Monday, October 28, 2013

What the Glandculler is Selling Today...

You might consider what they do a grotesque, even unpleasant profession. Many do. Most civilized nations have either banned or forbidden or outlawed the practice of their craft, the carrying out of their sordid trade. But that doesn't hold in Wermspittle. Here the Almas Glandcullers operate freely, competing with quacks, peddlers of patent medicines, faith healers, Midwives, herbalists and others of their ilk. They are regarded as little more than unsavory, even slightly barbaric folk-practitioners by the Surgeons and Physicians of the established Medical Profession. So long as they pay their annual tithe to the office of propriety, no one much cares what they do...

Fresh Glands For Sale
(Today Only! Tomorrow Might Be Different! For you--a special price!)
  1. Still squirming in the blue-tinted alcohol of its jar, it looks like a curdled lump of gristle. But the 'culler claims this gland will at least double your normal healing rate, especially from cuts, scrapes and scratches. [Roll 1d6: (1) gain 1d4 bonus hit points whenever magically healed. (2) gain 2 bonus hit points per level, for the life of the gland. (3) Regenerate 1 hit point every three hours. (4) All magical healing has double normal effect, however Harm/Cause Wounds spells inflict double damage. (5) Healing time cut in half, so long as you do not have White Powder in your system. If you use the stuff, you suffer a -4 penalty on Saves against becoming a Loathsome Mass. (6) You re-gain hit points at double the normal rate, just like the hairy lady said.]
  2. Three tightly-wound loops of semi-translucent material suspended in a clear fluid that reeks of onions. Once expertly implanted just below your liver, this gland will enable you to digest nearly anything organic. Except onions. You can never eat onions ever again, unless you want to suffer explosive dysentery for the next 1d4 hours.
  3. Bright red disc of rubbery tissue with six ribbed tubes projecting from the edges. It is smaller than your thumbnail. They say it will render you immune to vampirism as well as transform your blood into a self-renewing Cure Light Wounds potion...that you'll need to take damage to make available to anyone else. You're good for 1d4 doses before you pass out and it takes about 3 days to regain enough vitality to produce one more dose. Drinking curative potions will tend to make you drunk, but don't heal you any more. Drinking your own blood will make you vomit and not grant you any healing.
  4. Silvery on top, gnarly yellow with reddish-brown streaks on the bottom, this fluke-like thing was taken from the body of a still-living Blatherer and will grant the recipient the gift of a peculiar form of magical glossolalia. You'll be able to speak in any language you hear, but will not necessarily understand it, and each time you attempt to use this ability, you'll need to make a Save or else begin to blab away uncontrollably for the next 3d4 minutes. Every time you fail this Save, add another 1d4 minutes to the duration.
  5. A small violet lens surrounded by a cloud of milky green fluid. Once implanted near your pineal gland, it will grant you one or more unique new senses such as seeing invisible things, looking into other planes, etc. Thankfully, the gland-culler can insert this into you via one of your eye-sockets, rather painlessly. Though they do recommend using an anesthetic, just in case. [Roll 1d6: (1) Gain See Invisible 3x times a day. (2) Gain Clairvoyance once per day. (3) Gain Read Languages as a permanent effect, but lose the ability to speak any language learned in this manner. (4) You can see the aura around enchanted objects as with Detect Magic, but only in the dark and then you lose normal sight for 1d4 minutes. (5) You now have Infravision. If you already had it, now it is for double the usual range. You also can't abide looking at torches or open flames and now must make a Save or suffer temporary blindness and disorientation for 2d6 minutes. (6) You can peer into other planes as though under a limited form of Contact Other Plane spell. You can see glimpses of otherwhens and otherwheres, but you do not automatically have any sort of rapport through which to make inquiries. It may be possible to attempt to contact entities observed in this manner, however anything you can see, can see you. The chances for insanity are doubled.]
  6. A shapeless yellowish glob of what looks like veiny fat kept in a vinegar and sugar-water solution. This little non-jewel will grant you a bonus of +1 to your CON score, for the life of the gland. Every time you suffer more than ten points of damage or make a CON check, you must also make a Save or the gland goes inert. In the case that this gland does go inert, it will remain within the recipient's body as a harmless lump until such time as they are again subject to a shock or other injury that forces another CON check, at which time another Save is attempted and if successful the gland goes back to work again as if nothing happened.
  7. Wriggling and worm-like, this very fresh gland will give its new owner immunity to all known parasites. They still inflict damage, but cannot survive in your body. 
  8. Rugose russet rhomboid, once it's yours, you'll only ever require 1d4 hours of sleep in a given 3-day period. You'll also gain a resistance against magical forms of involuntary somnolence. Too bad about the dreams, but you can't have everything. [You regain spells and heal normally, however, if you do not voluntarily go to sleep for the rolled amount of hours within the prescribed period, you must Save (-4 penalty) or fall into a deep, coma-like state and cannot be awakened during this slumber. The dreams you experience while trapped within this state are beyond your ability to communicate and you must make a Save upon waking, failure means you've lost another point of Wisdom. Removing the gland will cause a permanent loss of 2d4 Wisdom, though it may be possible to modify or transform the gland. Unfortunately such a thing is beyond the scale and scope of this gland-peddler's powers. Perhaps they know of someone with the requisite skill and expertise?]
  9. Looking like a piece of chewed rawhide, this gland doesn't inspire much confidence in the dealer's prattle, however if it is properly inserted into the sinuses, this little flap of tissue will give you an uncanny sense of direction and the ability to sense Ley-Lines.
  10. Wadded-up like a piece of lint, this gray mass is supposed to grant you the petrifying glare of a basilisk, according to the label on its jar. It needs to be placed into your brain. The dealer recommends trepanation, unless you have a better suggestion. Once lodged firmly in your brain, the gland takes 1d4 weeks to heal and integrate itself into things. Recipient must make a Save once per week during the course of their convalescence. Failure means the gland reverts to inert stone, inflicting 2d4 damage and then slowly dissolving away over the course of the next 2d6 months. Successfully integrating the basilisk gland allows the recipient to use a basilisk's gaze attack once per day, with all the usual caveats and restrictions normally applied to all typical basilisks and with the additional side effect that each use requires them to make a Save each time they use this gaze attack, failure rendering their own eyes into inert globes of stone.
  11. A wide array of carefully removed and extremely well-preserved poison glands from a wide range of centipedes, spiders, serpents, and the like. It is an impressive display. And they are all very modestly priced. The only catch is that the glands alone aren't all that useful without an appropriate delivery mechanism, some sort of specialized fang or whatever. The dealer cannot offer such things, due to the limitations of their license. However they might be able to suggest a competent back-alley surgeon or even a prosthetic-maker, and there are rumors that there are grafters among some of the Refugee communities who do this sort of work, if you know how to find them.
  12. Giant spider spinnerets. They're easy enough to stitch into you, but getting them to work can be a bit of a process. Where you'll put them isn't as important as how they seem to affect your appetite, your behavior, and the skin surrounding them. It's not that the things are turning you into a spider, not so much, really. It's more a matter of the spider becoming a part of you. How much and how far this all goes is best handled on a case-by-case basis. If you do get them to work, the glands will produce silk, so they may come in handy...
  13. Bulbous blue billowy thing fluctuating dimly within a green-tinted beer bottle. This little beauty will grant the recipient the ability to cast spells where they otherwise lacked the ability. The dealer is unsure what it might do for someone already able to cast spells, but for a price you can find out, if you like.
  14. It looks like a torn jellyfish. The Almas claims that it will give you enhanced nightvision if it is placed behind one of your eyes. Of course, there only being one of the things currently available, you'll only have nightvision in one eye. They'll throw-in a hand-embroidered eye-patch for free.
  15. Snarled-up threads of metallic blue and green dangle sluggishly in a jar of fermented and clarified yak butter. This is a rare gland taken from a Horla. Properly integrated into the recipient's endocrine system, it will allow them to become invisible every time they fail a Save. Every time. The effect lasts for an additional 1d6 minutes each instance. The effect is cumulative and runs the risk of becoming permanent once the duration reaches one hour, if the recipient fails one more Save...
  16. A wobbly mess of little purple spiral horn-like cones is alleged to grant you the ability to Detect Magic at will, and with some effort, it may be possible to unlock other arcane abilities...or so it is said.
  17. A pair of well-preserved scent-glands taken from a skunk. They can be implanted in the arm pits or groin, for best effect. You gain a skunk's spraying ability once every hour. You also must make a Reflex Save if surprised to avoid involuntarily spraying yourself.
  18. Sickly off-white mass that resembles some rice mushed into a blob of rancid butter. This gland will re-start the recipient's metabolism, plunging them into a form of secondary puberty during which time they grow larger, taller, heavier, stronger...becoming either an ogre or a hill giant, possibly something similar, depending on which one this gland is--the dealer has gotten them all mixed up. 
  19. A purplish blob with five lobes, this is supposed to grant you immunity to most poisons. You can never really be completely immune to toxins. Someone's always working on new forms of chemically assisted slaughter, and besides you wouldn't want to miss out on the fun of imbibing your favorite fermented or distilled beverages, would you? [Gain +2 on saves versus poison.]
  20. A tiny orangish cauliflower floating in stale absinthe. You won't feel a thing. No one will be able to hurt you ever again. At least not physically.[You become immune to pain, but also unable to sense anything by touch. You can ignore the first point of all damage you take, but you also suffer a -30% penalty on all thief skills like Pick Pockets. All wounds take half again as long to heal as normal, since you keep re-opening them because you cannot feel them. You also are more volatile emotionally and suffer a -2 to all Saves versus Charms, Fear, or other emotional/perceptual magics. Symbol of Pain causes actual damage, but you won't feel it.]

This is just a small sampling of the sorts of things available on any given day. There are many other options available, if one knows where to look and whom to ask

Pricing is, of course, all a matter of what the market will bear and how difficult a particular gland is to obtain.

Haggling is a way of life for these peddlers of illicit flesh. They will often barter, especially for other glands, organs and graftable tissues that they in turn can attempt to trade with grafters, surgeons or others of their ilk.

Freshness might also be a concern to the discriminating shopper, as sometimes an implanted gland goes bad (failed Save, failed CON check, however you like to verify such things), and sometimes the recipient's body proves uncooperative and rejects the thing. There are no refunds in such instances; that's your own damn fault.

Gland-Cullers will sometimes purchase glands and tissue samples from adventurers, but always at a steep discount. Many of them prefer to at least maintain the pretense of knowing the actual provenance of their wares, the rest just don't like to pay for what they can go collect on their own. If it's something truly special, something exotic, like say the adrenal glands of a war ape, the third white node from the brain of an Aegogur, or the like, a Gland-Culler can be extremely generous, after a fashion.

You might like to click over to FATE SF to see another approach to mixing and matching strange glands can be handled using the FATE rules...John's approach is much less icksome...


  1. "Endocrine, exocrine--any type of gland your lucking for! Come on down!"

    Great stuff, as usual.

    1. Oh but yes indeed--you name it, they either have it or can get it for you. Often cheaper than those other guys. Hahahahaha--what with the Medical College kicking out demented researchers and all the quacks that have flocked to this place for health reasons, you can get just about any sort of malpractice you care to name, for a price, of course. Gland-Culling is fairly innocuous, compared to some of what goes on in some of the less reputable Back Alleys and Low Streets...and we'll be divulging the lurid details of some of that stuff...

  2. Creepy, icky, but all very believable, woven into the things we think we know and things that could be. You're pegging out new spaces again with this one, taking the poky plots that gaming's been using up to this point and daring to expand them.

    1. Yep. It's a bit squishy and gross, but has the advantage of offering each client the promise of self improvement for a small fee. Thanks for the kind words. We weren't sure if anyone would find a use for this, outside of Wermspittle. But we needed it for the ongoing project, and a couple of adventures, and a short story, so we built it.

      This table is long over-due, it got buried in the notes from the early days of Bujilli, when we first introduced the Almas and noted that they sometimes engaged in this particular sordid trade. We're working on getting caught-up now.


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