Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dragon's Blood Pools: A History of God, Dragon, Devil, Death

In the beginning

God made the world and the high elves. His perfect people, who he loved. God appeared among them and she told them that she would test them, though she already knew, her chosen people would pass all tests.

The Devil and the Dragon waited, as they had before and before. The Dragon sent monsters, giant beasts, wyverns, tried to break the high elves. The Devil's agents tempted them with forbidden knowings, sin.

The high elves conquered the monsters, took them apart and put them together again, altered, experiments. Volunteers gave into demonic temptation within hyperbaric chambers, were studied and killed and studied. Through their self-gained knowledge, the elves brought the Devil and Dragon to heel for their God, who was glad. She watched as the high elves made, from clay, slaves who could marginally think. Humanity. 

The elves, ambitious, wished for more to win for their God. In their Faraday-cage labs, in chambers sterilized of divine presence and sight, they created Death. Then their final creation unmade them. 

God put herself against Death and was destroyed and unmade. He remade himself in titanic form and Death cut through his flesh and ended him, and she began again. And again. The world was wracked. Dragon, sensing opportunity, joined with God and fought. The Devil laughed and sold to everyone demon legions. The Earth splintered, Time shuddered and ate at itself, blood rained. The four sides fought though centuries to a stalemate. 


We live now in the armistice. The four do not vie directly against one another, though their abandoned children do as they will.

God weeps for his dead children, Dragon sucks its wounds, the Devil cavorts, and Death waits.

Their waste and cast-offs haunt the world.

Dragon's Blood Pools

The blood of Dragon was spilt across the world. Many tiny droplets fill pond-sized sumps and sit, waiting, black and boiling. Full immersion in a pool will grant a character +3 hit points. They will also note on their sheet a counter: Dragon's Blood, 1/3. The second bathing confers 3 hit points, the counter advances, and they take on some aspects of Dragon - solid golden eyes, patchwork scaling, sulfurous breathe. The character will detect as evil regardless of actual alignment. 

(The golden eyes have a melt-value of about 80 gp each, but they are universally accepted prosthesis. As such their value tends to be around 200 gp.) 

The third exposure to Dragon's blood - as little as a pint - will turn the character into a monster. Often a wyvern. 

A given pool has 1d6 uses. Each use visibly lowers the pool as the blood is absorbed, and after absorption the person is extruded from the pool as if it were birthing them.

Many modern armies contain an elite cadre of soldiers with identical golden eyes, known for their resilience and tenacity. Mercenary commanders often sport the eyes as well. 

Flesh of God

The Flesh of God litters the world in places where she was deathlessly struck down: sometimes as a titanic being, sometimes as something the size of a high elf (7' tall). The flesh does not rot, and tiny motes of light dance from it. 

One must save vs poison if eating the Flesh, 5 pounds are needed. To fail is to die. Passing the test allows one to remain at a fixed age for 15 years. During that time, the character can concentrate and allow the Flesh to absorb one failed save if the save would have meant death. At that point the character begins aging again normally.

Animals which eat a portion of God's Flesh can become intelligent and gain the power to speak.

Royalty and nobility depend upon Flesh. Some of their court wizards claim they can prepare the flesh such that consumption is not dangerous. Nobles will often forgo taxes or criminal investigations of adventurers, if said explorers can produce a few pounds of Flesh.

Demon Horn

As punishment, devil soldiers would have their horns lopped off by their superiors. If hollowed out and made into a bugle, the horn can be blown to cause unintelligent animals to flee, 1-2 HD humans/humanoids to check morale, and cause plants within 50' to wither and die. There is a 1-in-20 chance the call summons up a 1d6 HD demon missing the horn. The horn has d6 uses before turning into a foul ash. If carried openly, the horn gives a +2 reaction roll bonus with humans who hate demons (i.e. worshippers of God, any humans living near demon encampments, etc).

Demon armies heralded battle's beginning with horn-blowing, though most of Dragon's forces were not put off by the foul smoke and screaming horror that these instruments put forth. In modern times, the horns are often used by one well-provisioned army or mercenary company against another. 

Death's Artifacts

Death leaves nothing upon the Earth but scars of infertile land, where sometimes the dead are restless. In other places time is bent, broken, because Death was too thoroughly driven away. There things which were destroyed may still exist.

High Elf Temples

Some high elves still live in deathless slumber atop stone beds, inside of ancient buried temples to their prowess. They await foolish mortals' proximity, so that their artifacts will wake them. Then they will begin to experiment again upon the cracked and jagged Earth.

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