Monday, June 16, 2014

Todtenhilzig (Nasty Little People)


Twilight had fallen by the time they came to the trees, beneath which were the black, circular objects they had marked from a distance. Dozens of them were scattered around and Dorothy bent near to one, which was about as tall as she was, to examine it more closely. As she did so the top flew open and out popped a dusky creature, rising its length into the air and then plumping down upon the ground just beside the little girl. Another and another popped out of the circular, pot-like dwelling, while from all the other black objects came popping more creatures—very like jumping-jacks when their boxes are unhooked—until fully a hundred stood gathered around our little group of travelers...
by L. Frank Baum


Todtenhilzig
No. Enc.: 5d20
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 30' (10')
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 1d4 hit points
Attacks: 1 (bite or by weapon)
Damage: 1d6 or by weapon [most often 1d4 Biting Dolls]
Save: F2
Morale: 6

Special: Todtenhilzig are very strong for their size, being able to lift approximately three times their own body weight with ease. Their bite is the equivalent of a +1 weapon for both 'to hit' and damage purposes. Anyone devoured by these things is rendered physically unrecoverable, as if that needed to be said...


Nocturnal, tiny and curiously formed little people with wrinkly, leathery skin that appears like some sort of husk or loose wrapping, the Todtenhilzig appear mischievous and playful...even comical...until they have their intended victim surrounded. Then they strike in a mad, hooting and hollering wave of snapping teeth and slashing blades. They prefer to attack only when they have the means to overwhelm a victim, but being hot-blooded and impatient folk, they can sometimes be a bit premature in their all-out assaults.

Merciless, murderous abhuman creatures, the Todtenhilzig crave human flesh above all other meat except perhaps Grimflesh and of course Thumblings, whose flesh they desire over all else. They wear the tanned and painted hides of their former victims and are very skilled in the crafting of bone implements, weapons and adornments, including various talismans and charms cunningly contrived from shards of human bone that they will offer to sell to an unwary traveler whom they are not prepared to ambush quite yet. They are incredibly gifted as doll-makers and are notorious for the 'Biting Dolls' that they make to serve them as guards and weapons.

Todtenhilzig spell-casters construct vicious iron-toothed 'biting dolls' that they send after their enemies among the Thumblings, Lillipts or others, such as those larger folk who manage to escape one of their ambushes. These are a vicious, vengeful people, who exchange torture tips with Bogles and have been known to swap prisoners with certain of the Comprachicos, or one of their agents, on the basis of an equal amount of meat by body-weight basis, of course.

All their spells tend to involve skinning their prey and molding bones into useful shapes, regardless of whether the bones have been removed from their target's body or not. In fact, they have a few spells for the removal of bones that can help with that as well, but they are loathe to teach their spells to outsiders, though they can be bribed with sufficient quantities of fresh meat and strong drink.

Of all the amorphous horrors to be found within Wermspittle, the bone-dissolving Gelbores are of especial interest to the Todtenhilzig. They have allowed trespassers to leave unmolested upon giving the nasty little people very detailed directions to the location of a Gelbore--once the directions were proven to be accurate, of course. No one knows just what the Todtenhilzig do with the Gelbores they capture. It's probably better not to ask...

They dwell in cast iron domes converted from old cauldrons. Presenting a group of Todtenhilzig with a cauldron will earn their friendship and prevent them from attempting to ambush and/or devour such a generous person for at least a few hours. The only thing that would gain a stranger even more acclaim and renown, not to mention good favor among the Todtenhilzig would be to deliver unto them a few Thumbling prisoners. They delight in tormenting, dismembering and ultimately devouring Thumblings more than any other creature. Their hatred for the Thumblings stems from the days Achuin Occupation when roving bands of Thumblings took up the yellow banner and hunted down and killed as many of the Todtenhilzig as they could. Then the Thumblings took over their jobs in the local toy-makers and doll factories. When the Pruztians drove out the Achuin forces, the Thumblings switched sides and served the Pruztians, which allowed them to continue to harass and persecute the Todtenhilzig. Now there is no one to protect their one-time tormentors and the Todtenhilzig are out for revenge...




1d6 Lesser Biting Dolls
  1. The severed head and one arm of a celluloid-based doll are mounted on an old broom-stick. The doll's jaws have been extended with wired-together sections of bone and wood. Instead of teeth, this doll's gaping maw is filled with dozens upon dozens of rusty nails. The arm flaps around but cannot grip anything now that all its fingers have been hacked off.

    Doll-Head Stick [AL C, MV n/a, AC 7, HD 2 (16hp), #AT 1, DG 1d4+2 (Strikes as +2 weapon), SV F1, ML 3+Wielder's CHAR Mod. Special: Takes double damage from fire.]

    Control Mechanism: Wielder must invest 1 hit point to wield this weaponized-doll each time they pick it up, failure or refusal to do so results in the thing attacking them at +2 to hit for three consecutive attempts. at the end of the third attempt, if the thing has not drawn blood by way of its attacks, it goes inert until someone, anyone, invests one hit point of their own blood into the thing. Also, each time this thing achieves a natural 20 on the To Hit dice in combat it will require one additional hit point of damage invested to keep it working for the current wielder.

  2. A rag doll soaked in Spectral Brine, it's insides are a viscous black jelly and the thing spews corrosive tar-like gunk in-between biting attacks. The gunk clings to most surfaces and is highly flammable in addition to causing 1d4 damage per turn for the next 4 turns.

    Control Mechanism: A square button carved from walrus ivory. The button must be stitched into the clothing of the would-be master. They then must squeeze the button between two fingers while giving the doll simple commands of three words or less in Urzine or some related dialect.

    Pukey Doll [AL C, MV 30' (10'), AC 7, HD 2 (11hp), #AT 1 (Bite or Spewage), DG 1d4/1d6 (+1d4 per Turn for next 4 Turns), SV F1, ML 3+Master's CHAR Mod., Special: On a successful bite attack the doll will attempt to latch onto its victim, gaining a +2 bonus to hit on its next attack, which if successful inflicts double damage. However, once it accomplishes this special attack, the doll slips free and must try again.]

    Control Mechanism: A ring of laminated bone. Wearer gains a +6 bonus to dominate the doll psychically. The doll has an Ego/Psyche of 12. Each time the doll takes damage, the ring-wearer takes 1 hit point of damage as well.

  3. Garishly re-painted porcelain-headed doll in a miniature hoop-skirt. The fabric body is packed with a mixture of gunpowder and Achromic Powder. Someone has thoughtfully wired a torch into the thing's tiny little hands and it appears very happy to see you. [Explodes as a Fireball spell.]
    Dolly-BoomBoom [AL C, MV 60' (20'), AC 7, HD 1 (4hp), #AT 1, DG 4d6 damage in 30' radius blast, SV F1, ML 3+Master's CHAR Mod. If doll fails Morale check, it has a 30% chance to run crying back to Master.]

    Control Mechanism: A tear-drop shaped 'gem' formed from a lacquered blob of gray jelly containing a substantial quantity of gunpowder and attached to a slender Horla-hide cord. The wearer can command the doll up to a distance of 20', even though the blast radius is 30'.

  4. Papier mache coated with lacquer, this doll has the bulging eyes of a grizzled veteran from the fighting pits lovingly glued into its too-small sockets. The thing's nose is the pick-end of a broken warhammer (does 1d6, but breaks loose in wound) and it's teeth are ice-picks and bodkins stolen from failed revolutionaries.

    Pick-Nose Doll [AL C, MV n/a (Legs are actually the handle of a warhammer), AC 7, HD 2 (14hp), #AT 1 (Bite), DG 1d4+1, SV F1, ML 3+Wielder's CHAR Mod. Takes triple damage from fire.]

    Control Mechanism: Whomever wishes to control this doll must carefully insert an appropriate bodkin or ice-pick into its over-sized jaws. Doing so grants you complete control of the thing for the next 36 hours, after which time it rebels and either runs away (60%) or attacks (40%). It can be destroyed by driving another ice-pick through its head, or held at bay by reciting revolutionary doctrine and press releases in a suitably sonorous and monotonous voice for so long as the recitation continues uninterrupted.

  5. Headless Cutie Doll. It's body is hollow, but filled with 3d6 green-speckled centipedes that swarm out of the gaping hole where its head ought to be.

    Headless Cutie-Doll [AL C, MV 30' (10'), AC 7, HD 2 (9hp), #AT 1, DG Special, SV F1, ML 3+Master's CHAR Mod. Special: Contains 3d6 venomous vermin that will attack if disturbed.]

    Green-Speckled Centipedes [AL C, MV 90' (30'), AC 6, HD 1+1, #AT 1, DG 1d4+Poison, SV F1, ML 5. Special: Save +1 versus Poison or suffer -4 penalty to Initiative, half movement, -2 penalty to hit and lose any DEX bonus to AC for next 1d4 Turns. effects Are cumulative.]

    Control Mechanism: A bent stick carved with lazy spirals is given to the would-be owner or controller. Wherever you point the stick, the doll will move towards that direction. This effect is continual and cannot be paused or stopped. Letting go of the stick causes the doll to come after whoever held it last.

  6. Grotesquely carved from wood and bone, this warrior-doll has an over-sized nutcracker-like mouth fitted with many, many triangular iron teeth. It also has multiple bloody scalps affixed to its head; each one chewed off of the head of a past victim.

    Biting Doll (Scalper) [AL C, MV 60' (20'), AC 6, HD 2, #AT 1, DG 1d4+3 (Strikes as +1 weapon), SV F4, ML 10, Special: Limited to a 120' radius around master. Every scalp taken has a 20% chance to grant the doll 1 additional point of Ego (as magical/sapient sword).]

    Control Mechanism: A small leather bag that contains several wadded-up and bloody scalps. The exterior is picked-out with crude bead-work, with the beads being human teeth. holding the bag allows you to direct the doll, but your influence wanes the longer it goes without committing an act of violence. There is no set formula or measure to how this functions, only a never-ending need by the doll to be biting, tearing, hurting things that the 'master' must accommodate, or else the doll will turn on them.


Inspiration: The Todtenhitzig were inspired by a desire to replace Mr. Baum's 'tiny and curiously formed' little people, the Tottenhots of Oz with something that wasn't quite so stupidly racist, so I re-imagined them as a truly nasty type of 'lower form of humanity,' with ancestral ties back to the wicked Voorish Domes in Deep Dendo as rivals and competitors (and hunters) of the Thumblings. Thus we manage to mash-up The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum with The White People of Arthur Machen...and find out who really makes those evil little fetish dolls with the oh so sharp iron teeth...

2 comments:

  1. If these are only lesser biting dolls...well, I'd hate to see the greater!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well...we do have another Six Biting Dolls that were posted previously for you to consider...as for the Greater Biting Dolls...well, that might be a topic better addressed in a PDF.

      Delete

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