Horrors of the Age of Dusk: The Laughing Knights of Ion

(Originally posted on YDIS)

Laughing Knights of Ion –
Shock troops of the nightmare city of Ion, Laughing Knights resemble handsome human males with a greenish pallor and pupilless eyes of an intense purple hue. Each Laughing Knight looks remarkably similar to another, as though they were siblings. They take to the field bare-headed, dressed in ornate plate-armour daubed in vibrant colours. The Laughing knights take their name from the mocking laughter that is their only form of speech, though they understand the common tongue.

Sadistic and cruel, with a propensity for torture and possessed of a ferocious agression, the Laughing Knight is a formidable opponent for even the most capable of warriors. Its inhuman strength, excellent swordsmanship and ability to mirthfully shurg off wounds that would fell any man make it one of the most dreaded sights on the battlefields of the Lands of Autumn.

Barring a violent death, Laughing Knights are effectively immortal. Though they have been observed eating the flesh of fallen, often still living soldiers, accounts of Laughing Knights going without food or water for months are not unheard of. Their method of reproduction is unknown, and Ion itself has long been banished to the planar abyss so there are none to answer.

Unscrupulous or brave warlords of the Tempest Lands will sometimes employ Laughing Knights along their own forces. They fight not for coin but simply to indulge their hunger for slaughter and mutilation. They are fickle allies and can turn upon their employers at a moments notice. Though they are difficult to control, they make for excellent soldiers and are capable of disciplined maneuvering, not merely berserk slaughter. Only the alien language of Ion, which cannot be uttered by the human vocal apparatus, can command their unquestioning obedience.

Bands of Laughing Knights can be found raiding villages all the way from the Glass Mountains to the border provinces of Gal’Alor, though they are mercifully rare. Some unscrupulous ruffians have taken it upon themselves to follow bands of Laughing knights, helping themselves to the blood-drenched spoils they leave in their wake.

HD: 4+8
No. appearing: 1-8
AC: as plate.
Damage: As weapon+strength modifier for 18 str.
Speed: as plate
Morale: 12(Fearless)
Int: 10
Special: Immune to enchantment/charm. Regenerate 1 hp/turn(stops at 0 hp). Half damage from piercing weapons.

And this:

The Black Ichor of Ion:
The alien sorcerers of Ion were flesh-crafters and alchemists without peer, but generals they were not. It was the sons of mankind who led the nightmare armies of Ion against its brethren. In exchange for longevity, strength, slaves, beauty or the attentions of lavicious vat-grown concubines, many prospective generals were willing to bring ruin upon their own kind.

Each of these servants of Ion were ordered to drink this ichor, which comes in crystalline flasks and is black as pitch. Once imbibed, the ichor etches the tongue, throat and vocal cords of the subject with intricate runic script that is painful to the human eye. After hours of maddening agony, the subject will be able to speak the blasphemous and forbidden language of Ion. The ichor imparts no knowledge of the language itself, merely the ability to pronounce it. The unearthly subvocalisations that now saturate the subject’s speech permanently lower his charisma by 1 point. These effects are permanent.

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