Fiddlebone is intended to be used in the Mournlands of the Eberron campaign setting.
Fiddlebone CR 1/3
NE Medium Undead
, Senses ;
AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 Natural)
hp 2 (damaged, 8 max) (HD); DR 5/bludgeoning
Spd 30 ft.
Melee improvised club -4 (1d6) and claw -5 (1d4) or claw +0 (1d4)
Abilities, , Con — Int — ,
SQ undead traits
Feats Improved Initiative
Skills Perform (strings) -5
Personality and NotesEdit
One day in the fine world of Eberron, an ambitious and proud Cyran necromancer was travelling from one contact to another. Even evil men need contacts, after all, especially when they are necessary to appropriate much needed materials and documents. However, said necromancer often tired of the long road trips, and felt that some music would help pass the hours. He decided to set about creating a skeleton, which he would then equip with a musical instrument and play tirelessly.
The project was an utter failure. Mindless undead, try as they might to follow orders, are completely unable to understand the concept of music and can only twiddle randomly with their instruments. Their charisma modifier of -5 doesn't help either. But the necromancer refused to admit error and equipped the skeleton with a masterwork fiddle, more willing to put up with the screeching noise than accept that he had failed.
And so it was, before the calamity that destroyed the land and made it the Mournlands we know today. The necromancer, as well as all he traveled with, died instantly. But the skeleton was not alive, and could not be killed by whatever strange happenings occurred on that day. And because the skeleton had already been instructed on the route the trip would take, it continued on the path and left the corpses of its creator and his entourage behind, fiddling all the while.
And so that skeleton remains today. It has traversed its preprogrammed route thousands of times, obliviously stepping over the bodies of those it traveled with as it still fiddles, always fiddling. It never removes the bow from those so-taxed strings even for a second, even if attacked; it will not even defend itself unless a cleric should take control of it and give it new orders. To this day, none have tried.
The fiddle is not the masterwork beauty it once was; its craftsmanship is the only reason it is still in one piece. The strain of continuous use without upkeep has left its wood mottled and dirty, the strings horridly out of tune. The skeleton - named "Fiddlebone" by the few that venture into the Mournlands and have heard its playing - is also damaged; many of its bones are cracked and fractured, it struggles to play with its occasional missing knucklebones and the back of its skull has been crushed. If the light is behind it, a viewer can see it shining through the one eye socket not plugged by the burnt cinder that was once black onyx. About the only thing in one piece is its teeth, eternally fixed in its wide, fleshless grin.
Fiddlebone's "music" is nothing more than random, high-pitched shrieks drawn from the tortured strings of its violin. Continuous and loud, Fiddlebone is often heard before it's seen, especially in night, foggy or feature-rich terrain. Its sound similar to a hurt cat's wailing, Fiddlebone's music is often seen as the forebearer of bad luck. This may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, for the area's more dangerous beasts are often attracted to the noise out of curiosity. Though the skeleton is not an appetizing meal for said beasts, they're happy to settle for any adventurers that take the same bait.
Fiddlebone has not yet been destroyed by adventurers because of his preset course. Somehow, the mindless nature of the skeleton allows it to navigate perfectly despite changing visibility, features or even terrain itself. Since it never deviates by so much as an inch, and passes by a number of middling-size (now dead) towns, the route can be used for a lost adventuring party to find their way.
Fiddlebone does not and will not tire. He will continue to play his meaningless song until every string on his fiddle snaps, in which case he will scrape the bow on its frame until his bones grind to dust.