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Specter Chieftains

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There are reasons why the honored dead are laid to rest on biers of stone, with trophies of past deeds and treasures piled at their feet.


Their deeds in life earned them honor and respect, and their long service and sacrifice bought them hard-won rest in the afterlife. But such fierce spirits do not rest easily. As in life, they are quick to offense and all too willing to take action against those who have wronged them. More than one grave robber has come to a grisly end when the spirit of a former chieftain rose in his wrath to defend the treasures won over the course of a lifetime.

This terrible drama is now being played out on a grand scale in the Cimmerian Field of the Dead, as a large force of Vanir warriors have invaded the sacred site. They are pillaging the grave mounds of ancient chieftains and plundering them of arcane relics, caring nothing for the warriors interred within. Bodies have been dumped onto the dank earth, or defiled by Vanir knives. Now the specters of angry chieftains haunt the region’s southern forest, seeking to avenge themselves against those who wronged them—or upon any living soul unfortunate enough to cross their path.

Worse still, the Vanir digs have uncovered relics of an even more ancient time. At the northern end of the Field of the Dead, the raiders have found Atlantean ruins and while tunneling through a Cimmerian burial mound they stumbled upon an even older tomb cut into the mountain itself. When the Vanir broke into the tomb, they were shocked to discover the resting place of a tall, powerfully-built woman, laid to rest in ornate Atlantean armor and surrounded with grave goods fit for a mighty chieftain. Her name, as written in the runes of lost Atlantis, was Chief Toirdealbach.

None of this mattered to the Vanir; they cared only for the ancient relics scattered about the tomb. Toirdealbach’s fingers were cut away to strip them of their rings, and her neck sawed through to get at the torc of gold that rested against her collarbones. Her remains were them dumped unceremoniously on the stone floor, piled like the bones of a peasant. But the greedy jests of the Vanir changed to screams as the howling spirit of the angry chieftain rose up before them.

Only one of the raiders escaped to tell of what he’d seen, though he died of his wounds shortly after. Since then the raiders’ mysterious leaders have sent one group after another into the tomb, each one larger and better-armed than before, but none have ever returned. Their mangled bodies fill the tunnels leading to Chief Toirdealbach’s resting place, warning would-be treasure seekers of the peril that awaits them.

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