“Runeslave” is an acquired template that can be added to any giant (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A runeslave uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
CR: Same as the base creature +1.
Runeslaves can continue to function even after taking great punishment. They are immune to nonlethal damage. Against effects that inflict pain (such as a symbol of pain spell), a runeslave gains a +4 bonus on all saving throws.
Weaknesses: Runeslaves gain the following weakness.
The symbols etched upon a runeslave's body put great stress on its physical form, choking its mind and ultimately killing the giant in time. Each runeslave has a predominant rune associated with one school of magic inscribed on its body. Traditionally, this rune is of a school of magic directly opposed to the runelord the runeslave serves—all of the runeslaves encountered in this adventure bear the sign of wrath upon their bodies as a sort of brand of shame. The slow decay of a runeslave's mental faculties manifests as a gradual loss of life and sanity, represented by the accumulation of rune-shaped scars all over the body. The disease has no additional physical or mental effect until these magical runescars completely overwhelm their host, at which point the accumulated pain the giant has endured since becoming a runeslave is released in a fatal surge of unleashed suffering. All runeslaves are “infected” with this disease. Only limited wish, miracle, or wish can prevent or cure arcane decay, but in so doing removes the entire template, reverting the runeslave back to the base creature. Multiple successful Fortitude saves only delay the decay and do not cure the creature of the disease.
Arcane Decay: Inherited—non-contagious; save Fortitude DC 15; frequency 1/week; effect gain one runescar; cure none (but see above). When a runeslave's number of runescars equals its Hit Dice, it dies.
Speed: A runeslave's base land speed is 20 feet faster than the base creature's. Other forms of movement, such as flying or swim speeds, are unaffected.
Special Attacks: A runeslave gains the following special attack.
Once per day as a swift action, a runeslave can gain the benefits of the spell haste for 6 rounds. Using this ability forces the giant to make an additional Fortitude save against arcane decay, even if it has already made its weekly save to resist the disease.
Abilities: Change from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +2, Int –2, Wis –2, Cha –2.