The zombie appears to be an ashened skin humanoid with vacant stare and white, pupilless eyes. Height and weight will vary depending on the original race of the creature that formed the zombie. Zombies have been formed by humans, orcs, elves, dwarves and more. The skin of the creature is a pale, ashen blue and shriveled. The face appears gaunt, lips shriveled and fingernails appear as dirty claws.
In combat, the creature strikes with its claws. It is a slow moving beast, but very tough. The creature has no circulatory system and so does not bleed. Because of this it suffers little from bladed attacks. In addition, a zombie feels no pain. It's muscles are corded and seem to be always taut and iron hard. Zombies are completely unaffected by charm, sleep and other mind affecting magic.
Zombies can be found anywhere - in any terrain or climate. There are usually encountered at night, in ruins, graveyards, wilderness, etc. The creatures avoid civilization and so will rarely be encountered in a city.
It is widely believed that the first zombies were formed as a horrible side effect of the World Storm. A zombie is the living husk of a humanoid from which all essence or life energy has been drained. The mind is vanquished, the bodily functions cease, but dark magic propels it onward. There are various spells that can intentionally create a zombie, though most wizards avoid such dark magic. Zombies are occasionally created by accident when sorcery goes awry. Only intelligent, language-using humanoids can potentially form a zombie, although this is not known why.
There is a variation of the zombie often called the "Rotted Ones", the "Walking Plague" and Azersun's Children. They were, as the last name implies, the creation of a necromancer named Azersun, a brilliant but bitter and deranged necromancer from the Age of Sorrow who suffered from chronic headaches and a terrible wasting disease. Lore from that period suggests these things were his final revenge upon the world. These abominations are much like zombies, but their rotted flesh is clearly diseased. Their stench is nauseating. Merely being near a rotted one will cause most people to retch uncontrollably. Rotted Ones are especially dangerous because merely touching them can infect the victim. They can also vomit forth diseased blood at targets ten feet away which will also transmit the infection. This breath weapon can only be used once per day. Once infected the victim will suffer headaches, nausea, wracking pain and spasms. The infection spreads quickly. The skin will erupt in lesions and discolorations. The eyes will become milky white and the hair will begin to fall out. Within one day, the victim will transform into a rotted one. Certain curative herbs and minor spells can slow the transformation, but fairly strong magic is required to cure the person. Rotted Ones cannot abide the light of the sun and prolonged exposure will eventually kill them. For this reason, they travel only at night and tend to stay underground. Rotted Ones are ver rare and are usually only encountered in ancient tombs, ruins and the like.
Another variation is the "sea zombie" or "Drowned Ones" as they are sometimes called. Sea zombies are formed whenever someone drowns in the sea in the presence of very strong magic. Sea zombies appear as mindless, animated corpses that are bloated from time spent in the water. They are typically found around sea wrecks, often the very doomed ships on which they travelled when they drowned. Sea zombies have several characteristics that make them dangerous foes. First, they are able to vomit forth a spray of sea water as a weapon. This is enough to temporarily blind someone or knock them down. If they have access to water, they can fill their bellies and use the weapon again. Second, sea zombies heal if they are in contact with sea water. This makes them particularly dangerous, especially since they are usually in or around the sea. Third, sea zombies are highly resistant to heat and fire. Their waterlogged bodies simply won't burn. Finally, they skin is often crusted with barnacles in places, which makes their hide particularly difficult to cut. There are some religious scholars who believe that sea zombies may be a curse afflicted upon the world by Barulda or one of the other Dark Lords. Thankfully, these horrors are rare. Sea zombies, like other zombies, seem to have some memory of their former lives. This varies greatly based on the original intelligence of the person. There have even been tales of sea zombie mages that can cast spells. However, most sea zombies were, in their former lives, simple mariners. As such they are often seen doing repetitive mindless tasks such as tying and untying knots or swabbing the deck. Sea zombies may even try to pull at oars or sail their ship, even if it is hopelessly wrecked upon a shoal of rocks.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.