Monday, November 13, 2017

New OSR Monster & Spell - Ashes of Sunset

Who fares to find the sunset ere it fly,
Turning to light and fire the further west,
Shall have the veils of twilight for his guest,
And all the falling of an ashen sky.

On lands he shall not know, the splendor lies—
A pharos on some alienated shore,
In foam and purple lost forevermore,
Where dreams are kindled in remoter eyes.

Ashes of Sunset  (1922)  by Clark Ashton Smith

Down from Saturn these things have come, shapeshifter life forms that bonded with the ashes & leaves of the ghoul plagues that swept the Earth of old. These things roam about carried on the invisible astral winds that blow across the 'Old Earth'. Desperate, dangerous, & weird pieces of living abnatural tissues they blend into the once golden leaves of Fall. The blow like miniature tornadoes tearing apart living beings with with death by a million cuts for touching them does 1d4 points of damage as blood is sucked dry into the desiccated tissues of these horrors.  These things take on a golden color of an Autumn sun set after a feeding but there is something disturbing & off about them in their appearance. Because of the Saturian nature they are shape shifters after a limited fashion. They can take on the appearance of dead native plant life.

Adventurers encountering the Ashes of Sunset for the first time will hear the rushing of wind from no particularly location & a sense of dread followed by the taste of burnt matches on their tongue. By then it far too late, the Ashes of Sun set have set hundreds of spores capable of paralyzing their victims. The victim must save vs wands or be frozen to the spot. Looking like the leaves some alien tree the Ashes of Sunset  open up with millions of cilia containing a dark pustulent acid capable of doing 1d6 points of damage to the tissues  of anyone unfortunate enough to encounter them. These things are an emphatic hive mind & drawn to living beings within a twenty mile.  When they have not fed these things resemble the ashes of a recently burned piece of paper or rag carried on the winds. These things travel from place to place on a combination of very limited telekinesis flight & astral winds. They move in a  deceptively relaxed manner. Attracted by emotions of conflict & violence. Often wars, combat, or violence will attract a colony of Ashes at Sunset. They will wait for any dying or wounded victims to fall to the ground so they can move in silently  then begin to drain blood, life force, & reproduce.  Those that survive an encounter with these things must make a save vs disease or have their  sprout with strange weirdly living unnatural sporelike finger sized growths. Only a bless spell or remove curse can halt the process.

Ashes of Sunset
Frequency: Uncommon 

No appearing: 1d4 
Armor Class: 4 
Move: 12" 
Hit Dice:4
% in Lair:Nil
Treasure Type: See Below
No of Attacks: 4
Damage/Attacks: 1d4, 1d4, 1d4, 1d6
Special Attacks: Paralysis
Special Defenses: Undead immunities
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average but very alien
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: S - M
Psionic Abilities: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
Level/XP Value:
II, 65+4 per hit points

These growths being the alien & painful process of leeching life force & soul stuff to form the basis for the next generation of Ashes of Sunset. The victim is paralysized & conscious while the process happens. Gold dust particles are attracted from the air & form the protective shell of the undead alien life form as the corpse of the victim decays at an accelerated rate. There will be three or four pounds of pure gold. Within 1d8 days a new colony collective of 1d4 Ashes of Sunset will burst forth from the corpse. Because of their undead nature these horrors can be turned like a ghast by a priest or cleric.
Those Ashes of Sunset that have recently fed take a person take
on a golden color of an Autumn sun set whisking themselves along on the astral winds to their next victims. There is some evidence that suggests that the Ashes of Sunset may work for one or more gods of Saturn but the evidence is scant at best.

Rumors say that there strange Roman like designed temples of marble & basalt that the Ashes of Sunset protect. The overgrown  grounds scattered with the corpses of hundreds of their victims. Adventurers looking for quick riches only to get caught by the alien monsters. There are those alien or insane spell casters & Druids of Old Earth who summon these things from the depths of the alien wastelands of the new world where they wander. 

Call forth Ashes of Sun Set
Level: Druid 4, wizard 5, witch 4, shaman 4 Range 20 feet, Duration: 6 turns (1 hour)

The caster cuts themselves with a specially prepared dagger of Narn wood & blood Quartz. The droplets of blood become charged with the power of the magick & the strange looping astral winds that blow between dimensions carry the power of the spell across the land. The Ashes of Sunset appear within 1d4 rounds drawn by the essence & blood. They will emphatically contact the caster & if in a favorable mood they may serve the fool on some simple errant. There is a 30 % chance they are hungry & may turn on the caster if a suitable victim isn't available. The Ashes of Sunset are fickle & dangerous at best, unless the caster has a very well written poem ready for being recited once they have appeared  these monsters may take the victim & turn on the caster anyway.
Casters call the Ashes of Sunset to create their strange gold as a sacrifice for demons & other alien entities for summoning. The Ashes often can create 1d10 pounds of gold for such endeavors from one victim within an hour under the influence of the spell.

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