Another creepy wretch, complete with bpa-free container, preserving fluids (guaranteed low sodium, no msg), maybe even a warning label, and ghoulish motivations to enliven your most deadly dungeon plots—presented here with pertinent D&D BECMI game stats.
Jar Malefactor*: AC 4, HD 4**, 32 hp, MV flying only 90’ (30’), AT 1 bite/2 claws (if any), D bite 1d6+1 bite/claws 1d4 each, Save F4, Str 7, Dex 7, Int 14, ML 10, AL Chaotic, Size: S, XP 225.
Abilities: Undead; can be Turned as a ghoul; immune to non-magical weapons and mind-affecting attacks; bites and claws carry rotting disease (as a mummy’s; saving throw negates); hides in shadows as thief level 18.
Sealed in a jar filled with an alchemical solution, the dismembered corpse of a malformed, evil individual gradually became undead. The process often takes years or decades before the creature awakes, when its erstwhile spirit wanders back from the netherworld to its preserved remains. Tatters of its memories still lie inside its brain, along with the spirit’s malevolent ethos.
Such jars are sometimes forgotten among others on a shelf in a lab, in an obscure museum, or in a seedy curio shop. Some are displayed as attractions in carnival creep shows, perhaps past criminals stolen from their graves. At night when no one watches, the ghastly being unscrews the jar from inside and wanders the vicinity in search of clues on its veiled past. It spies on persons of interest for days or months, gathering information about them. In a raspy whisper, it questions isolated individuals while hiding in shadows, and attempts to slay those who fail to provide the clues it hopes for. If unable to satisfy a deathly yearning, the malefactor breathes lies or harmful truths it overheard from unsuspecting visitors, hoping to set one against the other. It returns to its jar after roaming about, closes the lid, and waits for another occasion to resume its quest away from prying eyes. Though toxic, the liquid in the jar heals within an hour any combat damage the undead may have suffered.
The malefactor’s lower body and entrails have usually been removed. Partially hidden behind its head, its skinbound, skeletal limbs are folded tightly against its chest when inside the jar. It flies slowly when wandering, gray-green shreds of preserved skin dangling or dragging below. Its claw-like fingers and teeth bear a rotting disease, or as an option, may paralyze a victim as a ghoul. Immune to non-magical weapons, the malefactor is also able to hide in shadows or behind miscellaneous objects. Greater malefactors able to cast magic are rumored to exist in the workshops of necromancers. The jar, its fluid contents, and its occupant do not radiate magic, but the creature’s evil may be detected along with a smell of formaldehyde and moldy pickles. If it wishes so, it may fly away with its jar and hide it (or steal another with a similar concoction, after discarding its previous resident). The malefactor disintegrates after it finds the information it sought and exacts vengeance upon whomever it blames for its fate, whether evil or not.