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    Default [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    This was a request. The following Vestiges are spawned from fluff from my Mythos subsystem and mini-setting, though it contains no Mythos mechanics and should theoretically be usable as balanced Vestiges for any Binder.

    As a quick synopsis, Tharizdun is an old Gary-Gygax-made elder evil monstrosity that has been terrorizing D&D in assorted modules in different forms for decades. I've given him a bit more fleshing out and altered him for my own purposes. Here's what you need to know about my version: He was an old (pseudo-benevolent) deity that served as a mentor figure for many of the first gods. At that time, he was known as The Lodestar. He was corrupted by the Far Realm and became Tharizdun, an omnicidal darkness-and-madness themed juggernaut that attempted to destroy the multiverse. He was defeated and imprisoned. Then, to escape, his Far Realm corruption completely consumed him, as well as his prison, becoming a single living elemental prison known as the Elder Elemental Eye.

    After their respective transformations, small echoes of the Lodestar and Tharizdun were left behind, which collected at the edge of the cosmos and can be sought after by Binders as Vestiges, much like the shadow of Tenebrous that was left behind after Orcus' ascension, death, and resurrection.

    The Elder Elemental Eye, on the other hand, is still alive and well. From its hiding place in the Ethereal Plane, it sends alien communications back and forth from the Far Realm, passing the realm of Vestiges on the way. Aware of these creatures, and their relationship with some special mortals, it has left a shard of its essence, which it maintains a certain amount of connection to, for Binders to seek and make pacts with. The Elder Elemental Eye has a staggering number of subtle, long-term plans in place for the eventual destruction of the Great Wheel, and this is just the beginning stages of one such plan. A small effort that might or might not, one day, pay off.

    If you want to know more, we also have a discussion thread.


    The Lodestar, Who The God of Gods Called Master

    Special Requirement: The Lodestar's seal must be drawn on a flat surface, as normal, but centered around a raised object tall and flat enough that a medium-sized creature can seat themselves upon it, such as a chair or table, or even just a large stone or tree stump.

    Manifestation: The binder hears a weighty sigh, graveled by untold years of hardship and chain smoking. As the exhalation concludes, a lazy cloud of inky smoke wafts up from the seal, and as it passes, the silhouette of a man is left sitting on the seat provided to him. The man's exact features cannot be made out, for he appears as a traveler on a moonless night, illuminated solely by starlight such that only vague impressions may be drawn about him. Almost certainly, he is hugely muscular, and judging by his edges, it can be assumed that he is wearing the pelt of some mighty animal about his shoulders. One half of his skull is missing, but the other has an unkempt beard and clutches a smoking pipe between its remaining teeth. There is a large, sheathed sword at his belt. His words are most often short, blunt, and immediately to the point, and he is fond of telling people to respect their elders, and that he's "Too old for this ****."

    Sign: The right half of your face becomes scarred as if by fire, and perpetually weeps blood from its pores. Your right eye has the milky white appearance of blindness, but remains functional.

    Influence: The Lodestar demands that you drink some form of spirits, smoke, and take a nap at least once a day, each. A hot bath can be substituted for the nap.

    Granted Abilities: While bound to the Lodestar, you hear echoes of his advice in your mind, which allow you to hone your fighting style in the midst of combat.

    Good, But Try It This Way: When you miss a target with a melee attack, you may spend an immediate action to make a new melee attack against the same target. If you are currently receiving an Insight bonus to your Armor Class against your target's attacks via 'If You Don't Want To Die, Pay Attention' (see below), you gain a +2 insight bonus on this new attack roll. Once you have used this ability, you cannot do so again for 5 rounds.

    If You Don't Want To Die, Pay Attention: When a creature successfully hits and deals damage to you with a melee attack, you gain a +2 insight bonus to your Armor Class against melee attacks from that same target for the next 5 minutes.

    Stop Trying To Hit Me And Hit Me: When a creature successfully hits you with a melee attack, but rolls the minimum damage possible on their weapon's base damage dice (for example, rolling a 1 on the 1d8 for a Medium Longsword, or three 1s on the 3d6 for a Large Greatsword), if you are not flat-footed, their attack misses instead, as you fend off their feeble assault with a swift kick to the shins or an angry glare. If the attack would've been a critical hit, you only partially parry it - it still hits you, but isn't a critical hit.


    Tharizdun, The Anathema, The Undoer, He Who Waits

    Special Requirement: Tharizdun must be called forth in complete darkness, and his potential Binder must keep their eyes closed for the duration of the pact-making process.

    Manifestation: Tharizdun manifests in a spectrum not visible to mortal eyes, but his presence is felt as a gut-wrenching weight upon the psyche of all that stand in the midst of his seal. When he speaks, it is not in words, but in a passing of proximity to the Binder's mind that leaves them spasming on the floor in a glossolalial seizure. When the Binder's faculties finally return to him, the pact is already made and the presence is gone.

    Sign: A crooked, twisting spiral of oily black ash is painted across your face. This is a symbol often associated with Tharizdun, and therefore a Knowledge (Religion) check can discern the Binder's association with that being.

    Influence: The influence of Tharizdun makes you constantly fidget and twitch, glancing around at things that aren't there. You also occasionally lapse into psychotic, raving gibberish about nothing comprehensible - the harder you try to remain calm, the more the urge overtakes you. This can make stealth and negotiations difficult without denying his influence.

    Granted Abilities: While bound to dark Tharizdun, you enjoy many of the pleasures of being a shrieking, brain-addled meat puppet.

    "No, master, no! Please, I- ARRRGH-": At the beginning of your turn, you may choose to relinquish yourself to the darkness. Roll 1d4 to determine what happens. If you are Confused at the beginning of your turn, you must activate this ability.

    • (1) The bones of your arms creak, stretch, and break, temporarily elongating them and granting you an additional 5ft of Reach until the beginning of your next turn. This is very painful. You take 1 Dexterity damage. If this damage is prevented, this ability does not take effect.
    • (2) Your blood turns to a mild acid. You take 5 Acid damage. Until the beginning of your next turn, when a creature successfully strikes you in melee with a non-reach slashing or piercing weapon, they take 5 Acid damage from blood spatter. If they are wielding a weapon, their weapon takes the same damage.
    • (3) You produce an area of magical darkness with a 20ft radius, centered on your own space, that lasts until the beginning of your next turn. You become Confused until the beginning of your next turn, and all other creatures that are within the zone of darkness when it is produced must make a Will save or be rendered Confused for 1 round. All creatures Confused by this ability (including you) seem to ramble about the same terrible things that live in the dark.
    • (4) You are Dazed until the beginning of your next turn, assaulted by ghastly and unspeakable visions. You gain temporary hit points equal to your Binder level that last for up to 5 minutes. On your next turn, every time you hit with a melee weapon, you threaten a critical hit.


    "Witness Me!": As a full-round action, you may move up to your Speed. If you end your movement with a creature within your Reach, you may flail psychotically at them, screaming all the while. They must make a Reflex save. If they fail, you move into their space, provoking an attack of opportunity. If you survive the attack of opportunity, both of you are knocked prone, then you make a full-attack against them, then both of you are rendered Confused for 1 round. Once you have used this ability, you may not use it again for 5 rounds. You cannot use this ability if you do not show Tharizdun's sign.

    "Before there was anything, there was nothing. And before there was nothing, there were monsters.": When you make a Knowledge check to discern information about those foul and alien things that lurk beyond the multiverse, or their servants, you may choose to have a flash of insight that strikes you Blind for 1 round, and deals 1 point of damage to you as dark, pustulant blood pours forth from your eyes. You are considered trained in that skill for the check, and gain a +10 insight bonus to it.


    The Elder Elemental Eye

    Special Requirements: A small, open container made of wood or flesh must be placed at the center of The Elder Elemental Eye's seal. Inside, there must be some portion of air, water, earth, and fire. The box must then be closed at the moment the thing's manifestation is called forth.

    Manifestation: The Elder Elemental Eye cannot manifest, and therefore cannot be bound, unless a container is prepared as dictated in its 'Special Requirement'. Therefore, abilities that allow the Binder to circumvent a Vestige's Special Requirement simply cannot function when binding The Elder Elemental Eye. When it manifests, the prepared container levitates above the seal, its surface crawling as if alive. The surface then parts, revealing a large lidless eye with many irises, as if it had always been there. A will emanates from the eye, that is then contested by the Binder's own mental fortitude, which constitutes a pact and associated Binding Check. After the binding is done, the eye disappears and the container falls to the ground.

    Sign: One of your eyes swells to a great size, distending your skull to make way for its growth. Its iris shatters into many fragmented parts, and its dimensions make it impossible for you to close your eyelid around it. It squirms and swivels independently of your desires, though you feel as if its movements are not entirely random, unsettlingly. Sometimes it swivels around to look back into your skull; most Binders find it disconcerting to see the inside of their own eyesocket.

    Influence: The Elder Elemental Eye asks nothing of you that you are aware of.

    Granted Abilities: While bound to the Elder Elemental Eye, you have your very own Elder Elemental Eye.

    See: You have a continuous True Seeing effect, as the spell with a caster level equal to your Binder level, that emanates from the strange eye in your skull. You cannot use this ability if you do not show the Elder Elemental Eye's sign.

    Go: Usually, at the beginning of a combat encounter, the eye provided by the Elder Elemental Eye's Sign will detach from your skull, accompanied by a sickening 'pop'. Sometimes it doesn't. While detached, the eye levitates, and still provides vision for you. It can move up to 60ft in a round (or has never been recorded to will itself any faster), but must remain within 60ft of you. The eye is neither a creature nor an object, but may still be targeted with attacks (AC 15), and if it takes a total of 40 damage since its detachment, or is somehow moved beyond 60ft from you, it disappears and reappears in the vacant socket in your skull. After being forcibly returned to your skull, it probably cannot detach itself again for 5 rounds. While detached, if you are being flanked by two or more creatures, and both you and the detached eye have line of sight to all flanking creatures, you are not flanked. This ability obviously doesn't apply if you do not show the Elder Elemental Eye's sign.

    Die: At some point during your turn while in combat, the alien eye in your skull will almost certainly attack one of your enemies within 60ft of it with an elemental ray. It typically doesn't attack servants of the Elder Elemental Eye (or its pseudonyms), but sometimes it does. It won't attack you or your allies. Probably. I mean, it never has before. This functions as a ranged touch attack using your statistics, and does 6d6 + (your Charisma modifier) damage, with one of the following effects depending on the element, which might be chosen randomly, or maybe the eye chooses somehow. I dunno. You cannot use this ability if you do not show the Elder Elemental Eye's sign.

    If the DM is determining the eye's actions, pick one or roll 1d4. If the Binder is a PC and is determining their eye's actions, roll 1d4.

    • (1) Fire: The ray's damage is fire damage. The target, if it is hit and dealt damage, catches fire. The fire burns in shades of green and purple and infrared. At the beginning of the burning character's turn, they take no additional fire damage, but they must make a Will save to put out the fire with the fortitude of their wishes to not be ablaze. Should they fail, the air being exhaled by the flames cause them to be Sickened for the round and suffer minor hallucinations. This continues until they succeed on a saving throw, or 1 minute.
    • (2) Earth: The ray's damage is bludgeoning damage. The target, if it is hit and dealt damage, is covered in flowing rivulets of stone studded with crystalline calligraphy. Until the beginning of your next turn, each time the earth'd character spends an action to move, they must make a Reflex save or be knocked prone at the end of their movement as the earthen rivers strangle and constrict their body.
    • (3) Water: The ray's damage is bludgeoning damage. The target, if it is hit and dealt damage, is momentarily engulfed in a bubble of crystal-clear water that reflects a series of events, persons, and objects that are not present in its surroundings. The creature must make a Fortitude save or be Frightened by what they see for 1 round.
    • (4) Air: The ray's damage is piercing damage. The target, is it is hit and dealt damage, is surrounded by small eddies of wind that steal their voice and replace it with mad whispers. For 1 round, nothing they say is useful, which can make tactical communications difficult. It also imparts a 20% chance to fizzle spells with verbal components, as well as other abilities that require verbal coordination (at the DM's discretion; some White Raven maneuvers might qualify, for example).


    Dream: While you sleep, your alien eye is still active. If it feels you are threatened it will wake you up. If it feels it can end a threat with one of its elemental rays without requiring your wakefulness (like a wandering kobold), it will simply pop out and zap the threat and let you sleep. Most of the time. Good guy Elder Elemental Eye. You do not naturally dream while sleeping (although dreams invoked by spells or other abilities still function), and wake incredibly rested; you naturally heal all hit point and ability damage with 8 hours of sleep (not just rest, it must be sleep), as well as one point of ability drain from an ability of your choice. About 75% of the time, you also wake covered in blood that does not belong to you. Very seldomly (about 1% of the time), there might be something else amiss, such as you wake clutching half a diary page or a wad of human hair, your mouth is full of beetles, or you're missing all of your fingernails.

    If you are observed while sleeping, at some point your body will flicker for half a second and be suddenly covered in blood, aside from that 25% of the time it doesn't happen. Magic-detecting abilities discern nothing about the event.

    This ability does not function if you are not showing the Elder Elemental Eye's Sign.

    No: When you try to unbind the Elder Elemental Eye, there is a 75% chance that it doesn't work. You cannot attempt to unbind it again for 24 hours. The eye swivels around and looks at you disapprovingly. Or, you imagine it being disapproving. It's not that expressive.

    This ability does not function if you are not showing the Elder Elemental Eye's Sign.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    This is NICE. It also makes me realize that I need to up the Far Realm madness in the higher echelons of the Anathema's mythos. Thank you sir. You're doing The Elder Elemental Eye's God's work.

    Also... How did you do that font thing with the Elder Elemental Eye? I might want to use that.
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    Default Re: [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    This is NICE. It also makes me realize that I need to up the Far Realm madness in the higher echelons of the Anathema's mythos. Thank you sir. You're doing The Elder Elemental Eye's God's work.
    I also want to point out a motif I was going for in these Vestiges: Despite being theoretically more powerful than a Binder, most Vestiges (all the canon ones) grant their powers to a Binder in a relationship of equality. In that a Binder becomes more like the Vestige they bind. Someone who binds Amon does not become unto a servant of Amon, but as Amon himself. In the case of these three Vestiges, the Binder is granted powers as if in a subservient relationship. They do not become like the Lodestar (such as by gaining the power to teach others), they become a student of the Lodestar and benefit from his advice. And, likewise, they are more as a cultist to Tharizdun and a vessel for the Elder Elemental Eye.

    While they all grant very different abilities, I wanted something like that to tie them together.

    Also... How did you do that font thing with the Elder Elemental Eye? I might want to use that.
    Spoiler
    Show




    HE COMES

    Also, I was going to use more weird fonts, but found that it got sort of old after a while. I think they're best used sparingly. Other ideas I had for the Elder Elemental Eye's ability names were stuff like thΞЯΞłsЛФhФpΞ, or to have each ability be a different line of Mary Had A Little Lamb in Farsi.


    ماری یه بره کوچیک داشت

    که پشم گوسفند وجانوران سفید به عنوان برف


    But, in practice, that probably would've made it difficult to actually use at a table.

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    Default Re: [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    And, likewise, they are more as a cultist to Tharizdun and a vessel for the Elder Elemental Eye.

    While they all grant very different abilities, I wanted something like that to tie them together.
    Oh. Well that's even MORE useful, as it provides another way to give the Demagogue's cultists a little extra oomph.

    I think they're best used sparingly.
    Oh of course. That font is reserved for the titles of really big, really impressive mythos, like Shintai and whatnot.

    As an aside: How much of the Lodestar to you think is left under all that Far Realm gunk? Or is there any of him left at all?
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    Default Re: [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    I've got to say, I love the fluff and crunch on these. The fact that The Lodestar is basically just Clint Eastwood makes it even better.

    My one concern is, don't most Vestiges grant 5 abilities, while The Lodestar and Tharizdun only grant three? Also, how do you make those cool-looking 'cards' with the vestige's symbol?

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    Default Re: [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    As an aside: How much of the Lodestar to you think is left under all that Far Realm gunk? Or is there any of him left at all?
    Since you're writing the class, I think I'll defer to whatever interpretation works best for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam1949 View Post
    My one concern is, don't most Vestiges grant 5 abilities, while The Lodestar and Tharizdun only grant three?
    IIRC, of all official Vestiges, including Dragon Magazine ones, there are only two that grant less than four abilities. Amon grants three, and Abysm grants two.

    I don't consider this a problem, as long as their power is competitive with other Vestiges of similar level, and their abilities are interesting and significant enough to make them attractive and memorable choices.

    Also, how do you make those cool-looking 'cards' with the vestige's symbol?
    Several years ago, I made a template in Macromedia Fireworks (because I'm an idiot and don't have real Photoshop), and just tweak it for each Vestige. Once all the bits and bobs were finished, making each new one doesn't take very long (unless I do something fancy like with The Elder Elemental Eye's up there).

    They don't look quite like the stuff in the Tome of Magic (my designs tend to be much simpler), but I think I get the idea across.

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    Default Re: [3.5] [Mythos Fluff] Three Tharizdun Vestiges

    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    Since you're writing the class, I think I'll defer to whatever interpretation works best for you.
    Hm... I'm not sure about the Lodestar, but I could definitely do some callbacks to the nature of Tharizdun, with all the entropy, darkness, undeath and stuff. Though with the Lodestar, I'm sure the Anathema could masquerade as a gentle guide, leading his flock down what they perceive to be the righteous path, only revealing the truth when it's too late to turn back.
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