R is for Ronové #atozchallenge

Still the wind was blowing soft and gentle here under the oak
Which gave me shelter and rested for my trial
I’m not strong, weak is my mind, a new beginning, where to find?
I’m the last one on earth, please forgive us our crime, oh, oh

Under the Oak by Candlemass

The crumbling ruins surrounding the palace, and the tangled maze of vines, thorn bushes and creeping moss, give the place a dishevelled, abandoned feeling. But this appearance is carefully maintained by a strange looking fellow named Ronové.

He is the groundskeeper of the palace’s grim exterior and courtyards. He feeds the sinister flowers, tends to the vines and ensures that the Black Maples are properly tapped for their bloody sap.

While he takes orders from Desdemonia, he is completely autonomous; he loves his routine and cares deeply for the well being of the gardens. He can be seen outside at just about all times and seems completely oblivious to anyone unless spoken to or if they have harmed any of the plants on the Isle.

Anyone who deliberately or even accidentally harms the plant life or upsets the gardens will invoke his wrath. While he is bent and crooked, his strength is devastating. He’ll either attempt to kill the intruders with his enchanted sickle (magical, always does maximum damage to anyone who’s consciously touched any of the flowers in the ruins) or he’ll drag them to the nearest well to become the latest addition of the Lemures. For the latter he also makes sure that their “Moon Well” is always clear of overhanging vines or other obstructions.

While he is completely deaf, he can sense the presence of other beings like a spider can sense vibrations in her web. He has an almost psychic connection to the plants on the Grey Isles and can sense moving individuals through the vegetation and earth.

He spends his nights in a little shack attached to an old oak tree that has grown into it. The shack is filthy, musty and full of overhanging gourds and roots. Inside of that cramped place is the object that Ronové cherishes the most in all of the world: his Ghost Lotus, a plant worth a King’s ransom to experts in poisons or dark magic rituals.

On his forehead is a symbol that betrays his nature: it is the sigil of a demon to whom Ronové owes his name and his life. Their bond is mysterious and incomprehensible. However, the way that he weeps and berates himself at night for some past misdeed may reveal some clues.

If, somehow, someone is able to speak with him, he will seem surprised and explain that he thought that he was the last man on earth… If asked why he weeps at night, he tells of some vague crime that he committed in response to an even greater misdeed by all of humanity (who have been damned eternally).

N is for Necrotia #atozchallenge

Death and decay, cadaverous smell,
for us there’s neither heaven, nor is there a hell,
and only the stigmata could be able to betray
the sombre existence of the former days.

Sopor Aeternus – Dead Souls

Necrotia is one of the Maidens of the Grey Isles: powerful and tragic. She mostly keeps to herself and hides from the outside world, ashamed of her monstrous appearance.

When she’s not reading books in the library, she is staring longingly at her false reflection in a magic mirror or spends hours in a gallery full of portraits of herself (from when she was still beautiful).

Unlike the romantic concept of vampires, Necrotia is monstrous in appearance: bald, pointed ears and shark-like teeth. She is tormented by her vanity, occasionally donning a magical mask which creates an illusion of her former appearance; however the magic only works for an hour before fading and becoming useless for 24 hours.

Necrotia’s Mask

As an aside, the mask is a legendary item that has a secondary purpose of great importance to your campaign (up to the GM to decide). It is the key to solving a great mystery or conflict, but Necrotia cherishes it and will not give it up lightly.

Necrotia’s Mirror

The mirror reflects the owner’s idealized form… albeit with its own malevolent sentience. While the owner will enjoy seeing themselves as they desire to be, the reflection will occasionally mock them or try to convince them to harm themselves.

Vampire Powers

Necrotia has all of the standard vampire powers with the following exceptions:

Necrotia can transform at-will to any of the following forms: black ooze, giant black snake or vulture. In these forms, she has the same statistic blocks, but her choice of actions may be limited due to the chosen form (e.g.: a raven cannot carry something heavy and fly, an ooze cannot carry anything, a snake has no hands).

If reduced to less than 1/4 of her total hit points, she will transform into a black ooze and try to escape underground.

What is Necrotia’s relationship with the Grey King?

  1. Wife: she is a wife of the grim ruler. Once upon a time, when she was young and beautiful, her vanity compelled her to win the heart of the lord of the Grey Isles. She was aware of the dark powers of that sombre place… including secret lore that would unlock eternal life and youth. She eventually found something, but it proved to be unlike what she expected… While bitter over her curse, she is pleased with her endless source of dark magic.
  2. Sister: she is the King’s youngest sister. A lovesick and hopelessly romantic woman, she desperately sought out suitors. Against her family’s wishes, she favoured the attentions of a mysterious young noble from an ancient, decrepit family. The stranger convinced her to rebel against the King and elope… which she did. The man turned out to be a vampire with an ancient grudge against the House of the Grey Isles. She returned as a monster, tortured by vanity and shame, terrified of ever leaving the palace walls. She is, however, planning to hire a party of monster hunters to enact revenge against the one who ruined her life…
  3. Mistress: Necrotia’s beauty and grace won the heart of the King who invited her into his palace as a guest and secret lover. Life was good, for a while, until the King’s affections faded and he neglected the young woman completely, as if she ceased to exist. Lonely and bored, she explored the massive library and spent most of her time pouring over dusty tomes. Eventually she found the journal of one of the King’s ancestors: a vampire, who slept in the crypts under the Palace. She sought her out, woke her and befriended her rather quickly. But her frequent visits to the crypt were fraught with danger… one day, a loose stone slipped and Necrotia fell to her doom. To save her life, the vampire passed along her dark gift. Sadly, this put the elder vampire into a deep sleep and Necrotia was left alone to sort things out about her new form…
  4. Daughter: Necrotia loves her father dearly. When his nature changed to that of an immortal being (usually undead) she spent great time and resources in finding a way to prolong her own life. Dabbling in necromancy and other dark arts, she inadvertently changed herself into a vampire, albeit not in the way that she expected. She still persists in perfecting her “elixir of eternal unlife” and has even spread the word out into the world among other occultists and alchemists in the world to seek their aid and assistance…

(Reference image: Anna-Varney Cantodea of Sopor Aeternus)

RPG a Day 2015: 29th, 30th and 31st

Here is the conclusion of my participation in #RPGaDAY2015 .

29th: Favourite RPG Website/Blog

I have a few; none of them are my personal favourites because they all serve different purposes:

30th: Favourite RPG Playing Celebrity

Wil Wheaton. He was my hero when I was a kid watching Star Trek. I feel that he’s helped popularize board gaming too.

His weekly gaming tips are the bomb. I recommend those to everyone.

I mean, he’s a celebrity to me, anyway.

WilWheaton

31st: Favourite NON-RPG thing to come out of RPGing

The communities that I’ve met and joined and the friends that I’ve made. The world is a larger place thanks to this hobby that used to make me feel isolated and lonely. Lots of support and positivity*.

Since joining the online community, my taste in games and music has broadened, and my skills as a Game Master have evolved (for the better, according to my players.

* Yes there’s negativity too, but I’m weeding those out.

There ya go: brief but hopefully meaningful!