Monday, March 31, 2014

Babes in the Woods (Red Bestiary)

"Beware the Babes in the Woods they said. Like some infants in the underbrush are anything to worry about..."

Babes in the Wood
No. Enc.: 2
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 40' (20')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1+
Attacks: Fear or 1d4x2 (Ghostly Scratching)
Save: MU 1
Morale: 12

Vengeful, restless spirits of young children cruelly murdered by infelicitous relatives, Babes in the Wood tend to haunt lonely back-roads, dismal glades and neglected homesteads. They tend to appear like translucent little children made up of milky-smoke, who come out at dusk or dawn to play, but sometimes can be encountered in a particularly gloomy or dimly-lit spot. At first they laugh and giggle playfully, but once they get within 10' of their intended victim they begin to weep and wail and scream uncontrollably. Anyone caught within 10' of them must then make a Save or suffer the effects of magical Fear. If one persists through the Fear effect to attempt to attack the Babes, only magical, silver or Plattnerized bronze weapons will affect these twisted little spirits, and then only do half damage. The Babes will focus their scratching attacks on anyone seeking to harm them, causing 1d4x2 damage, and negating all benefit of any DEX mods or metal armor. The wounds caused by the Babes heal at one quarter the normal rate and require a Blessing to avoid becoming infected.

Source: Babes in the Woods or The Children in the Wood is a traditional children's tale, and as such is fairly morbid, consisting as it does an account of the murder of a pair of witless waifs out in the woods by their supposed benefactor and protector, in some cases an uncle. The excellent collection 'More English Fairy Tales' by Joseph Jacobs contains a version of the 'The Children in the Wood' story that is in the Public Domain and available via Wikisource.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spell: Graft Flesh

Graft Flesh
Level: 4
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch

The caster gains the ability to transfer living flesh from one body to another and to mold it into place so that it adheres and integrates properly into the new body. The donor flesh can come from any other living creature. 1d6 hit points worth of living flesh can be grafted per level of the caster.

Should the recipient be reduced to zero hit points and then recovered, the grafted flesh remains inert and must be removed before it grows septic.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spell: Animate Necrotic Tissue

Animate Necrotic Tissue
Level: 1
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch

This spell infuses gangrenous and otherwise necrotic tissue surrounding some wound upon an otherwise still-living victim to tear itself free and become a shapeless lump of undead flesh that can then be grafted onto a necrotic golem, or used to repair zombies, among other unsanitary and unsavory uses. The grotesque chunk of flesh can be employed as a very, very simplistic servitor, but that only happens in extremely rare instances. Usually. Though there are rumors of an assassination attempt that made use of a lump of necrotic flesh submerged in a chalice of wine, the thing choked the food taster to death and not the actual target.

The process of extricating itself from the host tends to cause 1d4 damage per level of the caster, per turn, until the undead tissue succeeds in severing its connection to the host. If the host survives the experience, they tend to gain a permanent +1 bonus on all resistance rolls versus infection.

This spell works best if cast upon a living victim, but it can also be used on fresh medical waste taken directly from a surgeon's table, but at a cumulative -10% chance of failure per minute away from the host.

Friday, March 28, 2014

20 Vicious Slimes (Red Bestiary)

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”
Franz Kafka

  1. Jodfrey's Elixir. A mostly transparent fluid that tends to sweat out of walls where Hard Candy has been improperly stored. It dissolves unprotected skin upon the slightest contact and emits a faintly bleach-like scent. When burned it emits toxic fumes that cause 4d6 within a 20' radius.

    [AL N, MV 3' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 2d4 per round of contact, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Neutralized by chlorine-gas, tends to explode when mixed with sulfur. There are rumors that this stuff might someday revolutionize gunpowder manufacture.]

  2. Cruel Gruel. Lumpy, sloppy goo that quivers and jiggles obscenely in dark, empty rooms. Always surrounded by mounds of dead flies and mites. Emits a sweet-smelling perfume that attracts vermin. One out of every 100 insects that eat the stuff grow to three times the normal size, gain 1d4 HD, and take on a mottled gray coloration that gives them a 70% chance to Hide in Shadows. Cruel Gruel is never found anywhere but in the middle of the floor, and it prefers dimly lit spaces. It does not burn, but if soaked in a bath of epsom salts it takes on the consistency of papier mache and can be molded into simple shapes such as crude gorgets or bracelets that repel vermin for 2d4 days, longer if the person crafting this stuff knows how to mix-in the right amount of bee's wax and lavender oil.

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless)]

  3. Corpse Liquor. Vile, black liquid that seeps up from places where unhallowed or undead corpses have been allowed to rot into the soil, accumulated filth or other dirt. As it percolates to the surface, the edges take on a tar-like consistency and the wet portions reek of corruption and decomposition. Coming into contact with this stuff rapidly dissolves all flesh, living or dead, including leather.

    [AL N, MV 3' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 2d4 per round of contact, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Protection From Evil destroys Corpse Liquor.]

  4. Blue Sploosh. Milky turquoise slime that primarily infiltrates the spaces between floors and ceilings in multiple-story buildings. This stuff is highly corrosive and sometimes there is a faint trace of small blue crystals poking-up through the floor boards or dangling down from a sagging ceiling like little teeth. Most often it is encountered when someone steps onto a rotted section of flooring and their foot breaks through the boards with a sploosh. The slime then attempts to envelope the unfortunate victim, typically taking 1d4 rounds to accomplish this. The slime does no damage until after it fully envelopes its victim, at which time it forcibly suffocates them to death as it forces itself into their air passages, sinuses and lungs. The victim can attempt to Save, but that will only buy them an additional 1d4 rounds before the stuff begins to choke them to death.

    [AL N, MV 12' (4'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3+, #AT 1, DG victim loses 1 CON per Round until reaching zero, at which point they are dead, but can be recovered, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Victims of the Blue Sploosh can attempt a STR check to break free every other round they are enveloped. Attempting to attack the Sploosh while it has enveloped a victim causes the victim to take all the damage. Foragers often carry a small tin containing a sticky paste made from Red Weeds that causes 1d4 damage per round to the blue Sploosh. The best remedy tends to be the spell Repel Slime.]

  5. Gray Fuzz / Fuzzy Mat. Dark gray patches of thick, viscous slime covered with a three-foot-thick haze of ultra-fine filaments. The fuzz wraps itself around anything that comes into contact with the stuff. It causes a nasty-looking gray rash wherever it comes into contact with unprotected skin. There is a base 30% chance of not noticing a patch of the Gray Fuzz for 1d4 rounds if one accidentally steps into it, however at the end of that time the victim takes double damage for the next 1d4 rounds. Some foragers have learned the trick of getting this stuff to wrap around a torch-stub that they then quickly cover with molten wax. When tossed into a fire, these things spatter sticky, burning gobs all over the place, making it useful in setting-up traps, ambushes and the like.

    [AL N, MV 3' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d6 per round of contact, SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Stains everything dark gray. Very flammable, but spatters like water tossed into a grease fire, lobbing 2d4 flaming gobbets in random directions, each one causing 1d4 damage per round for the next 1d4 rounds as they cling to whatever they land on.]

  6. Scrambles. Cheesy-smelling mess that looks like slightly runny scrambled eggs. It doesn't do much. Just sits there like a greasy-lump. When you finally get that briny after-taste in your mouth it'll be too late.

    [AL N, MV 1' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG emits poison gas that takes 1d4 rounds to affect anyone within 60', SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Once the gas takes effect all victims within 60' of the Scrambles must make a Save. Success indicates that they pass out for 1d4 hours. Failure means that they lose 1d4 CON each round for the next 2d4 rounds. Anyone reaching zero CON are dead, and non-recoverable as their prone body is now host to a new colony of Scrambles. Moving out of the 60' area of effect grants a second Save attempt. Success on this second attempt stops the CON damage. Failure has no effect; the damage continues for the full duration. CON lost to the gas emitted by Scrambles is recovered at twice the normal rate. Scrambles are not flammable, but they do shrivel into a rancid-yellow powder if enough gunpowder is poured on top of the main mass. This rancid-yellow powder, once fully dried, will burn with a lambent blue flame and give off a toxic dark yellow smoke that does 3d4 per round for 3d4 rounds.]

  7. Sprinkles. Wet, black sprinkles floating in a translucent slime. It reeks of cardamom or anise and tends to curdle linoleum and similar substances into bilious off-white masses of fluid-filled bubbles. The fluid is highly caustic, while the floaty black-bits are quite toxic.

    [AL N, MV 6' (3'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round for 1d4 rounds (fluid), 2d4 per round for 2d4 rounds (toxin), SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Victims who survive an attack of the Sprinkles have a base 30% chance to fall ill for 1d4 Turns whenever they take damage. This effect persists for 1 week. Each time this happens they must also make a Save, success means everything remains as it was, failure means they are paralyzed for the next 4 rounds while they painfully vomit forth a fresh patch of Sprinkles, suffering 1d4 damage each round.]

  8. Floor Fudge. Thick, soft brown paste-like stuff that accumulates on the floor of empty rooms and other places that receive little to no traffic. It is sticky, but not overly so. It is very pliable, especially when warm. It smells like fresh butter or caramel, except when set on fire, then it stinks terribly and emits a cloying, thick brown smog that reduces visibility by 75% and inflicts 2d4 damage per round for the next 3d4 rounds within a 30' radius. When it comes into contact with metal, this stuff flees, usually by oozing into the floor, which often causes sections of the floor to collapse. Most Foragers prefer to just leave well enough alone. Eating it causes 6d6 damage.

    [AL N, MV 30' (10'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG (special; 6d6 if eaten), SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless), Special: More than one ambitious chef or desperate cook have attempted to make this stuff edible, so far with predictable, if often tragic results.]

  9. Pink Curds. Squishy pink bits of gelatinous matter that slowly congeal into delicate rosettes in the corner. They emit a doughy fragrance and a trickle of pinkish fluid that stains all organic materials varying shades of pink. If exposed to open flame the Curds tend to crystallize into brittle, translucent bubbles that contain a much-heavier-than-air poison gas. The materials stained by this thing's fluids cause 1d4 damage per round of contact. The stain will penetrate boots and most foot-gear within 1d4 rounds.

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact with stained material, SV MU1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: If exposed to flame, crystallizes and produces poison gas contained within bubbles. Poison gas causes 4d6 damage within 10' radius, but only forms a dense pink miasma 1' above the ground or floor, and will seek the lowest point in any space it is released into, including swirling away down a drain or stairwell. The gas will persist for 4d6 Turns.]

  10. Stair Sludge. Lard-like slime that forms mostly upon stairs and steps within ruined or burned-out buildings. It is incredibly slippery but won't burn unless hit with a flame thrower for a sustained period of time, and then only grudgingly. Foragers know to look for this stuff before using stairs--or ladders.

    [AL N, MV 1' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG roll DEX or less on 2d20 or slip and fall, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Tends to leak out of most containers, perhaps because it makes the seal too slippery to fully close.]

  11. Dark Butter. Brownish-black stuff the consistency of butter that forms at the bottom of long-standing pools of stagnant water located inside old buildings. Soft and yielding, the stuff is often mistaken for mud, however once it has been stepped into or otherwise allowed to adhere to a victim's body, if it is removed from the water, it will erupt into smoky, nacreous flames causing 3d6 damage to the one smeared with it. However, these flames will not harm anyone else. Unless they, too, come into contact with the Dark Butter and then expose it to the air.

    [AL N, MV 1' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 3d6, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: It is claimed that Dark Butter can be neutralized by adding some Black Liquor to any stagnant water one comes across, but seeing as that tends to attract swarms of blood-flies or bite-mites, few take this advice seriously.]

  12. Pit Drippings. Sour olive-drab effluent that coats vertical surfaces within dark spaces with little to no air circulation. Has a distinctive tendency to glow subtly when exposed to torchlight, but the effect takes 2d4 rounds to become noticeable, which is often too late.

    [AL N, MV 9' (3'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Neutralized by most forms of alcohol. All attempts to climb a surface coated in this stuff is reduced by 75%. It also dissolves rope, leather and most fabrics within 4 rounds of contact.]

  13. Deleterious Drizzle. Milky white fluid that slowly seeps through bookshelves and walls as it seeks out books, scrolls and the like. This stuff causes no physical damage on contact, but instead scrambles the victim's speech and language abilities so that they are reduced to uttering gibberish for 3d4 rounds, making spell-casting extremely unreliable or impossible. When the Drizzle comes into contact with any form of writing, it saturates the substrate and consumes all traces of the writing, effectively erasing the work. A single blob of Drizzle can decimate a library as it destroys 1d4 pages of written material per round.

    [AL N, MV 15' (5'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG (See Above), SV MU 3, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Neutralized by extreme heat. But that tends to destroy the thing's dining materials as well.]

  14. Tomb Tar. Clumpy, stinky, thick black slime. It seeps into the most inconvenient niches, cracks, seams and crannies in places where the dead are restless or wrathful.

    [AL C, MV 12' (4'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2 (Immune to iron/steel weapons), #AT 1, DG drains 1 STR per strike, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Can be Turned as a 4 HD undead by any suitably trained Cleric, Heretic or Anticleric. For some reason this stuff takes double damage from bone weapons, however the weapon becomes severely blackened, softened and unusable afterwards.]

  15. Slimeway. Wet, flat light-green slime that extends down into the ground to form small passages used by Oozes, Froths, blobs, Jellies and other Amorphous Horrors. This slime may be one massively distributed colony extending for many, many miles across and far below the present location where it has been spotted. There is a small reward for those who can accurately mark the location of an undisturbed Slimeway patch on the map of one of the scholars investigating this stuff.

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 4 (regenerates 1 point per turn), #AT n/a, DG n/a, SV MU 4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Lacking any real damage-dealing capability, this slime does however impose a Wandering Monster roll every turn spent within 20' of whichever part has been most recently exposed.]

  16. Mauve Ichor. Attractive looking puddle of what at first might be mistaken for spilled paint or dye. This slime is highly unnatural and hostile, latching onto anyone within 10' of its current position and inflicting 3d4 damage per attack.

    [AL C, MV 12' (4'), AC 7, HD 4, #AT 1, DG 3d4, SV F4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Neutralized by Black Smoke, as if that will help.]

  17. Sliding Scales. Vividly streaked green, yellow and whitish slime that has a semi-scaly texture or appearance. This stuff is very slippery, wet and poisonous. It doesn't cause much damage in and of itself, but an encounter with this slime can prove very costly after the fact.

    [AL N, MV 12' (4'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG 1 point of damage + Persistent Wound Effect: Victim takes double damage from all attacks and suffers diminished healing (twice-normal rate for the next 1d4 hours, SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless).]

  18. Cobble Slop. Foul-smelling waxy build-up found in-between the cobbles of perpetually-dark alleys and similar passages. It leaves a lingering dark yellow-green film on one's boots, what some refer to as 'Thieves' Mustard,' which is fairly innocuous until it gets mingled with nightsoil or urine. Then the stuff rapidly expands into a pungent green slop that causes 2d6 damage per round one remains in contact with the stuff. The 'Thieves' Mustard' seems to be insoluble and cannot be removed, lending to the unsavory and underhanded practice of some cobblers to employ urchins and the like to lure the unwary into walking through a patch of Cobble Slop so as to force them to buy new boots.

    [AL N, MV 3' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d6 per round of contact, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: It is rumored that the Cobblers may know of a secret recipe for dissolving Thieves' Mustard, which they then use in various ways within their shops.]

  19. Red Slime. Viscous red slime that drools off of irregular surfaces in stringy masses. This stuff pits, corrodes and ultimately dissolves iron/steel, and it is attracted by freshly-spilt blood.

    [AL C, MV 6' (2'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG 2d4 +Rust, SV F2, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Can be neutralized by covering it with a substantial quantity of dried grains such as oats. The Red Slime is absorbed into the grains and can then be safely burned to destroy it. Eating the saturated grains results in 6d6 damage.]

  20. Drip-Drops. Disgusting dark orange fluid that takes up position on ceilings and overhangs so as to casually and stealthily drip upon passersby. This slime tends to numb those areas of the skin it touches, which is perhaps a kind thing, since it also quickly causes flesh to melt into a stew of undifferentiated cells. Thankfully this stuff avoids loud noises and bright lights and the dissolution of flesh can be halted by applying copious amounts of Black Liquor upon the area affected. The cheaper the bottle, the more will be needed.

    [AL N, MV 6' (2'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG 3d4 per round of contact, SV F3, ML 12 (-6 when exposed to loud noise or bright light), Special: Neutralized by Black Liquor.]

You might also find Wet Spots, Corpuscular Sludge, Drab Jelly, Ferruginous Blob, The various forms of Gobbling Grout, Loathsome Masses, Mind Slime, Yelg Froth, Scabrous Froth,  Variant Forms of the Squick & Ichorous and/or the Brewer's Bane to be of interest. There is also a table of Writhing Masses for Jalamere, as well as paper minis for Raging Blobs, Ferric Blobs, Cerebro Blobs, and others on the way. We'll also have a few more Amorphous Horrors coming along soon...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 82

Everything is about to change. Headmistress Shael has sent representatives to call a summit of the powers that be within and around, and beneath Wermspittle. This has never been attempted before, but the circumstances are unquestionably dire and pressing. But is the Headmistress acting in the best interests of Wermspittle, the Academy, or herself?

"How may we serve you Headmistress?" Bujilli stood next to Leeja, both of them eager to get going.

"You can either bring your friend Idvard to me within the hour, or you can go to see Morquin in the Athenaeum and request his presence in the Chamber of Consultation, also within the hour."

Bujilli looked to Leeja. His partner kept her head bowed, not in any demure gesture of respect, but rather a calculating, devious pose. He'd seen this before. His blood went cold in dread.

"We will be happy to assist you, Headmistress, and we do realize that time is fleeting and your need pressing, however we do have one or two personal matters we must attend to immediately."

"What do you have to do that is more important than what I've asked you to do for me?" The Headmistress drew herself up as though preparing to pitch a major fit. Gnosiomandus bowed his own head, more to hide his lop-sided grin than anything. He had been wondering when this was going to take place, ever since he first met Leeja.

"Like I said; a couple of things. Very important. Very personal." Leeja was using her sing-song voice. Bujilli's hair bristled. All of it. Everywhere. It itched.

Headmistress Shael glared at Leeja. Neither woman appeared willing to budge.

"You could, of course, command us to go run your errand immediately..." Leeja let her voice trail off. Implications and hints of repercussions abounded, unsaid, but thick in their midst.

"But doing so would be a mistake. Is that what you are implying girl? Are you making some sort of veiled threat?" Headmistress Shael scowled at Bujilli. As though this were somehow all his fault.

"I wouldn't dream of Threatening the Headmistress of the Academy Herself. Nor would I be so arrogant as to proffer my unasked-for Counsel, seeing as we neither one have any reason to trust the other, being Unknown and Unrecognized...and never properly re-introduced..."

Bujilli fidgeted. He was so caught-up in listening to Leeja that he almost didn't take the hint in her message. He closed his eyes and quietly communed with his Counsel. It had already scanned Headmistress Shael previously. Now he knew what Leeja was up to...he just hoped it wouldn't hurt.

"What are you getting at girl? Time is of the essence and you babble nonsense--"

"Hardly nonsense, Aunt."

Headmistress Shael bowed her head this time. Her shoulders bunched up. Her hair slashing about her like a halo of angry cats' tails. In perfect synchronization with Leeja's own hair.

"How long? How long have you known?"

"I suspected something of the sort the very first time I saw you, but had no way to prove it." Leeja nodded. As far as she was concerned her kinship to Shael was now confirmed.

"And now you have found some sort of proof?"

"No. I took a chance. Our mutual resemblance is too close to be any fluke or coincidence. Since the Purges there are less than a dozen of our family left alive--"

"More like six. I do not consider the undead any sort of relation I care to claim kinship with, personally."

"We are kin. That much is clear to me, was from the first moment we met. But we are not merely cousins or some such. Are we? My mother had violet eyes..."

"But you do not."

"I take after my father. As you well know."

"We don't really have time for this."

"I know. I'll spare you the obvious awkward questions. I think it is interesting that you did not automatically deny our kinship just now. Of course you also never bothered to recognize it when I first arrived here and enrolled at the Academy."

"It would have been pointless to deny the obvious truth. As to the were Unsanctioned...they...terminated your sister...because of you..."

"They were killing us long before I was conceived. And are you really going to stand there and blame me for my own birth? Really?" Leeja arched her eyebrow, cocked her head to the side, her voice taking on a sarcastically incredulous tone.

"Perhaps not." Shael sighed deeply. Her shoulders shook. Her hands were numb.

"So do you now admit that you and I share blood kinship?"

"Yes. But I fail to see--"

"Oh it is quite relevant. Entirely germane to our current situation. I assure you. Did you know that Niobe and I recently crossed paths again?" Leeja's voice carried along with it the sensation of twisting a knife in a wound. But whose wound?

"Your sister has been here?" Shael nearly choked in outrage.

"Not exactly here, but close. Very close." Leeja taunted; "She somehow weaseled her way into someone's good graces, possibly after killing our father, and was in command of a mutinous unit of troops on some sort of punishment detail. They hated taking orders from her. But they managed to take over Idvard's Keep, if only for a brief while. Before Bujilli and I were able to derail her efforts and ruin her now former master's plans."

"So it was you," Shael glared at Bujilli, "who scattered those Pallid soldiers about the place. I should have guessed. Your friend Idvard occupies one of the ancient Morlock Keeps set to watch and ward the Borderlands and the Adjacent Worlds, the Dead Worlds linked to Wermspittle..."

"...Connected to this place by Weak Points. Yes. We know. We've both been there. We've gone through the Weak Point that Idvard has secured for himself." Leeja crossed her arms before her chest and stared innocently at her Aunt.

"Have both Morquin and your friend Idvard here within two hours. If that's not enough time to attend to your oh so important personal matters, then deal with them when you return. I need to go now. But you and I are far from finished child. We have a few things to get straightened out between us. When you get back from running my errand."

"Two hours should be plenty. Thank you. Aunt Shael."

Headmistress Shael looked at Bujilli. At Gnosiomandus. Turned and left.

Bujilli felt like he was going to throw up. Gnosiomandus laughed softly to himself.

"Nice to see that someone is amused." Leeja snapped her claws.

"You really are her niece. Counsel confirms it. She's no simulacrum..."

"No. She isn't." Leeja looked meaningfully at Gnosiomandus; "Who are these 'friends' of yours that you're supposed to go talk to?"

"Mrs. Cave for the Book Trade, Urmigan for the Building Trades, Doktor Hesselius, and a few others, some of whom I am uncomfortable mentioning before first consulting with them. This is a dangerous thing that the Headmistress is setting out to do...dangerous...unprecedented...potentially disastrous..."

"Not the Corruption Trade?"

"No." He shook his head solemnly. All trace of good humor completely gone.

"I see. So now we know their connection into this place." Leeja closed he eyes. For a moment Bujilli thought she would either scream or start crying. Instead she snapped her eyes wide open, focused on him and smiled broadly; "You go on ahead then, old man. Bujilli and I will take care of things here, then go retrieve Morquin and Idvard."



"You're not going to need any help from me to get past Idvard's guard-drones. But you could use the amulet Hedrard gave you to find and gain access to the Athenaeum, or I can give you one of my own to use if you like..."

"I would appreciate that." Bujilli held out his hand. His right hand. The hair still wasn't growing back. The familair old violet fractals were gone now, but they had left lingering scar-like traces seared deep into his flesh, his very soul. He had carried that spell imprisoned within his hand for a long, long time. Just thinking about it brought the thing closer. He could cast it right now--

"Whoa there." Gnosiomandus shook Bujilli by the shoulder; "You've got a hellacious bit of unpleasantness entangled with your right hand there, but no need to unleash it here and now."

"Sorry. I thought it was gone. But it isn't, is it?"

Gnosiomandus casually examined Bujilli's outstretched hand. Grunted. Dropped the amulet into his palm.

"I'm tempted to make a bad pun about that coming in real handy, but I'll spare you. You must have carried that spell for a very long time--it is integrated into you body and soul. I've never seen anyone learn a spell in that fashion before. Talk about going about it the hard way."

"So it's really still there? It isn't all in my head?"

"It's in your hand. It's definitely in your hand. The only real concern is whether or not you can come to terms with it. The thing has a bit of a mind of its own. You'll need to work things out between you, or it might become something of a nuisance. I'm sure you'll get it all sorted out just fine." The old man winked. Turned. Walked off through the foyer.

They were left alone. In the middle of thousands of sharp mirror-shards and other debris left in the wake of Sharisse and Gudrun's battle with the Mirrorborn.

"I thought they'd never leave." Gudrun shoved half of an armoire door away from a partly singed ebony frame. Sharisse helped wrestle the heavy, make-shift barrier out of the way and they both jumped down from the mirror on the wall. Sharisse quickly slammed the shutters back into place. Gudrun latched them. They both propped the armoire door into place to reinforce the shutters.

"Where have you two been?" Leeja and Sharisse spoke simultaneously.

"Are you both--"

"We're fine. Now. There were a lot more of those things here than we had expected." Sharisse smiled at Bujilli. Looked at Leeja who nodded slightly. Gave Bujilli a hug.

"We managed to get all but one of them." Gudrun kicked at some mirror shards.

"One escaped?" Leeja asked.

"No. It was taken." Gudrun hissed in anger.

"How? What do you mean?" Bujilli looked to the doorway. He hated discussing all these things here in Sprague's place. He knew how to make walls talk, and was ready to bet that Sprague had his own way to do pretty much the same thing.

"A man in a blackscale and bear-hide cloak cast a spell on it. Took it away with him." Sharisse stretched out her limbs. Hiding in the mirror had been a bit cramped.

"Who was it?" Leeja demanded.

"We're not sure. Big guy. Heavy-set. With a bushy beard. He had an Oak Staff, so we both assumed he was one of the Regents or someone else in authority. We stayed out of sight until after he'd left. Then one of the Mirrorborn things nearly slashed my throat--"

"It had been hiding right next to us. We chased it into this mirror. Ended it. We've been hiding out there ever since. Seemed like a good spot. Nice acoustics in this place. We heard everything."

"Good. I'm--We're both--glad that you two are safe and sound. Before any of us say another word, let's get out of here. We've given Sprague plenty to mull over as it is--"

"You mean he's here?" Gudrun had a scalpel in her hand.

"No. But he will be and he'll more than likely be able to use some spell to hear all of our conversations later. I know that I can, and I'm not any sort of Master Oneirist. Let's go back to my room. I think we can talk there."

"Ambitious, ain't he?" Sharisse laughed.

Leeja scowled at her until she stopped grinning. At least while Leeja could still see her.

They left Sprague's mightily trashed and mostly abandoned reception hall. A brisk walk through the hallways and they were back under the slowly spreading branches of the strange little forest that was now growing in the corridor just outside Bujilli's room. They still had not determined who had sent the Mandrakes after him. He had a suspicion that it was connected to the people who had been pulling the Impostor Not-Sprague's metaphorical strings.

There wasn't time to deal with everything. Not on his own. But he wasn't alone. Not anymore.

Once the door was closed and latched, Bujilli cast Thought Wall.

"Now. We can talk. Leeja and I have been charged with bringing Idvard and this Morquin from the Athenaeum to the Headmistress. But we also should track down a certain arrow..."

"The demon-arrow?" Leeja 's eyes lit up with anticipation.

"Yes. You and I will track down that arrow and see who was on the receiving end. What I would like for you two to do, if you're willing, is to go to Urmigan and have him get word to Idvard that the Headmistress of the Academy has requested him to meet with her and that both Leeja and I vouch for the authenticity of the summons." He grabbed his beat-up old bag from the floor and started rummaging around for some loose coins he had left on the bottom from his earlier travels. Six coins. All different denominations. He handed them over to Gudrun.

"Sounds like a simple enough chore. Why not just have us go directly to Idvard? Or just go yourselves?"

"I'm not inclined to do anything anyone else might be expecting or counting on, and certainly not in any way that they might be planning on. You'll need to watch out for Gnosiomandus, as he's also going to go meet with Urmigan, but if you leave right away, you ought to beat him there. I have a feeling that he's going to visit Gudrun's parents before he goes to Idvard's place. Mrs. Cave, your mother, is one of the people he's planning on dragging into this summit the Headmistress is setting up." Even as he spoke the words Bujilli began to feel a looming sense of dread. He still wasn't sure if the Headmistress could be trusted or not. Or if this summit she was planning was a good idea.

"Of course. She practically runs the Book Trade. Has for decades." Gudrun nodded. Pocketed the coins. Turned to Sharisse; "What about it? You up for a quick run across the rooftops?"

"Always. Maybe we can swing in to your parents' shop afterwards. I'd like to see if they have a decent hand-axe like Bujilli uses..."

And the two young women were out the door, laughing as they went on their errand.

"Ready?" Bujilli looked around his room. He felt strange not having his tulwar any more. He adjusted his belt and bandolier. Touched the handle of the pistol he'd been given by Mistress Eberhard. The one carved like a manticore. It would make an excellent war-club, in addition to giving him some much-needed firepower. He didn't have a lot of experience with fire-arms. He'd need to make some time to go practice. Soon. There were three knives in his belt. And a wand. A black and gnarled, old thing. Iron and wood. It held violence like a battery. He'd not yet tried the thing out. He expected that he would soon enough.


They left the room. Locked the door. Bujilli held forth the amulet he'd been given by Gnosiomandus, a three-tined skeleton key made of dense black stuff that wasn't iron. It dangled on a light chain of silver. It started to point the way to the Athenaeum. He caught it back up into his hand, slid it into his belt pouch.

"Follow me." He set off at a loping gait, the hunter's trot he had learned in the mountains as a child. Which was appropriate. He was hunting.

Counsel showed him the way. It showed him a map of the surrounding area. All the different approaches and corridors. He knew they'd found the room they wanted when he slipped on a pool of blood.

Smiling fiercely, Bujilli pulled out his hand-axe and kicked the door as hard as he could. It wasn't latched. It flew back on the hinges with a crash. He lunged into the room.

Nothing else moved.

There was a body on the floor. The black arrow jutted up from between the shoulder blades. Just to one side. Directly through the heart. A good shot.

Baggy, shapeless clothes. Braided auburn hair. A mask of some kind, crudely carved ivory. Hmmm. They seemed familiar. Bujilli felt like he'd seen this person before.

He turned the body over. It was a young girl. He recognized the mask. She had been one of the three assailants he had driven off at the beast pens. He still had the image before him; counsel had recorded it at the time. She had been one of the people who had attacked him just after he had first met Leeja. Back when Gudrun was convinced he was responsible for her brother's death and was carrying out a vendetta against him. This had been one of her co-conspirators.

Leeja touched his forearm. He looked up. She gestured silently to the door.

Someone was approaching.

First, we need to roll for initiative for Bujilli, Leeja and our mysterious third party.

Second, we could use a Reaction Roll (2d6, as per LL p. 52).

Third, we'll need 4-5 d20 rolls for both Bujilli and Leeja, just in case.

Fourth, we ought to decide whether to attack this new-comer, prepare a spell, set an ambush, call out to them, or something's up to you. If you have questions, ask them in the comments and I'll respond as soon as I can, before next Thursday.

What happens next is up to you, the readers.

You Decide!

Previous                                Next

Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spell: Literary Incandescence

Literary Incandescence
Level: 2
Duration: Instant
Range: 30'

The caster selects a target which must be a written work of some kind, and causes it to burst into flames causing 1d4 per level of the caster. The damage inflicted is doubled if the caster is unable to read the language of the work. If the target is a scroll inscribed with a spell it must Save or be ruined. Spell-books and grimoires subjected to this spell get one Save per level of their master, and on any successful Save the damage is redirected back to the would-be arsonist.

Spell: Curdle Blood

Curdle Blood
Level: 3
Duration: Instant
Range: Touch

This spell instantly congeals the blood in the immediate vicinity of an open wound, causing the victim to suffer double the original damage and requiring a Save to avoid developing gangrene.

Green Kin (Wermspittle)

Andrikus Dermak has made an extensive study of the 'Green Kin,' and related humanish, abhuman and pseudohuman offshooots. His 'Codex Humanika' is considered all but definitive and is an essential reference work to be found in all reputable libraries, scriptoria, and related institutions. Private collectors have been known to pay outrageous sums to possess Dermak's original manuscript, of which there are no fewer than seven currently in circulation among the diverse members of the underground market in contraband folios and banned works. It is thanks to Andrikus Dermak's impeccable scholarship that we have any of the following details. By Dermak's estimate, there are four main branches of the Green Kin: The Tremish, The Vanjorro, The Verdante, and the degenerate-hybrid Groniz.

The Tremish have notably vivid yellow or violet irises in addition to their lustrous green skin. Their hair tends to blonde, often with greenish tinting. In most respects they appear to be human, despite their obvious differences in appearance and lifestyle; Tremish are primarily vegetarians who have difficulty digesting any but raw plant-derived foods. They tend to live for centuries, if not killed by accidents or violence, and are iconoclastic isolationists who, for the most part, prefer to withdraw unto one or another Mezzoglune, Epi-Plane, or similar such space. Tremish are reputed to possess the innate ability to Detect Ley Lines, Locate Weak Points, and Detect Magic at will. They also have a tendency to Spontaneously Transition from one place to another in what appears a random manner, most often brought on as an involuntary reaction to panic or stress. This involuntary ability may be the root cause for their wide dispersal across numerous planes and worlds.

The Vanjorro are tall, lithe and slightly narrower in cross-section than most other forms of humanity, and a substantial number of scholars consider them to be abhumans or pseudohumans, not true humans at all. Their green coloration tends to be a mix of lighter and darker shades in a sort of piebald patterning. Their eyes are a lustrous green due to a secondary membrane and their hair is actually a coarse collection of symbiotic fungal capillaries or filamentous tubules. Vanjorro eat sparingly, preferring mostly-rotted flesh over fresher fare. They are immune to the paralyzation effects of undead, such as ghouls, leading some to take up the pursuit and capture of such creatures as a lucrative trade. Vanjorro are most at home in underground environments and are known to have established several scattered settlements, typically not far from the Unterrails, but almost never near any of the established stops or depots. Dermak noted the Vanjorro as being prone to rapid decay upon death. It wasn't until several years later that his original notes were brought forth and it was amended that upon death, a Vanjorro's body will rapidly form a patch of feral green-speckled fungi that may be highly toxic. It may be for this reason that the Vanjorro lack any funeral rites whatsoever and are so fascinated with the undead.

The Verdante are a heretical sect of radical vegetarians driven out of their separatist communities across the Three Empires during the Red Purge when all nonconformist and troublesome groups were conveniently blamed for the recent, devastating double outbreaks of Red Weeds and the Red Plague. Easily spotted for their distinctive green skin and wild black hair, the Verdante were easy victims for intolerant demagogues and mobs stirred-up by penny ante rabble-rousers. But even so, they were never the primary target of the Purge. Whenever they were caught by a mob, there were only children who claimed to be orphans and pleaded for mercy from their antagonists. Most often the Verdante children were allowed to take what they could carry along with them into banishment from the great cities. The persecution battalions tended to simply drive them off, since there appeared to be no adults among them, they were rarely considered worth the bother to harass them any further. The Verdante left behind the great cities and small towns to prowl the wilderness until they either found refuge within the Low Lands or found their way to Wermspittle where a significant number of them took up service in the Sewer Militia. To this day, no outsider has ever seen or met a Verdante elder. Since General Order Twenty-Seven signed by Grand Marshal Maxillard Frem over three hundred years ago made it illegal to harass any Verdante on the basis of their age or experience, people have pretty much just taken it for granted that there are quite a few green-skinned kids who serve in the Sewer Militia. Whatever secrets the Verdante may or may not have, they are under no obligation to divulge them, nor will they allow themselves to be persecuted or driven out from their homes ever again.

The Groniz are a fierce, hybridized people partly descended from Morlock exiles who fought against the White Sphinx and lost, as well as Tremish and possibly Verdante prisoners originally taken along as potential food-sources. They have since become the undisputed rulers of the Underforests surrounding the False Suns of Iglix, a semi-mythical place that may be a Mezzoglune or possibly some sort of obscure and ancient subterranean redoubt left-over from before the Fall of the Surrigan Empire. They combine the worst features and traits of both groups in an unhealthy, unpleasant amalgamation that has proven extremely durable, viable and fecund, much to the chagrin and horror of numerous isolated villages, small townships, and the like who have been raided or taken-over by the Groniz. It is rumored that the Groniz have only recently sent representatives to Aman Utal to petition for recognition as blood-kin, but this might be errant folklore or pointless gossip.

Source: A pair of Green Children, a brother and sister, were discovered by the villagers of Wolfpit sometime in the 12th Century. They had an unfortunate time among the villagers, the brother died soon after baptism and the sister went on to become a servant who was regarded as more than a little wanton. The children were said to claim they had come from 'St. Martin's Land'; an underground redoubt where all the people had green skin. The tale has been told and re-told countless times since it was first recounted, and it only gets more peculiar with repetition, making it perfect for adapting to our nefarious purposes...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spell: Lesser Receptivity

Lesser Receptivity
Level: 1
Duration: 3 Turns
Range: 0

Upon quieting their mind and focusing upon a single question the caster can attempt to elicit a response from some lesser spirit or geist. The caster applies their CHAR bonus, if any to the reaction roll of the entity attracted by the spell. The caster must keep their inquiry very specific, and as simple as possible, using no more than 6 words (+1 per level of caster). There is no guarantee that there will be any response and sometimes the spirits lie or seek to mislead the enquirer.

Archival Abominations: Creeping Baby Doll

I found this image while researching some things in the U.S. National Archives on Flickr. It's in the public domain, so I thought that I would share it and stat it up as a creepy-crawly sort of thing for Wermspittle while I was at it.

Creeping Baby Doll
No. Enc.: 3d4 (3d12)
Alignment:  (20%) Neutral / (80%) Chaotic
Movement: 15' (5')
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1+
Attacks: 1 (See Below)
Damage: 1d4
Save: As zero-level human
Morale: 12 (don't know any better...)

Forgotten toys left to rot beneath the rubble of abandoned warehouses and factories after the aerial bombardment now referred to as the Great Leveling, these minor automatons have gone strangely feral. Their once gaily painted faces are besmirched and smeared with blood and grime. Most of them are lacking their glass eyes, or have been somewhat mutilated in the course of their crawling free of the wreckage. But their tiny, sharp teeth work just fine and they will gnaw upon anything that comes into reach of their chubby little hands.

Their outer-skin is mostly composed of some sort of organic celluloid that is incredibly flammable, and easily set aflame, however doing so only allows the vicious scamps to inflict 2d4 damage from smudging their burning, sticky gobs of non-flesh against their intended victims. The internal workings are quite simple and very durable and can only be completely destroyed with a natural '20.' Otherwise, even if reduced to zero hit points, the little terrors will regain one hit point per ten minutes until they're ready to gnaw away on someone all over again.

If in the course of an encounter one of these dolls inflicts in excess of 20 hit points of damage, they go inert for 1d4 turns, after which they must void their internal chamber, forming a 10'x10' patch of greasy-sticky-nasty gore that reduces movement for non-dolls by one-half with a base 30% chance of falling if anyone attempts to fight while standing upon this gruesome discharge.

There are other things crawling out from under those ruined buildings...

Monday, March 24, 2014

20 Deadly Planes: An Overview

Some planes can be visited. Not these. Some planes can be contacted in order to commune with alien intelligences or to summon forth various entities. Not these. Raw and inherently hostile, these are not destinations. These are not places in which to seek enlightenment, nor to beg assistance. Nothing exists to be contacted or to answer any summons. Desolate and decaying, these are broken places, unoccupied and void regions, these sidereal abysses are extremely dangerous, but they have their uses...

Twenty Deadly Planes: An Overview
More often than not the so-called 'Twenty Deadly Planes' are referred to by way of a common symbol. The true name(s) of these planes, if they actually have any such things, are not provided in any of the primary sources which tend to make use of 'Lesser Epithets,' or obscure hieroglyphs when not employing the common symbols. Modern scholars have adopted either the Lesser Epithets or the accepted translation of the older hieroglyphs, or use a combined version that incorporates both into something a bit more poetic sounding. Tastes vary. As do results.

These planes are only ever involved in the inflicting of damage. A wide array of Currents, Bolts, Missiles and other attack forms utilizing the highly unstable energies of these planes are detailed in dozens of primers and texts. There are also a range of Defensive Wards and Protection spells that fend off the worst effects of the energy currents drawn from these planes. There are also a number of Wall and Barrier Spells that draw upon these planes. There are no summoning, no banishing, none of those sorts of spells for these planes. Most of the primary sources also tend to gloss over the risk of madness that tends to go along with utilizing these forces in one's spells.

Table One: Twenty Deadly Planes
d20Common SymbolLesser EpithetTranslated HieroglyphDamage TypeRisk of Insanity %
1Roughly-etched square with three yellow droplets in the lower left-hand corner.Crumbling OttrabarClinging Yellow IchorCorrosive Decay5%
2Black trapezoid of ashes.Ashen Wastes of Black AttushHot Black AshesHeat, Rapid Acidification10%
3Green zig-zags, preferably etched with acid.Smoldering KarzigHot Green VastnessToxic, Heat3%
4A gray puddle.Cold Gray Seas of Zou-DagraFrigid Gray Alkaline PoolsCold, Toxic, Alkali5%
5Mirror shards arranged in a sort of maze.Glass Labyrinth or Laar PerdaTransparent Mineral GrowthsTelepathic, Physical Destruction25%
6Five green dots.Killing Rains of Jag NesirHot Green AcidPhysical Destruction (Acid)30%
7Fractured black ovoid.Black Empty ZilligHot Dark Entropic AbyssHot, Psychic (Empathic Collapse)95%
8Single amber tear.Temoor's TearsCold Yellow Acid CloudsCold, Acid7%
9Blue smear.Schor JangulToxic Blue DustToxic, Destroys Language/Verbal Ability75%
10Gray triangle.Gray Ice of Kan-KumyCold Gray FlamesCold, Consumes Shadow50%
11Screaming mouth-glyph.Screaming BotjayWhite Psychic CacophonyPsychic, Nervous System Destruction95%
12Three red wavy lines.Howling Red Ler-BicaCold Scarlet WindsDisorientation, Cold3%
13Random brown scribbles.Dirch Brun FalDry Brown FogDesiccation5%
14Amorphous blob with burned edges.Selinoth YrSmoldering White JellySmothering, Acid, Heat30%
15Half-dissolved femur.Red KulvaBone-Dissolving Red LightPhysical Destruction45%
16Bright yellow angle, sometimes mistaken for a poorly drawn 'V.'Wrathful GomaqAngular Yellow MomentumExtreme Physical Destruction10%
17Violet triangle or icicle-glyph.Grosilz PelHot Violet IceHot, Cold, Crushing (Ice)3%
18Raw vertical slash.Tid'urm AneffSilent Rainbow Terminal Stillness80%
19Scattering of iron nails.Sea of JageldHot Iron TidesHot, Crushing, Tides5%
20Inverted, iridescent-black three-step pyramid.Dim Abyss of OrgytheDevouring VoidExtreme Aging, Draining, Ultimate Destruction99%

Insanity: The chance that the caster goes insane from coming into temporary synchrony with one of these planes is reduced by 5% per level above the 5th. Those driven insane by their trafficking with these highly inimical planes remain that way for as many hours as they have levels. However, upon regaining their sanity, another Save is required, failure incurs a permanent penalty of -1 to all subsequent Saves versus madness and insanity effects.

Damage Type: These are necessarily vague and incomplete, as each instance and encounter is going to have some unique qualities to it due to the variables involved. The types of damage specified in the table above are the types of effects most commonly reported or recorded in conjunction with each of these planes.

Attempting to Contact these planes (as per the Cleric spell Contact Other PlaneLabyrinth Lord, p. 29, or by way of one of the alternative Contact Plane spells) will require the caster to Save. Success causes 1d4 damage and a temporary loss of one spell-slot for 1d4 days. Failure causes 1d4 damage per level of the caster as well as requiring a second Save to avoid temporary insanity. Failing the second Save, roll the d% indicated, the insanity persists for 1d4 days, after which they will certainly have gained a valuable insight into the nature of these planes, as well as gaining a +1 to all subsequent Saves against incurring temporary insanity on the Risk of Insanity table above. In this specialized instance, no questions are asked or answered, instead the caster gains the ability to incorporate the contacted plane's damage type as a secondary effect of their spells for 1d4 days. If they are conversant with the Lower Forms, they can now empower one of those spells with the energies of the contacted plane. they can now consider moving on to forming a Link, but there are no known methods that have proven effective for attuning to these planes. At least not currently available within the published literature or usual sources. There are rumors of strange sects and bizarre undead entities that have mastered the intricacies of attuning themselves to these planes, but that is all unsubstantiated rumor and hearsay at the moment.

First Contact with any of these twenty planes results in an outburst of the corresponding energies, causing 4d6 damage (Plus 1d4 per level of caster involved) within a 10' radius sphere. It is very unlikely that anyone could form a reliable Link from the initial contact attempt. But it is possible. Let's say there's a 1% chance. Oh and they still need to Save or roll % to see if they are driven insane. These are Deadly Planes. Meddling with these sorts of forces are dangerous and not for the weak or muddled.

Subsequent Exposure and Making a Connection: Each subsequent attempt to contact one of these planes has a spill-over effect that causes 1d4 damage per level of the caster within a 10' radius. The % chance of establishing a connection to the plane improves by 5% (plus the caster's Prime Ability Modifier). They must make a Save during each such attempt. Failing the Save requires the caster to roll a d% and consulting the Risk of Insanity Column in Table One above. Rolling the amount listed or below results in temporary insanity.

Attempting to Attune to any of these planes results in 3d6 damage per level of the caster erupting out across a 30' radius and forcing the caster to Save at -4. Failing to Save results in the caster suffering triple damage and everyone else within the 30' radius of effect suffering full damage even if they made their personal Save.

Creating an open or unbound Link to one of these planes inflicts 1d6 damage upon everything within a 20' radius and require a Save. Failing the Save requires the caster to roll a d% and consulting the Risk of Insanity Column in Table One above. Rolling the amount listed or below results in temporary insanity. Also, those planes listed with multiple damage types inflict 1d6 of each damage type. Such a Link tends to only last for a few seconds, unless the caster fails their Save, in which case such an unbound Link may persist for 1d4 Turns, causing damage each Turn, until the Link collapses. Most sources agree on using Squares to bind such Links, so long as the Link is intended to be embedded into a Lens or similar item. The more reputable manuals and mentors will warn that the use of Triangles will cause the very agitated Link to inflict triple normal damage, with a chance (equal to the Insanity %) of forming a lingering Vortex (triple normal duration). Once a Link has been successfully formed, it can be re-formed at will at a cost of 1 hit point for every 1d4 damage caused through the link. There are quite a number of ways to incorporate Links into spells, rites, items or workings. It is considered one of the fundamentals of effective sorcery, and a prerequisite for what comes next.

Vortices formed from the energies of these planes are highly unstable and will only persist if constantly reinforced or replenished. These Vortices cannot be rendered static, nor anchored. They traverse a random course for their duration and can sometimes turn back on the originating caster. These Vortices tend to last 1 Turn per level of the caster.

Tapping these planes is far more difficult than forming a temporary Link and is best left to those with great confidence in their abilities and knowledge. Planar Taps keyed to these planes are extremely dangerous, highly unstable and have a tendency to collapse in spectacular explosions on par with fireball and lightning bolt spells. The current, prevailing trend of thought is to first establish a Link, then expand it into a full Tap once it is already mostly embedded in the designated matrix-object, most often a Lens. Attempts to embed a Tap into a melee weapon are mostly discouraged as there is no effective means available for shielding the wielder from the effects of the current of planar force flowing through the Tap.

Attempting to erect a Portal to any of these planes results in 6d6 damage for everything caught within 30' radius of the attempted portal site. Re-roll for each separate damage type listed. This effect will persist for 1 Turn per level of the caster. The Caster is required to Save at -4 or take triple damage. Those casters slain in this manner are non-recoverable. There are too many variables to take into consideration, however it is very likely that this sort of incident would indeed form one or more Vortices.

20 Deadly Planes I: Overview   |   20 Deadly Planes II: Excerpts from a Banned Manual
20 Deadly Planes III: 20 Sample Spells   |   20 Deadly Planar Lenses

The most common object or item making use of these energies are Planar Lenses, with Wands being a close second. Several examples of these will be detailed at the blog fairly soonish. Bujilli recently gained a wand that works off of this system in Episode 70. He just doesn't know it yet...

A Grimoire of spells and such derived from the Twenty Deadly Planes is forthcoming.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Spell: Animate Unliving Servitor

Animate Unliving Servitor
Level: 3
Duration: Permanent
Range: Touch

The caster converts a mass of scrap-metal, broken crockery, glass, lead-shot, small rocks and other inorganic debris into a roughly human-like shape and causes it to arise in a mockery of life. The mindless servitor-thing formed by this spell is equivalent to an undead skeleton and can only carry out very simple commands of fewer than five words. they remain active until destroyed or Dispel Magic is cast upon them.

The caster may animate a number of hit dice worth of unliving servitors equal to the caster's level. For example, a 5th level scholar can animate 5 HD worth of unliving servitors, and it is left to them to determine if it would be 5 single-HD servitors or a single 5-HD servitor, or some other distribution of HD.

All unliving servitors produced by this spell have the following stats:

No. Enc.:  Determined by Creator
Alignment: as creator
Movement: 20' (5')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: Determined by Creator
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 or by weapon
Save: MU1
Morale: 12

International Table-Top Day (2014)

We hope it's a great day for all gamers everywhere.

This also sounds like a fun day to drop by The Source...
Maybe some of the local GMs will be running something that folks can try-out.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Scrum Pustules

Scrum Pustules
No. Enc. 3d4 (3d10)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: (See Below)
Armor Class: 8
Hit Dice: 1+
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d4 per HD
Save: As Zero-Level Human
Morale: 12 (mindless)

Rancid smelling bulges of vile matter protruding from wood saturated with the liquescent corruption left behind by Loathsome Masses and Wet Spots that are not completely expunged, Scrum Pustules are an aggressive aberrant growth that rapidly proliferates throughout an abandoned property or burned-out ruin. They are more often identified by their repellent scent, which is all too noticeable even when the blister-like growths haven't quite burst through the surface of the wood.

Make no mistake, these are not simple encrustation or inert ligneous tumors, they are aggressive and will strike out at anyone within 3' of their rooted position. Scrum Pustules seem to lurk just below the surface of contaminated wood, waiting to ambush likely prey. Blind and deaf, they have a sense for the chemistry of healthy blood and an uncanny ability to detect movement within 30'.

When first encountered, there is only one of the things. Every turn after the initial attack, another one of the things will erupt from the woodwork, as near to a potential target as is possible. Scrum Pustules never retreat, never give up, and will remain rooted to that spot until removed or destroyed.

Scrum Pustules gain 1 permanent hit point for every 30 points of damage they inflict. Every 6 hit points gained in this manner gives them another HD and allows them to increase in size, extending their area of effect by one more foot and improving their attack by an additional 1d4.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bujilli: Episode 81

Bujilli, Leeja, and Gnosiomandus have returned from some sort of mezzoglunic-underworld with a very injured and bloody Sprague in-tow. No sooner do they arrive back at the Oneirical Studies reception area than they find themselves confronted by the Headmistress of the Academy at Wermspittle. She's angry. She wants answers. And she's not alone.

Shattered bits of glass-like mirror-flesh were everywhere.

Three women stood at the edge of the debris. A long cool woman in a black dress. A hag with over-sized owlish eyes and a lop-sided leer. A tall, elegant woman in a bone-white fighting gown wielding an intricately carved oak staff. Mistress Eberhard. Hedrard. The Headmistress...or her simulacrum...Bujilli wasn't sure if this was the impostor or the actual Headmistress. He hoped Gnosiomandus would have some way to discern the truth of the matter.

There was no sign of either Gudrun or Sharisse. Just the results of their exuberant handiwork.

"That's far enough. I will have some answers..." Headmistress Shaell held up her shimmering left hand. Ice crackled as it frosted across the floor before her. Bujilli could feel the spell's frustration at being held back. It noticed him.

"Now." She stared at Bujilli for much longer than he would have liked before turning her gaze upon Gnosiomandus.

"Good. You're here. Hedrard; Sprague here is in dire need of your assistance."

"Is it Sprague?" Hedrard cocked her head to the side to get a better look at the battered and bedraggled form of the Master Oneirist.

"Yes. That much we managed to get right. This is our Sprague...though I fear, not your Sprague madam." He stared back at the Headmistress.

Hedrard shambled over and began to inspect Sprague's wounds, tut-tutting the while.

"You have engaged the enemy. What did you learn?" Did Mistress Eberhard drew back ever so slightly from the Headmistress? Perhaps it was a trick of the light.

"Explain yourself Gnosiomandus." The Headmistress demanded. Her hair, so like Leeja's, writhed about her head in a false halo of ivory flames. Her eyes flashed violet. Her power was patently obvious and much too immanent for anyone's liking.

"Your husband was taken." Gnosiomandus leaned upon a weathered and worn oak staff that had not been in his hands only a moment before. Bujilli recognized it as his mentor's staff of office. He remembered it from the time in the Arena. During Leeja's Entrance Exam.

"But this is Sprague here..." Headmistress Shael lowered her left hand. The frost curling about it receded back into places in-between legitimate spaces with a soft yowl of irritation. She stood stunned in painful realization.

"Yes. This is Sprague. But this is not the man you married Shael." Gnosiomandus averted his eyes. Steeled himself to face her wrath. Once again.

"Are you sure old man? Absolutely certain? I married the man I knew as Sprague..."

"No. You married his impostor. A twisted reflection. One of the Mirror-born. I'm certain of it, as are both of my pupils."

"And what would they know of this matter?"

Bujilli felt his hackles raise as she regarded him once more; "We were ambushed by the impostor, the Not-Sprague, when we came here earlier..."

"How do you know it was an impostor?"

"I was there Shael. We followed the impostor down past the foundations, deep into the Grimdark. We passed through the gates of Weregall..."

"That is forbidden."

"But not to our enemies. Make all the rules and prohibitions you like, but they are not binding on any but those under your authority. We've neglected and ignored the Mezzoglunes for far too long, and now some one has used our ignorance against us."

"How? How is this possible? We have guards, wards, protections..."

"All defenses can and will be breached, given time and incentive. It is the nature of warfare. The Near Deeps are secured by the Sewer Militia and Unterkorps, despite their bickering and politicking, Beatrice would know of anything coming at us from that quarter, usually well before the commanders of either group. If they had used some sort of Transition Mechanism, or passed through one of the Near Planes, I would have known it, or you would. The Cold Roads and the Woods Between the Worlds are patrolled by Hedrard's kin and their allies. Likewise if they had used a paracosm or crossed over through the Dreamwastes or Slumberland, Sprague would have known."

"Exactly--" Headmistress Shael paused. stared at Gnosiomandus in abject disbelief.

"Yes. He has been held captive in his own room for a considerable while now thanks in no small part to some well-played treachery, as well as our mutually damnable arrogance. They struck by surprise and were able to subdue Sprague but they couldn't transfer him out of his sanctum. So they bound him in Black Iron. Drained his essence. Substituted an Impostor who moved through our ranks unsuspected and unchecked."

"Are you saying that this impostor was not only Mirrorborn but some sort of vampire as well? And all our defenses were...are...effectively useless?"

"I'm not entirely certain, but they were draining his essence, as Hedrad can confirm, and I suspect they were using it to assist in their masquerade. Engorged upon his essence, they would effectively be him. A major flaw in our thinking. As to our defenses, they have been compromised. Severely." Gnosiomandus looked a million years old leaning on his staff. It was bitter news he wished he didn't have to deliver. Not again.

"As has Sprague..." Mistress Eberhard stood before Gnosiomandus. Put one talon-like hand upon his shoulder; "For how long? How long have they been among us?"

"Hedrard will know."

"More than a year, I'd say, based upon his condition. I need to get him back to my rooms where I can do more for him. He's in a bad way. They would have killed him in another couple of weeks of this sort of treatment. As it is, it'll be touch and go whether he survives. I'm calling Lemuel to help carry him back, and I'll have a strixin to serve as my proxy while I'm tending to Sprague." She looked over to Shael; "With your permission, of course."

"Yes. Do what you think best. Do what you can for him."

"No promises. But I'll do what can be done. I always do."

"More than a year then. That coincides with the unsealing of the closed Arena and the Old Governor's attempt to subvert the Entrance Exams." Mistress Eberhard looked meaningfully at Bujilli and Leeja.

"They've had time to do quite a bit of mischief."

"You pursued the husband...past the barred gates of Weregall..."

"The Great Doors were already open--"

"Excuse me. I will see to it that they are fully closed and re-warded." Mistress Eberhard stalked off to attend to the matter personally.

"Lemuel is here. We'll take Sprague now. For what it is worth, I have full confidence in Shael's ability to get things sorted out and set to rights. I don't envy you what lies ahead. Not one bit. But I believe that you'll do what needs to be done." And Hedrard waddled off with Lemuel carrying Sprague's unconscious body.

"Please continue." Shael leaned on her staff. Her burdens seemed to be multiplying by the minute.

"To make a long story short, we were unable to get to the boat in time. They were taking your husband in the direction of Aman Utal by way on the Underchannels."

"But Weregall does not extend that far."

"No. It doesn't. It's a distorted reflection, hence it was declared off-limits during the Achuin Occupation. They were the ones who instituted the laws against uncovered mirrors and all that. They were not heading to Aman Utal, but rather were moving to the periphery of the space, probably with then intent to slip past the spatial membrane at some point and reach any number of alternate locales...parallel realms...any number of regions we have not even begun to explore."

"So they intended for you to see them going in that direction. But was it to throw us off their trail, or to falsely implicate someone else, or what? Why would they do any of this?" Her voice cracked. It was too much, too fast, and far too twisted to sort out easily. For a moment Shael looked like a hurt little girl, an old woman withered by too many years of crises and challenges.

"I hesitate to speculate as to their strategy or motives at this time. But now that we know something of what has been going on, and we have Sprague delivered from their un-tender mercies, we can begin to--"

"You will recall your nephew from Iltarsha. He is to be here within the week and he will assume captaincy and command over the riders patrolling the Cold Roads. As he petitioned, and as you advised months ago. You will also recall your daughter from Ustria, with or without her husband. She is to assume command of the Academy Guard, in tandem with Beatrice's efforts, of course."

"If you wish--"

"I do wish it and so command it. As of now. We all have a lot of work to do. I am going to go meet with the Commandant Zulmer of the Wall Guard stationed at the Inner Ramparts and afterwards I'll go see Silas Grompf. The old bastard owes me a drink, so he cannot refuse to meet with me."

"Are you--"

"I wasn't finished. I am going to have Beatrice pay a call on her allies in the Red Watch and the Cellar Inspectors. Hedrard can contact the crones and grand-dams among the Midwives. Jilleen will go speak to the Mayor's office and I will ask Runeeth to serve as a liaison with those who prefer to not be named. You are going to go talk to your friends and allies. I am calling for a Summit."

"There's never been--"

"This affects everyone. We've been hiding behind our walls for too long. Holding back from getting directly involved in local events. We can no longer rely upon our old defenses, nor our old ways. Those days are over. Everything changes now." Headmistress Shael seemed to be speaking directly to Bujilli.

"They'll never agree--"

"I couldn't care less what they think that they will or won't do. They'll come. Now. As to these two pupils of yours. I have a task I would assign them, but I do not wish to interrupt their training--"

"Neither of us have been able to begin our actual training, Headmistress." Leeja bowed demurely.

"No. They haven't. Every time I turn around they're both off and running and having adventures and getting entangled with sordid schemes and--"

"Excellent. Then you won't mind if I send them on an errand?"

"Go ahead. You will any how."

"Yes. I will. but I am being polite while I still can. Soon enough that may not be an option."

"How may we serve you Headmistress?" Bujilli stood next to Leeja, both of them eager to get going.

"You can either bring your friend Idvard to me within the hour, or you can go to see Morquin in the Athenaeum and request his presence in the Chamber of Consultation, also within the hour."

Which task should they agree to?

1) Go get Idvard and bring him to the Headmistress?
  - or -
2) Go see Morquin in the Athenaeum, and get him to answer the summons of the Headmistress?

If someone would care to do the honors, We could use a pair of D20 rolls.

What happens next is up to you, the readers.

You Decide!

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Series Indexes
One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six

About Bujilli (What is This?) | Who is Bujilli? | How to Play

Bujilli's Spells | Little Brown Journals | Loot Tally | House Rules

Episode Guides
Series One (Episodes 1-19)
Series Two (Episode 20-36)
Series Three (Episodes 37-49)
Series Four (Episodes 50-68)
Series Five (Episodes 69-99)
Series Six(Episodes 100-ongoing)

Labyrinth Lord   |   Advanced Edition Companion