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Rating: 4.35
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ID: 157

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April 2, 2006, 1:57 pm

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A Scarlet Thirst

By:

Everyone hungers ... and must be fed. But what if the tastes suddenly change?

Thimunai, a godling of minor power, more of a spirit, with only one temple and three priests, was the patron deity of the mountain hamlet of Harvan. The locals revered her with song and prayer, offerings of honey and milk, and once a year, on the winter soltice, a piglet. Thimunai loved her mountain valley, and let pure springs bubble forth from the mountains, blessed the terraced fields and the children that were born, and gifted everyone with a small boon when he was born - such as a musical talent, a knack for understanding feelings of others, or the ability to warm loved ones gathered around you in the cold winter nights when the blizzard howled, its teeth ripping into anyone caught outside.

One such winter, when the cold was such that trees splintered and deer froze in the midst of a stride, the ogres came down from the mountains, driven out by the snows, hungry and desperate. And they found the village.
Screams echoed through the night as doors were smashed in, the villagers dragged out to be devoured on the spot or to be saved for a later treat. The men of the hamlet were certainly no weaklings, but, armed with but tools, no match for the rampaging beasts. The villagers despaired, and Thimunai cried tears of despair and terror, for she was powerless to stop the killing.
Then, it happened. A farmer, seeing his daughters being taken away, and surrounded by the ogres, thrust his kitchen knife into his chest, screaming at the top of his lungs: “With my free will, and without hesitation, I give my life to you, Thimunai, my soul, my spirit, my very existence I dissolve into thee, my lady. Save our people!”
Thimunai felt a surge unlike anything she ever felt before, filled with all the power the gods must have invested into the creation of a human soul, which, willingly undone, once and forever, seeped into her.
The villagers stood amazed as the leader of the ogres burst into flame, and fell to the ground, charred, as if he has touched the sun. And Thimunai manifested, not as the flower-clad girl a stray woodsman might see dancing in the woods, but a winged embodiment of fury, eyes radiant, a trail of solar flame behind her, a blade of leaping sunfire held up high. And she lashed out, at all those who dared to wrong her people, searing the raider one by one, chasing them through the waist-high snow and beheading them, and ... enjoying the chase, enjoying the feeling of power over life and death…

And SHE thought.

The villagers, rejoiced at their unexpected salvation, thanked in prayer, and cuddled up in their homes to wait for spring.

And SHE thought.

When the rays of sun restored to its glory finally melted the snow, the villagers thanked their patron again, and ... several youngsters fell down in seizures, their voices merged into one, that calledtho the shocked gathering: “I saved you, and it is I, your lady, who will be praised as the farmer praised me. Willingly. Heed my words, and prosper. Fail to worship me thus, and I may not be able to save you again.”
The people were befuddled and did not know what to do, until a small girl spoke: “Mother, father, do not fear, for I will go. Take me, lady, to protect my parents and all nice people here.” And she leapt into a crevice, her body breaking on the rocks deep below.
One of the priests, shocked by this and shaken to the core, left the village right then. The other two remained.

That summer, a contingent of soldiers from the town of Hyrkul, in the foothills of the mountains, came, following a prospector, and meant to enslave the farmers to mine a newly discovered gold vein. None of them lived to see the sunset, their burned remains fertilized the soil, their blood made the streams run red, and their screams filled the air. And Thimunai liked it.
A few weeks later, the town of Hyrkul faced a truly strange sight - a sole priest, walking up to the gate, and demanding the unconditional surrender and the worshipping of an unknown god. The town council came, and when they heard the old man’s demands, they laughed and ordered him beaten and chased out of town. The first one who lifted his hand against the priest was consumed with flame so hot that it was white. The second one as well, and then, the whole ground under the councilmen melt into a puddle of fire, and they burnt like bacon in a pan, their voices but the squealing of a slaughtered pig, their eyes bubbling and flowing from their sockets.
No one else dared to resist.

This was two years ago, and two other towns fell. The children born started to recieve different gift as well - great resilience or strength, or the lack of a need to sleep. Many of them seem to have magical talent… and Thimunai hungers.

How could the players get involved? And what could they do?
*One possibility is that the priest who left before it all started wants them to go and reson with his goddess, as she will not listen to him for abandoning her.
*The PCs could be members of the new faith, assigned missions by the priesthood, and facing moral dilemmas.
*They could come from the outside, trying to defeat the new power (good luck, then :D)
*They could be priests of a church that was worshipped in the valleys before this all started.

It is hard to persuade someone to sacrifice himself willingly, at least in the beginning stages the religion is in - the next generation would take it matter-of-factly though. Only a sicere sacrifice will feed Thimunai the way she has begun to like it.

The godling does not have the kind of power the major ones have, but she does not have to watch that many worshippers and her power is focused in one place, not spead all over the lands, and she is not (yet) subject to many of the laws the major gods must oblige to.
What does prevent one of the major deitites from squishing her? Perhaps one of the aforementioned laws, or maybe another god is amused by her, and keeps the others from interfering?



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Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

CaptainPenguin
June 28, 2004, 10:21
0xp
Interesting...
It would be best set in a frontier place, where most political power is centered in small towns.
I like it! Perfect for the Armorican Kingdoms.

4/5.
Shadoweagle
June 28, 2004, 19:22
0xp
Very nice! I enjoyed every word of it! 5/5!
MoonHunter
June 28, 2004, 23:57
0xp
Unsuspecting travellers will encounter this place. It seems so nice and peaceful. Little to they know it is the village of the dammed.
Strolen
June 30, 2004, 4:30
0xp
Yikes.

Wonder if a somewhat neighboring village has the same sort of thing. Certainly even the godlings mingle and when others find out the power that this one does...

Do they try it for themselves demanding it of their worshippers?

Or maybe the decide that this godling needs to be stopped, and hence the heroes are given certain powers that play to the godlings weakness. There must be some kind of weakness, there always is. :)

Good one!
Krishna
July 29, 2004, 7:26
0xp
I think that our GM (EchoMirage)is one of the best. I just cant wait till next session........
Ancient Gamer
November 24, 2004, 18:50
0xp
Yep, he is skilled alright!
And also the only GM at Strolen's with his own fanclub (You and Exodus) =)
EchoMirage
November 25, 2004, 3:39
0xp
That comes from telling you players about a page you frequently visit. "Whatcha lookin at, man?" "Strolen's, an RPG discussion forum." "Ey, dat's neat, I wanna too." Here you go. Now I can't post anything I intend to use :(
Barbarian Horde
November 25, 2004, 8:07
0xp
I have that problem too! I don't dare post anything here anymore after a player looked over my shoulder and discovered my nickname. Damn that Google!

I vote for a "privileged" section in the new Citadel, simply because old time users increasingly is threatened by player discovery!
* (for GMs with a certain number of posts, and with a expiration date on which the submission is transfered to the open section)
MoonHunter
November 25, 2004, 8:48
0xp
Actually, it is one of the reasons I tend to post things with multiple options. So they might know generally what is going on, but they never know exactly what was going on.

I also cheat. I post my stuff up after it has been dealt with by players. (Now if I could just ressurect by Fantasy Game, as nobody wants me to post up Buffy the Vampire Slayer material.
Voted Murometz
March 24, 2006, 14:51
Only voted
EchoMirage
April 2, 2006, 13:57
0xp
Updated: re-cathegorized
Murometz
July 23, 2006, 13:39
0xp
Well-named, intriguing and very Echo-esque!~
Voted Drackler
November 14, 2006, 17:43
0xp
Masterfully done
Voted angryscotsman93
January 12, 2009, 19:19
0xp
Man, if such a goddess and place existed, we'd all be SCREWED. Five outta five, good job! Say, you said this is a MINOR deity, right? Well, would it be possible for a group of incredibly powerful mages to, well, KILL Thimunai? I mean, I'd imagine that they could at least lock up her powers so she cuts it out with the rampaging.
angryscotsman93
March 10, 2009, 22:03
0xp
Hmmm... I think this is just the right kinda challenge for my newest hero, John "Hellwind" Higgins! A.K.A., the Chaplain of the Flask, Most Holy Advisor of the Tavern-Keep, or in one particular inn, That Bastard who Comes in and Drinks all Me Liquor! Simply put, he's a rather jolly (and equally belligerent) war-priest whose primary past-time is- you guessed it- drinking. Either way, he pays homage to many deities of both war and of the drink, so just imagine his fully-justified sense of outrage when he finds out that the town where his favorite tavern is located is being assaulted by emissaries from a strange new faith that not only demands worship of only THEIR god but also practices human sacrifice , a practice that he considers revolting?

He's not pleased, obviously. So, he decides to challenge their representatives to a "friendly debate"about the "finer points of worship," only to be nearly slain by the power of their blood-gorged deity! Enraged by this god, whose practices he considers completely blasphemous, he calls upon the power of every god he worships, be it in battle or in the pub (or both: he takes bar fights very seriously), to help him crush this cruel young newcomer, and her disreputable source of power.

What a battle royale!
Voted Dossta
September 20, 2011, 15:50
5xp

I like this.  Thimunai is a deity who is hard to hate if you know her backstory, which makes her a compelling villain.  I certainly hope that she can be reasoned with.  Perhaps if she were to receive a willing sacrifice of a different sort, something that would make her question her tastes or even recoil in horror . . .

EchoMirage
September 20, 2011, 16:12
0xp
I very much prefer antagonists which have a reason for doing what they do. One of my players once told me: "I find it hillarious that your bad guys are more reasonable than our supposed allies."
Which had of course nothing to do with the fact that the party were morally gray, with white and black blotches.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: ephemeralstability

THE GNOMES OF UDNALOR: Part II

Having left the hush of the upper halls, and crossed the depths of the Braeth (an underground river, which is not all that deep because bear in mind we're talking about gnomes here), you would find yourself in Wattling Street, the main road through Udnalor. It's actually a long, well-worn passageway which opens out eventually into the City Centre. The gnome-buildings branch off Wattling Street as small burrows or caverns with boulder-blocked doorways for privacy. You can find armourers and smiths (though their armour tends to be on the small side for humans to buy) and many other types of trader.

There are many streets, ginnels and cooies which run off Wattling Street, the most famous probably being Smell Street, the domain of the infamous gnomish alchemists, the eponymous smell being very distinctive: the stench of cooking fungus, the aroma of subterranean spices, the pungent reek of rotting carcasses (used in some of the more notorious experiments). An encounter with an alchemist can really be spiced up (excuse the pun) if you have a well-stocked herb cupboard, and actually make up the potions, elixirs and draughts as they are ordered by characters.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | May 4, 2002 | View | UpVote 0xp


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