by Ryven Cedrylle

“The Duskwish is a creature whose encounter heralds boon and bane alike. It appears as a mass of tangled fibre, as though one began knitting a woolen hat or scarf and, frustrated with the endeavor, abandoned it unfinished. It is loathe to civilized contact but is drawn to centers of arcane power, both natural and constructed. The reason for such attraction has yet to be well-established. The duskwish is not known to eat other creatures nor be eaten.

Some youths in their folly seek to confront the duskwish upon hearing tales of its habit of trading favor to those who capture or threaten it. Know now, reader, that such fancies rarely end well; tales told around the fire or feast are often  embellished for the time at hand.  Indeed were you to be forced at swordpoint to grant your benefit to another, would you not do so in the most unwholesome way possible? So it is with the duskwish. You shall not find a duskwish without seeking and you would be wise to not seek as well.”

– The Biologie of Eric the Blue

 

“No, really! We caught one! Shamgar and Hoerig and I! Veata had told us she thought she saw one the other night out at the place where that vampire ritual was stopped about a month ago. We used my old amulet as bait. I made it before finishing assassin school so it wasn’t very good as a talisman but still strong enough to attract a duskwish.  We put it out on the altar and waited. Sure enough, a couple hours later the duskwish came looking for it.  It was too tricky for any of us to catch on our own, even under a new moon. Shamgar and I managed to get on either side of it and then I hit it with the flat of my blade over to Hoerig like it was a bokki ball. He caught and then when it tried to teleport away it couldn’t because, you know, Hoerig has that problem with magic and all.

We didn’t think about the favor it owed us for probably a few months until the night Vilhelm showed up. We weren’t going to let him get away after creating that big of a skeleton army, right? So he’s running and we’re running and he’s about to make it over the wall of the city when I yelled the aisure command to call in the favor. Sure enough, the wall falls in on him and we catch him! I mean, yeah, we got kicked out of the Expeditionaries for collateral damage but it was absolutely worth it.”

-Tullie des Morgana

Duskwish – Level 2 Caster

Initiative +8                                                              Resist all 12+, special (see below)
AC: 18                              PD: 13                               MD: 15
HP: 34

R: Call for Backup – n/a, summon 3-4 Giant Spiders or Slime Devils
R: Ray of Pain – +6 vs. MD, 5 damage
M: Spike Burst – +7 vs AC (all engaged enemies), 4 damage and the target takes ongoing 3 damage (save ends)

Time Warp/Teleport: When the Duskwish’s resistance triggers, it also gets the option to either Teleport or Time Warp. Teleport allows the Duskwish to move to any point up to a Far distance away with no need to to roll to disengage and take only half damage from the triggering attack. If it Time Warps, the Duskwish still takes full damage but resets the initiative counter to its next turn. This reset skips any characters who would have acted between the Time Warp initiation and the Duskwish’s next turn, but the Escalation die increases as usual.

Upgrades:

  •  Elder Duskwish – add another 20 HP
  • Under a Full Moon – increase the resistance to 14+
  • Dynamic Invisibility – When the Duskwish uses Call for Backup, it becomes invisible (DC 16 to sight as a quick action) as well.

The Duskwish surrenders no treasure or valuables. If dropped to 0 HP, it will seek to bargain with its assailant, offering to provide aid in a time of need. If the offer is accepted, the PC gains a temporary 2-point conflicted Relationship with the Duskwish.  The PC can then use a special command to call upon that aid (called an “aisure”) as a quick action later. The aisure can have any minor magical effect including but not limited to opening/barring an entrance, rendering a person silent and invisible, restoring 1 Recovery worth of HP, generating 1 hour’s worth of torchlight, etc.  The Relationship dice from this aisure yield a complication on a result of 3, 4, or 5 instead of the normal 5 only. The Relationship ends once the aisure has been successfully used.

Duskwish are moderately intelligent in general and highly intelligent as pertains to magic. A duskwish’s aisure can be obtained peaceably with the offering of some gift of magic (DC 14, usually a consumable such as a potion) or the promise of a later gift of magic (DC 18). A peaceable aisure negotiation yields Relationship dice that function normally.

Research or rumor-collecting about the presence of a particular duskwish or duskwish in general will generate the following leads. They may or may not actually be true (GM’s discretion).

1) Duskwish are bound by the spirits of nature to grant their first – and ONLY their first – aisure to a person safely.
2) If ever truly threatened, a duskwish will transform into a horrible beast of fire and fangs.
3) Duskwish use the residual magic around their favored areas to undergo some sort of self-reproduction.
4) Forcing a duskwish to give its aisure will bring the wrath of the Lich King upon you since they are a part of his shattered soul.
5) The purpose of the aisure is not actually to placate attackers, but to trick them into helping the duskwish with some grand unknown magical experiment.

 

Slime Devil – Level 2 Troop
Initiative +4
AC: 20                              PD: 16                               MD: 14
HP: 31

M: or R: Claws (M) or Spines (R) – +7 vs. AC, 8 damage
16+: Followup Headbutt – +5 vs. PD (melee only), 4 damage

Skin Secretion: Slime Devils produce a slick secretion that hampers attackers and fouls weapons (included as an AC bonus). If a slime devil is attacked by a ranged weapon (bows, etc) or spell that targets AC, replace AC with PD.

Giant Spider – Level 2 Troop
Initiative +6
AC: 19                              PD: 13                               MD: 12
HP: 50

M: Arms – +8 vs. AC, 7 damage
Even (hit): Grab and Bite – target chooses one: take an additional 3 damage or be constrained until the end of the spider’s next turn

Variations:

  •  Spearfisher Spider – use the main attack as a ranged attack and pull target into engagement if hit
  • Ananze Spider – ‘constrained until end of next turn’ on Grab and Bite becomes ‘constrained until the target passes a DC 18 escape check’
  • Gleamsilk Spider – gains resist magic 11+