Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Creating Villages with Disembodied Brains"

Topic via Talysman's random generator, draft scribbled in a notebook while waiting for a contractor to load trucks:

Persons entering the village of Echsen are greeted by a horrific site.  Brains and eyes float in viscous fluid within transparent jars, mounted on crab-like legs, scuttle about the village streets.  A traveler nervously fingers his sword.

Sketched by my lovely wife on the back of some scratch paper...
"Welcome to Echsen, guv'ner," squeaks a tinny voice, "This village and all who pass through are under the aegis of the mage Kedibo.  No harm will come to you here."

The visitor cautiously walks the streets, shying away from the skittering constructs passing by on their business.  The mercantile is open for trade, the town mill grinds away, the smell of roasting meat drifts from the tavern.

Curious, the visitor exchanges a few coppers for a new cloak and a few road provisions at the shop. Maybe he shares an ale and trencher of roast with the clattering and clacking patrons of the tavern. He notes that it is curious that they go through the motions of eating and drinking as they talk village gossip, but the food remains uneaten, the beverages not drunk.  Perhaps our traveler, noting the late hour, even dares to spend a night of fitful sleep at the simple inn.

In the morning he departs, with farewells from the same eerie music-box voices.  He rides away, waiting for the nervous itch in his spine to subside.


Days down the road, he waits for the smith to replace his horse's thrown shoe.  "Where'd ye come from, mate?"

"Road via Echsen."

The smith pales and makes a sign.  "That's an unnatural place, brother.  Full of sadness, for sure."

"The wizard Kedibo is the patron of that sad town.  Perhaps you saw his tower among the trees. I hear tell that five years back his rival Uskthon laid a plague on that place.  Left the whole town for dead.  'Course, Kedibo was crushed and went damn near mad... After all, place was his home town...

"Heard he'd always been a bit of a tinkerer...so he put them villagers' heads in those accursed jars and set them on them awful walking critter legs.  But he did save his village, after a fashion.

"Sad thing is, poor bastards don't even know they're dead..."

Kedibo's Automatons: (S&W Stats)

Animated brains suspended within transparent jars mounted upon crab-like walking constructs. The mind within the brain has been charmed to believe itself to be whole, and not see itself as a construct, but only recall itself as its former life.  The construct will have four to eight legs, depending on its size and complexity.

HD:  Head - 2HD/Body - 3HD - the two elements are distinct, and may be destroyed/damaged separately.  If the head/brain is destroyed, the body will collapse; however, if the body is damaged or destroyed, the head may be removed and placed on a new body.
AC: 3/17
Save: 16
Attack/Damage: 1d6 per attack (1-3 attacks/round for 4, 6, 8 legged versions, respectively).
Special: Magical resistances as per undead.  However, the minds may not be turned, as their reanimation and sustenance is not purely magical.
Move: 12-15
Alignment: any

Best illustration from GIS for "Brain in a Bell Jar"
source

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