DIET:Solid objects
INTELLIGENCE:Average (9-12)
ALIGNMENT:Neutral Evil
DAMAGE/ATTACK:2-12 / 2-12 / 3-18
SPECIAL ATTACKS:Whirlwind, decaying touch
SPECIAL DEFENCES:Aura of lethargy
SIZE:Medium (5-6′)
MORALE:Fearless (20)
XP VALUE:4,500
AD&D 2e statistics

How many cutters know the exact number of deaths have occurred on the plane of Dust? Not many if any at all. But what is known is that the number of dead is high and that only the most barmy of adventurers will try and conquer this plane of total decay and disarray. The aeshar are undead, risen from the proximity of the Negative Energy Plane; they are the unfortunate souls that have been spared a most welcomed oblivion, tortured to roam the endless fields of Dust looking for nourishment of flesh and bone of the living to keep their forms lest they lay forever as a pile of hungry, insane sand.

The aeshar appear at first as a regular humanoids of whatever type they used to be, but their skin seems to be ashen and grey and they keep their eyes and mouths closed, walking about like some blind berk who has lost their way. This form is merely an exquisite sculpture of the body they once had, and if they do not feed they cannot even hold it.

When approached by a possible meal they will open their eyes and mouths to let the endless streams of choking dust pour from them making small piles of the dry substance at their feet and letting the sorrow filled moans of a lifetime of thirst out that only the most rigid of men can handle

COMBAT: The Aeshar are terrible fighters, most are clumsy and have a hard time staying on their feet when the opportunity to feed is near. Their overeagerness is often their downfall but this does not count them out completely, for they have the same abilities and proficiencies they had in life and can use everything from wizard spells to psionics. Nobody knows how these creatures can keep such knowledge after undeath, but greybeards reckon it was a part of their original creator’s plan. Chant goes that the “Dark One”, known as Lord Zanatose, created these horrid beings, but sources are few and when found they are often eliminated. Many think they were created to run the Doomguard from the plane of dust so that a darker army could take over.

The aeshar have a blinding attack, as one of the only creatures that can even cause the dry wind to stir on this bleak plane the aeshar can assail their targets with funnels of dark and grating dust. Any sod unlucky enough to be caught in one of these maelstroms is allowed a saving throw vs. breath weapon to escape without harm. Those that fail are blinded for 2d6 rounds and cannot talk because of the dust filling their lungs, and even those that pass their saving throw take 3d8 points of damage from the blasting dust. This ability can be used as many times as the aeshar wishes, as long as they are on Dust.

Another devastating attack at the aeshar’s disposal is the decaying touch. If they hit a body, this touch can cause the very flesh touched to disintegrate into useless dust causing 3d6 points of damage and the loss of use of that particular body part. A save versus death magic is awarded against this attack, those that pass just suffer the 3d6 points of damage and no limb loss. Anyone killed in this fashion will raise after 4d6 days as another one of the aeshar, cursed to plague the Dust forever.

Now a good defence that the aeshar has is their aura of lethargy. Anyone viewing the slightly smoky aura about the undead is required to save vs. death magic or be slowed for 4d6 rounds at which time, if they are still alive, they are allowed to roll another save to break the lethargic magic enchanting them.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: The aeshar have no society, the roam Dust endlessly looking for relief from their undead, emotionless existence. They do not consort with other intelligent undead, in fact they act like they are not even there. The Doomguard are extremely wary of these creatures — even though they do promote entropy — as not even the Doomguard is immune to the destructive forces the aeshar command. Chant goes that some of the more barmy Sinkers actually seek out these beings, but these berks are never seen alive again; in fact a good many of the aeshar have been spotted and identified as former faction members.

ECOLOGY: The Aeshar continue the endless decay of Dust and nothing else; they are not even aware they they help the plane grow bigger as they destroy living creatures entering. Nor do they realise they are controlled by an unseen force on another plane; they just wish to end their unlife, or to find the next barmy berk to snack on.

VARIANTS: If a Aeshar has not fed within the number of years they lived when alive their forms will fall into a motionless, hungry pile of dust. These piles of dust have the same powers as the full aeshar except they are able to control the dusty environment around them. Once these beings have absorbed one living creature they will once again gain a structured form, however it will be of the person they digested and not their own. They have the number of years as the person they ate was old to find another meal, otherwise they will once again be reduced to a pile of hungry dust. This, apparently, is a great indignity to suffer, and aeshar try to avoid it at all costs by slaying almost anyone they encounter.

Source: Shawn Muder

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