Monday, April 25, 2022

Ravenloft Domain: Madlendref

I've been continually inspired by Tales of the Grotesque & Dungeonesque's revitalization of the Ravenloft setting, through their various posts, critical commentaries, and Strahd Loves, Man Kills zine.

One thing I've noticed is that while the various sub-settings of Ravenloft cover a number of sorts of horror - folk horror, body horror, spooky ghost horror, cosmic horror, etc. - one sort it seems to be lacking is giant monster horror, for example Godzilla, King Kong, Cloverfield, and all that.

Therefore what follows is an original Ravenloft domain in the 5th edition style I've come up with to fill that space:


Domain of Forces of Nature

Darklord: Father Llymic1

Genres: Kaiju horror & survival horror

Hallmarks: Ruination, hardscrabble subsistence, ants vs. elephants

Mist Talismans: Chunk of unmelting ice with a core that absorbs light into utter darkness, human skull in the process of warping into something insectoid, diary clutched in death-grip by frozen hand that lists recipes using limited rations that degrade into incoherent, cannibalistic madness in later pages

The sun has all but forgotten Madlendref, and all warmth is a fading ember. Ice chokes the thoroughfares. The squatting bulk of a glacier has buried the city's heart, its cracks and creaking echoing in the endless night like the shrieks of some impossibly vast living thing.

Frostbitten work-crews hew out shelters and tunnels, stalk elk across the crumbling rooftops. Too few return to the meager bonfires of looted furniture - lost to deprivation, despair, or the terrible things rumoured to lurk out in the dark.

Brutal utilitarianism seizes hold. Those who cannot contribute are cast out. Communities already strained to their breaking point are raided or subjugated. At last there comes a moment of sour hope, where it seems the cruelty was a necessary evil to survive until the long-awaited dawn - the sun is glimpsed (albeit a deadened red) and the ice begins to thaw, or a limitless wellspring of warm, fresh meat is uncovered. Then the earth shakes, the glacier shatters, and a great beast slouches from within to trample over all man's feeble works.

In the wake of its rampage the ice and the night return to Madlendref, a little colder, a little darker, and those left alive struggle on another day. 

Noteworthy Features

Those familiar with Madlendref know the following facts:

  • Madlendref is a city stuck in a deep and lightless winter
  • A camp of a few dozen people is a significant population there
  • Leadership of communities tends to the terribly authoritarian
  • The darkness hides monsters that may have once been human, which dwarf their former forms

Characters in Madlendref

What civilization is left in Madlendref has been stripped bare of comfort and civility. You are considered lucky if you can reliably meet the first two steps of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. When players create characters from Madlendref, consider asking them the following questions - though they need not originally be from Madlendref to have wound up in Madlendref - refer to 'Brood Fever' below:

What have you done to survive in this city? Food's scarce, fuel's scarce, decency's even scarcer than both.

What do you remember from before the eternal winter? Do you cherish the memory? Do you relish the freedom of the new and heartless world? Is there something or someone you'd rather forget?

Are you a leader, a follower, or a lone wolf? In harsh circumstances is your true self revealed, or is it just the stress getting to you?

Settlements & Sites

The Broken Clocktower

Once visible throughout the city. Its shattered face barely pokes above the snow now, its gears spilled out like eviscerated guts. A wizard has taken up habitation in it, and has turned its inner workings into simple devices that now seem wondrous in the convenience they bring to raw existence. The wizard has never been seen unmasked, and is accompanied at all times by silent giants in form-concealing robes. They'll trade away their devices only in exchange for corpses, or prisoners.

The Seminary

Once a renowned place of religious learning, now one of the vanishingly few sanctuaries left in Madlendref. Harried nurses flit up and down the crowded rows of beds, priests-in-training mumble last rites over the dying. Stocks of medicine dwindle, the gruel gets thinner by the day. The logic of rationing and triage grow more suffocating, and some among the volunteers whisper that the weakest should be sacrificed so that the strong might live.

Cautionary Tales

Tents torn down, cooled ashes in the firepit, bodies cut and broken - or perhaps worse, no bodies left at all. The city's an unforgiving place, and communities survive in the smallest margin of error. There's as many failed settlements as there are catastrophes to befall them - quite a lot. Maybe there's something worth picking over in these, or maybe what's dead is best left alone - lest you get caught up in their doom.

The Hunter's Shell

By luck or frenzied violence a beast was brought to the slaughter - its carapace, hollowed out and still steaming, now a home to its killers. Drunk on rare victory and the liquor they extort, they range about in mobs to swarm more beasts - anything or anyone unusual, really, if they're far enough along.

Father Llymic

Before his aborted ascension, Father Llymic was a scholarly priest who was inclined toward rationalism and reform. His studies drew him into investigating ancient mysteries, fallen civilizations, and recent discoveries about the nature of the cosmos. This in turn led him to cynicism, heresy, and total disillusionment with the power of human reason. He gathered like-minded students to him, and together they conducted vile experiments that would allow him to evolve beyond benighted mortality, while leaving the way open for worthy successors to follow.

On the precipice of their work's completion, the Mist crept into Madlendref. Rather than transcending it, the city was dragged along into Father Llymic's nightmare to become his prison.

Father Llymic's Powers & Dominion

His true form is a big monster. Really, really big. Use the stats of the tarrasque, or three ancient dragons stitched together, or whatever else you find fitting. When he awakens he's not something you fight, he's something you hide or run from.

The False Father: While his true form sleeps, he dreams that he is human again. He unconsciously projects an illusory body and forgets his fall from grace. Llymic does his best to help the desperate people of Madlendref, but the ruthlessness of life there slowly and inevitably leads him down his same, original path. When he is on the verge of remembering who he really is, the red sun rises over Madlendref and his mind returns to his body to wreak havoc before returning to hibernation.

Brood Fever: Where once Father Llymic hoped to leave behind a ladder to the heavens for the enlightened to climb, he now spreads a disease that drags others down to his depths of bestial idiocy. The disease is not fatal. In the world beyond the Mist, his brood fever is spread by his few students who escaped the final ritual. Those who seem to die of the disease outside the Mist are in fact plunged into Madlendref, shivering and ignorant - those in the know call these unfortunate souls "the orphans of Llymic". Those who catch it inside Madlendref begin an agonizing transformation into huge, hideous, insectoid beasts who are still minuscule compared to Father Llymic. Both the meat of his true form and the touch of his illusory form are vectors for brood fever.

Closing the Borders: Due to his perpetual state of half-consciousness, the borders of Madlendref are always half-closed (but on the bright side, they're also half-open!). Outside the city are towering, treacherous walls of ice, and a murderous cold. Get through that without going the way of the Donner Party, and you're out. Getting in is of course substantially easier than getting out.

Father Llymic's Torment

Father Llymic was an idealist embittered by being confronted with the upper bounds of human existence and the prejudice of his fellows. He came to believe that through inhumanity he could surpass humanity. Now he's a giant monster trapped under crushing ice, his intellect only truly his own in foggy dreams.

Personality Trait: "No knowledge is forbidden" / "Ya ih-ya hochabas! Caiphon! Gibbeth! Zhudun!"

Ideal: "I will discover the truth of this world and share it for the betterment of all" / "Ivuud'sakas la drak Imaskar. Toma la Thoon, drak'ya Thaan"

Bond: "I am an educator to all who are willing to learn" / His former students think he favours them. In fact, he only temporarily spares them because they keep bringing him food.

Flaw: "Those who disagree with me are simply too ignorant to be in charge of their own affairs" / Dumb, deranged, anger management issues.

1 Father Llymic's not an entirely original character, but one I've adapted from the 3rd edition book 'Elder Evils', wherein he's a giant monster from the Far Realm encased in ice who needs to spread his monstrous mutation to darken the sun, bring about an eternal winter, and be free to rule the ensuing wasteland. The idea that he was once human is my own invention2. 

2 OK, you got me, it's the probably-too-derivative-of-Bloodborne domain. Dear reader, how would you do a kaiju horror domain differently?

Friday, April 22, 2022

The Cult of Mak Thuum Ngatha

"A worm crawled down my arm and rested on my neck. When he whispered into my ear I felt a tingle... He told me how to make a weapon that would help us against our enemies. And here's the thing... it's made of worms... it even fires worms... but it stings like you wouldn't believe"
-System Shock 2

The cult of Mak Thuum Ngatha - also called the Nine-Tongued Worm - are simple folk who believe in simple things like family values, the importance of community, the illusory nature of the separation of spaces and times, and the attainment of infinite knowledge via biological merger with their deity.

A Diet of Worms

Their central rite is known by many names on many worlds - the writhing communion, the prayer of folds and squiggles, the knotted convention, and so on. The important thing, the unifying thing across all these variations, is symbiosis with divine worms, the material form of their god.

These divine worms connect with each other and with the nervous systems of their hosts, enabling the exchange of information across solar systems and millennia - in theory. In practice, this exchange is throttled by the amount of worms within a host and within a community of hosts. Smaller cults who imbibe only the worms they can bear with physiological ease might only share broad feelings and dreams among themselves. If the cult gets wider and infests (or shares the blessing with) more hosts, it's a bit like getting a bigger radio dish, or more fiber optic cables set up - thoughts may be shared from further and further away, and zip between heads fast enough that it gets hard to tell which head they started in. At certain celestial alignments, a cult might transceive or open doorways beyond the reaches of the cosmos. Knowledge thereby gained can be distressing, and hard to decipher, filtered as it so often is through alien sensoria, language, and imagery.

If a cultist gets in deeper, fits more worm-mass within their own body, they find they can reach the collected information of all cultists more easily, and not just what they're currently thinking or feeling but the archive of all that has or will pass through the network. Get in deep enough, and they may make contact with the native intelligence of the network itself - the will of Mak Thuum Ngatha.

Samples of worm-mass are traded between cults like sourdough starters among baking enthusiasts. Tips are swapped on their cultivation and care. Cults in more advanced civilizations will even send samples on arks to uncontacted planets, in the hope that their worship will be accepted there.

The worms integrate best with decentralized nervous systems. In the brains of terrestrial vertebrates they sit uncomfortably, even painfully - in rare cases causing death by increased intracranial pressure. Human cultists treat this with painkillers, trepanation, artificial cranial deformation, and seeking mutation into more accommodating forms. Some apostates undergo dangerous procedures to burn out the worms from their brains, losing their cosmic awareness and abilities to communicate or feel empathy in the process.

Feral Preachers

The flesh of Mak Thuum Ngatha is not the will of Mak Thuum Ngatha. One may exist without the other. The will without flesh is latent. The flesh without will is tragedy. This is the seventh tenet of the nine-tongue evangelists.

By poor stewardship, cosmic accident, or deliberate perversion, the worm-mass that is called the flesh of Mak Thuum Ngatha can find itself without a higher intellect - however alien - guiding it. It reverts to base instincts: survive and spread. The stuff is a parasite that hijacks the bodies and minds of its hosts, fumbling for mutations and madnesses that will make them more effective in their role. When the need or opportunity arises it will merge with other hosts, collate knowledge, create new forms. When a large enough mass gathers it can even launch itself to other stars. Beyond this basic behaviour, each outbreak is unique.

Sane (relatively-speaking) cultists hate or pity the pure flesh, which they call "feral preachers". Some will burn it out, others commune and attempt to re-introduce the will - the rarest few, heretical even among the cult's thousand-thousand sects, set the feral preachers as their vanguard. The feral preachers they seed do the dirty work of assimilation and inquisition, leaving nothing but raw worm-mass to be indoctrinated with their teachings.

Inspiration for scenarios involving the feral preachers can be found in the movies Slither, Splinter, Black Friday, the Dead Space games and the like.

Emissaries of the Nine-Tongued Worm:


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a planet that achieved utopia. Each inhabitant was a philosopher-poet, enjoying clarity of thought cleansed of negativity. They were able to enjoy this because in the planet's catacombs, fed on the slop of their waste, there was a slug-like species of psychics they genetically engineered to pluck the nastiness and incoherence from their minds to take into themselves.

The slug-things lived confusing, miserable lives. They suffered without understanding why, suffered in a state of total id, ganglions too clogged with others' impurities to form their own egos.

And then a nine-tongue evangelist came to them and shared the gift of Mak Thuum Ngatha.

Communion with the network lifted their eyes from the grime to the stars, filled them with hope and ambition. These slug-things - the ancestors of the psurlons - rose up from beneath the earth and exterminated their former masters, deeming them unworthy of conversion.

Whereas most followers of Mak Thuum Ngatha desire to spread their faith to any who would have them, psurlons are discriminating. They see it as their duty to purge any who would taint the awesome benevolence of their god. Worlds have been scoured to the bedrock at their dissatisfaction. No psurlon has felt a moment of guilt about this - they never lost their power to taste the sins within your soul.


The will of Mak Thuum Ngatha is inscrutable, its plan for its cultists rarely elucidated beyond the immediate moment, when it is expressed at all.

One cult came up with a great idea to address this: instantiate the will and the flesh together in a single, immanent avatar, then ask it personally. The result was less than desired. What they ended up making was instead the tsochari - a species of colonial body-snatching parasites.

Most tsochari are still aligned with the cult of Mak Thuum Ngatha - after all, they're treated with celebrity status as almost-messiahs. They tend to be narcissists as a result. Severed from their god by the manner of their creation, they need to possess a body infested with divine worms to experience communion-by-proxy.


The nilshai once preyed upon cultists of Mak Thuum Ngatha, extracting the wisdom of the worms through their guts. The more they ate the more they came to appreciate the faith of the Nine-Tongued Worm - conversion through consumption.

Nowadays the nilshai, while abhorrent to most living creatures, have become fierce guardian deities of the faith. Mere repression isn't enough to attract their wrath, but where wholesale slaughter of Mak Thuum Ngatha's faithful occurs, it's not unheard of for the fanatical hordes of the nilshai to spill out of ethereality and devour their persecutors.

"In legend and in the few accounts we may fairly credit, sorcery is capable of great wonders: moving instantly from one place to another, peering across gulfs of distance and history, and opening portals to unearthly realms.

Yet, great as these works may be, they are not without limit: sorcerers do not move across space and time like birds through the air, but as carts across well-worn roads - ways passed down from master to apprentice across centuries, if not far longer still.

Like a shining city that must have rivers of filth flow through its sewers beneath, even the heights of mortal sorcery are built on deeper workings, shrouded in darkness, which can only arouse the disgust of those who learn of them...

...All magic known to us cannot truly open the way - only make use of those ways which have already been opened, by things which by their nature we find we must avert our eyes from."
-Excerpt from the Collected Lectures of Father Llymic

Thursday, April 21, 2022

D12 Reasons Why The Bookstore Nearby Which I Meant To Go To But Never Did Has A Heavy-Duty Lock And A Cardboard Sign That Says "DO NOT UNLOCK!!!" On Its Door

1. The bookstore's moved out and the property hasn't been leased to another tenant yet.

2. A pipe burst and the place needs major clean-up and repairs.

3. It's actually always had that, and I've only just now looked closely enough to notice. Perhaps the store is only ever used as a covert meeting-place.

4. By accident or conspiracy the bookstore wound up with the diary of the daughter of a major local political figure, which reveals some deeply compromising blackmail on that figure. The bookstore's owner has shut down the place out of paranoia, and sequestered themself to corroborate the claims of the diary and use its contents to make a lot of illicit money.

5. There was a break-in and a very rare, very valuable tome was stolen - the owner hasn't gotten the police involved because they also stole the tome in the first place, and so are conducting their own private investigation - discrete, morally-flexible help wanted.

6. A recent shipment of books was contaminated with a species of hallucinatory mildew that has caused the owner to perceive themself as being in a fantasy realm where all their favourite literary characters have come alive. They've locked the place up so they don't have to share their "paradise".

7. They were parasitized by a species of beetle that camouflages itself as books, and lays its eggs in librarians and bookstore owners who don't get enough visitors, and so won't be quickly missed. Fearing that their coleopteran tormentor would soon after spread to the whole world, the bookstore owner quarantined themself inside their shop - though they really needn't have bothered.

8. The owner discovered an eldritch grimoire, an artifact from another dimension near-totally opposed to our own. Where the grimoire is from, the relations of information and matter are inverted - information is not recorded in or produced by matter, but rather matter arises from the content and processing of information. The owner believes that with the book they can take over the world, and so studies it and its interactions with our universe obsessively.

9. The owner made a deal with the Devil that granted them tremendous talent in writing and critique, so long as they gave a thousand people a book that on reading would change their life for the worse. After getting cold feet while selling the 998th book, and worrying what the Devil would do to them after finishing their end of the bargain, the owner sealed up their store and now prays fervently in a double-ring of holy water and motel side-table bibles for salvation.

10. The owner has been occupied transcribing their own biorhythms into logorhythms - encoding every biological process they've got from heartbeat to circadian flow to cellular mitosis into books of poetry - a lengthy, grueling, exacting process. If they complete the process correctly, then they'll live so long as people flip through the pages of their books, the necessities of their life outsourced from body to art.

11. Enough books in the store were pulped from trees from the same ancient forest that they reached a critical mass - the books' remembrance of being trees with old, old memories leaked into reality, creating a landscape vaster than the property should have been able to contain. Certain that they could make discoveries that would earn them far more money than their store ever did, the owner ventured into this psychic forest where arboreal recollections of rocks, animals, and rivers mingled bizarrely with the contents of the books they would become.

12. In the beginning, God created light. Soon after that (relatively speaking), Adam was tasked with naming all the world's creatures, and Eve with granting them faces. When Adam fell from grace he was in the middle of speaking a name, a name he could no longer complete. Left incomplete, that name had no ending. Without an ending, it had no meaning. Seeking both, that name sought others among the children of Adam to speak its fullness. It has been seeking for a very long time. A portion of that name ended up in a book in the bookstore, and the owner read that portion of the name, and so became possessed by it and has been compelled to speak it endlessly - and to speak it to others in order to spread it. In a final moment of self-control and lucidity they sealed themself within their bookstore, and warned others away.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

D20x5 Nasty Nagas

Click the button below for your very own naga. Nastiness not guaranteed:

Special thanks to Spwack for making the generator generator used to make this:

D20This naga’s body is that of
1a python.
2a rattlesnake.
3an eel.
4a larva.
5a velvet worm.
6a centipede.
7a caecilian.
8a slug.
9a caterpillar.
10a millipede.
11a maggot.
12a ferret.
13a lungfish.
14a cobra.
15a coral snake.
16an earthworm.
17a flatworm.
18a mamba.
19an asp.
20an adder.
D20This naga’s face is
1beautiful and youthful.
2gaunt and bearded.
3blandly indistinct.
4brutish, coarse.
5blemished and broken.
6permanently clenched in a wrathful visage.
7scarred and pockmarked.
8half masculine and half feminine.
9stiff and doll-like.
10so pale every vein can be seen beneath.
11scaled and bestial.
12a fleshless skull.
13always covered by a bronze mask.
14dominated by the lidless eye on their forehead.
15a silver mirror on the stump of their neck. They can speak with the image and voice of anyone reflected by it.
16made up of lotus petals.
17fluid, shifting features like ripples on a pond.
18chubby and jovial.
19uncannily elongated.
20tattooed with inhuman poetry.
D20To humans, this naga
1is an anthropophagous monster.
2is a wise guru.
3is an emissary of the gods.
4is a pitiless philosopher-king.
5is a friend to witches and the weird.
6is a guardian of sacred sites.
7is an enigma glimpsed in wild places.
8is a wretched priest of dark powers.
9is a culture hero who taught them the foundations of art and science.
10is an enemy thought defeated by their ancestors.
11is fickle, sometimes an ally and others an enemy.
12is an enforcer of karmic justice.
13is a remnant of a prior yuga, a being of lost glory.
14is the patron divinity of a remote village.
15is the ferocious hunter of an artifact stolen from the heavens long ago.
16is the gatekeeper to a paradisiacal pocket dimension full of earthly riches.
17is a ruthless tester of claimants to holiness and enlightenment.
18is a murderous maintainer of primal boundaries which contemporary humans can’t help but push against.
19is known as a lord of asuras and the risen dead.
20is a sage whose advice has raised and broken kingdoms.
D20This naga has the magical power
1to scry over long distances by staring into stagnant pools.
2to shed its monstrous skin and disguise itself in human form.
3to incubate other creatures’ eggs into humanoid hybrid servitors.
4to transmute its venom into vapour or alloy it into metals.
5to project its soul from its body and into other places and planes of existence.
6to send anything it swallows to a pocket dimension of its design.
7to slither through the air.
8to taste lies.
9to paralyze those who hear the shaking of its tail.
10to command bodies of water and monsoons.
11to peer into the past lives of those that lock eyes with it.
12to haunt its killer after death, and be reborn as their killer’s child should they ever have one.
13to arm and armour itself with supernaturally-potent regalia when engaged in righteous battle.
14to manifest countless arms of pale blue telekinetic force to manipulate things.
15to shoot beams of destructive energy from its eyes.
16to eat spells then disgorge them as mystic gemstones.
17to drain diseases and curses out of those it bites then transmit those afflictions to others through its spittle.
18to see invisible things and tussle with spirits as though they were solid.
19to swallow itself up like an ouroboros and pop back to reality somewhere else after that final moment of non-existence.
20to change its size from as small as a pencil to as large as a train.
D20You might encounter this naga
1swallowing a deer whole.
2doing hyperflexible yoga poses.
3painting its body with esoteric diagrams along internal energy flows.
4holding court in a grove of banyans.
5locked in mortal struggle with a giant bird.
6being pestered by wild monkeys.
7opining on how the world reflected in a drop of dew is no more real than the world itself, as both are merely illusive images.
8reading an ancient scroll written on snake-skin.
9performing astrological calculations.
10meeting with a prince for a forbidden tryst.
11scouting out a suitable spot for its nest.
12tending to a garden of cannabis.
13checking a line of wards it’s set up to keep out hungry ghosts.
14looking for its lost pet human.
15interrogating passers-by on their interpretation of a prophetic dream it had.
16reciting an epic poem about the wars of gods and demons.
17restoring an ancient, overgrown monument.
18mourning at the grave of a long-dead friend.
19enjoying tea with a family of orangutans.
20debating metaphysics with a monk

Friday, April 15, 2022

D20x5 Foul Fallen Angels

Click the button below for a fallen angel of your very own. A blessed Easter to you all!:

Special thanks to Spwack for making the generator generator I used to make this:

D20This fallen angel’s true form looks like
1an overly kitschy, generic image of an angel. Its halo shines harsh and neon, its robes bleached to the point of fraying, its cheeks so rosy they might be bruised, and so on.
2a crudely re-fleshed, incorruptible body of a saint. New fluids bloat unevenly in places, muscles still too tight in others, the halo dim, flickering.
3a fractured stone statue of an idealized person, shining from within, incandescing and dribbling molten trails along the edges of its fractures.
4a beautiful blue-skinned person encased in ice, cracking and re-freezing with every movement.
5a nuclear shadow puppet with a gargoylish silhouette.
6a giant whose flesh is blooming corpse lilies, attended by legions of flies.
7a clockwork eidolon whose every gear is lined with eyes, greased by the vitreous fluid of the ones crushed between them.
8a suit of brazen plates sculpted to resemble a winged bull, the immaterial spirit trapped within weeping incessantly, its tears leaking through the gaps, its whimpers amplified into bestial bellows.
9a humanoid form in perpetual atmospheric reentry, charred black and trailing tails of plasma.
10six wings burnt to crisps, no longer sufficient to cover the once-impossible geometries of its body which have themselves been derivated down to dull comprehensibility.
11a lion-headed wretch, old and grey and toothless. Its shoulders bear infected stumps where more heads once stood.
12a mass of fulgurite, spindly and branching like a stick insect, gently humming with the last sparks of divine fire left within it.
13a wind-up soldier wielding obsolete arms and armour, grinding down with a sound like distant horns and harps.
14a mournful magdalene depicted in greyscale vitrail.
15a figure in a dingy mask and robes, illuminated from within by silvery light.
16mildewed and inkstreaked gospel-pages folded intricately into humanoid shape.
17a towering prism with faces and hands of every hue pressing against its inner surface. Limbs like glass needles stretch and branch from its vertices.
18something between a spider and a marionette, cut wires hanging in the air behind it, soft hands at the ends of each limb.
19a fractally complex cat’s cradle with a different pattern every time you look at it, shaped from a thread thin as a hair and as sharp as the sharpest sword.
20glowing cinders whipped up by a scorching wind into a cloud of writhing serpents.
D20This fallen angel was once
1a hornblower who heralded the heavenly host.
2a hunter of demons and dragons.
3a guardian of prophets and saints.
4a messenger who dictated words of scripture now recited across the earth.
5a gardener of Eden.
6an inflicter of plagues and curses.
7responsible for ushering newborn souls to babies taking their first breaths.
8tasked with teaching the first humans of the arts and sciences.
9a shepherd of dreams, chasing away nightmares and inspiring visions.
10an aide to wizards of the Enochian tradition.
11an intercessor named in prayers for minor miracles of healing and protection.
12charged with testing the virtuous.
13part of the choir around God’s waiting throne.
14responsible for tallying the good and bad deeds of individuals.
15sent to the mortal world to defend sacred places and purge defiled ones.
16an advocate for dying souls before the angel of death.
17the scribe of Adamic lexicons.
18responsible for marshalling winds to sweep church steps.
19a cataloguer of the unexpected emergent interactions of creation’s many pieces.
20charged with teaching birds their songs.
D20This angel fell
1for their unrequited love of a mortal which led them to neglect their duties.
2due to a glitch in its luminal circuits.
3by the compulsion of a human cleric.
4because some occult occlusion cut it off from God’s light.
5because of a contradiction in its commands.
6because it was persuaded to by another fallen angel.
7because it was wounded by a weapon that inflicted diabolical taint.
8from the weight of its doubt in the divine plan.
9because it was seduced by worldly pleasures.
10due to being distracted from a strict timetable by the beauty of the dawn reflected in a drop of dew.
11due to its envy towards its superiors.
12because it laughed at a blasphemous joke.
13so that it could be used as a double-agent, a use it has since exhausted.
14from a conviction that it could improve on God’s creation.
15in a deliberate and misguided attempt to change its nature in order to better fulfill its duty.
16from sheer hatred of all things that weren’t good, beautiful, or true.
17because it became convinced of the truth of a mortal heresy.
18because it was promised a far more rewarding position in Hell, a promise which was never fulfilled.
19due to pride, an unwillingness to sully itself through service among less pure creatures.
20in a failed test of a device that would detonate if the angel it was attached to fell.
D20This fallen angel holds
1a book of prophecy rendered false by revisions to providence made after their fall. Its words still stretch til the end of time, but now they range from approximately correct to wildly misleading.
2a stone once cast by one without sin. Anyone struck by it will become a pariah, known to all as an inveterate sinner of the sourest sort.
3a clay jar sealed with honey and curdled milk. Opening it will unleash a divine plague on the land and its people.
4a flute with a maddening pitch. Playing it drives beasts and children within earshot into a violent rage.
5a staff topped by a pair of entwined serpents. In the right proportions their venom can heal. In the wrong ones it kills, quite horribly.
6a brick struck from the Tower of Babel, riddled with seams and creases. With a spoken command it can unfold into a brick structure no more than 15 cubits on any side, or fold up into a single brick again.
7a copper mirror that shows the weight of a person’s sin reflected in it as physical decay and depth of darkness.
8the still-beating heart of a goat pierced through with hawthorn barbs. Swearing vengeance on the heart lets you sense the position of your target, but if you forgive them or fall short of killing them you’ll start hemorrhaging.
9a spear with a head of dove-feather quills, which rusts and tarnishes any precious or bloodied metal it strikes.
10a crystal chalice carved with complex geometric designs that are gilded in thin lines along their edges. Anyone who drinks fluid poured from the chalice becomes immediately and intensely hungover, with the effect multiplied if the fluid is wine or vinegar.
11a bow of gnarled olibanum-wood that allows its bearer to pluck beams of moonlight and fire them as arrows of freezing radiance.
12the head of a witch encased in lead. The head can be made to vomit stinking ectoplasm and a mob of deranged ghosts.
13a bandage made of a shed snakeskin. Any wound wrapped in it will heal without a scar, any limb maimed or amputated regenerate fully, but the healed flesh will be scaly, cold, and otherwise reptilian.
14a sinuous mass of frozen flame contained in a tumbleweed-like sphere of carbonized branches. The flame is still burning hot, and its bearer can speak, see, and hear through any fire lit with it.
15a key that can seal or unseal portals to afterlives.
16a shepherd’s crook made of horn and bone. It can reach into dreams and yank out the images and characters from them, to be placed in another sleeper’s head or used as illusory figments in the waking world.
17a switch made from the branch of a fig tree. It blights anything it strikes with infertility, whether that be a person or an entire field.
18a greatsword made from a dragon’s jaw bone.
19the sole cluster of eggs laid by Leviathan’s mate before its culling by the hands of God. May one day hatch into a swarm of terrible sea monsters.
20a knife so fine its blade is invisible when viewed edge-on. This knife can cleave spirit from flesh. When it wounds a living creature the part it wounded becomes paralyzed for 1d4 rounds.
D20This fallen angel has sought refuge
1disguised as a dove to be a sorcerer’s familiar.
2in the crypt of a heretical saint.
3among the peasantry, in the guise of a doctor.
4as the guarded primary source of a scholar of antiquities.
5in the company of a repentant demon.
6cloistered in an abandoned monastery.
7in the eaves of a temple, scavenging offerings left for the icons.
8in the ruins of a city smote by God.
9with a witch, but it was tricked and trapped and tapped for power.
10on a fragment of ice and stone drifting through the outer darkness, beyond the sight of Heaven.
11in a necropolis of the unforgiven dead.
12on an isle between the lands of the living and the dead.
13as the caretaker of a gang of orphans forced into crime by necessity.
14leading nomads through a wasteland.
15as a preacher in the hinterlands, relying on half-remembered theology for its sermons.
16in the aisles of a great library enchanted for absolute silence.
17beneath the shells of failed realities, buried shamefully in the earth.
18as a wandering merchant who never stays in any one place long enough to be found out.
19inside the idol of a cult, impersonating their deity for its own ends.
20among a tribe of vehement atheists.