Monday, August 31, 2009

Monster: Theron

Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 1+2*
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: by weapon, or 2 claws + 1 bite
Damage: as weapon, or 1-4/1-4/1-3
No. Appearing: 1 (2-8)
Save As: F2
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: B
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 20

Crazed predators and cannibals, theron are often mistaken for ghouls by those unfamiliar with the undead but in fact bear more resemblance to lycanthropes. When the bloodlust takes over, a theron twists into a hunched, bestial posture, growing tearing claws and bestial teeth; their eyes grow slitted and beastlike, and they are often afflicted with a blood-flecked foam at the mouth and bloody tears. The theron's curse is in many ways a "lesser" strain of lycanthropy, passed along in a similar manner and with similar traits. Some theron are provoked into bloodlust by being threatened or injured; others by violent emotional states, or the phase of the moon. Most fearful are those who can control the timing of their transformations.

When unafflicted, theron attack with any weapons they happen to be armed with. When in bloodlust a theron attacks any and all living creatures in sight with claws and teeth for 1-4 and 1-3 hit points of damage respectively; if both claw attacks successfully strike the same victim, the theron rends the wound, which takes another 1-2 hit points of damage on the following round.

Theron regenerate 2 hit points per round. 50% of theron require silver weapons, enchanted weapons or spells to be harmed.

Victims who lose more than half of their hit points to a theron attack have a 50% chance of being taken by the curse within 2-8 days. Certain members of the clergy, as well as various enchanted items and elemental powers, are capable of curing the curse before it takes root.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Project cancellation and reconsideration.

After spending the last two months in a never-ending spiral of not getting things written (though what could only be described as sheer fear and writer's paralysis) for the elemental project, then not getting proper posts done on the blog (out of guilt for not working on the project), then provoking further paralysis through not making proper posts and not breaking through the wall to get work done, I have concluded that I will have to fold the project.

(I can't even fathom what to do with the blog material to collect it into a publishable form, and the idea frankly makes my head spin; how can I possibly manage to write and assemble what I had in mind? *flailing forever*)

There are a few other factors that have led to this, but by and large the blame falls squarely on myself.

I do have some material, mostly critters and a few items, in postable or almost-postable format. I have no trouble doing so if people would like to see them rather than my sitting on them in the hopes I get the brass to find my muse again.

Perhaps I may be better off leaning towards short pdfs or booklets (if I have the brass at all), until I stop panicking. There is the Egypt idea; that would be, at least, a familiar and comfortable subject. Though I still have no idea what to actually do with the material once produced ...

Please understand that I feel massive guilt at having to call this off (at least for the time being), but I have gotten quite utterly nowhere in the last month and am about to chew my hand off with other massive guilt at having not finished the bloody thing by now and therefore kept people waiting. And my ability to blog has also suffered.

I do offer my greatest of apologies, and if anyone wants to ask questions or suchsort feel free.

Monster: Bririt

Armour Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1/2*
Move: 150' 50')
burrow 90' (30')
Attacks: 2 claws + 1 bite
Damage: 1-2/1-2/1-4
No. Appearing: 4-12
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: L
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 5

Bririt could be adorable fluffy bunnies -- if fluffy bunnies had slick green scales under their patches of grey fur, bone-plated heads with long near-naked ears, glowing red eyes and a maw of fangs, and paws bristling with barbs and sharp tearing claws. The tail of a bririt is long, coiling, and resembles a bristly, scaly rat's tail. Nesting in burrows and roaming in packs, bririt are the bane of small livestock, crops and smaller humanoids such as kobolds.

In combat bririt attack with claws and fangs, inflicting 1-2 and 1-4 hit points of damage respectively. Once a target of a bririt attack has been successfully injured, there is a 50% that all bririt present will swarm the injured individual. Rumours persist of a strain of bririt with rusty scales and an acidic bite.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Magic Item: Fireblossom

Fireblossom: Baroque wands or rods of gold and copper and glass, shaped like twisting coiled tapers and tipped with stylized flowerbuds, fireblossoms are so deeply etched and carved that the entire shaft seems to be a meld of glyphs and greenery. Despite appearing like exceptionally ornate sculptures, fireblossoms are in fact enchanted weapons.

By expending a charge, a fireblossom can be made to expel a gout of clinging scarlet flame from its flowery tip. A wand will release a 1'x5'x10' flame, or a single fireorb up to 40' away; a rod may produce 5'x10'x25' of flame, or use a ranged fireorb up to 120' away. A wand deals 1-6 hit points of damage, and a rod 1-10, with half damage again on the round after the fire initially strikes.

Fireblossoms are charged with an elixir resembling a garnet-red, grainy syrup, composed of cinnabar, saltpetre, dragon's blood and red lotus combined with certain specific enchantments. A wand can hold five charges, a rod ten.

Some versions of fireblossoms, rather than crafted in the shape of flowers, resemble baroque serpents who spit flames from their opening jaws.

Monster: Amber Jelly

Amber Jelly
Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1*
Move: 120' (40')
climb 90' (30')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-4
No. Appearing: 1-12
Save As: F1
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 13

Amber jellies are glistening, transparent amoebae of a densely gelatinous and vaguely ovoid nature, most notable for their deeply golden-yellow colouration (hence the name). Often found in small swarms, amber jellies are occasionally annoying populous in dungeons; other monsters sometimes use them as makeshift "snares".

In combat an amber jelly strikes with a pseudopod or simply collides with a target, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage and spraying a gout of thick, sticky amber mucilage. if a save vs. paralysis is failed, the victim is slowed by the hampering mucilage and moves at only half-speed for an hour; the effects are cumulative. Amber jelly mucilage may be dissolved by alcohol.

Amber jellies are immune to cold. Fire damage prompts an immediate fissioning into two jellies, each with 1 HD but half hit points.

Monster: Primal Sigil

Primal Sigil
Armour Class: 9
Hit Dice: 2 hp***
Move: fly 210' (70')
Attacks: 1
Damage: special
No. Appearing: 1 (1-4)
Save As: M2
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 8

A primal sigil -- also referred to as a living rune, living glyph, or godglyph -- is a magical spell incarnate, a twisting, glowing symbolic pattern of magical energy no more than a palm's width in size. Most primal sigils are a silver-white in colour, but exceptions do exist, and the sigil they embody may only be deciphered with read magic. Primal sigils have existed since the earliest aeons, appearing spontaneously, and a great body of lore has developed around them; rumours continuously circulate of magic-users creating new sigils, but these have never been proven.

A primal sigil does not "attack" so much as discharge the spell it embodies, which may be any cleric or magic-user spell of first level. (Rare sigils embody higher-level spells.) Once discharged, the sigil becomes dormant and invisible for five rounds while it restores its pattern.

Primal sigils may only be damaged by magical weapons, taking damage equal to the weapon's magical bonus. A spell cast on a sigil recharges it with a number of discharges equal to the level of the spell cast.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Magic Item: Al-Kemet

Al-Kemet: Said to have been created in the burning desert kingdom of the Diamond Sands, Al-Kemet is a handspindle of the high-whorl variety. The shaft of the spindle is carved of ivory, whereas the whorl is a dense disc of finely-carved ebony; the whorl is further ornamented with tiny, delicate glyphs and arabesques picked out in lapis, malachite and gold.

A utilitarian, if ornamental, object at first glance -- and indeed it may be used as an ordinary handspindle -- Al-Kemet possesses a single specific enchantment. Any substance, no matter its form or origin, may be spun into yarn or thread for weaving. From blood to gold, dragonscales to jade, all may be fed to Al-Kemet with only the spinner's skill affecting the quality of the fibre. More to the point, the skeins so produced retain all of the properties of the original substance -- in appearance and in physical qualities.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Monster: Empressbug

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 3*
Move: 120' (40')
climb 120' (40')
fly 150' (50')
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1-10 (special)
No. Appearing: 1 (1-2)
Save As: F3
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 50

The empressbug is -- predictably -- a mammoth, monstrous ladybug. Appearing to be lacquered in black and brilliant ruby or burnt amber (and of course spotted with more black), the empressbug is equally at home in primeval forests, overgrown jungles, untended garden labyrinths and dank crawling dungeons. All it needs is suitable prey -- and though other giant creepy-crawlies are preferred, an empressbug will eat just about anything that moves.

An empressbug attacks by biting, inflicting 1-10 hit points of damage with its bladed mandibles. If an empressbug inflicts five or more hit points of damage it has successfully grasped its prey and maintains its grip, continuously chewing away for an automatic 1-10 hit points of damage per round until the subject is devoured or escapes. A Strength check at a -4 penalty is required to escape the empressbug's gnawing.

It is entirely possible for adventurers -- already contending with giant centipedes and the like -- to be inadvertently aided by the trundling arrival of a hungry empressbug.

Monster: Kurath

Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1+3*
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1 weapon or spit
Damage: as weapon or 1-3 + poison
No. Appearing: 1-6 (6-24)
Save As: F2
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: F
Alignment: Any
XP Value: 19

Humanoids with coppery skin (occasionally with a faintly golden or even pearly sheen) and dark hair, kurath bear some faint resemblance to iaret and are speculated by sages to be the descendants of iaret-human breeding. More telling are their slightly inhuman features, their clawlike nails, and the scattered patches of fine scales in jewel-like colours. Most kurath have blue or amber eyes, and a rare few individuals -- usually spellcasters -- have silver hair. Though there are rumours of a kurath kingdom in the southern forests, the clans known to humanity are nomadic and small in population, bringing rare alchemies and exotic substances to human lands.

In combat a kurath will normally attack with a weapon, preferring short swords and javelins. If pressed -- or wishing to startle -- a kurath will spit venom at a target to a range of 10'; this venom inficts 1-3 hit points of damage and stuns for one round if a save vs. poison is failed. Kurath venom is more commonly used as a "lacquer" on their creations.

Each kurath clan is led by a matriarch or patriarch of 2 HD who possesses the fighting ability of a 3 HD monster and 2nd-level magic-user spellcasting ability. For every six kurath there is an individual with the ability to cast a single 1st-level spell per day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Monster: Living Statue, Glass

Living Statue, Glass
Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2**
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2
Damage: 1-4/1-4
No. Appearing: 1-3
Save As: F2
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 30

A living statue of glass is a construct of wildly varying appearance. Some are colourless and perfectly transparent, others coloured like jewels or in a riot of rainbow hues; some smooth and flowing in their designs, others faceted like crystal. Regardless of the detail of their manufacture, all glass statues have the same abilities. Most glass statues are created in the shape of stylized humanoids, but others have the forms of hooved beasts or insects.

Glass statues attack twice, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage with each successful strike. The light reflecting from a glass statue's curves and facets is piercing and disorienting; all actions against a glass statue are at a -2 penalty to the roll.

Any spell cast against a glass statue provokes a counter, a burst of brilliantly-coloured light with a radius equal to the effective range of the provoking spell. The effects are randomly chosen from the following:

1. red: fire damage, 1-8 hp
2. orange: paralysis, for three rounds
3. yellow: acid damage, 1-6 hp for two rounds
4. green: healing, 1-6 hp
5. blue: cold damage, 1-8 hp
6. violet: weakness, -3 to to-hit and damage for one hour
7. indigo: spirit attack, -3 to all saves for one hour
8. white: searing light, blindness

Friday, August 21, 2009

Magic Item: Kaira's Burning Claw

Kaira's Burning Claw: A desheri the size of a human fingerbone and of an intense and fiery blood red, Kaira's Burning Claw is slender, curved, and tapers to a wickedly sharp point. For most of its famed existence the Burning Claw was simply wrapped within a cage of leather thongs and ivory beads, and hung from the same; but since it was claimed as spoils of war by Samithir, the Frozen King, it has been capped with gold and rubies and placed as a brow-pendant upon the "king's" diadem.

Kaira's Burning Claw radiates an intense but not painful warmth. Indeed, such is the power of the gem that it protects the one that wears it from the effects of the coldest of environments and halves all damage taken from attacks that use cold, from a white dragon's breath to a blade of eternal ice. The burning spirit of the stone ignites its owner's own spirit as well -- once a day, the individual who wears or carries Kaira's Burning Claw may choose to either gain a +4 bonus to a roll, or to take a complete reroll on one event or action.

Once and once only during ownership of the Claw, the decision may be made to channel all of one's life into an attack or other activity. This endeavour will succeed, regardless of its impossibility -- but the owner of the Claw dies in the following round. Subsequent resurrection does not permit a second such final strike.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Five Precious Gems

Tjerrnet: An opaque-to-translucent stone resembling lapis lazuli at first blush, tjerrnet varies from a deep ultramarine to brilliant azure. Unlike lapis lazuli, however, tjerrnet glitters like the stars -- and when exposed to sunlight, flashes with silvery points of light.

Cuilka: Also known as executioner's jade, cuilka is a massive stone of a particularly piercing green shot through with lacy veins of scarlet. It is highly valued by magic-users, who make use of the droplets of "jade blood" it releases in mageries.

Seilan: The pearl of a rare freshwater mussel, the seilan is small, a perfect blue, and displays a phantom flame-like sheen in its nacre. It is perfectly smooth and appears to be always wet. Seilan are valued as pairs, if one can find matching pearls, though the Wandering Kingdoms consider seilan to be cursed.

Peacock Stone: Only found as layers in geodes of amethyst, peacock stones are "fibres" of shimmering golden-green or metallic blue that may be -- stone that they are -- braided or twisted into longer and heavier shapes and used in jeweled lace. The most talented of artisans are said to be capable of spinning peacock stone into actual cloth.

Desheri: Brilliant blood-red to ruby-black, smooth and translucent, desheri are naturally found in the shapes of teardrops or bestial claws, from the size of a pinhead to that of a man's thumb. Desheri are warm to the touch -- sometimes almost a burning heat -- and are considered precious talisman by the South. One of the most famous desheri is Kaira's Burning Claw.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monster: Naunmi

Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 2*
Move: 180' (60')
swim 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claws + 1 tail lash
Damage: 1-4/1-4/1-6 + acid
No. Appearing: 1-2 (1-6)
Save As: F2
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: L
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 25

Naunmi are sleek creatures with graceful necks, long muscular tails and powerful clawed limbs; they most closely resemble a fusion between feline and ferret. Unlike those creatures, however, a naunmi is covered in mirror-bright silver scales and its tail is edged with razor-sharp and furrowed scutes. A naunmi's eyes are featureless green or violet, and its paws are webbed; feeding on a liquid or mostly-liquid diet, it's mouth is almost unnoticeable.

In combat a naunmi attacks by clawing and lashing out with its tail, inflicting 1-4 and 1-6 hit points of damage respectively. The furrows and channels in a naunmi's tail scutes deliver a powerful organic acid into its victim's wounds; dissolving flesh, this acid inflicts 2-8 hit points of damage in the round after the attack and 1-4 hit points in the second round.

Naunmi are immune to poison, to acid-based attacks, and take only half damage from fire.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Monster: Iaret (Cobra Lord)

Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4+6**
Move: 150' (50')
climb 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 spit or by weapon
Damage: 2-8 + poison or by weapon
No. Appearing: 1-4 (2-12)
Save As: F6
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: A
Alignment: Any
XP Value: 275

The iaret, or "Cobra Lords", are an ancient race of shapechangers continually fascinated by nobility and secrets, both their own and those of the "young" kingdoms. In their natural shape iaret -- from the waist up -- resemble lithe and lean-muscled humans, though they are fanged, their amber eyes possess a faint inhuman gleam, and their coppery flesh occasionally shows a patch of tiny, jewel-like scales that are marked off by elaborate curling tattoos. From the waist down, however, an iaret has the body of a massive cobra, cloaked in brilliantly coloured shining scales and measuring as much as twenty feet in length. Whether concealing their nature or not, iaret are found scattered throughout the world as sages, duelists, merchant-princes, and rulers of the shadow cultures. Many human sages believe there to be a blood link between the iaret and the kurath, but the Cobra Lords refuse to comment.

In combat an iaret fights with a weapon -- the Cobra Lords prefer ornate polearms, gracefully curved swords and small but powerful bows of ivory and horn -- or by spitting venom. When spitting an iaret may attack up to a range of 40', the venom inflicting 2-8 hit points of damage and causing death if a save vs. poison is failed. An iaret may charm snakes of all kinds at will.

At will, an iaret may take on a fully human shape or dissociate themselves into 4-16 cobras -- all of which share the iaret's self. Even if only a single cobra survives, that snake may begin to devour other serpents until it has consumed twice the iaret's Hit Dice; it has then absorbed enough to regain its proper shape and identity. Fully half of the iaret population may also shift their physical sex as a matter of shapechanging.

For every four iaret there is found a prince of 7 HD; a House of iaret is led by an Empress or Emperor of 10 HD, with the spellcasting of a 5th-level magic-user and the ability to assume the full form of a scintillating giant cobra with a bite attack of 3-12 hit points damage (plus venom) and a breath weapon of caustic, clinging acid available three times daily, with the range of a 5x15x60' cone and inflicting 6-48 hit points of damage.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Magic Item: Pale Soul

Pale Soul: Carved of a solid length of translucent and pure white jade, Pale Soul is a scepter the size of (and eerily bearing a faint stylized resemblance to) a human femur. The scepter's shaft is delicately carved in low relief with curls and arabesques that make up glyphs of the soul; one end is tipped with a sculpted demisphere, the other with a vaguely scroll-shaped finial. In darkness Pale Soul glows faintly with a soft pearly light.

Possessing Pale Soul grants an individual the ability to contend with restless spirits. While bearing the scepter one is immune to the life-sapping aging of ghosts and similar undead, and may strike at incorporeal undead (and similar disembodied spirits) as if they were material creatures capable of being harmed with nonmagical weapons. Used as such a weapon itself, Pale Soul inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage. Pale Soul's bearer may also use the scepter to sense for incorporeal undead and intangible entities within a 100' radius; the creatures glow a faint pearly white to the eyes of the scepter's bearer. If the bearer of Pale Soul is not a cleric, they gain the ability to turn undead as a cleric of their level twice a day.

However, Pale Soul is an intelligent being in its own right. With every bearer it grows more powerful, insistently whispering into its owner's mind the necessity of devoting their life to the destruction of the restless spirits. More worrisome still are the scraps of the Codex of Beljari, which suggest that the soul of each bearer is absorbed into the scepter upon death, melding into the eldritch consciousness that is Pale Soul.

Pale Soul may not be abandoned nor sold. It must be given freely with all knowledge, or else taken from a deceased bearer.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Magic Item: Shoryrei's Seeds

Shoryrei's Seeds: These "seeds" resemble lenticular bits of gold and copper and obsidian roughly the size and shape of a peach pit. They are most commonly found in batches of 1-6 seeds; most such batches were originally bundled in small waxed courier's parcels of leather, but now may be discovered stored in virtually any manner.

To make use of a seed, an individual must use the seed's edge to draw blood from themselves; then the bloodied seed is pushed into soil or at least wedged into some form of substrate. Within five minutes the seed sprouts into a short twisting "vine" of gold and copper before expanding into a glassy, metal-veined black dome large enough to comfortably house six human-sized creatures. Access is gained through a surprisingly-flexible slit in the dome's edge.

Within the dome -- which lasts for nine hours before crumbling to powder -- all individuals are protected from hostile environmental effects and will regain 1-6 hit points while sleeping. However, the following day they will be at -2 to their saving throws, as the seed-dome drew on their own energies to heal them and maintain itself.

The seeds were created by Shoryrei Twice-Fanged, who had heard of a similar creation and wished to craft a more directly beneficial version. Despite the drain on fortitude and fate Shoryrei considered them a success; but then, he also considered forging Blood-Iron Pacts a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And now, ded from werk.

I know posts have been lacking, but I'm currently in the middle of an unscheduled 56-hour work week with only one night off.

*falls over dead*

This isn't so much a "hiatus" as "as soon as my braincells engage long enough this week there will be a post" --

Many apologies!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Monster: Paek-ma-khu

Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 2+2**
Move: 120' (40')
burrow 120' (40')
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 2-20
No. Appearing: 1 (1-6)
Save As: M3
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 55

A paek-ma-khu (also referred to as paekhu and stonehunger) is a singleminded creature, chewing its way through earth, stone, and most anything else that crosses its path in an endless quest to fill its always-starving gullet. Though more intelligent paek-ma-khu learn to glide through the warrens of the Plane of Earth -- or through the corridors of a dungeon labyrinth -- many more simply tunnel endlessly, carving out passages and leaving behind voids that others settle. Paek-ma-khu are roughly spherical creatures some 3' in diameter; composed of concentrated metallic impurities mixed with elemental energy, its hide is a dull gold or brass. With no obvious sensory organs -- save for two small dark pits that seem to serve as "eyes" -- a paekhu is essentially a sphere with a huge and razor-sharp maw.

As with all other activities -- burrowing, for example -- a stonehunger attacks by biting. Its maw is powerful and charged with earth-energies, inflicting 2-20 hit points of damage per bite; creatures of the air, or of flame, take double damage from a paekhu's attack, and on a change of 1-in-8 the creature's attack severs a limb.

Paek-ma-khu take no damage from non-magical weapons. They may be distracted or briefly mollified by offerings of crystals, elemental cysts or -- oddly -- fresh fruit.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Magic Item: The Verdant Rose

The Verdant Rose: Named, one may infer, for the etching of its blade, the Verdant Rose makes up in its twin-faced nature for the singularity of its edge.

A sleek weapon of curving blade, Verdant Rose is of a foreign and exotic design. Single-edged, the steel of the blade reflects light like the ripples of a pool; and down the blade's length on either side is etched a coil of twisting rose briars picked out in a deep jade green. The sword's hand-guard is a virtually nonexistent oval of unornamented gold, and the hilt is wrapped in braids of black silk shot through with golden thread. There is no appreciable pommel nut, the hilt ending in a plain frosted steel finial.

The Verdant Rose is a sword +1, +2 vs. shapechangers and spellcasters. If its bearer declares a person or ideal to be defended against all comers, twice a day they may either sacrifice up to half of their Armour Class bonus to grant that bonus to the person they defend, or may boost their own saving throws by half of their to-hit bonus, for three rounds. If the Verdant Rose is stood point-down in the courtyard or flanking the gate of a household it will grant health and prosperity to those who live within; but the blade loses all power for a year and a day following.

However, there is a darkness to the sword's protection. In combat Verdant Edge's bearer must make a saving throw vs. charm if thwarted or insulted, or else fall into a berserker fury for four rounds, attacking friend and for alike -- and if their sworn person or ideal is struck down (or, worse, could be seen as betraying the blade's bearer) there is no saving throw, the blade's bearer attacking in a fury until subdued or killed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Arcanist's Adamant

An odd species of crystal, seldom found in clusters of more than three -- and most frequently as single specimens -- arcanist's adamant is composed of two distinct parts.

The outer shell of a crystal of arcanist's adamant is composed of the glittering, microfaceted "diamond" that gives the stone its name. This shell is surprisingly variable, ranging in shape from a near-perfect sphere to an almost comma-like configuration, and varies in size from the thumb's last joint to the heft of a clementine or small tangerine. Unlike true diamond, arcanist's adamant may be broken open readily when stress is applied to the proper angles.

However, it is the interior of the crystal which is of interest to spell users of all kinds. The central core contains a strangely soft, malleable orange-gold crystalline substance -- like viscous amber -- and this amber jelly gathers magical power which may be tapped by a spellcaster.

An arcanist's adamant will offer a number of spell levels per week based on its size, with the smallest strong enough to power a single first level spell and the greatest surrendering as many as five or more spell levels. An adamant may be broken open to grant twice (or even more) as much energy, but doing so forever destroys the crystal (though its remains may be otherwise useful).

Rumours circulate of adamants whose cores contain a crystal jelly as deep red as cinnabar and heart's-blood. These crystals supposedly offer twice the available power and a -1 to the saving throws of the spell's victims,, but require the sacrifice of hit points equal to the power of the spell being cast.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Magic Item: Silent Scales

For many days a spell-weaver came to visit Jie Chue at his forge.

And for many days unending he spoke of his quests in the great Burning Lands to the east; he spoke of his wish to travel there again, and of his wish to run with the blade-dancers there.

He spoke of the wild and unforgiving beasts, and of many such marvels to be found within the ruby and gold of the sands.

He spoke without cease, and Jie Chue grew weary.

With a wordless smile he gifted the weaver of spells with a blade to cool the Lands, and bid he learn the value of silence.

Silent Scales: Forged from water-steel of a paticularly translucent nature, and marked with a pattern of overlapping reptilian scales just barely visible in torchlight, Silent Scales is an elegant blade of perfect symmetry. Its hilt is frosted steel tinged faintly peacock-green, with coiling tendrils for a hand-guard; and a single rosy pearl is mounted as a pommel-nut.

Silent Scales is a sword +1 which may be wielded by any character as if they were a fighter of their level. Against creatures of desert or flame the sword inflicts half again its damage per successful strike, and so long as at least one such creature is killed by the blade each day its bearer is protected from the ravages of the desert and other such environments.

However, as long as Silent Scales is in its bearer's possession -- not merely actively borne or wielded -- its owner is rendered mute.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Monster: Pearl Ooze

Pearl Ooze
Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 4*
Move: fly 120' (40')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-8
No. Appearing: 1-3
Save As: F3
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 125

A creeping, shimmering mass of gelatinous not-quite-syrup -- like most of its kind -- a pearl ooze most resembles a bizarre cross between half-fluid clotted cream and molten seashell. Faster than many oozes, it is more than capable of following after human prey.

The attack of a pearl ooze inflicts 1-8 hit points of damage and possesses a unique and conflicting property: contact with the nacraeous fluid of the ooze will grant a +2 bonus to Armour Class after 1-6 rounds of exposure, but that same fluid will force a save vs. death ray or an experience level is lost after 1-4 rounds.

Pearl oozes are immune to cold and electricity. Magic missiles will heal them rather than inflict damage.