Well, i just thought of these two while travelling through Krakow, so I just had to add them! If you search Robert Lenkiewicz, you'll find that he embalmed one of his subject, and when the police came o take the body to be buried, they broke into his house only to find a coffin, out of which, when opened, lenkiewicz emerged like a jack-in-a-box. The portrait of the maddona and child by john the baptist is rumored to exist in reallity, in a small church/convent in the middle east (can't remember the name) where it is held out of sight in a vault as a holy relic. (nobody alive has ever set eyes on it.) Go to Comment
A poor quality 14th century portrait of a merchant
This rather mediocre arabic work hangs in a small coach-house now guest house in the Dordogne region of france. Being isolated and rather hard to get to, this guest house is mostly frequented by a small group of past middle age french couple, who have to time to take in the pituresque views surrounding its elevated position. Promotion is by word of mouth only.
The painting itself sits completely out of place in the rurally decorated guest house, and when questioned, the elderly widow Madamme Neulli will say that she formed an unexpected attachment to it when she found it in an old antique fair, several years back (her exact dating is actually "When I was a young fool").
Most scholars of ancient aramaic will immediately see that the text is completely out of place for the 14th century arabic style, being more accurately placed at the first century BC to the first century AD. A liberal translation of the words will yield "here lies the madonna and grown child". Although of course for every scholar, a slightly different translation will emerge. These clearly jar with the picture of a wealthy merchant, most likely an artist's early dabblings in the art. If scientifically dated, the age of the canvas and the paint will be significantly different, with the canvas being around 2000 years old, while the paint will be around 700 years old.
On the back of the canvas, faint initials can be faintly made out below a more modern arabic sinature: The Hebrew equivalent of J.B.S. and these are written in a clearly different hand than the newer less faint signature of the forgotten arabic artist.
But since no scholar of arabic art or aramaic has ever set eye on this painting, its true meaning has yet to be discovered...
note: Jochanan ben Sacharja is the name of St John the baptist.Go to Comment
Within the contested occult collection of the late Plymouth artist, Robert Lenkiewicz, lies another mummy, this time, not embalmed by the artist himself, but rather aquired through unknown means during his life. Even a lay observer will see this to be an ancient item, from the materials used, to the discolouration of the paints used to adorn the linen (highly unusual practise).
a small gold plaque on the chest is nailed straight through the body, with the nail bent at the back between the shoulderbblades to prevent the plaque from falling. On it is still engraved in hieroglyphs the simple warning:
"Damned beyond mortal words be those who lay eyes on the cursed firstborn of Amenhotep III"
The mummy itself lies within a simple wooden crate, packed with shreds of newspaper, with dates ranging form 1901 right to the 1950s. A modern manilla folder has been stapled to the lid of the crate, and contains X-rays with medical notes, although noticably missing ar the examiner's name and the date the notes were written. They explain some simple ailments that the mummified remain was likely to have suffered, a cleft palate, a dolichocephalic skull and slight scoliosis. The medical notes then become highly speculative, and reveal a great deal of scepticism on the part of the writer:
"Also notable is the enlarged and deformed nature of the sternum, with a large anterior protrusion. The nature of this deformation is far too regular to be tumourous in nature, and resembles a keeled avian sternum (...) also notable is the thickened and deformed shape of the scapulas, with a large posterior protrusion, and what seems to be a joint, although the rest of this hypothetical third set of limbs is missing. Clearly this must be the result of some extensive post-mortem modification, but since you have so vehemently refrained me from carefully disambalming this specimen, I cannot draw further conclusions at this time."
"Bibliotheca Lenkiewicziana": http://www.lenkiewicz.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=74&Itemid=55
"Robert Lenkiewicz, wikipedia": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lenkiewicz Go to Comment
This is an excellent all-around submission, hence the 5/5 vote, and the transition from demon to mortal to god is superbly described. If I had to poke one hole in this, I would ask what originally motivated a creature born of chaos to turn so far against his nature? Otherwise, it's great. Go to Comment
I love the idea, but unfortunately not, he started out as a demon, then became a god, worshipped by mortals. Complicated, I hope I managed to explain it ok. But his initial role would have been something quite close to it. He was the enforcer of demon contract, before diversifying into the mortal business, so to speak.
I must say, though: Your idea ROCKS!! You should definitely write it up. Go to Comment
I better explain that while I use the terms celestials and demons, they should not carry the D&D associations about chaos, law evil and good (I've never played D&D). A demon is a creature born of the demonic planes, while a celestial is a being born of the celestial planes.
Chaos and law are really choices in the demonic world, just as in ours. the fact that most demons are chaotic and unpredictable is due to their conscious choice, based on millenias of experience as to what works in the demonic realms. Since the environment is rather chaotic (swirling vortexes of eldricth energy, stroms of fiendfire, etc...) most demons become chaotic, but not all.
Surprisingly, evil and good are choices too, even for a demon. We must however take into account their perspective:
For example, demons feed on souls the same way wolves feed on deer. Are wolves evil? from the standpoint of the deer, they are, but WE, as humans, know better.
There are good demons and evil demons in the lower planes I describe (In the same way that there are good and bad human beings. But from the standpoint of farm animals destined to the slaughter, we're pretty much all evil), So from our standpoint, all demons look evil. Its a perspective thing.
Durmenthir's perspective changed when his soul was confined to his body and the connection to the demonic planes severed. so he stopped behaiving like a demon (soulmunching, painfeeding, etc...) but the respect for the laws was his choice. Go to Comment
You need to expand the RQ references. They are not genetic fantasy, which is good, but you need to add to these listings.. explaining things so others who are not fluent in the game setting can understand it. Without it, this is not a very helpful submission.
In truth it is a plot scroll, with each plot being a section of the scroll. That way we could comment on each "adventure" and keep the listing coherient.
The organization should be listed as an organization and is indeed seperate from this submission. It would of course be linked to the plot scroll.
As it is right now, people looking for this adventuer would never find it. As they would be searching for a plot... that is hidden in organizations.
So create the new plot scroll, and transfer most of this over to it... enhancing the text to explain the RQ elements... and edit this to be an explanation of the organization.
First thing to say is that I first noticed this on Peter Maranci's website about two years ago and I quite liked it then, I suspect for precisely the same reasons that you thought it worth including here in Strolens Citadel.
Furthermore, I agree entirely with your assertion that this would be a good method of creating a strong character group with good reasons for working together, and I have indeed been half-planning to run a campaign on this premise (half-planning because this has not yet come to fruition).
I would however add a few notes regarding the generalisation of the post.
The basic philosophy of this site is to avoid any system specific definitions and thus keep posts as general as possible.
Now this is something of a special case in that the original work is not your own, you are merely passing on something you feel is worthy of our attention and (I would assume) you do not wish to modify the original text.
While I fully agree with this position I would suggest in such instances an appendix to explain the system specific content to those members not familiar with the source system.
The Grey Company: Generalisation
The original Grey Company campaign outline was written by Peter Maranci for RuneQuest 3 and while much of the text is relatively non-specific there is one section (VIII. The Tax Demon Cometh that details the RQ3 stats for a specific character along with some of his combat tactics, much of which relies on the RQ3 mechanics for spirit interaction and magic.
Being an old RuneQuester myself (well mostly anyway) I personally have no problem interpreting this, but for the benefit of anybody out there who has not played RuneQuest a few definitions may be needed.
Unlike in some other systems, ghosts in RuneQuest are not necessarily evil undead monsters, rather they are simply the spirits (or possibly souls) of the dead and an integral part of the way the universe operates. Their moralities, abilities, skills and magical aptitudes are exactly the same as they where in life. The only difference is that they no longer have a physical form.
The text indicates that under some circumstances the ghost with attempt to possess a target. This is much as you would expect except that it involves a lengthy contest, known as spirit combat, in which the outcome is by no means certain. Without going into too much detail about this, be aware that your players should be able to defend themselves against this (you will need to define the mechanics of this to fit your own system).
The text also lists a matrix for a spell and a magic point store. This is simply the RQ term for a magical or enchanted item, in this case there are two of them. The Magic point store is simply a mana store (treat exactly as you would normally would) and the spell matrix is a stored spell (similar to a DnD Ring of Spell Storage)
Definition of Spells
The ghost, Harfel Sarfaxian, is listed as having access to a number of spells. This is perfectly normal in RQ so dont worry about it.
Most of these should be fairly self-explanatory but it will do no harm to list them here.
Firstly ignore the numbers after each spell; all you need to know is that these refer to the relative power (e.g. Heal 4 is more powerful than Heal 3).
Glue: Sticks two surfaces together for a short time (about 5 mins).
Befuddle: Confuses the target creature for a few minutes, during which time he/she is unable to make sense of the world. Only works on sentient creatures.
Disruption: Inflicts a small amount of physical damage on the target creature. Only works on living creatures.
Heal: Basic healing spell. Restores a few hit points to the target creature.
Mindspeech: Allows telepathic communication between the caster and the target creature.
Ignite: Allows the caster to light fires. Kind of the magical equivalent of striking a match.
Extinguish: The opposite of Ignite. Allows the caster to extinguish fires. (Since the ghost has only one point of this he could just about manage to extinguish a burning torch but not much else.)
Strength: Boosts the target creatures' physical strength a little.
Spirit Screen: Improves the target creatures' defence in spirit combat (thus by casting Spirit Screen on himself Harfel increases his chances of successfully possessing the PC).