Friday, May 19, 2017

Neural Networked Spells: Part 2

As promised, here are three more Pathfinder RPG compatible spells based on dumb spell names generated by AI. You can see the last set here.

While the first set was fairly strait-forward, the rest of the list presents some significant difficulties in the form of nonsensical words not used as possessives or bizarre syntax issues. Defining the following spells actually required me to make up a definition for a word that doesn't actually exist -- "Puijune". I decided the "Puijune" is a portmanteau of "Puissant" (powerful) and "Jejune" (simplistic or superficial). In the context of the spell name it is clearly used as an adjective. Thus...

Puijune (adj). possessed of a superficial level of power.
This is my new favorite word for describing Cantrips. I may have to use it for all new 0th-level spells I make.


School: Enchantment (compulsion) [Mind-Affecting, Curse]
Level: Antipaladin 1st, Bard 1st, Bloodrager 1st, Mesmerist 1st, Occultist 1st, Witch 2nd
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: S
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: 1 creature
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

With a rude gesture, you curse a target creature so that they can only speak in profanity. A target that fails a Will save can only speak in words that would be considered crude or offensive in whatever language he is speaking. The target automatically fails any Diplomacy checks, and suffers a -2 penalty on all Bluff and verbal Performance checks due to his limited vocabulary. Likewise, the target cannot cast any spells with Verbal components, save spells with the Chaotic, Curse, Evil, or Pain descriptors. The target is allowed a new save at the end of each of its turns to end the effect.

Conjure Velemert

School: Conjuration (creation) [Air/Earth/Fire/Water]
Level: Alchemist 2nd, Druid 3rd, Medium 2nd, Occultist 2nd, Sorcerer/Wizard 3rd, Witch 3rd
Casting Time: 1 full round
Components: V, S, M (a volume of elemental matter equal to the caster’s size)
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: 1 Velemert
Duration: Special
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: none

The conjurer Fomend described the Velemert as “An extension of the caster’s psyche, bound in elemental matter, and unleashed upon the world at large. Beware the Velemert!”

When casting this spell, the caster must select a volume of elemental matter (air, earth, fire, or water) within range that would be large enough to contain his body. Upon completion of the spell, the caster’s spirit evacuates his body and emerges from the targeted matter as an almost perfect simulacrum of the caster composed of the appropriate element. The caster’s body immediately drops to 0 hit points and is unconscious, but stable. The body cannot be healed by any means so long as the Velemert exists.

The Velemert looks identical to the caster, save that it is composed entirely of the targeted matter, and includes replicas of all of the caster’s equipment. The Velemert’s ability scores are based on the caster’s but invert the caster’s natural proclivities. It’s Strength is equal to the caster’s Intelligence, Intelligence equal to his Strength, Dexterity equal to his Wisdom, Wisdom equal to his Dexterity, Constitution equal to his Charisma, and Charisma equal to the caster’s Constitution. The Velemerts uses the caster’s armor class, base attack bonus, saves, and skills, modified by the new ability scores. It has access to all attacks, feats, and extraordinary or supernatural abilities that the caster possesses, but cannot cast spells or use spell-like abilities.

For all effects related to type the Velemert is treated as an Outsider with the Elemental subtype. The Velemert has all the normal features and immunities of the Elemental subtype, plus Spell Resistance equal to 10 plus the caster’s level. In addition, it gains an additional subtype and abilities depending on its composite material:
  • Air: The Velemert gains the Air subtype, Immunity to Electricity, Vulnerability to Acid, and a Fly speed equal to double the caster’s base land speed (with Perfect maneuverability).
  • Earth: The Velemert gains the Earth subtype, Immunity to Acid, Vulnerability to Electricity, Tremorsense out to a range of 60 feet, and a Burrow speed equal to the caster’s base land speed.
  • Fire: The Velemert gains the Fire subtype, Immunity to Fire, Vulnerability to Cold, and any creature damaged by the Velemert (by any means) immediately catches on fire.
  • Water: The Velemert gains the Water subtype, Immunity to Cold, Vulnerability to Fire, and a Swim speed equal to double the caster’s base land speed.
At the time of it’s creation, the Velemert’s hit points are equal to the caster’s maximum hit points. The Velemert takes damage as normal, and also automatically loses 1d4 hit points per minute, as the magic that created it is inherently unstable. The Velemert cannot be healed by any means. When the Velemert is reduced to 0 hit points, it is immediately destroyed and the caster’s spirit returns to his original body, ending the spell and healing the caster of 1 hit point. If the original body is killed while the caster’s spirit is occupying the Velemert, the caster remains alive as long as the Velemert is intact, after which he dies and can be raised or resurrected normally.

Puijune Magic Furs

School: Transmutation
Level: Cleric/Oracle 0th, Druid 0th, Ranger 1st, Shaman 0th, Sorcerer/Wizard 0th
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: 1 garment
Duration: 10 minutes / level
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: none (harmless)

Puijune (adj). possessed of a superficial level of power.

Although created as a parlour trick by an apprentice transmuter, this spell has shown itself to be surprisingly useful to adventuring wizards, particularly those traveling in cold climes. This spell transforms any one nonmagical garment into a similar garment of clothing made from thick, luxurious, if somewhat smelly furs (typically that of a seal, bear, or musk-ox). Though typically used on bulkier garments, this could be cast on anything from a loincloth, to a hat, to a full-bodied robe.

If cast on an article of clothing that covers a significant part of the body (such as a tunic, coat, cloak, or the like) the furs grant the wearer a +3 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves to resist cold weather. This does not stack with any bonuses gained from the Survival skill.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Legacy of the Golden Horseshoe: Session 13

August 19, 1720
Once the dragon’s enforced laughter died down and the will-o-wisps had been driven off, Tess went strait to the warrior on whom the wisp had been feeding. While she was unable to find any apparent wounds or other obvious damage, the man was comatose. His breath was shallow, his heartbeat slow, his pulse almost un-findable, and his eyes rolled back in his head — not unlike Dr. Leibowitz when he was strung out on absinthe and laudanum.

Tess glanced around, looking for something sufficiently pungent to serve as smelling salts. Her eyes fell on Rhodri, With a wicked grin she motioned the dirt-faerie over. “Stick your butt in his face…” Sure enough, Rhodri’s stench was a sufficiently sympathetic irritant. The downed warriors awoke with a gasp, his eyes welling with tears and his nostrils flaring and running with mucus. The other Tuscarora warriors, awed by this further display of “faerie magic”, flocked around their companion to tend to him further.

Those of the party that could tried to go back to sleep, hoping to squeeze a few more hours of rest in before daylight. Liadan, meanwhile, addressed the dragon. “What is one of your kind doing here?”

“Delivering the mail,” it said, snaking its long neck down from the tree in which it’s bulk was perched and twisting its head around to look at her upside down. “So…got that drink you owe me?” Liadan promptly filled its cup with the strongest whiskey she could conjure. Plein-Vite said his thanks, then asked, “Say, I have a bunch of letters that I’m supposed to deliver to some trading post up in the mountains. Do you folks know where it is?”

Liadan explained that they were staying there. “Great, maybe you can save me the trip,” the dragon replied, and promptly pulled a rolled sheaf of papers from somewhere behind its left wing and handed it to her. Before she could respond, Plein-Vite had launched itself into the air and was gone.

A quick look at the mail revealed it to be a single letter to Oleg from Constable Zimmerman, describing the events in Germanna two weeks past, along with a series of wanted posters for Liadan, Tess, Zibbler, Amos, Thond, and Sara, accusing them of such crimes as murder, manslaughter, conspiracy, inciting a riot, vandalism, destruction of property, and grand theft (slaves), and a request that they be hung up at the Trading Post and that any information as to the whereabouts of the escaped slaves or the criminals who stole them be forwarded to the Germanna Constabulary. Tess and Liadan both agreed that their likenesses on the wanted posters were not at all flattering.

Once everyone was awake and fed, they resumed the march, turning away from the mountains and the river, and striking out into the wide alluvial plain to the west. The going was easy, over low, gently rolling hills, through light forests cleared of heavy undergrowth by regular flooding.

Just under six hours from when they started out, the Tuscaroran village came into view, though it looked more like a fortified military encampment than an typical village. The village was built on the top of a hill, half-again as tall as any surrounding it, and almost perfectly conical. Tess likened the hill to the volcanoes she’d read about, though without the pyrotechnics. The village was surrounded by a high wooden palisade, even larger than that defending the Trading Post, but nowhere near as well built. There were no corners to speak of, with walls that instead formed a rather wobbly, undulating circle. The posts were not fitted together — some leaned at odd angles, and others still had branches attached, making the whole thing look like some sort of drunken porcupine.

“Well,” Bittercress said in a voice that betrayed a hint of embarrassment, “this is it…”

She marched them up to the gate. It was large, wide enough for a dozen men to pass through abreast, and constructed of the same spike-topped logs as the rest of the wall. Two guards were posted on top of the wall to either side, and, on seeing the large raiding party returning, promptly opened the gate.

Tess watched in amazement at this, for the gate did not swing open, either in or out, like a door, nor raise like a portcullis, nor even lower outward like a drawbridge. Rather, the gate fell inward with a resounding crack, that seemed likely to split some of its constituent logs. When they had all passed through, the guards leaned backwards off the top of the wall, looking likely to fall outside of the makeshift fort, and hauled on thick, heavy hempen cords drag the “gate” back into its upright position, then used the same cords to tie the top corners off to the wall.

Tuscaroran-Huts.JPG“We should offer to help them improve their fortifications too,” she suggested to Liadan.

Inside the compound, they found a large number of conical huts made from hemp fibers daubed with mud, arranged in a circle facing a single, larger building. Seeing that the raiding party was not alone, a crowd quickly gathered to watch the (largely female) band being led in by Bittercress. Other than Bittercress, there was not a single woman to be seen, nor any children. Tess, Liadan, and Siclare quickly counted perhaps two-dozen men, mostly in their early thirties, and another dozen drowned.

Hancocks-Throne.jpgBittercress lead them to the central building, through a heavy wooden door with interlocking knotted hemp ropes as hinges. If the August heat outside was uncomfortable, the inside of the council house was downright oppressive. The majority of the building was one long room, with a large fire burning in the center. A single door, much like the one they’d entered through, could be seen at the far end, though whether it lead to an inner room or back outside, they could not say. The floor was covered with beautifully woven, but old and worn looking, hemp mats. The only other furnishing was a single wooden chair, clearly of European make, with x-shaped legs and intricately carved arms, which sat across the fire from them as they entered.

ChiefGracefulCock.jpgSitting, or rather lounging, in the chair was a tall man, clearly of the same racial stock as Bittercress. On his head was a polished silver coronet, with a single, large white plume coming from the top. He wore a black cravat around his neck, and a tartan-checked shirt covered by a cloak of hemp trimmed with red fox fur. He held a norse-style drinking horn in his left hand, and a Scottish sabre leaned against the chair to his right
Bittercress cleared her throat and made a clearly mocking attempt at a European courtly bow. “May I present his highness, King Graceful Cock…”

“It’s HANCOCK!” the man roared in response.

Liadan stepped forward and bowed, not at all ironically, but most gracefully, with all the pomp and poise she would show a great lord of the fairy courts, and introduced herself as an envoy of the same. This clearly got Chief Hancock’s attention, as he suddenly sat up strait in his chair and peered at the guests across the fire, though it soon became clear that he had no more experience with fairy lore than Bittercress had.

Tess stepped in, with the best curtsy she could manage, and explained that they represented a displaced tribe, much like the Tuscarora were, and were seeking an alliance of mutual protection against the English. The chief seemed slow on the uptake, so Bittercress repeated Tess’s plea, very slowly and loudly, and also explained how they had defeated Mad Bear (though she left out her own part in it).

The chief harrumphed, stood, and staggered towards them. As he stood it became clear that, rather than pants, he was wearing a hempen kilt, and also, Liadan noted, did not live up to his name (at least, not at the moment). It was also clear, from the staggering way in which he approached them around the fire, that he was immensely drunk.

“Wazzat?” he asked.

“We wish to join with your tribe for mutual protection,” Tess reiterated.

“You need protection?”

“Or we could protect you.”

“Ah,” he grinned lasciviously, “bodyguards. I could use some bodyguards. Maybe you could guard my body tonight…”

Liadan, Tess, and Siclare rolled their eyes at the drunken innuendo and continued to make their arguments as to why the Tuscarora should ally with them. Citing their mutual dislike of the Empire, their desire to create a place where all people could live free from Imperial influence and the practice of slavery, and their superior skill at constructing fortifications.

“How many warriors do you have?” the chief slurred.

“Fourty-nine,” Tess said.

The chief paused, long and awkwardly, as if having difficulty doing math in his head. “Their numbers are the same as ours,” Bittercress said helpfully, “together we would have twice as many warriors, double what we have now.”

He looked at Liadan, “Why didn’t you send warriors to talk?”

“I think we have different ideas of what a warrior is,” Liadan replied. She then went on to explain that their “tribe” was almost entirely women. Siclare added that just as the remaining Tuscarora warriors faced an inevitable decline into extinction with no women, their “tribe” faced a similar fate if they could not find husbands.

The talk of wives and husbands really got Chief Graceful Cock’s attention. The conversation continued for some time. The chief’s mood soon soured when he realized that his drinking horn was empty, but negotiations were saved by Liadan refilling it with her (magically delicious yet mostly non-alcoholic) faerie wine. After hours of talking, the chief seemed sold. He suggested that they should stay the night, and that they should also talk to the Tuscarora’s shaman.

Liadan graciously accepted the chief’s offer of hospitality, then helped him walk, wobblingly, back to his chair, where he promptly passed out.

Once he was out, they asked Bittercress why there were no women in the tribe. She sat down and explained at length about the Tuscarora war of eight years prior. How she was originally a member of another tribe, the Kǎ’tě’nu’ā’kā’ (People of the Submerged Pine-tree), who had been friendly with the Imperials until disease wiped out almost all of her family. How relations between the Tuscarora and the settlers steadily devolved as the Europeans encroached more and more onto their tribal lands, and how Chief Graceful Cock had lead the first attack executing one of the colonial leaders, and she had joined his cause. How, after years of fighting, their last village was attacked while the Chief and his warriors were engaged in another battle, and three hundred warriors were slaughtered and a hundred women taken prisoner and sold as slaves.

“There were only eighty warriors left when we found Catechna destroyed. Mad Bear and I convinced the chief to break through the Imperial lines and flee, northward. That was eight years ago. A third of our number have been killed, and many others have sought the waters.”

“I guess I should take you to see Shaking Snow next,” Bittercress said, then went on to explain that the shaman was Chief Graceful Cock’s grandfather, and notoriously mean, spiteful, and hateful towards outsiders of any kind. Siclare seemed unbothered by this revelation and asked Bittercress to show them the way. Liadan, however, pointed out that she was clearly the whitest member of their party, and informed them that she would wait behind.

Bittercress lead them outside to an open pit behind the longhouse. A hole, perhaps six-feet in diameter, had been dug in the ground. Numerous beautiful woven hemp mats circled the top of the pit and a single rope hung down into it. Wisps of smoke rolled out the side of the pit opposite the rope. Siclare claimed down immediately, calling into the darkness “Helloooo, I was wondering if we could trade notes…”

The pit lead down into the center of a very large space of roughly the same shape and dimensions as the longhouse above. The floor was a wet, muddy mess, with three to four inches of standing, dirty water. The walls appeared to have been hand-dug from the surrounding clay, with small ridges from where the soil had been scooped away by bare fingers, and were hung at irregular intervals with strips of scaled skin, and, in one place, the full hide of a fifteen-foot-long bull alligator. The only light in the space came from a small, fire burning at one end, choking the low ceiling with smoke that smelled strongly of crisping fat and cannabis.

Tess descended the rope awkwardly and splashed down behind Siclare with a muttered curse. Almost immediately there was a second splashing sound, like the rhythmic lapping of waves, and a pair of bulbous eyes poked up out of the shallow water, following by a snaking tail with a double pair of ridges running along the length.

“Oh, who’s a cute little alligator…” Tess said, leaning forward and picking up the three-foot-long creature. The beast seemed perfectly content to be held and petted by the strange girl.

nugrag-the-decrepit.jpegAn unintelligible, but clearly very irritated, voice range out as Tess picked up the animal. Following the sound, Siclare and Tess saw an old, wrinkled, and very angry looking face suddenly protrude from the wall near the fire, followed by pair of shoulders and arms. Siclare tried to translate the man’s speech, and was at least able to get the gist — namely that he was angry with the tiny alligator for spoiling an ambush.

As the man finished emerging from the wall and continued his tirade against the now very docile gator, Siclare tried greeting him in every language she knew. Finally the man gave up trying to get his familiar to attack and responded to Siclare in broken English. The ancient-looking shaman, it seemed, was as much a fatalist as the rest of the Tuscarora, if not more — beaten, broken, and wanting to die. The rest of the tribe, it seemed, only sent people down to him to be killed when their time was ready. He asked Tess and Siclare several times if they had been sent to kill him, and even asked them to do so himself.

Siclare refused this request and went on to explain their desire for an alliance to strike back against the English. Tess explained their plan to wed the women of their “tribe” to his warriors to preserve their bloodlines.

“Oh, you want to marry my grandson? Fine, I consent. Get out!”

“No, not her specifically…” Siclare tried to interject.

“Oh, you both want him?! Fine. Great. Get out!” The old man said, grabbing the little alligator out of Tess’s arms and disappearing back into the muddy wall.

To be continued…

Monday, May 15, 2017

Neural Networked Spells: Part 1

So, for the last month, the internet has been blowing up about some D&D spell names made up by a neural network. While mostly this has been shared for laugh-effect and people vaguely speculating about what "Purping Lightsin" does, as far as I can tell, no one has tried to put actual stats to these yet.


Here are five of the listed spells, based on random names concocted by an AI, statted out for use with the Pathfinder RPG / D&D 3.x. If I get bored later in the week there will probably be a Part 2 and Part 3 with more of these...

Moss Healing Word

School: Transmutation
Level: Druid 2nd, Ranger 2nd, Shaman 3rd, Witch 3rd
Casting Time: 1 swift action
Components: V, S, M (a few spores from any moss, mold, fern, or fungi)
Range: Close (25 feet + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target: 1 living creature
Duration: special
Saving Throw: Fortitude partial
Spell Resistance: Yes

While originally developed by the well-meaning Druid Enftebtemang as a way to quickly heal his vegetative companions, Enftebtemang soon learned that this spell was equally effective at healing animals as well. Or so he thought…

With a single word and a puff of spores, the caster encourages new tissue growth in a living creature. When cast on creature with the Plant type, the spores used as the material component quickly metamorphose their genetic structure to match their host, sealing wounds and healing the target of 1d6 points of damage plus 1 point per level of the caster.

However, the vegetative spores are unable to match animalian structure. When cast on a living creature not of the Plant type, thick blue-green moss grows over any exposed wounds, halting bleeding and preventing infection, but quickly begins reproducing throughout the target’s system. A non-plant target is similarly healed of 1d6 points of damage, plus one point per level of the caster, but must make a Fortitude or become infected with Brain Moss. On a failed save, the disease remains until cured and progresses normally, and all future saving throws required by the disease are made at the spell’s save DC.

Because the plant spores require a living host to grow, this spell has no effects on creatures with the Contruct or Undead type, nor any creature with the Elemental subtype.

Fomend’s Beating Sphere

School: Conjuration (creation), Necromancy
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 2nd, Summoner 2nd
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S, M (a severed arm from any humanoid creature)
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect: 5-ft.-diameter sphere
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: None

This spell brings into being a rolling ball of hundreds of arms, which propels itself in whichever direction you point and lashes out at anything in its path. The beating sphere moves 30 feet per round, and can freely move through spaces occupied by other creatures, scrambling over and around them with its many arms. Any creature adjacent to the beating sphere’s path as it moves is subject to a single attack from the sphere. This attack is made at the caster’s highest base attack bonus, with no modifiers for Strength, and deals 1d6 points of non-lethal bludgeoning damage. Attacks from the beating sphere count as magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

The sphere moves as long as you actively direct it (a move action for you); otherwise, it merely stays at rest and threatens those around it. When stationary, the sphere occupies a single 5-ft. space and threatens creatures adjacent to it as if it had 5-ft. reach. The sphere can make any number of attacks of opportunity per round (but no more than one per provoking event). All attacks of opportunity are made at the caster’s highest base attack bonus, with no modifiers for Strength, and deals 1d6 points of non-lethal bludgeoning damage (as above).

The beating sphere can be attacked or healed as if it were an undead creature. It has an Armor Class of 15, 12 hit points per caster level, and Damage Reduction 5/slashing. If subject to a spell, it makes saving throws with the caster’s save bonus. If the beating sphere is reduced to 0 hit points, the spell ends. The beating sphere is not subject to any spell or other effect that does not deal hit point damage, other than dispel magic or similar effects. The beating sphere winks out if it exceeds the spell’s range.

End Wall

School: Abjuration
Level: Antipaladin 1st, Bloodrager 1st, Cleric/Oracle 1st, Inquisitor 1st, Magus 1st, Occultist 1st, Paladin 1st, Sorcerer/Wizard 1st, Summoner 1st
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S
Range: Touch
Target: 1 Wall Spell
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: none
Spell Resistance: none

Magical barriers, whether force, fire, ice, or stone, are a staple of the wizarding world, and a bane to adventurers everywhere. While all spellcasters of even moderate skill have safe ways of dispelling or bypassing such wards, numerous young adventurers have been completely stymied by them. It was for this reason that the mage Fomend created this simple spell for his apprentices.

With a single touch, the caster of this spell can attempt to dispel any Wall spell (that is, any spell with Wall or Barrier in its name1). This functions as a targeted Dispel Magic, affecting the touched wall spell only. You make one dispel check (1d20 + your caster level), with an addition +2 circumstance bonus, and compare that to the spell (DC = 11 + the spell’s caster level). If successful, the wall spell ends.

Unfortunately for the caster, the limited range of this spell means that he is usually subject to the full effects of the Wall in question when attempting to end it. When casting End Wall, the caster is immediately subject to any effect that is triggered by coming into contact with, or passing through, the Wall spell to be dispelled. The caster is allowed normal saving throws against any such effects, and does not need to make a Concentration check (as touching the Wall is the final part of the casting of this spell).

Wrathful Hound

School: Conjuration (creation) [sonic]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 8th, Summoner 6th
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S, M (a tiny silver whistle, a piece of bone, and a thread)
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: Phantom Watchdog
Duration: 1 hour/caster level or until discharged, then 1 round/caster level; see text
Saving Throw: Will partial (see below)
Spell Resistance: None

This spell is a more powerful version of the popular Faithful Hound, developed by the mage Fomend because he thought the original was too “cute and cuddly”.

You conjure up a phantom watchdog that is invisible to everyone but yourself. It then guards the area where it was conjured (it does not move). If any Small or larger creature approaches within 30 feet of it, the hound immediately unleashes a terrifying howl (Those within 30 feet of the hound when it is conjured may move about in the area, but if they leave and return, they activate the howl.) The hound sees invisible and ethereal creatures. It does not react to figments, but it does react to shadow illusions.

Anyone within 30 feet of the hound when it begins howling must make a Will save or become Shaken and Sickened for 1 round. Creatures that remain in the area must make a new save every round at the start of their turns. This is a sonic effect. The howl is sufficiently loud that it can be heard up to a half-mile away in open conditions.

If an intruder approaches to within 5 feet of the hound, the dog stops howling and delivers a vicious bite (+15 attack bonus, dealing 1d6 points of piercing damage per caster level) once per round. The dog also gets the bonuses appropriate to an invisible creature (see invisibility). The dog is considered ready to bite intruders, so it delivers its first bite on the intruder’s turn. Its bite is the equivalent of a magic weapon for the purpose of damage reduction.

The hound cannot be attacked, but it can be dispelled. The spell lasts for 1 hour per caster level, but once the hound begins barking, it lasts only 1 round per caster level.

Barking Sphere

School: Conjuration (creation) [sonic]
Level: Sorcerer/Wizard 2nd, Summoner 2nd
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Components: V, S, M (a handful of teeth from any canine)
Range: Medium (100 ft. + 10 ft./level)
Effect: 5-ft.-diameter sphere
Duration: 1 round/level
Saving Throw: Reflex half
Spell Resistance: None

This spell brings into being a rolling ball, seemingly made of nothing but canine muzzles, which rolls along in whichever direction you point. The sphere constantly emits a cacophony of barking from every muzzle. Any creature within 60 feet of the sphere’s location is effectively Deafened.

The barking sphere moves 30 feet per round. As part of this movement, it can ascend or jump up to 30 feet to strike a target. If it enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and bites with its numerous mouths, dealing 2d8 points of magical piercing damage to that creature (a successful Reflex save halves the damage). A barking sphere rolls over barriers less than 4 feet tall.

The sphere moves as long as you actively direct it (a move action for you); otherwise, it merely stays at rest and barks. The sphere cannot be attacked, but it can be dispelled. The barking sphere winks out if it exceeds the spell’s range.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Legacy of the Golden Horseshoe: Session 12

August 17, 1720
After yet another very late night, the party woke late the next morning. Not wanting to waste time, they quickly gathered up their things and went to find Bittercress.

They found her and the other Tuscarora warriors just outside the fort. The warriors were kneeling, prostrate on the ground as Bittercress walked through their ranks, beating them with a green pine-switch and berating them mercilessly in their own language. Seeing the party come out of the fort, she broke the switch and cast it aside before walking up to them, all smiles.

“Take us to your leader,” they said.

Bittercress explained that the village was about 4 days away, walking at a good clip. Her raiding party, she said, kept a semi-permanent camp on the west-bank of the river, only a few hours hike away from the fort, and only rarely went back to Chief Graceful Cock’s village. Liadan implied that her magic could speed them up considerably.

With that, as quickly as possible, their few horses were saddled and the party was underway, surrounded by an honor-guard (if it could be called that) of a dozen fully-armed Tuscarora warriors. Were it not for Rhodri riding point and scouting, it would look, to any outside observer, very much like the small party were the Indian’s prisoners, rather than the other way around.

They quickly descended from the mountains heading north-west and crossed over the river, with only Rhodri’s stature causing any issues with fording it. From there they turned south and worked their way upstream, following the river’s course. They paused at dusk. Over a brief supper, Liadan worked her magic to dispel their weariness and they all pressed on through the night.

August 18, 1720

Some time in the dark hours of the morning, Siclare pointed out that they were not far from where they had encountered the werewolf a few nights before. Sure enough, Rhodri soon found wolf tracks crossing their path and heading more-or-less the same direction. Liadan called a halt and she, Tess, Siclare, and Bittercress came up to examine the tracks as well.

When Rhodri turned back to point out what he had found, the tracks looked, oddly, to be going in the opposite direction from what he had first observed. Even more oddly, the tracks appeared to be depth-less, almost as if the tracks had been painted on the ground (albeit convincingly) without any weight actually being applied. Of course, no one else seemed able to see this. Tess even went so far as to break out rulers, calipers, and every other imaginable measuring device in order to show him how deep the tracks were.

Their argument was cut short by the sound of a deep-voice laughing. Looking up from the tracks, Rhodri spotted a number of floating balls of light drifting through the trees towards them. He fired off an arrow, striking one of the glowing balls and sending it spiraling down into the underbrush. At that same moment, Tess’ pants fell down and she tripped, falling flat on her face, accompanied by even more laughter, this time from right above them.

“Pixies!” Rhodri shouted, with an obvious tone of disgust. The pantsings, and laughter continued for some time, while the glowing balls kept their distance. Tess pointed out another glowing ball up in a tree right above their heads, then pointed out a branch, at the same height, but on an opposing tree, that seemed to be sagging oddly.

Liadan called up and offered the faeries booze, in exchange for leaving them alone. She gathered up handfuls of nut shells from the forest floor and began filling them with water from the river, which she promptly transmuted into whiskey. There was a loud rushing sound, as of large wings snapping, and the branch Tess was watching shuddered as if a great weight had been removed. One by one the tiny nut shotglasses vanished, then a deep voice, now right beside Liadan said. “Got a bigger cup?”

Plein-Vite.jpgRhodri, who apparently had a deep-seated prejudice against all pixie-kind, began to berate their unseen tormentor. He quickly felt something hard come up between his legs and rose nearly seven feet into the air and stayed, floating there, almost as if he were sitting on an unseen horse. Tentatively reaching out to either side of him, he felt something smooth and leathery, almost wing-like. Liadan explained that she had made all the booze her spell could, but offered them more tomorrow.

“Then I guess I’ll have to stick around until you can make more,” said the deep voice. Slowly a horse-sized, winged reptilian creature faded into view between Rhodri’s legs. The dragon was dark yellow in coloration, with brown spots running down its spine, and brown and white striped wings, and introduced itself as Plein-Vite. Tess took a good look and pointed out that the coloration matched a French breed, used by the Empire as couriers, leading to much speculation as to how Plein-Vite might have gotten out there (though with no answers from him).

Once everyone had settled down, they got back on the road, with the dragon trailing along behind them, determinedly pointing out that he would stay with them until provided with the promised additional alcohol.

They marched on through the day, stopping only to eat and relieve themselves. As they day wore on, they found that Liadan’s fatigue-suppressing magic had to be used more and more often. Some of their Tuscarora escort even found themselves getting strangely jittery when they went more than an hour between castings, forcing her to constantly relieve them as they walked.

Finally, around dusk, the foot-pain of thirty hours of mostly uninterrupted walking overcame even the fatigue-lifting effects of Liadan’s magic and they were forced to let up. They pitched camp and turned in for the night.

August 19, 1720
hector-ortiz-157913-will-o-wisp-hortiz-final.jpgA few hours before dawn, while Tess sat watch, the glowing balls again appeared drifting through the woods. Assuming, from the events of the night past, that they were the work of the dragon, Tess sat back and watched as one drifted into the camp and began flitting about the bedrolls.

Finally, the light settled just above the face of one of the sleeping Tuscarora warriors. His body stiffened, jerked, then bent almost in half as his spine seemed to curl in on itself as if wracked by excruciating pain.

Tess screamed and quickly woke everyone. Seeing their companion’s state, the other Tuscarora grabbed their weapons in a panic. Liadan turned towards the light and unleashed a volley of eldritch blasts, to no avail. More and more of the lights began floating towards the camp, faster now, their radiance pulsing brighter with every scream.

The dragon, sleeping on a tree-branch that seemed far to thin to hold something of his bulk, looked down and suddenly caused all of the Tuscarora’s pants to drop around their ankles, then laughed uproariously. The lights paused their advance, as the startled warriors stopped their screaming for just a moment. No one else thought the Plein-Vite’s antics were funny at the moment however.

Meanwhile, the sleeping warrior continued to writhe in agony as the light pulsed over his head.
With a roar of, now seemingly forced laughter, the dragon dove and unleashed a sharp exhale. A billow of thin, yellow-brown gas washed over the party and their terrified escorts. Immediately everyone burst out into uncontrollable fits of mad, cackling laughter. The lights froze, even the one feeding on the downed warrior, turned and flew away with great speed.

Liadan looked up at the dragon, “You weren’t pranking us last night…you were trying to protect us from those will-o-wisps. Weren’t you?”

The dragon merely rolled his eyes and muttered something about the dangers of not having a sense of humor.

To be continued…