Posted by: akalsaris | April 24, 2010

Homebrew vestige: Noxius, The Immortal Plague

NEW VESTIGE: Noxius, The Immortal Plague
Vestige level: 5th
Binding DC: 25
Special Requirement: No

Noxius was a monk who spent his life seeking purification through purging himself of disease and poison. In the end, he purged himself of his very humanity, becoming the disease that he loathed.

Legend: There once was an order of monks who prided themselves on their purity. Their most promising initiate, Noxu, was as handsome as he was proud. He boasted to the world: “Look at us! Our masters are immune to age, disease, and madness! Truly we have matched even the heavens in our purity!” The hubris of the order soon attracted the attention of Baalzebul, the Slug Lord, Lord of the Seventh. He sensed the potential for power and guile in Noxu – if only the initiate could be shaped to the Slug Lord’s will.

The Slug Lord brought his wrath down upon the order. Crawling insects, plagues, poisonous vermin, and devils attacked: overnight the monastary became a slaughterhouse. Only Noxu survived. Covered in vermin and disease, he fled the monastary. Too proud to seek a cleric in his ruined state, he repeated the mantras of his masters over and over, trying to purify himself of the diseases that infested him. Furious, he cursed the world over and over again for damning him to such a fate. Baalzebul watched with cruel glee and granted Noxu’s unspoken prayer, giving him immunity to disease – but not to the horrible boils and cancers that they caused. He gave life to the largest cancer growing within Noxu’s body, creating a minion to guide Noxu’s path towards damnation.

The cancer whispered to Noxu: “Look at yourself! You have purified your inside of the demonic taint! A feat that even your masters could not accomplish! Now you need only to purge your outside as well! Pass this disease onto others, and you will be cured!”

Noxu, desperate to regain his once-handsome looks, found an old woman, dying in her home. He touched her, and watched in amazement as one of the diseases left his system, entering her. For a brief moment, he breathed without pain, and his hand was bronzed and handsome once more. He barely noticed as the old woman died in front of him. But as he slept, the disease returned.

Noxu continued to live in the sewers and back alleys, slowly spreading the diseases that he had been tainted with, each step falling further down the road of evil. The stronger he became, the more diseases he needed to spread each day to purify himself. Noxu the initiate became Noxu the murderer. Desperate, he replaced his plagued and bloody arms with metal, only to find that the corruption spread even further down the rest of his body. He became famous as a ruthless killer whose very touch was death, and he found himself hounded by the servants of good. The cancer spoke to him once more: “You have surpassed your masters in strength and purity! Why do you not lead as they did? Create your own order, and in numbers defeat your enemies!”

Convinced of his superiority, Noxu the murderer became Noxius the Master. A master not of unhallowed monks, but of ninjas – the Order of the Slow Death. Obsessed with purity, his order divided all things as pure and impure, light and dark, mortality and immortality.

One day, Noxius’s most promising initiate came to him. While Noxius remained covered in insects and boils, the initiate was pure and glowing as he once was. She asked him: “How can you claim to be a master of the order, if even you will one day grow old and die?” Noxius looked within himself for the answer, and found nothing. Inside he was as much disease and filth as he was outside. “Give up your attachment to this world,” came the incessant whispers from his body.

Noxius sought to destroy himself, to release himself to purity once and for all. As the initiate watched in horror, Noxius’s body dissolved into dust and rot. “He’s done it – he’s ascended to immortality!” cheered the other initiates. The first initiate, however, could not speak, for she felt a hideous presence inside of her, an unseen plague.

Before the night was through, every member of the Order of the Slow Death was a plague-ridden corpse. Noxius had ascended to immortality at last – but in doing so he became nothing more than a plague upon the wind, doomed to live as a parasite for the rest of his existence. And from his vermin-ridden throne, Baalzebul smiled faintly, amused for a millisecond.

Manifestation: Noxius has no visible manifestation – only a foul odor in the air as nearby food and water rots in seconds.

Sign: One of your hands becomes filthy and cancerous. You may still disguise or conceal your hand.

Influence: You become obsessed with your personal appearance and cannot stand the sight or smell of undeath, vermin, or disease.

Granted abilities:
Disease Host: You are immune to diseases while you bind Noxius, though their effects are still visible.
Contagion Touch: Once every five rounds, your touch carries the power of the Contagion spell, however the disease cannot be contracted by other victims and lasts only 24 hours.
Poisonous touch: Once every five rounds, your touch carries the power of the Poison spell
Insect Armor: You gain a +4 enhancement bonus to your natural armor.
Bonus feats: You gain Improved Unarmed Strike and Blind-Fight as bonus feats. You can deliver unarmed strikes as a monk of your binder level. You can deliver your Contagion Touch or Poison Touch as part of a single unarmed strike and deal unarmed strike damage in addition to the spell effect.
Special: If you bind both Noxius and Ronove, you deal damage with unarmed strikes as a monk of your binder level plus four.

Note: This vestige is inspired by the Cancer Mage from the Book of Vile Darkness.



  1. I’ve always thought that Cancer Mage tumor familiars should have faces with mustaches and chain smoke.

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