Results 1 to 9 of 9
Thread: New Awnshegh: The Phantom
08-02-2004, 12:26 AM #1
Here's yet another new Birthright character. Per usual, this thing is a bit long for a single post, so I'll break it up a bit, and I'm going to start it off by posting to the message boards and then complete the process by email. Comments are welcome.
Whenever possible, the location and role of the character at the domain level of play is also included. The Phantom is more of an encounter/random event level character, but I'm giving the character a "headquarters" in a new area called "The Lost Caverns" that will have several implications at the domain level. More on that in a day or two....
Part of the idea with these new awnsheghlien and ersheghlien is that they should have as broad a gaming potential as possible. That is, if one wants to do a lot of role-playing then there's plenty of background and theme to the character for such a session. If one wants to whip out a grid and hack 'n slash away for a couple of hours then the character should represent a pretty good challenge. Occasionally, I like to start these guys off with a quote. In this case, the quote in question is a bit post-medieval for our purposes, but it does capture the vibe of the character nicely and, therefore, helps the role-playing aspect of the character.
In any case, on with the show....
08-02-2004, 01:40 AM #2
The Phantom - Character Description
Popularly known as the Phantom, the being that haunts the Lost Caverns
makes frequent forays from his underground lair, haunting the surrounding
countryside to wreak havoc upon those unfortunate enough to encounter
him. Though the Phantom fights the power of his transformation he is not
immune to the effects of his own disorienting delusions, and can behave in
an erratic manner when encountered. Often he will conduct a conversation
with creatures that are not present, respond to things that are said in
ways that makes it clear he heard something else said entirely, or
otherwise become unpredictable and violent. Even when not in the throes of
a delusion the Phantom is still wracked by doubt about the reality of his
surroundings, and his behavior is completely colored by his inability to
distinguish fantasy from reality.
An appearance by the Phantom can be used as a Monsters or Magical Event
random event or, as a single encounter adventure, his appearance could also
be used to portray an Assassination or Blood Challenge.
Awnshegh 9, Rogue 3
Medium-sized Major Awnshegh
Hit Dice: 9d10+18, 3d6+6 (88 hp)
Initiative: +7 (+3 dex, Improved Initiative)
Speed: 30 ft.
AC: 18 (+3 dex, +4 chainshirt, +1 dodge) touch 14, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+13
Attack: Longsword +15 melee (1d8+2)
Full Attack: Longsword +15/+10/+5 (1d8+2)
Face/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Qualities: Aura of Madness, Darkvision, Evasion, Invisible,
Invulnerable, Sneak Attack +2d6, Trapsense +1.
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +12, Will +3
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 10
Skills: Hide +38, Listen +14, Move Silently +18, Spot +14
Feats: Blood Aesthete, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Major Transformation,
Mobility, Spring Attack
Environment: Any Land (the Lost Caverns)
Challenge Rating: 10
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: -
Bloodline: Azrai, minor, 17. Invulnerability (great), Shadow Form (minor)
Bloodline in BP Style: Az(5/17) Invul(7) ShdFrm(2)
Before his transformation the Phantom was a typical Anuirean male. By all
accounts he was light skinned with blonde hair and very pale blue
eyes. The Phantom is now invisible, but those able to see invisible
creatures will perceive a thin figure that is still translucent despite the
magic that allows him to be seen. He is pale with sunken eyes and a
haggard expression. His clothing was once fine but is now dirtied and torn.
The Phantom is not hostile by inclination, but while in the throes of his
delusions he will often commit acts of violence. Though he would not have
considered himself a warrior in his youth, the Phantom has gained
considerable physical prowess by embracing his transformation into an awnshegh.
Aura of Madness: The Phantom projects and aura of madness that affects all
sentient creatures within a 30` radius. Every minute (10 rounds) those
within the area of effect must make a DC 15 Will save to avoid the effects
of Confusion. Those who fail this save are not confused per se, but are
responding to the delusions and fantasies that the Phantom`s aura plays out
in their minds. The DM is encouraged to role-play these delusions based
upon the results of the Confusion spell. That is, a character who wanders
away for 1 minute finds himself lost and alone, while a character who
attacks the nearest creature for 1 round sees that creature as a charging
monster. Confusion caused by the Phantom`s Aura of Madness remains in
effect for 1d6+1 rounds.
Special Note 1: The Aura of Madness is not an illusion effect, but a
mind-affecting enchantment (compulsion) so it cannot be disbelieved.
Special Note 2: The DM may want to roll the saving throws for the PCs
himself and keep those results secret so that the players do not know if
what they see is real or the product of the Phantom`s aura.
Special Note 3: The Phantom is himself subject to the same delusions that
affect those within the radius of his Aura of Madness. His behavior can be
similarly portrayed by making Will saves against a Confusion effect.
Invisibility: The Phantom is permanently invisible. This ability conforms
to Improved Invisibility except that unlike standard invisibility, objects
that the Phantom picks up and holds begin to fade from view the round after
he comes into contact with them.
Invulnerability: The Phantom is not killed when reduced to 0 (or -10) hit
points. When reduced to 0 or fewer hit points he does not fall unconscious
but can only make partial actions. While at 0 or negative hit points the
Phantom regenerates 1 hp/hour until returned to full consciousness at 1 hit
point. The Phantom is immune to all death effects from poison, massive
damage or magic. He cannot drown, suffocate or starve to death, instead
entering a coma-like state that requires a DC 20 Fortitude save to restore
him to full consciousness once the condition that led to the coma is no
longer in effect.
In order to permanently kill the Phantom he must be slain by an act of
bloodtheft in the round after being the subject of a Break Enchantment
spell. The check to determine the success of the Break Enchantment spell
is DC 25.
08-02-2004, 02:00 AM #3
The Phantom - Background, part 1
I suppose, accordingly, that all the things which I see are false
(fictitious); I believe that none of those objects which my fallacious
memory represents ever existed; I suppose that I possess no senses; I
believe that body, figure, extension, motion, and place are merely fictions
of my mind. What is there, then, that can be esteemed true? Perhaps this
only, that there is absolutely nothing certain.
- Rene Descartes, Meditations
"Am I here?"
"Yes, you are here. We are both here."
"Are you sure?"
"You can trust me."
"It is not really a matter of trusting you… how can I believe you? I think
you are here, and you may very well be, and if you are here you may think
that I am here too, and that we are both in this place. But if I am not
here then you are not here either, so even if you trust you when you say
you are here, I cannot necessarily believe that it is so. The truth is
that I cannot be sure that I am here myself. That means that you telling
me that you are here could very well be wrong. You may be asking me to
believe the word of a delusion. Many of the things that I see, that I
touch, that I hear are not real. Often the things that appear to me seem
to be real, as real as you are now, yet they tell me things that are not
true. You might be one of those phantasms created by my curse, telling me
that I am here when I am not and leading me to commit terrible crimes
against real people in real places that I do not even know that I am
visiting. No, I cannot believe you, for there is nothing to prove that I
am here and that you are anything more than an apparition."
I began to doubt the efficacy of the spells meant to protect me from the
aura of madness that emanates from the awnshegh known as the Phantom for I
felt myself slipping into confusion and fought it as best I could. I am in
the Lost Caverns, I told myself, I am speaking to the Phantom. It was
difficult to conduct a conversation with a being that is unseen, especially
since he moved about constantly. His voice would come from one direction
then another. I quickly have grew dizzy simply from spinning about to face
in the direction of the voice. His philosophizing only made matters worse.
"But if you really are here," he continued, "why have you come? There are
few who visit me in this lonely place. Here only the demons in my mind
speak to me, and they only seek to mislead me so that I commit terrible acts."
"I am here to collect information upon the awnsheghlien of Cerilia. It is
"That seems reasonable…" the Phantom responded, "but so are many of the
explanations told to me by the delusions that haunt my every moment. Not
long ago I was visited by a lost child who needed to be returned to her
family. As I led the girl home we were set upon by wolves. I fought them
to protect her. When she was safe I turned to the child and the girl I had
been defending was in fact a lamb and I was surrounded by the bodies of
shepherds come to retrieve their lost sheep. Their blood is on my hands,
and that of many more that I have killed in the throes of one fantasy or
I had been warned that the Phantom sometimes becomes violent for no
apparent reason, and the reason for this was now confirmed. Would I live
long enough to relate the truth to my brothers at the College?
"And inaction is not a reliable option," the disembodied voice continued,
"for my curse deludes me in many ways. These caves are easy to become lost
in, and I have found many people disoriented and starving in them. Should
I help them? What misfortune might I wreak upon them in doing so? How can
I know the route I take them upon will not lead them into a fissure? I
have watched real people die before my eyes believing them to be fantasies
only to have their rotting corpses rise up as zombies to slay me. What`s
worse, how many of those I have shown an exit were murderous highwaymen who
ran into my caverns only to escape justice? I may have helped many a
murderer believing him to be an adventurer that had become lost in these
"My curse is filled with truthful stories and believable tales that always
end in death and horror. You may very well want to hear my tale, but I
could be confessing to a stalagmite, and while my attention is diverted
some unknown horror is happening in these caverns to spill out into the
world above. I could try to set it right… but that might only lead to
further horrors. My curse is to never know the truth of things, to be
forever in doubt. It is torment beyond any physical pain…."
I decided not to mention that I was the fifth member of my brethren to be
dispatched to the Lost Caverns to interview this most intangible of
awnsheghlien. In searching the caves I had come across the body of one of
them, Kennick Dain. He had been dead for many weeks. Had the Phantom
killed him while in the grip of some hallucination? I cannot say for sure,
and I doubt if the awnshegh himself knew either. What had become of the
others I still have no idea.
I could see that I was not going to be able to talk my way around the
creature`s logic, so I tried another tack.
"Well, since you cannot know if I am real what harm in telling me your tale?"
The Phantom laughed (a tinny, far-off sound that echoed from the walls
unnaturally) before he replied.
"Very well. I could be speaking to a stone or one of the many giant cave
rats that are my neighbors, but as you say-if you did say anything at
all-what harm could come from speaking of the past? It may soothe me and,
in truth, I have conversed with the fantasies sent me by my curse before,
so why not now? Perhaps you are even real… it would be a pleasant thing to
think that someone somewhere had heard my tale and may felt some pity for me…."
"I think my name is Jules Cotard. I remember growing up and a
family. Perhaps they were real. I cannot know for certain, for I do not
know now if anything in my life was ever real. If my memories are true
there was a time before my curse took hold and the world was the same for
me as it is for all living things. Back then I was just an imaginative
child, always making up stories in which I was the hero. I fought demons
and devils from the Shadows, won the hand of princesses, stole the precious
jewels from the vaults of the Imperial City. There was no limit to my
dreaming. As I grew older my imaginings grew more mature, but no less
frequent. My family called me a dreamer. I remember my father was
especially indignant at my fantasies and inventions. He was a hard man,
disappointed that I did not become more like my elder brothers who were
strong, outgoing young men. They were strong and athletic, skilled at the
joust and in all the occupations of a young noble. I had always felt more
at home alone and in the gloom of my quiet corner. Eventually, he began to
ignore me, and I lost the craving for his attentions."
"They thought I was sick at first. I was always pale compared to my
athletic brothers, but on the eve of my sixteenth birthday I arrived at the
breakfast table a ghostly shade of white. I felt fine and told them so,
but they called for the surgeon nonetheless. He bled me a bit, for though
many healers now disdain that ancient practice there is a bit of truth to
the fact that amongst we scions the blood has some power over our spirits
that commoners cannot understand. The bleeding was done for reasons that
had more to do with my curse than it did with my body. The physician was a
man of great renown amongst the nobles of Cerilia for his knowledge of the
godsblood and its treatment. What was his name? Kennick… Kendle…. I
cannot seem to remember it now…."
08-02-2004, 02:20 AM #4
The Phantom - Background, part 2
The Phantom paused as if lost in thought. He seemed lucid so I did not
want him to fall into a reverie from which he might not return, or that
might take an ugly turn, so I prompted him to speak further.
"Were you ill?"
"Well, no, not in the way that you mean. It was the curse of my blood that
was taking effect. I became thinner and more wan by the hour. Or so it
seemed to those who watched me. I felt fine. They insisted I be put to
bed and the lights put out. `Bed rest,` the doctor ordered, and more
bleedings. Perhaps it did a little good, for it seemed I changed but
little in those first few days. Soon, however, I grew restless and
resentful of the unwanted attention being paid me. Could they not leave me
alone with my daydreams? It was a week before those thoughts began to
become real in every way, and I am less sure that what happened next truly
happened, or if it was the beginning of my delusions."
"It was night and I heard the doctor approaching. I wished that he would
come no closer but, of course, the steps grew inevitably louder. Then I
wished that I might not be there, that I could disappear never to be seen
again by doctors, my father, brothers, or by anyone. As the creaking door
fell open I closed my eyes and wished I were not there as hard as I could,
and like some mad tale of childhood, my wish came true."
"There was, of course, a mad rush to find me. They searched the keep from
dungeon to crenel. I remained in bed the entire time, unsure exactly what
it was that was going on. They called my name over and over, but some
perverse instinct in me kept me from calling back. It seemed I was no
longer there, so I left that place and I have never returned… I don`t think."
"At first the manifestation of my bloodline was a delight. My daydreams
became my reality. I let myself become lost in them, playing out any
flight of fantasy that tripped into my mind, and I was rewarded with dreamy
images so vivid and exciting that I soon had no desire to return to my
former life. I became one of the world`s greatest adventurers in my mind,
had the most fascinating adventures, met the most beautiful women…. It was
as if all my dreams came true, and I reveled in it."
"I do not know for sure how I survived those first few months. I had no
lack of nourishment, though I shudder to think of what it was I might have
been really eating. What I thought was at a great fete surrounded by
admirers I might, in fact, have been sitting in a pigpen dining from the
common trough. The gentle spring from which I sipped might well have been
the runoff of some cesspit. Whatever they were in reality it seemed to me
that I ate only the finest meals and sipped honeyed drinks that flowed like
fountains from the very earth. Because I went unseen there was no one to
object to the thievery that I know I must have engaged in, or none who
could catch me if they tried. Perhaps they did try? I know I fought upon
occasion and that I killed several people that I my fantasies led me to
believe were bandits or villains."
"It was not until later that my curse began to grow dark, and by then it
was too late. I had embraced the fantasies given me by my blood so that I
was no longer in control. I was in the midst of rescuing a maid from her
cruel master, when I perceived for a moment the reality of what it was that
I was doing. The maid was no child, but a grandmother and what I thought
was her capture was but a lad. He lay dead at my feet while his family
cringed in terror at the disembodied voice that shouted irrational
challenges and stabbed at them from out of nowhere. In truth, I do not
know for certain that even that is what was truly happened, for it may be
that my curse had sent me some elaborate vision to trick me into fleeing
that place, for that is what I did. I ran and ran until I was exhausted,
but there was no escape. I could not outpace that corruption of my soul."
"Was I dead? Am I dead? I cannot answer that question even now. Perhaps
I am a Lost Soul wandering through the Shadow World in search of an exit to
the life beyond. I do not know. I cannot know. That is my curse. I
cannot say if I am here or not or even if I am alive or dead. Can you
imagine the torment of not knowing if you even exist? I cannot trust that
you are here, that I am here, or that there is anything here at all, but
you can trust me that it is the worst torture that can be endured. Day in
and day out, my mind tells me things that are not true, and I cannot
believe the things that anyone else would know as reality. I think,
therefore, I am not."
There was a long pause while the Phantom pondered his fate and I wondered
how it could possibly be assuaged. When I hit upon the solution I was
hesitant to even ask the question, but worked up the courage for the sake
of my mission and the pathetic creature with whom I was speaking.
"Please forgive me for asking, but if you are so desperate to end this
torture, why not kill yourself?"
"I have tried. I cannot die. I have thrown myself from heights and tried
to let the cursed blood from my veins, but I do not die. Instead I am left
weaker than before and less able to fight off the impulses to obey the
delusions, and more people die. It seems I cannot put an end to myself any
more than I could put an end to the fantasies that deceive me. That is why
I not only cannot kill myself, but I cannot allow myself to be `killed` by
any of these noble fools who come seeking me to make a name for
themselves. They will simply leave me alone and wounded to return in a few
hours more vulnerable than I was before to the delusions of my curse. In
fact, I am a slave to them for many days after such injuries and in that
time they can wreak havoc upon those I meet for I am not strong enough to
resist the compulsions they place upon me. When I regain my senses I see
that I have committed vile acts. The curse of my blood allows me to see
them clearly, I believe, to torture my conscious."
I was finding it difficult to think. I was told that the spells that
protected me would be effective against his aura for a time, but it might
have been pity that overcame my reason as much as the awnshegh`s power.
"So now you know the truth of my history, what do you think, my friend?"
"It is indeed a sad tale, and I do pity you. But be comforted that I will
take your story back to the Imperial City where it may be that the scholars
of my order can find some way to help you."
There was a sharp cry and a gasp.
"What`s this? A blade? Betrayer! You lull me into trusting you by asking
me to tell you my story and when my back is turned you prepare to stab me
in the back!"
"What? I have no weapon. What are you talking about?"
"You admit it! Out to make a name for yourself, are you? Well, you should
have listened more carefully to my tale, backstabber, for that blade cannot
kill one such as I! To think, I trusted you, fool that I am. Enough of
that. Take this for your reward, assassin!"
A sharp pain filled my chest as his blade sunk into me. I had no way of
knowing from where the blow came, but as my blood spilled from the wound I
saw it splatter upon the invisible dagger and hand that grasped it, forming
a gory outline of my unseen attacker. In seconds the blood upon that
ghostly hand faded away, and the Phantom was again invisible.
"It shall be you not I that will die in this lonely place!" the creature
raved while I retreated. I protested my innocence but who knows what it
was he heard me say in his mind? The deadly sound of steel flashed through
air and I instinctively ducked. The Phantom missed me, but the force of my
avoiding his blow sent me reeling. I fell to the earth and struck my head
upon the stony floor and knew nothing more.
When I awoke I was not alone. I could not be sure if it was the Phantom
that was in the room or if my fear was so strong as to become a palpable
thing, but there was a presence in that cave. I did not speak to that
presence. What good would it have done? He might have heard my
protestations as anything; an insult, a challenge or the roar of a cave
animal. Even if he truly heard what I said he could not believe it was the
truth. The cut across my chest was painful. I am no healer but I knew it
was grave enough that I must seek one soon. I moved about to see how badly
wounded I was and realized I could stand and walk if need be.
Disheartened and filled with pity I made my way towards the surface.
08-02-2004, 02:20 AM #5
The Phantom - Notes and References
1. Cotard`s syndrome "takes its name from the French psychiatrist Jules
Cotard who, in 1882, published a series of case studies of people suffering
what he referred to as _le délire de negation_. The clinical presentation
differed somewhat from patient to patient, but delusions of self-negation
were common. These ranged from the belief that parts of the body were
missing or had putrefied, to the complete denial of bodily existence. The
expressed belief that one is dead is not a defining feature of the
syndrome. In fact, of the eight `pure` cases reported by Cotard (excluding
a further three with concomitant persecutory delusions or other
debilitating illness) only one embraced death as an explanation of her
condition. Others slipped into non-existence, or skirted the abyss,
somehow defying the conventional understanding that ceasing to exist must
be tantamount to death. There were even some patients locked in the
paradoxical state of denying their bodily existence yet at the same times
believing themselves to be immortal."
The quoted text above is from _Into the Silent Land_ by Paul Broks, a very
good (if mostly anecdotal, and somewhat meandering) text on
neuropsychology, and was one of the original inspirations for the
Phantom. The Phantom`s psychology, strictly speaking, isn`t pathological
in the sense that his delusions and fantasies are imposed upon him by his
bloodline rather than an organic disfunction. The results of his
manifestation are also more along the lines of what some folks would term
"schizophrenic" than Cotard`s but thematically a kind of total solipsism
and ultimate doubt of all physical reality is what I was going for, and the
end result--the behavior of the character--has similar characteristics from
the role-playing standpoint. It`s not quite as appropriate as the Rene
Descartes quote for the actual character description text, but it`s worth
checking out, so I`m including it here.
2. The Phantom`s phlebotomist, Galen Ketill, will be the subject of a
future awnshegh write up... the Leech. I`ll post him when I`ve finished
his first draft.
3. Lost Souls are BR-specific monsters from another piece of work entitled
"Death: The Final Adventure" that should be in the archives. I don`t think
there are stats for those creatures in that thread, but one could find the
basic ideas there. Like the Phantom and the upcoming awnshegh the Leech,
they will appear in full in LBMM.
4. I`ve got a little more work to do on things like a "Rumours and
Adventure Hooks" section, and a little description of The Lost Caverns
which will better place the Phantom on the continent. Those should be
coming in the next couple days.
08-03-2004, 05:09 AM #6
This one seems a particularly enjoyable if DM-challenging encounter...
08-03-2004, 08:10 AM #7
At 07:09 AM 8/3/2004 +0200, RaspK_FOG wrote:
> This one seems a particularly enjoyable if DM-challenging encounter... ;)
I love the idea of players trying to convince this guy that their PCs
really aren`t illusions. Eventually, I imagine they`ll resort to violence
out of frustration and, ironically, that method would probably be the only
one that would work....
08-11-2004, 05:30 PM #8
Here`s a little additional information on the area the Phantom haunts called
THE LOST CAVERNS
The Lost Caverns are located in the Seamist Mountains. The Caverns are an
extensive system of tunnels that wind throughout that mountain range,
having known entrances in several of the mountainous provinces of
Brosengae, Taeghas, Boeruine, Tuornen and Avanil. Though they remain
largely unexplored there is evidence to suggest that conduits of the Lost
Caverns may extend through the Stonecrown Mountains and beyond creating
what is, perhaps, the most extensive network of subterranean passages in
Though the Lost Caverns cover a large underground region they do not
support entire underground populations the way mountainous regions in other
areas of Cerilia do. For the most part this is because the caverns are
thin, tube-like passages that twist and turn dramatically and
chaotically. The Lost Caverns are often cramped and filled with many
dangers like pitfalls, sandtraps and basins filled with jagged shale. They
do not have large, open areas of the type favored by underground
races. The stone of the Seamists is difficult to mine or excavate. Those
who have tried to dig in the Lost Caverns soon become discouraged by stone
that dulls the hardest mining tools and shatters into jagged shards of
But there is something more that has kept the Lost Caverns free from
habitation by even goblins and orogs. Dwarven surveyors and adventurers
who have visited the Caverns often emerge with disturbed and dismayed
expressions upon their normally impassive faces. Aside from the perils of
the Caverns, the tunnels themselves seem to have a vague, but perceptible
unwholesomeness about them. In addition to forming a seemingly endless
natural labyrinth, the Caverns are an inhospitable environment for most of
those who have sought to make a home for themselves there. Attempts to
grow the various species of mushrooms and subterranean crops cultivated by
several races that live primarily underground have met with failure. The
Lost Caverns themselves seems resist such efforts.
Despite the dangers and inhospitable nature of the Lost Caverns they are
not uninhabited. The have become the refuge of many creatures such as
giant spiders, centipedes, and various creatures that avoid the light of
day. Some humans and other creatures have lived in the Lost Caverns for an
extended period of time. Usually, only outlaws or those expelled from
society find refuge there, and many of these beings emerge from the Lost
Caverns in a scarred or otherwise devolved form if they reside there too
long and delve too deep.
One accidental explorer, Maetlin "Madman" Tosh, insists that the Lost
Caverns extend throughout Cerilia. After becoming lost in the Caverns for
a period of time he insists that he emerged from a cave in
Rovninodensk. It took him several months to make his way back home and
when he did he had many fantastic tales to tell of adventures. Though many
of his stories are assumed to be exaggerations the beginning of Tosh`s tale
is often given credence; that he was transported halfway across Cerilia
into a cavern complex in Vosgaard by some secret gateway located deep in
the complex of the Lost Caverns. Other adventurers have told similar tales
of having emerged from the Caverns in locations far more distant than the
time they spent underground would account for.
Some have speculated that the Lost Caverns contain one or more links into
or through the Shadow World through which spelunkers have unwittingly been
transported. Others have noted that the labyrinthine Caverns have defied
being surveyed by even the most skilled dwarven surveyors, leading them to
the suspicion that the caverns themselves change over time. Still more
suspect some power beneath the earth is responsible for the mysteries of
the Lost Caverns.
01-08-2005, 07:10 AM #9
Here are the rumors and adventure hooks for this character that (for some
reason) I didn`t finish writing up until now....
Rumors, Hints and Adventure Hooks
Lost and Found
The Lost Caverns must be explored and their nature understood. An
expedition is being organized to do just that and the regents of the region
are offering a reward to anyone who can produce maps or information on the
nature of the Caverns as well as artifacts related to its ecology. After
the appearance of several monstrous creatures that would appear to have
taken their degenerate form after prolonged exposure to the energies of the
Lost Caverns Aeric Boeruine has instructed his court mage, to investigate
the phenomenon by organizing expeditions and researching the items brought
back by them. Among those Anuirean nations that have entrances to the
Caverns this effort has led to something of a race to learn the Lost
Cavern`s secrets. Other nearby regents have begun sponsoring their own
The Phantom Menace
For a long time the Phantom appears to have been content to remain
within the Lost Caverns, only occasionally emerging to forage or when in
the grip of his delusions. In recent months, the Phantom has made
appearances in the western lands of Cerilia, apparently at random. What is
clear to those who understand the nature of the Lost Caverns is that the
Phantom`s attacks have been increasingly wide ranging and he must be
employing the transportation effect of the Caverns. Furthermore, it
appears that in the grip of his delusions the Phantom has begun collected
specific items and returning with them to his underground lair. Could
there be some intelligence controlling the Phantom or are his activities
controlled by some expression of his madness? What is it that the Phantom
is constructing in the Lost Caverns?
Phantom of the Operation
If he could be controlled, the Phantom would make the ultimate saboteur,
assassin or burglar. In addition to his inherit invisibility he could sow
confusion in his targets, potentially turning their strength against each
other, making him an excellent agent provocateur. From the perspective of
a nefarious spymaster, the possibilities are endless.
Unfortunately, all attempts to even communicate with the Phantom have
ended badly. Several envoys have disappeared into the Lost Caverns and on
at least one occasion an arranged parley resulted in a bloodbath as the
enraged awnshegh tore into those sent to speak with him because of some
But spymasters and regents remain hopeful that they can turn the Phantom
into an agent or at least bend him to their own ends. To that end many
attempts to contact the Phantom with various methods have been
employed. Some wild schemes have included trapping him with elaborate
devices or mind controlling magics, and several attempts to control his
delusions. All such attempts have ended in failure, but new and
imaginative efforts are still underway.
Cogito, Cogitatis, Cogitamus
A magician named Pol Brok believes he has found a way to communicate
with the Phantom. He cannot dispel the awnshegh`s web of delusions, but he
believes he can penetrate more deeply than the illusions themselves to
communicate directly to the Phantom`s psyche. He has created a spell that
will allow someone to enter the awnshegh`s dreams. Using this technique
the magician hopes to speak to the Phantom and convince him that at least
one voice is not the product of his delusions.
Unfortunately, Brok has recently had a mishap when applying this spell
to himself. A recent experiment proved to him than an experienced guide
must remain awake in order to bring the subject of the spell out of the
dream-state and back to consciousness, for the injuries sustained in this
projected dream state manifest upon the body of the dreamer, making the
process quite dangerous. Brok is looking for a volunteer to travel with
him to somewhere within close enough proximity to the Phantom who will then
become the subject of his Dream Projection spell.
Users Browsing this Thread
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)