Many a curious mage and alchemist has pounded fruitlessly upon the door to Wipp’s abode. He ignores all such attempts at first. Most go away after a time. If they catch him while he is out tending his garden or if they are especially persistent, he will respond in exasperation by shaking his head and pointing toward the town. As a last resort, he will sick his hounds upon the interloper. The hounds first work to intimidate and will only attack if pressed.
Few test the mettle of Wipp’s hounds, for they are the size of bulls and made of animated crystal. One is of dark amethyst, the other formed of rose quartz. Both are well armored, with abnormally hard crystalline hides, and well armed, with teeth and claws like unbreakable glass daggers. They are always on guard and cannot be fooled.
These hounds are a type of golem created from the larger of Wipp’s sculptures. With the proper powers and incantations, these finely detailed sculptures can be brought to animated life. A passing wizard managed to broker a deal through the town merchants, giving him a statue of his own in exchange for animating the hounds, one of the very few trades of this sort that Wipp has ever done.
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Crystal golems are of low intelligence and will follow only the simplest of commands. They are, however, completely loyal and immune to any enchantments which affect the living. Once animated, their finely sculpted forms come to fully to life. They are perfectly mobile and display no jerkiness in their motions.
Though none know of Wipp’s origins, there has been no end of speculation among the townsfolk.
Some believe him to be a man cursed by the gods to understand only his craft and nothing else. Such folk believe that that is why the gods took his speech; one does not need to speak in order to work. Many a fanciful tale has been spun to fit this idea. Perhaps, they say, he was a craftsman who became too proud of his own skill and tempted the wrath of the gods by comparing himself to them. What better punishment than to make him incapable of anything else? One variation on this theory is that he was once a minor god who showed disrespect to the greater gods and was banished to the mortal world for his hubris.
Others find it more likely that he is but a strange alchemist whose forays into the understanding of his crystal art led to a mutation of his physical form. Perhaps, these say, he was always so devoted to his craft that the compounds he constantly works with destroyed his ability to speak and then twisted his mind so that he can no longer connect with other men.
There are those who believe he is a bastard child of some giant race mixed with human blood. The theory goes that a bizarre combination of human curiosity and giant affinity for stone gave him a unique perspective on mineral life but no way to understand either his giant or human sides. Others say that rather than being a mix of giant and human, he is actually a demigod, and they spout off half-a-dozen gods whose essence could mix with humanity to produce such a creature.
Speculation remains limited to Ulanta, as few in the outside world have any notion of Wipp. The local merchants are well aware of what a goldmine they have in him. When they carry his wares to trade with the wider world, they make up tales of exotic merchants from far away and bemoan the high cost of purchasing these phenomenal works of art.
I'm going to start this out by saying that this is a solid sub, it checks off all of the right boxes: the humble origin, the call, the regret, the weird past adventure and potential enemy, and all that jazz; however, on finishing it I didn't really feel anything but "Meh" about her. Unfortunately for the constructive criticism department I can't actually pinpoint exactly why I feel this way about it, so I'm leaving you with some plot hooks instead... :/
Potential Plot Hooks:
Haukagaron survived his jaunt to the nether realms, and succeeded in clawing his way out, now he's hunting for Paravella and she hires the PC's to either protect her from Undead Ninja Assassins, or she heard about his escape and hires the PC's to pre-emptively end him.
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An old enemy of hers resurfaces, her dyes drove the Elven Artiste Laffsleafpink out of business and he's spent the past decades working on a dye that would put her to shame. You can imagine how angry he was when he found that she had the gall to switch job fields before he could show her her rightful place. So, like any logical humanoid, he hires a group of overpowered hitmen.
Different than I recall the conversation but it is still a unique and scary item to be had. An interesting plot, should the players try to infiltrate a new cult using this and see it work, how then would they react to seeing someone they know on its grill? A mad dash to save them and a large fight ensues in the midst of a few dozen cultist. Fun times.
I've always been fascinated with the idea, almost universal in primitive cultures, that the consumption flesh is a means of power. This is an excellent example of how to take such a belief and turn it into something even more awesome.
Besides that, this is just some plain ol' good writing. Considering the title and subject, this post could have been a lot sillier (not that that would necessarily be a bad thing,) but despite being slightly more serious and usable, it's still pretty danged funny, and that opening prose was a good read.
Unique and refreshing, something I can see useful in my next Shadowrun campaign. For a more oriental/chi based approach one coudl also have it impart a certain amount of feminime/masculine chi energy to the consumer as well depending on the gender, and mental disipline of the victim.
Perhaps inheriting (temporarily) a small amount of skill the entree possessed in life would add another layer of use and appeal to the grill as well, beyond simple attribute improvement? (Of course to glean skill one may need to consume the prepared body parts used in performing said skill, biceps/pecs for swordmanship or blacksmithing, fingers for lockpcking, the tongue for spell weaving, etc..)