Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Twelve Questions For The Bone Sorcerer


1. So I hear your ally, the Eel-King, died tonight along with his pet, the giant Blindheim--how are you going to deal with restructuring your logistics profile to address that?

2. Allegedly the eelmen have no fucking clue where the party went when they fled. WTF eelmen? they were apparently all blinded by a Holy Word. How are you going to find them?

3. Do you know who you are going to use to track the party down? Any new faces, or just session guys?

4. How badly do you want to track them down? Like is this a "see if they have any stuff and then if they don't whatever" thing or is it a The Bone Garden Demands Blood-type situation?

5. How far from summoning the Anti-Paladin of the Jade Claw are you, exactly? Is that process just a matter of getting enough lotuses to the Bleak Pyramid or is it more complicated?

6. How big is the panther you ride? And how obedient? And how many attacks per round?

7. Are you pissed? I'd be pissed if some dudes snuck in a secret door to my house and got my friend so high he thought they were his counterparts from the alternate universe inside the bubbles the wall was made of and made him feel up a dress and then burned him alive and then ran right into the room they came from and hid in a Rope Trick that I totally detected and then set up like 20 guys there and a magic trap and they all escaped somehow anyway.

8. Are you gonna add any security to the Venom Gardens or the Alchemy Lab or the Eely Library now that you know you got a leaky ship? How would you go about that?

9. How much treasure are you bringing with you when you go on this hunt? Is that a weird question? Remember, Bone Sorcerer, every piece of treasure you bring with you is treasure you didn't leave at home. Just sayin'. Security issue.

10. Can you admit that hiding in the storeroom and then capturing a servant and sending him out with a platter of White Lotus powder-dosed maggots for the eel king to eat was pretty cool? I mean--it's depressing, I know but...still...you gotta admit... good plan, right? And then using major image to freak him out more...man.

11. Are you interesting? Or are you just a guy with spells and a cool name? Is this "bone sorcery" just reskinned standard spells or does it do weird shit?

12. How close were you and the Eel King? Like not implying anything--just wondering if you might be open to negotiation with these freaks, should they choose to be amenable.
(sufficiently entertaining answers may be considered canonical)
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17 comments:

Arnold K. said...

1. I'll be pulling all the milch flukes off the production side of things. With a steady diet of minced torture victim, they should be able to undergo their final moulting. Stick them at the end of a long hallway, and BAM--instant short-term defenses.

With the void that the eelking left, I'll be needing some new blood. I hear that Carcykos was looking to be reincarnated in the material plane, so maybe I can strike a deal with him. Still not sure if he's an actual demon or some sort of sentient bone cancer, but either way, I plan to offer up the giant skeleton that I've been saving for his investiture.

Arnold K. said...

2. I'll find them by ingesting vast amounts of meta-hallucinogens, harvested from the rings of some planet you've never heard of. I will go on a spirit journey, travelling over the land at exactly the speed of bad news.

The party will see me looking out at them from a coin or a plate or a moon (and I DO hope it's the moon--so convenient). I may try to stall them until my man gets there with the dragon teeth, but I'm not above monologuing, if only to keep the poor things from feeling awkward.

Failing that, spies and mercenaries. possibly paid in eel jerky. We'll see.

Arnold K. said...

6. The panther actually changes sizes with the number of people that gaze upon it. It's loyalty is unshakable, but it is easily confused and dyspeptic besides.

Arnold K. said...

10. No.

11. Interesting is a word used to compare those who lack true power, just as "bone sorcerer" is used by those who have only the shallowest understanding of what I am capable of. I expect that they will die screaming as my skeleton reshapes the bones of their heads like soft clay.

Flanking with my skeleton, my muscular corpus will boil their fat beneath their skin with a touch. My empty-eyed skin with choke their spellcasters with their own spells, and my ethereal form with cast forbidden spells that will cause their own teeth to burrow into their lungs.

I am a magnificent specimen. Such an impressive collection of organs! Such sturdy battlements of bones! I am an architect, and I have been constructing my body for decades. It is my cathedral.

Arnold K. said...

12. Let them think me reasonable, for reasonable I can be. I may be willing to let them live on, but only if they forfeit all of their bones. As a measure of good will, I will even provide burlap sacks of the appropriate size, so that their servants may carry them onwards.

If they refuse this entirely reasonable offer, well, I suppose I'll be adding their bones to my blood fountain in time for my birthday.

Zak S said...

(blood birthday)

biopunk said...

1. So I hear your ally, the Eel-King, died tonight along with his pet, the giant Blindheim--how are you going to deal with restructuring your logistics profile to address that?

This is annoying. I'll call in some favours. Put some "feelers" out. Bide my time...


2. Allegedly the eelmen have no fucking clue where the party went when they fled. WTF eelmen? they were apparently all blinded by a Holy Word. How are you going to find them?

Fucking useless eelmen! The party will come to me. They always do.


3. Do you know who you are going to use to track the party down? Any new faces, or just session guys?

I have legions of followers. I have maggots. Maggots have an amazing sense of smell. Perhaps I'll collect a few of the surviving larvae that weren't addled by the White Lotus powder? They'll pupate and I'll have my spell-singers serenade their sessile little souls until they emerge in another week's time and then they'll fly off after the party.
Bluebottle-bloodhounds! Easy-peasy.

There's also a certain Death Knight from the crypts of Omnithroxia that has an unerring ability to find "transgressors" that I might summon to aid me...


4. How badly do you want to track them down? Like is this a "see if they have any stuff and then if they don't whatever" thing or is it a The Bone Garden Demands Blood-type situation?

Not really. The Bone Garden will be getting fed eels for the foreseeable future. I find it irritating, but I chose the eelmen as allies, so I take full responsibility for this fiasco.


5. How far from summoning the Anti-Paladin of the Jade Claw are you, exactly? Is that process just a matter of getting enough lotuses to the Bleak Pyramid or is it more complicated?

Always with the summoning of the Anti-Paladin of the Jade Claw!
I can deal with this myself.
Lotus relocation logistics is one headache I do not need at this time.


6. How big is the panther you ride? And how obedient? And how many attacks per round?

Large.

Very. (Unless there is another of those giant Nepetacataria plant things around. Learned that the hard way…)

Normally there's 3: Bite/Claw/Claw or Headbutt/Claw/Claw.
That tail is something to be reckoned with too, initially...

biopunk said...


7. Are you pissed? I'd be pissed if some dudes snuck in a secret door to my house and got my friend so high he thought they were his counterparts from the alternate universe inside the bubbles the wall was made of and made him feel up a dress and then burned him alive and then ran right into the room they came from and hid in a Rope Trick that I totally detected and then set up like 20 guys there and a magic trap and they all escaped somehow anyway.

I have been spending more time in my private chambers of Solemn Reflection.


8. Are you gonna add any security to the Venom Gardens or the Alchemy Lab or the Eely Library now that you know you got a leaky ship? How would you go about that?

Yes, yes.

Less eels, more trapped tomes with intriguing titles and undead plants, the kind with those large rattling seed pods and petrified wood.


9. How much treasure are you bringing with you when you go on this hunt? Is that a weird question? Remember, Bone Sorcerer, every piece of treasure you bring with you is treasure you didn't leave at home. Just sayin'. Security issue.

None of your business.


10. Can you admit that hiding in the storeroom and then capturing a servant and sending him out with a platter of White Lotus powder-dosed maggots for the eel king to eat was pretty cool? I mean--it's depressing, I know but...still...you gotta admit... good plan, right? And then using major image to freak him our more...man.

Yes, yes… very effective.
Songs will be sung about it in certain quarters…

...I'll hunt down and slay any jongleur who does.


11. Are you interesting? Or are you just a guy with spells and a cool name? Is this "bone sorcery" just reskinned standard spells or does it do weird shit?

We're all interesting. Every one of us. Living and the dead.

I've loved, led armies, danced at the first Masquarade of the New Constellation, read forbidden knowledge in the library of Leng, ate exquisite delicacies of the finest chefs of the land (even ate some of the chefs…)

"Reskinned"? "Bone sorcery"? How droll.

Dude, I can create worlds inside of bone!
You want to hear something cool?
I sent a group of them, shrunken down and geased, into themselves, to wander in endless labyrinths of their own trabecular bone!


12. How close were you and the Eel King? Like not implying anything--just wondering if you might be open to negotiation with these freaks, should they choose to be amenable.

Like I said before, screw that Eel guy, he and his big Blindheim are fertilizing the Bone Garden.

Alex Chambers said...

How that slick-skinned king's spine has writhed its way into my dreams, twisting into shapes my brittle hands could never fashion. The fool never realised the mute and ossified language at his core, spelled out by an alphabet of vertebral glyphs (glyphs descending vertically here, the old way, being a language which spans all the orders of existence); a language deeper than any of those words which find themselves inscribed on skin.

...and i'll take as much treasure as my panther can wear, natch

Tony Demetriou said...

1. So I hear your ally, the Eel-King, died tonight ... restructuring your logistics profile to address that?

Fuck, another recruitment drive! Send out the monks again - religion gets you through most doorways. And start then talking to adventurers and gathering stories to find another potential ally.

2. Allegedly the eelmen have no fucking clue where the party went when they fled. WTF eelmen? they were apparently all blinded by a Holy Word. How are you going to find them?

They better fucking get to all the known fences and item dealers, and mind dominate them into letting us know if anyone tries to fence any of the Eel-king's shit.

I'd also send out the roving coralgroupers (http://tinyurl.com/mu46dho) to lead the eelmen on the hunt. Once found, of course, an ambush is the order of the day. Attacking from crevices in the rocks with harpoons, and attempting to drag the victims back into the crevices, so they can't work together to protect each other.

3. Do you know who you are going to use to track the party down? Any new faces, or just session guys?

I'll send a roving coralgrouper fishman with each group. They are, of course, all trained as rangers. And have unpronounceable names that sound like gargling water.

4. How badly do you want to track them down? Like is this a "see if they have any stuff and then if they don't whatever" thing or is it a The Bone Garden Demands Blood-type situation?

Somewhere in the middle. I'm pissed, and want to make an example of them - but if they get away and nobody hears what they did, I'll just spread word that I had the eel-king killed. I'll make up a reason.

5. How far from summoning the Anti-Paladin of the Jade Claw are you, exactly? Is that process just a matter of getting enough lotuses to the Bleak Pyramid or is it more complicated?

What? No, dude, there is no Anti-Paladin. That's just a story I've spread around. My mother is buried in the Black Pyramid, and I send the lotuses for her grave. I just like the idea that if any do-godders are trying to foil me, they'll waste all their time trying to stop the anti-paladin summoning. Plus, if they do interrupt those lotuses, Mum will get pissed off, fucking undead witch that she is. You build up a business, you'd think your parents would be proud and stop nagging, but no! And don't get my started about my mother-in-law!

6. How big is the panther you ride? And how obedient? And how many attacks per round?

It's huge! Large enough for me *and* the gattling gun and gunner. It's obedient! At least, as far as it can understand what I want it to do.
How many attacks? That's tricky. It's fast, but also blind. So it'll attack every enemy as soon as they make any sound. Multiple times a round if they do multiple noisy actions. If they're quiet, it'll either attack the one I steer it towards (with my spurs - it's well trained) or it'll try to sniff them out.

7. Are you pissed? I'd be pissed if...

Yeah, I'm pissed. But I've been trying not to let these things get to me, and I've been trying to see things from other people's perspective. So yeah, I guess if I was in their position, I'd probably have done the same, and I shouldn't be angry. It's just the business, y'know. But I'm still pissed, just trying to work on it. And cutting out the top of each of their ligaments then watching them scream in pain as their muscles unravel will help me be less angry.

Tony Demetriou said...

8. Are you gonna add any security to the Venom Gardens or the Alchemy Lab or the Eely Library now that you know you got a leaky ship? How would you go about that?

Yeah, I think I'll flood the whole area with poison spores. Probably plant something that does it, so I don't have to maintain spells all the time. I guess I'll also need to do something to stop those spores from poisoning me or mine.

9. How much treasure are you bringing with you when you go on this hunt? Is that a weird question?

That is a weird question. Why would I bring treasure on a hunt? What's the point of a vault if you can't leave stuff in it.

10. Can you admit that hiding in the storeroom and then capturing a servant and sending him out...

Yeah, if that's how you do things. Sometimes you gotta do subtle, but you build up to obvious once you've got enough power, right? So they're telling me that they're not in the A leagues yet. Although yeah, it's pretty funny when I think about it.

11. Are you interesting? Or are you just a guy with spells and a cool name? Is this "bone sorcery" just reskinned standard spells or does it do weird shit?

Me? Nothing special about me. I didn't even want this job, but my parents kept going on about how there are "people who get paid to work" and "people who get paid to know stuff" and how I can work for someone else in a field and never get anywhere, or I can become a sorcerer and be paid to sit on my ass. So yeah, I went to university and got my degree, but then there were no jobs going, and so I moved back home and helped dad with his business, and when he transcended I guess I just fell into the role.

'Bone sorcery' is kinda the family business. I mean, yeah, anyone can warp bones with standard magic, and almost everyone know how to transmute mud to stone and vice versa, but, like, we've got the reputation if you really want to *craft* bone. If you want someone turned into lava - fine. If you want someone's bones turned into lava, so it can burn through their other muscles and organs, well, then you get what you pay for and need a specialist.

Adventurers think I'm a "bad guy" just because of the job that I inherited, but I mean I'm just doing the job, y'know? You don't think a bank manager is a bad guy for not giving away money, even though people starve without it. It's also quite hilarious when they try to kill me, as adventurers do. Y'know, when spurs and hooks start growing out of their bones, and the more they move the more it rips their muscles - they always try charging at that point. Sometimes acrobatics. It's just proof that "Those that can, do. Those that can't, adventure."

12. How close were you and the Eel King? Like not implying anything--just wondering if you might be open to negotiation with these freaks, should they choose to be amenable.

We were really close. Well, y'know, he was a friend of my father, so it's not like we were *friends* friends, but I've known him for so long. And he's been a good ally and not-friend-friend-but-still-friend.

Still, business is business, so yeah, if they have something to offer, I'll listen. But can I trust them?
If we make a deal, I might need to give them a degenerating bone disease or something, so they're dependent on my goodwill.
(Which is a service I offer. It's a great way to keep minions and allies in line! There is a yearly retainer fee, of course, otherwise if they paid for their bones to be healed - which is also a service I offer - we'd have to accept. Business is business.)

Toby said...

11. Are you interesting? Or are you just a guy with spells and a cool name? Is this "bone sorcery" just reskinned standard spells or does it do weird shit?

Weird shit? 'Course there's weird shit. Why the hell would you go into "bone sorcery" for some refluffed standard stuff? (Though, besides things like natural armor and crafting exquisite bony undead or constructs - "disintegrate" --> "bone burst", "stone shape" --> "sculpt bone", all if targeting bones/bone-made items/skeletons, would be pretty fun.)

I got some spell ideas for you right here. (I will not name them with boner puns, I will not name them with boner puns...) Presented with handwaving in the "actual numbers" department (spell level, damage, saves), whatever, they're concepts, if you like 'em you're more than capable of assigning values appropriate to the Bone Sorcerer's level of Big Badness. ;)

- Bonestretch: 5 randomly determined bones in the subject's body grow wildly for d4 rounds. First round, subject is utterly incapacitated with pain; skin and muscles and tendons stretch to bizarre extents and affected joints dislocate. In subsequent rounds, penalties (in addition to plentiful damage) accrue each round, exact nature depending on the region of the body the bone is in (don't need to roll d206 to allow for every damn bone!): hands/forearms/feet, DEX loss; spine/ribs, CON loss (and happy fun breathing issues); legs/hips/shoulders, STR loss. Skull is probably just straight-up fatal, adjudicate as you like. Critical hits would be my inclination. The alteration of the bones is permanent; if the spell is survived, in addition to the ability score penalties, the target creature also ends up just plain freakish in appearance.

- Bonemeal bakery: target's bones turn to powder, then mushy, then to actual dough. Whole body or part, temporarily or permanently, depends on spell level you want. (If you figure out how to target the heat properly, you could probably bake 'em solid again...)

- Osteomancy: pull end finger or toe bones (ie, fingertips, or... outermost bone remaining) from the flesh of one foot or hand of a willing or helpless creature; cast the bones with a general question to read a result as per augury, or get a one-word answer to a question the target knows about.

- Bonewalk: allows the Bone Sorcerer to see and hear with the senses of a target creature from whom he possesses a bone (or tooth) for d10 rounds (during which time the Sorcerer may not take other actions, or the effect ends). Possessing a bone (or tooth) of a creature also gives the Sorcerer a +5 bonus on save DCs of mind-affecting effects against that target.

Stands to reason any Bone Sorcerer worth his salt isn't going to leave home without a nice big bag of pieces belonging to his minions. Body part treasure! Such trifles may also prove instrumental in tracking down the interlopers...

Jack Mack said...

11. My body is a tangle of intricately carved hollow bone-flutes that coil around my severed head. When the wind blows through them, all who hear the music suffer various horrible afflictions and ailments, e,g. deboning.

Headless Horse Archer (Premier) said...

1. - Well, without the Eel-King, my transcontinental underwater transport system is certainly thrown into disarray. Perhaps it would be best to cut my losses and start moving my armies and other stuff around via air transport. Maybe create giant bat-archeopterices or something. As for the eel-drawn sub-chariots, I’ve cooled on them, they can go independent and become pirates for all I care.

2. and 3. - Well, that’s one question, really. Who says I want to track them down? Much more comfortable to make them come to me. Or rather, make them come to some deathtrap where they believe me to be.
Now, look at that lovely little village they’re so fond of. Suppose I turned the inhabitants into deboned sacks dancing an endless necromantic whirligig while their skeletons were arranged in the village square to form the letters „HAPPY HOLIDAYS, MEET YOU UNDERNEATH THE VOLCANO OF SNAILS, YOURS TRULY THE BONE SORCERER”, do you think that would do the trick?

4. - On one hand, it’s a matter of principle: they became an annoyance, they should be removed. On the other hand, another matter of principle is that wise sorcerers are willing to compromise on their principles when it’s practical to do so. So, maybe do the village thing and see if they go to the Volcano of Snails. Might be good for a laugh, and if they croak, well, all the better.

5. - Well, what do you know. Turns out parallel summonings short each other out, and my old „friend”, the Polychromatic Limomancer of the Thirteen Pseudopods is also trying to summon the Anti-Paladin somewhere underneath Snail Volcano. It would be GREAT if some bumbling adventurers stopped the slime wizard from doing that, I could finally finish the summoning.

Headless Horse Archer (Premier) said...

6. - Put it this way, I’m not so much riding the panther as travelling in the howdah on its back. It’s extremely obedient unless it panics. „Mice”, „frogs”, „burning”, „giant”, „purple”. Combine any three of these five words and you have something that makes it panic. I guess it COULD attack with a bite, a trample and a rearside tail sweep, but I prefer to keep my distance in combat and let it do its every-second-round eyebeam attack while my enemies are bogged down by disposable henchmen.

7. - Nah, it’s all good. They helped me weed out the incompetent in my ranks, so in fact I’m even feeling a bit thankful. Remind me to maybe send them a bone medallion with a letter of thanks for that. BEFORE I crush them utterly, preferably.

8. - The Venom Gardens are apparently not venomous enough, so gotta fix that. The Alchemy Lab should be flooded with Anti-Philosopher’s Stone Vapour which turns all gold carried by intruders into lead, because that’s the worst thing that could possibly happen to the usual sort of adventurer. The Eely Library should be flooded and the eelskin books animated into undead Electric Eel Books. Then I’ll put some genuine living Electric Eels in there just to mix things up a bit.

9. - Well, if they do make it out of the Volcano of Snails, they will assumably be in a weakened state, so I’ll be lying in wait for them with my panther and some of my elite cohorts. And since it’s always good have a Plan B, I’ll be carrying a bunch of cursed magic items – weapons, armour, miscellaneous stuff, whatever I have in the crappy vault – that look like genuine treasure, and should they turn the tables on us somehow, me and the panther will teleport away, leaving behind the cohorts and the „loot”. Mind you, these aren’t just „–whatever and you can’t put it down” cursed items. They’re all cool ones which actually have powerful and situationally useful effects, only at a terrible price.

10. - Gotta admit, that was clever. Will remember to detail a food taster to my next ally.

11. - „Reskinned standard spells”? Are you out of your mind? I can use anything made of bone – such as, say, a spinal cord – as a +lots weapon. I can turn grass, shrubbery and the like into sharp, pointy bone slivers, creating an instant field of caltrops. I can explode dead bone, using skulls etc. as hand grenades or mines. I can see through the eye sockets of distant skulls. I can brew alchemical potions from bones, giving the imbiber strength, resilience and an affinity with undead And, of course, I can telekinetically move bones. That last one even works on bones still inside their owners, so I can push my enemies around like they were puppets on a string. Well, to an extent, anyway. They get a save, and they can still move, only more slowly and clumsily. „Reskinned standard spells”, bah! I don’t even actually HAVE those, but don’t tell anyone.

12. - With the tireless toil of my own two hands I’ll craft an exquisite life-sized statue of him out of the whitest alabaster bone that one can get while singing a soulful dirge. Then I’ll put the statue in the exquisite hall with all the other exquisite bone statues of all the previous weird non-human rulers who have been my allies and were killed off by past adventurers. It’s a big hall and it’s getting crowded.

Mr. Cavern said...

2. The bone sorcerer is covered in scars because he has opened his flesh to carve runes of power on his skeleton. He is stronger and can wade through more punishment than others and his physical limitations are lessened and bent because he has carved strange runes and glyphs on his bones. The rites by which he completes these carvings are horrifically painful. His first runes were the simplest – the initiation rune carved on his breast bone, nearest his heart, which primed his other bones for imbuing. He then learned spells for his arms and legs; then his feet and hands. Other rune carvings required assistance. Carving the back of his skull and his scapulae required solitary, secret laboratories and the assistance of his most loyal henchman. The powers with which he has imbued himself make him formidable, but the one who slays the bone king may harvest a grizzly arsenal -- for his bones are essentially magic items: his left arm a wand of lightning, his right arm a wand of enchantments; his left leg a staff of minor earthquakes, and each of his toes and fingers a single-word spell. Bludgeoning weapons like warhammers and maces are the one true way to shatter the bone sorcerer for his flesh is less critical than his bones.

Unknown said...

bwarrrawrrr!

no, no, don't worry, just one of my little jokes there. anyway, my only actual mystical power is knowing who peoples parents/creators were and what their best wishes might have been for their offspring/creations. the parents don't even have to be dead, so i'm not sure how the whole 'bone sorcerer' thing got started. I think it's the armor, but then I get my armor from evil dwarves, the same as everybody else, so, I don't know what to think. anyway, the eel king had sort of an unusual origin which I totally get/got because of my power. We had a sort of understanding, but, by the end he was really taking advantage so I think this outcome really was for the best. On principle I have to send an undying, shapshifting nightmare thing along with what remains of the eel-kings minions acting as sort of handlers/food. it can never be stopped or killed or whatever. I hope we don't meet, though because I inevitably make friends with people I meet, and once we were friends I would have to call off the beast or whatever.

the panther was originally a gift, many years went into raising and training it. one of its parents was actually a very intelligent immortal being. I would say it's very loyal I try to keep it away from battle because it thinks it's way tougher than it is.

good luck staying alive and best wishes for the future, your parents would be proud. -- the bone sorcerer