Thursday, October 3, 2013

DCC Donnerstag: The Signal In The Void

Welcome to yet another post that I've started multiple times but haven't been able to make much headway on. Let's hope this time goes better. Today, we'll be looking at a magical treasure possessed by +Wayne Snyder's seminal Metal Gods thief, Denny Smed, which was the result of Denny assassinating a necromancer before he could become a credible threat and then Wayne asking: "What cool stuff does he have on him?" This was it. 

Izsizshelub, The Signal In The Void

Denny Smed barely understands the treasure that he holds. The small, cylindrical whistle that he took from the dead necromancer's body is made of no substance he's ever encountered before, not wood, not metal (nor even the impossible black metal the Divine Order of the Purple Tentacle have encountered from time to time), but something else. Something violet and resinous, as if it were leaked as an ichor into its current shape by some beast-demon in the aether-swept reach of the cosmos. Perhaps, Denny, perhaps that is the truth of it, for this thing, this strange instrument, looks as if it has no home here, even on a world as strange as Ore.

It's a whistle, of course, and whistles are meant to be blown. When Denny blows the whistle, he knows that he is investing a small portion of his cosmic essence in the thin and tremulous note that issues forth. He does not know whither this damned note wafts, to what dark corner of the universe it wends its way, but he does know that it does not come back alone. Something rides the tone back to Denny, some lonely daemon-spirit, summoned to this world by that haunting note. That something looks for a home but, being an inscrutable something from realms beyond Man's understanding, can find purchase solely in the bodies of the deceased, animating them with a semblance of life, bound to serve the whims of the whistler.

Denny does not know yet whether the whistle will exact any price worse than a sliver of his soul, nor is he terribly worried if it should. He has seen his wizardly companions face the corruption of their bodies and souls and yet they still command vast powers beyond his understanding; price be damned, for Izsizshelub, the Signal in the Void, has made Denny more than a mere thief.

Game Effects

When blown in the proximity of a suitable host to the animating daemon-spirit, the user loses one or two points of Luck (see below) and 1d3! rounds later, the corpse rises as undead. Quite old corpses will rise as mere skeletons (requiring the loss of 1 point of Luck) whereas fresher corpses will rise as zombies (requiring the loss of 2 points of Luck), under the complete control of the user. The Luck points spent in this manner may not be recovered by halfings and thieves through rest and can only be regained through an award from the Judge. These skeletons and zombie have normal statistics for monsters of their type (as per the DCC core book), but often have what might best be described as "personality quirks" which they inherit from their animating spirits. The Judge should have as much fun with these quirks as he can reasonably have.