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Comments: 9
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Rating: 4.6667
Condition: Normal
ID: 844


December 10, 2005, 6:21 pm

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The Piecewise Librarian


A disembodied hand enthralled by an evil wizard to fetch books for him.


A disembodied hand with an ear grafted onto its back. It understands when spoken too, and reads braille. It is surprisingly agile and vicious in battle (strangulation attacks).


The evil wizard Manola is too haughty to fetch his own books. That’s why he created the piecewise librarian cantrip. Now he has a disembodied hand which seeks out his books for him. His books’ spines have been written in braille specifically for the purpose. When he wants a book he summons the hand and tells it which book to fetch (the hand has an ear grafted onto its back so that it can hear his commands). The poor enslaved hand must then clamber through the most impenetrable shelf-passes and retrieve the requested tome. Its only guide is the braille spines and its extensive knowledge and memory of where the books are. The piecewise librarian can write (it’s a hand) but not very neatly (it can’t hold the paper still). It’s more intelligent than Manola thinks, and it’s deeply unhappy with its life.

So when a group of PCs come along to confront Manola for one of his misdemeanours the hand will endeavour to have itself rescued. This could of course be misinterpreted by narrow-minded PCs as an attack. Or if it conceals itself in the PCS’ luggage then it could be in for a nasty surprise when they find it (“What kind of sick joke is this?” ).

This poor misunderstood hand only wants to be friends.

Roleplaying Notes:

The Piecewise Librarian is basically a friendly kind of chap but is prone to periods of depression in which it looks particularly pathetic and sad. Although the gender is specified above as “Male” it is actually indeterminate (obviously).

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

January 5, 2003, 23:43
A particually tactile hand would be able to feel the letters indented on the spines. Brail may not be neccesary. Since the person whose hand was used had to be able to read in life, they were probally well to do and possibally some sort of royalty.

Another twist could be that a person in perfectly capable of surviving the loss of a hand and an ear, but will likely be a bit miffed by whoever took them. Perhaps the one-handed man with the scarred face has an alterior motive for telling them Manola's secrets. After all, he may have an "ear" for the wizard's private life.
January 7, 2003, 4:27
A nice end for any evil wizard, is to break the control of his slave(s) and let him (them) do the dirty work. It could be well the hand of some former enemy, still remembering something from his living days. Say the villain promised to kill all his family and friends. As he kidnapped the last child, heroes jumped in. Manola should be quite powerful, and after wrecking them somewhat he decides to kill the child, and gets attacked by the hand. Depending on the heroes' condition, it could strangle him, or only delay for a short while.
January 25, 2003, 22:26
Hmmm....Perhaps Manola could die and the hand would be left alone without the ability to get out (Unless it can jump, which, I suspect, it can't) and wallowing in it's own pity.
Barbarian Horde
November 10, 2003, 17:30
I like the braille idea but it seems unnessary. If the hand can see where its going, would it not also know what's on the spines?
Obsidian Shadow
April 12, 2004, 23:05
It can't see where it's going, it uses it's memory to locate books.
Voted hylandpad
October 19, 2011, 10:00

I really like this hand. Sad, indentured and friendless, at the whim of every beck and call of a maniacle sorcerer, waiting to be rescued, A veritable disembodied palm of a damsel in distress!

Voted olontur
December 1, 2011, 9:03

+.5 for the personality the Hand has, a very nice twist to the usual happy-natured Adam's Family hand clone.

I only have a problem with the Hand dragging the big old tomes when it can't hold down paper to write... Then again, it's magic!



Voted valadaar
May 17, 2016, 11:53
Oooh, I like this one. Yes, reminds me of Adams family, but its well done.

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