Sunday, December 13, 2020

Two Mummies for Kings of Kings

I love mummies. They are some of my favorite undead creatures, both in terms of Dungeons and Dragons and in other media like horror movies and Halloween decor (yes, Halloween decorations are a form of media/art, you can't prove me wrong). The mummy in Dungeons and Dragons is a very unique creature, which other bloggers have written about before... its "mummy rot" as a gameified translation of the curse associated with Egyptian mummies from the archaeological dig at the tomb of Tutankhamun, its place as a higher level undead enemy despite not having the dreaded "level drain" (which is another topic that plenty of other people better than I have written about plenty of times). 

I do intend on using the iconic D&D mummy in King of Kings, but in addition I have some other thoughts, inspired by both some mummies from real life and other creatures from the history of D&D (one of which you may notice below).

In particular, both of these mummies are likely to appear in a location in Elburz Satrapy known as Temple Town, a religious settlement built atop centuries upon centuries of tombs, shrines, and temples at the foot of the Holy Mountain just north of the capital of the satrapy.

A "saltman" from Iran
The Dessicated
Armor Class: 13
Hit Dice: 4+1*
Attacks: 2 x touch (1d6)
To-Hit: +4
Movement: 60' (20')
Saving Throws: D10/W11/P12/B13/S14
Morale: 12
Alignment: Lawful or Chaotic (never neutral)
XP: 350
Number Appearing: 1d4 (2d6)

Paralyze with Terror: Anyone seeing a dessicated must save vs. paralysis or be paralyzed with terror. Paralysis is broken if the dessicated attacks or goes out of sight.
Dessication: If a victim is hit by both touch attacks in a single round, they are dessicated and take an extra 1d10 damage that cannot be healed naturally. The only way to heal damage taken from dessication is to perform a particular ritual (see below). Brinemen, fish, amphibians, and water spirits take double damage from dessication.
Damage Immunity: Only harmed by fire or magic.
Rehydration: If the entire body of the dessicated is covered with water (river, lake, waterfall), it dies instantly.
Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to any effect that affects living creatures (i.e. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (i.e. charm, hold, sleep).

The dessicated are walking corpses of the deserts, mountains, and caves which have lost all moisture in their body due to the incredibly dry conditions they were placed into. Most dessicated were not mummified with any particular process, but rather were interred in a tomb with dry air or significant amounts of salt which naturally dried them out. Their faces are forever frozen in a scream, their skin a thick hard leather, their joints stiff as they clamber out of their tombs. The dessicated are a not uncommon sight in the mountainside crypts of Temple Town, and in the depths of long abandoned salt mines.

Rehydration Ritual
A magical ritual
Ritual Elements: a large body of fresh water (river or lake), the blood of a water buffalo, an amount of sugar equal to 1/6th the amount of water
Ritual Steps:
    1. Place the dessicated individual into the water, with all armor and clothing removed.
    2. Beseech the spirits of the water to enter into the body of the supplicant dessicate.
    3. Bring the water buffalo to the water, making sure all four of its feet are in the water. 
    4. Slash the buffalo's throat with a clean and sharp blade, letting the blood drip into the water.
    5. Bring the sugar to the water, making sure both of your feet are in the water.
    6. Pour the sugar into the water.
    7. Thank the spirits of the water and wait. The spirits of the water will heal the dessication within an hour.

(The above is the first of what I may build into a larger ritual magic system where characters have to gather information on the steps of a ritual and get the elements together in order to perform it. May expand on this in future).

I kinda wanted to avoid Egyptian stuff
but it was kinda hard to find one that
looked right
Ancient Ancestor
Armor Class: 16
Hit Dice: 5+3*
Attacks: 2 x weapon (1d6 or damage by weapon) OR curse.
To-Hit: +5
Movement: 60' (20')
Saving Throws: D10/W11/P12/B13/S14
Morale: 12
Alignment: Lawful or Chaotic (never neutral)
XP: 925
Number Appearing: 1d4 (1d4)

Frozen in Awe: Anyone seeing an ancient ancestor must save vs. paralysis or be frozen in awe. Paralysis is broken if the ancestor attacks or goes out of sight.
Damage Immunity: Only harmed by fire or magic. Fire damage is as normal, but magic weapons deal only half damage.
Resinous Preservation: The sticky resins used to encase the ancestor's body in ancient days make them incredibly adhesive. Any weapons or items that make contact with the ancestor stick to it. The only way to break the adhesive is with fire or boiling water. If the ancestor is pushed or otherwise forced into a wall, it must make a save vs. paralysis or stick to the wall.
Binding Embrace: If both of the weapon attacks of the ancestor hit a victim, the victim is caught in a sticky embrace by the resinous limbs of the ancestor. During that round they are unable to do anything to stop the embrace, but every round thereafter they can make a strength check (or save vs. paralysis whichever you prefer) to break free. All attacks directed to the ancestor (other than backstabs) will deal damage to the victim caught in the embrace.
Ancestral Curse: Instead of attack in a round, the ancestor may choose to point at any creature it can see and curse them. The character makes a save vs. spells, resisting the curse on a success. If they fail, the fear and anxiety make them unable to act in the next round (every round thereafter they are able to act as normal). The actual effects of the curse reveal themselves in the days, weeks, and months after the encounter with the ancestor. (Roll on the table provided or come up with a curse yourself).
Undead: Make no noise, until they attack. Immune to any effect that affects living creatures (i.e. poison). Immune to mind-affecting or mind-reading spells (i.e. charm, hold, sleep).

Ancient ancestors are the cadavers of long forgotten kings, queens, warlords, and sorcerers, preserved with pomp and circumstance in days long past. Their skin is thin and drawn tight on their bones, encased in a sticky layer of resin and a set of glittering golden armor. In death they are still able to think and speak, but often find themselves vengeful for their once great empires and domains having crumbled in their absence and their legacy either forgotten or spoken of only with spite. 

(I feel like the D&D inspiration behind this bad boy is pretty apparent... one of my favorites!)

1d12 Ancestral Curses
1. The Spiral Curse: The victim of the curse slowly contorts into a spiral, unable to move at all other than rolling like a wheel, liable to just roll uncontrollably down sloping surfaces or hills.
2. The Oozing Curse: The victim of the curse begins to sweat a thick green ooze, at first rather slowly, even growing to the point that they cannot see through the muck and have difficulty moving as the slime overtakes them.
3. The Wasting Curse: Over the course of roughly a month or two, the victim wastes away until they are little more than skin and bone. They will not die from just the curse alone, but their light weight and thinness makes them susceptible to life-ending injury.
4. The Following Curse: The victim of the curse realizes that they are being followed by a being which is invisible to all but themselves (and any who is able to see invisible creatures). If the being ever catches up with them, they will die.
5. The Earthworm Curse: Slowly and painfully, the victim of the curse transforms into an earthworm. They can feel their bones melting in their body as they lengthen out and lose limbs over the course of a few months.
6. The Shrinking Curse: Each day the victim wakes up noticeably shorter than they were the day before. After a few months, they will be absolutely minuscule, unable to function in human society.
7. The Faceless Curse: Over the course of roughly a month or two, the victim's face fades from existence. In its place there is only a featureless span of skin. They cannot eat or drink and will likely die.
8. The Cow Hate Curse: Cows, buffaloes, minotaurs, and other bovines absolutely despise the victim of the curse and will attack them on sight. As time goes on, cows will start to seek them out and try to kill them.
9. The Brainless Curse: Over the course of roughly a month or two, the victim's brain will slowly seep out of their skull. This usually occurs at night, but if their head is struck in combat they are likely to lose some more brain matter. They steadily lose ability score points as this progresses, begin to lose the ability to fire missile weapons and cast spells, and eventually will die.
10. The Shaking Curse: The victim begins to quiver and shake uncontrollably, only worsening as the weeks pass on. Eventually they will be unable to fight, and will often drop potions or other items on the ground.
11. The Skinless Curse: Over the course of roughly a month or two, the victim's skin grows translucent, then becomes nonexistent. They will feel pain near-constantly, and must be wrapped up tightly if they wish to not take damage from dust or strong winds.
12. The Folding Curse: The victim of the curse slowly discovers they are folding up like a letter, their bones creaking in their sleep until they are perfectly folded into a shape not dissimilar to a cube. Once this is complete, they will be completely unable to move.

1 comment:

  1. The "Paralyze with Terror" ability some undead always reminds me of the ReDead from The Legend of Zelda series.

    Love the rehydration ritual, might have to steal that one. Great post!