Friday, December 12, 2014

Gleiben

"...Rats. Rats. Rats! Thousands! Millions of them! All red blood! All these will I give you if you will obey me."
Renfield's Journal

Gleiben
No. Enc.: 1d4 (3d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 7[12] (as Leather)
Hit Dice: 1 (Can advance as Thief or Minion)
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d4 or by weapon
Save: As zero-level human
Morale: 6

Special: No Resistance to Mind Control. Vermin Affinity--Gleiben possess a peculiar rapport with vermin and often bond with rats, bats, and all manner of other vermin. They can cast Charm Vermin once per hour as a standard ability. 

Peculiar, eccentric, off-beat would-be thespians and performers, Gleiben dress in out-of-date styles, smell like moldy cheese and always have dirt of some kind under their untrimmed nails. Awkward both physically and socially, Gleiben prefer to dwell in caves or in cellars and attics in abandoned properties, and occasionally dilapidated old windmills or crumbling, overgrown keeps that have been stricken from the tax-rolls or otherwise left open to squatters. Unlike Moundfolk, the Gleiben desperately want to make their mark, any mark, on whatever village, town or city they can sneak into and not get kicked out of.

Fish-belly pale and slightly hunched, the Gleiben tend to congregate around theaters, show-houses and cabarets desperately trying to snatch-up even the most insignificant roles in any production. They will take any menial job just to be close to actors, playwrights, or anyone else even slightly involved or connected to the theater. While few of them have any talent or aptitude for the stage, they also have no shame and will do anything they are commanded, which makes them appealing to directors, producers and managers who often hire-on one or more Gleiben as flunkies, minions and valets.

Born followers and henchmen, the Gleiben have no defenses against Hypnosis, Charm, Suggestion, Mesmerism, or Somnambulism. They willingly serve as thralls to anyone they recognize as 'their' master, quickly developing an empathic awareness of their master's deepest wishes and darkest desires that they then use to guide their efforts to please, appease and earn praise from their masters. They will do anything for their masters. Anything.



Source of InspirationThe Vampire Bat (1933) which can be seen at Youtube or at the Internet Archives, has a character named 'Gleib,' (played by Dwight Fry) who is hounded to his death by a mob who believes he's behind the 'vampire killings' in town. Mr. Fry's performance in The Vampire Bat was more than a little reminiscent of his portrayal of the unfortunate Mr. Renfield in Dracula (1931), and then there is his turn as Fritz in Frankenstein (1931). There's also more than a little bit of Willard and Ben which takes the whole Pied Piper thing down a very creepy path. Add to that a touch of The Eloi from The Time Machine and HPL's The Lurking Fear and the in-bred troglodytic Martense Clan and you have a Gleiben...which is also a bit of nonsense-German that made quite a splash back in the day...so not only do these poor souls hang around hoping to pick-up some bit-part in a play or performance, they really like loud music...which means you could bring in a little bit of Erich Zann's unearthly music as well if you like...oh and they hand-craft very well-made bone flutes...

2 comments:

  1. A great stew of influences, there.

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  2. With this one it stands out even more than usual how fully you present a thing, with so much sense of how the world might look beyond the obvious. It fits Wermspittle well, even if it's less outright odd than some of the other performers in the line-up, a sign of how much Wermspittle allows for and how much it can hold.

    Seeing Trey's comment also makes me think that there's potential crossover here with the strange new world of Weird Adventures - I can imagine them turning up out in the backwoods.

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