Friday, November 29, 2013

[ACKS House Rule] Energy Drain

I recently killed a PC with a wight, and while he got reincarnated, I felt really bad. So I retconned it, and then I rebuilt Energy Drain to still be nasty, but not affect XP.

Energy Drain
The touch of wights, vampires, and several other undead monsters causes Energy Drain. This damage is special in several respects.
1. It cannot be healed naturally- only magical healing is effective.
2. It heals the undead causing it by the same amount.
3. If a character is reduced to 0 hit points by Energy Drain, they die- no attempt at healing can be made. This death counts as Instant Death on the Tampering with Mortality rules.
4. If the character is not doused in holy water or returned to life within 24 hours, they have a chance after 24 hours to return as an undead.
Day 1: 1 in 6.
Day 2: 2 in 6.
Day 3: 3 in 6.
Day 4: 2 in 6.
Day 5: 1 in 6.
After five days, there is no chance to become undead.

In a Sinkhole of Evil:
Shadowed: No change.
Blighted: +1 in 6.
Day 1: 2 in 6.
Day 2: 3 in 6.
Day 3: 4 in 6.
Day 4: 3 in 6.
Day 5: 2 in 6.
Day 6: 1 in 6
Forsaken: +2 in 6.
Day 1: 3 in 6.
Day 2: 4 in 6.
Day 3: 5 in 6.
Day 4: 4 in 6.
Day 5: 3 in 6.
Day 6: 2 in 6.
Day 7: 1 in 6.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Recent Session Reports

Wednesday and yesterday, I wound up running three sessions worth of gaming, and man were they awesome. It's probably noteworthy to mention that my campaign currently has over ten active or semi-active participants.

First, the normal Wednesday night game delved the Dwimmermount again. The party was as follows:

Rory, bladedancer 1
Doric Bosley, cleric 2
Rain, elf nightblade 1
Whelan-Thiss, mage 1
Daymana, nobiran wonderworker 1

This group re-entered the second floor of the Dwimmermount, hewing east, having gone west before. It was basically a miserable clusterfuck for the party. Several zombies were encountered and put down easily, before a gargoyle managed to get the jump, quite literally, on Whelan-Thiss, flinging him into the wall and breaking his hand. (Mortal Wound). The party continued on a bit, finding a scroll in a desk and a trove of Zaharan books in a secret chamber. Doubling back to prepare to leave, they decided to go one more hallway, and discovered a room full of grisly bone sculptures, chief of which was a serpent with a human head.

Whelan-Thiss immediately identified it as a necrophidius, but this didn't stop it from entrancing Rory and Rain with it's dance of death. On it's first attack, it paralyzed Doric with it's venom, but with effort the party destroyed it, finding quite a haul beyond it.

The party chose to leave the dungeon, making a few trips to carry the books they had found out. This was slowed only when Rory walked into a gelatinous cube which had oozed around a corner from the western hallways.

After leaving and cashing out, Whelan-Thiss and Rain both gained a level.


At the same time in-game, but after this session, others of the group who could not make it to the planned session chose to adventure. This group consisted of:

Olan the Incautious, barbarian 1
Trogdor, thrassian gladiator 1
Vartan, elf ranger 2

And former NPC followers Felix (fighter 1) and Gurn (dwarven vaultguard 1) now elevated to fellow (if NPC) adventurers, deserving of full shares of XP and treasure (mostly due to the fact that they know they are as badass as their former employers, and have gone adventuring themselves with their own 0th level henchmen).

Felix and Gurn mention a "cave" that they encountered on their way to some ruins they had delved, and the gathered adventures decide this would be an ideal place to go in lieu of the Dwimmermount.

Heading north, the party encounters, far off, three huge 30' worms sunning themselves on a mound of turned earth. Discretion outweighing valor (this time), the party chose to go around them.

The part continued another hour or so, finally finding an amphitheater dug into the stone wall of a hillside. There were two doors into the wall of stone, each surrounded by a motif of bones and serpents. As the party approached, they discovered a fallen pillar, carved like a stone dragon.

The party entered, and found this to be an ancient temple complex. Fights ensued with poorly-armed orcs, then with Thrassian skeletons, before the party chose to go south past a ruined Chaotic altar.

There they found a strange orb, which turned out to be a gray ooze in some form of stasis. This ooze dissolved Gurn's arm and heavily wounded Trogdor, forcing the party to retreat and ending this session. Gurn narrowly survived- Doric has Healing 3, and the party still had to blow a cure light wounds on him.

This resulted in Trogdor finally levelling up, after a good dozen or more sessions.


Thursday night,  the following day in-game, the Trogdor party, with the help of a few others, progressed back north with a few intentions.

The adventurers were:

Olan the Incautious, barbarian 1
Sander Ulfson, barbarian 1
Trogdor, thrassian gladiator 2
Vartan, elf ranger 2
Rory, bladedancer 1
Doric, cleric 2
Rain, elf nightblade 1

And Felix, fighter 1. Gurn is on bed rest for two weeks, with a fresh new arm courtesy of the Church of Typhon.

The party decides that maybe, since they've gained some muscle, the 30' gray worms aren't so bad, so they go pick a fight. Amazingly, they succeed, only losing Sander to a worm-swallowing (which resulted in Doric and Rain having to dive down a worm tunnel to retrieve the unconscious Sander). Sander still needs a night of bed rest, so they return, and Rory levels up to 2.

The following IG day, the party returns to the temple, meeting a pack of ogres with orc corpses slung over their backs. The ogres and party eye each other warily, but the ogres suggest in halting Common that the two parties go their separate ways, which everyone agrees to.

The party finishes cleaning out the temple complex, finding the submerged skeleton of a dragon, a magic sword, and several other minor trinkets.


I'm really very proud of all my players. They accept getting face-stabbed with laughs, and when they find good stuff or freaky things, they are definitely good for roleplay.

I've attached the dungeon that Wednesday II and Thursday I went into, entitled "Temple of the Plaguebringer". It uses one of the esteemed Dyson Logos' maps:

Dyson's Dodecahedron

I really can't say enough good things about Dyson's products, and I'm sure I'll use more of them in the future. What suited me nicely was I printed this map blank, and filled it in with random traps, monsters, and treasure, building the backstory as I went along.

The Forgotten Temple of the Plaguebringer

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Inanna, Goddess of Passion

Some further campaign development. Trying to backtrack and cover "who does my cleric/bladedancer/priestess/witch worship? And since I prefer to provide crunch over fluff, an ACKSified conversion of Succubi, a new monster based very, very loosely on the azata from Pathfinder, and a couple of spells to wrap it up. Note that I started the game in Dwimmermount, so the clerics (and most priestesses) worship what I call the Empyreal Gods- here, reskinned to be the gods of Old Zahar, before the encroaching of Chaos. All references to Thule == Zahar, IMC.

Inanna is a goddess of war, and sex, and passion. She is the Morningstar, and legend has it that she was, so very long ago, one of the Empyrean Gods. Yet they quarreled, and she was replaced with Anesidora and Asana, neither of whom could strive for their predecessor's majesty. Inanna has changed, since her time amongst the Empyreal, and she is now Neutral in alignment.

Inanna's chosen are the bladedancers, but there are some few priestesses who are her sacred prostitutes in her fortress-temples, and even more rare, some few warlocks who work tirelessly to bring her children, the succubi and the bladed lions, to this world for various ends.

Inanna is depicted as a naked, voluptuous, green-skinned woman, bedecked in jewelry, six-armed. In her hands she bears a sword, a spear, a goblet, a scarf, the flower of the black lotus, and a human eye. Prudish temples, or those in places where it would cause strife, depict Inanna's scarf as modestly tucked around her body. Many depictions of Inanna show her bestride a male lion, or standing on the backs of two male lions.

A few theologists note obvious connections to the demoness Szofika- such theologists are recommended to not air this in front of the clergy of the goddess.

It is said that Inanna's displeasure can be felt by the breaking of weapons at crucial times, sudden blindness, the plaguing of holy places with great flocks of harpies, and the breakdown of metal into green chalk.

% In Lair: 5%
Dungeon: Solitary (1)/Solitary (1)
Wilderness: Solitary (1)/Passion (1d4)
Alignment: Neutral or Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
Fly: 120' (40')
AC: 6
Hit Dice: 6***
Attacks: 1 (touch, sword or kiss)
Damage: 1d3 nonlethal, or 1d6 or 3d6
Save: C6
Morale: +1
XP: 1070
The succubi are the semi-divine daughters of Inanna. There are creatures which are more beautiful than succubi, but few things more beautiful to more creatures. Humans and animals find the succubus' scent alluring. Their features and movements are exotic and intriguing to all human and demihuman cultures. Their sex changes at their leisure- male, female, both or neither, as the situation calls. Succubi tend to default to look like human or elven women, usually with unusually colored skin and hair (green and gold, for example.) Succubi may choose to fly, if they desire, great green-feathered wings unfurling from their perfect backs.

Most succubi summoned to the world bear twin swords made of filigreed iron.

In Inanna's realm, the succubi exist in eternal passion, warring and cavorting with one other, and the bladed lions, and the dead of Inanna's worshippers. They are generally summoned to the mortal world for two purposes- to sate the lusts of arcane spellcasters, who pull them against their will, or to lay with the favored worshippers of Inanna in their great ceremonies. Some few bladedancers, in times of great need, will summon forth a succubus for other reasons, to seduce an enemy or to succor the nearly dead.

Unfortunately, a history of summons by evil-minded arcanists has left many succubi wary and enraged at mortals. These succubi are wholly Chaotic, and when summoned will seek only to use their considerable powers to harm mortals. Such succubi often ally with the servitors of other gods and demons to such ends.
Succubi are immune to non-magical weapons. Humanoids, and creatures potentially attracted to a humanoid, receive a +4 to reaction rolls when encountering a succubus.
The touch (or slap) of a succubus can have one of two effects. The most common is an immediate charm, as the charm person spell cast upon the touched character. The other is a sudden overwhelming fear, as the reverse of the remove fear spell.
A succubus may choose to imbue her kiss with a vitality draining effect, causing 3d6 points of damage to the target and healing the succubus a like amount. A succubus choosing to kiss, however, suffers a -2 to her AC and attack throw for the round.
Finally, a succubus can ignore any spell or spell-like effect with a Magic Resistance throw of 14+.

Bladed Lion
% In Lair: 5%
Dungeon: Solitary (1)
Wilderness: Solitary (1)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 150' (50')
AC: 6
Hit Dice: 5**
Attacks: 3 (2 claws, 1 bite)
Damage: d6+1/1d6+1/1d10+1
Save: F5
Morale: +2
TT: None
XP: 500
Bladed lions look much like their mortal counterparts, save for their composition. They are the personification of Inanna's wrath, and will hunt her foes unto the very ends of the earth.

The flesh of the bladed lion is not unlike fine-grain wood, their forms carved with the tiniest of glyphs proclaiming Inanna's glory. One meaning can be taken from observation: “You may yet escape her wrath, but we were old when the world was young, and once you fled our hunger.” The manes of the bladed lions are like golden wire, razor sharp, and their eyes are the brightest blue. The mouths of the bladed lion are beaked, razor-sharp edges filled with hollow teeth.

A creature bitten by the bladed lion must make a Save vs. Poison. If this save fails, the target is infected with an insidious disease. The target ceases to heal naturally. 1d4 hours later, and every 1d4 hours thereafter, the character suffers 1d6 points of damage. If this damage kills the target, they rise as a zombie 1d4 rounds later. Casting off their clothes, they will walk unerringly (unless accosted) to the nearest holy place of Inanna, where they will prostrate themselves. If the bladed lion yet lives, it will escort this zombie as best it can. Once the zombie has arrived, the flesh rapidly decomposes, revealing the newborn cub of a bladed lion. This cub will then return to Inanna's realm in the Overworld. Of course, many such zombies are destroyed by well-meaning clerics- another source of ire from the followers of Inanna.

Demand of the Sevenfold Lover Arcane 6
Duration: 33 2/3 days Range: 10'
This spell summons forth a succubus, which must serve the caster. The succubus will serve and obey the character that summoned it for a period of 33 2/3 days, until slain, or until dispelled. The casting time for the summons is 1 turn, and the spell may not be cast more than once per week.
Succubi resent being pulled to the mortal world against their will, and they will attempt to twist the meaning of their orders wherever possible. Such pleasure they provide is flavored with scorn and malice. If not ordered to avoid using their powers, they will harm the one they are forced to embrace.

Summon Daughter of Inanna Divine 4 (Bladedancer)
Duration: 33 2/3 days Range: 10'
This spell summons forth a succubus, the divine daughters of Inanna. The succubus, once it hears the summons, may attempt a Save vs. Spells, if it so chooses. Success means the Succubus need not come to the mortal world.
If it does choose to do so, however, the succubus will serve and obey the character that summoned it for a period of 33 2/3 days, until slain, or until dispelled. The casting time for the summons is 1 turn, and the spell may not be cast more than once per week. A bladedancer (or priestess) summoning a succubus may dismiss the succubus at any point within the spell's duration.

Bladedancers may remove “Speak with Plants” from their spell list in favor of Summon Daughter of Inanna.

[ACKS Monster] Fomorian

This one's been rattling around for a while. Fomorians replace stone giants, ettins, and cyclops on the encounter tables in my game, and merge in Athaches from various other sources.

I have this image in my head that hill giants, frost giants, and fire giants are the only kinds of giants in Talis- though I do love the some of the weirder giants from Pathfinder.

% In Lair: 30%
Dungeon: Gang (1d4)/Lair (1d6)
Wilderness: Warband (1d6)/ Lair (1d6)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 120' (40')
AC: 5
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 1
Damage: 3d6
Save: F9
Morale: +1
XP: 700

Fomorians are similar to hill giants, at least superficially or from afar. In truth, they were once the spawn of hill giant matings with some wholly Chaotic creature of protean bent. Fomorians are far more intelligent than their hill giant cousins, and often master magic or worship demonic masters, granting them much temporal power. In certain realms, the fomorians rule subject tribes of ogres, goblins, or Chaotic humans, while in other places, the fomorians create vast legions of orcs to serve them.

Fomorians are generally about 14' tall, and weigh about 1,500 pounds. Unlike hill giants, which tend to be symmetrical, if rudely shaped, fomorians are to the last misshapen creatures. While each has at least one arm, two legs, an eye, and a mouth, the locations and shapes of these things sometimes defy description. One fomorian might have a huge left arm, stumps for legs, and great red-rimmed eyes growing straight from its cheeks. The next has three arms on the left side, none on the right, and his mouth is full of gnashing tusks, framed in a ring by a lipless sucker.

Some fomorian clans have been lucky enough to breed forms which are almost true- resulting in such more powerful varieties as “cyclops”, “athach”, and “ettin”.

Fomorians are able to throw stones as other giants, but their misshapen bodies force them to throw at unusual angles, reducing their range to 100'. They deal 3d6 damage with a throw.

Few natural creatures will serve fomorians- thus, they often breed creatures of their own, infusing them with dark magic.

Some few fomorians are capable of learning and casting magic- these fomorians are mages of level 1d4, warlocks of level 1d4, and/or shamans of level 1d6.

Lastly, a lair of fomorians has a 50% chance of hosting a pack of yellow hounds, as well.

Bodily Mutations (roll 1d2 times)
1 Thick skin. The fomorian is covered in warts, corpuscles, gristle, bone plates, or the like. This improves it's armor class by 2 (to 7)
2 Easily punctured skin. The fomorian takes 2 more points of damage from any ranged attack, or melee attacks by spears and polearms.
3 Simian bend. The fomorian has a long torso and short arms. It is able to run at increased speed- +30' (10'), and also gains a climb speed of 30' (10').
4 Great stealth. The fomorian moves nearly silently, gaining a +1 to surprise and a +1 to avoid being surprised.
5 Vile hive. The fomorian's body has a horrible, tumorous growth, within which dwells a 3 HD insect swarm. The fomorian can concentrate to see through the eyes of these creatures. If the swarm is dispersed, a new one will form within the fomorian over time.
6 Ooze form. The fomorian can spend 1 round concentrating to turn into a pool of viscous black fluid, which can move at a speed of 60' (20') along floors, walls, or ceilings. The fomorian may stay in this form indefinitely, but must then concentrate for 1 round to turn back into his normal, giant form. While in ooze form, the fomorian may not attack, and has an AC of 3.
7 Truly massive. Roll 1d4. The fomorian adds 2' and 1 Hit Die, multiplied by the number rolled. Fomorians with 10 HD are worth 850 xp, 11 HD worth 1,000 xp, 12 HD worth 1,200 xp, and 13 HD worth 1,400 xp.
8 Regeneration. The fomorian slowly regenerates, similarly to a troll. Each round, 3 hit points regenerate, unless the damage is from fire or acid. Unlike a troll, severed body parts must regrow, a process which takes about a week.

Arm Mutations (roll 1d2-1 times)
1 Massive claws. The fomorian suffers a -2 to Initiative, but strikes with two claws for 2d8 damage.
2 One massive fist. This off-balanced fomorian has one huge arm, and one tiny or nonexistent arm. The fomorian deals 5d6 damage with this fist, but his movement is reduced by 30' (10')
3 Filthy nails. Any creature struck by the fomorian must make a Save vs. Poison or be diseased, as per giant rat.
4 Multiple arms. The fomorian has several smallish arms on one or both sides, instead of one huge one. Add 1d4 arms to the giant, which manifest as additional attacks. However, each individual attack is reduced to only 1d8 damage.
5 Tiny arms. The fomorian's arms are sad and vestigial, no bigger than human limbs. The fomorian is forced to use human weaponry.
6 One arm. The fomorian has but one normal sized (for a fomorian) arm, and it is attached in an unusual, detrimental spot. The fomorian suffers a -2 to attack throws.

Head Mutations (roll 1d2 times)
1 Fangs. The fomorian gains a secondary bite attack which deals 2d6 damage.
2 Second head. The fomorian possesses a pair of grotesque heads, each of which controls one arm. The right side is slightly dominant, and can cause 3d6 points of damage whereas the left can inflict 2d8. Ettins gain a +1 bonus to surprise rolls because one head or the other is usually keeping watch.
3 Stinking breath. Once wounded, all who engage the fomorian must make a Saving Throw vs. Poison or suffer -2 to attack throws due to the horrible stench.
4 Cyclops. The fomorian has a single, baleful eye. Reduced depth perception causes a -2 to attack throws.
5 Tiny head. The fomorian always goes last on Initiative, and makes stunningly awful mistakes tactically (at the GM's will).
6 No head. The fomorian's face is mashed into it's chest, or possibly on a limb.

% In Lair: 30%
Dungeon: Pack (2d4) / Den (2d4)
Wilderness: Pack (2d4) / Den (2d4)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 150' (50')
AC: 5
Hit Dice: 3**
Attacks: 1 (bite or breath)
Damage: 1d6 or see below
Save: F3
Morale: +1
TT: None
XP: 80
The yellow hounds are the creatures of the fomorian huntsmen. They are the size of huge wolves, with furless white skin, yellow eyes, and pink ears. Fomorian blood, given to them in hideous rituals, causes them to have massive teeth, hunched postures, and a keen yet savage intellect.
The yellow hounds are immune to extreme heat and cold, though fire and ice will harm them as any animal. They can see through fog, smoke and dust with no issue, and are never surprised by living foes.

The yellow hounds prefer to attack their foes with their savage, fanged mouths, though roughly 1 time in 4 they will instead breathe black, caustic blood onto their foes, dealing 3d6 damage. A successful saving throw versus Breath reduces the damage by half. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[ACKS Ritual] Grim Rebirth

This spell was inspired by Autoparthenogenesis, a spell from Space-Age Sorcery: 

There's a lot of neat stuff (and a lot of horrible squicky stuff) there- you should take a look at it, if, like me, you are into adding doses of Lovecraft and/or Science Fantasy into your game.

Grim Rebirth
Arcane Ritual 7
Duration: Special
Range: Caster
The grim rebirth spell is an arcane answer to resurrection and regeneration in many ways. Once the magic user casts the grim rebirth ritual, a part of their spirit is locked in time, exactly as it is at the time of casting. After this, at any point in the future, the wizard may "complete" the Rebirth. This causes their flesh and bones to burst outward and tear away as the part of them that was locked away creates a new body instantly within them. 

This new incarnation is in every way identical to the caster as he was at the time of the ritual's completion, save for some memory of any new knowledge gained. Experience points are lost, and must be regained, as must any new spells added to repertoire, magic item research, etc. Ephemeral things, such as what year it is, and any trivial knowledge learned during adventuring are retained. Only one casting of grim rebirth may be active at any time. If the ritual is cast again, the previously cast grim rebirth activates, possibly regressing the caster against his will.

Example: Arcagen the Artificer casts grim rebirth upon his earliest opportunity, locking in an 11th level version of himself. He then proceeds to make a name for himself as a creator of a new type of silver golem, which he uses to terrify the countryside.

Six years later as a 13th level mage, surrounded by his foes, having lost an eye and beaten bloody, he speaks the key word to complete the ritual. His enemies are shocked and disgusted as a younger version of Arcagen steps out of the ragged scraps of flesh that were left behind- this one with full hit points, and a full mind of uncast spells. This Arcagen is 11th level, exactly as he was at the time of casting. He remembers, dimly, that he has created his silver golems, but frustratingly will need to use his own research notes to re-learn the process if he is to make any more. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

[ACKS Monster] Empyreal

This angel is meant to be a servant of the 7 Gods of Law in my ACKS Dwimmermount game. There is an Empyreal in the Dwimmermount new monsters, but they're a bit too strong and busy for the way I'd prefer a game to go. Plus, my party is mostly Chaotic... one of the characters is a Chaotic Empyrean cleric. I expect I will be enforcing an alignment change on him soon, as he definitely plays more Lawful.

% In Lair: 70%
Dungeon: Guardian (1)/Host (1d4)
Wilderness: Guardian (1)/Host (1d4)
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120' (40')
Fly: 180' (60')
AC: 10
Hit Dice: 8*****
Attacks: 1 (longsword)
Damage: 1d6 to 3d6 (see below)
Save: F10
Morale: +4
XP: 3,100
An empyreal is a powerful servant of the Empyrean Gods, resembling a 9' tall, human of noble mien, dressed in the finest plate, bearing a flaming silver sword and long, mirror-polished shield. Upon their back they bear four wings of purest white. They are hot-tempered and forceful, but always fair and just in their dealings with other beings. Empyreals can innately tell the alignment of a creature they fix their gaze upon, and judge them accordingly.
When an Empyreal attacks with it's mighty sword, it deals 1d6 damage to Lawful foes, 2d6 to Neutral foes, and 3d6 to Chaotic foes.
Chaotic-aligned creatures within 60' of an Empyreal suffer a -1 to attack and saving throws, and suffer 1d4 points of damage per round from the searing weight of divine judgment. Lawful allies of an Empyreal within 60' instead gain a +1 to attack and saving throws. An Empyreal is able to cast spells as a 7th level cleric.

Empyreals are immune to acid, fire, petrification and mortal poisons. They suffer only half damage from electricity and ice.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

[New ACKS Demon] Szofika

Fans of Exalted will probably recognize at least the inspiration for Szofika.

Szofika, the Standard-Flute, Demon of Naar-Lomion
Lair: None
Dungeon: Solitary (1) 
Wilderness: Solitary (1)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: Special
AC: 8
Hit Dice: 10***
Attacks: 4
Damage: 1d6+5 x4
Save: F8
Morale: +4
TT: Special
XP: 2,950

Szofika appears a dark-skinned woman with long, red hair done into braids and woven with bells. What few garments Szofika wears are bright blue, and her swords are curved bronze razors. Perceptive foes will notice that her fingers and toes each bear an extra joint. Upon her back is a tall back-banner of featureless blue, the stave of which is carved with fluted holes which whistle eerily in the wind. When she moves within the world, there is a heartbeat-drumming of the very air itself, keeping time with her movements.

When summoned, a great crack will be heard and the ceremonial flame will burn blue, followed 1 round later by the silhouette of a dancing form. Upon the third round, Szofika's retinue will appear around the flame. On the fourth round, the retinue begins to play their instruments, and during the fifth round, Szofika appears in the flesh, still dancing. On the sixth round, the flame dissipates and Szofika is fully within the world. If her summoner has spoken a name during this summons, Szofika shall hunt them unto the ends of the earth. Otherwise, she will choose a target of her own volition (rarely the summoner).

Szofika's retinue initially consists of the re-embodied ghosts of 3d4 extremely Chaotic berserkers. Each wears nothing but a blue-dyed loincloth, and bears either (75%) a bronze two-handed sword, or (25%) a flute-standard topped by a blue banner and a bronze mace. Each also carries a drum, flute, or bagpipe. Every turn, another berserker appears in the steam footprints left in Szofika's wake, until a full complement of 12 is achieved. If any berserker is slain, they will reappear following the same rules.

Szofika can track a target unerringly, and must when summoned. The sound of her flutes, the instruments of her retinue, and the howling of her back banner is so uncanny that most listeners are driven into that primal fear normally reserved for death itself-  this causes the bane effect (the reverse of the bless spell) to all who can hear (typically, a range of about a half a mile).

Szofika cannot lose a foe which she has chosen to track. She and her retinue will always move 30' per round faster than her foe's fastest movement type. If a foe teleports away from the huntress, Szofika's retinue will instantly turn on one another, slaying until they disappear into white ash, while she herself disappears in flame, to reappear within 1 mile of her foe. Her retinue will reform as given above. Szofika can swim as fast as she can walk, and can walk upon the surface of the sea if she so chooses. A creature which can fly indefinitely might remain safe from Szofika's ire.When Szofika catches up to her foe, and defeats them, she will devour their bones while her retinue consumes their flesh. Once this is done, Szofika is free to act as she pleases in the real world for a span of 66 hours. This typically involves finding and consummating demonic trysts, in order to engender the creation of corrupted children. Szofika is as able to impregnate a woman as she is to be impregnated by a man.

Each of Szofika's swords, in her hands, deals 1d6+5 damage and is treated as a +2 weapon. She is inhumanly fast, and may attack twice per round with each sword. Szofika cannot be harmed by nonmagical weapons, nor can she be affected by spells of 1st level. She cannot have her ability to move reduced or removed through any known means. Szofika regenerates 1d4+1 hit points per round during any round in which she does not attack.

In the unlikely event Szofika is defeated, her body bursts into flames, dealing 5d6 damage in a 10' radius, and her swords crumble away into slag. Szofika's bells, however, remain. They are made of orichalcum, and each of the thirty is worth 200 gold. Her heart, too, remains, a flawed sapphire worth 500 gp. Szofika then returns to Naar-Lomion.

The Summoning of Szofika
A desperate or vengeful sorcerer (who must be an arcane or divine caster of at least 9th level) may summon Szofika by preparing a ceremony worth 5,000 gp, then sacrificing 1 point each of Constitution and Wisdom permanently. A sapphire worth at least 2,000 gp (for a total of 7,000 gp) is banked within the rare oils and woods of the fire, and will function as Szofika's heart. The fire will cause the gem to crack, releasing the demon spirit into the world. The sacrifices to Szofika forever mark the summoner- his eyes turn deep blue, or his hair turns red, or the sound of far-off drums can be heard when he moves.

The Worship of Szofika
There are some Chaotic bladedancers who see Szofika as the greatest expression of their order. These bladedancers may choose Apostasy, replacing angelic choir with summon berserkers, charm animal with uncanny gyration, winged flight with haste, and restore life and limb with teleport.

Standard-Flute of Summoning
This magic item appears to be a standard pole, designed to be swung through the air with a banner atop it. Any character may attach their own heraldry to the banner, if such a thing exists, or may attach a flag of solid color. If found, it likely has a plain blue flag.
The wielder may sacrifice 1d4 hp to the standard in order to cast the summon berserkers spell. They may do so once per day. If the summoner is lawful, the berserkers will remain for 1d4 rounds after the end of the spell, but will be hostile to the summoner.