Monthly Archives: October 2012

Skullfish

Bradley, Thorodr and I set off down Grand Anchor Way, the main artery betwixt the capitol and my hometown of Whiteshore and its sunny beaches. Benjamin, the former amarok, followed Bradley closely, infatuated with his every move. Thorodr regaled us with tales of his adventures. As with most seasoned adventurers, he had developed storytelling into a fine art, and we were most entertained. The weather was most pleasant, and the beautiful and aromatic Kingswood set our spirits high. Soon the road joined the river Car and followed parallel along its course.

I spied a strange sight near the river’s edge in the water, and I left the road to take a closer look. A school of silver fish swam in an odd fashion by the water’s edge. They were large, oil coloured fish with a pearlescent sheen to their scales. Most interesting though, was that they seemed to have no skin on their heads, just an exposed, toothy skull.

I had learned about these on fishing trips I had taken with my father as a young boy. Their common name is the skullfish, a common breed of magical creature. Fisherman say that they  are the souls of drowned fisherman who refused to let go of a catch, to their folly.

Thorodr joined me by the river bank. Upon spying the fish, he quickly undressed and dived into the water. The water was clear and the surface unbroken and I could see him swimming downwards with the fish circling. He reached the riverbed and began rooting around in the rocks, swirling up mud and obscuring him.

After several seconds he returned to the surface. He climbed out of the river, both of his hands grasping objects. In his left was a small jade statue. It made a curious jingling sound that seemed to emit from the edge of one’s consciousness. In his right he held one of the skullfish by the neck. He held it up to  Bradley for sketching and told me some sound adventuring advice.

Apparently skullfish and magical items go hand in hand. Their presence is a metaphorical X marking magical treasure. My theory is that they are actually magical mutants; the presence of magical energy warps their bodies into a somewhat stable form. They also taste like cinnamon.

~ Riffolk

Rules

Description:
These creatures look like oily fish with exposed skulls and bright, rainbow eyes. They are attracted to magic and are usually found near magical items or sources. Their mutant bodies actually draw in magical energy. They are not aggressive and will rarely attack characters, though if they are near spellcasters their bodies will draw in their magical energy.

Equipment:
Teeth (10 bonus  Grapple damage)

Abilities:
Mana Sink: Every turn the creature is within 3 metres of a spellcaster it must take an opposed Will  check. The spellcaster’s mana is drained by 5 for every degree the creature beats them by.

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Wicker Man

We attended the funeral of the late Wynn of Fywich, the poor hunter that met with a grisly fate at the hands of Benjamin the Amarok. Most of the village turned out, though the village’s priest was away on an inquisition. I was excited to see a funeral without an oppressive speech from the church but it so happens that an acolyte of Vulcan was passing through town on a pilgrimage and agreed to conduct a sermon.

Wynn’s family had asked for him to be cremated, which suited the follower of the fire god fine. He opened to a page in the weighty tome he brought with him and recited a long speech in classical. The crowd was moved and Bradley had tears streaming from his eyes. Apparently I was the only one there with a classical education. What the ignorant priest had actually read was a rousing war speech. He even ended the sermon with the classical version of “May their souls ever burn in the fires of hell.

I stood with a mixture of amusement and indignant rage which was quickly replaced by shock as the funeral pyre began to move. The fire blazed unnaturally high and the corpse lifted into the air on a tongue of flame. The logs used to build the fire surrounded it, taking the shape of a giant burning effigy. The corpse opened its mouth and the sound that came out was not unlike the bellow of a mammoth I once saw in a travelling circus.

The beast moved with surprising speed and grabbed the priest. He screamed while in its grasp and ignited, quickly burning away to ashes and scattered in the wind. The crowd surged away from the funeral pyre, trampling each other to escape. I became aware of a figure moving against the crowd, towards the towering fire creature. Red light glinted of his plate armour as he strode through the crowd. He carried a heavy falchion with one hand and a large scutum in the other.

The man deftly hid behind his shield as the beast vomited forth a cone of red fire. As interested as I was to see the combat, I decided it would be prudent to escape from the line of fire of the monster. I dragged Bradley behind a building. After a short burst of violent noise, the surroundings went quiet. I leaned out from my cover to see the somewhat blackened warrior standing in a pile of burnt logs. He seemed to be searching for loot.

The man was obviously a seasoned adventurer as I am, so I decided to introduce myself. He named himself as Thorodr of Arancliffe. Though he was short of stature, he seemed to possess great strength and skill with a blade. He told me that he was travelling to the capitol to sell a pile of treasures he had acquired and I, realising that my comrade and I might have overstayed our welcome in Fywich, agreed to accompany him.

~ Riffolk

Rules

Description:
This creature is created when a character or priest critically fails at giving a sermon or speech at a cremation. It looks like a towering burning effigy, wreathed in unnatural red flame. The corpse from the pyre sits at the centre, screaming in a loud bellow, and is the creature’s only weak point. The creature attacks by either vomiting fire at opponents or grabbing them and letting them burn to death.

Equipment:
Burning Claws (10 Fire Damage, cannot Parry, opponents hit have a 25% chance of lighting on fire)

Abilities:
Grapple: 20 bonus to Dexterity and Strength Checks to initiate and maintain Grapples.

Burning Hands: If an opponent is grappled by the creature they will automatically light on fire and take a fire damage hit based on the creatures Intellect every turn while the grapple is maintained.

Flamethrower: Once per turn the creature may vomit forth flame in a short ranged cone as the Pyromancy spell Flamethrower. Targets may take a dodge check or a parry check if they are wielding a shield, at -10 penalty, for half damage.

Fire Armour: The creature has 20 points of armour on all locations, except for the chest, and is immune to fire damage. Any opponents making melee attacks against the creature have a 25% chance of lighting on fire.

Regenerate: While the creature is above 0 Wounds, it may regenerate an amount of wounds equal to the degrees of success on a toughness check with a 10 bonus. Opponents may stop the regeneration by dousing the wound with water or by dealing cold damage to its location.

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