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Mist, Crimson Death
Climate/Terrain: Bogs, swamps
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Night
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Genius (17-18)
Treasure: Z
Alignment: Neutral evil
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 0 (4)
Movement: Fl 12, Fl 6 after feeding (B)
Hit Dice: 13
THAC0: 7
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: 3-30
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: 95%
Size: M (6')
Morale: Champion (15-16)
XP Value: 9,000

The crimson death is a malevolent, vaporous creature that feeds on the bodily fluids of its victims.
The body of the crimson death is a humanoid-shaped cloud of pale color. It is difficult to distinguish if seen against fog and nearly invisible to infravision. During this time, the creature has an initiative bonus of +4. When the creature is fed, it develops a crimson flush that is easily visible by normal or infravision. The cloud possesses humanoid features. The fingers elongate into tentacles when it is feeding. Because of its behavior, sages believe that a Crimson Death Mist is the result of the actual death of a vampire.
The crimson death's language is a barely audible series of whispers. It can communicate with other vaporous beings such as air elementals. It communicates with humanoids only if it is their captive.

Combat: The monster attacks only to feed or defend itself. It surrounds its victim with vaporous tentacles. Whenever it hits, the tentacles drain bodily fluids and cause 3d10 points of damage.
The creature is normally immaterial (AC 0) and can be struck only by magical weapons of +2 or better. After feeding, the creature attains solidity (AC 4) for six turns. At this time the creature turns red, moves more slowly (Fl 6), and can be struck by magical weapons of +1 or better.
When a crimson death dies, it immediately dissipates into the air while its undigested fluids fall to the ground in a grotesque shower.
The crimson death is able to carry loads by levitating anything surrounded by its vaporous mass. Despite its vaporous nature, the crimson death possesses strength equal to a normal human. It is able to carry a passive weight equal to an adult human. If it attempts to pick up a struggling victim, it must make a successful attack roll for each round it carries the person. Failure means the person drops to the ground (suffering damage appropriate to the height of the fall).

Habitat/Society: The crimson death dwells in the bogs and marshes where chill and damp prevail. The creature is nearly invisible in its native habitat.
The crimson death is a secretive creature. It prefers to feed on solitary beings, since these are easy to sneak up on and have no allies to lend them support. If several people are present, the crimson death tries to pick off the guard while the others sleep; it then feeds on the others at its leisure. In order to conceal its presence, the crimson death disposes of corpses in its lair or a deep bog.
It maintains a lair in a thicket, undercut bank, or a hollow space under a windfall. There the monster stores the valuables it collects from its victims. These can be used as bribes for humanoid allies or bait for intended victims. The lair may also contain the remains of past victims.
The crimson death prefers to feed on humanoids. It normally requires one victim per week. If more people are available, the monster may feed continuously until destroyed or driven off.
Legends tell of a connection between crimson deaths and vampires. One tale suggests that, when an undead vampire is destroyed, its spirit is transformed into a crimson death. Another tale suggests that, when a vampire is created, the monster's lost soul is reborn elsewhere as a crimson death. This legend also suggests that a vampire may be restored to normal life if it is rejoined by its crimson death counterpart. A third legend says that extremely evil air elementals are condemned and cast out into the Prime Material plane in the forms of crimson deaths.

Ecology: The crimson death is a dangerous predator that roams the swamps like a living ghost. A crimson death can be collected and imprisoned in an airtight container. This does not harm it. A crimson death in such a container may be mistaken for, or mislabeled as, a bottled djinn or magical vapor. If someone releases the crimson death, the starving creature immediately attacks its unwitting rescuer.
Crimson deaths are aware of the advantages of alliances. They may agree to cooperate with evil humanoids who can provide them with a steady supply of victims. They make excellent allies for those dwelling in or near their lairs.

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