Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gloom-Leather (Wermspittle)

Going Price: Three times cow-leather, triple in Autumn, multiplied by 1d10 in Winter.
Availability: Hard to come by, even in the Spring, when Gloomswallows tend to be torpid.
Effect(s): Gloom-Leather can be crafted into various forms of armor (typically +1 or better),

Some examples...
  1. Gloves crafted from Gloomswallow hide that is tanned using a portion of the beast's own ichor in the process come out mottled in lavender and violet, with pearlescent undertones, and grant those who wear them a +4 bonus on Saves versus Gloomswallow attacks. Unfortunately, there is a tendency for many who wear these thing for prolonged periods to become increasingly rational and uncomfortable/unable to use their intuition (Make a Save or shift 1 point from WIS to INT for every month of use, limit to a total of 3 points so transferred).
  2. Boots fashioned from Gloom-Leather tend to be silent in darkness and easily shifted into the various recorded oneiric regions and zones, enabling apprentices to get their first experiences in dreamwalking and related oneiric practices.
  3. Supple, thin and elegant gloves crafted for a surgeon's delicate touch. When properly prepped with Gloomswallow ichor or Dim Ichor in a pinch, these gloves will allow a Surgeon to perform operations on the subtle bodies of their patients, including the removal of oneiric cysts and ectoplasmic parasites. The gloves can also be used to by-pass the patient's physical body just enough to allow the surgeon to perform internal procedures without having to make an entry incision, however this form of usage costs the medical practitioner 1 CON per ten minutes use. There are Outlaw Oneirists who seem to have adapted these types of gloves to use them for violent, transgressive applications best left unmentioned.
  4. Books and journals bound in Gloom-Leather have a tendency to bleed across into dreamspaces and are favored by Oneirists for this very reason. There are rumored to be special tomes manufactured from this material that, with a special ink derived from the fluids of Gloomswallows and having been consecrated in the light of the so-called 'Secret Second Moon,' are used by various dream-adepts to capture spells and secret knowledge from the unprotected minds of dreamers from any number of Adjacent Worlds or Parallel Realms.
  5. Wine-skins formed from Gloom-Leather are popular among some sorcerers as they can be easily enchanted to preserve the vintage and efficacy of various elixirs and concoctions, or to slowly convert even the meanest, sourest wine into something delicate and exceptional, even if it does sometimes cost them a slight loss in their sanity or senses. (Wine left in such a skin requires a Save to avoid losing 1 point of WIS or INT. The Save receives a -1 penalty for every month the wine remains untapped inside the skin. The loss is not serious and recovery is normal...however those who imbibe this stuff do report some really intense, strange dreams and a few have disappeared for weeks with no memory or recollection of what exactly happened.)
  6. The Goules of Latterkamp are known to create masks and other things from Gloom-Leather. The least disturbing of their masks allow the user to reshape their appearance to mimic that of things from their dreams, or to participate in the wild nightly Phantasmagorias and oneiric vistas that fill the streets, alleys and taverns of Wermspittle every Spring.


  1. So is surgery related CON loss permanent? If so, I imagine Wermspittle either has some very gaunt surgeons, or they are recharging their CON on some other nasty way (borrowing "unneeded" CON from the terminally ill or the permanently insane perhaps).

  2. Excellent question. We were wondering if anyone would catch that. The answer is yes to all of the above, and no to all the above, depending upon the particular surgeon and their preferred techniques. Some do harvest CON from the terminally ill, the hopeless cases, the Unfortunates, etc. And yes, some are outright vampiric about it, in the same mold that HPL's Charles Dexter Wards 'once dabbled in vampirism.' (vampirism is not limited to just plague-ravaged, blood-sucking corpses...)

    Some surgeons replenish their personal power/CON via links to transplanar powers, the convalescent gardens, resorting to extreme elixirs or unsound mechanisms of dubious virtue, some make use of derivatives of the White Powder to keep going past their inherent limits. A few are more akin to Clerics and allow higher/lower/parallel forces to flow through them...but many of them leave the medical profession and often wind up martyred by mobs of the afflicted looking for relief (in some cases becoming 'Saints').

    There are dozens and dozens of options and opportunities available to every surgeon and medical practitioner to draw upon as they choose, based upon their training, mentors, studies, personal experiments, access and so forth. Some are luckier than others, some are smarter or more talented, others are just that much more impatient, ruthless or obsessively driven. Any practitioner can make use of proven or unproven technologies, traditional or newfangled spells, obscure or inspired rituals, alchemy, science, or anything else that they want to incorporate into their efforts, work, practice. Those that 'go too far' might be censured, a few even have their certification revoked. Quackery, fakes and frauds are all part of the mix as well as the obligatory insane geniuses conducting their experiments and sanity-challenged spell-casters dabbling with forces/powers outside their comprehension.

    There's a few things coming along in the queue that explore this aspect of things a bit more. A lot of this sort of thing is getting developed for the Sourcebook...but maybe we'll do some excerpts as we get closer to completion.


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