Saturday, May 8, 2021

High Tech Mysticism & High Caliber Adventure - Nightshift Veterans of the Supernatural Wars By Jason Vey & Timothy Brannan - Wight,Wight, Wight,

"I heard one cry in the night, and I heard one laugh afterwards. If I cannot forget that, I shall not be able to sleep again."

"Count Magnus", from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary (1904); The Collected Ghost Stories of M. R. James (London: Edward Arnold, 1947) p. 111.

Earlier today something about original Dungeons  & Dragons booklet number 2 Monsters & Treasures rattled my chains & that is the thought of Wights. Wights are incredibly dangerous for two reasons one their level drainers & two they show up in dungeons when you as an adventurer least expects it. They are perfect undead monsters for Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique. Why?! Because of they serve the flip side of Chaos. Many a champion of the balance has found himself at odds with a wight. Some of the oldest can rival a lich in pure power. 

 If there is one thing that we've learned its that go back to the source material for all of your needs when it comes to dealing with Dungeons & Dragons. Go back the original Dungeons & Dragons for something unusual & deadly. Wights are one of the undead that appeared in original Dungeons & Dragons  Treasures & Monsters booklet 1974; "WIGHTS: Wights are nasty critters who drain away life energy levels when they score a hit in melee, one level per hit. Thus a hit removes both the hit die and the correspond ing energy to fight, i.e. a 9th level fighter would drop to 8th level. Wights cannot be affected by normal missile fire, but silver-tipped arrows will score normal damage, and magic arrows will score double hits upon them. Magical weapons will score full hits upon them, and those with a special bonus add the amount of the bonus in hit points to the hits scored. Men-types killed by Wights become Wights. An opponent who is totally drained of life energy by a Wight becomes a Wight, energy by a Wight becomes a Wight." 

Within Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique the lawful evil nature of the wight picks all of the boxes of  THASAIDON. And so its the fact that so many necromaners serve this lord of evil; 

"They rose betimes, in the dark crimson dawn, from the opulent palace-beds in which they had slept; for much remained to be done. Everywhere in that forgotten city, they went busily to and fro, working their spells on the people that had died in the last year of the pest and had lain unburied. And having accomplished this, they passed beyond Yethlyreom into that other city of high tombs and mighty mausoleums, in which lay the Nimboth emperors and the more consequential citizens and nobles of Cincor.

Here they bade their skeleton slaves to break in the sealed doors with hammers; and then, with their sinful, tyrannous incantations, they called forth the imperial mummies, even to the eldest of the dynasty, all of whom came walking stiffly, with lightless eyes, in rich swathings sewn with flame-bright jewels. And also, later, they brought forth to a semblance of life many generations of courtiers and dignitaries.

Moving in solemn pageant, with dark and haughty and hollow faces, the dead emperors and empresses of Cincor made obeisance to Mmatmuor and Sodosma, and attended them like a train of captives through all the streets of Yethlyreom. Afterward, in the immense throne-room of the palace, the necromancers mounted the high double throne, where the rightful rulers had sat with their consorts. Amid the assembled emperors, in gorgeous and funereal state, they were invested with sovereignty by the sere hands of the mummy of Hestaiyon, earliest of the Nimboth line, who had ruled in half-mythic years. Then all the descendants of Hestaiyon, crowding the room in a great throng, acclaimed with toneless, echo-like voices the dominion of Mmatmuor and Sodosma." 
Clark Ashton Smith 'The Empire of the Necromancers' 

 is pretty perfect for Timothy  Brannan & Jason Vey's  Nightshift Veterans of the Supernatural Wars.  Because it ties into the back end of Mystara via X2 Castle Amber By Tom Moldvay. Why? Because the occult  elements of the CAS's Averoigne region's nature & its deep roots in both Mystara & X2. This follows some of the undead corruption of the d'Amberville family. 
Wights also play a deep part in Hyperborea, why? Because of the circumstances of the deaths of the Hyperboreans through the violence & depravity of the Green Death plague on Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg's settting. Raid a tomb or bunker & you may come face to face with a gang of Hyperborean wights. This is because of the  dark magickal nature of the Green Plague. And this is something that we find as well in the necromancy of both Tolkien's dark powers & even Lamentations of the Flame Princess rpg's occult forces. Wights in Lamentations would be very scary indeed. Because they would have the flip side of Law's unnatural power coursing through their veins. Think of them having the unnatural strength of a mythological  
revenant mixed with the level drain of original Dungeons & Dragons wight. Better get those silver shod arrows ready!  The life force hungry nature of the wight smacks of the Wights of Tolkien's Barrow Downs. But it also gives credence to the Eighty Five classic film Lifeforce. 

These things might be around worship areas used by evil cults of Law. Wights could be animated by spirits that are called forth by such cults & encountered by champions of the balance or by adventurers. These same cults might be operating in both Zothique, Hyperborea, or even in the modern world. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

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