Saturday, December 31, 2011

Were-Shades [Labyrinth Lord]

Were-Shades of Uttonj
No. Enc.: 1 (1d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 2 (weapon or spell)
Damage: 2d4/by spell
Save: F4
Morale: 8

Furtive and  duplicitous, the Were-Shades of Uttonj are militant spell-casters who belong to a little-known sect that bases their doctrines and practices around an old, much maligned manuscript that has a tendency to circulate along various covert and underground channels outside of more conventional publishing. This manuscript is in itself a shadow of itself and only those who can successfully read the tenebrous non-tome can hope to make use of the Umbral Threshold spell encrypted and encoded within the text.

Successfully casting the secret spell opens the way to Uttonj, a dim and dismal Parallel Realm dominated by a grotesquely bloated blue-white sun that writhes fitfully within a midnight sky. This 'sun' does little to illuminate the darkness and instead tends to wash-out any bright colors. Nothing in Uttonj has any real color to it after exposure to the toxically-dim sun. It is a place of shadows, forlorn and desolate pools of absence, empty voids within the visual spectrum. The trees are invisible, and the few native fauna are unseeable to most normal eyes. The Damned Beasts prowl through the whispering patches of transparent grasses and the Horla are said to hunt them from within the crumbling estates and towers they have reclaimed from even stranger and far more ancient enemies.

Those who survive their arrival in Uttonj are either noticed and gathered-up by the Were-Shades or enslaved by the Horla, unless they are devoured by some damned thing first.

The Were-Shades maintain something of a watch on the areas most likely to see new entrants into their realm, but it is a rather hit-or-miss kind of thing and they sometimes take as long as four days to finally notice a potential new-comer.

A candidate is expected to have at least a minimum of four levels of training as a fighter or warrior in addition to their dabbling in magic or sorcery. There are very few clerics who'd ever be welcomed within Uttonj. Those who survive the initial vigil will find their advancement within the ranks of the Were-Shades difficult and often blocked, challenged or stymied by those who do not trust them.

One who survives the challenges of their potential sponsor and who gains acceptance into the ranks of the Were-Shades both gains and loses something precious. The newly-made Were-Shade gains the ability to Assume Umbral Form once per day per hit die. They also lose all of their natural coloration and become somewhat porous to light. For some this means their skin becomes translucent, for others it means that they lose all ability to remain visibly coherent in any but the dim sun of Uttonj or under the rays of a Strangelight or similar spell. They look like dim shadows of their former selves, literally. Their visible forms become murky and what is still able to register within the usual spectrum appears to be an odd, disquieting reversal or negative image of sorts. (-4 Char Reaction outside of shadows or dark places.)

Should the new-made Were-Shade persevere and apply themselves diligently to the tasks appointed to them by the Grim Hierarchy of their fellows, and stay in the good graces of their sponsor or patron, they will, in time, gain access to various rare and obscure spells, rites of attunement, and other abilities. Some have even developed a sorcerous analog of the Umbra-Blade wielded by the Jaladari, whom the majority of Were-Shades hate and revile for esoteric, mostly doctrinal reasons.


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