Thursday, August 15, 2013

FATEsy Heartbreaker Part 7

The Three Curses of the Age

Deep beneath the earth an ancient horror sleeps. So the Treaugh Duara say. A weapon in the form of a great beast, built by the First Men in their war with the Treaugh Duarra. This beast got away from the sorcerer kings that crafted it and now it sits in the earth, rising only to feed and destroy. No weapon can pierce its hide and no magic can touch it. The Duarra have a name for this creature. They call it the Etta Aelld(Devourer of all).

When the Ael Adratta fought the G'no Ma Duara many horrors were released by the dwarven flesh shapers. The Elves still speak of the Tabhai(desolation) a monster that rose from the earth and decimated the Elven city of Asraia(haven). Of course the dwarves deny any knowledge of this monstrosity, but who else could have created it. It is said the Tabhai's flesh is impervious, and it sleeps for a thousand years. Few alive have ever seen it, for it attacks only infrequently. What is left of Asraia stands as a testament to its ferocious power. Elven cleric still make pilgrimage to the city, praying for an end to the monster and to their time in this cursed land.

Among the Mnemior stories are told of a great curse laid on the world. When Astellod took his place at the head of the pantheon, many gods were dissatisfied. One god in particular spoke out. Attakzi(Chaos) said that none should rule over the world and to try to do so was folly. Astellod struck him down for speaking against the order of things. With his last breath Attakzi spit a curse into the world and that curse took the form of Travochthiz(devourer). when the heavens are in proper alignment the creature awakens and assaults civilization. Seeking to fulfill its creators last wish. Only great offerings of food and sacrifice will hold the abomination at bay.

The Terrasque( human misinterpretation of the giant's name for it, Teurl Riesg, meaning devil monster) is an abomination from outside of teh world. Whether brought to the world through magic of Men, Dwarves, Elves, or gods will probably never be known. The Terrasque stands over 80 feet high and 120 feet long weighing in at around 150 tons. It is immune to most magic and physical attacks of any sort. A Terrasque will ravage the land for weeks and then bury itself deep underground to sleep for months, years, or even centuries.

This critter is a plot level monster. Outside of epic level play there is little chance that player characters will be able to even slow it down. A great adventure could be had in trying to keep people safe through direct rescue or by luring the monster away through the use of bait. in order to defeat the Terrasque a character would need to go on a quest to gather the tools needed to defeat it. Clerics would need to gain a boon from all of their gods, Thieves would need to gather the finest equipment, fighters would need to quest for the greatest weapon of the age, and wizards would need to gather a powerful and ancient spell. once all these are gathered the players would be in a race against time to defeat the beast before it destroys everything.

When fighting the beast you would need to defeat it in parts. first getting to a weak spot would be a contest with the beast. If it wins the characters involved take ten stress a piece. If the players win they can get close enough to strike the weak spot. Then would be a conflict to damage the creature. It will be rolling around and trying to crush them, stomp on them, or chomp them. Finally would be a challenge scene to construct the mixture of holy and magic ritual to permanently kill the monster. if the ritual is not done, then in one hundred years time the Terrasque will rise from the earth once more. Minimum attribute levels for the Terrasque are +8(or two hgher than the players attribute, whichever is higher). The difficulty for the ritual challenge should be around a +9 or higher. With the right weapons the beast has four stress boxes and six consequences(2 x Mild, 2 x Moderate, Severe, Extreme). Normal weapons, tools and spells do nothing. you must quest to get the things that will defeat the beast. feel free to make these quests as harrowing as possible. This is an epic level beast, make it feel like an epic. This should be the capstone to the characters adventures. When this is done, those that survive can look back on their scars with pride and say, "we were there. We did that."

When the Laiela speak of monsters they speak of only one with anything approaching dread. Aszkolep(many necks) is the mother of all serpents. She dwells at the heart of the deepest swamp. You cannot sneak up on her, for she has many heads and sees in all directions. Her bite is death and her blood is poison. Halflings speak of the ill fated trip of Balere. He set out to end the monster. He delved deep into the forbidden swamps. No one knows exactly how he died. what is known is that he was found by his family, piece by piece floating down the river. There is no greater horror to a halfling than the death of a family member. To this day there are members of Balere's family that seek an end to the mother of serpents.

The Hydra, it is claimed was defeated by the First Men. In fact there are seven separate instances when the First Men claim to have defeated it. This has led many to believe there are more than one Hydra. Others claim that what the First Men defeated was something else entirely. This has led to the myth of the immortal Hydra. Nothing can slay it, and it appears anywhere there is water. It has been a thousand years or more since the last Hydra sighting. Everyone hopes that the last time men faced the beast was indeed the last.

The Hydra is a creature of poison and spite. It is ancient as the world. Born alongside the gods, it is not of the world yet its home is the world. It is neither spirit, nor god, nor elemental. It is a wholly unique being. It is nearly impossible to kill for when you kill one two more will spring from the corpse within a year and a day. When the Hydra is wounded it begins to heal almost immediately. The only way to ensure its permanent death is to burn the corpse to ash and seal the ash, laced with holy salt, in a ceramic jar specially prepared for that purpose. It is believed that the hydra has died eight times in the history of the world. so there are at least eight Hydra at large.

It is a giant serpent that reaches over one hundred feet long. it has many heads, though the number varies from beast to beast. They have a poisonous bit and their blood is a terrible poison. The sign of a Hydra is a swamp where all the land around it is slowly dying. They poison the land simply by existing near it. The smell of decay is usually the first sign that a Hydra is near. They make no sound and are nearly invisible in their swampland homes.

Hydra Stat Block
Aspects: Great Water Serpent, Poison Bite, Terror from the dawn of time, Even the Halflings fear me
Legendary(+8) at: Attacking, Ambushing, hiding, fighting, eating swimming, terrifying
Bad(-2) at: social interaction, dodging, moving on land
Stress: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
Consequences: Mild, Moderate, Severe, Extreme
Special: If it is not killed properly two new Hydra will appear in the same area as its corpse in a year and a day. It gets to make a create advantage action once per round as a free action. Once per round it can forgo the create advantage action to clear out the stress in one of its stress boxes.

When the gods were young, they need servitors to carry out their will in the world at large. They created the Engiloi(messengers) to serve them in there ruling of the world. When the Duara were created, and when the rest of the Named People were brought forth. A small number of Engiloi were jealous. That these small creatures were given freedom and preferential treatment while the Engiloi were not was unacceptable. This small number were led by Saetuur(sweet), the highest of the Engiloi. The rebellion was short and vicious.The rebels were defeated. For their crimes they were stripped of much of their power and banished from the higher planes, never to return. They have taken the name Illi Bouro Ghul(Eaters of Souls) to show they are no longer what they once were,

Shape-shifting corrupters of souls, they revel in getting people to become what they hate. Anywhere there is unity they seek to break it. Where there is hope, they bring fear. Ghuls are bitter at the loss of the war and the loss of their power. They have lost, they will be destroyed at the ending of the world. they know this. Their only joy lies in taking as many souls with them to oblivion as they can. As to the fate of Saetuur, no one knows. No Ghul has stepped forward claiming to be him. A small faction of Ghul's believe he was to powerful to curse and so he is locked away somewhere. These Ghuls seek any knowledge of his current whereabouts or any clue to releasing him.

Ghul Stat Block
Aspects: Corrupt all, Manipulate everything, Shapeshifter, Desire the flesh of the living, Alien minds
Legendary(+8) at: Manipulatioon, deception, shapeshifting, illusion
Bad(-2) at: patience, direct action, resisting despair
Stress: [1] [2] [3]
Consequences: Mild, Moderate, Severe, Extreme
Special: once per scene they can ignore a hit that would normally do stress, as the character only hit an illusion of the creature.

So there is my take on three of my favorite solo monsters from D&D as well as my take on epic level monsters. The Terrasque is a mix of the Tarasque from France and D&D's Tarrasque. The Hydra was just me playing around with some ideas I had on regeneration and high level beasts. And the Ghul was a mix of Lucifer, Ghouls, and Rakshasa. I would love to hear what you think of this take on these classic monsters. Any comments, critiques, or ideas would be welcome. I think my next post(or two) will be on Dragons. I have loads of ideas for those, but any thoughts you have would be useful.

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