Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Book of the White Cat

[A compact volume of spells and cryptic notations on the construction of mageries, the Book of the White Cat is small enough in size to be cradled comfortably in the crook of an arm. The Book's pages are of creamy parchment edged in gold, its contents scribed in a sure and delicate hand in black and cinnabar inks; the covers are of dense oak overlain with immaculately clean white velvet. And -- over the velvet -- is stitched, edged in golden thread, what seems to be the pelt of a small white cat, with its tail dangling free from the spine of the Book. The "bones" inside the tail are of silver, however, and the tail serves as a magery that will contain one spell level per day when life energy is given to power it.]

Veil of Mist
Level: M1
Range: 0
Duration: 2 turns
Effect: Magical field absorbs energy

Casting this spell cloaks the magic-user in a protective sheath of magical force. This ward may take on any form -- a pearly mist, orbiting plates of milky crystal, a barely-perceptible green glow -- and will absorb 2-5 hit points of elementally- or magically-inflicted damage before dissipating.

Level: M1
Range: 60'
Duration: 4 hours
Effect: A single warding rune

Casting this spell places the glyph for "watchfulness" anywhere within the spell's radius. This glyph is normally silvery but may be rendered visible only to the magic-user if so desired when the spell is cast. For the duration of senseglyph, if a creature passes within 5' of the glyph the magic-user is alerted to the activity; the glyph does not identify the type of creature, or its intent.

Winter's Talons
Level: M1
Range: 60'
Duration: 10 rounds
Effect: Grasping spars of ice injure and confine

Casting this spell at a target coats its lower body in bitterly cold ice, freezing it in place and injuring the flesh. The target takes 1-3 hit points of damage and is immobilized for the spell's duration unless they can break free; a successful Strength check will enable escape in 2-4 rounds, and strong creatures break free in 1-2 rounds. Application of flames will free the target but also inflict appropriate damage.

The Fire Rose
Level: M1
Range: 0
Duration: 4 turns
Effect: A flower-like sphere of flame

Casting the fire rose conjures to the magic-user's hand a rippling, twisting sphere of flickering fire that resembles a stylized rose of flame. The magic-user may elect to use the fire rose as a melee weapon (as a dagger, with +1 to to-hit and damage rolls), or release it as a single-use projectile with a range of 60', 1-6 hit points damage and a +3 bonus to hit.

Pale Winds Gifting
Level: M2
Range: touch
Duration: permanent
Effect: Sacrifice lifeforce for healing another

A rare curative trick in the magic-user's arsenal, this spell allows the caster to give up their own lifeforce for others. For every hit point sacrificed by the caster, the recipient is healed two hit points. This spell's dweomer resists being cheated; if a clerical healing spell is applied to the caster to heal the sacrificed hit points, it is only half as effective.

Storm of Doves
Level: M2
Range: 120'
Duration: 1 round
Effect: Creates doves of lightning

Storm of doves creates a flock of fluttering birds of crackling electricity that swarm all within a 15' radius of the spell's point of origin. The doves inflict 2-8 hit points of damage, and victims must save vs. paralyzation or be stunned for one round.

White Queen Tail: The tail dangling from the Book of the White Cat functions as a low-powered, universal magery that requires lifeforce in order to function. Every day a single spell level may be created and stored within the Tail by sacrificing two hit points which may not be healed that day; the Tail will hold no more than that single spell level at a time, which may be tapped when the owner of the Tail wishes in order to cast any single first level spell currently available to the owner.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Five Uncommon Metals

When spicing up a treasure hoard, sometimes minor -- if still unusual -- properties of an item's material can be every bit as interesting as a new enchantment, especially if the material is rare and/or valued in and of itself. (Mithral, anyone?)

With that in mind, a few unusual metals for weapons, armour, or odder widgets:

Ignis Cor: A dense, brilliantly cherry-red and slightly translucent metal that -- despite being of no unusual temperature itself -- registers as fire to anything which may react to fire. Useful as a weapon against creatures weak to flames, dangerous when stored with very flammable substances.

Pet'tjeri: Deep bluish black with ultramarine highlights, this metal is shot through with coiling filaments of silver. Often used in protective charms, when alloyed 1:1 with steel the resulting weapon may injure creatures vulnerable to silver or cold iron.

Noctis: A very fragile but beautiful metal found natively only in easily-shattered nodules, best used as wire niello or other forms of inlay or alloyed with gold or silver. Noctis, pure or alloyed, glows softly in a variety of colours, some hues -- such as purple -- being rarer and highly sought after.

Pashken: Dull, almost pewter grey in colour, this metal is strong enough to be made into weaponry but is not recommended for armour. It is riddled through with a strange absorbent quality to its substance; a pashken sword, for example, will absorb as much as a flask of any fluid applied to it. Impact will cause the fluid to be expelled.

Hekai: Very obviously an exotic metal, hekai is as transparent as glass and etched with frosted feathering. If touched to an enchanted object or a magical field or other effect, hekai or an object composed mainly of hekai will flicker with a brief shower of golden sparks on a one-in-six chance.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Monster: Duraki


Armour Class: 5

Hit Dice: 3+5

Move: 120' (40')

Attacks: 1 fists or by weapon

Damage: 1-4/1-4 or by weapon

No. Appearing: 2-8

Save As: F4

Morale: 10

Treasure Type: E

Alignment: Chaotic

XP Value: 75

Strange humanoid creatures, duraki are androgynous and eerily similar in appearance to one another, as if all created at the once by some magic-user's experiment. Their flesh is smooth and fishbelly pale, almost pearly, and slick with a thin sheen of blood continually shed by their pores; their eyes are featureless and white, as is what little hair that they possess. Duraki will arm themselves with any weaponry they may acquire, but are just as happy to use their fists in their raiding and pillaging.

Duraki attack with their fists in combat, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage per strike, or else make use of an eclectic variety of weaponry -- essentially, any weapon one may acquire, it may wield. Certain duraki have demonstrated a fondness for flaming oil and pitch as weapons.

If a duraki is brought to half of its hit points, on the following round it may trigger a cystburst: a wave of blood and gore erupts from the creature, congealing into 1-6 1 Hit Die or 1-2 2 Hit Die duraki. Save for the lower number of Hit Dice, the spawn function identically to their "parent".

Friday, March 5, 2010

The wheel in the cage goes round and round ...

Not back for a week, and the blogosphere has managed to already cough up the beginning of another one of Those Debates. Pfeh. Lovely. And with a side-order of one of my other annoyances, besides; but that seems confined to a small space, so what odds.

This is the sound of me knocking my head against my desk.
(tis rather a hollow sound ...)

New critter in the morning if work doesn't eat me alive.

Monster: Qiparal


Armour Class: 7

Hit Dice: 1+1

Move: 30' (10')

fly 120' (40')

Attacks: 1 bite

Damage: 1-4 + special

No. Appearing: 2-20

Save As: F1

Morale: 8

Treasure Type: I

Alignment: Chaotic

XP Value: 19

Unusually large bats, qiparal are covered in dark fur and have muzzles much like that of a jackal, as well as a jackal's ears and oddly grooved fangs. Their most shocking trait are their wings, however; for when a qiparal spreads its wings and begins its fluttering flight, it reveals the brilliantly coloured patterns its wings' translucent membranes. These bright patterns make the qiparal resemble some kind of predatory butterfly -- which works to the creature's advantage.

In combat a qiparal bites, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage. The wounds inflicted by a qiparal's grooved teeth continue to bleed freely, losing 1-2 hit points per round so long as the injury is not tended to, and given the chance a qiparal will lap up fresh blood rather than continue to attack.

Any individual within ten feet of a fluttering qiparal must make a saving throw vs charm or be entranced by the brilliant flashes of colour and pattern for 1-8 rounds unless the magical effect is cancelled or dispelled. During this time the victim may make no actions and is unaware of any activity surrounding them -- or inflicted upon them.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Magic Item: Rings of the Winged Moon

Rings of the Winged Moon: “Rings” in name only, this pair of slender bangles are crafted of a strange silvery porcelain-like substance, translucent and faintly bluish. Stronger than they appear, the Rings must be worn on either wrist in order to function; placing both bangles on one wrist renders the enchantment temporarily inert.

When active, the Rings may be called upon to produce any small object of a utilitarian nature – knife, cup, quill pen, thief's pick – forming the object out of the same silvery material that the bangles themselves are composed of. No more than three such objects may be in existence at any one time, and after 1-10 turns the item will fade into nothingness.

The origin of the Rings' name is unknown, though sages speculate on a connection with the chthonic cults of the Lunar Serpent.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monster: Myrrist


Armour Class: 6

Hit Dice: 1-1

Move: 120' (40')

Attacks: 1 weapon or bite

Damage: 1-6 or 1-3 + special

No. Appearing: 2-8 (3-30)

Save As: F1

Morale: 11

Treasure Type: Q (C)

Alignment: Neutral

XP Value: 5

Sworn adversaries – and natural predators – of the cricet and chiktik both, the myrrist are small, long and lean; weasels or fishers in a humanoid shape. Standing some two and a half to three feet tall, myrrist are covered in soft fur that ranges from snow white to sable; their eyes are bottomless black, their rounded ears edged in the same, and their teeth needle sharp. Myrrist often wear meticulously patchworked armour jacks but are otherwise austere and unpredictable in their tastes for ornamentation. Likewise, their reactions to other sapient species is equally unpredictable -- save that they will not share territory peacefully.

In combat a myrrist fights with a javelin long enough to be wielded in melee if necessary, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage. The myrrist weapon possesses a long, narrow and wickedly-barbed head that lodges in the wound; tearing the weapon free inflicts another hit point of damage. A myrrist carries 2-6 such javelins but will fall back on using fangs if necessary, inflicting 1-3 hit points of damage and if choosing to do so locking its jaws to automatically inflict 1-2 hit points per round of blood drain. A myrrist so jawlocked can take no other actions unless it releases its victim.

Elite members of a myrrist clan, numbering 2-12, possess 1+1 hit dice. A chieftain of 1+4 Hit Dice will be found in the myrrist's lair, and fights as a 2 Hit Dice monster; he or she is attended by 1–4 elite myrrist.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Monster: Shutai


Armour Class: 5

Hit Dice: 1/2*

Move: 150' (50') (special)

Attacks: 1

Damage: Special

No. Appearing: 4-16

Save As: M1

Morale: 9

Treasure Type: Nil

Alignment: Chaotic

XP Value: 6

Strange, small entities, shutai glide swiftly across any and all possible surfaces; living shadow-shapes, like lacy and baroque silhouettes of teardrop cutouts that slide and swarm towards any available targets. Those who find themselves attacked by shutai slowly lose their own shadow and a portion of their own self along with it.

Shutai “attack” by attacking a shadow cast by an individual; as a shutai comes into contact with a shadow, it draws away some of that shadow's substance into its own lacy patterns. This attack inflicts 1-3 hit points of “damage” but does not cause injury – however, if the total of “damage” dealt by shutai should match or exceed the victim's current hit point total, the victim's shadow has been completely consumed. The shadow damage -- if one's shadow is not devoured -- "heals" over the course of an hour.

A shadowless victim is at -1 to all actions and saves and is listless, unable to innovate or act on their own initiative, and must be coaxed into action by others. A shadow may be restored by the same means used to lift curses or cure magical disease. Shutai take damage from spells, and from magical or silver weapons.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Magic Item: Ring of Viridian Veins

Ring of Viridian Veins: A slender finger-ring of copper in the form of twisting vines, the Ring of Viridian Veins is decorated with tiny leaves of deep green jade. Despite its apparent fragility the Ring is strong as steel and will resize to fit as needed.

The bearer of the Ring will find their hair (or fur, feathers, etc.) develops a vibrant emerald tint. So long as the Ring is worn, that individual requires only one-half of their usual food requirements so long as they are exposed to a light source of torch-strength or better for the majority of their waking hours. Continuous exposure to full sunlight drops the food requirement to one-quarter.

The original Ring of Viridian Veins was forged by the Grey Brother, or magesmith, of the now-defunct naturalist's guild once commonly known as the Verdant Wings. Since that time the Ring has been widely copied, its enchantments freely spread by the Wings as the Sere Winds parched forests and farmlands both.