Thursday, August 26, 2021

De Luminare Minime Caelestis Hierarchia, Or: The Angels We Don't Use Any More

     Perhaps you've encountered clerics in your travels, or perhaps you are one yourself. No doubt you've heard of or studied from the Young Cleric's Illustrated Primer or other sources. Angels are the tools the g_ds used for creation. While most are scattered, or lost, the ones that heeded the call of Aeshe now serve those who wear the Masks and follow the Tenets. Some of them — with names like Heal, Examine Self or Zone of Truth — are powerful tools and miracles.

    But there are others.

Source: Jack Chick

Angels We Don't Use Any More

    Many of these angels are associated with Red Heresy, which is reason enough to keep them under lock-and-key. Most are too niche in application for the average cleric to seek their company. Most are too dangerous to be practical.

Make Dog
R: 30' T: one living non-plant D: permanent until dispelled by a [dice] MD counterspell.
She is tall and gaunt, and wears only a white coat and a pair of jeweler's loupes.
    If [sum] is higher than target's current HP, target saves or turns into a Really Good Dog of equal level. They may choose to fail this save. Any damage they had sustained is immediately healed.
    Useful in combat only to disrupt command lines; a fresh 4HD Really Good Dog is rarely welcome in a close fight. In most circumstances, a damaging angel is preferable. She saw limited use as an exotic form of punishment by the early Black Mask Clerics. Her usage eventually declined due to ethical concerns, and the undeniable fact that nooses are much more convenient. 

Reality Break
R: 60' T: a thinking creature D: immediate
She is invisible except for heavy, six-toed footprints. She is inaudible except for her constant giggling.
    Target is gripped by awful madness unless they pass a save. If [best] is a 1, 2 or 3 their madness consists of a horrible, true vision of the future, which consumes all their senses. At 4 or 5, they scream until their throat fills with blood, and all who can hear them take [sum] fire damage. If [best] is 6, everything and everyone within 120' is taken somewhere else.
    An unpleasant way to die! Assuming that those who disappear are killed. The alternative is probably worse.

Permanently Delayed Blast Fireball
R: unlimited T: a point in space you can see D: permanent until dispelled by a [dice] MD counterspell.
She is short, matronly, and appears to perpetually be nodding off.
    Waits at the targeted point until dispelled or otherwise disrupted, at which point she causes a massive explosion for [sum] damage to everything within [dice]*50'.
    It is believed at least three Permanently Delayed Blast Fireballs are waiting on the surface of the sun, two are stranded at the bottom of the ocean, and two are on or inside or beyond the star known as Mercy's Gate (depending on if the star is, indeed, a gate, and if it is open). Use has been banned since 1787 on moral grounds.

True Strike
R: n/a T: self D: 10 minutes
Her shoulders are wide and her hands are crooked and strong. Marches to an unheard tune, occasionally mimes playing. Afraid of insects.
    Seizes caster bodily and directions their movements for the duration. Add [sum] to all attacks for both to-hit and damage, but your own AC is reduced to [dice].
     Though probably helpful as part of a last stand, or otherwise when your own death is certain, the opportunity cost of keeping her prepared is very high. Famously used by Nosam as he reclaimed Apostelene. You are not Nosam, and you will die if you try to imitate him.

Locate Traps
R: n/a T: self D: 10 minutes
She wears heavy clothes and a dust mask, and twirls a fifty-pound digging bar like a pencil.
    Identifies "traps" within [dice]*10' of you and smashes them as if with a heavy blunt object. "Traps" are here incompletely defined as things which can hurt you unexpectedly, were designed to do so, haven't been noticed by you yet, and Locate Traps doesn't consider a "weapon".
    An inexpert demolitionist was always a risky choice, but she was still in wide use before the invention of the anti-personnel landmine. Invariably hilarious as a companion.

R: n/a T: self D: 24 hours
She wears a drum, pair of cymbals, sitar, elbow-pipes and harmonica strapped to her body. Looks exhausted all of the time.
    Produces loud music with [dice] instruments of her choice. Tries to play tunes appropriate to the current situation. Cannot be persuaded to stop.
    While only audible to civilians after being cast, she is constantly audible to supernal senses. Better clerics than you have been driven to madness by the BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss-BA-dum-tss of her step.

R: 30' T: a spherical volume 300' in radius D: instant
    She resembles a young woman when viewed from one angle, and a silhouette when viewed from any other.
    Produces a sound like the end of the world. If you were expecting it, choose two of the following effects:
  • Eardrums burst.
  • Teeth explode for [dice] damage.
  • Flung 20' in a random direction (including straight up and straight down).
  • Shit your pants, fall over.
  • Blinded for 10 minutes.
    If you weren't expecting it, suffer everything. Inanimate objects are destroyed as if by dynamite. Constructs or inorganic creatures suffer [sum]*[best] damage.
     A deeply unpleasant experience, unless you're already old and toothless and deaf. Her efficacy against fortifications are undeniable. The consequences of using her in a populated area are unconscionable. Old-fashioned sapping can achieve similar results with less collateral damage.

Finger of Death
R: touch T: a living creature D: instant
Her eyes are haunted, her cigarette is bent in the middle, and her camo gear is muddy and torn.
    If [sum] is higher than target's HP they die, no save. Their veins burst with black tar, and their corpse immediately rises as a loyal and powerful undead.
    As the souls of the undead are trapped in their decaying bodies, the Black Mask clerics consider this angel to practice mental domination, and therefore slavery. They will hunt you to the edge of the world.

Conjure Fey
R: n/a T: n/a D: n/a
Large bite marks have been taken out of her body, like a gingerbread woman. She watches you with a constant smile.
    It is not immediately obvious what happens when she takes your MD and runs away. She returns within [dice] minutes with an object, typically useful, typically valuable in proportion to MD invested. These MD only return when you lay the object down and look away long enough that it disappears.
    While circumstantially helpful, many respected clerics have suggested there might be consequences for... whatever it is she's doing. Her refusal to explain herself certainly doesn't inspire confidence.

Witch Bolt
R: 30' T: a creature D: [dice] rounds.
Her arms twist like the limbs of an old tree and are green with mosses. Her hair is full of mushrooms, and her eyes have fallen back into her skull.
    Gesture threateningly, and you are bound to the target by a tether of crackling lightning. Once per round, target saves or takes the damage of one [die] in the order rolled. If one of you attempts to break the tether (it's not much sturdier than twine), take all remaining [sum] as damage immediately, no save.
    Despite her effectiveness against enemies who are attempting to flee, she has never been a popular companion. Superstition holds that those who look upon her face directly will die. This is true. Everyone will die, eventually, except for Nosam.

1 comment:

  1. These are all delightful! Spells as angels is a wonderful thing. Maybe all spells were like angels (or demons) in the past, and have been selectively bred for obedience/stupidity over time?