Hinge-Headed of the Basalt Ziggurat

The fourth level holds the Basalt Ziggurat, home of the Hinge-Headed and their armies of Neanderthal slaves. That's a ways off, but an ambassador may be found on the second level, on a diplomatic mission to the necromantic midgets. I look forward to the players grabbing its mind-crystal, thinking it to be valuable treasure, and then having it shout out "Over here! Save me, fellow dungeon citizens!" at inopportune moments.

No. Enc: 1d4 (6d10)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d10
Save: T4
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: XVIII
XP: 190

The hinge-headed appear to be incredibly strong human men, with cylindrical bronze helmets entirely covering their heads. These cylinders have no openings whatsoever, and are attached to bronze collars bolted to the necks of the men. The cylinders are hinged in the back, and may be pried open to reveal the contents – a glowing crystal, clutched in a hand protruding from the neck (where a head would normally be).

These crystals are the intelligences controlling the hinge-headed bodies. They may be of any color imaginable, and are uncomfortably warm to the touch. The crystals are able to hear, speak, and perceive their surroundings within 30’.

The crystal will typically survive the death of its hinge-headed body. If one of these crystals is captured and its fellows become aware of it, they will go to great lengths to free their comrade. Ransoms of up to 1,000 gp may be paid per captured crystal, but the kidnappers will also earn the undying enmity of the hinge-headed.

The hinge-headed have developed the ability to dominate the weaker minds of Neanderthals, and use these creatures as their slaves. Any Neanderthal within 30’ of a hinge-headed must successfully save vs. spell every round or become dominated. The cavemen constantly resist their crystal masters, however, and upon a failed morale check they will briefly regain their will and run for freedom.

A hinge-headed typically wears a sleeveless robe over a bronze chain mail vest, and carries a two-handed sword strapped to its back.