Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ten Wicked Little Things (plus Dalrin's Lesser Call)

Wicked things can sometimes come in tiny packages like these minor horrors from unsavory otherplaces and dubious otherwhens. Each creature can be summoned forth via Dalrin's Lesser Call, a very minor variant of Monster Summoning. Of course, those who are familiar with that spell could also substitute these things for the usual creatures called forth by their more powerful summons, should that appeal to their sorcerous sensibilities...

Dalrin's Lesser Call (Flawed Transcription)
Spell Level: Magic-User, 1st Level
Range: 150 feet
Duration: Requires 1d4 minutes to take effect
The caster gains the ability to summon forth a very minor monster in exchange for a small quantity of their own blood. For every 1d4 points of self-inflicted damage the caster invests into the spell grants them either one additional 1 hp monster summoned, or gives the summoned creature 1 additional hit point. The creatures called forth obey commands of fewer than six words and dissolve into a foul black stain after half an hour or less.

The uncorrected version of this spell is left in circulation among apprentices and other students of sorcery as a sort of test or object lesson in the making. It is rumored that Dalrin copied the original over from a banned grimoire that corrupted and twisted his mind, thus explaining his penchant for self-mutilation as a core-mechanism and component in all six of his surviving his spells. Cheap block-printed scrolls of this spell are often available for a few coppers.

Dalrin's Lesser Call (Corrected Transcription)
Spell Level: Magic-User, 1st Level
Range: 60 feet
Duration: Immediate
The caster summons forth a number of minor monsters equal to their level. Each creature so summoned has 1 hit point per caster's Level and they persist for 10 minutes per caster's Level. In some versions of this spell the summoned creatures do not fade out when the spell expires, but rather they collapse into lumps of protoplasmic goo that dries into a dull, yellowish grit.

This spell is never revealed to a first-year student. Until they acquire enough sophistication in their spell-work there's no point in confounding them with too many variants and alternatives to the spells they are already attempting to commit to memory.

Ten Wicked Little Things (1 HD)
  1. Bulazing. Blue-veined sagebrush-like plant-things that clump epiphytically onto any exposed flesh they can reach. They cause 1 hp of damage forcing their roots into the host's bloodsteam, then begin to purge the blood of all toxins. Effectively, this is a hostile application of Neutralize Poison (LL. p.24). The area surrounding the root-wound is rendered a distinctive splotchy blue. Those who have been touched by the Bulazing gain a +1 bonus to all reaction rolls and morale checks in relation to plant-based organisms for the next hour, unfortunately, they also reek of rotten cabbage and attract wandering monsters at double the normal frequency for the duration of the effect.
    [AL N, MV (See above), AC n/a, HD 1 (1hp), #AT 1 (Root-bite), DG 1hp (See above), SV MU 1, ML 8]
  2. Delve Urchins. There are six varieties of Delve Urchin listed in the Animalum Malificarum. All of them categorized by coloration patterns depicted in elegant watercolor illustrations. They exude a somnolescent venom from their spines that causes those stung to fall into a deep, restful sleep for 1d4 hours per hit point of the urchin. spell-casters often summon these things when having bouts of insomnia. they are otherwise harmless. The venom dissipates quickly and tends to evaporate before any significant quantity can be harvested.
    [AL N, MV 3' (1'), AC n/a, HD 1 (1d2), #AT 1 (sting+venom), DG none (Save or Sleep), SV MU 1, ML 3]
  3. Tulush-Noy. Tiny bronze skeletons with scissor-like claws and horrible grinning mouths that drool a foul translucent blue ichor. The blue ichor is highly flammable. The scissor-claws are too small to inflict more than 1 hp of damage on anything larger than a mouse, but they are eager to try. Note: If using the Uncorrected Form of Dalrin's Lesser Call (see above), these creature's hit points are determined first, then the corresponding damage is inflicted on the caster automatically. All part of the service.
    [AL N, MV 60' (20'), AC 7, HD 1 (1d4), #AT 1 (scissor-claws), DG 1 hp, SV MU 1, ML 10]
  4. Kir-Vhoff. Smoky gray globs of a buttery material that does not float,. It isn't clear whether the Kir-vhoff are extraplanar lichens, strange mold-colonies, or something altogether other. All that is known about the stuff is that it seeks out fingernails, latches on to any such that it encounters and promptly dissolves them. Those who loose finger or toe-nails to the Kir-Vhoff suffer a -1 penalty to all actions, move at half normal speed, and must keep the perpetually-seeping wounds bandaged for 1d4 weeks unless a Remove Curse or Cure Disease is used, in which case the wounds close-up in under an hour and new nails begin to grow naturally. A more robust form of Kir-vhoff are known to be bound into particular books, scrolls and instruction manuals either originating in Yukovia, or pertaining to things related to the exiled monarchs of that troubled state.
    [AL N, MV 3' (12'), AC 7,  HD 1 (1hp), #AT 1 (Nail-Bite), DG 1hp (Save or lose nails), SV MU 1, ML 3, unless within 30' of finger/toe nails in which case it's 9.]
  5. Pig on the Wing. This swine flies through the air on a pair of membranous pink wings. It leaves a spotty trail of feculence in its wake, but the meat is delicious, if you can cook it before it fades away, according to certain self-declared authorities. It doesn't really have an attack, but it is well-suited to disrupting rituals, interrupting spell casts, making stairs even more treacherous and slippery, and soiling journals, workbooks and grimoires. The stains these things leave behind will permanently obscure any section of a recorded spell exposed to it, making that copy useless for anything other than a partial reference.
    [AL N, MV 50' (150'), AC 8, HD 1 (1), #AT 1 (dive crap), DG none (Save or Stain), SV MU 1, ML 6]
  6. Nervik. Delicate, root-like masses of disembodied nerves drawn away from a richly flooded realm. The Nervik flutter and flit through the air, latching onto their victim and phasing into their body, to merge with their nervous system. Those affected by a Nervik experience momentary vertigo (1d4 minutes) before having their senses re-tuned to the bizarre undersea realm of these creatures for the next 1d4 Turns. During this time, the victim is completely unaware of their immediate surroundings and incapable of defending themselves. However, this effect is immediately broken upon their taking even 1 point of damage. Those under the influence of a Nervik are immune to all Charms, Sleep, and Suggestion spells for the duration of the bond. There is a slight chance of the observer becoming observed, with a corresponding chance that some thing that preys upon the Nervik might somehow latch onto the nervous system of the person bonded to it. But that almost never happens.
    [AL N, MV 30' (120'), AC n/a, HD 1 (1hp), #AT 1 (nerve-merge), DG (See above), SV MU 1, ML 4 Note: Driven of by color yellow.]
  7. Chalamigan. Pink and green phlegmy-mass that oozes slowly, obscenely through the air, never quite fully there. Should the Chalamigan  succeed in touching a victim, it will form a nasty, slimy layer across their outer surfaces, blinding them and requiring a Save against suffocation--but because the Chalamigan is not entirely manifest, a failed Save only means that the victim has passed-out.
    [AL N, MV 30' (120'), AC n/a, HD 1 (1hp), #AT 1 (nerve-merge), DG (See above), SV MU 1, ML 4 Note: Those touched by a Chalamigan gain the ability to Speak with Slimes 1d4 times before the ability fades. Each time this ability is used, another Save is required, failure indicates that they have choked themselves into unconsciousness hacking up another Chalamigan.]
  8. Drivi Clams. Black and brown whorled shellfish that form a layer covering just under 5', (This can be extended by investing blood/damage, of course).  The vicious little things will snap closed on anything that gets near them, causing 1 hp of damage per foot of surface traversed. A very minor nuisance, completely inedible, and reputed to cause dysentery if summoned inside a keg or wine barrel.
    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a, HD 1 (1 hp), #AT 1 (bite), DG 1hp (See above), SV MU 1, ML n/a]
  9. Yovire. Three-winged tongues of bloated, unhealthy-looking grey-mauve flesh, the Yovire are considered an atrociously disgusting form of sensory vampire--they devour their victim's sense of taste--by attacking the tongue in a wet, sloppy, nausea-inducing assault. Those ravaged by the Yovire never really regain their sense of taste.
    [AL N, MV 5' (120'), AC 8, HD 1 (1hp), #AT 1 (Tongue-lunge), DG (Save or vomit; see above), SV MU 1, ML 8. Note: The fit of vomiting induced by the Yovire has a 60% chance to clear ingested poisons. Recovering from their attack, regaining one's sense of taste, can take weeks unless Cure Disease is used.]
  10. Zumimi Leeches. Squiggly pink leeches speckled with yellow pustules and trailing streaks of noxious slimy filth, the Zumimi Leeches are notorious for attacking the toes of their victims. They do very little real damage with their raspy bites, however their saliva suppresses the immune system of their victims, exposing them to infection, pox and parasitism. Unlike other creatures summoned by Dalrin's Lesser Calling, these things have a base 40% chance to persist past the expiration of the spell. Many a soldier confined to half-flooded trenches or forced to march through muddy fields have run afoul of these despicable little monsters, often losing a toe to the gangrenous rot brought on by untended little nicks and pricks.
    [AL N, MV 10' (30'), AC 7, HD 1 (1hp), #AT 1 (bite), DG (% chance of infection), SV MU 1, ML 3.  Special: Repelled by Black Smoke Residue, otherwise known as Trench-Salt.]
You might also like the three variant spells and minor monsters such as the Squiggling Sores, Scabrous Servitors, or Fingerling Demonlets featured in our recent Spell Design Challenge post...or perhaps you might like to see another dozen Exotic Bivalves from Wermspittle?


  1. This is most excellent! Creepy little things too...

    1. Thanks! We're big fans of the little things...especially these sorts of critters.

  2. Excellent as always, I especially like the Tulush-Noy and their scissors.

    1. Thanks! They have saved at least one spell-caster from an ignoble fate in the past. They also have been known to wreak havoc on the rigging of a ship should they somehow get set loose in such a place...


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