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2 Hit Dice, 12hp
1 attack shortsword or shortbow 1d6
The only purpose of the Keyring Skeleton is to hold and protect the key hanging from his neckbone at all costs.
In fact the necromantic ritual used to reanimate this undead creature has been specifically devised to give its fragile bones an incredible agility and an overwhelming speed by making them extremely flexible and stretchable like rubber. The skeleton is, however, quite resistant to harm thanks to the particular density the bones acquired during the ritual, giving him a fighting chance if necessary.
It has the appearance of a normal skeleton, with a keyring around its neck with an important-looking key dangling from it, with the only equipment of a crude but effective shortsword and a shortbow, both made of bone.
A close examination, however, will reveal thin twisted colorless runes engraved on all the bones of the skeleton and its weapons. The bones will also be extremely flexible and stretchable but at the same time very resistant.
EncountersIn combat the Keyring Skeleton will always choose flee instead of fight.
When menaced, if it is in an enough safe place or distance, it will try to attack and kill its enemies with his short bow unless the menace is or gets too dangerous.
If unnoticed, however, it will try to stealthily go away and hide from it.
If cornered, it will try to make itself way with his shortsword, and as soon as it's free it will immediately flee away as far as it can from its enemy.
It will always destroy the key rather than allowing the enemy to take hold of it, and itself too if necessary.
For this purpose powerful magic-users that intend to guard important secrets will sometimes devise methods to ensure the ultimate protection of the key may the Keyring Skeleton be defeated, ranging from mundane acids bombs to miniature suck-holes leading to the Worlds Beyond the Veil or even matter-as-we-know-it destroying spells.
The Keyring Skeleton answers only to his Master, and will give him the key when asked, or use it in his place if commanded.
This is in fact the only safe way to get the key from the undead servant, as others may lead to the loss or the destruction of the prize.
The Keyring Skeleton's bones joints are magically softened in order to make the least possible noise when moving, granting it a chance of Stealth of 3 over 6.
Given his exceptional bones flexibility, if in extreme need the Keyring Skeleton is capable to twist itself and its weapons to enter even the narrowest crevices or holes. There is, however, a 1 in 6 cumulative chance that the bones will break anyway, leaving the creature shattered and defenseless.
Creation ProcessCreating a Keyring Skeleton is no easy task.
A specific ritual and components are needed, like natural rubber and weeping willow resin mixed with wildcat blood, among other rare ingredients.
Usually the most meticulously wizards will search an athlete's corpse or even a contortionist's, to enhance the final result.
Most wizards are also willing to pay a large sum of money to whoever gets them the most suitable candidate and components.
The ritual gives better results when all the components are fresh, and the body must not be in rigor mortis yet. Still better results are obtained when the victim is killed during the ritual.
The Circus is in Town!The whole Kromeville is exited, it is the first time the circus is comes here, and the great show will premiere tonight! Everything's ready, it will be a fantastic night... But wait! Some performers are missing, and the show can't go on without them.
Both the Brivanoch brothers, the contortionists of the circus, are nowhere to be found. What the hell are they up to!?
Some say they spent the entire last night at the city's brothel, while others swear they saw them talking with a known -but seedy- merchant.
What's the truth? Where are they?
Will you find them... or was it you who kidnapped them?
And most important- will the show go on?
† This monster's stats are for Lamentations of the Flame Princess but can be easily converted to any OSR game †
*Unified AC Notation
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