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ID: 4140


July 25, 2007, 11:58 am

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Geyser Ghosts


The rules against nighttime travel in the Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin are there for some very good reasons, not least the highly dangerous Geyser Ghosts.

Full Description
The Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin was not allways the reasonably well managed National Park that it is today. Nowdays there are boardwalks for people to enter it safely, and well-paid rangers who for the most part are able to keep people on said boardwalks for their own safety and the protection of the delicate and highly magical thermal features.Tresspassing still happens and a few people a year get thermal burns-a few of those die.

In the times of old there was no such protection. Wizards, witches, tourists and, sadly, vandals flocked to the area and were not allways as careful as they should be. Some fell into the hot springs, others tried to bath in them not knowing that the average tempreture of the geysers and pools was 180F, and a very few committed suicide.

Those who were scalded to death found their spirits were unable to leave the area and at first were inaudible and immaterial as well. As time went by they soaked up magic from the region and were able to materilize from dusk until dawn. By that time the vast majority of them were hugely resentful towards the living and wished either to kill them outright or to possess them, in the same manner that an Urn Beast can possess the unwary. Despite the warnings about them, they do on occasion manage to murder people or worse still possess them.

A Geyser Ghost from a distance and in dim light or fog appears human. It will call for help in a human voice, appearing to be struggling in one of the hot pools or the runoff around it. Those who are tricked into stepping off the boardwalk may well be tricked into stepping into unstable thermal ground that cracks under them and plunges them into boiling water, or pulled by the ghost into the spring when they take it’s hand.

A ghost can also attack directly by shedding it’s illusionary self and appearing in it’s true form. This is a humanoid shape of steam and water droplets with the face of who it was in life still visible in the steam. Many of the ghosts are female or children. It’s attacks are threefold.

It’s touch can badly scald exposed skin although armour or thick clothing will protect against this. It cannot hold items or weapons for more then a few seconds, but it can throw rocks, push or attempt to scare people so they fall into or flee into one of thee hot geysers or pools. Or it can touch the mouth of it’s victim and then possess him or her. People who are very strong-willed can resist this, although it leaves them feeling sick and sad for a time.

Weaker-willed people are possessed by the spirit, which will then leave the Basin and try and live their old lives again in the new body. The act of possession in the short term allways chaps the victim’s lips, so the first thing the ghost does in the new body once it leaves the Basin is try and find a balm to unchap the lips with. The victim’s spirit is forced to go along with no control over his or her own body.

A spirit can be removed by powerful magic (of the kind that most PCs do not possess) by killing the body, or by the waters taken from a certain geyser in the Park which has the effect of evicting unwanted spirits. If forced out outside the Basin it will vanish to the afterlife in a puff of steam, if inside the Basin one then has to find some way of dealing with it.

Normal weapons pass straight through it, and fists pass straight through it and get scalded as well. Magical weapons can cut it down and *kill* it’s steamy *body* rendering it helpless and harmless for many months until it can gather a new *body* from the steam of the geysers. Some spells hurt it, some pass straight through and others make it stronger.It should be noted that random spellcasting is strongly discouraged within the Basin as it can do damage to the area.

Additional Information

Rangers will generally be unsympathetic to the victims of Geyser Ghosts that survive and may fine them or worse for going off trail. The boardwalks themselves are magicly protected to keep all but the most powerful of the Geyser Ghosts away from them.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Ria Hawk
July 25, 2007, 21:38
Pretty nifty, ghosts made of boiling steam and atmospheric magic. It sort of strikes me as an odd cross between the ghosts of the bog in LotR and an evil radiator. I think it's really neat. The ghosts themselves are fairly standard in their behavior; I think the best part about them is their form. Neat little touch for a gameworld.
Voted Scrasamax
July 26, 2007, 3:44
I think Ria summed that up quite nicely. Personally I would not use the whole National Park idea since that is a rather modern reaction to mining and foresting.
Voted valadaar
July 26, 2007, 8:49
Mmmm. Evil Radiator!

Pretty good Cheka!
Voted manfred
July 26, 2007, 16:35
What they said. Another nice undead to play with!
Voted Murometz
July 27, 2007, 11:53
amusing, with grains of goodness! (boiling steam ghosts and the like)
Voted Maggot
August 2, 2007, 10:19
Only voted

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Order of the Moonbeard

       By: valadaar

Among the assortment of organized criminals who live in the great city, few command greater fear the Moonbeard Order.

They of course do not call themselves that, but have earned the moniker from their fashion of dying their large beards with lye to produce a distinctive crescent shape running from earlobe to earlobe. This is meant as a taunt for their enemies, for it clearly outlines their throats.

They also wear garb similar to the northern tribesman, carefully tooled leather and showing multiple, colourful glyphs.

They are feared due to the intense discipline that their group maintains, due to their origins as a warrior-sect.

They serve as paid thugs, enforcers and assassins within the city, with the client simply ordering a service from the organization, not hiring an individual. Apart from making the request and providing payment in full in advance, the order completes the assignment themselves.

Their order has many moles through the organizations of the city, and more than a couple of nobles. As such, no organized move has been made against them since their chief activity is directed against other members of the crime world. It is said that their services have been useful for those in power as well, further protecting them from persecution.

Their religion holds that their time in this world is vanishingly brief, and largely unimportant except as training for the Great Battle.

The order is very utilitarian with weapons choice - they simply use the tool needed for the occasion, though not without having trained extensively with it beforehand. Daggers, garrottes, swords, bows, battle axes, polearms, wagons, even siege engines have been used to carry out their contracts.

Encounter  ( City/ Ruin ) | January 24, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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