Topic: What the hell is that thing on the table?

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What is that thing on the table? Where did these three get it?

Ah, those three:

  • Alice the Cleric on the left, killer of elves and doomed to die by Iri-Khan's hand

  • The Flame Princess in the middle - she's a Specialist, by the way - adventurer doomed to be melted by slime

  • On the right is the Magic-User that appears on page 66 of the Rules & Magic book in the Grindhouse Edition, also the cover of the Magic book in the Deluxe Edition. How she dies is not yet known but I bet it will be suitably entertaining.

Give your explanations for the thing on the table, where they got it, and any associated rules/powers/effects for it, if any, in this thread. Assume that whatever you post here is free game for others to use however they like.

Deadline is 11:59pm Helsinki time December 31.

My favorite will get a 10€ coupon code for the LotFP store, the consensus favorite (we'll do voting in another thread, don't clutter this one with "KEWL!!!!" posts please) will get a 5€ coupon.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

Very cool. I've always liked the snippets of 'flame princess' back story and this just adds another dimension to that story. Look forward to finding out  more....

...but what the hell is that thing on the table?

Last edited by Wulfgar22 (2011-12-19 13:42:26)

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

I don't know what it is, but I am sure it would surely feel at home on Carcosa.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

You've heard of baby Jesus?
Well, this is baby Nyarlathotep.

This exquisitely crafted idol of the Chaos Child was recently unearthed in ruins of an old temple in the Luminescent Fen. Apparently the great iconoclasm wasn't quite thorough enough. Strange that the holy vandals would neglect to smash such a relic. It's hard to miss with its splendid luster and blasphemous aura.

The treasure-hunting ladies were sitting in a tavern, excitedly discussing their recent financial gain when all of a sudden...

...somebody tipped the beer over!

That's a bad omen. They say that when you go to hell, the devil drowns you in every drop of alcohol you ever spilled.

"Yeah, go ahead and be more careless. We can afford to wash the floor with our hard earned money like that!"

"It was an accident you penny-pinching bitch!"

"Knock it off you two. We're rich now. Rich beyond our wildest dreams! We can just buy another drink."

The statue quietly chuckles.

...That concludes this installment of Vito's amateur fiction hour. Tune in next week for...

Electric Dinosaur!

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

The 'thing' on the table was discovered in the ruins of an ancient temple, hidden in the mountains and only found by accident as the three adventurers were trying to find the path to the pass, after getting lost in a blizzard. After defeating strange non-humanoid undead, killing a tentacled beast with the head of a lion, and putting an end to a sorcerer attempting to summon something dire; they found this strange little, child-like creature. Alice knew it was holy as soon as she laid eyes upon it, despite it's appearance and the magic user [does she have a name? If not, I'm going to call her Tessa] noted it held great magic. Red, on the other hand, was all for putting it to her blade, but she was overruled and they took the thing with them.

Over the days it took for them to find their way back to the village of Appleby, the tavern of which was a frequent haunt of theirs, the creature spoke to each of them, promising to grant each a wish to fulfil their upmost desires, if only they would bring it to the Church of the Consuming Flesh, a strange cult that resides in the town of New Haven, on the border of the Kingdom. Tessa wants nothing to do with it, since her innermost desires are not altogether healthy and she knows the risks of such powerful magic. Red too, wants nothing to do with it, not trusting it one bit. Alice, however, is all for taking the creature to the Church, wanting to not only help this holy creature, but tempted by the wish.

The creature itself is a godling; a child of an Old One, a child deity. It speaks by telepathy, and will indeed grant a wish to those who deliver to the Church it seeks (dedicated to its 'father'). This wish, regardless of what is wished for, will grant the wisher their innermost desire, whatever that is; this can and should be twisted in some spectacular and weird way.

Simon smile

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

The thing is the stillborn fetus of the union between a terrible, extra-dimensional entity and a willing cultist.  Luckily for humankind, the creature did not survive more than a few moments outside of the womb.  The cult, saddened by the loss, decided to convert the corpse into an idol.  Its form is held stiffened by a wire frame and its flesh is kept immaculate by means of a spell known only to the cultists themselves.

Our three brave adventurers found it while investigating a series of caves once used by the cult for their various mysteries.  The frame inside has a small spark of magic that allows the fetus to stir occasionally and allows the metal band encircling its head to create the halo effect scene in the picture.  The cultists used its horrid twitching to divine the future, but this art was lost with the last cultists.  Even so, it is doubtful that this form of divination worked, since it failed to predict the demise of the cult.

If the skeletal frame could be removed, it gold wiring could be melted down and be sold for roughly 75sp.  The idol as it is now could be sold for a considerably higher price; however, only the most deranged of individuals would buy such a thing.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

At the Inn of the One-Eyed Cherub, every table has such a centerpiece. They are made of glazed ceramic, and are lit from within by the phosphorescent glands of a local insect. They are worthless, with the exception of the one betwixt the ladies, which unknown to them, contains a crude map to the long forgotten Temple of the Leaping God…


Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

The three adventuresses are back from a stint in the Pagan Lands situated beyond the Pale of Heathenry to the north of the estates of the Order of the Knights of Science.
After a lean year with much adventuring strain but little in terms of actual loot, they decided to travel there to procure some of the much sought-after and precious ambergris found on those pagan shores. Not exactly epic adventuring but heroines too have to eat and renew their wardrobe. Whilst returning from a fruitful session of exchanging trinkets with the natives in return for ambergris, the three adventuresses found a large wreck on the shore, which, being adventuresses, they immediately set to explore. The ship was badly damaged and her contents easily accessible yet, strangely enough, she had apparently not been visited by the natives since the sand around it was immaculate. Whilst the Flame Princess was busy collecting whatever valuables were left, the Magic-User was strongly attracted to a strange rhomboidal artefact made of the same unknown dark wood as the broken hull. By a bizarre and sudden inspiration, the Magic-User at once moved the wedges to open the wooden artefact and to reveal a tiny, blasphemous idol. The artefact must contain some kind of strife-provoking dwimmer-craft inside it, because the three adventuresses immediately started arguing about what to do with it. The cleric wanted to get rid of the devilish thing, the Flame Princess wanted to sell it to some collector of occult paraphernalia, whereas the Magic-User wanted to keep and study it. Despite the strife-provoking power of the idol, the three adventuresses managed to get to a common decision: get back to civilisation and then decide what to do with it.

This in turn caused them to start a long journey back to avoid the lands of the Knights of Science and their inquisitive eyes and ears, through hostile elvish forests, treacherous icy seas, and finally the most dangerous back alleys of the most infamous city of known civilisation.

To their horror, the three women noticed that the idol kept growing in size during their travels [unbeknownst to them it has been draining them of 1 randomly chosen characteristic point each per week, which it has added to its initial value of 3 in each attribute -- also once at least three attributes reach 10, the idol will animate and look for other victims to feed upon]

Now two of the women are disagreeing again about what to do of the idol, while the third one hopes a pint will cheer her up -- why has she been so unable to recover from the tiredness of their journey?

「天朝大國」, 很有意思:

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

Can't see it. Oh well.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

Clearly it's a game of chance, perhaps concocted by some mad wizard or cult of drug-addled monks and using a twisted chimera-baby. At least the rules are simple: players alternate between betting and poking. The first player at the table bets, putting their money on which part or parts of the chimera they think will react when it is poked by the player to their left. Odds and betting amounts are based on the chimera on hand, the weather, the players, the environment, and a dozen or more other factors which are, generally, made up on the spot, and winning bets are paid out by the pool, a predetermined amount of money each player has paid into at the beginning of play. Once the betting player puts their money down the poking player does their job, jabbing at the chimera with one finger to encourage it to shift. Anything which moves on the chimera after being poked is considered a reaction, from opening and closing an eye to reaching out and smacking at the offending digit. Losing bets are placed in the pool, winning bets are paid out, and the turn ends.

The play order shifts one to the left each turn, so the previous poker is now the better and the person to their left is the new poker. Play continues until the pool is empty, the players agree to end the game, or the chimera intervenes on its own behalf.

As for the women, clearly Alice and the princess are arguing about the proper poking method, Alice favoring the downward poke of the farmers of Reis and the princess declaring the benefits of the upward-poke of the nobility of Vornheim. The Magic-User is tired of their bickering and ordering another drink to dull her hearing and her urge to care about the stupid game, while at the same time agreeing that the upward-poke is the better method.

The chimera? It has to pee. Eventually a poke is going to make it pee, and then the whole world will rue the day the chimera race was subjugated for this stupid game.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

That is the idol of St.Patrick who drove the snakes from Ireland.  The order of St. Patrick of which Alice is a member, had it safe in their deepest vault as an object of reverence.  Unfortunately some damn Vikings came by and burned the original monastery to the ground, its collapsed ruins being built over by a newer Abbey.   Centuries later the Flame Princess was able to sneak into the ruins below the current Abbey and retrieve it at Alice's behest.   Alice however does not like what was found and cannot believe this being is being venerated by her order, this is obviously some hideous fraud!

The Magic-User however,  she is very interested in this idol and has come at the behest of the Flame Princess (annoyed that Alice was trying to avoid paying for it).  She knows what this idol is, she knows that St. Patrick did not drive off the serpents of Ireland but consumed them in his ancient feud with the serpent men.  This idol is the key to the Sky-rift, because the King in heaven for the order of St. Patrick does not wear robes of white...

Last edited by Zzarchov (2011-12-19 20:54:18)

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

The thing on the table is an Infanta Avatar of Malressh, demon lord of mutation.  Infanta Avatars crawl through the remains of what was once a holy city home to the world's largest cathedral--but the city is now known only as The Ruinous Scar as it was utterly destroyed by a magical cataclysm said to have been caused by a botched invocation to the demon lord Malressh.

Infanta Avatars are too small to be truly dangerous, but those within its presence risk catching Malressh's notice.  For each day a person spends in proximity to an Infanta Avatar they must make a saving throw vs. petrification.  If the saving throw if failed, roll on the following table to see how the character is mutated by the demonic powers of Malressh:

01 – Instead of legs your lower half is now one thick, slug-like appendage.  Your movement rate is halved and you leave a trail of slime everywhere you go—you can automatically be tracked.
02 – Your skin has turned to iron.  Your AC is two points better.
03 – You have sprouted big, dangerous horns.  You can make one additional attack with your horns for 1d6 points of damage.
04 – Cloven feet and goat's legs.  Your movement rate is increased by 50%
05 – You have grown a vicious proboscis somewhere on your body.  It can spit a venomous barb for 1d4 points of damage and the target must make a saving throw vs. poison or suffer some random, poison-related effect (sleep, death, slow, etc.)
06 – Your body is covered in dreaded rune tattoos.  Anyone who strikes you must make a saving throw or suffer the effects of a random curse.
07 – Your weapon has become inseparably bonded to your hand/arm.  All attacks made with it now receive a +1 bonus to hit.
08 – Your skin is now covered in a shaggy hide.  Your AC is one point higher.
09 – Your eyes glow with an eerie light.  You now have perfect night vision and can see invisible creatures.
10 – You have grown a second head.  You can take an additional action, including casting two spells per round.  However, you will be prone to arguing with yourself.
11 – You have grown an additional arm.  You can wield a weapon with this arm for an additional attack per round, but there is a 10% chance that the arm will attack you instead.
12 – You have grown a long, whip-like reptilian tail.  You can make an additional attack with this tail for 1d6 points of damage or attempt to trip/entangle foes with it.
13 – You have grown a functioning set of gills.  You can now breath as well in water as you can on land.
14 – Your blood has turned to acid.  Anyone wounding you in melee must make a saving throw vs. breath weapons or suffer 1d4 points of damage.
15 – You can vomit a 30' cone of fire once per day for 3d6 points of damage (save for half).
16 – Your body now constantly emits steam and is feverish to the touch.  You are now immune to all fire-based attacks.
17 – Your body is now constantly covered in frost and is cold to the touch.  You are now immune to all cold-based attacks.
18 – Tiny arcs of electricity now dance across your skin.  You are now immune to all electricity-based attacks and anyone striking you with a metal weapon takes 1d8 points of damage.
19 – You are now an albino and being in direct sunlight causes you to take 1d4 points of damage per round.
20 – You now heal with unnatural speed.  You regenerate 1 hit point per round.
21 – Your eyes are now on stalks.  You cannot be surprised or sneaked up on.
22 – You now emit a horrible stench.  Anyone within 30' of you takes a -2 penalty to all actions.  Also, you cannot sneak up on anyone—they smell you coming.
23 – You have grown vampiric fangs.  You may opt to bite someone for 1d6 points of damage; this damage is added to your hit points up to your maximum hit point total.
24 – You have grown a mass of tentacles somewhere on your body.  These tentacles gives you 1d4 extra attacks per round for 1d6 points of damage.
25 – You have grown a pair of gigantic wings.  You can now fly at your normal land speed.
26 – You have grown a third eye in the middle of your forehead.  This eye can uncannily discern whether someone is lying to you.
27 – Your blood now hates you and seeks to leave your body at any opportunity.  When damaged you lose an additional 1d4 points of damage on the following round from blood loss.
28 – Your fingernails have grown into perpetually filthy talons.  Anyone struck by them takes 1d6 points of damage and must make a saving throw or suffer the effects of a random disease.
29 – You now emit an aura that withers any plants around you.
30 – Your shadow is not animate.  You can command it to do things for you; it has the stats of a Shadow with HD equal to your level.  However, there is a 50% chance your shadow will disobey your commands and fuck off to do something else.
31 – You have suddenly grown corpulent.  You gain 10 hit points.
32 – You have suddenly grown gaunt.  You lose 10 hit points.
33 – You have grown an extra leg, but it's always in your way.  Your movement rate is decreased by 50%.
34 – Your skin is perpetually covered in snot-like slime.  Any attempts to grapple you automatically fail.
35 – Your brain has atrophied.  Your Intelligence decreases by 2 points.
36 – Your body has grown to hulking proportions.  Your Strength increases by 2 points.
37 – Your body has become monkey-like.  Your Dexterity increases by 2 points.
38 – You have grown a second heart.  Anytime you must make a saving throw vs. death you may roll twice and take the best result.
39 – You are now mantis-headed.
40 – You are now dog-headed.  Kobolds will attack you last.
41 – You are now cat-headed.  Kobolds will attack you first.
42 – You are now bear-headed.
43 – You are now sloth-headed.
44 – You are now elephant-headed.
45 – Your face is gone.  Oddly, dopplegangers will now take a perverse liking to you.
46 – You are now wolf-headed.  You will likely be mistaken for a werewolf and hunted.
47 – You are now bug-eyed, but this decreases your normal range of vision by 50%.
48 – You have grown a second brain.  Your Intelligence increases by 2 points.
49 – You have grown a scorpion-like tail.  You can make an additional attack with your tail for 1d6 points of damage and your victim must make a saving throw or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.
50 – When you die your body will explode like a Gas Spore.
51 – You are now boar-headed.
52 – You now float a foot above the ground at all times.
53 – You now have suckers on your hands and feet that allow you to flawlessly scale walls.
54 – Your skin is now an odd color.
55 – You can control the color of your skin, giving you a 2 better chance to surprise enemies when you camouflage yourself.
56 – You are now rat-headed.
57 – You are now horse-headed.
58 – You have grown an enormous pair of faery wings, but they are useless.
59 – Your skin is now a mirror-like reflecting surface.  Any spell cast on you has a 50% chance of rebounding on the caster.
60 – You are now mushroom-headed.
61 – You are now snake-headed.
62 – You are now sphinx-headed.  People will continually ask you for a riddle.
63 – You are now skull-headed.  You can Cause Fear at the start of any encounter.
64 – One of your hands has become a crab-like claw.  You may make an additional attack with the claw for 1d6 points of damage.
65 – Your body has become unstable.  You may change form into a Green Slime once per day.
66 – Your body continually quivers.  You may change form into a Gelatinous Cube once per day.
67 – You are now a hermaphrodite.
68 – You now have a forked tongue.  Oddly, you are now unable to tell lies.
69 – Animals are now drawn to your pheromones.
70 – Animals are now repulsed by your pheromones and will flee from you.
71 – Your skin now appears to be perpetually necrotic and rotting.
72 – Your skin now appears to be perpetually crawling with insects.
73 – Your head has disappeared; now your face appears on your chest.
74 – Your neck has become elongated, like a giraffe.
75 – You are now bird-headed.
76 – You now have snakes for hair and gain the medusa's petrifying gaze.
77 – You can split your body into two fully-formed, identical beings.  Each has half your normal hit points.
78 – You now bleed ale or wine.
79 – Your hands are now hairy.
80 – Your hands are now reptilian.
81 – You are now 50% shorter than you were.
82 – You are now 50% taller than you were.
83 – You are now frog-headed.
84 – You can vomit a 30' cone of acidic fish once a day for 3d6 points of damage (save for half).
85 – You are now fish-headed.
86 – Your flesh is now sticky like fly-paper.  Any weapon that strikes you has a 50% chance of adhering your body.
87 – You have a monstrously elongated tongue.  You can speak all languages now.
88 –  The front of your body is now covered in eyes.  You can read all languages now.
89 – You are now spider-headed.  Lolth-worshipers will prostrate themselves before you.
90 – You can emit webs (as per the Web spell) from some part of your body.
91 – Your body is now covered in thorns or small horns; anyone grappling you takes 1d4 points of damage.
92 – Your gender had changed.
93 – You emit a pleasing aroma.  Your Charisma increases by 2 points.
94 – You exude a disquieting aura.  Your Charisma decreases by 2 points and children rush to kick you in the shins.
95 – You are now a microcephalic.  Your Wisdom is decreased by 2 points.
96 – Your head is now huge and oblong.  Your Wisdom is increased by 2 points.
97 – Your head is now egg-shaped.  Your Intelligence is increased by 2 points.
98 – Your body has become hulking and hale.  Your Constitution is increased by 2 points.
99 – Your body has become hollow like a reed.  Your Constitution is decreased by 2 points.
100 – Open the Monster Manual up to a random page.  That's what you are now.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

What is all this talk of it being an idol?

“That… that THING has nothing to do with me, it’s pure evil, and I won’t have it!  I just won’t!”, Alice sputtered, jabbing the table with her index finger with sufficient force to spill the beer and set the coins to jangling.

“Well what are you going to do, ram your finger up there and pull it out?” the Princess replied sarcastically, complete with a visual aid of the proposed action.

“I will not birth the child of that...", she shuddered and clutched herself.

Looking up defiantly, she repeated, "I will not!”

“Well you should have thought of that before you fell asleep on your watch!  I mean, really, who falls asleep on watch?  Especially in a dungeon!  We’re lucky you getting knocked up was the worst thing that happened!”

“I WAS ENSORCELLED!”, Alice shouted.

The Princess snorted derisively, “Is that what the wenches are calling it these days.”

Seeing things about to get violent, the Magic User cut in.  “I think we all need to settle down.  We don’t actually know you’re pregnant, Alice.  We know what you think happened, but even you say it happened while you were asleep – are you sure it wasn’t just a dream?” 

Turning, she shouted, “Barkeep!  We’ll have another round!  And make it two for the pregnant one!”

Unseen by any of them, an enigmatic smile crept across the face of the Beast as the manifestation of its will cast a soft, psionic glow across the table.  Inspired by the glow, the host and her companion yelled even louder, and its smile grew wider - the anger at the table was literally his mother’s milk, and he drank deeply from its cup.  Soon it would see the light of day; soon all three of these bleating meat-sacks would belong to him.  It looked forward to the day when it could rip free of his fleshy prison, and bring forth the terror this world so richly deserved. 

Inside Alice’s womb, the creature’s tentacles quivered in anticipation, while the manifestation on the table made the sign of worship to Dach’noth’lan, Dread Whelp-God Who Screams In the Darkness.


Last edited by purestrainhuman (2011-12-20 04:14:33)

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

"I don't care how much we can get for it," Sister Alice protested. "It is a thing of evil! It should be destroyed. No discussion! No debate..."

"And no thought, either," the Flame Princess interrupted. "Save your self-righteous indignation for the sheep in your flock, zealot! Lazarus promised to pay through the nose for this thing. You can use your share to buy yourself a couple of indulgences to salve your soul."

"How dare you mock my faith, trollop!" Alice shouted. She pounded the table so hard that her mug of ale tipped over and spilled onto the inn's filthy floor. "The Lord..."

"Your Lord can perch on this, bitch!" the Flame Princess made an obscene gesture causing the clerics' face to darken in rage. "Lazarus wanted this damn thing. We sweated, bleed, and nearly died in those cursed ruins to find it. Therefore, we should get paid for our trouble. Now if your church wants to melt it down for trinkets to sell to the gullible, fine! But they're going to have to beat the wizard's price. If not..."

"And if the old blasphemer uses this abomination to bring forth the hosts of Hell?" Alice retorted. "What will you do then?"

"Then I die a very wealthy woman!" the Flame Princess snapped back. "We're all worm food, priestess. We don't get out of this world alive. The only question is 'when?' Besides, you priests see demons and devils behind every rock and shrub. You even see them in your knickers! How do you know that this thing is dangerous?"

"How do I..." Alice sputtered in disbelief at the Flame Princess' glibness.  "First of all it's glowing, you mindless strumpet! You should know by now that is NEVER good!" 

"Ladies," the Magic User interjected quietly, her eyes scanning the seedy characters seated around them. "Your.... ah.... discussion might draw unwanted attention. This might not be the place to discuss such things."

Last edited by SchoolMaster (2011-12-20 03:37:19)

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

After defeating Solat the Sorcerer our adventurers were left with small strange thing that seems to crap out coins, a household god from Solats native land, what kind of adventurer would leave that kind of thing where it was found. First thing for adventurer often to do after hitting jackpot is to hit the bar, and this merry band was no exception. For two hours straight the thing has been screeching and crying and such horrible noise gets on nerves and rather heated argument has risen what to exactly to do with it. Burning the abomination has been suggested, feeding it has been mentioned and smart magic user checks out before nursing it is volunteered on her on reasons like her able companion once said "Cause you know, like magic and stuff."

Thing on the table is Tlamarain household god, it is supposed to bring wealth and fertility to it's owner. Tradition holds that well-fed household god treated with respect and worship will bring good fortune. This particular infant household god craps out silver coins in excange for food, if allowed to prick skin and to suckle human blood (and burbed) it would produce dozen or so more after a while.

Last edited by MutieMoe (2011-12-21 11:12:58)

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

Once in a blue moon a bright star shines over a halfling village and a Thing is born to a halfling virgin. The Thing will gather twelve disciples (halflings of varying levels) to accompany and protect it and then travel from village to village and teach the will of the halfling God. All halflings will gather and listen and none will doubt that this is indeed the herald of the halfling God. It's able to cast suggestion, mass, targeting all present and able to hear, once per day. Halflings don't get a saving throw.

In the event of death, the Thing will return to life in three days until it's task on earth is complete. If one should consume the flesh of the Thing and drink It's blood (the whole thing, not just a bit) the eater will get a Charisma of 25 and can cast suggestion, mass like the Thing once per day. Three days after, the eater will suffer a horrible death when the Thing returns to life inside her.

Last time the halfling God sent his herald, It taught lessons of kindness and tolerance and love. This time, it seems, the message is much more sinister...

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

The godling is the illegitimate child of a wayward goddess and her literally star-crossed lover, He of the Expanse. Most beings of madness from beyond the stars are loathsome in the extreme, but He of the Expanse is perversely charming and charismatic enough to have enticed an unholy tryst.

The ladies are arguing about how to get rid of the child, who ended up in their possession after a convoluted adventure on a hidden stairway to the heavens. The flame princess wants to just heave the accursed thing into a river, but the cleric is much more versed in such things and cautions that the bad mojo of killing a godling will surely be their doom.

The godling has, to its credit, developed into a fairly benign entity thus far. Beings in its presence heal 1d6 more hit points than usual each day. Unfortunately, one cannot get inebriated in its presence either, as the magic user come to to realizes in the next few hours.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

The thing on the table is a creature known as an Arbitrator.

It is constructed in times of need from two materials:

1) nine hundred and ten kilograms of dust from the nearest lawful plane
2) the quintessence of a particular standpoint from each part in a lively discussion (one from each of the three women in this example).

Arbitrators despise conflicts, and will do anything they can to come to a settlement between all parts in the current discussion (without breaking any rules of discussion of course, since it consists of lawful dust). In general, they are quite useless and will merely point and squeak - that is, until someone breaks a formal or informal rule of the discussion (such as killing any of the other participants, or less). That's when the metamorphosis kicks in and evolves the little critter into a terrible force of dark persuasion. Arm pulling and stealing of eyes are not unheard of.

Most people come to a quick agreement whenever an Arbitrator materialises in front of them. That's the only way of getting rid of it.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

What Is That Thing?

It's the Icon of Mormo, of course, the vampiric companion of Hecate, goddess of magic.  The icon is an intermediary with the goddess and grants special magical knowledge to those that revere the goddess and keep the icon sated and fed.

Once per month, the icon animates in the dead of night and creeps to the bosom of its owner, suckling blood like a vampire bat.  The owner loses a temporary point of constitution, and the icon returns to an inanimate state.  While it's active, the owner dreams of the will of Hecate and learns the ancient rituals of obeisance and worship.

Gaining any benefit from the icon requires the caster to perform rituals on the night of the dark moon in honor of Hecate, triple-aspect goddess of magic, at a rural crossroads.  These rituals require the sacrifice of animals, honey, and grains, in the Greek style.  (1 HD of black sheep must be sacrificed per spell level being researched or transcribed - see below).

When the caster performs these acts of obeisance to Hecate, the next piece of magical research they perform is treated as if the spell involved is of the next lowest level (using the Grindhouse Edition durations for spell research).  Researching a new spell normally takes Spell Level x 4d6 days; a caster being guided by Hecate and Mormo would complete the spell in (Level -1) x 4d6 days.  Example:  A new level 3 spell takes an average of 42 days to research; with Mormo's subconscious help, it would be done in 28 days (treating the level 3 spell as a level 2 spell).  Level 1 spells are reduced by 1/2.  The caster must be under the watchful gaze of the triple-eyed icon throughout the work to get the benefit.

If the caster doesn't know it already, the first piece of spell research must always be to learn the Summoning spell.

It's rumored the icon will teach a higher level caster, darker, profane rituals, to gain similar insight into the creation of potions, wands and staffs.


What's going on in the picture?

The three of them are in Venice, after recently returning from the mountains  near Udine where they killed a Strega on behalf of their patron, the magician Brachetti.  Unfortunately, the icon animated last night and supped at the breast of the female magician.  She's beginning to realize that the icon is more than a statuette, it's the physical body of the demonic little familiar Mormo itself!

Alice thought she glimpsed the statuette slithering around the bedchamber, and is now convinced it's an evil thing that needs to be destroyed.  The Flame Princess sees an opportunity to hold out for more money from Brachetti, who lied to them about the nature of the artifact.  The Flame Princess has put Alice's share on the table and is trying to buy her out so she's free to extort Brachetti.

Last edited by Beedo (2011-12-31 01:20:33)

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

That thing on the table is actually invisible (and immaterial) to them, and to everyone else there; no one in their right mind would want to be near that abomination if they were aware of it. Furthermore, don’t you think a three-eyed, tentacled child-like figure with a luminous halo would attract too much unwanted attention in a crowded tavern?

The three women are minding their own business. Alice and the Flame Princess, who have been drinking a bit too much (look at their eyes), are debating what to do with the few silver pieces on the table; Alice wants to donate all of them to her temple, while the Princess thinks they’re barely enough as a compensation for their last exploit. (By the way, the Flame Princess can obviously hold her liquor way better than Alice.) The Magic-User, who doesn’t understand why they’re arguing so vigorously about that handful of coins, is ordering a drink for herself, as the discussion is boring her to tears.

Anyway, that thing on the table is a rare figurine of a Lar Discordiae. The Lares are minor guardian deities whose figurines were placed on a table during important occasions as witnesses and for protection. A Lar Discordiae, however, is a kind of corrupted Lar who causes quarrels among the table companions.

Those three must have really pissed off the sorcerer who owns the dungeon they recently raided. Now he’s trying to split the group, so he can exert his revenge upon them one at a time. Placing that figurine on their table before they got there (and bribing the innkeeper to ensure they would get that particular table) is a simple and elegant solution. Unfortunately for the sorcerer, only Alice and the Flame Princess failed their saving throws, and the Magic-User is unaffected by the Lar.

The figurine can be magically detected, and restored to its visible and material form by Dispel Magic. It is then probably worth several thousands silver pieces, as there aren’t many Lares Discordiae around. It’s going to be a dangerous thing in the hands of the wrong customer, though. It’s probably better to just keep it, isolated in some magically-protected chest, and strategically use it the way the sorcerer meant to do (e.g., for disrupting alliances between enemies). And no, destroying it is not an easy task.

Re: What the hell is that thing on the table?

And we're closed. I'll pick my winner and open up voting on Monday!