Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A to Z of Vampires: Rolang

The Rolang is the mysterious vampire of Tibet.  The name "rolang" literally means "the corpse that got up" or "the rising corpse".  It is believed that if the proper funeral rites are not performed then a spirit can re-enter the body and a rolang is formed.    There is also another, more sinister form of rolang, the demonic, that is created when a sorcerer (witch or necromancer) performs a rite to attach a demonic spirit to the body.


Personal  Demonic 
Armor Class:                    7 [12] 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 7*+3 (35 hp) 10*+5 (50 hp)
No. of Attacks: 2 claw, 1 bite;    2 claw, 1 bite or weapon
Damage: 1d6/1d6/1d4 1d6/1d6/1d4 
Special: Wisdom Drain      Con Drain
Movement: 20'  30' 
No. Appearing: 1 (or 2-12) 1
Save As: Monster 8 Monster 11
Morale: 9 11
Treasure Type: see below see below
Alignment: Chaotic (Neutral) Chaotic (Evil)
XP: by system by system

Rolangs come in two varieties. The Personal rolang has it's own spirit attached, the Demonic rolang instead has a demonic spirit.
The personal rolang rises up from improper burial rites. It is stiff, unable to bend it's joints very well and it walks with a strange straight legged gait like a zombie. Thus it is not very fast.  It can not speak at all. It will make it's way home to be with family.  It can't enter the home, but must be brought in.  If so it will begin to drain Wisdom from everyone in the home at the rate of 1 point per night.  Once a victim reaches 0 points of wisdom they will die.  When everyone is dead the rolang will leave the home and attack anyone it sees.  It can only use the wisdom draining effect on their own family.
The demonic rolang is much the same save that a demonic spirit is now inhabiting the body.  The demonic rolang is a bit more agile but it still can not bend at the waist.  Many homes in fact have low entrances requiring a person to bow or duck to enter to keep rolangs out.  Unlike the personal rolang the demonic rolang can talk. Also the demonic rolang drains blood in the form of Constitution points (2 per night) instead of Wisdom.  The demonic rolang will attempt to drain as many people as possible.  Victims killed by a rolang become a personal rolang under control of the demonic one.  In this case when a demonic rolang is dicovered there is a 30% chance that there will be 2-12 (2d6) personal rolang in operation at the same time.  An entire village or town could be over run with them.

Both types of rolang appear to be walking corpses with long black claws. Often their tongue protrudes from their mouth as a corpses might.  They have long fangs and will attack with them for biting damage.   A demonic rolang can not drain unless they get a "critical hit" (a natural roll of 19 or 20) with a bite.  At that point they will also drain 2 points of Con in addition to normal biting damage.

Method of destruction.
To destroy either type of rolang a shaman (cleric or priest) must hold down the rolang and remove it's tongue.  The tongue is then burned to ashes while praying.  If done correctly the body of the rolang will turn to gold.  The gold must then be divided among the church and the family of the rolang. PCs destroying the rolang should expect 1000 gp for a personal rolang and 5000 gp for a demonic.
Rolangs are kept at bay by a salt line, burning incense, or by laying out a line of rice.
Rolangs are not destroyed by sunlight as are other vampires, but they become unable to move and the sunlight reveals them for what they truly are.
Notably the rolang have a weakness that is almost unique among the undead.  If knocked over they can not get up.  Rolang are very strong and knocking them over is difficult.  Personal rolang have a strength of 18 and demonic rolang have a strength of 20.  They must be knocked completely prone. At this point they are helpless.


Tamara Narayan said...

The fellow dresses well for a vampire (at least in your picture). The idea of a vampire draining wisdom instead of blood is interesting. Not to mention having a low doorway to keep out monsters who can't bend over! How bizarre.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

So they are basically like a turtle on it's back if you can knock them over. I'm thinking battering rams rather than stakes then and have a priest handy to put and end to them properly :).
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Cherdo said...

That's a whole lot of trouble to get rid of him...but I guess friendship and Bridge is out of the question.

Cool theme!


holli said...

Holy cow- the priest or shaman sure have a difficult job to do! I guess that's job security for sure but they have to be careful it sounds like. I never knew so much information was available on this topic. I like the idea of a shorter home entrance but I am pretty short. Thanks so much for commenting on my blog today.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I don't know whether I prefer to be drained of brains or blood...not much to choose between them. Love the robes though, very neat.

Best wishes,

Sophie Duncan said...

That low doorway trick is subtle. :)
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
Wittegen Press

Jennifer Hawes said...

"The corpse that got up" sounds like my teenage sons in the morning;-) That's a quirky way to kill that thing. Cut its tongue out!

Chrys Fey said...

I like the meaning of Rolang. ;) This reminds me of what I did with vampires in one of my unpublished books. The big bad vampire had a demonic soul, while the ones created after him had human souls.

Suzy, The Grey Brunette said...

Oh dear... I just read this moments before going to bed. I think I just might have nightmares now!!!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

The corpse that got up sounds like a cheesy horror movie or pulp fiction mystery.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

Sue McPeak said...

Let's just eliminate this R-Guy with proper burials from the get go. That seems to be the wise thing to do in order to keep one's WISDOM intact.

Wow, your Vampire 'Reading' material is frightening...I'm glad you told me you are re-reading Harry Potter...but just in case this R-Guy haunts your dreams/nightmares keep the salt shaker on your nightstand and lay out a line of rice around your bed.

Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
AtoZ 2015 Challenge
Minion for AJ's wHooligans

Door2Lore said...

I like the demise of the Rolang by a shaman - gold is spread out well! Thank you for visiting my blog! - Enjoyed reading about vampires of Tibet.