|No. of Attacks:
||Hit only by silver or +1 weapons
||M (5'-7' tall)
The heucuva is an undead spirit similar in appearance to a skeleton, but more
dangerous and more difficult to dispel.
The heucuva appears to be a humanoid skeleton of normal size. The bones are
covered by a robe that is little more than tattered rags.
The heucuva attacks by swiping with one of its hands; the sharp finger bones
are capable of tearing into wood. A victim must roll a successful saving throw
vs. poison or be afflicted with a disease. The victim suffers a daily loss of 1
point each of Strength and Constitution. A cure disease
spell must be cast on the victim to prevent death and restore the lost points.
Heucuva are treated as wights on the Turning Undead
table. They are resistant to all mind-influencing spells. Heucuva bones soon
crumble once the monsters are destroyed.
Heucuva have a special hatred of priests. Once a priest uses his spells or
tries to turn the heucuva, they will concentrate on attacking that priest. They
may even ignore everyone else except for the priest and those defending him.
Heucuva are able to polymorph themselves up to three times a day. They may use
this power to assume a nonthreatening shape in order to get close to an
unsuspecting victim or avoid an undesired encounter when pursuing a specific prey.
Heucuva may assume the form of people they have met in the recent past, such as a
past victim or a member of the party that encounters the monsters. If the
heucuva are in their lairs, they may assume their old (living) appearances. Groups
encountered on the surface may appear to be pilgrims in procession. Such
disguises fool only those who view the world solely via visible light; heucuva appear
the same as other skeletal undead if looked at with infravision. The heucuva
are incapable of speech; they can only moan or wail.
Heucuva roam the dark places of the world. They can be found in subterranean
realms, as well as most temperate or tropical regions. Cold seems to prevent
heucuvan activity, for they are not found in high, desolate mountains or in any
Legends tell that heucuva are the restless spirits of monastic priests who
were less than faithful to their holy vows. In punishment for their heresies, they
are forced to roam the dark. Their spirits, appearance, and holy powers have
become perverted mockeries of their old selves. The tatters they wear are the
unrecognizable remains of their monks' robes. Instead of healing, they can kill
with a diseased touch. Instead of helping others, they seek to kill all who
still live. Even their old power to turn undead is now used to help them resist the
efforts of others to turn them.
Heucuva retain dim memories of their old lives. Their lairs are decorated as
grotesque mockeries of their old abbeys and temples. The corpses of past victims
may be used to represent parishioners. These corpses may retain their original
possessions, which may represent a large portion of the heucuvan treasure
trove. Other accumulated treasures may be scattered around the mock altar as
decorations or offerings. Such a mock temple is a chilling sight to most and an
abomination that few good-aligned cleric can resist destroying.
Some heucuva are nomadic and constantly wander on a pilgrimage to nowhere.
Even these are mockeries of real pilgrimages.
Heucuva are malignant spirits that seek to destroy those who still live. They
are used as examples to remind priests the fate that befalls those who stray
from their devotion or use their religion as a mask to hide unpious deeds.
Powdered heucuva bones may be used in the preparation of magical items intended to
corrupt the spirits of living beings or to control undead.