Ghost Hearse (Black Death):


Stories tell of haunted cars driving down the remains of highway crisscrossing what was once the Old American Empire. Some are good, some are evil. Some of the darkest tales told are about a black vehicle which is considered to be the harbinger of death. Even many of those who consider themselves to be evil avoid the car and it is told that other haunted vehicle avoid the evil Hearse as well. The car appears to be a black vehicle known as Hearse, a type of vehicle also known as funeral cars. Most often the Black Hearse seems to be seen in the Southern parts of what had been the United States, especially the states of Texas and New Mexico. It can also be sometimes found driving through areas of Mexico as well.


The Black Hearse appears to have seen better days, the dark tinted windshield is cracked and the vehicle has rust spots and has actually rusted completely out in a number of areas especially in the lower side panels. The half top is also black but is ripped and frayed as well. The curtains inside the rear area are yellow from age and are tattered in many areas. The inside has cracked black leather seats and leather dash. If someone peaks through the curtains into the rear, they will see an open coffin with a rotting corpse or skeleton inside of it dressed in fine cloths and often dressed in elaborate jewelry. Sometimes the dead body is male and sometimes the corpse is female. The engine sounds as if it has blown multiple gaskets and makes sickly sounds as if it is on its last days. Unfortunately, this is not the case. From out of the exhaust pipe comes sickly green smoke emanates and blood appears to drip out as well. Around the car, the sickly smell of rotting flesh can be perceived and there is just something emanating from the car which is pure evil.


The Black Hearse seems to prefer the night and especially dark and dreary days. Rainy night are some of the most common times which it might be seen. While most sightings of the car have been at night, stories tell of the car being seen during sunny days as well, maybe it is on errands of its own. No one really seems to know what drives the car and those who have looked inside have never seen anyone in the drivers seat. There are many stories about the origin of the Hearse. One tells that the Hearse was owed by a serial killer who used his business as an undertaker to get rid of corpse and that refused to give up his stalking when he died. Some think that he was a necromancer. Tales also tell that he died in the Black Hearse and so became part of the car. Stories about the vehicle seem to have originated only a few years after the coming of the Rifts. There are reports of Coalition troops having encountered the car and having attempted to destroy it each time and there are also stories of Cyber Knights and Ley Line Walkers who attempted to destroy the evil haunted Hearse. So far, the car has survived every attempt at its destruction. Even though the car appears to be badly rusted, it is extremely tough and seems to have the ability to simply disappear. Whenever the car is hit, it leaks what appears to be human blood.


Occasionally will stop to pick someone up although no one living has ever gotten alive out of the Hearse again. Even so, some people seem to be stupid enough to enter the car. Some mystic scholars believe that the essence of these people power the car. A story is told of two companions and one of the companions got into the car. The second person refused but weeks later the car pulled beside him and he looked in the back. He saw the rotting corpse of his friend. Stories also tell that a vampire can ride in the car without being harmed and that a vampire is even protected from the sun while riding in the car. It is also said that the car will sometimes stop to pick up a vampire and they will hunt together. The vampire will drag a victim into the car and it appears that both share the feast. It might be that the car cannot consume supernatural creatures because all victims, according to tales told, have been normal human. In addition to consuming anyone who enters the car, the Hearse will sometimes engage in wanton destruction such as throwing evil magic to devastate a town or sometimes simply running someone over on the road. This includes the ability to summon an army of the dead. It also has the ability to enchant the dead so they are invulnerable to everything except heavy weapons. One trick it has done which has been recorded several times has been to attack a village from one direction and quickly drive to the other side. It will allow its door to be opened as if it is means of escape and then it will consume its passengers. It is very unpredictable, sometimes it will just pull up to someone so they can just see the dead body riding in the back.


Type: 1977 Cadillac Crown Superior
Class: Haunted Pre-Rifts Commercial Automobile
Crew: Zero or One (Can carry up to two passengers in the front area)
Horror Factor: 16


M.D.C. by location:

[1] Headlight (4)10 each
[1] Tires (4):30 each
Crew Compartment100
Cargo Compartment100
[2] Main Body:350


Notes:
[1] These are small and difficult targets to strike, requiring the attacker to make a “called shot,” but even then the attacker is -4 to strike.
[2] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the unit down completely, making it useless. No one knows if the car would regenerate if completely destroyed.
Note: The Hearse will regenerate at 20% of the hit locations M.D.C. per day, meaning all damage will be restored within 5 days of being damaged. Also, the Hearse can create an "Necro-Armor" force field of 130 M.D.C.


Speed:
Ground: Top speed on roads of 120 mph (193.1 kph) with a normal cruise speed of 66 mph (106.2 kph.) The car is not really designed for off road travel, top speed is 40 mph (64 kph)
Maximum Range: Effectively Unlimited, the car appears to need no refueling and seems to run on magical energy.


Statistical Data:
Height: 4.8 feet (1.46 meters)
Width: 6.2 feet (1.90 meters)
Length: 20.4 feet (6.2 meters)
Weight: 4,800 lbs (2,200 kilograms)
Power Source: Magic, the Hearse's systems seem to work as if run by magic. Originally, internal 7.0 liter combustion engine.
Cargo Capacity: Rear Cargo compartment, if cleared of the coffin can carry around 150 cubic feet (4.25 cubic meters) of volume. Space has approximate dimensions of 10 feet (3.0 meters) long by 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide by about 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall. In addition, a small amount can be stored in the drivers compartment.
Black Market Cost: Not for Sale, due to the evil and haunted nature of the car, it is doubtful anyone would want the car and the vehicle is completely independent.


Weapon Systems: None but can use various magic spells.


Special Abilities as a Haunted Vehicle:




[ Altarian TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Larsen's Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk's Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]


Special Credit to Talis D. Merrill (taalismn@pop.tiac.net) for many of the concepts and enchantments / powers for Ghost / Haunted vehicles.


Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).


Copyright © 2004, Kitsune. All rights reserved.



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