Friday, January 18, 2013

Like a Virgin (Apply Within)

The Kalapids live on the edge of the sub-fertile Salt Wastes that stretch seaward from the northern slopes of the Spine of the World. They gather what sustenance they can from the limited topsoil of the region and of course, the bounty of the sea. Their language is actually derived almost entirely from Dwarfish, a remnant of their days as a slave people, when they guarded the outposts outside the major Dwarven trade tunnels. The men still maintain impressive braided beards and stonework is very highly valued in Kalapid circles. Their culture maintains a militaristic and mercantile bent, with each Kalapid town being heavily fortified (especially around the entrances to the trade tunnels) as well as usually having a seawalled port (few Kalapids live far away from a major body of water).

The worship of the Dwarven gods continues amongst many of the Kalapids, especially the older generations; however, they've been largely replaced by many new deities, mostly local fertility and war gods. An interesting case is the major trading port of Tel Atwan, where an ancient red-stone temple has stood as long as anyone can remember. Inside there is a medium-sized hall as well as devotionals and housing for priests, all connecting in various ways to a complex labyrinth that seems to stretch far beyond the physical limitations of the temple. Only after many years of study are initiates allowed to venture into the deeper areas of the maze and when and if they return, they return changed, their tongues telling of the wisdom of Falfuhd, granter of great power and greater knowledge.

It is only then that they are allowed to command virgins.

You see, Falfuhd's greatest gifts are connected to innocence and harm done to the innocent. As interpreted by the male priests of Falfuhd, a certain percentage of Tel Atwan's young females are taken from their families and raised as handmaidens of Falfuhd. Carefully guarded away from the rest of the town to maintain their innocence, they are primarily used in the summoning of minor demons, as well as rituals to maintain the health and power of said demons. Mostly this involves being flayed with barbed whips and other kinds of bloodletting, up to and including sacrifices for the most major summonings, or for invocations involving direct communication with Falfuhd.

Falfuhd - Granter of Knowledge, Unveiler of Secrets, Defiler of Innocence

Falfuhd appears as a great dung beetle or as a wiry man dressed in a loincloth and headgear and carrying a serpentine staff (treat as viper in combat). In both of his forms he is a bilious yellow and excretes a bitter-smelling slime that is slightly acidic (1d6 damage/round unless cleaned off).

Powers

- Any damage done to an innocent in his presence heals Falfuhd to a equal degree
- Any time a Lawful cleric has their blood spilled, Falfuhd heals 1d8 damage. If a Lawful cleric dies, he is brought back to full health, including bringing him back to life if he "died" in the last 4 turns.
- Farfuhd can curse one word per round by saying it in a mocking voice. Any creature saying that word or writing it takes d8 points of damage until demon is destroyed. (Demon is immune.)
- Maze spell (as AD&D) 2/day. A creature may elect to spend extra time in the maze (maximum time for his/her intelligence level + 1 round) and, if so, and if s/he either succeeds in an intelligence check at -10 or goes to the right place in a maze the DM has prepared in advance for this purpose, may find the demon's soul, in the form of a bizarre relic or talisman and, once s/he returns to the material plane, may use it to bind the demon to his/her will.

(Major cap-tip and Apologies to/for Zak S. and his marvelous Demonic Attribute Table.)

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