Name: Niðling
Size/Type: Small Aptrgangr
Hit Dice: 2d6+1 (8 hp)
Wound: 1
Initiative: +1
Speed: 25 feet (5 hexes)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural armor), touch 12, flat-footed 14
BAB/Grapple: +1/-3
Attack: Bone Dagger +3 melee (1d8+1)
Full Attack: Bone Dagger +3 melee
Space/Reach: 1 hex wide/1 hex
Special Attacks: Bone Dagger, Fearful Gaze, Proficiencies
Special Qualities: Cowardice, Spirit Sense, Undying Vengeance, Unliving
Saves: Fort -1, Ref +4, Will +4
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 13, Con 9, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 17
Skills: Concentration +6, Endurance +6, Hide +6, Jump +5, Listen +6, Move Silently +6, Search +6, Spot +6
Proficiencies: Master Traditions, Expert Nature, Expert Lower Worlds, Master Swords
Feats: Toughness
Challenge Rating: 2
Salvage: 32 sp Curiosities

The derogatory term niðling refers to an oathbreaker or coward who has shamed and let down his clan due to those flaws, so the term is applied to the vengeful dead who arise after being slain in the process of fleeing from combat. Warped by this perception, niðlings appear smaller, more hunched, and covered with boils and blemishes, as ugly on the outside as they were on the inside in life, but otherwise they appear much more humanlike than most aptirgangir.

Niðlings are jumpy and twitchy, never staying too long in one place for fear of being attacked. They never show their backs to their enemies if they can help it, as reliving the experience of their death is the last thing they want to do.

Bone Dagger: Every niðling wields a dagger made from its own bone, usually the rib damaged by the blow that killed it. This dagger is a Small exotic weapon with the Finesse weapon quality twice. Additionally, it has a critical rating of 15-20/x3 when attacking a creature from its rear flank.

Cowardice: A niðling takes half damage from any attack or effect dealt to it in any round in which it moves at least 10 feet, and is further entitled to a Reflex save to entirely negate any attack or effect coming from its front flank or flanks (DC equal to the effect’s DC, or 10 + 1/2 BAB + Str bonus for a weapon attack). However, if a niðling is successfully dealt any damage from its rear flank, it is immediately destroyed.

Fearful Gaze: As a standard action, a niðling can cause its eyes to glow with an unearthly light. Any creatures within its front flank and flanks who can see the niðling must make a Will save (DC 14; the DC is Charisma-based) or be frightened for 1 minute as its mind is overwhelmed by a flood of memories concerning all the times it was ever afraid. A creature who makes the save is instead shaken for the same duration. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves, but they do stack with the Fearful Gaze ability of other niðlings.

Proficiencies: A niðling gains the following benefits from his proficiencies:

  • Whenever the niðling scores a critical hit, makes a successful called shot, or wounds a creature with its bone dagger, the creature begins bleeding for 2 points of damage per round; this bleeding damage stacks with any bleeding damage from the creature failing its wound save.
  • When the niðling scores a critical hit or makes a successful called shot with its bone dagger, it may spend a swift action to maximize the damage dealt; this only applies to the base weapon damage, extra damage deriving from its Backstab ability or the like is rolled normally.

Spirit Sense (Su): Niðlings are aware of the presence of all other spirits within 10 feet per hit die, sensing their type, exact location, and general emotional state. Detected creatures can attempt to mentally “hide” from this sense by making Bluff checks against the niðling’s Sense Motive in the same way one would make Hide checks against an observer’s Spot check to hide physically, with living creatures and foliage counting as concealment against this sense.

Undying Vengeance: Niðlings wish to spread the misery of their existence to the living, so they are driven to create more of themselves. A creature killed by any attack a niðling makes from the creature’s rear flanks rises as a niðling 1d4 days after death unless it is given appropriate burial rites to prevent this or the body is completely destroyed. Further, a niðling can sense the rough location of any creature involved in causing its death, as if using locate creature on the nearest such creature, and will prioritize them over any other targets.

Unliving: Niðlings take no wounds (though they still have wound thresholds for resolving called shots and similar) and are immune to nonlethal damage, ability damage, Necromancy effects (except negative energy damage, which heals them instead of harming them), and any effects that require Fortitude saves unless they also affect objects.

Curiosities: A niðling’s bone dagger can be used by anyone proficient with a normal dagger; however, wielding one is highly dishonorable as it implies that the wielder believes oathbreakers and cowards can be useful in some way, so anyone who wields such a dagger immediately loses Nobility and Valor points sufficient to drop them down to the next-lower score and de-attunes any major items keyed to those Wyrd attributes, and any Norse who discover that a character has wielded a niðling dagger has his attitude towards the character worsened by 1 step and can never have his attitude raised to Helpful towards the character.

Further, if a character actually kills a creature by attacking it with the bone dagger from its rear flank, he becomes cursed: he loses 4 Cha permanently, takes a -6 penalty to morale checks and saves against fear and charm effects, and will become a niðling himself upon death while so cursed, even if the bone dagger is later lost or discarded.

A bone dagger can be handled, transported, and disposed of without issue; only actually wielding it or carrying it with the intent to wield it imposes the above consequences.


Saga of the Northlands PsychicTheurge