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Month Index: October, 1994


From:     RJPugh@???.com
Date:     Fri, 28 Oct 1994 17:37:31 -0400
Subject:  Re: Library 6/6
New Monsters:

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Grubkin - low power lower plane denizens - Grossness Index 5 (see the PCs'
faces when the pus reforms / massmorphs)
Nastiness Index 2 (white is white is white - looks don't revolt very
much)

Climate/Terrain  All
Frequency                 Very rare (naturally only in lower
planes)
Organization     Groups
Activity cycle   Any
Diet             Nil
Intelligence              Semi/Summoner's
Treasure                  Incidental
Alignment                 N
No. Appearing    1-100
Armor Class      10
Movement                  9
Hit Dice                  2
THAC0            19
No. of Attacks   1 punch or 1 weapon attack
Damage/Attack    1-2 or by weapon type
Special Attacks  Overbearing, suffocation, massmorphing
Special Defenses Reformation, immune to blunt weapons
Magic Resistance 10 %
Size             S (4' high)
Morale           Elite (15)
XP value                  Per colony


Grubkin are a "species" quite commonly found on some Lower Planes.
In their usual form they are brightly white bulbous humanoids with
large empty eyeholes and even larger toothless mouth. Their hands
have three fullyopposable thick fingers and their feet two large
toes. The creatures are unable to speak but they can emit some kinds
of whistling and chittering noises with their mouths. Grubkin are
composed purely of white pus, which tends to flow disconcertingly
from limb to limb within a tight skin.


Combat: In combat grubkin fare well only by their sheer numbers,
they are lousy fighters. They are easily hit, but only
piercing/slashing weapons are able to damage them, blunt weapons
just distribute their energy into the liquid pus without breaking
the skin. They are physically weak and thus unable to fight any
weapons larger than size S. Solitary grubkin are not dangerous to
any but the most lightly armed - in groups they tend to use their
weight to a distinct advantage by engaging in wrestling. An even
more unsettling combat tactic is their ability to shoot their
internal fluids into the faces of their assailants - this does
damage to themselves so such action is restricted only to close
combat when a direct hit is almost guaranteed.
The grubkin have got some sort of a regeneration ability - if they
are fighting on remains of previously died grubfolk they are able to
assimilate the pus on the floor (and regain 3 hp / round).
If there is a truly large amount (say, some four inches) of pus on
the floor - the entire fluid can rise as a gigantic (up to fifteen-
feet tall) grubkin. Such a monster has AC 6 (thicker skin), 8 HD,
and its fist does 1-12 points of damage, T0 11, Morale 20. This
giant form doesn't use fluid jets to attack its enemies - if its
attack roll is a 20 it has grabbed its opponent, pulled him close to
its body and swallowed him. On subsequent rounds the victim takes d6
points of damage and will suffocate normally (rules on PHB p. XX).
And as if the larger variation wasn't a tough enough opponent
already, it does regenerate at the normal rate.

Society: Grubkin are unintelligent creatures and as such have no
concept of society. While controlled by something they are acting
under the controllers orders - ome unknown, very hard gray
stone. Some symbols engraved into it and filled with black, rubbery
gunk. The meaning of some symbols can be guessed (fire, stone) - but
most of them are completely alien.
The axe is very light, and gives a +2 bonus to both attack and
damage. Against golems it works as a rod of smiting - but even that
pales in comparison to the axe's effects on elves. After two
successful hits on elves (not necessarily the same opponent) the
blade of the axe breaks apart into two moving halves (looks somewhat
like jaws from the side) - attack bonus rises to +4, and on an
attack roll of 19-20 the axe bites down on the opponent,
automatically inflicting damage on following rounds even if it is
wrested from the attacker's hand (a successful bend bars by the
victim roll detaches the axe). However, this effect subsides
instantly when the axe hits a non-elf opponent. Against ogres the
axe will refuse to do combat and stick to the hand of its wielder
making it impossible to fight effectively.
The axe can detect magic - a symbol lights up to differing shades of
blue when pointed at a magical item/aura/whatever. The symbol fails
to work perfectly in non-evil hands, and all cursed items show up as
very powerful - as do all magical constructs.
It can also detect heat, which probably won't be very useful except
on iceworlds.
When the both symbols light up there's an Ogre Mage present, a fact
that can sometimes be very useful - but actually deducing what the
lighting up of these two symbols means is not going to be easy.
The other symbols do not work, perhaps the rubbery gunk within the
carvings has lost its power.
The axe belonged to the legendary ogrish space explorer Rogn Kijarck
who perished in the last battles of the First Unhuman War. How the
PCs find the axe is up to you to decide, but once the ogres hear of
its discovery, nothing can stop them to recover it.
The axe is a semi-artifact, a gift from the ogrish gods, and as such
very hard to destroy / get rid of. If the PCs do not invent a
devious method to destroy it the axe should come back to them in the
hands of some powerful opponent.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Orbus ring

Until a spelljammer puts the ring on its effects won't be
discovered. And even then only at first situation when the ship is
caught in combat the real effect will be discovered, till then the
helmsman will feel just a weird tingling while guiding the ship.
The ring increases the SR of the ship by one if worn when
spelljamming. The negative side-effect is the permanent loss of one
hit point per week (seven uses) of ring-use (non-continuous use
counts too). The effect is discovered after each loss if an INT-test
is made (a save vs. death magic means that the lost hit point will
return after an year of abstinence from ring use).
The orbus rings are crafted by capturing an Orbus' spirit and
binding it to the golden globe. The spirit has to attune to the
wearer, therefore it remains dormant a week before the powers become
evident. A habit that the beholders greatly despise - they can sense
the spirit within the ring, this might give the PCs a severe
disadvantage the next time they communicate with beholders.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Tome of Enlightment

Every major Seeker establishment has one of these extremely magical
books. Though it seems not to be very thick at all - within its
covers is an uncountable number of pages, all filled with different
handwritings (when a new page is required, it just appears in the
book). The covers are thin metal, embossed with the Seeker symbol.

This book is one of the very few methods of communication across the
uncountable voids between worlds. When some text is entered into a
Tome, it appears in other Tomes across the spheres in a short time
(1-100 minutes, not dependent on distance). The communication
doesn't require any spells or magic pens, all magic is provided by
the Tome itself.

The Tomes are never found on the open markets, and most mages and
clerics believe them to be nothing but a fraud. Once a potential
buyer is convinced of the book's authenticity he will pawn his own
grandmother to get it. Or hire the seventy toughest crooks to
"persuade" the PCs to negotiate price to a more manageable level or
give it away for free. How much they can get for it depends on the
campaign, its relative value is the same as for a fully equipped
hammership with a major helm.

The information in the book isn't very useful for PCs, most of it is
just endless discussion on varying topics (the Arcane and the Neogi
are favorites). Think of it as a magical equivalent of the Usenet
news we all are familiar with. Add ".signatures" and "flaming" only
if you're certain that your players can stomach them. The book can
be considered to have a "recent history" proficiency of 15 (it takes
the reader d6 days to find out any facts).

Of Tanar'ri-craft there's precious little information in the book,
the Therioton is mentioned twice in passing. <<<< XXXX <<<< himself
seems to have been a very quiet man, he has joined only a few
conversations during his time.

[handout 10 - sample]

If the characters decide to repeatedly write something on the book,
they immediately get several "where did you get this book"-like
replies. The book's location cannot be <<<<resolved<<<< via its
messages, they're identified by the name of the book (which, in this
case happens to be "Pladic") that the PCs cannot alter.

<<<<
KUVA
<<<<

Therioton

An ancient book from the long since forgotten Vehemnean culture.
Vehemneans were very handy with magic, about half of the population
had some magic skills. Their culture developed very quickly, but
once they had conquered their own world and travelled through space
to some colonies within their own sphere (Arcane wouldn't sell them
anything but furnaces for motive power) they grew rapidly bored and
the empire stagnated badly. In their laziness the Vehemneans turned
to Tanar'ri for labor - this, of course led to their destruction in
a short time as more and more mages became corrupted and turned
against each other and the empire itself plunging the world to a
chaotic civil war. Vehemnean planet was finally purged by Hennha, a
female messiah-figure, who unleashed some Lightning Angels from
Concordant Opposition to cleanse the world - the entire planet was
scoured of all life, and its' atmosphere diluted to a point of being
equal with void.

Where the Venathan culture reigned is entirely up to you. I put
their remains on Kule, the voidworld "moon" orbiting Oerth (some
info found in the boxed set and SJR6 Realmspace, but needs a lot of
work anyway so no worries). The lightning angels eradicated
everything that was not made of metal or stone, the dilution and
eventual disappearance of the atmosphere took just several centuries
after the entire biosphere was eliminated. Air remains in some areas
(big craters, caves), but the ruins have no breathable areas. The
deadliest traps in ruins were the antimagic zones (or pre-cast
dispels) left by the wizards, they are very effective in eradicating
whole parties when their Airsphere spells get negated - spellcasting
without air is impossible unless the spell in question has no verbal
component. The drow elves (the present "rulers" of Kule) have
removed much of the remaining magic materials from the ruins, but a
lot remains to be discovered. Perhaps the party is unfortunate
enough to run into some lightning angels who were trapped inside a
collapsing building...

The Therioton is a huge 2' by 3' sized book bound in human skin.
Every page is hair-thin, and almost translucent, making the book a
pain to read in too well-lit areas. In addition to containing some
very valuable information on Tanar'ri-craft (80 pages), the book
includes four bound fiends from Abyss - their spirits have been
attached to the metal sigils found on the last few pages of the
book. Some spells, unfortunately written in forgotten Vehemnese
round out the book (Illusionary Might, Script of Enthrallment,
Immaterial Suffocation, Boiling Blood). Deciphering them requires a
successful Spellcraft-roll in addition to the need of understanding
the language as the principles behind the spells are rather
outdated.
Reading the book from cover to cover gives the reader the Tanar'ri-
craft NWP, and tells him what the sigils are - Smeag Eran was in a
hurry, and tried to pry a sigil loose without reading what it was.

Thlacnch was the lowest ranked Tanar'ri in the book - the four
others are much tougher cases:
        Yklin!da, a slavelieutenant of Yeenoghu's
        Anmano, the spiral fiend who has the power to twist his
victims' flesh            (cenobites, anyone ?)

        Mrakk, a standard-issue whip-bearing armor-clad
battletrooper from hell with                INT 6
        Rhusz, a twofaced small monkey with a glib voice.

Chest of Containment:

bla bla bla...


New Spells:

Illusionary Might -- Mage II (illusion)
        The caster seems to grow in power and stature, if he's a
mage then bluish wisps of magic appear to circle around his head, a
fighter's muscles ripple menacingly under a tightly stretched skin
etc.  Affects morale -2 to enemies, +2 to allies.

Script of Enthrallment -- Mage III (charm)
        The reader (unless he saves successfully vs. spells)
regards the book this spell was cast on as so compulsory reading
that he won't do anything but re-read it again and again, even if
that means forgetting eating, bathing etc.  Basically it needs to be
enhanced with a permanence spell, as it stands now, the duration is
mere 8 hours / level, not enough to endanger anyone.

Immaterial Suffocation --- Mage V (evocation/illusion)
        A noose (or a pair of hands or something - the visual
        effect is illusionary and personal) appears around the
victim's neck, tightening all the time. Damage caused is d10 per
round (cumulative: d10 on the first round, 2d10 on the second, 3d10
on the third and so on). The grip of the spell can only be loosened
with ___dispel magic___ or equivalent. It prevents talking, so the
victim is probably doomed unless his magically endowed friends can
launch a quick counterspell.

Boiling Blood -- Mage III (evocation)
        A very nasty spell, and effective in space as no flame is
loosened.  The victim takes 2d6 points of damage per round for
(caster level / 2, max 10) rounds.  A successful save vs. spells (at
the beginning and then on every other round) cancels the spell.
There is no visual component to the spell, the victim just feels his
blood begin to bubble before erupting in excruciating pain (he is,
of course, unable to do anything during the spell's duration).  The
spell affects only intelligent creatures, animals are immune.

Shadow -- Mage II (Illusion)

Disband Elemental -- Mage IV (evocation)

Seek Unlife -- Mage I (Divination/necromatic)



Timeline

This timeline is an attempt to distil some information only hinted
at in the text and to give the DM some idea what has happened
before. It also ties down some loose ends and perhaps inspires some
further adventures.

All dates in Seeker years - probably their Year Zero is the date of
founding some important library or the finalization of their own
charter.


1103    Pladic Library opened

1304    The Therioton discovered in a deserted colony on Kule.

1431    Quarmi Sehran elected the new chief librarian on Pladic

1446    The Xenos destroy a branch library on Toril, burning half a
city in the progress

1455    Phairl, a radiant dragon visits Pladic and is "very
interested" in the books.

1457    Bral Library completed

1458    Ironpiece Library closed down, all books transferred to
Bral
        Smeag Eran discovers Therioton in a storage room on Pladic

1459    Tlachncha possesses the Pladic library
        The first two unsuccessful explorations

1460    The third investigators' ship fails to return

1463    The Pladic Library is discreetly removed from all rosters
after a Seeker meeting

1464    The Seeker Atlas' description of Pladic 'fails to mention'
the library ruins, the    notes on Slubia are somewhat nastified,
there is no such thing as a ten feet tall insect with a saw-bladed
proboscis.

1469    Phairl meets its' end in the rams of two Neogi
deathspiders.

1477    The entire four ship Slubia colonization fleet (lizardmen
from Lahspace) destroyed after they land on Pladic for a bit of
rest. The Lahian lizards decide to expand in other directions when
the ships do not return.

1484    The present


Thlach-nchar -- the adversary

A low-power Tanar'ri that was bound into Therioton by a Vehemnean
mage over two millennia ago. He was the first to be released from
the book as it was inspected by the Seekers.

STR     16       Telekinetical strength
INT     15       Smart for such a low echelon fiend
WIS     9        Impulsive, no premeditation to his actions
CON     15       Ethereal constitution
DEX     14       TK agility
CHA     8        Selfcentred, bad speaker

AC: 0 (Manifestation on prime material plane almost nonexistent)
HD: 6
hp: 33
#AT: 1 touch
D: d8
SA: Chilling touch (-1 to STR/DEX per hit), telekinesis,
SD: Ethereality, regeneration (1 hp/rd.), immortality
MR: 35 % / Nil
XP: A plenty

   Form - Used to be a smallish, matt-black bear with oversized fangs,
gaudy butterfly wings and multifaceted eyes. As he gained power from
the all the magic items (especially helms) in the library he
gradually shrunk in physical form, and became a totally spiritual
entity - now he looks somewhat like a ghost, totally transparent
humanoidal entity still bearing his wings - though the color has
seeped away;

   Powers - Elemental summoning, Illusioncraft, very low level Gate,
absorption of solid magic, noncorporeal, chilling touch, magic
resistance 35 % (against wizardly spells), regeneration;

Weaknesses - Dust, priestly magic, no resistance to demoncraft,
hunger for magic, bound   to the Pladic library;

   Personality - Now, for the first time ever, Thlach is at the top -
even if the place to be top in gets visitors only once a year. From
a bullied Tanar'ri has evolved a sadist of a worst kind - nothing
delights him as much as toying with his victims and finally killing
them. Impatient, four millennia in a sigil has only decreased his
patience.


Of Inspiration / Thanks To / Boing Boing:

Neil Gaiman & Jill xxx for the grubkin (ish#35 of Sandman)
William W. Connors for the Flying Knives scene (Bane of the
Shadowborn in Dungeon #22)
Pushead -        the artist who draws the grittiest pictures around
(famous for his T-shirts for Metallica).
Pyogenesis - An "upcoming" doom/death metal band from Germany.
Michael Moorcock - The evocative death of a world from Stormbringer.

--
Ville.Lavonius@????????.fi             into    the           flood
again
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/~lavonius/   same  old   trip  it was back
then



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