Tuesday, May 13, 2014

20 Unsightly Stains

"Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness."

Not every monstrous thing gallops forth or squishes past the boundaries to assault the minds, bodies and spirits of its victims. Some things that lurk in the dark places and abandoned spaces wait patiently, mindlessly, for someone to witness them like a crime frozen in time, a scar upon the wall or floor, some strange and terrible stain that conceals damning traces even as it reveals peculiar spoor...

  1. Black and Red Streaks. Gritty, chalky, dirty streaks left by violent contact with some massive, irregular object. The area surrounding it appears cracked and often times partly melted, as if exposed to great heat in the past. The streaks radiate a faint magical aura, gleaming a lurid red in the darkness when exposed to a Detect Magic or similar such spell.

    [AL N, MV 3' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact, SV F4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Highly flammable, burst into sickly blood-red flames in a 20' radius inflicting 3d4 damage on all caught within the area for 1d4 rounds. These stains are crumbly and if handled carefully so as to avoid sparks, can be scraped off of the walls and used to treat special torches or lanterns left behind as traps for the unwary, a favorite trick of certain Foragers. There is interest in studying samples of this material as it may have applications in weapons manufacture.]

  2. Smeared Bloody Hand-Print. It might be blood. It could be some sort of nasty sludge. There is a mucousy sort of viscousness to the stuff, like congealed petroleum jelly mingled with blood and other bodily fluids. Whoever made this hand-print was clearly in distress. You can just barely sense the lingering echoes of their screams quivering through the stain...

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact, SV F4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Can only be destroyed by fire, however burning it produces a 20'x20' cloud of poisonous green smoke that inflicts 3d4 damage on everyone who comes into contact with the stuff. The smoke clears in about half an hour. The hand-print will be indelibly burned into whatever surface it was smeared upon.]

  3. Lumpy Mess. It resembles a pile of vomited oatmeal stuck on the ceiling or high up on a wall.

    [AL N, MV 9' (3'), AC 9, HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4+Poison, SV F4, ML 12 (mindless). Special: These things cling to ceilings and the tops of doorways, waiting to pounce, or rather drip down upon, likely victims. They secrete a weak paralytic toxin that incurs a cumulative -1 to all Saves with each attack, until either the stain is destroyed or the victim is in fact paralyzed. The toxin has never been successfully collected from a specimen in captivity, but perhaps one might have better luck in the wild? It is conjectured by several leading authorities that these 'stains' are in fact bacterial colony-creatures, however due to the lack of legitimate scholarship they remain classified as a type of stain.]

  4. Burn Marks. Blistered, black shapes imprinted deeply into the surrounding walls. Each one unique and distinctly troubling in its distorted proportions, disturbing elongations and profane implications.

    [AL N, MV 6' (3'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4 burning damage on contact. Special: Rapidly deplete all oxygen in 30' radius when exposed to open flames. Those remaining within the 30' radius of effect suffer double damage as they suffocate and their skin slowly blackens and crisps into charcoal. Anyone reduced to zero hit points within this area of effect is reduced to charcoal and is non-recoverable, at least physically...]

  5. Gore Puddles. Dry, blackened vestiges of puddles of blood left behind by past incidents of violence. These stains become refreshed anew by so much as a single drop of blood.

    [AL C, MV n/a  (Reach: 12'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1d4, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per HD, SV F1d4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Anyone exposed to one of these stains suffers a slowed-down healing response, regaining hit points at half the normal rate and only gaining half of any effect from healing spells or potions. This effect persists for 3d4 days unless alleviated by Remove Curse or Cure Affliction.]

  6. Green Spatter. Desiccated green blotches outlined with rings of increasingly faint residue. The rancid green centers of these stains seem to almost throb in anticipation.

    [AL N, MV 1' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1, #AT 1, DG 2d4, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Touching these stains causes the victim's shadow to take on a green tint and reduces all subsequent Saves versus Umbral or shadow-based magics to suffer a permanent -1 penalty. These stains are an essential component in crafting the elixir for Green Eyes, a serum granting the user an expansion of their visual perception across more than a dozen closely-related resonant layers. It is unclear at present if these stains are in any way connected to Green Fire. There are cultists who make it their business to kill anyone who defiles these stains...]

  7. Wall Scabs. Nasty clusters of flaky scab-like patches of pseudoflesh that fester in the dark, hungrily lying in wait for their chance to latch onto a living host.

    [AL C, MV 12' (4'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d2 (itchiness) or 1d4, SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless), Special: These stains lurk in the dimness, waiting for an opportunity to slither onto the exposed skin of an unconscious or immobilized victim. If a patch of Wall Scabs is allowed to take root within a victim's flesh, the victim permanently loses 1 point of CHAR. Even if removed by Dissolve, Excision, or some other spell, the scarring this stuff leaves behind permanently disfigures the victim. The cult of the dramageist has been known to use Wall Scabs to torment some of their more recalcitrant victims, as well as to blackmail certain well-known performers.]

  8. Salty Residue. Dry, white crystalline encrustations cover wide swaths of the walls, floor and ceiling. There is a dismal grayish layer just beneath the milky crystals. You are thirsty. Incredibly, impossibly thirsty...

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round within 20' radius, SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Within minutes of encountering this stain those exposed stop sweating. All wounds stop bleeding and quickly crust over. All liquids begin to evaporate, the seals on wine-skins crack, wax turns to dust, cork crumbles. Potions are ruined within 1d6 rounds, wine is lost in 1d4 rounds, water is lost in 1d2 rounds. Those who die while exposed to this stuff quickly dries-out and becomes a brittle, mummified corpse. Morlocks seek these sorts of stains out in order to collect the residue for use in their abbatoirs. This residue is alleged to cause double damage to corporeal undead, but this has not been proven under reliable circumstances.]

  9. Gray Scum aka 'Ring Around the Room'. A foul gray scum that broods in the dark as it slowly poisons everything.

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG 2d4 per round of contact, SV F6, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Fire-proof, even the hottest magical flames only do half damage, and then only if it fails a Save. Incredibly toxic, this stuff kills off all fungi, mold, slimes or jellies in its immediate area, which suggest that it might be useful as some sort of antiseptic, however it also poisons everything else that comes into contact with it. There is no known antidote for this toxin at this time.]

  10. Sepia Striations. Light brown stripes that slowly shiver with a disturbing life-like pulsation that mimics the heart-beat of the nearest observer. The stuff spatters if struck and drizzles down the wall and ceiling if subjected to violent contact. It emanates a soft, sepia haze when exposed to magic.

    [AL C, MV 1' (1'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG 1d4, Special: Contact with this stain causes the victim to lose color vision; they see everything in tints of sepia. A successful Save means this is only temporary. The effect can be removed by Remove Curse or Cure Serious Affliction. Those suffering from Sepia Vision have all of their prismatic and color-oriented spells converted into sepia variants while under the influence of this affliction. They must also make a Save to read anything, failure meaning they cannot see the ink.]

  11. Yellow Whorls. Curlicue trails of amber-tinted slime dried into multi-layered patterns scrawled across walls and windows, this stuff is not the leavings of snails, slugs nor any other living creature.

    [AL C, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d12, SV F2, ML 12 (mindless), Special: This stain is some sort of cross-planar residue that is believed to have some sort of connection to various geists and incorporeal undead, none of which will cross through a wall covered with these stains. When exposed to yellow Wallpaper, these stains turn inky black and remain wet, running and dripping all down the walls, inflicting triple damage. Burning the stuff produces a virulent smoke that doubles the damage of either stain. Foragers set out yellow spirals to mark the locations of these stains so they can be avoided.]

  12. Curdled Air. A foul, dim semi-translucent sludge that explosively evaporates when subjected to open flame. It typically congeals along the ceilings of cramped passages.

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 1d8, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Explodes in a 10x10' radius for 1d4 per HD when exposed to open flame.]

  13. Scrudge. Distasteful dishwater-dun drippings dribbling down doors.

    [AL N, MV 15' (5'), AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 3, #AT 1, DG 1d4, SV MU 3, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Neutralized by formaldehyde or formic acid. Never seems to completely dry-out. Reeks of spoilt pork. Causes all open wounds exposed to it to heal at 1/2 normal rate. Sometimes smeared on darts or needles by low-dwellers.]

  14. Tiny Brown Crystals. Minute, coffee-colored crystalline encrustations that rapidly cover large sections of floors and other horizontal surfaces, especially steps and stairs.

    [AL C, MV n/a, AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2d4, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact (see below), SV F8, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Spreads across flat spaces at a rate of roughly one square foot per HD. Immune to fire and poison. Most solvents actually heal 1d4 damage. All leather, wood and natural fabrics such as cotton or wool that come into contact with this stuff must make a Save or be ruined by exposure to these crystals; however the crystals go inert for 1d4 turns per each article of leather or fabric so sacrificed.]

  15. Dark Orange Deposits. You know these things are near-by when someone's skin starts to turn vivid, dark orange...

    [AL N, MV n/a, AC 7, HD 4, #AT 1, DG 1d6 within 20' radius, SV MU 4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: Peculiar, opaque granules noted for a vivid orange coloration, these things give off a pernicious, colorless vapor that slowly dissolves all flesh exposed to it. Expert delvers and Near Deep guides are notorious for their home-brewed remedies for this condition, few of which have any merit beyond extorting money from their clients. What they dislike to admit is that the deleterious effects quickly diminish once one withdraws from the area of effect.]

  16. Rancid Seepage. Vile, viscous stuff dripping from the ceiling. You just can't seem to get away from it...

    [AL C, MV 1' per HD, AC 5, HD 1d6, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per HD, SV F4, ML 12 (mindless), Special: This stuff follows light-sources, wriggling across the ceiling to position itself directly over the brightest lamp, lantern or glow-orb.]

  17. Criss-Crossing Slime-Trails. It appears to be tracks of mucous left behind by slugs, snails or the like...only is seems to slither ever so slightly all of its own volition...the things also seem to extend all around you, as though they were not entirely visible or noticeable until just now...

    [AL N, MV 3' (but only when unobserved), AC 6, HD 2d4, #AT 1, DG 1pt per HD, SV zero-level-human, ML 12 (mindless). Special: Highly flammable, these things burst into flame at the slightest touch of a fire-source, causing 1d6 damage per turn to anyone exposed to the flames that run along the entire length of the tracks. This will not harm these things in the least, but will cause them to slither more rapidly into place so as to trap and damage everyone within reach for as long as the flames persist (typically they will burn for 1d4 turns, plus 1 turn per HD).]

  18. Waxy Wall-Ripples. Whether it is plaster, mortared stone or brickwork, this section of the wall has the appearance of having been somehow melted and retains the impression of ripples...

    [AL N, MV (see below), AC 7, HD 1, #AT 1, DG 1d6, SV F1, ML 12 (mindless), Special: The area affected by this stain has a waxy composition, allowing it to melt and even burn like wax, though it is actually stone, brick, plaster, etc. The 'ripples' remain immobile unless exposed to magical light sources, then they spread outward, away from the light at a rate of 12' per turn. These stains will move only far enough to escape the light and no farther. This may be some sort of after-effect of certain proscribed spells.]

  19. Dried Werm Drool. Very disgusting looking splotches of greenish filth that give off a putrid scent of ammonia and fish entrails. It is almost never found while still wet, leading some experts to surmise that it is transparent or invisible until it dries into this form, but this has yet to be confirmed.

    [AL C, MV 1', AC n/a (no roll needed), HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4 +Green Rust, SV F2, ML 12 (mindless), Special: All metals (including yellow metal) must make a Save or become corroded and pitted by contact with this stuff. If ingested it causes debilitating constipation and permanently makes the victim unable to digest any form of cheese whatsoever. The Ulgrik folk are rumored to make especially toxic kill-candles from this stuff, but they do not reveal trade secrets to outsiders, so no one is entirely certain if that is true or not.]

  20. Colorless Patch. Dreary and devoid of all color, there is a faint metallic tang to the air near this dry patch...

    [AL C, MV 6' (2'), AC 4, HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4 per round of contact, SV F2, ML 12, Special: Permanently drains all color from whatever comes into contact with it. The Lears Company hires orphans and others to gather this stuff with special gloves, scrapers and buckets for use in making their special soaps.]

You might also find Wet Spots, Sallow Stains, Spectral Brine and possibly Loathsome Masses somewhat similar, parallel hazards and horrors one might encounter in Wermspittle, and occasionally elsewhere. We'll have a few more Amorphous Horrors coming along soon as we swamp-out our old files and note-books.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant! You have me scanning my office for suspicious discolorations now...


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