Thanik could barely contain his excitement when he saw the old man leading the mule out back to the stable of the inn.
His order had finally arrived!
Rushing to the peddler, Thanik helped the old man release the wooden crate from the mule’s back. No coin was exchanged - the payment had been made long before the crate made it’s journey.
The crate was heavy, but Thanik’s brawn was up to the task. He carried it into the Inn, drew his dagger and set about opening it. And now, thought Thanik happily, my followers brawn will be also!
The old man led his mule away, and then looked back at the departing Thanik, a grim smile briefly crossing his face.
Later that night, in the common room of the abandoned inn, a large group of assorted ruffians were gathered. In the center of the group, standing on a heavy oak table, Thanik was speaking, almost shouting to the assembled group. At his feet was the open crate, filled with small bottles of nearly pitch-black liquid.
“Tonight the night is ours my friends! Drink up and feel the power, for tonight we will seize the streets for our own! I have brought the elixir of strength I promised you and we shall use this to crush our enemies!”
Each of the bravos present took their vial and drank. At once the room was filled with the sounds of gagging and choking, for the contents were truly vile. The sounds soon changed and the inn was filled with the sounds of leather creaking and seams bursting, as muscles swelled and grew dramatically. Finally there came shouts of fury and rage as the mob began charging outside, into what would be a very bloody night…
Full Item Description
A thick liquid of varying colors, but always of hideous aspect. It has a copper smell interwoven with all manner of foul organic smells as well as that of brimstone. It is too expensive to be used simply as a trap, so usually no effort is made to conceal it’s nature. Often the bottle bares signficant infernal styings - demon heads molded into the glass, etc.
Early on his career, while still studying at the Arcane College, an incident involving the summoning of demons resulted in the demise of many of Hachnar’s instructors and not a few of his classmates. Somewhat shaken by their fate (he is not a very empathetic human being), he was also impressed at the power of the Demons. He would remember this later when he started his own Alchemical practice.
Seeking to capture the raw power of the Demons and making it available to his customers, he began his research. His first forays into development where very dangerous affairs, as he would summon demons to capture them and extract their blood. Sometimes, it was not just the demon whose blood was shed. Later on, he developed the Venom of Staying , one of Hachnars Blade Venoms to allow others to obtain Demon carcasses for him.
Eventually he found a formula which stabilized the blood for an indefinite period and would not prove immediately toxic to the user.
Demon Blood when imbibed has a number of effects, both beneficial and malevolent. The magnitude of the effects is proportionate to the strength of the demon from which the blood is obtained.
1. Subject’s strength is greatly enhanced, perhaps to supernatural levels.
2. Resistance to magic is boosted.
3. Resistance to pain is increased.
4. All positive emotions are suppressed.
5. All negative emotions are greatly increased.
6. In the case of exceptionally stupid source Demons, the user’s mental attributes would be reduced as well.
Should there be a great disparity between the power level of the source Demon and the subject, the effects will vary.
If the subject is stronger, the effects are diminished. If the Demon is stronger, there is a chance that the effects become permanent.
Alternately, a Demon Blood user could obtain additional traits, depending on the nature of the source demon.
The raw materials for this potion is very difficult to obtain if Demons dissipate into vapor on death (obviously this depends on your campaign world). Some means of capturing the Demons (or use of the aforementioned Hachnar’s Blade Venom) is required.
As a result, this potion should be very rare and never randomly distributed. The level of effect I have deliberately left vague to provide a wide range of options.
Since the power level of individual demons varies greatly, it is natural that this potion’s power to vary as well.
Although very useful in itself, the Demon Blood can be used as an ingredient in other substances, ritual components and other purposes. It can add Demonic attributes to created substances and can be generally used in the same place as Sulfur and/or Iron in formula.
Another odd property is that it will actually corrupt gold (or silver) if it touches it. The blood will appear to soak into it and disappear.
No visible changes to the metal occur. The effected metal will tend to magnify dark emotions in those who touch it, but never overtly. Nothing save divine-inspired fire will purify the metal again.
Demon’s blood can be diluted with other liquids, reducing it’s effectiveness, but allowing more doses to be created.
Depending upon the substance used to adulterate it, the effectiveness will vary. The effect is that 1 part of the substance will act as a greater number of parts of liquid.
Normally, a dose is 4 oz of liquid.
Substance - Multiplier
Water,wine, spirits,etc - 4
Animal Blood - 3
Unholy Water - 2
Human Blood - 1
For example, 1 Dose of Demon’s Blood diluted with an equal amount of water will actually be the same as 1 part Demons blood and 4 parts other, resulting in a 20% effective concentration. Human blood is the best substance to mix, as it dilutes 1:1.
Apart from it’s possible inclusion as a Treasure item (albeit a dangerous one), Demon’s Blood could be used in a campaign in a number of ways:
Demon’s blood is being used by Gladiators to enhance their success (and survival) against non-users. It is the ‘steroid’ of the day and it’s use is officially illegal, but unofficially it is ignored. The matches are more violent and bloody then before, but few are complaining. What is not known is that the best Gladiators who are using it are starting to change and may start to take their bloodletting outside of the workplace…
As described in the intro story, the PC’s may be asked to investigate after a horrible riot where all acts of depravity had occurred. They will need to piece together what happened, and then track down the source of the Blood before it happens again.
The Lord’s Feast
A feast is being held to celebrate a recently signed treaty ending an especially bloody war. Both sides are represented at the feast. A third party which had profited from the strife seeks to undo the treaty, and so has managed to contaminate the wine with a good quantity of the Blood. Now, due to the level of dilution, it would take a lot of wine to be drank for the effects to take, but then again, the nobles are not known for moderation. At some point, enough of the feasters will have imbibed enough that combined with the alcohol, chaos is sure to ensue.
The exact role of the PC’s in this situation is up to the GM. They may even be in the employ of the third party.