Friday, July 19, 2019

The Weird & Lovecraftian Ecology of The Vargouille For Your Old School Campaigns

"In a land where weirdness and mystery had strongly leagued themselves with eternal desolation, the lake was out-poured at an undiscoverable date of elder aeons, to fill some fathomless gulf far down amid the shadows of snowless, volcanic mountains. No eye, not even the sun's, when he stared vertically upon it for a few hours at midday, seemed able to divine its depths of sullen blackness and unrippled silence. It was for this reason that I found a so singular pleasure in frequently contemplating the strange lake. Sitting for I knew not how long on its bleak basaltic shores, where grew but a few fleshly red orchids, bent above the waters like open and thirsty mouths, I would peer with countless fantastic conjectures and shadowy imaginings, into the alluring mystery of its unknown and inexplorable gulf."
The Black Lake  (1922) 
by Clark Ashton Smith

Tonight I'm looking into using the Monster Manual II & one of my favorite monsters is the alien the vargouille (pronounced var-GWEEL[1]). A vampirc alien life form from an  infernal plane perhaps some dangerous cold Hell on the Abyss. 

According to the Wiki entry on the  vargouille there's a bit more to these alien horrors then might be expected; 

"The vargouille is an evil beast which attacks and kills in a number of horrible and sadistic ways. For a start, there is its bite. In addition to being highly painful and often involving the sucking of blood, a vargouille bite is extremely poisonous. Secondly, there is the vargouille screech. After weakening opponents with biting, the vargouille likes to unleash a paralyzing, high-pitched wail. This squeal renders those who hear it paralyzed with fear. Last, and worst of all, there is the vargouille kiss. After paralyzing victims with the screech, the vargouille will often come and give victims a foul, smelly kiss. This kiss gradually causes its victims to become vargouilles themselves. First the hair falls out, then the skin turns red and tentacles sprout, and finally the head separates from the body and grows wings. Daylight disrupts this process, and some disease-curing spells are known to completely reverse the effect.
Vargouilles speak Infernal, and are neutral evil in alignment."

I believe in my research that these horrors were brought into various worlds by a god or a very high level dark wizard of incredible renown as a bio & terror weapon system. The evil was defeated but the monsters were left behind. Trapped in a worlds never of their own making. There are large populations of 
 vargouille souls trapped in the Outer Void & Darkness between planes. 

An illusory vargouille as depicted
 in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons comics.

 Vargouilles have gained a foot hold on quite a few world due to the machinations of various black wizards & cults. They have no emotional attachment to these worlds but have an incredible hatred of the living. There are rumors of them having alliances with various Lovecraftian races & horrors. They bastards have more then a toe hold on Zothique & are often found guarding deserts & temples blessed by Mordiggian.

During the events leading up to the empires of Humanity that would eventually become Zothique. The gods have long since died out after the wars of the various gods across the world. The Vargouille are alien horrors that had appeared eons before the first human crawled from the caves. These horrors have been used in the armies of various demon lords & devils. The Vargouille have become simply another occult asset for various cults & black wizards.

Shrieking Rites of The V
6th Level Black Magic Necromancer Spell A caster creates a special 500 foot circle of gold & dried powdered blood with various sigils of the black zodiac of the Abyss. This rite gathers eight necromancer disciplines who must sacrifice their lives as the alien life essences are called from the black abyss between the Outer Blackness of the planes. These poor fools become vessels for the black alien souls of the Vargouilles. There will be 1d8 essences that will appear to gain existence upon the planes Prime. There is a 20% of the area within a half of mile of the summoning area being affected by the terrible plague that seems to accompany the appearance the summoning of the Vargouilles.
"First, over a period of 1d6 hours, all the victim’s hair falls out. Within another 1d6 hours thereafter, the ears grow into leathery wings, tentacles sprout on the chin and scalp, and the teeth become long, pointed fangs. During the next 1d6 hours, the victim takes Intelligence drain and Charisma drain equal to 1 point per hour (to a minimum of 3). The transformation is complete 1d6 hours later, when the head breaks free of the body (which promptly dies) and becomes a vargouille. This transformation is interrupted by sunlight, and even a daylight spell can delay death, but to reverse the transformation requires remove disease. "

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.