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21
What Price To Become Human Again?

What would you do, gentle reader, were you faced with my predicament? I was animate, I was returned to the world of the living, but I no longer drew breath. The Necromancer knew his work, I fault him not for my condition, but even he had severe limits upon his powers. He could tie my soul back into my body with threads strong enough to fend off the grasping reach of the great and terrible God-King Xbalanque, but he could not make rotting flesh whole again. Not on his own.

He made for me many tinctures, poultices, and salves to slow down the putrefaction of my physical corpus. I learned to dress in clothes, both long and baggy, which would cover the obvious signs of my death. I shied away from bright lights and crowds. I had never been highly social, yet now I found myself downright avoiding the slightest of contact. For who could I identify with, now that I had faced that most hellish of realms? It had turned me, twisted me into a mockery of my old self. I was free, yet I would ever be a prisoner within my own mind, my own memory.

I shall attempt to save you from excessive prattle over my misery. Suffice it to say that I felt an unbearable mix of piteous gratitude for my freedom, yet all around me existed naught but reminders of my state. And what could I do? I knew what awaited me should I ever relinquish my grasp upon this decaying sack of flesh and bone. No, I would rather face an aeon of this half life than go back to the torture chambers I had been saved from.

Affairs between my wife and I continued to unravel. She had saved me, yes, with her steel will against Franz's self interest. And she loved me still, of that I would never doubt. Yet we were forced to occupy separate rooms and my condition required constant care. The pleasures of the flesh were lost to me. Even food and drink had no flavor. I existed quite zombie-like in practice, though I had lost little of my mental faculties. The more time passed, the more we drifted apart.

My attempts to elicit help from Franz were in vain. He would not see me nor respond to my emails, and, somehow, I could never find his place again. Every road I drove upon led me to a cliff's edge or a flowing river. Only the Necromancer offered me assistance; I could tell he felt sympathy for my frustration yet could do naught beyond slowing the inevitable.

Thus it was, that when he appeared at my doorstep quite animated (forgive my pun) and gabbering about some sacred tree, I felt my hopes soaring for the first time since I felt the light upon my eyelids after being snatched wholly from Hell.

"I have found it!" He said, amidst his other babblings. "The Tree of the Many-Eyed One! It is your salvation, my friend. It is but one ingredient of nine, but that is it!"

"What are you talking about?" I asked, afraid to let my hopes rise too high. Though there was but one thing that would excite him so much that he would bring it to my attention personally.

"An agent of Franz. He found it. No, no... I shan't tell you his name. But it was he who unburied the book of Bone and Water. And there... I can't believe it's real... there, in plain text, did it mention nine sacred ingredients used to purify the flesh of the dead."

"You mean..."

"I mean, I now have access to the full ritual of Claiming. It was used in ancient times to allow a dying Necromancer to take up the younger body of a sacrificial victim. Yet, I am certain that I may modify it to bring back your body to full health and well-being. And with your soul still attached."

I was speechless. I stood there, mouth working, tears springing from the corners of my eyes.

"Whatever it takes," I said. "Send me to the furthest corners of the globe. I care not. I will be whole again."

In the back of my mind, I knew there must be a cost. Surely there was a cost, for there ever is with the supernatural. Yet I cared not. Whatever the price to regain my humanity, I would pay it. I would fight the hordes of a thousand Xbalanques, so long as the slimmest chance of success existed.
22
Greetings Traveler / Re: Hey hey
« Last post by MCoorlim on August 24, 2014, 09:12:53 PM »
Ha, yes, that's me. I hope you enjoy Spider. It was fun to write.
23
Citadel Tavern / Re: Cthulhu For President
« Last post by MysticMoon on August 24, 2014, 07:57:25 PM »
2016 is just around the corner...
24
Tomes and Illusions / Re: Links for Retroclones, clones, and other free games.
« Last post by MysticMoon on August 24, 2014, 07:28:39 PM »
Just received my copy of Warriors of the Red Planet a couple days ago and tore my way through it. Even though it's only a beta, I'm really impressed with it. It's flavorful, succinct, and has my imagination kicking in. As a fan of the Sword & Planet genre, I feel they did an excellent job of boiling the ideas down to their most basic level while tweaking the OD&D rules to perfectly fit the concept. While I may end up converting it to Mini Six for familiarity, I see no problem with the rules as presented.

There are 4 basic classes: Fighting Men (Fighter), Scoundrels (Thief), Mentalist (Psionicist), and Scientist (using weird science instead of magic). The book includes numerous powers and gadgets for the Mentalist and Scientist classes. A fifth class, Sorcerer of the Black Gate, is added in an appendix and presents an optional magic system. Swords & Wizardry is recommended for expanding the magic options if the Sorcery aspect is used, which I assume means the rulesets are very similar.

While most of the book seems geared toward the John Carter of Mars series, it also provides instruction on creating new planets from scratch, along with numerous random charts and tables to assist with this task. A lot of the advice centers around defining only basic details and filling in the rest during gameplay (a tactic I prefer).

All in all, a wonderfully creative retroclone that perfectly adapts the rules to fit its target genre.
25
Greetings Traveler / Re: Hey hey
« Last post by MysticMoon on August 24, 2014, 07:20:56 PM »
Considering his profile links there :)

Details, details :P
26
Greetings Traveler / Re: Hey hey
« Last post by valadaar on August 24, 2014, 07:05:49 PM »
Considering his profile links there :)
27
Greetings Traveler / Re: Hey hey
« Last post by MysticMoon on August 24, 2014, 06:35:14 PM »
This is you? http://www.mcoorlim.com/ If so, the steampunk looks intriguing. Checking out "And They Called Her Spider" next.

I still have the plastic d10's that came with Star Frontiers. Most of the crayon is still present, which is kind of amazing considering just how much I used those two dice before putting them up (I keep them in a plastic tube that also houses folded up character sheets from 20 years ago and my remaining death die where the skull is still visible).

In any case, it's good to have you here. Welcome aboard!
28
Citadel Tavern / Re: [THACO's Hammer] Splatbook updates
« Last post by DMRendclaw on August 24, 2014, 01:00:39 AM »
Splatbook 92 - Use Protection!

Join DMs Glen, Brian Cory and Fulongamer as they crank up the defense once more! After lamenting the fact that they have no emails to read, they turn to the matter at hand. First they discuss coming up with concepts for making a dungeon adventure, then they turn to analyzing the Abjuration spell sphere for priests. From there they dissect one of DM Cory's favorite monsters the Githyanki, and bring things to a close with a review of the excellent low-level adventure for Dungeon Magazine #26, The Inheritance.

You can find us on Osrgaming.org, d20radio.com, Facebook, iTunes, Planetadnd.com and Twitter (@thacoshammer), as well as our home page at http://www.thacoshammer.info. If you are looking for an RSS feed or a different way of downloading the show directly, the address is: http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/94174. You can also email the show at thacoshammer@gmail.com, and you can leave a voicemail for the show at 405-806-0555.

Rule Zero - Whole Cloth; Dungeon Design Part I: The concept
Magic Fingers - Abjuration Sphere (Priest)
Snipe Hunt - Githyanki
DM's Rag - The Inheritance (Dungeon #26)
29
Greetings Traveler / Re: Hey hey
« Last post by MCoorlim on August 23, 2014, 09:40:57 PM »
I certainly hope to come up with something witty and informative to share with you all.
30
Strolenati Guild / Re: I volunteer!
« Last post by Strolen on August 23, 2014, 01:46:40 PM »
Strolenati! Strolenati! Strolenati!

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