Blood Witches Coven

Blood Witches Coven

Blood Witches Coven

The cave entrance on the surface wards away intruders with the heads of men who dared challenge the coven of witches that dwell below. If the heads aren’t enough to dissuade casual visitors, the Glyph of Warding just underneath them might.

The entrance tunnel opens up into a large cavern with a babbling stream running through it. A stone bridge allows crossing, though the water isn’t really deep enough to be an effective barrier.

On the left is a windowless tower with a conical top, but a hidden door grants access. The obvious door in the center is trapped to seal when whoever opened it reaches the room on the other side. This leaves the unfortunate person in an empty courtyard, devoid of cover and surrounded by arrow slits 30′ up. Skeleton archers usually man the guard posts. A hidden exit leads to the last exterior feature, an octagonal platform with an elaborate ritual circle in its center.

Otherwise, there are small cells where the witches sleep, a small (but disorganized) library, and a temple to their bloody, goat-headed god. Only the witches’ matriarch, a swamp hag, has access to the males she keeps captive next to her rotten quarters.

“The sound of rushing water was reflected by the sound of shifting gravel as the party half-slid down the steep tunnel. Their thief had gone ahead to scout, but didn’t return after several hours. Assuming the worst, they headed down anyway to find him.

The tunnel opened up onto a high ledge in a huge cave, poorly lit by cracks in the ceiling and a brazier glowing next to a large wooden door in a cobblestone fort. Water flowed, fast and loud through the middle of the cave. The water flung itself from a stony waterfall into darkness and the sound drowned out all else. However, the elf spotted the thief’s head above the lip of a platform embedded in the fort’s walls. Oddly, the halfling thief just stood there on the edge staring at nothing. 

The Elf was about to shout to the halfling, but another figure slid from the darkness behind him. She had long, lank hair and a crone’s face. Standing behind the entranced halfling, she stroked his short hair, shot a hateful look at the party and drove her long, taloned fingers through the back of his neck.

As we rushed down the ledge, the hag pushed the halfling’s body off to thud wetly on the stone below. A bloody aura of black magic surrounded the hag and the sickening light it gave off slid behind her as she slowly moved back the way she came. The party collected themselves at the fort’s door and swore they wouldn’t rest until they had revenge for the murder of their comrade.”


Demonologist Spell List

Demonologist Spell List

The Demonologist class is located here.

Level 1 LEvel 4 Level 7
1 Augury 1  Bestow / Remove Curse 1  Limited Wish
2 Burning Hands 2  Enchant Arms 2  Power Word: Stun
3 Detect Magic 3  Fear 3  Simulacrum
4 Identify 4  Fire Shield 4  Summon Demon
5 Light / Darkness 5  Polymorph Self 5  Summon Monster 6
6 Protection from Evil / Good 6  Polymorph Other
7 Read Languages 7  Summon Monster 3
8 Read Magic 8  Wall of Fire
9 Summon Familiar
10 Summon Minor Monster
Level 2 LEvel 5 Level 8
1 Bane * 1  Animate Dead 1  Mind Blank
2 Darkness Globe 2  Cloudkill 2  Power Word: Blind
3 Detect Evil / Good 3  Contact Other Plane 3  Summon Monster 7
4 Detect Invisible 4  Magic Jar 4  Symbol
5 Ray of Enfeeblement 5  Summon Monster 4 5  Trap the Soul
6 Scare 6  Summon Shadow
7 Strength 7  Teleport
8 Summon Monster 1 8  True Seeing
Level 3 LEvel 6 Level 9
1  Dispel Magic 1  Cone of Flame ** 1  Astral Projection
2  Flame Arrow 2  Death Spell 2  Gate
3  Fireball 3  Dweomer of Rage 3  Meteor Swarm
4  Infravision 4  Legend Lore 4  Power Word: Kill
5  Protection from Evil / Good 10′ radius 5  Spirit Wrath 5  Summon Monster 8
6  Slow * 6  Summon Monster 5 6  Wish
7  Tongues
8  Summon Monster 2

* This spell cannot be cast as the reverse
except to counter another spell of the same
** Like cone of cold, except it deals fire

New Spells

Summon Monster, Minor
Level: 1 (Demonologist)
Duration: 1 round + 1 round per level
Range: 20’
This spell conjures 1d6 creatures with less than 1 HD or 1d2 1st-level (or 1 HD) creatures that arrive at the beginning of next round to an exact location within range which is specified by the caster. The monsters summoned are determined by the referee. Summoned monsters may be commanded to fight nearby foes and do so until death or until the spell duration ends. Creatures may be commanded to perform other tasks and do so if it is within their abilities.

Summon Monster 8
Level: 9 (Demonologist)
Duration: 9 rounds + 1 round per level
Range: 100’
This spell conjures (1d3) 8 HD creatures that arrive at the beginning of next round to an exact location within range which is specified by the caster. The monsters summoned are determined by the referee. Summoned monsters may be commanded to fight nearby foes and do so until death or until the spell duration ends. Creatures may be commanded to perform other tasks and do so if it is within their abilities.

Pus-lick Goblin Burrow

Puslick Goblin Burrow

Puslick Goblin Burrow

I really enjoy drawing maps with multiple elevations and overlapping tunnels. I hope this one isn’t too confusing, but I think it makes a great natural goblin stronghold.

From the bottom, the first elevation is ~20’ above ground, the next elevation is ~40’ high, the next is ~50’ high, and the last is ~70’ high. You can be sure that there will be numerous goblins with shortbows raining down arrows on intruders, though there is some cover in the form of  some large boulders that they’ve been too lazy to move.

There are two major burrows where the goblins make their nests. One is near the entrance is for the lowest-ranking goblins, so the floor is likely cluttered with detritus, and the other is protected by a door and features the rare concept (among goblins) of privacy curtains.

“You can smell the goblin warren before you find it. The usual smells of unburied waste, unwashed bodies, and rotten meat is undercut by a much more putrid smell. As you approach the cliff-side, you spot more than a dozen dark vertical gaps in the rockface from which a gabbling of goblin voices echoes. Also issuing down from each hole is a dark brown stain that fades to yellow, then white, near the hole. A crude door level with the ground has a skull-and-crossbones painted on it with the same brown substance. You have a feeling you’re going to need a long bath afterwards.”

Pus-lick Goblins

Goblinoid, CE, 20’, 1-1 HD, 1d4 or by weapon (shortsword or shortbow), F1, Mo 8, xp ??

Diseased weapons:

These goblins coat their weapons and arrows in the foul pus of goblins that have been deliberately given festering infections. The smell and inherent disgust that these weapons instill in their enemies is often enough to incapacitate them.

It takes 1 round for a goblin to apply the coating to a weapon or a bundle of 4x arrows. Goblins typically carry up to three clay bottles (or 1d4-1 bottles if you wish) and are considered to be proficient in its application, so there’s no chance of accidental exposure. Those dealt damage by such weapons must make a Save vs Poison or be Nauseated for 1 round (only Move actions) and have a 50% chance of being infected with the Purple Shakes.

Symptoms start in two days and the disease causes circulation to be restricted to one’s limbs and brain.  This results in extremities turning a deep purple or blue and a feeling of intense cold, numbness, and uncontrolled shaking. Once symptoms start, movement and speech is impossible. There is a 10% chance of naturally recovering and death occurs in 1d4+CON bonus days later (min 24 hrs of symptoms).

Barrow of King Winterwolf the Cold

Barrow of King Winterwolf the Cold

Barrow of King Winterwolf the Cold

Inspired somewhat by the numerous barrows featured in Skyrim, the anteroom has curved stone walls and weather-worn stone steps. Dried offerings in urns line the walls. The central room is locked and barred to prevent looting, but the north wall has crumbled somewhat where a log support has rotted through and collapsed. Stairs inside lead down to a tunnel.

South of the anteroom is where his loyal banner-men of Clan Umbra are interred and, perhaps, to guard the entrance to the rest of the barrow.

The north tunnel leads into a very large dining hall, though none no longer feast there. Below the balcony is a study table covered in fine earthenware and the dusty remains of the food that had been laid out when the barrow was sealed. Corridors on either side of the table lead to additional tombs.

To the North West, the corridors lead to trapped rooms and a hidden entrance into the barrow. It’s also the method by which the builders had left the barrow after it was sealed shut. To the East of the hall is where the King’s family and most trust guards are interred. Hidden there is a magic token that opens the hidden door into a temple of The Rivermaster, and where King Winterwolf and his second born son are interred.

Even after finding this chamber, the room is not very richly appointed. There is a final hidden door that leads to the treasure room where his enchanted armor Rimecoat and greatsword Frostblade are kept safe.

“The fat innkeeper had asked for a lot of gold for the location of Winterwolf’s Barrow; too much. He won’t be telling anyone else where we’ve gone, either. Now that we’ve found it, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s where he described. They were atop a tall, wind-swept hill of jagged rock that jutted out of the ground towards to the south, so they’d had to climb up from the north. Above the entrance was a stone wolf’s head with snarling jaws and a spiked collar and carved writing in the barbarian’s scratches was too faded to read. Snowdrifts piled against the arched entrance, but once they cleared it away, wide, icy steps went down on other side into the barrow. They split up to see if they’d meet up in the middle, but Rorge found a cave-in at the bottom and came back. Worthless offerings lined the plain walls, only a few coppers and silvers glittered in the whipping torchlight, but the handle-less door proclaimed in Runic, ‘Disturb not the resting Place of King Winterwolf the Cold and his Sons or be Cursed by the Gods.’ Rorge offered to break it down and threw his shoulder into it, but some magic thundered and threw him back to slam into the wall, crushing some old pottery. This would be a tough nut to crack, I figured, but at least we were in the right place.”

Elemental Binding Collar – Random Binding Form Table

As a variant on the Elemental Binding Collar, every time it’s used, the elemental takes on a new form. The Standard column can be used if the elemental isn’t one of the other types or just want a simple table. The others are creatures that are, more or less, part of an elemental theme. 

As a reminder, the bound elemental retains its HD, knowledge, personality, alignment, and known languages. It loses any elemental powers it once had and gains all the abilities of the new form. It gains the size, shape and coloration of an ordinary creature of its type. It has the AC, movement modes, special sight types, attack forms, and special abilities of its new form. The exception is that magical powers are not gained.


d% Standard Fire Air Water Earth
1 – 10 Ordinary Cat Ordinary Cat Ordinary Cat Ordinary dog Giant Spitting Beetle
11 – 20 Toad Camel Robin (bird) Cow Ordinary Dog
21 – 30 Ordinary Dog Giant Fire Beetle Ordinary Bat Ordinary cat Giant Badger
31 – 40 Raven Hawk Giant Bat Pig Giant Centipede
41 – 50 Hawk Lizard Giant Bee Toad Giant Ferret
51 – 60 Pony Spitting Cobra Giant Fly Salamander Giant Rat
61 – 70 Lynx War dog Hawk Seagull Giant Shrew
71 – 75 Spitting Cobra Wolf Horse Horse Baboon
76 – 80 Baboon Giant Spider Strige Giant Crab Boar
81 – 85 Wolf Giant Scorpion Giant Wasp Giant Crayfish Camel
86 – 90 Chimpanzee Wolverine Crystal Statue Giant Frog Horse
91 – 92 Lizardfolk Hyena Cheetah Spitting Cobra Spitting Cobra
93 Dwarf Homunculus Goblin Crocodile Homunculus
94 Homunculus Half Orc Halfling Homunculus Kobold
95 Wood Golem Orc Homunculus Human (pirate) Gnome
96 Pixie Wood Golem Pixie Elf Duergar Dwarf
97 Imp Imp Sprite Nixie Neanderthal
98 Quasit Quasit Brownie Sahaugin Crystal Statue
99 Pesudo-dragon Hell Hound Imp Dryad Satyr
100 Small Dragon (any) Small Dragon (Red) Small Dragon (Blue) Small Dragon (White) Small Dragon (Black)

Fort Blackcove and the Forgotten Chambers – Part 2

The Forgotten Chambers

The Forgotten Chambers

Behind Fort Blackcove, built into a huge stony hill on the shore of a salty sea, there is a tunnel that is hidden when the tide is high and protected by treacherous rocks. During low-tide, though, the narrow opening can be found and the tunnel traversed. The current can be swift, however, so if one isn’t careful, one’s boat will be dashed on the rocks further downstream. If one is sharp, one will notice the stone ladder built into a ledge (once there was a rope ladder as well, but it has since rotted away). At the top of the dank ledge is a heavy door, perfectly sealed and rusted shut.

The old lords of Fort Blackcove learned not to open that door too often, for it may let the sea in, but they used the chambers to build a secret prison. In this prison the lords kept the captives they never wanted their allies to know about, where they could torture whomever they please and let them waste away in the damp darkness. The goalers never cared that it was originally built by Naga, only that none ever escaped. The serpentine artwork and frescos are painted over or washed away.

Over the years, the salt water and underground streams have worn away the walls around some of the rooms, causing floors to collapse and flooding during high tide. One cave has been worn away so far it’s nearly washed some of the cells away.

No one can say what might be found in the dark torture chambers that have been forgotten by all living men. Perhaps what remains are only anguished souls, a monstrous goaler who never left the defunct prison, or perhaps the Naga have returned to restore their outpost.

“You’ve hit yet another impasse. Ahead of you and to your left are thick iron bars, though rusted at their base. Behind you is the hidden passages you passed through to enter this gods-forsaken dungeon. To your right you can see the other side of the thick door that keeps out the seawater at high tide. The air here is moist and smells of salt and seaweed. In fact, everything below a handspan’s height on the wall is encrusted with salt and tiny sea-creature’s shells. As you’re looking around the walls for a way to raise one or the other portcullis, you hear a high-pitched screech that echoes from all directions. You hope that whatever did that is still on the other side of those bars and doesn’t know another way around…”

Elemental Binding Collar – Inspired by the Abhorsen Trilogy

Inspired by the collar that bound Mogget, a Free Magic Elemental into the service of the Abhorsen in the form of an adorable white cat (at least when Sabriel met him), this could definitely be an alternative way for a Magic-User (or any character) to adopt a Familiar of sorts.

Before being applied to an Elemental, the collar appears as a fairly plain steel ring. On closer inspection, etched runes of binding, service, and holding, can be read around its circumference. The ring can be worn on one’s finger and doesn’t count against the number of magical rings one can wear since it doesn’t provide any inherent bonuses to the wearer.

When the wearer holds the ring and speaks the command word, the ring quickly expands into a steel hoop with bright runes spinning around its circumference. The hoop can be expanded to any reasonable size required by the user. The hoop will also retract back into a ring with another use of the command word or after a few hours, if not used. The hoop will not expand against a solid object or fast enough to cause harm.

Once placed around or under an elemental, the hoop will quickly retract around the elemental’s form. As a general rule, elementals with 8 HD or less can be bound in 1 round, 9 to 12 HD in two rounds, 13 to 16 HD in three rounds, and 16+ HD in four rounds. On the first round, the elemental receives a Save vs Death at a -4 penalty to resist the effect and remove the hoop. On the second round, it receives another Save vs Death, but at a -8 penalty. If that fails, the process cannot be stopped. The elemental is likely to panic and attempt to flee or to spend its last few round attacking the one who placed the collar on it.

As the hoop constricts, it forces the elemental into a new, benign form, often an animal. When the process is completed, the new form appears as an ordinary creature of its type, though it is capable of speech and of a random gender, and wearing a leather collar around its neck (the collar could be a particular color depending on the type of elemental). Hanging from the collar is a small steel bell, enchanted, that helps keep the elemental bound whenever it rings. A round after the transformation is complete the creature coughs up another Elemental Binding Collar in its ring form. Both the leather collar and the ring bear the same magical rune to indicate that the two are connected.

It’s worth noting that the leather collar is merely an illusion. The collar cannot be broken with a weapon, it will not degrade over time, and it cannot be removed by the transformed elemental alone. Someone must choose to undo it and take it off. If the leather collar is ever removed it dissolves into smoke immediately and the elemental will be released over the course of 1 round.

The collar reverts back into the original ring form and one of these things will happen:

  • The ring will return to the hand of the person who had bound the elemental, unless they are dead or not on this plane.
  • The ring will return to the hand of the person who unbound the elemental, unless they are dead or not on this plane (extraordinary bad timing).
  • The ring will appear within 2′ of the elemental and clatter on the floor; it may be lost!

How the ring gets there is up to the DM

At this point, the runed ring can be turned into the hoop and used to rebind the elemental. The ring will not respond to the command word before then.

The bound elemental in its creature form will be helpful to the owner of the ring, if not friendly, and will not willingly harm its master. Though it lacks any of its previous offensive capabilities but it retains its knowledge, personality, and ability to speak all languages it might know. When asked questions or asked to perform tasks, it will answer truthfully and act properly (if begrudgingly). The bound elemental retains its HD and Saves, but its AC, forms of attack, and special abilities are that of the new creature. Any magical powers the new form would normally have are not available. (For example, an elemental bound into the form of a Small Dragon (HD 3) would have a breath weapon. Turned into an Imp, it would lack any of the spell-like abilities, but keeps the poison tail attack)

The form the elemental takes could depend on the type of elemental, a particular collar may always turn an elemental into a particular creature, or each binding transforms an elemental into a random creature; it’s up to the DM. Needless to say, the type of creature will be appropriate to its environment (that is, its new form can swim and breathe water if it’s underwater and so on).

Next week, I’ll post a random table to determine what form a bound elemental might take.