The Asrok enjoy a very close relationship with their patron dieties. The low population of the race has also served to limit the power of their pantheon, and their gods are viewed (at best) as demons by the dieties of Human religions. The Shamans of the Asrok have moderate powers granted to them, but the age of miracles for the Asrok has long past.
The Asrok pantheon is small, consisting of four major dieties and a swarm of minor spirits:
Dieties of the Asrok
Luukos -'Father' diety
Meluuna - 'Mother' diety
Karuun - Lord of the beasts (Literally, anything non-Asrok)
Sharuun - Gaurdian of Spirits
The Spirit Hosts
In addition to the major dieties, the Asrok have hundreds of spirits tied to most animals, natural phenomena, emotions and tasks. These minor sprits are invoked in much of Asrok speech.
The Asrok do not burn or bury their dead. If the death is not associated with sickness they practice ritual cannibalization. Those who die of disease or poisoning are carried out to the edge of their lands and left for the scavangers. In both cases the process is accompanied by much ritual and mourning.
The need for these rituals is so strong with the Asrok that those who die and do not have this performed are likely to raise as Eer'Shak, or 'Uneaten Ones'. This is the only known form of undead derived from the Asrok. Go to Comment
Occasionally, Asrok which have not been properly tended to after death will rise as a rare form of undead, referred to by the Asrok as The Uneaten Ones. Only those whose cause of death would constitute normal burial will rise in this manner.
They are not totally unreasoning beings - they are very angry but will generally have a solid direction for their anger. If they were deliberately denied proper burial by the Asrok for whatever reason, then they will be focused on extracting vengeance against the individuals who wronged them.
In some cases the blame for improper burial do not lay with the Asrok but as a result of outsiders. For example, when the Asrok are enslaved by a race unfamiliar with their customs, they are usually prevented by their masters from performing the proper rituals. The reasons for this include simple ignorance - dead Asrok being treated appropriate to the master's culture, ie. buried, burned, etc - or pure revulsion or disgust.
Other times, such as during caravans, etc, the dead Asrok are simply discarded by the wayside, left to the scavengers. In all of these cases, the hatred of the Uneaten Ones will be directed against the outsiders. These ones closest match the behavior of most undead, being vicious and insatiable in their desire to obtain vengence.
One factor which increases the danger these creatures pose is that their intelligence is as high as a living Asrok and so they are capable of planning their attacks. Triggering avalanches or using missile attacks are strategies well within their capacity.
The Uneaten Ones appear as Asrok corpses in whatever condition they were in when they first arose. They are often frozen solid with the limbs barely attached - held by skin, tendons and force of will. The rest of the flesh and bone generally breaks as the limbs are forced to move.
Frozen Uneaten Ones are generally quite slow and plodding but are quite resistant to further damage - they also share the Asrok mobility in ice and snow. Go to Comment
The Asrok could be considered a remake of the Yeti and can be used to populate any cold, out of the way region.
Their situation could easily be changed to make their hold on the world less tenuous and in which case they can be used as ravening hordes decending from the mountains from time to time to raid in force. Go to Comment
The Asrok are the decendants of a tribe of Alun which was isolated by the most recent ice age. Trapped in a region which was becoming increasingly hostile each generation, they quickly adapted to the harsh conditions. It is theorised that intervention by their dieties helped speed up this process. That along with a pre-existing elemental affinity present in the Alun allowed them to survive, if not thrive.
With the passing of the ice, the Asrok were forced to migrate to higher altitudes - competition by other humanoids in the warmer lands was too fierce for them to find and adapt to warmer homes.
Early contact with the Modern races was infrequent as their homelands were remote and colder then the human-held lands.
The greatest single reduction in their population occured in modern times, when the kingdom of Theos killed nearly half of all the Asrok when creating the Boots of the Asrok. Since then, only scattered, unsubstantiated encounters have been documented. Go to Comment
Okay, this has been in work too long as well. Out into the world with ye!
I have tried a significant variation of the format I used with the Alun sub to try and make it less scattered, specifically making greater use of scrolls for additional details. Go to Comment
I think this is quite a useful idea. Although many who frequent this site are excellent GMs with wonderful pre-planning, others, such as myself, tend to rely on ad-libbing instead of preparation, and sometimes I draw a blank. This type of sub is a great way to jump-start and carry on.
There should be something at the start of the scroll, or a table of contents to differentate the general area of the sub. If this grows as it should, it may be difficult to quickly find a sub for your needs :) Go to Comment
A plot easily suggests itself - someone important has fallen afoul of the crow in the swamp. The PCs need to find both the victim and the Crow before it's too late. To stop the life drain, they need to kill the elusive crow. Go to Comment
The sabre crab is a huge relative of the hermit crab. It has a massively modified claw (2'- 3' in length) with a saw-toothed, razor sharp edge it uses to kill its prey. The other claw is also large, but is made for gripping prey. The crab lays in wait under murky waters with its eye stalks barely breaking surface. It has a very thick shell and is easily a match for the crocodiles which share it's swamp home.
The crab is not very intelligent and highly aggressive, typically attacking anything that they notice, including other Sabre Crabs. The sole exception to this is mating season, when massive groups of these critters will form in a frenzy of courtship, dominance battles and mating. The noise created by these encounters has more then once been mistaken for a small war.
Certain tribal groups which either inhabit the swamps or live adjacent to them find the Sabre Crabs's fighting claw very useful in making weapons. Go to Comment
Legends tell of the mysterious Swamp Children - quiet spritely beings who help lost souls but none of these beliefs survive actually encountering one.
The Swamp Children are small, emaciated humanoids with exaggerated potbellies and long, wolflike muzzles. Their skin is covered in a foul, yellowish mucous which protects them against the cold as well as the vermin of the swamp. No insect will willingly come close to a Swamp Child - those that do get stuck in the viscous coating and subsequently eaten. They are well adapted to their swamp home, being fully amphibious and able to hold their breath for many minutes. They are small - generally less then 3' tall and about 40 lbs weight, but they are extremely strong. The Swamp Children normally feed on the natural flora and fauna of their swamp home, but they will gleefully feast on anything that they can overpower, and are not above cannibalism.
When hunting, groups of the Children will lurk under the surface in ambush while others will either lead or drive victims into the ambush point. Grappling and dog-piling their foes, they will attempt to force them under the fetid waters of the swamp to drown.
The Children are capable of speech and have their own langauge. Since they have no interest in other beings except as food, they do not learn other languages.
There are legends of spellcasting Swamp Children, and these are true - there are shamans within their ranks that worship demonic powers. Go to Comment
Okay, I'll address your points and add a correction.
This plant is intended as a deadly magical defence - the main sub that uses it is still under work, but it is supposed to be deadly and difficult to circumvent.
Magical winds, very fine dust masks, poison immunities, etc, are valid defences. Heavy rainfall would mitigate the deadliness as well.
Also, I was deliberately vague on how much pollen would actually cause death so it is easy to allow for lesser effects.
As to effects of Cardiac arrest, it would be equal to a non-magical death spell :)
However, I did make a mistake on this sub, so some magical alteration of the standard Digitalis is needed:
From Textbook of Materia Medica, 5th edition, 1932, page 259
Since Digitalis is slowly absorbed, and excreted still more slowly, it does not cause acute poisonous symptoms.
To achieve the desired level of lethality in line with my intent on this submission, one should instead substitute Cyanide, a much more acutely deadly toxin and one which does occur in many plants. Though I took the easy way out, and just made the toxin a variant of Digitalis. Go to Comment