mithriltabby: Ancient Roman icosahedral die (Game)
[personal profile] mithriltabby

Treasures to be found in the libraries of the big bad opposition, explaining how they got to be so big and bad.

666 Dark Pacts

A massive codex containing the precise wording of 666 demonic bargains and their results— loopholes that had been exploited by either side, etc. The book is made of a scaly leather with an agonized demonic face on the cover (similar to the depiction of the Necronomicon in the Evil Dead films); the hinged brass strap binds across the mouth and can stop it from talking. Its eyes can see, and it can speak in a basso profundo (despite the lack of lungs). The whole thing is a transmogrification of demonic flesh.

The spirit in the book can lie freely unless asked how it got to be in the book, at which it must explain:
I am the demon lord Agrathuzz, and to my sorrow I attempted to deceive the sorcerer Jāvor the Obese by instructing my stenographer imp to drop a crucial item of punctuation in a contract. He noticed and made the correction and laughed, and in my pride I thought nothing of it. He then spent the next twenty years capturing my sources of power, until he was able to enter my realm with his allies and bind me into this form.

The contracts are written on Agrathuzz’ flesh in ink made from holy water from a temple of truth; the writing is seared in like scars, glowing in a pulsating red on black pages.

Agrathuzz suffers the pain of the ink every time the words are read, and the pain of being distorted into his shape, and will attempt to bargain for his freedom. He knows a lot, but his connections are centuries out of date and would need a lot of time or assistance to work his way back up to demon lord. The tome itself is a good source for Demon Lore as well as the more specialized skill of Demon Lawyering, which is needed for avoiding dangerous loopholes in your Dark Pacts. Agrathuzz has great knowledge of demonic magic and infernal politics... but you have to give Agrathuzz good reason to give you accurate information when it comes from his own personal store of knowledge instead of the pacts written into the pages.

The Punishment of Rezklor

The skull of the mastermind lich Rezklor, transformed into very clear transparent calcite and transformed into a very small aquarium with neon tetras swimming through a little coral castle in his braincase among a couple of small water plants. The eyesockets light with blue flames when he wakes (which occurs whenever you open the padded box containing his skull; he is otherwise in dreamless sleep). His powers as a lich are very thoroughly bound up in his own imprisonment magic, which distracts him from being able to make evil plots by interrupting his train of thought by causing him to burst into mellifluous show tunes, such as:

  • “In its canopic jar, baby/My heart still beats/And every beat says/‘I love you’...”
  • “There ain’t a water elemental that don’t love ice cream...”
  • “You broke the pentagram/Around my heart/And opened up a gate to love...”
  • “Midnight is the witching hour/But a picnic is best in the sun...”
  • “I’m not possessed, baby/I’m just in love/So put away your banishing gear...”
  • “I thought my familiar/Ate the bluebird of happiness/Until you came into my life...”

The lich interrupts each song with a scream of rage and a rant about what he’s going to do to the soul of the priest who did this to him 900 years ago, saving the game master from having to come up with more sorcery-themed sappy songs. His voice when not singing is nasal and grating.

He knows a great deal about necromancy, demon summoning, and supernatural grafting [the art of doing organ and limb transplants between demons, humans, and undead]. He’ll spill his metaphorical guts to anyone who can keep the sappy love songs suppressed. “Spare me these mental spasms! We are colleagues, you and I, there is much we can discuss...” Suppression is tricky, and only an expert wizard can do it.

The enchantment binding his soul to his skull will release him to immediate reincarnation at the human level without getting pulled off to a nasty afterlife... as soon as he abandons his commitment to death and cruelty and embraces the possibility of life, liberty, and love.

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