Sunday, May 17, 2020

The fives blades of the dead titan

I published this in Santicore (2014). Since it is a obscure contribution made under my deadname, I wanted to share it here too. The Santicore request was to create five intelligent blades, I used the LL rules for sentient blades. 

The fives blades of the dead titan.

A long time ago a titan of divine power died. Maybe it was a god or a goddess or both, it don’t quite remember who it was or how it died. Maybe it fell through many planes just to die on our world. The titan was divine but it was also made of flesh and bones and it divine corpse attracted a ancient specie of primordial scavengers. Those primordial scavengers dismantled the titan corpse and used it organs to created strange artefacts. The scavengers civilization fell and all their artifacts were lost, except for five weapons forged out of the divine senses of the titan. Those five weapons contain the fractured consciousness of the titan and move from hand to hand, searching for it remains. But sadly nothing remain, the titan’s organs became hungry ghosts that pursue and haunt the five weapons. But maybe, something remain, maybe that the titan’s heart have been preserved and have been well hidden by the primordial scavengers as a mean to come back into this world.

The dying consciousness of the titan have been bound into the five blades made out of it five senses. The consciousness is damaged and fractured, It don’t remember who it was or from where it came, but the five blades know that they are not whole and they long to be reunited with the rest of the titan remains. Maybe to be reborn or to finally pass away.

The primordial scavengers were maybe giant necrophagous demonic flies or maybe they were dwarfs or the larval form of the elves or some other beautiful beings.

The five blades are organic and eldrich in appearance but without a wielder they simply appear as old blades, people can only perceive their true nature while touching them or when using their magical senses or abilities.

Psyche vs Willpower
The blades start with a psyche of 9 and gain 1 psyche point per use of their special powers. The blades gain 1 psyche points for each sentient sword close to them. They also gain 1 psyche point if they slay the wielder of one of the other sentient swords. Finally a blade loose 1 psyche point when their wielder die (they lose a d6 if it was a long term user). If their motivation is directly at stake, the blades gain a temporary d6 boost to their psyche.

The blades can try to take over the actions of a character for d10 rounds. When this happen, a character can make a willpower test to resist the blade influence. To make a willpower test, a character have to roll under their willpower score with a d20. The difference between the blade’s psyche and the character’s willpower modify the d20 result.

The willpower of the characters is equal to their highest mental attributes (intelligence, wisdom or charisma) plus their level. If they are under 25% of their total hit points, their willpower is halved. If something very important for the characters is at stake they also gain a temporary d6 boost to their willpower.

If a character block or avoid to use the sense associated with the blade for a least a day, this temporary remove a d6 from the psyche of the blade (if recovered, 1 point will will return by day). A permanent removal of the associated sense remove 6 points of psyche (that will return over time if the blade is abandoned).

Defense power
The effect is similar to a stinking cloud spell or worse if the blade permanently spend a psyche point. The effect stop if the wielder sheathe or drop the blade.

Daily powers
The wielder can use these powers for a total of three time by day. (It can be three uses of the same power or one use three different powers). Each blade can also magically augment their associated sense for d10 turns.

Special powers
The wielder can only use one of these powers once a day. Each use augment the psyche of the blade by one point.

Magical bonus
The blades are +1 weapons and gain additional plusses when tracking their prey (up to +4). Most of the time a prey is a single individual, but it can also be a small group of people or creatures that work closely together.

The Hound (sense of smell)
  • Communication: the Hound don’t talk, it communicate by influencing animals or by manipulating odors.
  • Defense power: the blade can punish it wielder by violently overwhelming their sense of smell.
  • Psyche : the hound is very animalistic and instinctual. You can roleplay it as a wild beast. Often predatory but sometime like a mother caring for her cubs.
  • Motivation: the hound is looking for a trail, for a odor that it remember. Once it pick it up, it will want to follow it at any cost. It will lead it wielder toward the other blades or toward things or locations that remember the titan.
  • Daily powers: use it pherhormones to grant a one point bonus to reaction. Enrage it wielder or someone it once wounded. Magically follow the trail of anyone it had wounded.
  • Special power: turn it wielder into a strange and hybrid beast (like the spell howl to the moon).
  • Magical bonus: +1 per encounter where the character is able to smell closely it prey or one of it personal items.

The Listen (sense of hearing)
  • Communication: the Listen communicate by making it wielder think they heard people or objects say something.
  • Defense power: overwhelming it wielder senses with a cacophony of voices and screams that seem to come from everything around them.
  • Psyche : the Listen is patient and stealthy. It love secrets and it want to remain unnoticed to listen on people. It can be fascinated by music or by the sound of a fly or other scavenging insects.
  • Motivation: the Listen is waiting to ear a prophecy or a secret invocation from the past. It sometime desire silence to be able to listen well. This may cause it to want to silence things permanently. If it ever hear the heartbeat of the titan’s heart, it will follow it sound at all cost.
  • Daily powers: comprehend languages, clairaudience, listen to surface thoughts.
  • Special power: silence 15 radius, detect lies.
  • Magical bonus: +1 per encounter where the character is able to listen to it prey for at least a turn without being noticed.

The Watcher (sense of sight)
  • Communication: the Watcher communicate through visions.
  • Defense power: the blade can torment it wielder with terrible visions that need to be disbelieved like a illusion spell.
  • Psyche : The Watcher is curious and inquisitive like a detective. It like to observe things and can sometime become obsessive. Once it get obsessed by something it start following it like a stalker. It can see into the past and sometime it confuse it with the present.
  • Motivation: the Watcher is looking for signs or for clues of what happened to the titan or the scavengers. It also want to watch over the other sentient blades.
  • Daily powers: read languages, read magic, ESP (sight only), augury.
  • Spell like power: invisibility, hold person (must keep gaze contact), detect illusions.
  • Magical bonus: +1 per encounter where the character is able to watch it prey for at least a turn without talking back.
The Mouth (sense of taste)
  • Communication: the Mouth can speak through the mouth of anything it had slain.
  • Defense power: the wielder tongue swell up and they start to asphyxiate.
  • Psyche : the Mouth want to taste life, it like it when it wielder talk and taste things. It also like tasting things itself by being thrust through them.
  • Motivation: the mouth want it wielder to herald the return of the titan. It want to pronounce the secret incantation that The Listen will hear. It want to pronounce the secret word that will unlock the door. 
  • Daily powers: speak language, command, detect evil, magic or alignment by tasting.
  • Special power: suggestion, read memory by eating (speak with dead), scream (blast of wind).
  • Magical bonus: +1 per encounter where the character is able to taste it prey (by licking, kissing or eating parts of a creature of the same specie).

The Hand (sense of touch)
  • Communication: the Hand communicate with body sensation, mainly through pain and pleasure.
  • Defense power: inflict pain or unbearable pleasure.
  • Psyche : the Hand is resourceful and manipulative. It like it when it wielder is close to other beings. It hate being sheathed and it like being touched. It like to change hands and don’t hesitate to get it user in trouble. But it can get quite attached to a wielder that use is sense of touch a lot.
  • Motivation: the Hand want to feel the other side, the intangible world haunted by the ghost of the titan’s organs. It want to open doors to other realms, especially the door that The Mouth want to unlock.
  • Daily powers: protection from elements, unseen servant, sleeping touch (single target).
  • Special power: charm person (touch), hold person (touch), become intangible (like gaseous form)
  • Magical bonus: +1 per encounter where the character is able to touch the skin of it prey for at least a turn.

The ghost organs
The ghosts of the titan organs are attracted to the sentient blades and will haunt the surrounding area. The ghosts are not hostile to the blades wielders but they are quite deranged and may attack them if they interfere with their haunting. Their chances of appearance is 1 on a d6 for each sentient blade present in the same area. Test for encounter when visiting a new location or when the blades spill a lot of blood. A d6 of them will appear to haunt the area or to follow the wielders.

Each blade let it wielder perceive and interact with the ghosts through it associated sense. Each blade can also harm the ghosts as a +1 weapon.

The ghosts look like giant decomposing mutating organs. They usually can’t harm people, except maybe when the barrier between the worlds is thin. But they can possess the sick organs of the living. After a d6 of days, the possessed organ will mutate and will extract itself from it victim to become a mutated organ homunculi or golem. With more time the ghosts can even possess healthy organs. Use the hit dice of the victim and improvise it stats.

The ghost world of the organs is made of the carcass of the titan mixed with element of the real world.

The ghost organ is a mix of the (d12) and the (d12): 
  1. Skeletal system
  2. Muscular system
  3. Nervous system (include the brain)
  4. Respiratory system
  5. Cardiovascular system (but the heart is never present)
  6. Digestive system
  7. Excretory system (includes the Urinary system)
  8. Endocrine system (a collection of glands that produces hormones)
  9. Lymphatic system (include the immune system)
  10. Integumentary system (skin, hair, nails, with sweat and other exocrine glands)
  11. Reproductive system
  12. Weird inhuman system

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