NPC’s how to introduce them and the spaces they fill.
Zendead- Tome of the Dark
Since mankind had developed writing people have written down their ideas, thoughts, and fears. As time passed things that only the darkest dared pen found there way to a small series of folios, pamphlets and scrolls. Over millennia these grew into a collection so large the individual pieces were becoming lost. Some parts told of beings not of the world and ways to call them, or parts of them. These possessed summoners imparted more “wisdom” into the tome corrupting the original.
Now if the tomes is to be replicated it must be done in a single night. Every copy of the tome is handwritten and illustrated with illuminated pages. Preparations to copy this book can take years to complete. Vellum pages made from sources not the nor make for the largest investment of time. Once the book is bound then the summoning occurs. The creature called forth from the other takes over the body of the scribe and over the course of the evening composes the Tome of the Dark. The scribe is usually a husk of their former self for the few unlucky to survive the experience.
Adventure seed: There is a group of magickal persons that want to have many copies of the Tome out in the world so they have been working overtime to collect the pieces to do the summoning to compose over one hundred copies.
Joules- The Screaming Crystal
Whether created by a psychopathic wizard or grown in the lab of a ghost rock addled scientist, the Screaming Crystal is one of the most harrowing things an adventurer can encounter.
The Screaming Crystal is a psychically infused crystalline construct, created by lunatics and madmen. Initially, the crystal is quiet. Unprogrammed. A blank slate. But after enough exposure to an individual’s brainwaves, the crystal starts to corrupt, mutate and grow; absorbing the psyche and mental energy of its victim. The Screaming Crystal then starts to develop a consciousness and a personality. And an appetite.
The Screaming Crystal requires the mental energy of sentient creatures to survive and grow. Initially it feeds off of the mental energy of its creator. Initially the drain on the crystal’s creator is minimal. But over time, as the crystal grows in size and power, the drain increases exponentially. The brilliant yet deluded mind of the crystal’s creator grows weaker. Their personality fades. They become a walking husk. They’re not mindless zombies mind you. They’re just dried up, exhausted. Any remaining mental energy they generate is drained away.
When the crystal’s food supply drains to a trickle, it gets hungry. And Angry. Already in sync with a mind/food source (The crystal’s creator), the crystal starts screaming. Screaming inside the head of the madman who created it. Waves and waves of psychic screeching shatter what remains of the person’s sanity. The lucky ones die quickly under the relentless psychic assault. Those unlucky enough to keep breathing quickly go wild, feral and often will tear themselves apart.
All that remains is the crystal. Alone, starved and full of rage. It waits for its next victim. As soon as it senses a mind, it syncs itself to the poor soul’s brainwaves and starts feeding, starting the cycle anew.
And strangely enough, there are some aberrant minds that can live harmoniously with the crystal. They enjoy the “sound” of the crystal screaming in their head. These rare individuals are quite mad. There have been reports of a brain in a jar who doesn’t mind the sound at all.
So when an unsuspecting adventuring party stumbles across it, you’d better hope that your group has some incredible mental fortitude or is as dumb as a box of hammers. Those of a stalwart mind can resist the shrieking psychic assault and run. Those dense as a black hole are so mentally deviant that the crystal doesn’t see them as food.
So how do you defeat it? The only way is to utterly destroy the lattice that forms the crystal. Smashing simply doesn’t work. It just makes tiny little crystals that can hitchhike inside the advetures gear or clothes. The most efficient way is extreme heat. Lava is often a favorite of adventurers. Some alchemists could reduce the crystal to its component atoms. Some scientists can change the crystal’s lattice to a ring or a chain. Even a portable black holes have been used.
So while out adventuring, remember this. Sometimes the biggest threat to your party doesn’t have to be a huge, lumbering monster or a malevolent AI. It doesn’t have to be some Andrew Ryan type of character. Sometimes a small crystal shard is enough.
Simple and elegant, the catalog presents Two Sticks. These small rods appear as normal wooden sticks to the unobserving eye, but in the hands of our fine customers, these sticks become much more. Concealed with unknown magics or advanced technologies (depending on the market conditions), the sticks present the possibilities of imagination made whole. Holding one or both sticks aloft like weapons causes them to become durable, hardened, and incredibly sharp despite their cylindric shape. Attempting to climb them like rungs of a ladder permits upward mobility as the two rods lock into invisible dowels. Why, the sticks are so useful, they can even be used to strike any surface and create the sound of thunder as if they were hitting a sheet of storm metal.
Be cautious though, as while the two sticks are powerful, they should never be used against one another. Impossibly sharp should never meet impossibly sharp, nor should the sticks attempt to create thunder on one another. Such outcomes are not covered under warranty and responsibility is held to the customer alone. Geologic activity should be observed closely when handling.
Two Sticks. More than you bargained for.
Order with caution. All purchases recorded and authorities will be notified.
noun bil·tong \ˈbil-ˌtȯŋ, -ˌtäŋ\
chiefly South Africa
: jerked meat
Origin and Etymology
Afrikaans, from bil rump + tong tongue
First Known Use: 1815
Zendead- The 100 on the CW.
Joules- Twisted Toonz
Nulloperations- Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse on Amazon Prime
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And Thanks to Merriam-Webster for our Lexicon segment