Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fantodic (Wermspittle)

Phantasmotype of a supposed Fantodic,
courtesy of The Low Street Asylum Guide & Almanack.
No. Enc.: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90' (Passwall/Planeshift)
Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 6+
Attacks: 1
Damage: (see below)
Save: F9
Morale: 8

Restless spirits are a well-documented aspect of life, death and what comes after in Wermspittle. They are, in some respects, very akin to the weather; one either does something about it, within their means and abilities, or else one endures. The one good thing about restless spirits is that they get bored easily, soon lose interest unless they are interacted with, and often collapse back into so much ectoplasmic debris that can then be collected or drained-away later. Some even go so far as to lure Ordrang or other ectovores into those areas subject to spirit-infestation, allowing these creatures to consume the vaguely albumin-esque pseudo-matter and thus denying the things the means to manifest any further.

Frantically Fatigued
Fantods are not simply restless spirits. They are not truly 'spirits' in the accepted, classical sense at all. If anything they appear to be some sort of ectospheric entities possessed of a crude intelligence and a propensity to arouse all the most intense negative emotions in those exposed to their subtle presence. Fantods seem to feed upon the energy that bleeds out from the unsealed souls of those exerting their willpower and intuition, whether it is a student attempting their first cantrips, a novitiate attempting to master the basic disciplines of their Order, or an actress fretting over her delivery of a particular passage of dialogue in a play. They particularly are drawn to mediums who indulge a bit too heavily in alcoholic beverages and those suffering from depression or anxiety. Fantods feed on anxiety like it is candy.

Clever Eaters of Wisdom
Never quite in-phase with the material world, Fantods loom in the dim-spaces and dank places, flitting through empty attics and damp cellars, always on the look-out for a suitable victim. Walls mean little to them, windows even less. They traverse thresholds freely and transgress any boundary not warded or protected against their intrusion. They also have a fairly long reach, able to drain WIS from their prey at a range of 5' per HD (6 HD Fantod has a range of 30', and so on). They most often attempt to feed upon their chosen morsels from non-adjacent spaces, making it more difficult to track them down, without the assistance of a Dowser or other such professional.

Unsubtle Traces
A Fantod that has located a suitable space from which to feed will settle in for the duration, wrapping itself in the wisps and smoky fragments of the ectoplasm that is drawn off of their victims as a side-effect of the way in which these creatures draw off and digest WIS. These ectoplasmic vestiges curl and writhe in agitation as they are pulled from the body of the victim, entering walls, ceilings or floors as they make their way to the Fantod. This will leave an impression on the surfaces through which the ectoplasm travels. Even a rank beginner of a Medium with only a modicum of any real talent can 'see' these traces as wet splotches and follow them back to the Fantod's lair.

More obvious than the subtle stains from the passage of stolen ectoplasm are the effects for which Fantods have become notorious and reviled. Fantods have no real ability to cause any direct harm, aside from the draining of WIS over time. (They generally can only drain 1 point of WIS every 1d4 hours, and thus tend to seek out prisoners, the bed-ridden, the wounded, etc. Even the largest specimen on record could only drain 2 points of WIS per hour.)

More of a Long Term Problem
What makes a Fantod a troublesome and most unwelcome guest is their tendency to stir up any and every spirit within range of their WIS draining ability, making these spirits restless, nervous, agitated and slowly driving them mad with a nameless, indefinable dread. A few days, a couple of weeks, even a month may go by with only the most typical and unremarkable effect. But eventually. Over time. The effect of the Fantod upon the surrounding spirits coupled with the traces of ectoplasm that continually leak from its very sloppy feeding process leads to full-blown hauntings, spirit incursions, and worse. If allowed to linger long enough a Fantod can raise whole graveyards, raise revenants, or inspire/attract poltergeists.

Exterminators have noted a number of instances recently where Fantods have been lured into spaces rife with Wet Spots. The use of Spectral Shackles in order to confine these particular Fantods has led some to suspect the involvement of Fantomists. But Why?

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