Friday, August 30, 2013

The Ninth Entity (of the Thirty-Six Configurations)

It comes from an arid and poisoned world. A place where acid taints the rain and the very dust tries to kill all it comes into contact with. A relic, derelict world, forgotten by its one-time masters and abandoned to the unkind caress of razor-winds and the slow-motion corrosion that have done their worst to bury or obliterate all traces of the past.

It is a product of arcane sciences and technological arts. But it is also a cast-off thing, an unwanted reminder of long ago days and violent nights when fables were flesh and things were different than they will ever be again.

It is alive, in a way. Autonomous in another, yet still it is bound. A creature of artifice, a destroyer by design; it would be something other...something more. Hungry for meaning, it wanders through bitter realms and broken worlds looking, ever seeking. Always driven onward by the emptiness within, it has become a warrior in search of a soul to call its own.

Adilak (Osri Duradage),
On the Ninth Entity
excerpted with permission from
The Thirty-Six Configurations

To Call Forth the Ninth Entity
The Ninth Configuration is to be made upon a bare concrete floor using powdered rust and broken fragments taken from a destroyed construct. Each of the inner junctures is to be drawn into a small loop within which a candle, glowbulb, or other light-source is to be placed. The outer points of the diagram are to be drawn to a razor-fine point. There are other details, but most of them are either obscured by bloodstains or obliterated by scorch-marks. The one legible footnote refers to using a spell referred to as 'The Recapitulation of The Bitter Dust of Ain,' in some manner to properly prepare the space for the formation of the prescribed diagram. A note in the margin alludes to some sort of generator, but whether or not this is necessary for the spell to work is unclear.

The Ninth Entity can be summoned, theoretically, despite the extensive damage done to the grimoires and other papers of Adilak after the purge of the Chartreuse Cantors in 1198. Of the series of Thirty-Six Configurations attributed to Adilak, only six still survive and of those only two are considered functionally complete. The Ninth is one of the more notorious fragments, an incomplete configuration that becomes something of an obsession among those devoted to the esoteric mechanics of translocation, transport and summoning.

Panzure's Panoptical Lexicon is rumored to hold an 'unapproved' version of the Ninth Configuration, which he copied from his one-time mentor's library without permission. It is believed by more than a few experts in such matters that, were one to acquire an authentic copy of Panzure's book, it would very likely make it possible to re-construct the Ninth Configuration once again. Poorly-bound forgeries of this book have been known to fetch sizable sums at auction, though some collectors have been known to wreak a terrible vengeance on those who attempt to pass such things off on them. Book selling can be a risky business at times; especially when it comes to obscure grimoires and haunted texts probably best left to the more experienced buyers and aficionados of such rare and dangerous things.

Summon Entity of the Ninth Configuration is a very specific variation on the Summon Entity spell which in turn is a modification of the more common Summon Demon spell.

Summon Entity of the Ninth Configuration
Level: 7
Duration: See below
Range: 10'

This spell makes use of a special diagram (The so-called "Ninth Configuration"). A step-by-step procedural outline and schematic for drawing this diagram is provided in Adilak's The Thirty-Six Configurations, however most extant copies are incomplete, damaged or simply missing (often stolen by agents of unscrupulous collectors). Using the spell without the proper diagram will result in the spell not working at all (30%) or something else being summoned without any sort of protection, binding or pact (70%). Using the spell with an incomplete or inaccurate diagram will have a slightly better chance of operating at least partly correctly (Failure: 15%, Something Else Summoned: 80%, Contact with the Entity: 4%, Success: 1%). Using the complete and correct diagram causes the spell to work 100% correctly, but then the caster still needs to define any pact and/or bargain with the entity for any service(s) desired of it.

Entity of the Ninth Configuration: The Servitor in Search of a Soul
Minor Summonable Entity
No. Enc.: 1 (Unique)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (most environments)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 2 (weapons)
Damage: by weapon
Save: F8
Morale: 10 (7 if bound by spell)

Special Abilities: +4 on all Saves. Ambidextrous. Does not need to breathe. Regenerates 1d4/turn. Infravision to 90'.

Immunities: Unaffected by all mind-affecting magics such as Charm, Sleep, Telepathy or Illusions. Cannot be detected by ESP or other psychic abilities. Immune to Acid attacks.

Weapons: +2 Battle-Axe (does double damage on an unmodified roll of 19 or better), +2 Flexible War-Flail (wielded as a flail, but strikes as a sword or as a whip, on demand, inflicts 3d4 damage, can be used to block an opponent's attack instead of making a normal attack). Both weapons are crafted (grown?) from a non-corroding yellow metal that retains a very sharp edge.

This Entity has no name associated with it currently. It does not respond to ecclesiastical healing and cannot be Raised if destroyed. It does not eat, drink or sleep. It remembers everything it has observed (eidetic memory), but rarely shares details regarding its past. This reticence may be overcome by non-magical means (multiple CHAR Checks, Reaction Rolls, etc.).

The Entity is driven by its desire to gain a soul for itself.

If properly bound, the entity will serve faithfully for one full year, which it reckons according to the world it originated upon (roughly 246+1d100 days).