A couple of sessions ago, there were two events that I feel need re-visiting. The first was an exorcism, and the second was a bizarre fashion decision.
* * *
You may recall, McSwayze the leprechaun demonologist performed an exorcism on the old evil temple that’s been on the party’s “to do” list for some time, now. Assisted by Rolf singing hymns and TKotBO reciting scripture, he rolled a critical success and absolutely took that temple’s demon to school.
Afterwards, one of the players — not McSwayze’s — mentioned how two crits in a row in such a situation really merited some kind of recognition, beyond just a quick ritual. Upon reflection, I have to agree. Therefore, I’m taking the suggestion. At the end of the exorcism, just as he was casting the demon out, McSwayze was able to wrest from it its true name. Now, he can call it individually with his Summon Demon spell.
The demon’s name was Grethory, no umlaut. Among demons, he’s kind of a nerd. Other demons are always kicking brimstone in his face on the beach at the lake of fire. Even so, he’s got his skills: he’s a specialist in the unquiet dead. He’s 250 points, starting with the standard demon template, adding the Cloak of Darkness power and a group of 10 servitor skeletons or zombies that he can conjure at will. He also Hidden Lore (Undead) at 11 or less. When he was bound to the temple, it was his job to call up and turn loose a couple of undead every night. Cheap labor for the evil priest on duty.
* * *
I said “bizarre fashion” and I meant it.
TKotBO ended up keeping the form-fitting full-head leather(-ish) hood the party recovered from the four-armed weirdos from beyond time and space. Despite knowing that it was a thing of the four-armed weirdos from beyond time and space… despite knowing that it could cause mental trauma in a human wearer… and despite knowing that it would likely try to eat his face while he wasn’t looking.
Ever wonder how TKotBO lost his eye?
But I digress. Point is, he’s wearing the thing. His plan is, he will tame it through steadfast prayer, hand-feeding, and frequent beatings with a stout piece of firewood when things get out of hand.
Since he has the thing back in town, I’m assuming the inevitable question is going to come up: “What’s it worth, on the open market?”
The thing’s effectively a leather helm, providing 2 DR to the skull and face. It weighs half a pound. It’s not magical, or at least not the arcane variety. Nor is it blessed or cursed, in the religious sense. The expert’s best guess is, its apparently-magical powers must be based on some weird druidism from BT&S, or possibly advanced alchemy.
The most obvious of those powers is, it’s alive. It isn’t very smart, nor fast. Its emotional range extends the full spectrum from “sullen” to “cold, malevolent rage”. It eats small insects and bits of meat. If one leaves it on a table overnight with a drumstick from a fried chicken, the next morning one will find a dry bone on the plate, and the hood halfway across the floor to the door.
(Aside from the one time, that is, when TKotBo and his companions from the church tried the experiment, but forgot to put out the cat first.)
Though the outside of the hood is blank and featureless, without obvious eye-slits, the wearer can still see. In fact, the hood has an always-on Keen Vision +1 effect. (Making use of the excellent experimental rules, from Dungeon Fantastic, for limiting the Power enchantment!)
On the down side, the hood will occasionally use its intimate connection with the wearer to pass along Secrets Man Was Not Meant To Know. The effect is both visible and auditory, but game-mechanically, it’s treated as Phantom Voices at the Disturbing level. Also, if you’re going to wear it, you have to come to terms with the idea of sticking your entire head inside some… Thing‘s mouth.
Yes, TKotBO, it’s tasting you.
Bottom line, it should be worth $6250, or thereabouts, but it’s just about impossible to find any buyers. The elders at the church, of course, recommend cleansing it with fire…