Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HMS Apollyon - A Grimoire

One of the regular players aboard the HMS Apollyon recently purchased an illegal necromantic grimoire from a Mr. Snee, seller of odd objects. The book and the spells it contains are as follows. It's not the most battle ready collection of spells, but it was a good deal at two 1st level, 3 second level and 1 third level spell for 2,000gp (that's under 200Gp per spell level!) - not saying there isn't a catch.

 Teachings of Clavidius Rex - Necromantic Grimoire

A volume of thin papers, hand stitched with sinews and clumsily printed with woodblock.  The paper is yellowed, but sound and the entire document wrapped in sharkskin, with the crossbones sigil of Clavidius Rex (a mildly infamous necromancer executed twenty years before) burned into it.  An additional wrapping of oilcloth that stinks mildly of sewage is wound tightly around the text when it is received from Snee, who seems grateful to be rid of it.

Much of the book is musing about the lack of mental facilities among the undead and ways to contact actual spirits that have transcended to another world however, scattered amongst this claptrap are the following spells: 1st Level: Protection from Evil (Version creates immobile 5' diameter circle of bone dust and iron filings), Magic Missile (Skull appears and gnaws the target, leaving bite marks). 2nd Level: Skeletal Coryphees* Field of Claws* Ward of Undeath* 3rd Level: Feign Death

Skeletal Coryphees
Casting Time: 2 Rounds
Duration: 1D6 Turns
School: Necromancy

This spell is a weaker form of animate dead that allows the animation of 1D6 HD of skeletons, who will rise and do the casters bidding until the magic dissipates and they dissolve into a mist of bone dust.  The skeletons move in a languid and graceful manner (attack as 0 HD monsters) but are excellent dancers, moving with a hypnotic grace to any form of musical accompaniment. In addition to several skeletons, casting the spell requires a handful of coins (10 CP) and a string stolen from a musician, both of which are consumed in the casting.

Field of Claws:
Casting Time: 1 Round
Duration: 1 Turn
School: Necromancy

Casting this spell creates a 40' diameter circle of spectral skeletal claws, covered in ragged tatters of ghostly flesh that rise from the ground and attempt to waylay any who enter the circle.  The grasping of the claws will stop and slow any within the circle by scratching and tugging at ankles and feet, their chilling fingers passing through armor and clothing.  A saving throw is allowed each round for all in the circle and a success means the target may move through the claws at 1/2 speed.  A failure means the target cannot move that round and is lacerated for 1 HP of damage.  To summon the claws requires that the caster fling a skeletal hand, wired together with at least 20GP of silver wire, onto the ground where the field will be centered.  The hand may be recovered after the spell is cast.

Ward of Undeath:
Casting Time: 3 Rounds
Duration: 1 Turn per level
School: Necromancy

The necromancer can frighten and cow the undead, making a turning attempt exactly as a Cleric of two levels lower would turn them.  Under no circumstances will this spell destroy the undead however.  During the duration of this spell the caster must continue intoning a series of thaumaturgic rhyming chants and may not cast or engage in other distracting activities. The only component for this spell is a handful of bone dust, blown towards the offending undead.

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