Thursday, February 9, 2017

Nameless Cults IV

Here is another fun one. A bit simpler than the other cults so far, but "the old jokes are the best," as they say.

THE ESOTERIC ORDER OF DAGON, or The Pelagic Knights of Y'Ha-Nthlei

You knew this was coming eventually.
No. Appearing: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic 
Move: 120’ (40’) 
Armor Class: 14 
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Save: Fighter
Morale: 10
Experience: 29

Serving one of the... ickier Ancient Ones, Lord Dagon of the deep kingdoms, the Esoteric Order is composed of former fishermen, captured and hypnotized sailors, the "mates" of the Deep Ones, and their Sea-Blood offspring. You know what they're here to do: get fresh with your human (or dwarf, or elf - they aren't picky) women and breed a vile half-aquatic replacement for mankind! Are you gonna let them do it, hot shot?

They come armed with scraps salvaged from the deep, or tools of their former lives: tridents, cutlasses, nets, spears, marlinspikes and any other aquatic-themed weapons and rusty patchwork armour, dripping green with algae. This also means sometimes they carry fantastic treasure from sunken ships or old hoards fallen under the waves: maybe the jewelled cutlass of a pirate king, or magic items from fabled Atlantis. If parley could be made with the Order, they might show an enterprising adventurer the way to these treasures lost under the waves. Then again, they might just give them directions to a nearby pod of sharks, or a colony of hungry Deep Ones. 

Sorry mom. Sorry dad. Sorry HPLHS.
The Order have dredged up many secrets from the deep, one of which is the terrible magic of unlife (most clerics and wizards don't know animate dead in my game). They frequently enter battle with the shambling corpses of drowned sailors and fishermen as shock troops (skeletons, zombies or maybe you have a favourite water-themed undead?). The Order's knowledge of these outre magics makes membership highly sought after in some quarters, although anyone willing to pay the costs of entry must be desperate or mad indeed. 

These undead servants will always be dripping with water and covered in seaweed, even if they've been standing guard in a dungeon for years. Make sure to mention the puddles of water spreading underneath them (just the thing to trip up a careless adventurer at the wrong time). They usually carry the tools, weapons and gear they did in life, having risen from the muck of the sea-floor exactly as they died. I am thinking that some clerics of the EOoD maybe have a forbidden ritual that turns them into some kind of aquatic vampire or saltwater lich, although what those might be I can't yet imagine...

The other terrible thing about the EOoD is that they know where the Deep Ones make their lairs, and tend to build their temples nearby (usually in caves or grottoes accessible to the ocean) for ease of human sacrifices. A given temple will be led by a sea blood of level 3-6 and two sea blood acolytes of levels 1-3, all equipped with the best treasure and magic items the cult has scavenged. Remember: these dudes don't play around, and it could get real grim. Keep that in mind when you're running your own game huh?

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