Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Withering Mist (Wermspittle)

"I lock myself away, cut every cable, but it bleeds under doors, leeches through walls. Creeps up, washes over me, cracks my face. It's time."

Withering Mist
(Dejuvenatory Miasma)

No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 210' (70')
Armor Class: 9 (May only be struck by Blessed or Magical weapons)
Hit Dice: 4 to 9
Attacks: 1
Damage: (see below)
Save: F5 to F10
Morale: 8

Ego: Withering Mists gain 1 point of Ego per 4 hit points. They use their Ego similar to how a Magical Weapon might attempt to possess or influence it's wielder.
  • A typical Withering Mist occupies 1 cubic foot of space per hit die. 
  • It is unaffected by Charm, Sleep or Fear spells/effects. 
  • Most recorded Withering Mists appear to be nocturnal 
  • They surprise a victim on a roll of 1-7 on a d8. 
  • If encountered during daylight, as in the case of a collapsed building, the Withering Mist will surprise a victim on a roll of 1-3 on a d4, but will not move outside of their area of shade. 
  • When the Withering Mist successfully strikes, their victim suffers 1d4 hit points of damage and must make a Save or lose 1 point of CON for 10 turns. Any victim completely drained of CON collapses into a coma and will die in an additional 1d6 turns, unless they receive magical healing, etc. Anyone killed in this method will become a dessicated husk that crumbles into toxic dust as it exudes a foul miasma that slowly forms into a new 1HD Withering Mist. 
  • The Withering Mist moves through all physical barriers and cannot be contained except by certain forms of magic, miasmic wards and for some reason cloves will repel them, as will bright fires and burning coals. The shrine-tenders in Wermspittle include generous amounts of dried cloves in their incense-mixtures precisely for this reason...

Foul and fetid wisps of putrescent vapors, the Withering Mist is a specific type of miasma that forms and flows from out of the unhallowed cemeteries, unmarked mass-graves and trenches of forgotten battlefields, the ancient sewers of ruined cities and other desolate, deserted and abandoned places. Riding just above the evening fog, the Withering Mist swirls and weeps, infiltrates and seeps through walls and windows, bleeding through the plaster, wall paper and paneling of even the most comfortable homes to prey upon those it can reach. The silver wards and crossed sprigs, the strings of garlic and small mirrors mean nothing to this monstrous gaseous pestilence. It is not undead, nor is it truly alive in any way that makes sense. It is considered a disembodied appetite, a disjunctive proto-spirit, and has quite a number of other esoteric and obscure names, titles and designations, but in the end it is a cold, unnatural miasma that moves of its own volition and feeds upon the living by draining away their youth and vitality, aging them into premature senility or death...unless the victim chooses to either make a deal with the Withering Mist or enter into its service as a Wither-wight.

Let's Make a Deal...
Those who attempt to bargain with the Withering Mist must promise it victims to feed upon in their stead, or else it will simply consume their vitality and leave them a dried-up husk or a pitiful shell of their former selves.

Anyone striking a bargain with the Withering Mist will gain an infusion of false vitality and youth directly from the Withering Mist that will take up residence within their very body. The Bargainer will literally inhale the Withering Mist into their lungs and it will slowly infiltrate and integrate it deep within their flesh over the course of a few hours. Once integrated, the Withering Mist will seek to feed, and it will only be content if it can drain the vitality of 2d4 HD worth of fresh victims per week at a minimum. If satisfied, the Withering Mist will remain quiescent, sharing a portion of its ill-gotten vitality with the host by way of casting Cure Serious Wounds up to three times per day, and/or Regenerate once per week. The host gains a breath weapon attack (Spew Withering Mist) once per turn.

Should the Withering Mist become dissatisfied or its minimum requirement of new victims isn't met, it will attempt to take control of the host and go on a feeding frenzy. Treat this as the Withering Mist attacking from within (automatically hitting), forcing the host to make a Save each attack or suffer the loss of 1 point of WIS or INT until the victim reaches zero, and the Withering Mist completely takes them over. Forcing the victim to drink Holy Water will cause them to vomit forth the Withering Mist, which might save them from the possession-attempt, but will expose everyone in the area to the normal vitality-draining attack of the Withering Mist.

Anyone reduced to zero WIS or INT by such means has little hope of ever being recovered, though it is conjectured by certain scholars that it might be feasible, but incredibly difficult.

Mist-Hosts (Withered Bargainers), Wither-wights are detailed in their own are Miasmic Wards...

Special Thanks to Porky for permission to use his especially apt bit of Flash Fearsday Fiction up above as an intro to this rather unpleasant monster.

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