Wednesday, June 29, 2016

les petites mortes

Lately I have been thinking about the excellent Last Gasp Grimoire, that most estimable house of ick, so have some gross monsters to tide you over until +Logan Knight 's terrible return.

The Saints of Honey and Salt are a faction of horrific holy biomantic sybarites. Their Houses of Honey and Salt are hospital-brothel-temple-laboratories where you can get just about any disease or injury cured, but also might get abducted and turned into goo. They might bring you back from the brink of death, or they might make your life the plot of The Thing and Fatal Attraction at the same time.

Players can also go to a House of Honey and Salt for extreme body modification--swapping ability scores, gaining claws/fangs (and natural attacks), gaining ogre strength*, or receivingany cosmetic alteration within natural human range, and a few that aren't.

Anyway, here are some enemies and monsters a party of characters might run into if they fall afoul of the Saints.

Saints of Honey and Salt
These are the saints you are most likely to meet in the street or the temple: the spies, the courtiers, the paramours, the healers.

Stats as dervish. Following abilities are cumulative with each rank:
  1. Servant: Can whisper Commands at will.
  2. Saint: +1 HD. Victims take d6 damage per round of skin-to-skin contact, no Save.
  3. Ecstatic: +2 HD. Can cast Charm Person at will on anyone standing close enough to smell their perfume (spear range)
  4. Delectator: +3 HD. Can cast Inflict Poison at melee range at will.
  5. Revelator: +4 HD. Immune to normal and silver weapons; only takes damage from cursed weapons and weapons coated with someone else's blood.
Hierophant of Bliss
Ancient Saints that have cast off any pretense of humanity. They are huge--eight or nine feet--and beautiful in a toxic sort of way, appealing like too-ripe fruit just before the first traces of rot reveal themselves. They are ogre-strong and frequently responsible for brewing a temple's supply of poisons and drugs.

Stats, abilities, attacks as troll. Fire and acid do not halt health regeneration, but weapons coated with someone else's blood do.
  • Casts spells as 6th level cleric. Always memorizes Fuse, a third level spell that causes the target to permanently combine with the next creature they touch as a chimera (save vs petrification to avoid, can be resolved with Remove Curse)
  • Can heal a target for 1d6 HP by wounding itself (1d6 damage) and spraying them with the resulting blood, aspergilium-style.

Hungry Chrism 
from Dark Souls 3
Sometimes, the ecstatic alchemical regimens of the Saints fail, and an acolyte becomes a quantity of Hungry Chrism (also known as holy slime, saintsblood, the Velvet Blessing) instead. In its true form, Hungry Chrism is the red of fresh blood, mucus-thick and bubbling with intent. It smells of rotting meat, jasmine, and sweat.

Holy Chrism generally remains loyal to the Saints of Honey and Salt, but its alien intelligence and traumatic birth makes it an unreliable ally--it is most often destroyed or sealed away in casks for particular tasks.

Stats as grey ooze, cannot deal damage, but enjoys a +4 bonus to grapple attempts. 

Incarnation
Hungry Chrism at first appears as a person it has consumed, perhaps a little healthier and attractive than before, perhaps a little more bright-eyed and flushed. When a Hungry Chrism sheds its disguise, hidden seams open up around its skin, and its flesh unwinds itself from around its bones, oozing to the floor and leaving a clean skeleton behind. So long as it is still attached to a skeleton, it can assume the form of any creature it has consumed (as the Polymorph spell) 

Assumption
If Hungry Chrism succeeds an attack roll after it has successfully grappled a creature, it forces itself into their body through their mouth, nose, eyes, and pores. There, it begins to insinuate itself through their tissue, replacing their substance with its own. So long as the Chrism lives in the victim, all natural and magical healing restores twice as many HP. However, once the total amount of HP healed exceeds the victim's maximum HP, the Chrism has completely replaced their body, and the victim becomes an NPC Hungry Chrism with +1 HD and several more gallons of volume.

Expelling Hungry Chrism is beyond all but the most powerful magic or direct intervention by the Saints of Honey and Salt. However, the Chrism's growth can be halted by cursing the victim--hexed flesh is immune to the slime's ability to assimilate.

Beast Saints
A Saint of Honey and Salt can make you believe anything. Sometimes when the Saints have captured an enemy of great physical strength, they subject them to a mind-crushing mutagenic process, making the victim frightfully strong, utterly loyal to the Saints, and subject to the delusion that they themselves have become an animal. These Beast Saints primarily serve as guards, but they might be used to track down a refugee or sold as a novelty to (staggeringly) wealthy clients.

Beast Saints are naked humans, bodies distended with muscle. Their limbs are altered so that they can run on easily on all fours as they can on two.

Stats and attacks as werewolf. Cannot spread lycanthropy. Immune to normal weapons and silvered weapons; take damage from weapons coated in blood that is not their own. Can spider climb.

*Gauntlets of Ogre Power/Strength are vague in what they do or strictly mechanical. My rule for characters with inhuman strength doesn't modify their ability scores at all: You can easily perform any feat of Strength a normal human is capable of and automatically succeed all such Strength checks. You only need to make Strength checks for tasks that would surpass the abilities of a single person. You can carry twice as many objects without being encumbered, as well. This does not confer any bonuses to combat. Initially came up with this for my Bound Djinni class.

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff! It does fit in nicely with the geberal gooeyness of Last Gasp's Denizens of Corpathium.

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