Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Haemonculus

Some characters have mishaps putting them well beyond the mortal coil. Occasionally someone may be hit with a disintegrating laser, or they might fall into a lava pit, or rocks fall and Bob dies and everyone loses hope. Well, now you and your party can hope once again! When found, this spell will be understood as Create Human Life.
By Eliana Rose. znijurru at gmail

This spell should be found on bookish-types. The creator spent a lifetime of research trying to get the spell to work properly – he was an idiot savant, but ultimately not a Magic-User. When a PC Magic-User reads the magic, they will understand it as this spell.

Create Human Life

Magic-User Level 4

Duration: Permanent

Range: 5'

This spell will take all of the raw materials that a human body is composed of, and transmute them into a living body. Making a specific body is possible, requiring calculations for the approximate height and weight of the person and changing the raw materials to compensate. The form of the human life to be created must be chosen at the time the spell is memorized, as the spell itself is changed to fit the target. It is possible to re-create the bodies of deceased friends, family, and so on; It is also possible to create entirely new human lives.

As far as the PCs know, this spell should allow them to re-create the bodies of fallen comrades, bringing them back into the mortal realm!

Unbeknownst to the caster, there is a higher price to pay than just the material components – the spell needs at least a portion of the soul of the caster in order to entice a soul to enter the body. The caster, and any other Magic-Users within 5 feet, are transported to a flat bright-white plane, standing before a 20' tall stone archway with black fluid suspended in it. The rest of the plane as far as the eye can see is white light. Should these characters choose to walk in any direction, they will always seem equidistant to the stone archway, as if they had not walked at all. They are trapped until they interact with the fluid.

The black fluid is a gateway to death, and will pull anyone in who touches its glue-like surface. As soon as a character interacts with it in any way, it will reach out to consume anyone on the plane of white light. It can fill the entire plane with itself if it needs to, so it will automatically hit the characters without needing to roll. Those attacked will need to make a Save vs. Paralyze to avoid being instantly dragged in. Failure means the character is swallowed whole and killed. Success means the character has a chance to fight for freedom.

A character fighting to escape must make a Save vs. Paralyze for each limb (in most cases, four) that they wish to free. If any of these saves is failed, the limb is torn from the character's body as inky black hooks tear apart flesh... the character takes 1d6 damage. Once a save for each limb has been rolled, the inky blackness in the portal disappears and a number of ghostly apparitions (relevant to the purposes of the caster's spell) will appear on the plane of white light. The final act in the spell is picking a soul to be placed into the body.

These ghosts aren't truly the spirits of deceased people the character is looking for, though – they are illusions created by entities who live on the plane of white light, namely various Haemonculi. Once a "soul" is touched, everyone transported to the plane of white light that is still alive will be transported back to the original location. The created body will appear lifeless, and the referee should implicate that the spell has, by all visible means, failed. Should the caster still be alive, he/she loses 1d4 Constitution points upon completion -- it feels as if the joy in life has been sucked out of them, aside from the apparent failure.

1d4 days later, the body will rise in horrendous pain, and flee (assuming it hasn't been destroyed.)

Haemonculus: HD6, HP 44, AC18, 2 transformational attacks doing 1d10 each. Morale 12. May generate additional powers such as, but not limited to, super speed, super strength, shape-shifting, at-will spells, knowledge from other planes of existence.

Once a Haemonculus has taken possession of a body, it will begin to have some memories of its past life. For the most part, though, it will be paranoid, irrational, hungry, and out of control of its various abilities, running away from anything living until it acquaints itself with what it is. Once a Haemonculus has lived for a few years and grasped its abilities, it will be a rational, cunning serial killer who stalks and eats humans. For every one hundred humans it consumes, the Haemonculus' HD increases by 1. If it discovers spell-casting ability, it may seek to create rituals enabling it to consume the populations of entire cities at a time. Some Haemonculi may be troubled by their past memories, and hunt down people in those memories to eat. Other Haemonculi may attempt to blend into society, or even place trust in others to assist them in curing their insatiable hunger.

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