City/ Ruin
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ID: 4509


August 28, 2009, 8:25 am

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Cheka Man

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Orbats - The eyes in the sky


The airborne spies of the Bloated Moon


The Orbats are lifeforms created by The Bloated Moon, sorceress of Locastus, to act as her spies and servants. They are spun out of the marriage of the stuff of dreams that their mistress taps from the Well of Dreams (a gateway into the spirit world), and the coarse, mundane matter of the material world.

These hybrid entities take the form of a flying eyeball attached to a slim, dark snake´s body and with a pair of delicate, leathery wing sprouting from its back. The whole creature weighs less than a pound and has a wingspan of no more than 2 feet.


The quasi-natural material woven into their bodies gives them a slight resistance towards material concerns such as gravity, magic or the elements. The same dreamstuff also reduces the need for nutrient intake. The only time one can see them "feed" is when they circle the Moon´s barrow in great flocks to bask in the emanations from the Well of Dreams, far beneath the ground.

Orbats are hatched by the dozen in the incubation crèches in the catacombs beneath the Moon´s hilltop lair. They have a lifespan of 8-10 months before their delicate dreamstuff start to unravel by exposure to the material world.

Orbats communicates via a primitive form of telepathy, the residue of which can be felt like the ghost of an unpleasant memory. They also communicate directly (and on a much larger bandwidth) with their mistress - they are her eyes in the city.

The people of Locastus see them as pests, much like the pigeons of another city, but dare do nothing about them, for fear of antagonizing the Moon.


The only place in the world where these strange critters can be found is Locastus, City of Mirrors. The founders of the city quickly came into contact with these creatures, and as the City grew, so did its Orbat population. They infest the rooftops of the City, roost in its many ivy-choked towers and circle high over its streets. When something particularly interesting (such as a riot) happens, great flocks of curious Orbats congregate to enjoy the show from eaves, treetops and the ever-present ivy, looking on with their unnerving, single-eyed stare.


The Orbat is a physically weak creature, and prefer to avoid any physical confrontation by using its supernatural speed and agility. If cornered, it can release all its stored biothaumaturgic charge in one burst. The resultant spark of energy is too weak to do actual harm, but stings enough to drive, for example, a hungry dog away.

If an Orbat is severely damaged, the dream-substance filaments that holds it together will instantly dissipate, leaving behind only a puff of smoke and a handful of essential salts.

Roleplaying Notes

The Orbats, being basically inoffensive (although irritating and immensely curious) creatures, make poor opponents. They can be put to better use as a prop to set the atmosphere or as a minor nuisance to the PC´s. Let the PC´s be followed by a growing flock of these curious critters and watch them get more and more nervous. Or let one of the PC´s get zapped by an Orbat just for comic relief.

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Comments ( 13 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

November 2, 2007, 15:08
OK, this is my take on the whole "flying eyeball" cliché. Enjoy! /David
Voted valadaar
November 2, 2007, 15:26
I like it a lot David! And it is not often I learn a new word - first time I saw crèches.
November 2, 2007, 15:28
Orb-Bats...Orbats..Get it? Get it?....:-)
Voted Cheka Man
November 2, 2007, 18:09
*wants one as a pet*
Voted Scrasamax
November 3, 2007, 3:20
nicely done, the image of an orbat zapping a street dog has left me with a smile.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
November 6, 2007, 10:11
The flying eyes greatly remind me of the silly old arcade games. But still, this is a great take on just that. It shows that there is actually some hope for many of those clishes. Good job.
Voted MoonHunter
November 12, 2007, 15:41
Nice piece of color ecology for the realm. They help set the mood and provide a way to annoy players at the same time. A double bonus for a GM.

Liking to the Dreamkin is nice.
Michael Jotne Slayer
November 13, 2007, 10:27
I can't see the picture you posted unless I click on it.. Did you draw it?
November 13, 2007, 11:19
Yeah, I know...something with the gallery, I guess...I´ll try to fix it. The pic is drawn by my friend Johanna, who is a really talented artist. Hopefully, I´ll be able to post more of her stuff soon. /David
Michael Jotne Slayer
November 14, 2007, 9:38
Hope you get it working soon.
Voted Strolen
April 21, 2008, 22:16
I made the picture a thumb so it would show up. Not sure why the full size wouldn't. Sorry about that.

Finally able to use something esle than crows/birds as the evil magicians scouts. :)

Don't antagonize the Moon! ;)
April 22, 2008, 4:34
Wheee...! Nice! Thanks, Strolen!
Voted Murometz
October 21, 2010, 20:40

Pic no worky again!


Like everything about them except their names. :)


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Hu's Iron Ball

       By: Murometz

Hu was an ambassador of the Seventh Emperor of the Reng Dynasty. Throughout his life he traveled across many miles and lands to entreaty with neighboring kingdoms and the semi-savages who dwelled amidst the Metal Mountains.

During one such diplomatic mission, Hu was gifted a small iron marble as a gesture, by a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe. Little else is known of Hu, but that marble was lost and is now somewhere out there for someone to find.

A tiny, shiny sphere, the marble has several properties. First and foremost it is a strong magnet, considerably stronger than its size and density would indicate.

Secondly, if thrown or rolled upon the ground and the command word is spoken, the iron ball will magically enlarge to either the size of an ogres's head or to that of a great globe, twelve feet in diameter. The rolling ball of either size will continue to roll or fly at the same relative speed it was when launched as a marble, and can thus cause great damage to anything in its path. The magnetic power of the ball will also magnify when enlarged.

Legends claim that the ball has been tossed from besieged castles upon attacking foes and rolled at marching armies in ages past. At the end of such rolls, the larger size globe has been known to not only crush soldiers underfoot, but to also "collect" many dozens of metallic weapons and bits of armor unto itself, appearing as an armored sphere, with swords and spears sticking out from it in all directions.

Owning this powerful marble has its drawbacks. Anyone carrying it on their person, will experience the iron ball's insidious effects after some time. The owner feels no worse for wear, but after two month's time they will suddenly awaken one morning to find that their hair has fallen out completely, their teeth loosened like baby's teeth ready to drop, and their fingernails simply shriveled and sliding off the fingers and toes. Perhaps unbeknownst to the owner at first, the iron ball also renders an owner sterile or barren by this time.

Regular clerical healing will not reverse this horrible malady. Only finding and beseeching a shaman of the Kiy-Kiy tribe to heal the iron ball's effects with their particular brand of magic, will work.

Hu's Iron Ball should be handled carefully by players and gms.

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