“The aggregate appearance is of dignity and dissoluteness: the aggregate voice is a defiant prayer: but the spirit of the whole is processional.”
A Random Selection of Damned Processions
- The Battalions of the Accursed. Hundreds of soldiers, all of them wounded, their uniforms torn, their armor in tatters, some have lost limbs, or faces, or their heads. Wreathed in unsettling copper-colored flames, they march onwards, ever onwards to the beat of drums and the call of jaunty fifes. Any Fighter watching this procession needs to make a Save versus spells or have 1d6 of the livid, fiery and rotten members of this procession attempt to recruit them into the ranks of the marching damned. (Treat each of the Accursed as a zombie with HD equal to the Player Character affected. Destroying, defeating or turning these Accursed undead will release the victims from joining the Procession, but they are then cursed to rise up after their own death to join the Battalions of the Accursed, making it impossible to resurrect or otherwise recover them. This curse can be lifted by a suitably high-level Cleric.)
- Twitching corpses, every one of them someone the characters have killed either directly or indirectly, parade before the party. Each corpse stares at those whom it holds responsible for its terrible fate. They are all now the possessions of a terrible otherplanar being that has taken a decidedly unhealthy and clearly malevolent interest in the party...
- Thousands of tottering skeletons caper and prance across the space like mad mimes who make no noise whatsoever as they mock those who observe them. Any one watching this procession must make a save versus spells or have their own skeleton rip itself free of their flesh so that it can run off and join this necromantic procession. The skeleton takes as many turns to tear itself free as the affected character has hit dice/levels. If the Procession disappears before the skeleton can free itself, the character suffers 1d8 damage for each turn their bones tried to get free, but they won't be joining the Procession. This time. If a character's skeleton does manage to free itself, the character is dead, but recoverable. Their bones now belong to the Procession and might never be seen again.
- Hundreds of mummies in full regalia strut serenely before the observers, haughty and arrogant in their power and knowledge. Any spell-caster observing this procession must make a save versus spells or find themselves caught-up in the Procession. If they are forcibly restrained from joining the Procession, they need to make a second Save versus Death Magic or suffer the effects of a Trap the Soul spell--their soul now residing in a gem worn by one of the mummies...and their former body now serving as the host for some alien undead sorcerer.
- A horde of distracting freaks pass by, observers must make Save versus Spells or suffer effects of Confusion.
- Observers lose 1d6 hours and have no recollection of what happened during that period of time.
- A cadre of sleepwalking giants strides overhead. Observers will need to dodge or avoid being crushed by their heavy boots. (Save versus Petrification or suffer 3d4 hit points from being stepped on.)
- Highly respected, yet none the less condemned clowns cavort and sport about. If anyone laughs at their antics, they must make a Save versus Spells or suffer the effects of Horrifying Rictus.
- Dozens of glimmering, flickering Mere Shadows dance past, each one quietly, softly trying to drain some small bit of essential identity from each observer. For every turn this Procession continues, all observers must make a Save versus Spells or suffer the temporary loss of 1 point of Wisdom. (Effect lasts 1d4 hours).
- Gaunt Pedants draped in charms, tokens, talismans and amulets sidle past the party along a zig-zag path. Each one leers provocatively at those whom they meet along the way, but none of them will speak first nor move to interact with any observer until someone else acts first. Then 3d4 of the tall, nearly-dessicated beings will attempt to sell their questionable wares to the gullible for exorbitant prices. The Pedants will only walk more slowly in the course of their negotiations, never fully stopping, and anyone too caught-up in their deal-making runs the very real risk of being carried off with the Procession.
- A handsome coterie of fine young cannibals will saunter past making cat-calls and offers to purchase fresh meat from the observers.
- Dozens of capering little harlots will dance, prance and slink past anyone who will look upon them, each one offers incredible, fantastic, impossible even unspeakable things to those who will meet their price.