Interesting points. I'd imagine that, if confronted by other Orcs, Utrik would either play the part of the stereotypical Orc fighter, then slip away as soon as possible, perhaps trying to pass off his possessions as booty or loot. In the case of the adventurers - well, if the party mage isn't buying the story, it's down to the GM to convince the others. "Ah, but the results of a Detect Magic spell aren't guaranteed", or "Perhaps it's a Clerical curse rather than a spell." Conflict in the party could offer some very enticing opportunities for Utrik... Go to Comment
I understand that not many people are happy about using time travel elements in a game - with good reason, usually! Personally, I wouldn't give either item to a PC, but I think they have promise when in the possession of the villain, or used as a quest goal.
Time travel can be very effective, when employed with restraint and kept out of the hands of munchkins. I once ran a campaign when the evil force terorising the city was a corrupt far-future version of the party's Paladin. It made for an interesting showdown, I can tell you.
Oh, and I understand the Prince of Persia comparison, but what on Earth is Joe Viewful? ;-) Go to Comment
The Jiangsi was the name of an undead being in Chinese folklore and mythology. Usually translated as zombie or vampire for Western palates, the Jiangsi was really neither. They appeared as simply risen, fresh corpses. They moved (peculiarly!) by hopping rather than walking, and sought out the living to suck the Qilife force from their victims.
Perhaps significantly more interesting than the Jiangsi itself, was the lore surrounding them. "Zombie wranglers", or "Corpse Herders", usually Daoist priests, were men tasked with delivering these undead beings back to their respective home towns. Tradition in China placed great importance and emphasis on the return of the dead to their homes and families, and thus the corpse herders came to be. By using magick words and talismans they would animate the dead, and by placing specially inscribed parchments of paper over the Jiangsi heads and faces, the corpse herders would be able to control the hopping corpses. Then like pied pipers, they would lead processions of subdued undead, across many miles, rhythmically chanting and ringing tiny bells.
Special inns were built across China to house these undead caravans, as the zombies could only travel by evening and night, the sun anathema to them. Rows of doors opening to barely a closet-space, lined the walls of these special establishments. Behind these doors, the corpses would be stored upright while the corpse herders rested in rooms.
The Jiangsi under the control of a corpse herder were quite harmless, merely hopping after him, silently and without complaint, for weeks and months. If however, the magicked parchment would somehow be removed from their faces, the creatures would immediately seek living humans to kill. Their thirst for Qi was unquenchable.
The job of a corpse herder was an interesting one to say the least.