dread Necromancers).
Babble of the Damned (Su): At juvenile the faces on a maleficence dragonís shoulders fully form and begin their eternal babbling. Any creature within 60-ft which hears this babbling must make a Will save (DC is the same as Frightful Presenceís) or gain 3 points of depravity and be dazed for one round as the feelings of pain and torment of the souls bound within the maleficence dragon sweeps over them. A maleficence dragon may suppress or resume this ability as a free action 1/turn. Once exposed to this ability a creature is immune to that maleficence dragon's babble of the damned for 24 hours.
Fear Aura (Su): Any action which triggers a maleficence dragonís frightful presence also triggers its Fear Aura. If a creature is able to be affected by frightful presence it makes only 1 save against both and if it fails its save against a maleficence dragonís Frightful Presence is frightened instead of shaken (if it had 5 or less HD it is cowered for 1d4 rounds and then panicked). In addition even creatures immune to Frightful Presence are vulnerable to a maleficence dragonís fear aura (unless they are immune to fear) and must make a save, although if they fail they only suffer the effects associated with a normal dragonís frightful presence ability.
A maleficence dragon that loses its frightful presence ability retains this ability, although in that case its effects are identical to a normal dragonís frightful presence.
Tainted Claws (Su): Any creature hit by an adult or older maleficence dragonís claw attack must make a fortitude save (same DC as their breath weapon) or gain 1 point of corruption (see Taint). Any creature slain by an adult or older maleficence dragonís claw attack has its soul sealed within the dragon and cannot be revived until the maleficense dragon has been slain, even then any creature revived from this state has moderate taint if it did not already have a higher taint score.
Aura of Desecration (Su): An old or older maleficence dragon is continually surrounded by an aura which replicates a Desecration effect out to 120-ft.
Slaver of the Damned: The mouths on an ancient or older maleficence dragonís shoulders have taken a further life of their own. Whenever the maleficence dragon takes a full attack action they may add 2 ranged touch attacks used as secondary natural weapons and dealing 3d6 negative energy damage (this does not heal or damage undead) and afflicting the target with 1 point of corruption (a successful fortitude save, same DC as their breath weapon negates the corruption).
Howl of Soulsí Lament (Sp): 1/day as a swift action a great wyrm maleficence dragon may cause the faces on its shoulder to howl out in the utter despair. Any living creature within 60-ft must make a Fortitude save or die, on a successful save they are cowered for 1 round. This is the equivalent of a 10th level spell. Any creature slain by this ability has its soul sealed within the dragon and cannot be revived until the maleficence dragon has been slain, even then any creature revived from this state has moderate taint if it did not already have a higher taint score.
The creepy thing is that as soon as I finished writing this I heard someone screaming in what seemed to be fear. Iíve decided it was a movie, but it was creepy.
Well firemagehao I hope this will be useful for your game. Not sure how powerful its abilities to apply taint are (never used it in my games) so I hope they aren't too little or too much.