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ID: 4441


October 11, 2007, 6:36 pm

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The Barbed Arms


As the small group of mercenaries settled down for the night, they failed to notice that some small pieces of barbed wire sticking out of the ground nearby were moving like tentacles.Until it was too late and they woke to feel it clutched around their throats and squeezing hard. As their blood spilled upon the ground the Barbed Arms had claimed yet more victims.

Full Description
Many weird and dangerous spirits haunt The Field of 10,000 Skulls and one of the most unusual is the Barbed Arms. Many fortifications were set up at various times upon that accursed field and eventually barbed wire was invented and many lost their lives impaled upon it. Eventually when enough blood had soaked the wire, when a patch of it was hit by one two many random spells the multiple souls of those who had died on it possessed a large section and animated it.

The wire pulled loose and dug deeply into the earth, moving through it like worms and coming out without warning to bind and strangle individual soldiers. Because of the way it was formed it acquired a hatred of soldiers and mercenaries and decided to kill as many as it could until there was peace in the valley.

Over time it acquired a better way of killing, staying underground and slowly, magically, affecting the minds of the soldiers and mercenaries that were its favoured prey. First it would wake them screaming from their slumbers with terrifying dreams of bloodshed and death.

Then when they were almost too tired to stand it would reach into their minds and turn them against each other, bringing up quarrels that already existed and magnifying them to an unhealthy degree until those affected turn on and kill each other, and then it would attack and kill any survivors. It will not kill babies or children or the very old, but anybody else it finds, certainly with weapons, it tends to think of as a target and it is very hard to convince it otherwise.

Additional Information

If someone who was armed did somehow manage to convince the Barbed Arms that he was not one of those it hated, at the very least it would want to take and destroy his or her weapon.

The Barbed Arms is devilishly difficult to kill. To do so, one must cut it to pieces with a sharp edged weapon, as blunt weapons will not affect it. Magical weapons will obviously do more damage. Should enough of it be broken into small trembling pieces, what is left will go underground out of reach and crawl away, where it magically heals and reforms itself over a period of a few days. If a cleric were to find a way to placate the spirits inside it, and open a way to the afterlife for them, then the spirits would leave it and all that would be left would be a large, partly underground, mass of barbed wire.

It cannot leave the Valley, kept there by the same unearthly force that keeps the other spirits confined within.

OOC-If a GM was playing a game set in World War One or indeed World War Two, this would make a worthy opponent. I got the idea from a film called "Deathwatch." To simulate it’s mental attack all the affected PCs should take a sanity roll and any who fail it will be driven crazy and attack their friends. An observant PC may see it watching in ambush as to *see* it must have pieces of it above the surface and he or she may see it twitching when there is no wind.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Maggot
October 12, 2007, 1:37
This is good stuff! Just the sort of thing that might want to make your typical ''hack and slash'' adventurer reconsider the old wisdom that a good blade is always useful wherever he may go.
Voted Scrasamax
October 12, 2007, 3:27
Great movie! Andy Serkis as a demented British infantryman, brilliant!

I wanted to do something with the animate barbed wire from that movie, but never could come around to doing it. Thanks for a good sub Cheka.
Voted valadaar
October 12, 2007, 8:41
As has been said - nice sub Cheka!

Now to dig out my Tank Golem.... :P
Voted Murometz
October 12, 2007, 10:56
Ahhhh, Deathwatch. Great Flick! Anyone who likes WWI with a supernatural bent, should see it. One of StrolenCon's viewing pleasures.

Nice idea here Cheka!
Voted manfred
October 12, 2007, 14:16
Now this is how the movie was called. I liked that, and I certainly like this creature.

There is of course another way to kill the creature - by literally taking it apart, disentangling every single knot of the barbed wire - but then it's probably safer to just get a priest and hope for the best...
Voted Argus
August 17, 2009, 2:57
Used a modified version of this one in a Shadowrun game. Thanks for the awesome idea.
July 27, 2011, 14:59

I like the fear factor of this particular 'creature' though I am not sure the sort of psychological aspect makes much sense it gives it a neat alternative to shredding people alive. 


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